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  #1  
Old 05-11-2018, 09:44 AM
CanyonDweller CanyonDweller is online now
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Floydada, TX
Posts: 36
Default Question for CFII

Yesterday I was on an instrument flight plan into Ft Worth Meacham, cleared direct to the airport coming from the west. Regional approach cleared me to three thousand and held me there. Within two miles of the airport I was cleared for the visual approach to 16. I began to descend. Another pilot, much more experienced, cautioned not to leave my assigned altitude (3000') until handed to tower and cleared to land. Just as I was needing to turn base to final the handoff to tower came, with immediate clearance to land. Landed normally.
Question, once I was cleared for the visual did that remove my altitude restriction? I say it did.
After I was cleared to land my pilot friend reminded me I was more than two thousand feet above the runway on a mile and half final. I had slowed the airplane in anticipation, and the landing was no problem. It wasn't my RV, but a Baron.
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  #2  
Old 05-11-2018, 09:57 AM
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rocketbob rocketbob is offline
 
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A visual approach is not an instrument approach procedure. There are no minimum altitudes and there's no missed approach point. All you're required to do is remain clear of clouds. However, you can still fly a published IAP. So for the airport I routinely fly into they'll usually ask if I want the visual or one of the GPS approaches in, even though conditions are VFR. You still have to cancel as the airspace is still protected.

When in doubt, reference the AIM. Its all spelled out in there.
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  #3  
Old 05-11-2018, 10:06 AM
Nova RV Nova RV is offline
 
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A visual approach is a type of IFR clearance. Taken right from the AIM.

Visual approaches are an IFR procedure conducted under IFR in visual meteorological conditions. Cloud clearance requirements of 14 CFR 91.155 are not applicable, unless required by operation specifications.
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  #4  
Old 05-11-2018, 10:36 AM
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rocketbob rocketbob is offline
 
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From AIM 5-4-20:

"e. A visual approach is not an IAP and therefore has no missed approach segment. If a go around is necessary for any reason, aircraft operating at controlled airports will be issued an appropriate advisory/clearance/instruction by the tower. At uncontrolled airports, aircraft are expected to remain clear of clouds and complete a landing as soon as possible. If a landing cannot be accomplished, the aircraft is expected to remain clear of clouds and contact ATC as soon as possible for further clearance. Separation from other IFR aircraft will be maintained under these circumstances."

Since there is no IAP, there are no published altitudes.
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  #5  
Old 05-11-2018, 10:36 AM
Maxrate Maxrate is offline
 
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Location: League city, TX
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In 121 ops we always brief min safe altitudes for the sector that we are in for the approach. ?Little MSA circle in the top right on Jepp approach plates?. After cleared for a visual approach we will routinely stay at the MSA until on a published segment of the instrument approach procedure. Is it required? No, just good practices. Especially at night in a high terrain environment.
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  #6  
Old 05-11-2018, 10:56 AM
oaklandaviator oaklandaviator is online now
 
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Default Attitudes on visual approach

To answer the question, you are correct that once cleared for the visual you did not have to maintain the previously assigned attitude.
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  #7  
Old 05-11-2018, 11:51 AM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
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Location: Livermore, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oaklandaviator View Post
To answer the question, you are correct that once cleared for the visual you did not have to maintain the previously assigned attitude.
This is correct.
Also, all of the quotes posted from the AIM are correct, and are not contradictory. You need to read them carefully.
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  #8  
Old 05-11-2018, 11:52 AM
OKAV8r OKAV8r is offline
 
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Location: Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oaklandaviator View Post
To answer the question, you are correct that once cleared for the visual you did not have to maintain the previously assigned attitude.
And, to add, you may maneuver as necessary to accomplish the approach, unless restrictions are added to the Visual Approach clearance. Controllers at busy locations, running a tight sequence, will tend to put you on an IAP - even on a clear day - to nail your path down.
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  #9  
Old 05-11-2018, 12:01 PM
xblueh2o xblueh2o is offline
 
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Location: SF East Bay
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Agreed.
The visual approach is an IFR procedure with the restriction of not being allowed to go IMC. Track, altitude (within limitations obviously) and terrain separation are all on you.

Depending on what the actual verbiage of the clearance was...once the approach controller cleared you for the visual you were perfectly within your rights so to speak to begin a descent towards the airport.

If you were 15 miles from the airport at 3000' and cleared for the visual you would be allowed to descend, but it wouldn't be smart. Think of it like a descend pilots discretion clearance. When they cleared you for the visual they in essence issued you a descend pilots discretion to the runway.

Mark is correct that it is not e requirement but a good operating practice to note the highest obstacle depicted on the plate in your quadrant and try and maintain that or higher until you are somewhere that you are guaranteed not to hit anything. On a published part of an approach procedure is a good rule to keep you from grief.

It is possible your friend has been flying somewhere that there is a local agreement between approach and tower to not allow descents until a point or action but those clearances are pretty specific. They usually are something along the lines of "Cleared for the visual approach RwyX. Maintain 2000' until XXX" These kinds of things are not uncommon.
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  #10  
Old 05-11-2018, 12:03 PM
Taltruda Taltruda is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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Default MSA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxrate View Post
In 121 ops we always brief min safe altitudes for the sector that we are in for the approach. ?Little MSA circle in the top right on Jepp approach plates?. After cleared for a visual approach we will routinely stay at the MSA until on a published segment of the instrument approach procedure. Is it required? No, just good practices. Especially at night in a high terrain environment.
This isn't possible in most cases..look up LAS RNAV to 19R for example http://155.178.201.160/d-tpp/1805/00662R19R.PDF .. MSA is 13,200. You would stay at or above this until established? If you're talking night or obscured visibility, then just don't accept the visual clearance..
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