What is a Circle to Land, And How Do You Execute It?

Hi community…

I do not know if this is the right category. Change it (moderators) if you find it appropiate

I, in the search for further realism in IF, have found that in nav charts there is a circle to land box. On tutorials about reading nav charts, they do not properly explain this procedure.

So I was wondering: how do you execute a circle to land?


P.D. Take as an example LHR/EGLL.

Do you mean the arc or the holds?

@Wiggygodsky might be able to help you out with this.

Sorry for not being clear.
I meant this circle to land:!

This link should help you understand it: https://www.boldmethod.com/learn-to-fly/maneuvers/how-to-safely-circle-to-land-from-an-instrument-approach/

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A circling approach is executed much like a standard traffic pattern expect at a lower altitude, usually an MDA. So, for this approach you could do the ILS DME Rwy 27R into Heathrow and circle to land on a different runway. Say you circled to land runway 09L. You’d follow the ILS in until you got to the MDA and you’d level off at the MDA and enter the downwind to land on runway 09L. You can use this type of approach if you want to do one type of approach but the winds are favoring a different runway. There are many different reasons why a circle to land would be necessary. Always check to make sure you can circle to land their are some requirements that are often overlooked.


Boldmethod has some great resources. Defiantly look at that and MzeroA, FLY8MA, Angle of Attack. And check out the FAA’s materials too! Easily downloadable and Most of it is free.


Right… I was helping the OP. I know about Circle to Land approaches

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To add on to this, a circle to land approach can only be done if you have the airport in sight once you have reached the MDA. If you reached the MDA and do not have the airport in sight, you need to execute the missed approach procedures as outlined on the approach plate.


Thank you, everyone! You are da best :)

This can now be closed.

Hey, @Marc: I am talking to you;)