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Circling approach using vertical guidance

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FAA Regulations, Instrument Rating

Is it okay to get down to circling MDA while following the GS if doing a ILS/LPV circling approach?

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2 Answers

  1. Best Answer

    John D Collins on Mar 13, 2015

    A circling approach requires a NPA procedure. If the approach has vertical guidance such as an ILS or LPV, but there is not a NPA procedure on the same chart, that is for an ILS there is not a localizer only option or for an LPV there is not an LNAV option, then circling minimums are not charted, If both a vertically guided procedure and an NPA procedure are charted and circling minimums are provided, the vertical guidance can be used as advisory information as long as all of the NPA minimum altitudes are complied with. There are cases of vertically guided approaches, particularly LNAV/VNAV whose DA is above the MDA of the circling minimums. With a DA, an altitude on the GS establishes the missed approach point, whereas with a NPA it is usually at the threshold or a waypoint. The threshold or waypoint for the MAP on a circling procedure is past the point of the MAP on the vertically guided procedure.

    So as long as you treat the GS as advisory only information and don’t bust any NPA procedure minimums, it is OK to follow the GS. Bottom line, circling is not done from a vertically guided procedure.

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  2. Drew on Mar 13, 2015

    Thank you for your thorough answer.

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