Jump to content

VFR with ILS or RNAV Approach?


Joel Semmel
 Share

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Lauri Uusitalo said:

But you can have license with either "circling approach in VMC only" or have that restriction removed.

I don't know what kind of "restriction" are you talking about, but this is certainly not an ICAO world.

ICAO Doc 8168 Volume I:

image.png.3d74bff6ea53b706071d2504008ce8a6.png

image.png.e2ed49cfacf31e57d03e68c1f221ee43.png

In general, Circle to land, as any other non-precision approach, has MDA(H) published (not DA/H), which basically means, that you can descent to MDA, and continue to fly on this altitude until reference is met and/or THR/MAPt is reached. However, you can't really perform a visual segment without visual reference, which is kinda obvious...

Mateusz Zymla - 1131338

VATSIMer since 2009, IRL pilot rated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This type where it states "VMC only". So you can not fly below circling below VMC minima. But if you have that limitation removed, you could fly circling approach in IMC, if you have visual reference?

 

Näyttökuva 2021-10-23 kello 9.00.26.png

Edited by Lauri Uusitalo
ACH2118.jpg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Andreas Fuchs said:

No, a circling approach is always a visual maneuver under IFR. If you go IMC during a circling approach, you need to perform a missed approach. Basic IFR knowledge.

Yes,  Andreas is completely right and the correct movement is to turn in the direction of the runway center line and try to align yourself with it because if you turn, ONLY initially, in the direction of the airport you expect to have a better obstacle clearance. After you MUST follow the missed approach procedure explained in the approach chart.

 

 

VATSIM copyright © all rights reserved design by this community

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Luca Melis said:

Yes,  Andreas is completely right and the correct movement is to turn in the direction of the runway center line and try to align yourself with it because if you turn, ONLY initially, in the direction of the airport you expect to have a better obstacle clearance. After you MUST follow the missed approach procedure explained in the approach chart.

Yes, if lose visual, no-one has denied that. But if you do not lose visual, you may still be in IMC, if the visibility is below 5km, right?

ACH2118.jpg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Lauri Uusitalo said:

But if you do not lose visual, you may still be in IMC, if the visibility is below 5km, right?

No, if you are in IMC, you cannot see anything. How would perform a visual maneuver while flying in clouds? Seriously, how often do we have to repeat this?

As Don mentioned: please do not confuse IMC with IFR and do not confuse VMC with VFR. These are two different things.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, Andreas Fuchs said:

No, if you are in IMC, you cannot see anything. How would perform a visual maneuver while flying in clouds? Seriously, how often do we have to repeat this?

As Don mentioned: please do not confuse IMC with IFR and do not confuse VMC with VFR. These are two different things.

Perhaps I am thick, so you have to bear with me. But as far as I know being in IMC does not necessarily mean you are in clouds, but below VMC minima.

The picture I attached is a license from a guy flying in US. In his certificate it states "visual circling in VMC only", he says and others have mentioned that this limitation can be removed (VMC only) with extra training. But US carriers rarely fly circling approaches anyway so it is usually not worthwhile.

I am trying to find a case where this is possible, as it seems that you can do that. Is it perhaps when you are below 3000/1000 feet, clear of clouds (by required distance), but flight visibility is below 5 km (but visual reference available for circling).

 

ACH2118.jpg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Andreas Fuchs said:

Incorrect. You may want to read up on this.

I did read up on this. The Pilot-Controller Glossary defines IMC as, "Meteorological conditions expressed in terms of visibility, distance from cloud, and ceiling less than the minima specified for visual meteorological conditions." In other words, conditions under which VFR flight is no longer legally permissible. 

IMG_0136.jpg.db3fd8153c590e9eb5fe920788ded734.jpg

Check this out. Here is the minima chart for an RNAV approach procedure to STK. Notice that all of the circling minima are less than 1000' above the airport elevation. This means that I can legally shoot an approach to this airport with a ceiling and visibility less than the minima required for VFR. So here's my example: I shoot the approach to STK, break out at 800' AGL with a flight visibility of 2 miles, and as long as I have the airport in sight, I can continue my approach into STK. Since these values are less than the specified VFR minima, the only way to describe this situation is that I'm in IMC, despite having adequate visual reference to the ground and airport.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Lauri Uusitalo said:

Not very helpful unfortunately.

What don't you understand?

VFR/IFR is type of flight - navigational, performance and law limiting or equipment criteria applies to it. Airspace structure as well. "VFR Minima" is solely based whether VFR flight (so the FLIGHT BASED ON GIVEN RULES) will be allowed or not (in given airspace/airport etc).

IMC/VMC is simply - you either see ground, or not. Nothing from above applies in terms of deducting whether it's IMC or VMC. You may experience VMC in IFR flight. You may experience IMC in VFR flight as well.

Andreas already mentioned that multiple times. 

 

  

14 hours ago, Lauri Uusitalo said:

This type where it states "VMC only". So you can not fly below circling below VMC minima. But if you have that limitation removed, you could fly circling approach in IMC, if you have visual reference?

