Visual Approaches to Uncontrolled Airports

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Disco Stu
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Visual Approaches to Uncontrolled Airports

#1 Post by Disco Stu » Mon Dec 05, 2005 9:39 pm

To all the Manitoba North controllers, or any other for that matter:

Going into YTH at night recently with the field in sight, we have been stating that "we have the airport in site, request the visual approach".

Centre has been coming back and clearing us for the contact.

We aren't requesting the contact, therefore they aren't supposed to clear us for it.

Out of a dozen requests for the visual, only one controller has given it too us.

They have all been late nite requests too, where traffic wouldn't be an issue.

Why the hesitation to give us a visual? I can remember a tour of the centre a few years ago, and one of the southern controllers asked me why we don't ask for more visuals going into YBR and YDN.
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#2 Post by pokaroo » Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:00 pm

I'd just ask on the freq. Is there reported weather for CYTH throughout the night? If they have the limits and no other traffic they should be approving the visual.
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#3 Post by Disco Stu » Tue Dec 06, 2005 7:06 am

YTH is an MF with 24 hour FSS doing airport advisory service as well as wx.
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#4 Post by Geedub » Tue Dec 06, 2005 8:01 am

You said there is 24hr FSS that does put out an hourly weather sequence, so therefore, the only question concerns the visual approch limits in regards to the reported ceiling and visibility. I don't work that airspace, so I'm not sure of the limits, but that may be the factor.

Personally, I don't automatically clear an aircraft for a contact approach when the aircraft states it has the field in sight but I do not have the limits (or ability) to issue a visual approach. I may attempt to solicit the contact request, but according to Manops, I cannot clear the aircraft for it without the pilot requesting it. But hey, that's me. I tend to folow the rules, I work with many who don't.
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#5 Post by pokaroo » Tue Dec 06, 2005 9:33 am

I can't count how many times I've said "I don't have the limits for the visual but the contact is available on request." Does YTH have radar to the ground? I know across the country people differ if they will approve the visual in a non radar environment or not. The powers that be say we can (we brought it up recently), so that shouldn't be an issue.
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#6 Post by Dockjock » Tue Dec 06, 2005 10:14 am

Traffic isn't a factor from the ATC perspective for visual approaches as it becomes the pilot's responsibility. Even if there is traffic it shouldn't matter.
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#7 Post by Disco Stu » Tue Dec 06, 2005 10:22 am

Wx limits haven't been an issue, it's been SKC everytime. And YTH has radar to the ground. The golfball is only a couple miles from the A/D.
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#8 Post by pokaroo » Tue Dec 06, 2005 12:06 pm

Traffic isn't a factor from the ATC perspective for visual approaches as it becomes the pilot's responsibility. Even if there is traffic it shouldn't matter

Not quite, any IFR traffic is still traffic. Only if the aircraft cancels does traffic no longer become an issue. An IFR aircraft on a visual approach is still IFR.
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#9 Post by Jerricho » Tue Dec 06, 2005 6:29 pm

See I find that strange, and will endeavour to as our North cotrollers the rational.

I have no hesitation when Southport or St Andrews towers close up shop clearing IFR aircraft for the visual, and can't see why it couldn't be applied here.

I'll try and have an answer for you tomorrow.
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#10 Post by bigfssguy » Fri Dec 09, 2005 2:21 pm

Disco Stu wrote:Wx limits haven't been an issue, it's been SKC everytime. And YTH has radar to the ground. The golfball is only a couple miles from the A/D.
Sorry stu but there isn;t radar to the ground close to it but not quite. The official line is 100 ft agl but with the px of the radar dome and the bend in signal i have heard they can pick planes up at 17 ft but that is only what i have heard. When leaving YTH the controller issues a procedural cx to the fss and then to the pilot but once he is airborne and identified they ussually just vector them out and give themn there requested alt or course etc. Any ywg north controllers on here could probably clarify for us.
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#11 Post by grimey » Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:26 pm

bigfssguy wrote: Sorry stu but there isn;t radar to the ground close to it but not quite. The official line is 100 ft agl but with the px of the radar dome and the bend in signal i have heard they can pick planes up at 17 ft but that is only what i have heard. When leaving YTH the controller issues a procedural cx to the fss and then to the pilot but once he is airborne and identified they ussually just vector them out and give themn there requested alt or course etc. Any ywg north controllers on here could probably clarify for us.
We normally have aircraft on radar until they're over the localizer antenna on final for 23, until they're about 1/2 mile final for 05, just about immediately on departure off of 05, and about 1-2 miles after departure off 23 (due to the fuselage blocking the transponder antenna).

All of this is totally unofficial, just what I've seen from working in the FSS.
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#12 Post by Raydar » Sat Dec 31, 2005 8:04 am

Visual approaches are much more common in a terminal environment. Controllers require 500' above min. IFR altitude with 3 sm vis. The pilot must report the field in sight and the controller must tell the FSS that the pilot is planning the Visual. It could be that the controller tried calling the FSS and he/she was out for a smoke, doing weather or whatever. A controller can approve a contact on request only.
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