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Stabilized approach? How would you do this

Aviathor wrote:

So much for stabilised approaches

Not really. The CAT criteria is usually that you should be stabilised by 1000 ft above threshold.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Airborne_Again wrote:

Not really. The CAT criteria is usually that you should be stabilised by 1000 ft above threshold.

I see. Hence the 4 NM… But between 4 NM and 3.3 NM, there is not much time to get stabilised.


But we’re not CAT. Indeed, if you try to fly your standard SEP/MEP ‘stabilised’ below 1000ft you’re probably making things more difficult (less safe?). For example, I don’t know how others do it, but I never consider last stage of flap until I’m visual; I try to avoid the ‘go-around with max power & max drag’ scenario.

Fly safely
Various UK. Operate throughout Europe and Middle East, United Kingdom

Timothy wrote:

Standing on one’s high horse and saying “ATC has a duty…” will only result in more bannings from big airports, probably for all of us except Jason, so that is not the best approach.

You won’t get banned in the US if you say “unable”. Most pilots will try to do their best to cooperate, but if it presents a danger for that pilot or aircraft, the pilot is still the pilot in command. My experience is that controllers will often ask for best speed to the final approach fix. I will normally respond with what my best speed is.



Fly safely
Various UK. Operate throughout Europe and Middle East, United Kingdom

Here is some of the guidance given to US controllers regarding speed adjustments:

b. Do not assign speed adjustment to aircraft:
1. At or above FL 390 without pilot consent.
2. Executing a published high altitude instrument approach procedure.
3. In a holding pattern.
4. Inside the final approach fix on final or a point 5 miles from the runway, whichever is closer to the runway.
c. At the time approach clearance is issued, previously issued speed adjustments must be restated if required.
d. Approach clearances cancel any previously assigned speed adjustment. Pilots are expected to make their own speed adjustments to complete the approach unless the adjustments are restated.

The first time an aircraft runs off the end of the runway or there is an incident because of being assigned to maintain an approach speed on final that is not compatible with the aircraft or pilot, that practice will stop. In the US, it is highly unlikely in the first place with the guidance provided to controllers. As an aside, even with a 60 Knot overtake, 1 NM of extra space for each NM of desired in trail spacing is required for the trailing aircraft.


Dave_Phillips wrote:

Altitude at up to 200kts and take things from there. At times, I will keep 200kts to threshold, especially if I’m aiming for a fast exit some 7000ft down the runway.

200 kts IAS?


In the US there is an expectation that C172s and 737s mix it at the same airport. I think that is wonderful and I would love to fly in the States. If it weren’t for Trump and all the guns and rednecks, I might even consider moving there.

But generally we, on this forum, don’t. We operate in an environment where traffic is largely segregated by size and speed. I fly an aircraft which is most comfortable on the intermediate and final approach at around 130kts. That means that I am a trouble-maker at both Cologne and White Waltham, and I want to do my very best to cause the least trouble and inconvenience at both.

So, I could insist to both that they fall in line with me, and I will jolly well fly the pattern at 130kts regardless of the needs of other traffic, I guess that, in the short term they’d just have to suck it up.

But the longer term result is that they will both want to “discourage” or even ban me. Look at Biggin Hill. It used to be the premier GA airfield in the country, one of the best in the world, now it is gradually getting rid of everything except fast executive transport. The reason given being that low revenue, slow traffic is making it less safe and convenient for high revenue, fast stuff.

So it is in the long term interests of all of us to co-operate with ATC and airfield management as best we can; and to agree to do high speed to 4nm (and sometimes beyond) and to land long and expedite and all the other stuff so that we can retain our rights as long as possible.

There are techniques to do that, and I have, perforce, been applying those techniques for over 30 years with no problems.

EGKB Biggin Hill

I just got my “max speed forward” approach about 2 weeks ago into Tulsa. Never had that before. But at some point you have to let go as I have speed limits for both gear and flap deployment.

Last Edited by AdamFrisch at 17 May 16:24

There is a huge difference depending on the weather conditions.

If the slow down from the too-fast approach speed is in VMC, not a big deal; since deviations from the ideal glide path or using unconventional manoeuvres such as a forward slip to reduce speed are safe. It does not really matter if that is at 2,000, 1,000 or 500ft AGL; even flying level for a little bit to slow down enough to drop gear and flaps is not risky, it just leads to a steeper subsequent approach, which flown visually is nothing unusual.

In IMC, however, this is a different story. As long as gear or speed brakes can be operated at the approach speed, probably fine. Makes it a bit harder because of the trim change caused by the slow-down, but not really difficult. Flying outhouses and barns which slow down easily also fine.

But in a slippery airframe without speedbrakes? I would rather not.

Biggin Hill
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