I-4 Extravaganza!

Questions and comments about the PE Pilot Training Program

I-4 Extravaganza!

Postby Ryan Landis » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:45 pm

Just wanted to share my I-4 experience to my fellow pilots.

After requesting a TEC destination for the I4 I was given SBD (San Bernardino Itnl.) from SNA. I thought, "Never been there, should be an adventure!".

I then did the wrong thing and looked up the TEC route via the ZLA Tec Route Finder instead of the Preferred Route Database. Filed and called for clearance.
John Wayne Delivery: "Centurion 119ST, what the hell did you just file?" (quotes are innacurate, for entertainment purposes only).
Me: "Umm, that's what the ZLA TEC Finder in the tutorial video gave me sir".
John Wayne Delivery: "Well un-find your route and try again via the link in the I-4 FAA Preferred Route Database"
Me: "Roger, standby"

Doing the correct thing, I quickly found the route, which was more direct than the TEC I first filed anyway.

Called up for clearance....again.

John Wayne Delivery: "Cleared to SBD, blah blah blah, deaparture freq, blah blah, squawk, blah blah blah blah"
Me: "Most excellent sir, wilco!"

After taxi and a rather uneventful departure/cruise, I was thrown my first curveball..

SOCAL APP: "Centurion 119ST Maintain @ or above 4000 @ PDZ VOR, winds blah blah @ blah clear for the ILS 6 CIRCLE TO LAND?!?!? runway 24."
Me: "Sure thing, ill do that, no problem......" (Circle to what? I see it on the approach plate, but haven't the slightest clue how to perform this. So I quickly check the calendar for the date...nope...not April 1st)

I quickly turned to my laptop for some interweb guidance...just passed PDZ, oh shi@, I should have turned....after a quick panic (you could make a drinking game with my use of the word "quick"), I stutter back onto approach freq.

Me: "SOCAL APP, Centurion 119ST, unable to comply with circle to land, I haven't a clue what you mean"
SOCAL APP: "You dumb@ss, sigh, hang on while I check with the wizard" "Go on ahead with the ILS6"
Me: "Phew, thanks sir!"

After an uneventful approach and a 5 kt. tailwind, I arrived at the FBO.

Displeased with my performance, I spent a good bit of time on Google researching a circle to land tutorial. After a facepalm to the forehead, I finally grasped this maneuver in my head. But how the hell am I going to practice this? Eureka! Pilot Edge! This is such an invaluable tool for such circumstances.

Filed another IFR requesting a circle to land and flew it without a hitch. The other curveball was to fly the Rwy 24 DP out of SBD, but after looking that up on the chart, was easy peezy.

So all in all, thanks for the Training Opportunity! I will continue to expand my brain until I buckle down and go get my PPL.

So Long!
N119ST
Ryan Landis
KVPS- Eglin AFB, FL
Ryan Landis
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"When you walk like an egyptian, its time to switch NAVs" - Socrates
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Re: I-4 Extravaganza!

Postby Ryan Landis » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:47 pm

http://www.pilotedge.net/recordings/hou ... _17510.mp3 For the audio of my confusion....lol
Ryan Landis
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Re: I-4 Extravaganza!

Postby Ryan Geckler » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:50 pm

Ryan Landis wrote:Me: "SOCAL APP, Centurion 119ST, unable to comply with circle to land, I haven't a clue what you mean"
SOCAL APP: "You dumb@ss, sigh, hang on while I check with the wizard" "Go on ahead with the ILS6"
Me: "Phew, thanks sir!"


I just might have to say that next time :D
Ryan Geckler | ERAU CTI Graduate
PilotEdge Air Traffic Control Specialist
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Re: I-4 Extravaganza!

Postby Keith Smith » Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:53 pm

That's awesome, Ryan, I'm so glad you came back to practice the maneuver, very cool.

The ZLA site is mostly accurate, but every now and then, they have an old route.

Circling is a very handy option when the approach isn't aligned with the runway.
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Re: I-4 Extravaganza!

Postby Ryan Landis » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:07 pm

Yeah, I am in the military and when I hear circle 2 land I think of my many trips into Iraq/Afghanistan crammed in the back of a C17 or C130 circling down over the airport to land. When I looked it up I was enlightened. I am just glad I could jump back in the bird, fire up the engine, and give it another shot with ATC!

