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Visual Approach Procedure

h25b

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O.K. gang, opinions welcome... I just got back on a late night arrival and while I wait for my 2 mo. old son to go to sleep (Lord willing) approach really pi$$ed me off this evening so I thought I'd poll the audience.

Coming in (especially late at night) on clear evenings I'll typically set-up the FMS to fly to a point on a 3 mile final to the planned runway. When we check in to approach (keep in mind this is at 0100, YES A.M....) the controller tells us to expect the visual (which I already had set-up in the box and was proceeding to a fix as described above). He instructs us to call the field for the visual. About 9 miles out just as we were about to call the field he tells us to fly direct to the airport as we were off heading (no $hit Sherlock) to which I answer by reporting the field in sight. He answers back with a "cleared for the visual, but fly direct to the field..." Now at this point we're set up perfectly (thanks to my planning ahead) for a left base so I tell him we're on a left base. Now he's miffed and tells me we should have let him know before turning... For crying out loud man, we had been the only aircraft on frequency from Atlanta!!! The only time in 6 years of flying jets I have ever seen a controller be anything but happy that we had our act together. They're usually ticked off when you're flying directly over the field without the runway in sight.

Just wandering what other guys/gals do in such situations. I realize what I do is not exactly by the book, but good grief. The acronym "B.F.D." came to mind as I was interacting with this guy. I'm just trying to figure out what exactly he was expecting me to do. Evidently he was looking for me to perform an overhead break... This is probably the same controller that gets P.O.'d when it's a little hazy and can't quite get the field so you request an ILS.:rolleyes:

Opinions welcome, I guess from now on I'll fly direct to the numbers and what will be, will be ???
 
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andpcl

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"Good morning approach, King Air 123AB, outta 10 for 6 with infomation B. Would like to proceed to a point x miles on the final, if ok with you? Thanks"

It's their video game.
 

GravityHater

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"Ok, but if I continue direct to the field there is no way I can get lined up for the approach"
 
F

fokkerjet

andpcl said:
"Good morning approach, King Air 123AB, outta 10 for 6 with infomation B. Would like to proceed to a point x miles on the final, if ok with you? Thanks"

It's their video game.

Same thing; I'll ask to go direct to the marker, or something to that affect.
 

avbug

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Agreed...If I've been cleared direct destination, I go direct to the destination (not a fix near the destination). If I want something else prior to accepting a visual, then I'll request it.

Early requests are always appreciated, so long as you're talking to the appropriate controller.
 

Chocks

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Maybe there was something weird going on...military activity on UHF or discret freq? Sounds like something was bothering him. I usually do the same thing..cheat a little for a 3 mi or so final. (Usually set up for a left modified base turn...Navy habits die hard)
 

andpcl

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Sometimes, on a transcon redeye, we get cleared direct EWR. OK, then one or two center controllers before approach, I ask for the point away from the airport that I would like to fly towards. They uually ask the approach controller on the landline. So no surprises for anyone.
 

h25b

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I know it's their video game and what I was doing was technically a "no,no".. .I was just curious if what I was doing was completely out of the ordinary. I don't think it is. I'll just walk the straight/narrow and just ask from now on. Like I said, in 6 yrs. this is the first I've had a word said. :D

Now I'll surely get the "for God's sake just go ahead and do it" attitude when I bother them by requesting...
 
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CAVOK69

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Yes it makes it easier on you, but personally I don't do it, the guy I fly with does it all of the time and they never say anything. Its just my preference not to do that.

I am sure you did it the one time out of a hundred that they would say somethign about it.
 

satpak77

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1 AM approach into the airport? You are already tired and behind the clock. Nobody else in the area. You crash, controller gets relieved of the console, and you die

Me?

Ah sir, doing XYZ works out for us best, traffic allowing (no traffic in area)
 

FL350

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Well how is that for being shot down? What you did is not unheard of but I do usually give the controller a heads up.
 

h25b

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FL350 said:
Well how is that for being shot down? What you did is not unheard of but I do usually give the controller a heads up.

I wasn't looking for any kind of affirmation or support. I know for a fact that this is fairly common practice. I was just polling the audience to see what people thought. I will now conform to the rules a be a good little boy and just ask. I got called out and was just seeing if anyone else had ever had the same experience.

I still am amazed that the controller cared... Especially since it was after the tower was closed and we're essentially flying on to an uncontrolled field. It would seem that going ahead and getting prepared for a left base entry would be what anyone would do to an uncontrolled field. For the record, I never do this going in to a controlled airport... I just head straight for the field until given directions on traffic pattern entry.

Any other comments..???...
 
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FL350

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Yeah, here's a comment - relax. I wasn't attacking you, just kidding around. Bet you're a load of fun to fly with.
 

lumcevac

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sounds like your controller was feeling a bit insecure and bored. cleared for the visual absent any reference to proceeding traffic or more specific instructions such as "proceed direct to the airport to enter a left downwind," report established downwind" ect.means you are cleared to make a visual approach under your own nav using normal maneuvers to align the aircraft in a position in which to land. proceeding to a point on three mile final is certainly not abnormal as long as you were approaching from a reasonable angle. the only hangup would be if there were noise abatement procedures that would conflict with your positioning. most of us have experienced the occasional '"grumpy" controller. thankfully this is the exception as opposed to the rule. no worries.
 

Singlecoil

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Why didn't you just cancel? Maybe that's what he was looking for. You were part 91, right?
 

bigD

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Well lumcevac, the difference is that he wasn't actually cleared for the visual, he was told to expect the visual. So technically, he should have still gone direct to the airport.

But I see this kind of thing done all the time, and I think *most* controllers don't see it as a big deal, although I suppose it could be a big deal if for some reason it caused a conflict.
 

bigD

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lumcevac said:
did i misread?

Nope, but I thought the point of contention was his flying the plane to a fix on final before he was cleared for the visual approach.
 

lumcevac

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you are correct, however may we agree that with no other traffic on freq at 0100 am and tower closed it is an unusual circumstance for a controller to chew out a crewmember for what appears to be a normal procedure. if we split hairs i suppose the fact that after he cleared him for the visual he said "but proceed direct to the airport" could have elicited a response such as "I'm in position for a straight in ,is that approved" but seems rather weak to me since the pilot is still the final authority. good food for thought though big d.
 

h25b

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bigD said:
Nope, but I thought the point of contention was his flying the plane to a fix on final before he was cleared for the visual approach.

I am in fact, a "load of fun" to fly with... I can provide references if you like...:)

To get the order straight, we were something like 8-9 miles out set-up for a left base entry and just as the F.O. was about to press the mike to call the field the guy points out our indescretion... At that point I immediately called the field in sight knowing full well he was just waiting for the call to clear us for the visual. And yes, as soon as I received visual approach clearance we cancelled. No one was behind us waiting for our cancellation so I know that wasn't his beef.

Again, for the record (and 3rd time to admit it, what I was doing was technically wrong) I'm just curious to see how many out there do what I did. Thought I'd point out that there's some controllers out there that don't like it and there might be some pilots on the board here that would find this experience useful. That's all, now I'll drop it.

FL350 said:
Yeah, here's a comment - relax. I wasn't attacking you, just kidding around. Bet you're a load of fun to fly with.

I wasn't biting your head off, I was just reiterating the fact that I realize I was the one in the wrong, not the controller. (although I feel he needed to relax)...
 
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