November 4 (Wed) 7:00pm IFR Roundtable: Circling Approaches

Event Date: 
Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

This event is part of our IFR Roundtable series of discussion groups, where advanced and novice IFR pilots share knowledge about particular aspects of instrument flight. Held every 6-8 weeks, we focus on one small IFR procedure or topic area and spend a couple of hours talking through challenges, definitions, techniques, and safety issues in that topic area.

This session topic: circling to land from an instrument approach. Circling approaches present high workload and can be hazardous. Nevertheless, they are a fact of IFR life, particularly at smaller airports because of surrounding terrain or the high cost of approach development.

We will review the design criteria that cause an approach to be titled for circling only, when circling minimums are excluded from a chart, when you can land straight in from a circling approach, and when you can circle from a straight-in approach. We will discuss chart notes, circling restrictions, and formulating a landing plan based on the approach path and runway layout. Finally, we will examine the critical execution of the circling missed approach maneuver.

This is a group discussion, moderated by Brian Eliot, CFI, CFII.

Brian Eliot is San Carlos Flight Center’s resident expert for IFR training and Garmin G1000 avionics. He has been flying since 1995 and received all his training in the Bay Area. Brian previously worked as a broadcast engineer, a software developer, and taught computer science at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He regularly presents at San Carlos Flight Center safety seminars and has a reputation for making complex concepts easy to learn and understand.

Any questions, contact us at (650) 946-1700 or

This event qualifies for FAA Wings credit, click here to register.

San Carlos Flight Center is committed to promoting safety in general aviation through our evening safety seminar programs. Space is often limited so it is important to sign up early through the FAA event notification system at FAASAFETY.GOV. SCFC members may choose to watch the seminar live over the web at home. Contact your SCFC member service rep at (650) 946-1700 to confirm secure online access to any particular seminar.