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By rotorcraig
And to complicate things further where an airfield has parallel runways (eg hard and grass) you sometimes hear "XX Left, Right hand circuit" or similar, which I always have to think about.
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By Gertie
rotorcraig wrote:And to complicate things further where an airfield has parallel runways (eg hard and grass) you sometimes hear "XX Left, Right hand circuit" or similar, which I always have to think about.

Which Cambridge avoids by calling them "23 main, 23 grass" rather than "23 left, 23 right".
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By PeteSpencer
The main runway at Ipswich (RIP) was very wide and grass, and was divided into left and right largely to equalise wear and tear as the Paras Islander as well as Suckling airlines in the early days used to carve it up more than somewhat.

So you'd get 'Rwy XX left, right hand circuit.'

I'm ashamed to say I can no longer remember runway orientations.

aha! Google is yer friend; it was 08/26
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By Flyin'Dutch'
Happens to the best George.

I have done it at Oxford a long time ago, and that was where I was based at the time!
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By Sir Morley Steven
As human factors are responsible for practically all accidents let's look at this from that aspect.
Mistakes will get made by pilots, controllers, printers, the CAA etc etc.
it's our job to prevent the holes lining up.
In George's case a couple did but not nearly enough to cause an incident.
I am by no means advocating complacency, we should strive for perfection. But the inevitability of mistakes should keep us on our toes.
At Denham the Grass is predominantly used by heli's who just use 'North Side Grass' as a prefix to the runway number.
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By skydriller
I have noticed that the UK AIP has airfield diagrams but that the circuit direction is not on the chart. Yes, it is mentioned in the notes, as are any other non standard things about the aerodrome including any approach points or places to avoid overflying.

Compare this with the French VAC airfield charts. Every airfield plate has the circuit direction drawn on it together with height/altitude of circuit, any odd circuit shapes are drawn on and any areas to avoid overflying are marked on the chart, and if there is a special approach point, it too is marked on the chart.

Why cant we do it that way too? The error fessed up to here probably wouldnt have occured if a French style VAC airfield chart was available.

Regards, SD..
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By gozap
I had a similar experience of "assumptions made" not relating to the true facts last year. I fly from Barton where we have two runways in use 27L and 27R both with RH circuits with the reciprocals on left hand circuits. Landing info is normally in the form "Runway in use 27 Right with a Right hand circuit".

I flew into an airfield where I have not been before and was told "Runway 27 Right" and simply assumed that there were two runways with the 27 designation, which seemed to be confirmed by someone else who almost immediately called "final onto grass" which I then assumed would be the 27L as opposed to my 27R as I did know that the airfield had a tarmac runway. Consequently I planned and executing a left hand circuit onto what i thought was 27R.

I was now established in the circuit and downwind with nobody else around other than the ground controller on duty talking to some other aircraft who were traversing the overhead. I duly made all my calls and executed a standard no drama landing. It was only when I then both heard and saw the next arrival executing a right hand circuit as opposed to my left hand circuit that I realised my mistake. I immediately apologised on the radio but said that at no time had I been told "27 Right hand Circuit" - hence the assumption and confusion. The controller's response was: "you aren't the first and you won't be the last to do that". That was not really of any consolation though!

The confusion could have had dreadful consequences if the circuit had been busy, so from now on I will actually confirm or ask for confirmation of circuit direction regardless. I still hold that the landing information given wasn't in the correct format but as they say it's no good being in the right if you are the one who gets injured. Moral correctness isn't worth diddly squat in hospital or in the morgue
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By MarkieMark
I once flew back to Bournemouth from Compton and still managed to head towards the wrong end of the runway even though I was clearly told the correct direction.
I was asked to ring the tower once back on the ground for a little lecture.
Knuckles rapped for me but a valuable lesson learnt.
By rusty eagle
I've just done the same :( Distracted by a radio problem and approaching the home (grass) airfield from a different direction than usual where the runway in use was the reciprocal of the one that I'd been using for the last couple of months. So visual cues different and I had failed to have a clear picture of the circuit direction in mind. No damage but a lesson learned.