VHFlying
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Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:24 am

I have been an avid reader for years and really enjoy all of your wide ranging topics. I would love to hear what your thoughts are on the following:

1. I believe the pilots true strength is during the critical phase of landing and especially on a short final approach. The mark of a true professional is witnessing and feeling the banking of the aircraft to line up for final and see minimal adjustments to lining up for the runway or pitch changes during this phase. I would love to hear some stories on some experiences.

2. What is the shortest final in commercial aviation?

I have been very fortunate to have travelled the world and land in 50+ airports. The greatest turn to final will always be Kai Tak but I have also experienced unusual (to the standard patterns) base to final approaches at:

Sydney: flew 767 over San Souci and over Botany Bay and hard left into 34L (instead of flying over Kurnell Island) less than 2nm final

Melbourne: flew 330 south of the airport and hard right into 34 about 2nm final

Zurich: flew but also witnessed (at the fantastic sausage stand at the 14 / 16) planes lining up for 14 and then without notice a short turn of the yoke and lining up for 16 (not sure a 14 to 16 could be considered a base to final) but still interesting as the line up to final would be less than 2nm

Love to hear suggestions!

The next post could be the longest final e.g. Las Vegas would it not?
 
BMI727
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:30 am

Quoting VHFlying (Thread starter):
2. What is the shortest final in commercial aviation?

I've seen videos of Twin Otters at SXM that basically lined up with the runway when they are directly over it.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
N757ST
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:42 am

Probably DCA Mount Vernon Visual RWY 1 Circle 33
 
ycp81
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:45 am

Quoting VHFlying (Thread starter):
Melbourne: flew 330 south of the airport and hard right into 34 about 2nm final

Qantas/virgin blue planes normally does that if the runway in use is 34 (have experienced that on a B744). However other carriers appear to take the safer straight in approach.
My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
 
corey07850
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:58 am

Probably not what you are looking for but for a lot of people on here, the first time they nailed their first power-off 180 during their CPL training will certainly be one to remember... Downwind abeam the numbers, power to idle, gear down, basically turning direct to the numbers, such a blast
 
swiftski
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:07 am

Quoting VHFlying (Thread starter):
Melbourne: flew 330 south of the airport and hard right into 34 about 2nm final

Sounds like the BADGR FOUR VICTOR arrival to me. Track overhead SHEED [S37 43.8 E144 54.9], overhead Essendon, then visual intercept of final for RWY34 [84deg right turn from 256 to 340]

[Edited 2010-07-13 21:15:47]
 
VHFlying
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:15 am

Quoting Corey07850 (Reply 4):

When I was doing my ppl and instrument training I loved the 'go for the numbers and hang a left for touch down'. for emergency training.

For large commercial jets, I love that ability to be flying at 180kts and flipping the wings to 30degrees and bring her level with a 'minute' to spare before touch down. Any ideas for 'heavies' that have a 2nm final out there as standard or used often?
 
kcrwflyer
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:20 am

While not a published approach, Colgan pilots have never had any reservation about lining up over our approach lights.... so thats what... 1/4 mile final?

Quoting VHFlying (Thread starter):
The next post could be the longest final e.g. Las Vegas would it not?

That could be anywhere depending on where the flights coming from. When were using runway 5, the ATL flights are on "final" something like 60 miles. I dont think you could really calculate a longest final because even if a flight is lined up for the last 100 miles of flight, that's not technically "final approach".
 
VHFlying
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:43 am

Quoting Kcrwflyer (Reply 7):

I do love watching those long finals with 7+ aircraft lined up. LHR and LAS are great examples of that. I know technically the 50+nm 'finals' are not finals but when is a final a final then?

Any video of thos short finals from Colgan pilots . . . no room for error unless the runway is 8000'
 
B595
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:00 am

The 01R approach at SFO is pretty tight for the heavy jets.

Has 1000 ft hills less than ~2 nm from the threshold.
 
kcrwflyer
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:11 am

Quoting VHFlying (Reply 8):
Any video of thos short finals from Colgan pilots . . . no room for error unless the runway is 8000'

6300 between two hills with cliffs on each end (yes, they really did that on purpose). They used to do the same on the 4700 ft runway too before it was closed. Wish I had taken videos back when it was still open...