Thanks again for the help.
Ryan Landis
Twitch Account: http://www.twitch.tv/herkchief
"When you walk like an egyptian, its time to switch NAVs" - Socrates
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Re: I-4 Extravaganza!

Postby Keith Smith » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:10 pm

Ahhh yes, it's not one of those tactical descents where you're getting down pronto.

Here's a video of a circle to land at Saratoga Springs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaVs2fDaClU
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Re: I-4 Extravaganza!

Postby Ryan Landis » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:28 pm

Looks good Keith. I've watched a few of your videos and it makes me want to pick up the Lancair.

Sorry you're a lefty...lol..j/k, why were you on the cell phone for clearance? Uncontrolled airport? Also, what camera/mount do you use for you're videos?

One more thing, you flew the circle about 100-200 feet below MDA. What circumstances make that ok?
Ryan Landis
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Re: I-4 Extravaganza!

Postby Brandon Grchan » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:49 pm

Here are two portions of the aim regarding circling and the MDA

5-4-20. Approach and Landing Minimums


1. Circling approach protected areas are defined by the tangential connection of arcs drawn from each runway end. The arc radii distance differs by aircraft approach category (see FIG 5-4-26). Because of obstacles near the airport, a portion of the circling area may be restricted by a procedural note: e.g., “Circling NA E of RWY 17-35.” Obstacle clearance is provided at the published minimums (MDA) for the pilot who makes a straight-in approach, side-steps, or circles. Once below the MDA the pilot must see and avoid obstacles. Executing the missed approach after starting to maneuver usually places the aircraft beyond the MAP. The aircraft is clear of obstacles when at or above the MDA while inside the circling area, but simply joining the missed approach ground track from the circling maneuver may not provide vertical obstacle clearance once the aircraft exits the circling area. Additional climb inside the circling area may be required before joining the missed approach track. See paragraph 5-4-21, Missed Approach, for additional considerations when starting a missed approach at other than the MAP.
FIG 5-4-26

f. Circling Minimums. In some busy terminal areas, ATC may not allow circling and circling minimums will not be published. Published circling minimums provide obstacle clearance when pilots remain within the appropriate area of protection. Pilots should remain at or above the circling altitude until the aircraft is continuously in a position from which a descent to a landing on the intended runway can be made at a normal rate of descent using normal maneuvers. Circling may require maneuvers at low altitude, at low airspeed, and in marginal weather conditions. Pilots must use sound judgment, have an indepth knowledge of their capabilities, and fully understand the aircraft performance to determine the exact circling maneuver since weather, unique airport design, and the aircraft position, altitude, and airspeed must all be considered. The following basic rules apply:

1. Maneuver the shortest path to the base or downwind leg, as appropriate, considering existing weather conditions. There is no restriction from passing over the airport or other runways.

2. It should be recognized that circling maneuvers may be made while VFR or other flying is in progress at the airport. Standard left turns or specific instruction from the controller for maneuvering must be considered when circling to land.

3. At airports without a control tower, it may be desirable to fly over the airport to observe wind and turn indicators and other traffic which may be on the runway or flying in the vicinity of the airport.
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Re: I-4 Extravaganza!

Postby Keith Smith » Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:35 pm

Ryan Landis wrote:Looks good Keith. I've watched a few of your videos and it makes me want to pick up the Lancair.

Do it. It's a life changing airplane. I wish I was kidding.

Sorry you're a lefty...lol..j/k, why were you on the cell phone for clearance? Uncontrolled airport? Also, what camera/mount do you use for you're videos?


Yes, uncontrolled airport and the GCO only works when Haley's Comet is swingin' through. Here's a video about the videos: http://keith.tristesse.com/page/about_videos
One more thing, you flew the circle about 100-200 feet below MDA. What circumstances make that ok?


When you don't post it on youtube. I kid! It was VMC and I was continuously in a position to make a normal descent to landing. A reference to that fact is included in the narration.

That was the first time I ever circled to land, btw. Insane, really, that it's not practiced many times during the training. The base to final turn requires a lot of planning when it's done so close to the field and at low altitude (also referenced in the video).
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