Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:07 pm
The OHJ is such a simple manouvre but, goodness me, it generates so much discussion and passion...
I think that part of the problem is that some people treat it like a drill movement: at the third stroke I need to be here and I need to say this. But in fact it's just a procedure for getting into the overhead (no please, let's not over-fixate on what that means!) from where, in days of yore, you could look down at the signal square and ascertain the runway in use, the circuit direction and one or two other long-forgotten things like whether or not gliding was in progress.
Then, critically, the OHJ provides for a descent into the ATZ on the deadside (being in theory deserted or at least less busy than the live-side), followed by a join to the busier live-side at the least-dangerous point in the circuit, over the upwind numbers. There's really little more to it than that in truth.
The oft-displayed diagram is somewhat misleading because it rather implies that a pilot is always going to be approaching the field from one direction. But in fact he can approach from any direction. The requirement to 'make all turns in the direction of the circuit' only applies when inside the ATZ, in other words having descended below 2000' aal. If he's above the top of the ATZ he can do what he likes in terms of manouvring (other airspace restrictions permitting, of course).