Low Approach — General Aviation News

Not everyone learns the same way. Some like to read, others like to watch videos, others are very hands-on.

This became evident when we published a recent Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) report, Cessna 172 pilot confused by ATC request.

This caused a great deal of discussion about the terms a pilot should know.

In fact, the controller asked the pilot to perform a maneuver that he was unfamiliar with. (Yes, the pilot did ask for clarification, but he never understood exactly what he was being asked.) The maneuver was a low approach.

Interestingly, more than a few commenters admitted that they had never heard the term low approach. Whether they knew the term and forgot it or never learned it doesn’t matter.

Shortly after we published this report, I received a review copy of the 14th edition of Everything Explained to the Professional Pilot. Subtitled “Excruciatingly detailed explanations in English of everything every pilot needs”.

Author Richie Lengel is clearly convinced that his book contains “the answers to all the questions.”

To be honest, when I first flipped through the book, I was immediately impressed. Bold and underlined text, highlighted text, pictures and photos were eye-catching. (Personally, I’m firmly in the “less is more” camp.)

And then I remembered the discussion about the low approach. I turned to the pointer behind me. Low approach … 61.

So I went to page 61. The following is verbatim (including formatting):

LOW Approach (AIM 4-3-12, P/C Glossary)

  1. A bypass maneuver over the airport the following a practice tool or visual approach where instead of landing or making a landing, the pilot intentionally does not make contact with runway (sometimes called a low pass).
  2. During the operation in Class B, C or D airspace, the pilot must request low approach the previous one to the beginning final approach.
  3. U Class E or G airports, a pilot intending to make a low approach must, the previous one to leaving in the last step is to fix the input, broadcast intentions on UNICOM or FSS frequency

And here’s what the AIM Glossary and Pilot Controller say about low convergence, respectively.

PURPOSE (4-3-12): A low approach (also called a low pass) is the maneuver of going into the second circle after the approach. Instead of landing or performing a touch and go, a pilot may wish to go around (low approach) to speed up a particular operation (an example of such an operation is a series of instrument practice approaches). Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, a low-level approach must be made straight in, without turning or gaining altitude, until the pilot has made a thorough visual check for other aircraft in the area.

From Pilot-dispatcher Glossary: LOW FIT. An approach over an airport or runway after an instrument approach or a VFR approach, including a go-around maneuver, when the pilot does not intentionally make contact with the runway. (Refer to AIM.)

Everything Explained combines two bits from the AIM Glossary and the Pilot Controller, adds additional airspace context, and styles it with the intention of highlighting relevant information.

After doing this little research, my initial opinion of the book has softened. I find myself pulling the 14th edition of Everything Explained for the Professional Pilot off the shelf whenever I need an explanation.

Everything Explained is available as a paperback book and an iPad app. Each costs $59.95. Purchase a physical book at Aviation-Press.com site or test drive the application for free (a few sample pages are given, the rest of the book is unlocked by in-app purchase).

https://generalaviationnews.com/2022/07/20/everything-explained-the-low-approach/ Low Approach — General Aviation News

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