So, I have heard that decision height (DH) is used to signify the height on a precision approach which the pilot has to decide whether to continue or not.

But, in the 737, I only hear "approaching minimums" and "minimums". There is no "approaching decision height" and "decision height" callout. Is "minimums" used to describe DH too? Or is there something I'm missing?

  • $\begingroup$ This seems to me to be more about company SOP than about the airplane model per se. Why do you feel that this is related to the fact that it's a 737? $\endgroup$
    – user
    Jan 25, 2019 at 9:58
  • $\begingroup$ @aCVn maybe other planes use "decision height" callout? $\endgroup$
    – lpydawa
    Jan 25, 2019 at 10:08

1 Answer 1


DA/DH and MDA/MDH both get a callout of "minimums". The pilot is expected to know (from having briefed the approach earlier) which meaning applies. This is true for every FMS/GPS I've seen, not just the B737. On planes without this feature, one of the pilots will call out "minimums", and even a solo pilot (for smaller planes) should say the word to himself as a reminder.

While all pilots are required to understand English, it is best to assume their vocabulary is limited--especially during stressful situations or for urgent problems. Therefore, like ATC, planes use standard phrases--and as few of them as possible--to limit possible misunderstandings. If one general word can cover multiple situations, then that is preferred over having gratuitously different words for each one.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ One addition, the pilot actually programs it using the MINS selector on the EFIS panel (Radio vs. Baro and the value). $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Jan 25, 2019 at 18:18

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