Learning to fly, or thinking of learning? Post your questions, comments and experiences here

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By Balliol
#1658695
Think it was the poster that CAA put out a while ago as it was based on a 1000ft circuit. Skyway code now says:

Maintain 2000ft above aerodrome height (or as specified by the aerodrome) and observe windsock and traffic. Keep aerodrome suitable distance on the left of the aircraft.
#1658705
Balliol wrote:Keep aerodrome suitable distance on the left of the aircraft.

Presumably only to the Left if one is joining for a Left Hand circuit, ie descending on the deadside in a left-hand turn. Otherwise one would be keeping it to the Right, I suggest.
Balliol, Rob P liked this
#1658719
I can't add much more on the principle to what's already been written, but the one piece of advice I would give us to establish it all properly in your mind using whatever combination of diagrams and visualisation works for you - for some it means walking round the sitting room being the aeroplane yourself!

The very last thing you want to do is consume expensive dual flying time going to some OHJ airfield and practicing over and over again with your instructor.

Don't just learn it, understand it. Then go there and get it right first time.

I'm a big believer in learning all you can on the ground. Flying around at circa £2.50 a minute is an expensive way to learn something if you could do it via diagrams and visualisation.
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By Newfy
#1658720
Perhaps it is stating the obvious, but do make sure you check the local procedures. For example, if you do the overhead join at 2,000’ QFE, or if you depart straight out when on an easterly runway, at White Waltham, you will infringe the London CTR. Overhead joins at Waltham are 1,200’ QFE, only 400’ above the circuit height of 800’.
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By AlexJR
#1658738
As has been said, check the OHJ for the particular airfield is not non-standard. Wycombe has a 1,200 feet OHJ with no deadside for example. I print off the relevant page from Pooleys then draw on the circuit direction/deadside to make it as foolproof as possible (no matter how much you practice you can forget everything in the moment!) so you know where to be. Obviously the wind direction can shift during the course of the day but when calling for PPR you can get the runway in use.

I tend to fly too tight a circuit away from home - definitely an area for improvement.
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By GolfHotel
#1658840
AlexJR wrote:As has been said, check the OHJ for the particular airfield is not non-standard. Wycombe has a 1,200 feet OHJ with no deadside for example. I print off the relevant page from Pooleys then draw on the circuit direction/deadside to make it as foolproof as possible (no matter how much you practice you can forget everything in the moment!) so you know where to be. Obviously the wind direction can shift during the course of the day but when calling for PPR you can get the runway in use.

I tend to fly too tight a circuit away from home - definitely an area for improvement.


I don't remember ever seeing a visitor to Dunks flying too tight a circuit. Usually they include a visit to Bristol and turn final somewhere over Exeter. (I exaggerate just little)

PS no OHJ please, meat bombs everywhere.
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By T67M
#1658898
David Wood wrote:When you are in the overhead (and it doesn't really matter precisely where you are so long as you are over the top of the ATZ) you say "G-ABCD, overhead, descending deadside". Then everyone knows where you are and what you're doing. Again, you may not get an acknowledgement.


One small clarification - the "overhead" and "descending deadside" can be two separate calls. The first should be made as you enter the overhead, the second should be made from above the landing runway threshold as you enter the deadside and commence your descent. These may be so close together that they can be made as one call, but if you're approaching from the deadside the might be up to a minute between them.
By NewFlyer78
#1658984
Thank you for clarifying this detail - it was something on my mind. A subtle but important point as ATSUs often respond to overhead calls by saying "report downwind" when the joining aircraft is nowhere near dead side descending. By having separate calls for "overhead" and "descending deadside" (apart from when they genuinely coincide), circuit traffic can build up a better picture.
#1658993
I would only add, @NewFlyer78 , that you shouldn't get too hung-up on the precise timing of calls. What @T67M stated may be the ideal, but we seldom get to experience the ideal. There are many potential reasons why you might not be able to make a particular call at exactly the right place and, to be frank, it doen't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

You will have heard of a hierarchy of priorities in aviation being: 'Aviate, Navigate, Communicate'. Obviously that's a fairly broad-brush sound-bite, but as a general philosophy it's pretty good. And note that 'communicate' is at the bottom of that list.

