Visual Separation

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  1. #1
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    Visual Separation

    2 IFR aircraft on final required 3 miles sep

    THIS IS 2 DEBATES BUT PLEASE FOCUS ON THE 2ND CAUSE ITS BEEN A 3 HR ROUND AND ROUND ARGUEMENT

    1st Debate: if the #2 is overtaking can you use visual separation and leave him on the approach - do you see him? yes? maintain visual and they land safely 999,999 out of 1,000,000.

    2nd debate: if both aircraft are on tower frequency.... can tower do that without approval from the radar facility? yes radar is responsible for the 3 miles sep but tower sees it ahead of time, asks the pilot can you maintain visual and issue the instruction.

    I say no, they can not issue that instruction since it is not their aircraft... they are talking to him sure but VFR class delta tower aint moving him.

  2. #2
    ajmezz's Avatar
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    Re: Visual Separation

    You're still required to have proper IFR separation before and after the application of visual. If you're using visual as a last ditch effort, you already screwed up and should take measures to fix it. Technically it is towers aircraft at that point. The radar separation is on approach, but if tower see's it isn't going to work, it's their responsibility to take action by either sending someone around and shipping them back to approach, slowing #2 if they can, etc.

  3. #3
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    Re: Visual Separation

    In the 2nd scenario, that situation wouldn’t exist without coordination between radar and tower

  4. #4
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    Re: Visual Separation

    “Visual separation may be applied when other approved separation is assured before and after the application of visual separation. To ensure that other separation will exist, consider aircraft performance, wake turbulence, closure rate, routes of flight, known weather conditions, and aircraft position. Weather conditions must allow the aircraft to remain within sight until other separation exists. Visual separation is not authorized when the lead aircraft is a super.”
    I say they can’t use visual separation because the IFR separation wasn’t ASSURED, it says to ENSURE separation consider closure rate and etc. The RADAR controller should be able to tell that an aircraft is closing in and it’ll be a bust, so they should take action to fix it.

  5. #5
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    Re: Visual Separation

    Quote Originally Posted by ajmezz View Post
    You're still required to have proper IFR separation before and after the application of visual. If you're using visual as a last ditch effort, you already screwed up and should take measures to fix it. Technically it is towers aircraft at that point. The radar separation is on approach, but if tower see's it isn't going to work, it's their responsibility to take action by either sending someone around and shipping them back to approach, slowing #2 if they can, etc.
    Visual separation does not require IFR separation before and after, it requires “Other approved separation” before and after. One might argue that the “other” separation could be same runway separation (3-10-3).

  6. #6
    Kurtomac's Avatar
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    Re: Visual Separation

    Looked like 3 to me

  7. #7
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    Re: Visual Separation

    1. yes it's legal

    2. if I'm working tower and two airplanes are losing separation on final (no wake turbulence factors) I'm not even going to ask if #2 sees #1. I'll just use tower-applied visual. It'll probably generate an EOR for QA to take a look at it, and I might get asked a question about it, but it'll get marked on the report as tower-visual.

    I don't see anything wrong with asking if #2 sees #1 and then telling them to maintain visual separation, but depending on the pilot it might cause him to do some weird spacing maneuver that approach isn't expecting.

  8. #8
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    Re: Visual Separation

    1. Yes
    2. I see the debate points, but if no wake issues, it is Legal.

  9. #9
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    Re: Visual Separation

    I'm pretty sure it has to be specified in a directive, LOA or SOP. At least in my experience. If it is, WX conditions dictate, then all day long (without wake). If it's not, I'm guessing verbal coordination would have to be accomplished. I once tried to get a coworker out of a deal by saying I had visual, only to have the FLM say it didn't count because it wasn't on the recorded line. I now work at a facility where it's assumed within 6 if vis is 6 or >.

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