Give yourself room for go arounds

When controlling approach, I find it beneficial to give yourself 1000ft of vertical separation to work with on the downwind leg.

What I mean by this is that if your downwind leg’s MSA (Minimum Safe Altitude) is 9000ft MSL, for example. Don’t have aircraft on downwind at 9,000ft MSL, put them at 10,000ft MSL.

When you have an aircraft go around on final, you’ll need to slot them onto downwind somehow, and go around aircraft will be lower naturally as they are descending to land. If you have your aircraft at 9,000ft MSL on downwind, the MSA, you have no option but to somehow fit them in behind or in front of the aircraft on downwind, which gives you fewer options and lengthens the go around aircraft’s approach.

If you have your downwind at 10,000ft MSL however, you gotta give yourself 1000ft of vertical separation to work with, and you can put the go around aircraft behind, under or in front of the aircraft on downwind.

If the go-around aircraft is underneath another aircraft, you can just sort out the separation on base by turning one aircraft’s base. More flexibility, more options, quicker approach.

September 3, 2019 by Kyle Boas