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Taxi instructions from tower during short final

Asking IFR traffic to orbit is not good. Sometimes they do that while you’re in IMC and that is outright dangerous due to gyro drift and disorientation.

I simply refuse this with “Unable to comply due to IMC conditions, I can accept vectoring or holding on some fix”. I got such request few times at LYBE and when in VMC, I of course did it while in IMC I refused it and got vectoring.

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

I’m still thinking about this and want to improve.

So one hint has been to maybe request a visual approach. I understand ATC in Europe will not ask for that by themselves so one has to request it. How would I have flown the visual approach then?

The picture shows in yellow my actual flight path based on ATC’s vectors, the orbit and the long final on the ILS 15. If I had asked for visual approach – or offered it – early one, were the red path be a likely one? Or via the VRP November 1?

Or would they have vectored me onto the localizer and then I would have chosen my own vertical profile for the long landing to exit via T?

I’ve never flown a visual approach as IFR procedure on a big airport in Europe so far. The visuals earlier were to smaller fields after canceling IFR. What’s to be expected using EDDH as example?

Frequent travels around Europe

they work by feeding a “we’re level most of time” bias.

Yes. But if you’re flying a perfect circle, the (cartesian vector) average of the gravity vector would point the correct way

But I agree it’s not a good idea in IMC.

When you’re visual you don’t have to follow the glidepath

I’d be careful about that. Some airports (Zürich) have glide path monitoring, they will give you a bollocking if you descend below glidepath. So diving below the glidepath once you’re visual on the ILS is bound to give ATC a heart attack 8-)

LSZK, Switzerland

I don’t know about the specifics at Hamburg, but in general you can say “Field in sight, request visual join left base”. In Germany, which is very formal about these things you might get a formal “canceling IFR, etc, etc”. They are unlikely to route you to a VRP, just tell you an altitude to descend to and where to join. If busy, they might want you to join downwind so they can more easily slot you into the arrival stream.

A lot less likely if you are in IMC at the time, so let them know that you are in VMC and can see the airfield.

Every time I did that, the words “visual approach” were never used. Simply a request for a specific join, and an instruction as you would expect any day when flying there visually. Mind you, I did not do it that often as I can use the practice…

Worked quite a few times for me, especially when on approaches with extended downwind legs. Maastricht actually offered this proactively once, along the lines of “do you want to fly the full procedure, or do you want to turn base now?” on a very clear night.

PS – Rule #2 of ATC: Don’t ask, don’t get.
[Rule #1 of ATC: You fly, they are helping.]
[Rule #3 of ATC: They are helping you, help them!]

PPS – Learn from Ryanair… these cheapskates will use any trick in the book to save a few flight miles.

Biggin Hill

In Germany, which is very formal about these things you might get a formal “canceling IFR, etc, etc”.

No, visual arrivals and departures are very common under IFR in Germany. You should offer them because what you are saying is “I’m an experienced pilot, I want to be squeezed in instead of waiting”.

I would not have flown that trajectory in EDDH unless the weather was bad. Just say “ready for visual” and they will give you some kind of traffic pattern usually. The main difference is that you do not have to establish yourself on the ILS at a minimum distance dictated by regulations and they can go below the separation minima.

A few weeks ago in Belgrade I got without asking for it “can you do a visual approach, otherwise it would take around 10 minutes”. Yes, I can!

Last Edited by achimha at 07 May 15:46

They are unlikely to route you to a VRP

That would be wrong anyway, because a Visual Approach is a procedure under IFR.

Similarly, it would be wrong to expect the pilot to cancel IFR in order to fly a Visual Approach!

If you are IFR, never cancel IFR unless you really know the area, etc. The instant you cancel IFR, ATC is entitled to drop you out of the system. They can send you to some VRP which nobody (except of course the locals in the clubhouse) will be able to find.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Is the following more or less what you all suggest?

Bremen Radar took me down to FL80 to get me into the class C around EDDH. I don’t remember speaking to Director or the switch was from Radar to Tower. It might have been Tower. Radar advised “expect ILS 15”.

As soon as I was switched to Tower I should have offered the visual approach to Tower. They would have responded with descend instructions, vectors and eventually some “join left base 15”.

Or is it good practice to let Radar know about the willingness to fly a visual approach in a reply to “expect ILS 15”?

Frequent travels around Europe

Yes, exactly what you say. Advice “request visual approach” as soon as possible. The moment you say you are ready to do a visual approach (as Peter says, that is an IFR procedure), aerodrome capacity suddenly increases by a factor.

If I want to do an approach that does not match up with what they say, I will tell them when they say it. Often in the UK anyway you will be told on contact with approach/radar “vectors for ILS rwxx number 2” or something, I would answer that and ask for a visual / vectors for a visual.

Just going back to the start of the thread and discussing landing long and taxi instructions – I quite often get taxi instructions on final at different places but in general none cares to much if you miss it normally unless it was because you taxied past it.

If you want to land long, is there any requirement to gain ATC approval in Europe? I appreciate that it would be good airmanship to let the tower know if you plan to, so they are in the loop but must it actually be approved? if I was landing a C152 or similar on a 2500m runway and was told to vacate at the end (used to do this quite a bit in a previous job) I would most certainly not be landing in the first half at least.

Ok. :-) I’ll try that next time on a nice day.

It’s great fun to learn the little operational things for single-pilot IFR that were not mentioned during training. I’m sure there is a lot more – especially at the bigger airports.

Btw as EDDM was mentioned. I got a slot via DFS AIS, filed and an hour before EOBT got a phone call from them. They advised that for under 2ton EDDM is PPR and I should send back a form. The request was denied and I had to go to EDMA instead. It was on a Sunday and the only reason for wanting to go to EDDM was that on a Sunday you can’t get a rental car at EDMA. That’s not really worth to discuss. Just another little bit…

Frequent travels around Europe
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