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By Roy
#1214220
With about 5 minutes to run to the airfield, I became visual with another aircraft (G-AA) also joining from the South at the same level (2500’). G-AA was in my 1 o’clock, range about 4-500 meters and she immediately put in a radio call confirming joining instructions including standard overhead join runway 27. I immediately put in my call confirming visual with G-AA, OHJ 27 etc.

Although close to G-AA I was comfortable with my position in the knowledge that I could use the OHJ to provide the separation required prior to landing. As we were approaching the ATZ another aircraft called also joining from the South. At this point G-AA started to descend, this seemed in order as she was still above OHJ height, however the decent appeared to become more rapid and she quickly passed through the OHJ height. I did not want to lose sight of G-AA so rapidly reduced power to avoid her disappearing under the nose.

It now became obvious the G-AA has decided to convert to a crosswind join without any radio call and levelled off at circuit height, by now I was starting to gain rapidly as I was flying a significantly heavier aircraft and the inertia from the rapid dive had been converted to speed. I virtually overtook G-AA downwind and was forced to fly at an uncomfortably slow airspeed until G-AA turned base, I was then able to extend my downwind leg to provide adequate separation prior to landing.

Clearly I believe that G-AA radio calls leave something to be desired, but was I completely innocent? I have flown a reasonable amount of formation flying, but in this case was I too happy about being so close to G-AA, should I have orbited earlier to provide separation, although with another aircraft joining behind this was not without its problems. Should I have completed my OHJ as per my radio call, even if this meant losing site of G-AA.
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By Flyin'Dutch'
#1214249
Hi Roy,

It is my firm held belief, and oft trotted out view on here, that the OHJ is the work of the devil and should be avoided in all but a few circumstances.

Your post demonstrates that there are too many variables for executing the OHJ, I can see why you wanted to keep an eye on your predecessor but at 500m that is a bit tight innit, especially if you were flying something a bit heavier (and likely faster - almost certainly in the landing configuration) And what about the chap/ess behind you?

Being able to see what happens in front of you is important but I want to know what is happening behind me too
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By Irv Lee
#1214284
Frank - Isn't this a case of what happens when people announce overhead joins and then do something that isn't a standard overhead join?
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By Flyin'Dutch'
#1214507
Darn, red mist!

:-)

Appreciate that the same might have happened if they would have done a normal circuit join but with there being less room for interpretation as to what a cct should look like I somehow think there would be fewer of these situations.
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By Irv Lee
#1214510
You forgot the dual act we have Frank, you know it normally works by someone mentioning they like ohj or asking how to do them, then I post saying I like them or answer something about them, but I always finish with "but Frank will be along in a minute", then you come in and give us both barrels. The fact that I hadn't done my bit first should have warned you it wasn't the normal posting! ;-)
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By Roy
#1214540
I wasn't seeking to rubbish the OHJ per se, I learned to fly at Shoreham where they were the order of the day, again the main problems were with visiting aircraft that didn't understand the join.

I try to work on the principal while flying or driving that everyone out there is an idiot (and yes I do include myself) and was looking to establish what I could have done better in the circumstances. With hindsight it would clearly have been better airmanship to have flown the approach to the airfield at Vs+10kts while at 2500' than to fly Vs+10kts at 800' when downwind to provide adequate separation.

Frank - how do you keep an eye on traffic behind you when you have no rear view? From the radio call I would have estimated that it was about 3 miles behind, so slowing down would have been ok, but an orbit was probably inadvisable.
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By Paul_Sengupta
#1214565
What about just joining overhead as normal? Let the other one descend, but you join the roundabout in the sky above the airfield. As you are going round in circles you'll be able to see the aircraft underneath you at some point, then you can start your own approach to fit in behind.
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By Flyin'Dutch'
#1214598
Roy wrote:Frank - how do you keep an eye on traffic behind you when you have no rear view? From the radio call I would have estimated that it was about 3 miles behind, so slowing down would have been ok, but an orbit was probably inadvisable.


Hi Roy,

I can't either, so have to rely on radio calls, or if there is sun and shadows look for those. If in doubt I will just call the other aeroplane and ask where they are or if they have seen me. If I can't establish where they are I will break off and rejoin later.

It is because the OHJ can be interpreted and executed in so many different ways that I don't like it at all when there is any traffic about.
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By Yankee-K
#1214801
Just for clarification Irv (no point in asking Frank, he doesn't like OHJ :lol: ), where exactly should the radio call "Joining overhead for runway xx" be made?
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By Flyin'Dutch'
#1214839
Yankee-K wrote:Just for clarification Irv (no point in asking Frank, he doesn't like OHJ :lol: ), where exactly should the radio call "Joining overhead for runway xx" be made?


:D

Hope I may answer that despite not liking them!

Dead over the ARP is what I think the answer is!

Irv will put me right.
By johnm
#1214843
I am slightly puzzled by this. A standard OHJ results in a cross wind join of the circuit so if G-AA was number one she may just have expedited the dead side descent?

The OP should have completed a dead side descent and followed as number two Shirley the third aircraft, following rule 12 should have joined overhead number 3?
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By Paul_Sengupta
#1214847
I thought "joining overhead" should be from a few miles out...?

"Overhead" would be when you're er, overhead.

I would have thought that if you expedite the deadside descent, i.e. you descend there without first going into the overhead, that would be known as a crosswind join and should be called as such. Someone coming from another direction would fly into the overhead and circle there to fit in behind them. The problem comes where two or more people try and join into the circuit without doing an overhead join, as in this case where both seemed to go for the crosswind join (sorry Frank!).
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By Keef
#1214854
I've heard much confusion on this subject (and had a few scares in my time) so I depart from CAPwhatever.

When some minutes out, I call "X minutes to run, to join overhead" so folks should know where I am and what I intend.

When I'm overhead, I call "Overhead, descending deadside" - and do that.

If there's an A/G unit or better, I'll ask if they know any reason not to join downwind/base/final and am guided by that.
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By Irv Lee
#1214947
i don't think joinING overhead is a great phrase standing alone with a callsign. Cap413 does include it in an example in conjunction with a position report well away from the airfield. I would prefer "to join overhead" or "will join overhead". i have been with pilots using "joining overhead" when heading for the airfield without a position report or distance or time to run. JoinING to some people infers it is happening right now, to others it implies that is the intention shortly, so its use without a some indication of now or later is confusing. 413 also recommends first call is 5 to 10 miles from the airfield, which I think is fine for first call to get airfield information, but, certainly in slower aircraft I think I would do a second call closer in to warn converging traffic.
I have also been with a couple of pilots who have called overhead whilst doing a crosswind join as the reach the upwind runway, which is pretty bad.