 

Näyttökuva 2021-10-23 kello 9.00.26.png

 

Where did you take this from? First of all, considering "ATP" I guess it's NA/SA. Second, what document is it? Third, do you know on which basis this "limitation" was given?

ICAO rules do not have such limitations. So it's 99% local NAA/authority/govt ruling.

Edited by Mateusz Zymla

Mateusz Zymla - 1131338

VATSIMer since 2009, IRL pilot rated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Mateusz Zymla said:

IMC/VMC is simply - you either see ground, or not. Nothing from above applies in terms of deducting whether it's IMC or VMC.

This is simply not true. I literally just posted the definition of IMC and there is no mention of the ability to see the ground. It is simply a way to describe a set of weather conditions that are less than the minima specified for VMC. It is precisely these minima that are used to draw the line between when it's allowable to operate under VFR or IFR.

So, yes, you may obviously encounter VMC while operating IFR (it's very, very common, especially where I fly), and it is possible to encounter IMC while operating VFR (the cause of many a bad outcome in the real world). I've also flown in VMC without seeing the ground when I cruise above a thin stratus layer that develops over wide areas in the early mornings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's go back a bit. My question was related to this limitation mentioned in FAA certification document (and in the photo above):

Quote

Circle-to-Land Limitation on an ATP Certificate or Type Rating

A pilot may receive a circle-to-land limitation through an approved air carrier training and checking program restricting a circling approach in the specified airplane type to visual meteorological conditions (VMC) only. An example of the certificate notation would be: “CL-65 CIRC APCH VMC ONLY.” This restriction may be removed when the applicant receives training in the circling maneuver in the same type of airplane for which he or she has the limitation and satisfactorily demonstrates a circling approach and landing in that same airplane type with an appropriately qualified evaluator.

So what will happen if this restriction is removed, what will pilot be allowed to do after that?

ACH2118.jpg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Dustin Rider said:

This is simply not true. I literally just posted the definition of IMC and there is no mention of the ability to see the ground. It is simply a way to describe a set of weather conditions that are less than the minima specified for VMC. It is precisely these minima that are used to draw the line between when it's allowable to operate under VFR or IFR.

So, yes, you may obviously encounter VMC while operating IFR (it's very, very common, especially where I fly), and it is possible to encounter IMC while operating VFR (the cause of many a bad outcome in the real world). I've also flown in VMC without seeing the ground when I cruise above a thin stratus layer that develops over wide areas in the early mornings.

As pilot in command you are responsible to avoid collision with the ground during a circling to land. This means you need a visual contact with the ground when you have reached the minimum for circling to land. If you do not have visual contact with the ground or during the circling to land you loose visual contact with ground, you must start immediately a go-around procedure.

 

Personally, if I do not have visual contact with the runway, I would not continue circling to land even if I have a visual contact with the ground. Loss of situational awareness is quite simple to happen

VATSIM copyright © all rights reserved design by this community

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Lauri Uusitalo said:

So what will happen if this restriction is removed, what will pilot be allowed to do after that?

If removed from ATP certificate, the pilot (*) could circle-to-land in wx conditions described in the KSTK example,
"break out at 800' AGL with a flight visibility of 2 miles, and as long as I have the airport in sight, I can continue my approach into STK."
-except if/where the limitation has not been removed for aircraft-specific type ratings.

However, this appears to be a moot point since ...
Part 121/135 operator Ops Specs typically require higher cloud clearance and visibility for circle to land.
(commonly, 3 miles vis and 1,000 foot ceiling)

In effect, whether the CIRC APP limitations remain or removed, circling requirements for pilots in transport category aircraft remain unchanged.
i.e. per carrier Ops Specs, they would not normally be permitted to circle in meteorological conditions (borrowed from) the STK example.

(*) there could be a dozen other scenarios implied in the question. For example, if the pilot is flying a piston twin under Part 91, etc.; consider Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) "pilot certification" regs as largely irrelevant for VATSIM purposes. For OP question ... for an aircraft flying under Visual Flight Rules, can a pilot request a practice instrument approach, while maintaining VFR (with or without a view limiting device and safety pilot), the answer in U.S. airspace, remains: Yes.

Hope this helps.
p.s. Great questions @Lauri Uusitalo, and many thanks to @Simon Kelsey, @Andreas Fuchs 837251, @Don Desfosse, @Dustin Rider et al for helpful advice and correcting misinformation.
 

Edited by Mike Sweeney
  • Like 2

Mike / 811317
rz0u.png
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Lauri Uusitalo said:

Thx @Mike Sweeney, for pointing to the right directions. When you say typically and normally, I understood that there is a chance 😉 So I found one Part 135 operator Ops Specs in the interweb and here is an excerpt  

image.png.5885093c6d04f22314c134c4aa3c221f.png

 

This is interesting

VATSIM copyright © all rights reserved design by this community

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And it is very FAA-specific. In Europe you are either certified to fly IFR, or you are not. There are not restrictions, except that you need additional training for RNP, CAT II and CAT III approaches. Circling approaches are "basic knowledge" and part of IFR training, there's nothing special about them.

