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Author Topic: Contact approach vs. Visual approach  (Read 22881 times)
Hollis
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« on: May 30, 2009, 04:30:13 PM »

First time I've heard one of these requested.
CYQM Moncton, NB.
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cessna157
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2009, 06:13:14 PM »

I've never heard of a controller refusing to give a visual approach due to weather.  Must be another one of those strange canadian rules.  I'm assuming the canadian contact approach is the same thing as the American contact approach.

I've only ever heard 1 contact approach ever given.  I actually had to look it up to see what exactly it was.  They're so rare, and pointless, that nobody ever uses them.  My airline actually forbids them.

Oh, and as a side note, every time I hear a canadian controller readback a readback (ie "roger") I have the sudden urge to stab him in his eye socket with a butter knife.  That is so freaking annoying, and a pointless and wasteful transmission.  Okay, rant over.   evil
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mk
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2009, 10:29:43 PM »

if the weather at an airport that has a control tower is less than 3 miles vis and 1000ft ceilings, then the approach controller can't issue a visual approach.  At uncontrolled airports, controllers can use the request of a visual approach to assume the weather is good enough for the pilot to get in visually.  I've issued a contact before at a class D airport...weather was 2 miles vis and 2800ovc...a/c broke out of the clouds on the downwind vector i had issued, made him understand i couldn't issue the visual, and he took a hint about a contact approach and was cleared for the contact approach.

but i can see why airlines don't want anything to do with them...you've gotta fly around like a scud runner haha
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fholbert
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2009, 01:15:43 AM »

I've never heard of a controller refusing to give a visual approach due to weather.  Must be another one of those strange canadian rules. 

What Huh?
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Frank Holbert
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fholbert
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2009, 01:26:25 AM »

I've issued a contact before at a class D airport...weather was 2 miles vis and 2800ovc...

I issued a Contact Approach once to a Lear about 5 miles away. A 737 was 15 mile final so what the heck. I heard the old timer sigh like I had really screwed up.  The Lear followed the freeway, got off at Broadway, left at 1st street, around the traffic circle, missed Pine, made a right 270 back to Pine and next thing I knew I had to send the 737 around because of the tour the Lear took. NEVER AGAIN did I issue a Contact Approach.

If a pilot is scud running on a Contact Approach and goes IMC what is he supposed to do?
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Frank Holbert
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cessna157
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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2009, 01:34:58 AM »

I've never heard of a controller refusing to give a visual approach due to weather.  Must be another one of those strange canadian rules. 

What Huh?
I've never heard of a controller refusing to give a visual approach due to weather.  Must be another one of those strange canadian rules. 

I have received visual approach clearances when reported weather was well below 1000/3.

Another oddity here is an ILS approach can turn into a visual approach for the crew anytime they have the runway in sight.  So I'm just confused as to the crew's intentions here.  Oh well, it's just one of those things that cannot be explained.  I will mute now
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Hollis
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2009, 10:59:38 AM »

Here is a excerpt from an AOPA article talking about contact approaches:


Quote:
One of the handiest approaches in the instrument pilot�s bag of tricks is the contact approach. It is a legal and useful shortcut, but there is a string attached. The contact approach allows a pilot to deviate from a published instrument approach procedure and proceed on his own initiative by navigating to the airport where the visibility is reported to be at least one mile. The pilot must have ground contact (hence the name) and remain clear of the clouds, but what is important is that he becomes responsible for his own terrain separation.

The controller is required to keep the flight clear of other IFR and special VFR aircraft and to allow the pilot back into the IFR system if ground contact cannot be maintained. ATC cannot suggest or even mention this approach to pilots. You must request it and thus take on the responsibility. A controller with radar coverage may give you a low altitude warning if he senses that the flight is about to contact terra firma, but that is your responsibility. In many cases a flight will be below radar coverage. This procedure is not recommended at night for obvious reasons.
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Dan CZQM
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2009, 11:16:42 AM »

I have never heard a contact approach issued before in Moncton but I can see what it would be used.  The visual references are quite easy here with 2 highways and a river giving a great reference point for Rwys 06, 24 and 29 and the University of Moncton giving a good sign that you are approaching Rwy 11.
Our city is less dense that the bigger cities so I suppose a contact approach makes sense in this case.
That was just ATC following protocol.  Had he issued the vis app and something would have happened, guess who would have his butt on the line?

Also with the big Moncton Flight College operating here, they now have VFR approaches that you will here, such as the "Memramcook" and the "Magnetic Hill" to name a few.

Thanks for listening to the feed. grin

Dan
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Dan
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sykocus
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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2009, 01:42:32 PM »

[flash=200,200]

I have received visual approach clearances when reported weather was well below 1000/3.

