The FAA ATC job order says:

Circling approach instructions may only be given for aircraft landing at airports with operational control towers.

But I could not find a phraseology example that can describe the circling approach below (which I drew based on this image).

So for non-towered airports, is there a standardized phraseology used to describe the non-standard circling loops to other pilots in the area? Be it good weather or not.

According to this site, there are hundreds of ways to fly a circling approach. Any jurisdiction is fine by me, it's just a curious question.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I would avoid doing this unless there were a really, really good reason to do so. Non-standard approaches at non-towered airports don't always end up the best way. Some pilots may not even have radio's, so you want to avoid doing something that puts you coming in at unexpected angles/patterns. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Sep 23, 2017 at 2:37

1 Answer 1


"Overflying the field at [whatever] MSL to enter the left downwind for runway 18"

is what I would call at a nontowered field. It's also the phraseology that tower controllers have used when I've done that particular approach at a towered field.


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