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Finals Versus Final - Correct Terminology  
User currently offline1MillionFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3447 times:

Many people on A.net incorrectly use the term "finals" to describe the final approach segment of flight.


The final approach is a singular activity not a plural activity hence the singular form of the word.

"Finals" is non standard ICAO phraseology. This is not just a "US English" versus "British English" issue.


http://www.faa.gov/ATpubs/PCG/F.HTM


FINAL- Commonly used to mean that an aircraft is on the final approach course or is aligned with a landing area.

(See FINAL APPROACH COURSE.)

(See FINAL APPROACH-IFR.)

(See SEGMENTS OF AN INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURE.)

FINAL APPROACH [ICAO]- That part of an instrument approach procedure which commences at the specified final approach fix or point, or where such a fix or point is not specified.

a. At the end of the last procedure turn, base turn or inbound turn of a racetrack procedure, if specified; or

b. At the point of interception of the last track specified in the approach procedure; and ends at a point in the vicinity of an aerodrome from which:

1. A landing can be made; or

2. A missed approach procedure is initiated.


I do agree that US English is incorrect in using "Math" as a term instead of the correct British term "Maths" since the science is Mathmatics, not "Mathmatic".

32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTinkerBelle From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3419 times:

lol.. Maybe you should have been an English teacher huuh! Bottom line is we all know what one means by 'finals' although I do agree with you though  box 

User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 35
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3401 times:

Quoting 1MillionFlyer (Thread starter):
The final approach is a singular activity

Agree entirely, 1MillionFlyer. Except that I recall that, at flying club slang level, the expression 'I'm/he's on finals' tended to include being established in the later stages of a landing circuit (maybe on the downwind or base leg) rather than 'on final approach' (which I agree should ALWAYS be called that, since it means that you are committed to landing).

[Edited 2005-09-27 07:01:22]


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offline1MillionFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3377 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 2):
'I'm/he's on finals' tended to include being established in the later stages of a landing circuit

Good to know slang in Australia! I love that country, except for the 14,5 hour flight it took to get there  Smile

When I was doing flight training we called it "in the pattern" here in the US.

Thanks for the information.


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3375 times:

Quoting 1MillionFlyer (Thread starter):
The final approach is a singular activity not a plural activity hence the singular form of the word.

The only exception I can readily think of is when we're referring to multiple runways. For example, at DFW, there are 17L, 17C, 17R, 18L, and 18R when landing to the south, and should someone (for the sake of argument) in a little GA airplane fly east-to-west across the north side of the airport, that aircraft is cutting across the finals at DFW. It could just as easily be a big thunderstorm affecting the finals at DFW.


User currently offline1MillionFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3368 times:

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 5):
the finals at DFW. It could just as easily be a big thunderstorm affecting the finals at DFW.

Now that works, because there are multiple of them being used at once 

[Edited 2005-09-27 07:20:37]

User currently offlineMarshalN From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2005, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3350 times:

I have a slightly related question...

When you are flying in, about to land on runway 13 at Kai Tak in the good old days, when does Final begin? After the last turn?


User currently offlineType-Rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3345 times:

I would say that in the given example, the GA plane is not cutting in front of the finals, but rather crossing over the other aircrafts final approach paths.

I have heard "in the pattern" and "in the circuit" used interchangably.


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 35
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3336 times:

MarshallN, final approach started out over the water, and came in over the city (Kowloon?). There used to be a big black-and-white visual marker at the point (called 'Checkerboard Charlie') where pilots had to start the final turn; maybe it's still there.

I believe that approaching from the other direction, over Victoria Harbour, was just as hair-raising in its way, because of the solid wall of mountains in front of you. A friend once showed me the 'Pilot's Notes' for Kai-tak; for that approach, under 'Go-Around Procedures', it just said something like, "Go-Around procedures should not be attempted when landing on Runway 31."  Smile



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineBa321 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2004, 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3279 times:

In the UK even from basic PPL training we always call it final, indeed the tower at Denham when hes bored corrects people who say finals, as the correct phraseology in the UK is final.


Fly safe, ba321
User currently offlineVH-KCT* From Australia, joined May 2001, 479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3249 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 2):
I recall that, at flying club slang level, the expression 'I'm/he's on finals' tended to include being established in the later stages of a landing circuit (maybe on the downwind or base leg) rather than 'on final approach' (which I agree should ALWAYS be called that, since it means that you are committed to landing).

Wouldn't it be more simple to save final for the leg of the circuit that is actually known as final. Rather than using the term for base and downwind as well? Your circuit seems to have upwind, crosswind, final, final and final.

I've never heard finals used anywhere other than here on A.net. And final is a term I've very rarely used except for maybe;
  • turning final: for turning onto the leg of the circuit known as final
  • mid-final: the location of a check height
  • short final: saved for the broadcast when you're over the threshold at 50 ft and the tower has forgotten to clear you to land. Or use very short final for added dramatic effect.  Smile


  • I am The Stig
    User currently offline1MillionFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3188 times:

    Quoting VH-KCT* (Reply 11):
    I've never heard finals used anywhere other than here on A.net. And final is a term I've very rarely used except for maybe;

    That is why I posted this on A.net. I have been a licensed pilot sine I was 17 which is shockingly 20 years ago and I have also never heard the term "finals" any place except here on A.net.


    User currently offlineFlyPIJets From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 926 posts, RR: 3
    Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3114 times:

    I agree, when I read finals in a post, it reads as if a 10 year old is writing and making a mistake. But I think I understand why or how the term finals has come into use.

    For illustration, take the term petrol. Singular petrol means gasoline. But the plural, petrols, would imply any petrochemical, or at least a variety of gasolines.

    The term, final, is an aviation technical term, used by ATC and pilots, and refers to a specific phase of flight. However, we have all been a pax and heard a flight attendant indicate that we have begun our final decent into... That confuses the term final.

    So, enter the plural, finals, ambiguously indicating some stage of arrival of a flight. It is the ambiguity in the term, finals, that rubs the wrong way.

    At least, that is how I read it. When a poster uses finals, they are being unclear. Maybe approach would be a better term.



    DC-8, DC-9, DC-10, F28, 717, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, IL-62, L-1011, MD-82/83, YS-11, DHC-8, PA-28-161, ERJ 135/145, E-1
    User currently offlineSabenaboy From Belgium, joined Feb 2001, 187 posts, RR: 2
    Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3078 times:

    Quoting NAV20 (Reply 2):
    ...rather than 'on final approach' (which I agree should ALWAYS be called that, since it means that you are committed to landing).

    Hi NAV20,

    Just wanted to let you know that I've been flying for over 25 years now.
    I've been on final thousands of times by now...but I've never been committed to land before. You are only committed to land when a go-around is not an option anymore. I hope that I'm never in such a position.

    (The only times I was committed to land until now was in gliders)

    Regards,
    Sabenaboy


    User currently offlineZotan From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 612 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 14, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3054 times:

    http://www.faa.gov/ATPubs/ATC/Chp3/atc0310.html#3-10-6

    User currently offline1MillionFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 15, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3009 times:

    Quoting FlyPIJets (Reply 13):
    Maybe approach would be a better term.

    Absolutely. I am just hoping once and for all we can wipe out "finals" from the A.net lexicon.


    User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4669 posts, RR: 77
    Reply 16, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2956 times:
    Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

    Quoting FlyPIJets (Reply 13):
    So, enter the plural, finals, ambiguously indicating some stage of arrival of a flight. It is the ambiguity in the term, finals, that rubs the wrong way.

    Well said.

    Quoting FlyPIJets (Reply 13):
    Maybe approach would be a better term.

    I don't think so as you have four stages of approach : initial, intermediate, final and missed.

    Quoting NAV20 (Reply 2):
    Except that I recall that, at flying club slang level, the expression 'I'm/he's on finals' tended to include being established in the later stages of a landing circuit (maybe on the downwind or base leg) rather than 'on final approach'

    That attitude defeats the object of R/T discipline , which is to give the people around you -and the tower- an accurate knowledge of your position.

    Quoting NAV20 (Reply 9):
    A friend once showed me the 'Pilot's Notes' for Kai-tak; for that approach, under 'Go-Around Procedures', it just said something like, "Go-Around procedures should not be attempted when landing on Runway 31."

    Strange airline your friend was working for. There cannot be an instrument approach without a published go-around (or rather "missed approach" ) procedure. That trajectory had to be adhered to quite accurately, for the relief you mentioned. Besides, RWY 31 was also used for take-off.



    Contrail designer
    User currently offlineFlyPIJets From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 926 posts, RR: 3
    Reply 17, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2944 times:

    Quoting Pihero (Reply 17):
    I don't think so as you have four stages of approach : initial, intermediate, final and missed.

    Look at these two sentences:

    As I looked out of the window, I noticed we were on finals for the airport.

    As I looked out of the window, I noticed we were approaching the airport.

    Using the term finals in the first sentence makes the sentence unclear. The second sentence is very clear. The second sentence could be more precise in describing the stage of approach, but, the sentence is also clear in not doing so.  Smile



    DC-8, DC-9, DC-10, F28, 717, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, IL-62, L-1011, MD-82/83, YS-11, DHC-8, PA-28-161, ERJ 135/145, E-1
    User currently offline1MillionFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 18, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2895 times:

    The first one also sounds weird  Smile

    User currently offlineHawker From Australia, joined Aug 2004, 105 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 19, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2854 times:

    Don't know what the practice is in various countries but when flying a square pattern for a particular runway at smaller airports, a pilot will either report on the downwind, base or final approach legs as required.

    As noted by VH-KCT in reply 11, you need to advise the tower when on final approach usually by calling turning final or on short final.

    One think that does puzzle me though, I have never heard the term long final used. It is of course possible to be cleared for a straight in approach.


    User currently offline1MillionFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 20, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2815 times:

    Quoting Hawker (Reply 20):
    I have never heard the term long final used.

    Usually when doing instrument approachs at uncontrolled airports in the US if you are on a long final you usually announce 5 mile final, etc. I have heard people say long final as well.


    User currently offlineGerardo From Spain, joined May 2000, 3481 posts, RR: 30
    Reply 21, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2799 times:

    Quoting 1MillionFlyer (Thread starter):
    I do agree that US English is incorrect in using "Math" as a term instead of the correct British term "Maths" since the science is Mathmatics, not "Mathmatic".

    And I thought, this science was called "Mathematics"....

     Smile

    Gerardo



    dominguez(dash)online(dot)ch ... Pushing the limits of my equipment
    User currently offline1MillionFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 22, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2790 times:

    Quoting Gerardo (Reply 22):

    Touche'! Yes it is, but the edit function quit working and I couldn't change it.

    It's nice to see another literate person posting. LOL


    User currently offlineMarshalN From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2005, 1521 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 23, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2763 times:

    Quoting Pihero (Reply 17):
    Quoting NAV20 (Reply 9):
    A friend once showed me the 'Pilot's Notes' for Kai-tak; for that approach, under 'Go-Around Procedures', it just said something like, "Go-Around procedures should not be attempted when landing on Runway 31."

    Strange airline your friend was working for. There cannot be an instrument approach without a published go-around (or rather "missed approach" ) procedure. That trajectory had to be adhered to quite accurately, for the relief you mentioned. Besides, RWY 31 was also used for take-off.

    That is indeed a strange thing to see, since they do takeoffs and the alternative to a go-around (landing at high risk, I presume) is running into the road, the bridge, and then the buildings in front of the runway. Might not be a good thing. I believe the standard takeoff (and I think the only viable one) is a sharp left turn to avoid Lion's Rock.


    User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4669 posts, RR: 77
    Reply 24, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2715 times:
    Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

    Quoting Hawker (Reply 20):
    One think that does puzzle me though, I have never heard the term long final used. It is of course possible to be cleared for a straight in approach

    Actually, I can only remember two cases where the word "final" is used by pilots on IFR :
    - Calling "long final" when (s)he has been cleared for a straight-in approach, on the first contact with the tower. To which the reply would be :"Call outer marker inbound" or "Leaving 2000 on the glide", or "...call 5 mile final..." (very common at LHR and about nowhere else)
    - On a multiple runway operation :"XXX on final (RWY) 26", to confirm one's position and previous clearance.

    The term "long final", btw, has no official meaning, as the definition of "final approach" implies that the aircraft is at the last segment of its flight and has passed the approach fix...But as we all know, old habits die hard.



    Contrail designer
    25 1MillionFlyer : Usually in the US at controlled airports you hear: "Tower XXX checking in for the right side" or "Tower, XXX with you at (Insert outer marker name her
    26 Silver1SWA : The use of the term "finals" here at a.net is something I have never understood.
    27 Post contains images 1MillionFlyer : I am hoping we can put an end to it once and for all (A guy can dream)
    28 Post contains images Molykote : What about bad pilots who need multiple landing attempts?
    29 Post contains images 1MillionFlyer : They would conduct a missed approach or go around followed by another final
    30 DCrawley : Reporting positions in a rectangular pattern at an uncontrolled airport could be: crosswind, entering on the 45 for downwind, midfield, turning base,
    31 Zeke : The only time I hear "Final" used is when cleared by ATC "Cleared for Final", e.g they clear you descend to a lower altitude and intercept the LLZ, on
    32 AirNZ : I fully agree that the 'slang' here on A.Net can be somewhat weird and, while slightly off topic, my biggest bugbear regarding misuse is why so many m
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