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Features December 2016 Issue

Circling On The Climb

With the circling minimums as a lowest possible altitude for your aircraft, plus the required cloud clearance, you have objective minimums for picking up a clearance in the air. Also note any circling restrictions and plan accordingly.

Circling On The Climb

Circling at low altitudes over an airport, whether you’re coming or going, is among the riskiest of IFR operations. The secret is knowing how low you can go.

Everyone trains for that circle-to-land maneuver from an instrument approach, but there’s also an occasional need to fly circling departures. These can put you in the most marginal visual conditions waiting for the official IFR clearance. The usual suspects—weather, obstacles and flying the airplane—all come into play when you’re in that murky transition between VFR and IFR.

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