Edited by Andreas Fuchs
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Coming back to those circling approaches. I am now back at home at my computer, it is much easier to type than on a mobile phone or on a tablet.

A circle-to-land procedure is part of an IFR approach. You need to meet the published minima (or higher minima that your employer may prescribe) and then you can fly this procedure. You need to stay VMC throughout the circling part of the approach, otherwise you have to go-around.

A visual approach is also an IFR procedure. Depending on what legislation you fly under and what country you operate in, it comes with slightly different rules and expectations. I love flying visual approaches, because I can shorten the way to landing and have some fun on the controls: autopilot, autothrottle and flight director OFF, go for a 3 NM final (1000ft above threshold) by standard and not a lengthy 8 or 10 NM final. Terrain avoidance is on us, but whould fly a visual approach in "questionable weather conditions"? In my company we cannot fly visual approaches in night time conditions, that's our only restriction.

A VFR approach is a VFR procedure. Obviously you need to cancel IFR before you can continue like this. Examples in Europe: LSZS/Samedan (St.Moritz) airport, quite a fun mountain airport in Switzerland, I highly recommend trying that one on VATSIM. VACC Switzerland hold all the necessary charts: https://www.vacc.ch/en/airports_and_charts/LSZS
The implications when flying VFR are: own separation from unannounced VFR traffic, own separation from terrain, higher WX minima. That's why not all companies allow you to just cancel IFR and "go ahead". Especially the consideration of uncontrolled traffic is a factor in this.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Andreas Fuchs said:

And it is very FAA-specific. In Europe you are either certified to fly IFR, or you are not. There are not restrictions, except that you need additional training for RNP, CAT II and CAT III approaches. Circling approaches are "basic knowledge" and part of IFR training, there's nothing special about them.

This is why I asked about this. Interesting to see differences.

ACH2118.jpg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There seems to be some confusion between VMC/IMC and visual reference here.

As Dustin explained (and this is true not only in FAA land), VMC is a set of weather conditions that meet specified minima. Skybrary explains the terms like this:

https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/Visual_Meteorological_Conditions_(VMC)
https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/Instrument_Meteorological_Conditions_(IMC)

If the conditions do not meet VMC minima, you are in IMC. It doesn't necessarily mean that you can't see anything, and conversely VMC doesn't mean that you can see the runway.

A circling approach flown to minima would in many cases be conducted in IMC, since the minimum visibility for a circling approach is less than 5 km for most aircraft categories. However, since a circling approach is a visual procedure, it must be flown with visual reference to the ground, and once descending below the circling MDA the runway must be kept in sight continuously.

Another example of visual flying in IMC would be Special VFR, which is a VFR flight cleared to operate in a control zone when the conditions do not meet VMC minima - in other words IMC.

Martin Loxbo

Director Sweden FIR

VATSIM Scandinavia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Mike Sweeney said:

However, this appears to be a moot point since ...
Part 121/135 operator Ops Specs typically require higher cloud clearance and visibility for circle to land.
(commonly, 3 miles vis and 1,000 foot ceiling)

Precisely, and the FAA (and, evidently, only the FAA) likes to make the distinction that unless a pilot has demonstrated a circle-to-land procedure during a checkride, they will carry the limitation on their pilot certificate that Lauri is asking about. Since most airlines carry the above Ops Specs as you've described, Mike, their pilots don't need to demonstrate the procedure, and therefore carry the limitation. It's a funny thing to me, but, considering the fairly high danger associated with circling approaches, it's quite understandable.

If you want to see another particularly challenging IAP, try the RNAV (GPS)-E into KSBS. I did this approach on my 135.299 checkride in VMC during the day and still gave myself a bit of a scare. Some highlights on this procedure are the 7.75˚ descent angle, the MDA of 1258' AGL, and the fact that the approach is designed to get you to the MDA just before you reach the runway with the idea that if you get the airport in sight, and are confident you can keep it in sight beneath the ceiling, you'll simply enter the appropriate traffic pattern for whichever runway you're landing on, noting that runway 14 is right traffic. When this procedure was being developed, there were several meteorological studies that concluded that the ceiling typically settles at 8200' MSL, so getting to MDA means just barely getting below the ceiling.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Dustin Rider said:

It's a funny thing to me, but, considering the fairly high danger associated with circling approaches, it's quite understandable.

There is no "high danger", you just have to set your own minima appropriately and you have to regularly practice this kind of approach. In general aviation, this is a normal thing. They are rare, but they do exist, especially now in winter. On top of it, there are also VPT: "visual manoeuvring with prescribed tracks" - have a look at LFMD, LFSB, LYTV and many others. They are fairly easy, just brief it properly and follow the tracks as prescribed. Works at night and in bad weather.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...