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Features December 2013 Issue

Caution While Circling

A circling approach can be the most nerve wracking and potentially dangerous completion of an approach. Even so, what lies beneath the circling area might still surprise you.

One element of IFR flying thatís universally disliked among pilots is the circling approach. The prospect of flying visually in marginal weather conditions at low altitude while configuring the aircraft for landing and, oh yeah, not straying beyond sight distance of the airport, understandably strikes fear into the hearts of many pilots, and with good reason. Circling approaches are serious business and offer plenty of opportunities to get in trouble.

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