I saw the post dtuuri. Before I start, my experience and what I am talking about when I talk about maneuvering is in a single engine piston aircraft, cat b minimums. My limited experience is this, during a circle to land approach how the actual circle is done is decided by the controller at a towered airport. Generally when I do a circle to land approach I have briefed it and have a plan of how I would like to do the approach, I fly a low wing, so I like left traffic as turns in right traffic obscure my view of the runway and airport, I also consider that I may not be given that, which is fine. That's just a preference, but I ask for it if it is not offered and when I ask it usually requires over flying the airport. I usually get what I want and I fly into some pretty busy GA airports, sometimes I don't, NBD. A few times, during my training practicing circling approaches, the tower has asked me to deviate from the approach for which I had been cleared. Every time I have been asked to "break off the approach" for traffic and enter a downwind, or a base or whatever to stay clear of said traffic. Once I was asked to start my circle 1.5 miles from the airport. I have never been told to "start the circle at (the faf)", which as I said in the post that started this whole string, would have confused me, since I would be on an approach, in an aircraft, where that instruction would put me outside of the protected area. Reading the posts here, now I would understand what they are asking, but would still verify. Essentially what the controller is doing is asking me to go visual on the approach, and as long as the conditions warrant I'm fine with that. No where did I say I would do "risky aerobatics trying to do the impossible", I believe others were implying that sometimes , in the real world, you need to go outside the published circle to remained stabilized in a fast, heavy jet, I still don't get that, but I don't need to get it for the flying I'm doing. If I can't make the maneuver within the constraints of the approach in the airplane I fly, then I have screwed up somewhere because I am PIC and allowed myself to get in that situation, I'll go missed. If you have some reference as to where an instruction to "circle" at the faf is standard phraseology I'd love to see it, even though I'm instrument rated now, I'm still learning.