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Author Topic: Pattern Entry Instructions to IFR Aircraft on a Visual Approach  (Read 16199 times)

Offline mavericksfan412003

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I've heard conflicting info on whether or not an IFR aircraft being cleared for a visual approach can be given "pattern entry" instructions by the radar controller as part of the approach clearance (i.e. "Enter right base, cleared visual approach runway 2R").

I've heard this practice done multiple times while listening to LiveATC at airports such as KBNA, but can't find any reference to it in the 7110.65 or anywhere else. Those who say this practice is incorrect contest that the pattern is the tower controller's domain only, and that the radar controller should not give any instructions relating to "the pattern". Personally, I see nothing wrong with this, as long as airspace isn't busted (duh) and it's coordinated appropriately. Otherwise, clearing an aircraft for a visual approach that is not already aligned with the final approach course could create some ambiguity as to how the controller wants the pilot to approach the runway.

Can anybody here with relevant real world experience provide his/her insight into whether the 7110.65 either permits or prohibits this, and any real world examples or justifications for how this is used. Thanks in advance!



Offline sykocus

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Re: Pattern Entry Instructions to IFR Aircraft on a Visual Approach
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2010, 06:51:39 AM »
I've never heard any one object or make an argument against this. However it's generally the radar controller's responsibility to set the sequence for arriving IFR aircraft and often radar identified VFR aircraft. Telling an aircraft where to enter the pattern is one way to do that. Even without telling an aircraft how to enter the pattern you can withhold the visual approach clearance until you've vectored the aircraft to where you want them to enter the pattern. So if someone is worried about the radar controller controlling the tower's pattern it can still be done (with aircraft under radar control) without saying "enter right base, left downwind, etc." And any radar controller will do so as necessary to set the sequence and keep the radar separation they're required.

Offline dmlas

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Re: Pattern Entry Instructions to IFR Aircraft on a Visual Approach
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2010, 11:18:52 AM »
CHECK    THE    7110.65  CHAPTER 7 VISUAL APPROACHES. ITS PRETTY LONG    CAUSE THEY EXPLAIN         JUST ABOUT ANY SITUATION THAT WOULD ARISE,

djmodifyd

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Re: Pattern Entry Instructions to IFR Aircraft on a Visual Approach
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2010, 09:58:04 PM »
you can, however I never do unless i need it for some reason.

say im vectoring the aircraft for a visual approach and they are currently on the left downwind but i need them on the right for some reason.  If they get the field in sight, i'll clear then and tell them to enter the right downwind because otherwise they would just say on the left.

if that makes sense...

Offline StuSEL11

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Re: Pattern Entry Instructions to IFR Aircraft on a Visual Approach
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2010, 10:51:45 PM »
The 7110.65 does not say you can't, and it doesn't say you can. IMO there is no problem with it. With regard to the pattern being the tower's airspace, that's true, but the same situation is comparable to a direct-to clearance to a fix outside of one controller's airspace. I doubt approach ever has aircraft in his/her control when those aircraft get into the pattern, since this method is only used to actually get them to the pattern, at or before which point they will contact tower.

Offline dave

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Re: Pattern Entry Instructions to IFR Aircraft on a Visual Approach
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2010, 09:11:17 AM »
Consider that the radar and tower controllers work in concert.  Whatever they agree on is fair game.  Frequently there are facility or inter-facility Letters of Agreement that specify certain procedures as well.  The 7110.65 doesn't cover everything that happens in practice, especially local procedure-wise.

Dave