The second scenario we discussed, is when we are planning on landing at the intersections namely ‘E’ TWY and ‘C’ TWY at Cape Town International Airport. Remember, we are changing our aiming point and must therefore adjust our approach. The common mistake is that the pilot will use the same aiming point (the threshold) and then fly the aircraft with power on, just above the runway until they reach the intersection. This should be avoided if possible. On the diagram, I have plotted the two different stabilized approach height windows, using a 3-degree slope. One is plotted based on the aiming point being the threshold. The other is based on the aiming point being the intersections of the taxiways. Please note that it has been plotted for the purpose of pointing out approximately where these windows would be located. You will also see that when using the intersection as an aiming point, the window is approximately just before the threshold of either runway. At this point your aircraft should be at 451ft AMSL and stabilized as per our desired parameters. This goes to show that there should be no reason, when using intersections as aiming points, that the aircraft should not be stabilized by the start of the active runway threshold at Cape Town international.
By using this procedure, we will be able to assist with the flow of traffic in and out of Cape Town International, whilst maintaining and mitigating the risks of using touchdown points further down the runway. It is also clear that by using the concept of the stabilized approach, we are able to be at 300ft with 1nm to touch down, with an aircraft that will react safely, and predictably. This also improves our consistency when learning how to land.
Lastly, I would like to stress the need to be proficient at conducting a go-around with confidence and precision. Practice this with your instructor, or alone in the general flying area at a safe altitude. This will greatly aid you in a real-life situation when your response will determine the safe outcome of a flight.
At Cape Town Flying Club we are committed to the efficient and ultimately, the safe operation of our aircraft and our pilots. We are always keen to train our students, whether they are recreational pilots or career pilots, with the mindset that an aircraft can always be flown professionally no matter the mission.
If you have any questions, please contact Cape Town Flying via telephone, email or one of our social media platforms and one of our knowledgeable instructors will be able to assist.
I wish everyone safe flying,