19 votes

Why are visual approaches (in the US) preferred by US pilots, but not European pilots?

Since your question explicitly mentions emergency situations: Especially during time-critical emergency landings, the workload of the flight crew is at a higher level anyway. The answer by ymb1 ...
nabla's user avatar
  • 1,216
18 votes
Accepted

Does being cleared for a visual approach supersede speed instructions from ATC? (FAA)

The AIM 4-4-12 says that an approach clearance cancels a speed restriction, but ATC can explicitly restate the restriction if needed: Approach clearances supersede any prior speed adjustment ...
Pondlife's user avatar
  • 71.7k
17 votes
Accepted

How do pilots estimate glideslope visually without PAPIs?

There's no instrument you need for a good approach angle in good weather, it's all done by eye. When you train as a pilot you develop a sight picture of what a good approach looks like, and you ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 53.7k
14 votes

How does a TCAS system avoid unnecessary (RAs) resolution advisories when aircraft are operating on separate closely spaced parallel runways?

The TCAS logic is adjusted when the aircraft is in the terminal area. It does this through the following inputs: Radio Altitude - Controls TCAS parameters when below 2350 feet AGL Landing Gear, Flaps,...
Gerry's user avatar
  • 19.7k
14 votes
Accepted

Reporting to ATC when losing visual to traffic?

The short answer is yes, if you have called traffic in sight then ATC has an expectation that you will be able to maintain sight and provide your own separation. You need to notify them if you are no ...
Michael Hall's user avatar
  • 25.8k
13 votes

What makes a visual approach quicker than an ILS approach?

Visual approaches can be conducted from any point around the airport where the runway is in sight, e.g. if you are approaching from the north of the airport, you can be vectored to a position which is ...
SentryRaven's user avatar
  • 15.7k
11 votes
Accepted

Can we infer whether a given approach is visual only from the track data and the meteorological conditions?

According to faa-regulations,1 for an instrument approach there is the concept of an approach gate, an imaginary point in space which is along the final approach course and is the farther of: 1NM ...
randomhead's user avatar
  • 14.8k
10 votes

How useful is skyscrapers and high buildings lighting to get a visual reference for pilots by night? (not obstruction lights, just general lights)

Buildings and their lights can be very useful to aircraft in VFR conditions at night to orient themselves regardless of the type of aircraft. Three building lighting examples that I often used were: ...
Terry's user avatar
  • 39.1k
10 votes

How do pilots estimate glideslope visually without PAPIs?

A landing approach in good weather can be judged visually in pretty much any kind of aircraft: The exact sight picture will vary (the view from the flight deck of an A380 is obviously different than ...
voretaq7's user avatar
  • 68.4k
9 votes

While flying having trouble estimating how far I am from Airport

My GPS tells me the distance. Otherwise, my experience says: 15 miles (and about 3,000 AGL) is where I'm not entirely sure I have the airport picked out. 10 miles is where I can see the airport, ...
abelenky's user avatar
  • 30.7k
9 votes

What makes a visual approach quicker than an ILS approach?

At the risk of just repeating information from the great answers that SentryRaven and casey already gave, here's a real example. Last night I flew the ILS 22 into KLEX for practice, although ...
Pondlife's user avatar
  • 71.7k
9 votes

Reporting to ATC when losing visual to traffic?

Yes, it's good to inform them because if you don't, they assume you know exactly where it is and you are responsible for keeping your distance. The appropriate call to ATC would be: Tower, 123AB ...
Ron Beyer's user avatar
  • 36.2k
8 votes

May an IFR aircraft be instructed to "squawk VFR" if it goes around while executing a visual approach?

No, that scenario does not sound normal to me. For one thing, a visual approach is an IFR procedure. Instructing the crew to change to a VFR squawk makes it sound like the controller is suddenly ...
60levelchange's user avatar
8 votes

Why are visual approaches (in the US) preferred by US pilots, but not European pilots?

Part of the issue may be that airline companies have specific rules/regulations to what aircrew are allowed to do. In Europe it is quite common for airline companies to only allow their aircrews ...
NLCircle's user avatar
7 votes

What's the preferred approach for a passenger jet?

Given the caveat that I retired in 1999 and cannot speak for today's pilots, my thinking and the observed preferences of the great majority of the pilots I flew with follow. With few exceptions, a ...
Terry's user avatar
  • 39.1k
6 votes

Who is responsible for airspace separation when an IFR flight is cleared for a visual approach?

Under IFR the pilot is responsible for flying according to her assigned clearance and for obeying controller instructions (including frequency changes). The controllers are responsible for ...
pericynthion's user avatar
  • 4,640
6 votes

What makes a visual approach quicker than an ILS approach?

Visual approaches are preferred because it means you can potentially avoid being vectored out to intercept the final approach fix (FAF) which needs to be done for a an ILS approach. If there is a ...
casey's user avatar
  • 35.2k
5 votes

What is the FMS Bridge Visual 28R approach at SFO?

Source: stilllearningtofly.org The FMS bridge visual is an RNAV charted visual approach to 28R that keeps aircraft offset to the north of the 28R localizer until they’re near the San Mateo bridge. ...
Murph's user avatar
  • 91
5 votes
Accepted

How high are you when you are three miles away from the threshold of the landing RWY and get 3 white and 1 red on PAPI?

According to AIM 2-1-4, three white one red would equal 3.2 degrees above the horizontal. Doing some math, and assuming you are 3 NM from the TDZ (ie the PAPI) and ignoring slant range error, 3 NM ...
PilotDan's user avatar
  • 682
5 votes
Accepted

Can I request a visual approach before I have the field in sight?

The answer to this question really has to do with shared expectations between pilots and controllers with regards to workload. Let’s consider two scenarios: Before the field is in sight – (your ...
Michael Hall's user avatar
  • 25.8k
4 votes

How useful is skyscrapers and high buildings lighting to get a visual reference for pilots by night? (not obstruction lights, just general lights)

Lights at night can be useful in VFR conditions, but if conditions are less than ideal, it can be dangerous to rely on external lights. For example, if its pitch black and you can see a light which ...
Philip Johnson's user avatar
4 votes

What is a circling approach?

To add to the above points... Circling Approaches are used when the Approach you want to use and the runway you want to use are not aligned with each other. Say for instance, you are arriving to the ...
Dean F.'s user avatar
  • 16.5k
4 votes

What is a circling approach?

A circling approach is executed on an instrument approach procedure which or where the final approach segment is not aligned directly with the runway of intended landing. Circling approaches can also ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
  • 73.5k
4 votes

Is altitude and heading your discretion when you are cleared visual approach?

Visual approach procedures are discussed in AIM 5-4-23. A visual approach is an IFR procedure and you must be on and stay on an IFR flight plan. It authorizes you to proceed visually clear of clouds ...
Dave-CFII's user avatar
  • 1,809
4 votes
Accepted

While flying having trouble estimating how far I am from Airport

On a US Sectional, the length of the shorter part of your thumb, where the fingernail is, is about 10 nautical miles (check yours against the chart on the bottom). If you are keeping track of where ...
CrossRoads's user avatar
  • 8,785

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible