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Danger lurks in circling approaches

Let us not forget that the circling approach maneuver is designed as a last resort, non-precision approach. A circling approach is one that, by dwindling numbers and its inherent design, forces the pilot(s) into a seldom used and high-risk evolution–often migrating us to an unexpected and seldom visited zip code of the threat/error management neighborhood.

A runway incident that continues to haunt

After what seemed like centuries of silence, I looked to my right and noticed it was quickly getting brighter – much brighter – when all of a sudden, over the hump in the runway appeared a very large aircraft whose bright landing lights were mimicking noon. It was growing in size, accelerating by the second.

Press on and get the job done: the aroma of deference

One crewmember prefers to terminate the flight in the interest of safety, adherence to existing rules, and compliance with standard operating procedures. The other crewmember – through body language, grunts, hand signals, and time-consuming silent deferrals – intends to “press on and get the mission done”. It becomes obvious that a covert difference of opinion permeates the cockpit infusing in its wake the unmistakable aroma of deference.