If something were to happen it would be hard for a controller to explain clearing an aircraft for a visual approach if the reported wx at the landing airport was IFR. So even though it doesn't explicitly say not to in the .65 it just makes sense that it's not a good idea to give a vis approach clearance in IFR wx. However if there no wx reporting on the airport proper, and the pilot reports the field in sight. That is good enough to assume that visual conditions prevail at the landing airport.


Another oddity here is an ILS approach can turn into a visual approach for the crew anytime they have the runway in sight.  So I'm just confused as to the crew's intentions here.  Oh well, it's just one of those things that cannot be explained.  I will mute now

Eh? I know that on many non-precision approaches the radial or bearing that is tracked inbound isn't exactly lined up with the runway. The pilot is expected to line himself up at some point after visually acquiring the runway. However that will never be the case with an ILS. The localizer will always be lined up with the runway unless the pilot is doing a sidestep/circle. In which case there are requirements to how far from the airport the pilot is allowed to fly while sidestepping/circling. So it isn't exactly like becoming a visual approach. I've never heard that the pilot can turn any ILS approach into a visual when he has the field in sight. That could create problems are busy airports of one pilot decides to weave around some clouds on final and the guy behind him decides not to.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2009, 01:45:12 PM by sykocus » Logged

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otto_pilot
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2009, 09:57:12 PM »

I'm right around that lesson in the ifr training.......contact approaches that is........Sounds pointless....by my interpretation of the lesson the controller broke a rule by saying it was available. I may be wrong though
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tower: right delta ground point niner
pilot: Uh tower did you mean to say ground point 8 or do you want us to try them on point 9.
tower: Oh yea point 8 would work better, wouldnt it
Hollis
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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2009, 10:08:05 PM »

Technically, you are correct. The rule says that the controller cannot suggest or even mention this type of approach.
However, rules are meant to be broken, as the saying goes.
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fholbert
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2009, 11:23:59 PM »

Here is a excerpt from an AOPA article talking about contact approaches:


Quote:
One of the handiest approaches in the instrument pilot�s bag of tricks is the contact approach. It is a legal and useful shortcut...

There are a few times where a contact approach works but if the weather is that bad you're really putting yourself in a bad way if a missed is require because, there isn't a missed approach.

Think about it. What is one to do?

Frank Holbert
http://160knots.com
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Frank Holbert
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atcman23
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2009, 08:27:57 AM »

There is no published missed approach, but, being you can suggest the contact approach on an IFR flight plan, typically the pilot can see the airport well enough to call off the instrument approach and fly "visually" to the runway.  That being said, the aircraft is likely lined up on the runway.  If a missed approach becomes required, then the pilot would call ATC back up, mention that they lost contact with the ground, and likely the controller would give them a vector to fly and get established on the missed approach (remember, they can enter back into the IFR system).  You can't request a contact approach at an uncontrolled field, it's either a visual approach or an instrument approach (if that airport has one).

Contact approaches aren't used much and I think the AOPA article did a good job summing it up and it's really only to be used within a few miles of the airport.  Say the visibility is greater than 3 miles but the ceiling is about 800 ft; since you have the visibility, you could request a contact approach, but not a visual.  You're not screwed by requesting a contact approach and the controller isn't going to tell you that they can't do anything for them and that they are on their own.  Just call ATC back up if you lose ground contact and let them know and they will likely give you a heading and altitude to fly and then worry about getting you back into the IFR system and onto the missed approach.
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Mark Spencer
otto_pilot
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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2009, 11:55:07 AM »

However, rules are meant to be broken, as the saying goes.
I strongly disagree on that one if something went wrong with that approach and it was in the united states think what the FAA would do. The FAA/NTSB would be all over that guy for saying it was available...............Rules are meant to be broken if they couldn't cost you your job. Just my opinion. Whats the benefit for the controller for say it was available? just have the guy shoot an approach or have him ask for the contact. Than your job is safe....
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tower: right delta ground point niner
pilot: Uh tower did you mean to say ground point 8 or do you want us to try them on point 9.
tower: Oh yea point 8 would work better, wouldnt it
mk
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« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2009, 03:25:50 PM »

in the .65 it says the controller shall issue alternate instructions with a contact approach if the weather conditions are such that a contact approach may be impractical...

and cessna you are correct, i was just going by what i had been told from an elder controller as far as the weather conditions must be vfr to clear and A/C for a visual, but there is no WX minimum to clear for a visual approach, just need 3 miles and 500ft above the MVA to VECTOR an a/c for a visual approach.
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