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Asked by: DS
John D Collins
on Jan 26, 2014
You don’t want to be flying at the limit and there is no practical means that I know of to measure this other than estimating it. You must keep the airport in sight except when your maneuvering blocks your view. For circling, the flight visibility must be the greater of 1 SM or the charted value, so when visibility is at the minimums, you won’t see more than .85 NM so you won’t be able to see the airport at the limit, which would require flight visibility of about 1.5 SM.
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Wes Beard on Jan 26, 2014
If you have GPS, you can program it to show the point at the end of the runway you are shooting. This will give you the distance to the end of the runway but no real way to know when within the circling radii of the other runways.
Circling approach obstacle clearance radii is changing. Where category A is currently 1.3 NM from the runway. The new circling radii is based both on category type and MSL altitude.
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on Jan 29, 2014
On a practical level I have had good success at using the runway as a measuring stick for this application. It is of known length so it is a matter of visualizing one or more lengths of the runway extended from the approach end being used. Example is a runway of 4000 feet is nearly a mile long. Visualize that runway being extended by the length and associate that new length with landmarks on the ground. Stay within those landmarks if possible. If not, then missed approach is required.
Try this exercise in visual conditions using the approach mode on the GPS for those runways designated with a GPS approach. This gives distance to the runway end. Match your estimate to the GPS and see how close you can get. I think you will find that you are better at this estimate than you think.
The key is using what you have available. I started this when ADF approaches were wide-spread.
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