Quoting VHFlying (Reply 8):
I know technically the 50+nm 'finals' are not finals but when is a final a final then?

When the aircraft is fully configured for landing and lined up with the runway?
 
ericaasen
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:20 am

I was on a 60 nm final for and cleared to land on rwy 17R at GFK on a flight from YWG in a C172 once. It was about 2 AM and the table top flatness of the terrain around GFK we could spot the airport and runway from that far out, we were at 8,000, reported runway in sight and were cleared to land. So we just trimmed a little nose down and started and nice slow decent for the next 45 min to landing.
 
migair54
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:26 am

I can add some that i have done and i consider very tight as well....

Toncontin landing......... just scary and difficult, very short visual circuits, hills, updrafts, short runways, high elevation......

Zurich..... i don't remember exactly the runways but I think it was ILS to runway 14 then close to the minimums turn right to runway 16, please correct me if I´m wrong....

And check this video i did in Varadero during a training session.....hehehehe....... with an ATR72.... i think is difficult to do a shorter visual circuit.....actually the instructor did shorter but I didn´t upload that video, i will do...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHvP237V1hQ
 
Rj111
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:42 am

TGU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6R5ns6e40s

Quoting VHFlying (Thread starter):
1. I believe the pilots true strength is during the critical phase of landing and especially on a short final approach. The mark of a true professional is witnessing and feeling the banking of the aircraft to line up for final and see minimal adjustments to lining up for the runway or pitch changes during this phase. I would love to hear some stories on some experiences.

That's actually one of the things that is hard on FSX and not so much in real life. The reason it's hard in FSX is because your viewing angle is fixed forward and you can't realy look at the runway properly as you turn.

[Edited 2010-07-14 03:49:43]
 
PH-BFA
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:58 am

The Divi Divi islanders at Curacao fly their base leg straight towards the end of the first quarter of the landing runway before turning to final and vacating in front of the terminal (i believe it is one of the longest runways in the caribbean)
 
VHFlying
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:36 am

Thanks for some of the vid's. Migair54 thanks for the training video. Now that's what I love seeing.

I still would like to hear about some more international airports that have short finals. This is as I said one of the best things to watch . . .
 
HNLPointShoot
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:13 pm

As far as I know, aircraft landing on 26L at HNL aren't lined up until less than 2 nm before touchdown since they're typically not allowed to overfly urban Honolulu, which means staying off shore of the island. (I don't know if heavy aircraft are allowed to land on 26R at all.) Night landings on the 8s usually means having to fly due north directly towards the entrance to Pearl Harbor before making a sharp right turn to line up with the runway; this is to avoid overflying residential areas in Kapolei and Ewa Beach, although aircraft are allowed to fly over those areas during the day (and are thus able to be lined up over 7 nm away from the runway.)
 
AntonovA330
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:49 pm

I'm not sure if this can be considered as base-to-final, but without a doubt mindblowing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boBYSV2n2tk
Good day to you sir! Please turn left, your seat is in the first row.
 
HotelDJRomeo
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:48 pm

Quoting VHFlying (Reply 8):
but when is a final a final then?

Once you intercept/flyby the FAWP - final approach waypoint. Though of course as people have mentioned it is very common for aircraft to be lined up with the FAWP many miles before they pass it (that's how you end with with 10 aircraft lined up 50 miles back, all on "final"). FAWPs are often between 4-8nm from the runway.

In terms of a fun final, I Can't believe no one has mentioned Paro - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlKApjc9T2U
Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?
 
bonusonus
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:03 pm

The Cape Air flights into BOS coming from the north make a pretty sharp turn into final on 4L/R. It's about two miles from the piano keys.
 
planespotting
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:57 pm

Quoting Kcrwflyer (Reply 7):

Quoting VHFlying (Thread starter):
The next post could be the longest final e.g. Las Vegas would it not?

That could be anywhere depending on where the flights coming from. When were using runway 5, the ATL flights are on "final" something like 60 miles. I dont think you could really calculate a longest final because even if a flight is lined up for the last 100 miles of flight, that's not technically "final approach".

