# Circuit Considerations

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1 Circuit Training Circuit Considerations This briefing deals with those aspects of a normal circuit that were deferred during Circuit Introduction, to avoid student overload. Objectives To continue circuit training. To use the touch and go and go around procedures. To use the terms and procedures employed when a deviation from the normal circuit is required. Considerations Touch and Go The touch and go refers to a normal landing followed by a normal takeoff without stopping or braking. This procedure allows more circuits and landings to be practised, rather than stopping and taxiing back to the holding point it is most common in a busy circuit. This procedure is carried out only on runways of more than adequate length, assuming the aeroplane has touched down in approximately the correct place, ie, threshold or numbers area.

3 Circuit Training: Circuit Considerations 3 The practical application of the low-level circuit will be discussed and practised in precautionary landings. The need to teach low-level circuits before first solo should not arise (refer CFI). Wind Gradient Figure 2 Wind gradient is the gradual decrease of the wind speed near the ground, due to surface friction and the air s viscosity. Discuss the effect it can have on the flare, in particular the inability to touch down at the planned point. Windshear Windshear is a sudden change in wind speed or direction, most common in winds above 10 knots, and it is a hazard at low altitude. Discuss the Terminal Area Forecast (TAF) and/or ATIS contents, especially the relationship between the 2000 foot wind and the surface wind. A sudden change in wind speed or direction can result in a sudden loss of airspeed and, due to aeroplane inertia, rapid loss of altitude. Where windshear is encountered unexpectedly a go around will probably be appropriate. Where conditions of possible windshear (or gusts) are reported or suspected, it is recommended that the approach and threshold speeds are increased. For example, if the approach speed is increased by 5 knots and a sudden change of wind strength results in a decrease of 5 knots in indicated airspeed, the actual approach speed would still be correct. The decision to continue the approach at an increased approach and threshold speed must take into account available runway length. Wake Turbulence Wake turbulence is a reasonably complex subject and can be dealt with only superficially in this briefing. You may prefer to make this the subject of a separate preflight briefing before the next circuit revision (refer CFI and the Wake Turbulence Gap booklet). Figure 4 Figure 3 The correct response is to apply power to arrest the sink and adjust the attitude to maintain the airspeed.

4 4 Circuit Training: Circuit Considerations Wake turbulence is the disturbed air left behind an aeroplane when its wing is producing lift, and includes propeller slipstream and jet blast. It is encountered when following too closely behind another aircraft, especially a heavier one, and is worst when that aircraft is at high angles of attack and flying slowly during takeoff or landing. During the production of lift, air spirals off the wingtips (or blade tips of helicopters) in vortices that increase in size behind the wing, sink, drift downwind, and gradually dissipate. This turbulence can induce a roll in the following aircraft that control forces cannot counter, and therefore it is extremely dangerous. Wake turbulence is avoided while taxiing by allowing adequate separation for propeller or jet blast jet aircraft always have their rotating beacon on when an engine is running. Before takeoff, allow adequate separation between yourself and heavier aeroplanes ahead (up to 3 minutes in nil wind). During the approach, avoid getting close behind, downwind or below heavier aeroplanes. For example, if there is a crosswind, fly the final approach slightly upwind of the previous aeroplane or preferably fly above its approach path and descend more steeply. Land past the point of touchdown of the preceding heavier aeroplane as its nosewheel touches down there is no more lift being produced. Consider runway length available an early go around may be more appropriate. Dumb-Bell Turn Fortunately the dumb-bell turn is a fairly rare occurrence. It is used when a change in wind direction makes it advisable to change the landing direction by 180 degrees. On completion of the turn, the aeroplane is repositioned onto final for landing. If a dumb-bell turn is required, the takeoff is continued to a safe height (500 feet agl minimum) and a level turn is started in the opposite direction to the original circuit direction. Then the turn is reversed until an intercept on the final approach path can be made. Clearly, the amount of time available to prepare for the landing will depend on what height and how far out the initial climb is continued to. Figure 5 No professional instructor would authorise early solo circuit practise when there is any likelihood of these conditions occurring. Likewise, no professional air traffic controller would request a student on first solo to carry out this procedure. Glide Approach Refer to the separate Glide Approach lesson. Airmanship Throughout circuit training you should continue to place more and more emphasis on the student s command decision making. The pilot s priority sequence for enhancing decision making whenever a deviation from the expected occurs should be assertively stated. Aviate Navigate Communicate The responsibilities of the pilot-in-command should be discussed with reference to ATC clearances or requests. Every clearance or instruction issued by ATC must be accepted by the pilot-in-command before it is acted upon.

5 Circuit Training: Circuit Considerations 5 The student should be encouraged to consider the probable outcome of complying with each clearance or instruction, giving due regard to their own capabilities and that of the aeroplane, before accepting the clearance or instruction. Where the student considers the clearance or instruction to be unacceptable, the student must be encouraged to assert their pilot-in-command responsibility. The most common mistake in attempting to comply with an ATC request or instruction comes from accepting a clearance to land on an unsuitable runway. As in all other aspects of aviation, good aviation practice or common sense is a major factor in the acceptance or rejection of ATC clearances or requests. The pilot-in-command has responsibility for the safety of the aeroplane, passengers and crew but not a right to be obstructive. The clearance, instruction or request should be complied with if, after due consideration, no adverse outcome as a result of complying with the clearance, instruction or request can be foreseen. If the pilot-in-command believes that the safety of the aeroplane may be compromised, then clarification of the clearance, instruction or request should be sought from ATC, an alternative suggested by the pilot-in-command, or the clearance, instruction or request refused. The student should be fully aware that once a clearance has been accepted, it must be complied with (unless a change to the clearance is negotiated, or the pilot-in-command is reacting to an emergency) and that no matter what the clearance, instruction or request and who issued it, the pilot-in-command is solely responsible for the safety of the aeroplane, passengers and crew. This may be a good time to remind the student that although you encourage them to make as many command decisions as possible, you are the pilot-in-command. One of the measurements of readiness for solo flight is the student demonstrating pilot-in-command actions. The requirements for VFR inside a control zone should be revised and the conditions that require a Special VFR (SVFR) clearance introduced. It is the responsibility of the pilot-in-command to request a SVFR clearance before any of the parameters for maintaining VFR in controlled airspace cannot be complied with. Although it is not anticipated the student would operate in SVFR conditions, some exposure during dual training may provide a controlled experience. Aeroplane Management There are no new aeroplane management considerations for this briefing so revise the SADIE checks. Human Factors Improve the student s situational awareness by encouraging them to orient themselves well, telling you which cues they are using for this will help you check that they are using as many as possible. Air Exercise The air exercise discusses the procedures to be used for a touch and go (if applicable) and a go around. Touch and Go The touch and go should be a simple and logical extension of the landing roll. Once the nosewheel has been lowered to the runway, flap is raised to the normal takeoff position and full power applied for another takeoff. The weight is taken off the nosewheel with elevator, and the aeroplane is allowed to fly off. Keep the aeroplane straight on the centreline at all times. Reassure the student that you will raise the flap for the student while on the runway all they need to do is keep straight and that once the flap is set for takeoff you will say flap up and they are then free to apply full power and takeoff. They must not apply power until you have advised them the flap is up. Go Around The go around is initially started at a safe height, once established on final. Ideally, subsequent practise reduces the height at which the go around starts. Circumstances may not permit this gradual introduction to the go around.

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