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Turning the wrong way on an approach, especially on no-heading approaches or with CDI
Landing From Instrument Approaches.
A. Transitioning From Instrument to Visual Flight Conditions.
The transition from instrument to visual flight conditions varies with each approach. Pilots seldom
experience a distinct transition from instrument to visual conditions during an approach in obscured
weather. Obscured conditions present you with a number of problems not encountered during an
approach that is either hooded or has a cloud base ceiling. At the point where the hood is pulled or the
aircraft breaks out below the ceiling, the visual cues used to control the aircraft are usually clear and
distinct, and there is instantaneous recognition of the position of the aircraft in relation to the runway.
With obscured ceilings or partially obscured conditions, the reverse is usually true; visual cues are
indistinct and easily lost, and it is difficult to discern aircraft position laterally and vertically in relation
to the runway. Preparation and understanding are the keys to making the transition smooth and
Approach Lighting Systems. The approach lighting systems now in use, along with their standard
lengths, appear in the FIH. Each IAP chart indicates the type of approach lighting system by a circled
letter on the airport sketch. Actual length is shown on the airport diagram for any system, or portion
thereof, that is not of standard length. The IFR Supplement indicates availability of airfield, runway,
approach, sequenced flashing, runway end identification lights, runway centerline lights, and visual
approach slope indicator. Be familiar with the types of lighting installed on the landing runway. This
means knowing more than just the type of lighting system installed. A picture of what the lighting
system looks like should be firmly implanted in your mind. When viewing only a part of the lighting
system, you should be able to determine aircraft position relative to the runway.
No vertical Guidance. Instrument approach lights do not provide adequate vertical guidance to the
pilot during low visibility instrument approaches. Studies have shown the sudden appearance of
runway lights when the aircraft is at or near minimums in conditions of limited visibility often gives
the pilot the illusion of being high. Additionally, they show when the approach lights become visible,
pilots tend to abandon the established glidepath, ignore their flight instruments and instead rely on the
poor visual cues.
Crosscheck. A recommended method to ensure against a dangerously high rate of descent and a short
or hard landing is to maintain a continuous crosscheck of the GSI or flight director and pay continuous
attention to PAR controller instructions as well as VVI and ADI indications. The pilot should establish
predetermined limitations on maximum rates of descent for the aircraft he or she will accept when
landing out of a low visibility approach. Exceeding these limits during the transition to landing should
result in a waveoff and missed approach in the interest of aircraft and aircrew safety. Knowing visual
cues can be extremely erroneous, the pilot must continue to crosscheck instruments and listen to the
PAR controller's advisories even after runway and/or approach lights have come into view. Most
pilots find it extremely difficult to continue to crosscheck their flight instruments once the transition to
the visual segment has been made, as their natural tendency is to believe the accuracy of what they are
seeing, or they continue to look outside in an effort to gain more visual cues. To successfully continue
reference to VVI and/or GSI when approach lights come into view, a scan for outside references
should be incorporated into the crosscheck at an early stage of the approach, even though restrictions
to visibility may preclude the pilot from seeing any visual cues. If such a scan is developed into the
crosscheck, it will facilitate the recheck of flight instruments for reassurances of glidepath orientation
once visual cues come into view and the visual transition is begun.
B. Side-Step Maneuver Procedures.
Where a side-step procedure is published, aircraft may make an instrument approach to a runway or
airport and then visually maneuver to land on an alternate runway specified in the procedure. Landing
minimums to the adjacent runway will be higher than the minimums to the primary runway, but will
normally be lower than the published circling minimums. Examples of ATC phraseology used to clear
aircraft for these procedures are: "Cleared for ILS runway seven left approach. Side-step to runway

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