When ORD is using the Janesville 5 arrival, eastbound aircraft are only about 30 degrees off of final approach course after turning over Janesville, which is about 64 nm (approx. 74 miles) from RWY 31.
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flyby519
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:42 pm

Quoting bonusonus (Reply 19):
The Cape Air flights into BOS coming from the north make a pretty sharp turn into final on 4L/R. It's about two miles from the piano keys.

Thats a cool one, ILS 15R circle to 4L

DCA can be fun doing the Mount Vernon to 1 circle to 33 if the pilots want to keep it in tight over the water the whole time.

While not necessarily a tight final, we used to fly the RJ to some small airports in Maine where we would start at FL270 and chop the power to idle all the way to landing, that took some serious luck and planning when deciding to configure flaps/gear.

There used to be some videos on Youtube of AE ATRs doing some cool approaches into the Caribbean islands. Dominica comes to mind.

[Edited 2010-07-14 10:44:14]
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Logos
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:45 pm

It's been mentioned here before, but Tegucigalpa, Honduras (TGU) has a pretty interesting/frightening approach that involves a tight turn to a short final. Here's a video for those who haven't seen it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAxAso8xSo0

Cheers,
Dave in Orlando
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csturdiv
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:34 pm

While not a commercial airport, I like watching the approach into PWK when they are landing on Rwy 34. They basically are on an ILS to Rwy 16 and when the airport is in sight, they cancel their IFR and circle to land on Rwy 34. And due to the proximity of ORD airspace, there are some tight turns to get onto finals for Rwy 34. I always love seeing the Gulfstreams and Challengers make that banking turn. Also the departures from Rwy 16 are impressive, after take off they need to bank pretty tight to avoid ORD space, PWK is a favorite after work hang out for me, love it that they have a parking lot and a speaker setup to hear tower and the aircraft communications.
An American expat from the ORD area living and working in SYD
 
JoePatroni
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:38 pm

Quoting Logos (Reply 22):
It's been mentioned here before, but Tegucigalpa, Honduras (TGU) has a pretty interesting/frightening approach that involves a tight turn to a short final.

This one blew my mind when I saw it! WOW!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJoXMcehrYo&feature=related
Oh Stewardess, I speak Jive.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:15 am

Castlegar (YCG) in southern British Columbia, about 250 miles east of YVR (by road it's about 50% further) and about 20 miles north of the US border, has a short final approach especially from one direction due to surrounding mountains. After threading between a few mountains there's a turn onto final approach quite close to the runway. And the weather is often marginal, especially in the winter. Pacific Western Airlines B737-200s once regularly served YCG but now it's only AC Jazz Dash 8-300s. I believe the airport is only certified for daytime use.

Two examples of that approach. The 2nd video gives a better idea of the nearby mountains.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOGj95HbRdY&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sirVDs14yS8&feature=related

Landing from the other direction isn't quite as entertaining but also has terrain issues and doesn't permit a straight-in approach. Runway is 5300 ft.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9gxtADTSAQ

And a takeoff. The telephoto lens makes it look slightly worse than it is.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmpVUhTh_IQ
 
VHFlying
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:43 am

From memory I think Queenstown, New Zealand also has a great short final after some manuevering around the mountains. I've done it two or three times but if there are any Kiwi's out there to confirm it would be appreciated.
 
andyinpit
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:29 am

The Harbor Visual 29 into PWM was always a fun one to watch. Whenever a pilot asked how to do it, we simply said "fly into the harbor, once you fly through the localizer, turn back towards the airport"
 
GrinddalCPH
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RE: Shortest / Tightest Base To Final

Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:03 am

I have had a few myself  

3 come to my mind as being awesome or speciel  

1: Ofcourse, LCY always offer short tight finals   I had one that was really special, on really windy day, we came in almost sideways, it was creepy but also cool, too look out the window on final approach, and actually being able to see the tarmac area!

2: I remember one approach @ HKT, we came in on final approach (744) from Northwest, and had a very TIGHT kai-takish left bank over the andaman sea, and tuched down, just barely after levelling up, I remember thinking those pilots were AWESOME to pull off such a maneuver!

3: Wery windy day in CPH, coming from NW in over the city and highway, with very low clouds, we came in over 12-30 West! I remember thiking this was a very strange approach pattern, as 12-30 is only used when it is Very windy from west or east! We broke the clouds very low, and I remeber everybody being shocked to see the highway just under us, and not the water  

Daniel
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