Lear down TEB

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Ryanb, May 15, 2017.

  1. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    That's what I'm hoping. Cirrus actually does recommends levels via experience and proficiency level. I plan on following their recommendations.
     
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  2. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Your instructor knows you better than I do. I'm only trying to let you and others know how to do it safely and what pitfalls to watch out for. I can see from this thread it's hard for experienced pilots and controllers to have a conversation using nuanced terms like "circle" and "visual" without confusing the heck out of newbies listening in.
     
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  3. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And @PaulS, be sure to have your instructor have you do a circle at night. Mine did... And my natural reaction to what I saw would have likely put me in the trees, because when you first see the airport lights at circling minimums, it looks like a plain old traffic pattern, but you're way below TPA and if you begin descending the way you've practiced before, that's bad news.

    So, we flew over to final, landed, and then went back up for a normal VFR traffic pattern. It was only then that I really saw the difference, and it was a big difference! It's just very difficult to tell at night.
     
  4. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Line Up and Wait

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    I wasn't going to open this whole bag of worms, but since you brought it up... your first reading was exactly right. This is the other reason that I think the "circling" instructions given by the tower were bad. You are correct, that at 180 kts, that put the Lear into a Cat E circle. There is no Cat E minimums on the chart. The only obstacles that were looked at were the ones in the Cat D protected airspace. Nobody knows what obstacles were between 2.3 and 4.5.

    We can kind of see that when they went from the "old" minima to the "new." When the Cat D protected airspace went from 2.3 (old) to 3.7 (new), the MDA went up 220', from 820 MSL to 1040 MSL. The circling airspace gives you 300' of protection above any obstacle in the protected airspace. So, when they looked at the expanded area, there must be an obstacle (somewhere) in that new area that's about 740' MSL. So conceivably, with a circle at TORBY, at 180 knots at 820' MSL, you could be flying around with only 80' of obstacle clearance.

    Again, it's a bad instruction. I know the others on here will come and say that hundreds of pilots fly this approach every day and don't hit anything, and that's true. But I think it sets people up for a false sense of security, and they may then take that lax view of circling protected airspace and circling MDAs to another airfield where it DOES matter. They they hit a guy wire from a tower they didn't see, and we'd all wonder what they were doing maneuvering down low outside the circling protected airspace.

    Your instructor is smart and you have the right attitude towards this. Don't let the naysayers tell you otherwise. Aviation is all about risk mitigation. There's absolutely nothing wrong with having personal minimums, in fact, as a newly-minted instrument pilot, I would highly encourage you to set personal minimums and use them. As you become more proficient and comfortable, you can lower them, or get rid of them altogether. The airlines do it and as does the Air Force, so don't worry, you'd be in good company.

    A night, circling approach at MDA in marginal weather is an extremely high risk item. For me, that would require significant planning and forethought before I would do it, especially at an unfamiliar field, if I would do it at all.
     
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  5. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    I'm not going to say hundreds of pilots fly this every day...I'm going to say "show me the reg that says you must be at MDA to circle."

    MDA is a minimum altitude. If you want to go down there to circle, fine...it's your responsibility to make sure you're in protected airspace and/or clear of obstacles. Personally, I think it's foolish to circle at MDA when pattern altitude is available. YMMV.

    I'd also question the judgment of someone who feels the need to descend from TORBY to MDA in excess of 1000 fpm, which is what you'd have to do to leave protected airspace without violating Newark's airspace.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
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  6. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    First, that was a well written post I thought.

    Next, on the quoted part, I've got around 1700 hours in Learjets, including a number of landings at TEB. Although it's been 40 years since the last one in a Lear, there's no way somebody is planning to circle at 180 kts. These pilots simply didn't seem to know where the airport was. In the Lear cockpits I'm familiar with there were no moving maps, PFDs or GPS readouts from the end of the runway and I've learned not to trust my eyes for distance information. Besides that, I had MDA for cat C set on an altimeter ring and may have had a step-down altitude in mind, too, before breaking out and acquiring an airport visually. Being set up like that for the worst case, I, for one, wouldn't want to also have another category's minimums and distances competing for my limited brain's RAM resources. So for me, breaking off early (and by early I mean before arriving at my personal favorite position squarely over the airport) and then circling to another runway becomes a 'visual approach' whatever the ceiling and visibility actually are. From over the airport, a 'circling approach' by comparison, airspeed and altitude control protects me from what my eyes might not see. IMMHO.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
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  7. N53KL

    N53KL Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Flight,

    I think all this talk about MDA's, categories and ATC instructions is very instructional and I thank those who bring it to the table. I agree with a lot that has been said here but the simple fact is this crew had an incompetent Captain and an inexperienced First Officer (who had more situational awareness but failed to prevail). There is no question in my mind, the Captain was focused on landing straight ahead on RW6 no matter what he was cleared or instructed to do. When this Captain finally saw the error he chose the worse possible and most dangerous course of action.....

    To be honest, I see no fault with ATC. Before my retirement, TEB was a common destination. Over the 45 years and hundreds of approaches to TEB, I found the controllers very clear, competent and helpful (except for a few occasions) :)

    This tragedy has been an opportunity for ALL of us to learn no matter how much experience we have. It's just sad.

    Kevin
     
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