- Oct 21, 2003
- Total Time
From 290 at 12,000 feet downwind mid-field? (that's pretty typical in ATL). Yeah, you gotta slow, seeing as you also need to be below 250 by 10,000 and still keep descending.
Trying to slow from 290 to 250 AND descend from 12,000 to 6,000 with just the gear and speed brakes out to make the base leg just abeam the FAF by 6,000 (where they'll further clear you to 4,000 and ask you if you have the airport on a short approach day) isn't *QUITE* doable if you're at 290 abeam the field clean. We've tried it.
It *IS* doable if you're already at 250 abeam the field OR if you have a little more distance to descend before they turn you base. 270 kts level at 12,000 abeam midfield might work, but I haven't tried it yet. Most of us hate dropping the gear that high and that fast, it's noisy as crap, scares the bejeezus out of the F/A's, and makes them irritable seeing as we usually double-chime them for landing BEFORE putting the gear down (which signals them they have about 2-3 minutes before touchdown). Not to mention, if ATL changes their mind, you're dragging the gear around the pattern 10-15-20 miles extended downwind. (see above comment about having tried it).
That's what the V/B technique is for. Used in conjunction with good pilotage and you can execute that visual approach (or any for that matter) with minimal effort.