So, in an ideal world when everything is working in your favour you'll aim to make the right call at the right place. But if things don't work out exactly as you hoped then make sure that you concentrate on the top priority first (ie, maintain a safe airspeed, safe attitude and safe altitude - Fly the Aeroplane), address the second priority next (ie, be in the right place, heading the right way, at the right altitude), and if you can, then address the last priority which is the comms. You'd be surprised how many pilots (students and qualified pilots) get this wrong when the pressure is on. I'll admit to having done so myself once - and it nearly killed me.

This hierarchy can be directly applied to the OHJ. The most important thing is that you manoeuvre safely and maintain good control of your aeroplane and good situational awareness as you turn and descend, keeping a really good look-out for other traffic. The second most important thing is that you descend in the correct segment of the circuit and not into a live circuit. The least important bit is the radio calls - although obviously if you get those right also then you can pat yourself gently on the back.

Practise, practise, practise. And don't let the Ideal get in the way of the Good Enough.
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By T67M
#1659037
Completely agree - communicate is bottom of the list. What you shouldn't do, however, is call "descending deadside" BEFORE you've reached the deadside - call it at the right time, or a little bit (10-20 seconds max) late. Beyond that, adapt the call when you get a word in edgewise, for example calling "descending deadside about to turn crosswind" instead.

The same rule applies outside the ATZ/OHJ - if there is a nominal (non mandatory) reporting point and you miss it for whatever reason then substitute another ACCURATE and identifiable point for your current position. For example, don't call "XYZ" when you are four miles past XYZ, or even worse, anticipate the call four miles before XYZ. Generally I'd suggest saying something like "three miles to the west of XYZ" is easiest, but sometimes "overhead ABC" is better - it all depends on the exact situation, and making that judgement call is part of what learning to fly is all about.
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By Rob P
#1659042
NewFlyer78 wrote: A subtle but important point as ATSUs often respond to overhead calls by saying "report downwind" when the joining aircraft is nowhere near dead side descending.


An even subtler point, and only mentioned as an aside, is that should an A/G service say that to you they have just exceeded their authority.

Regardless of which I'd suggest you comply, which you would have doubtless done anyway.

Rob P
#1673447
David Wood wrote:It's a good question, @NewFlyer78 .

So, to your specific question: your first call should be:

"Tumbleweed Radio, G-ABCD, approaching from the [west] to join overhead."

Once you have joined the circuit and have turned downwind you call "G-ABCD, downwind to land".

.


The correct RT call according to CAP 413 is
Seaton Radio, G-ABCD, 6 miles west of Seaton request join (yes REQUEST JOIN even with A/G)

The next call shown in CAP 413 is
G-CD, overhead joining for runway 23 (required readback of runway desgnators has been in CAP 413 since May 2016)

The next call shown in CAP 413 is
G-CD, downwind

There is no official “Deadside Descending” call in CAP 413

Many ATSU's will ask you to call “Downwind” after calling overhead.

All of our students are instructed to make the non standard call “DEADSIDE DESCENDING” regardless of how they are instructed by ATC as it duplicates important information that other pilots may have missed in the first call, that's why its not a good idea to combine the overhead and deadside descending call.

They are also instructed to make the non standard call “1000ft crosswind” with either “dead side” or” live side” added to that if they feel unsure of the traffic situation when transiting from dead side to live side.

Adding “To Land” is not a CAP413 call when you are landing at an away airfield.

The term STANDARD OVERHEAD JOIN is dated and confusing, there are very few airfields that we use(in fact none) that have a standard join. Gliders, Microlights and Helicopters on the so called deadside means realistically there is no dead side so this cannot be termed STANDARD.

The CAA don't seem to be able to decide whether the flightpath during the descent is curved or straight in their illustrated diagrams. In my opinion a straight line descent is inviting problems in that you could more easily descend onto other traffic.

The correct CAP413 prefix for a students on first contact is “Student G-ABCD”, if the student wants to continue using the Student prefix subsequent calls should be “Student CD” not “Student G-CD”.

The general standard of Instructor RT is very poor with many using and teaching non standard CAP 413 calls. There is always a place for non standard calls if they can enhance safety but the main calls should be based on CAP 413 not instructor ignorance and folklore.

The only way you can know CAP 413 is by reading it!


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