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Circling approach at night, confused

• Posts: 7

calejoh created the topic: Circling approach at night, confused

Hi all,

Pulling my hair out here. Question 8 in CIR revisions questions - set 8 asks:

You are conducting a RNAV (GNSS) at night on runway 22 at Hay. You break free of cloud at 850ft with vis of 2.5km. If you are too high to land straight ahead on runway 22 you should:

A. Carry out a circling approach.
B. Continue to the circling area and over fly for a left circuit on runway 22.
C. Continue to the circling area and over fly for a right circuit on runway 22.
D. Climb back to 1000ft and fly a left circuit on runway 22.

The answer is A. I don’t understand why this isn’t calling for a missed approach. We can’t circle less than the circling height at night so why would this be the best option? Is it assumed we would climb back up to the circling height before we commence the circling approach?

Thanks to anyone who can shed some light on this one.

• Posts: 26

Bosi72 replied the topic: Circling approach at night, confused

My guess would be to eliminate last 3 answers as they all offer circuits.

In real life DAP says track direct to HXXNH then track 213, climb to 1700ft.. Depending on AWIS, if cloud clearing is expected shortly, then my choice would be HXXND or NG, however if not, circling would be logical choice until weather improves. Since two options (circuits and circling) are offered, I would chose circling as circuits would be in the clouds.

• Posts: 2126

bobtait replied the topic: Circling approach at night, confused

If you encounter visual conditions on a straight-in approach at night at a height that is above the straight-in minima but below the circling minima, then you MUST land on the nominated runway.

It is the only option you have apart from a missed approach. If you are visual but find that you cannot safely land straight-in on the nominated runway for any reason e.g.:

the runway is occupied,
the down-wind or cross-wind component is too high,
or you are too high to land on the nominated runway,

then you must do a missed approach.
The following user(s) said Thank You: calejoh

• Posts: 7

calejoh replied the topic: Circling approach at night, confused

But we are too high. Is this one of those make the best choice of four bad options kinda situations?

• Posts: 2126

bobtait replied the topic: Circling approach at night, confused

You are too hgh to land. You are not too high to do a missed approach. You can do that at any height.

Do you realise that a missed approach means that you are climbing back into the cloud to divert to another aerodrome or try another approach by flying the approach procedure again for another attempt?

It does not mean that you are going to fly a circuit. Maybe you are thinking of a missed approach for circuits on a VFR day....

• Posts: 7

calejoh replied the topic: Circling approach at night, confused

Think we have our wires crossed. I've been advocating a missed approach from the outset, but a circling approach or circuit was the only thing on offer in the textbook (see original post). This was what had me confused as a missed approach seemed the most sensible option. Now I see what's going on. Noticed in Errata for IREX ( bobtait.com.au/updates-and-errata/24-irex-errata ) that the textbook has been updated to offer the option of a missed approach instead of a "circling approach".

It's good when things make sense! Thanks for the replies nonetheless Bob.