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Features August 2012 Issue

Tactical circle-to-land

The FAA’s plan for RNAV to every runway makes circle-to-land a rarer maneuver these days. There are still times when it’s worth the trouble, even if it takes a bit more forethought.

Circle-to-land gets a bad rap as a dangerous maneuver fit for only the expert or the insane. Then again, maybe that’s a bit deserved. The circle-to-land maneuver is the proverbial “enough rope”: Give it to a pilot who isn’t careful and he’ll hang himself on an unseen tower just when he thinks he’s about to pull off another successful flight.

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