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FAA UPDATE: New Non-Towered Flight Operations Advisory Circular


DeLand Municipal Airport, home of MONTAER in USA, is a Non-Towered Airport.

The FAA has released an updated version of Advisory Circular 90-66C, which focuses on operations at nontowered airports. This revised edition replaces the previous version and incorporates the latest procedures and best practices, particularly regarding straight-in approaches.


It's important to understand that Advisory Circulars (ACs) are meant to provide guidance to pilots rather than establish regulations. They serve as a resource to help pilots comply with existing rules. The new version of AC 90-66C, published on June 6, aims to enhance safety and reduce the risk of midair collisions by offering updated advice on straight-in approach procedures at nontowered airports.


In the previous iteration (90-66B), pilots were encouraged to utilize the standard traffic pattern approach but recognized that there could be situations where a straight-in approach was necessary. For example, executing a visual approach as part of terminating an instrument approach. However, the FAA now strongly advises pilots to avoid straight-in approaches altogether when other aircraft are present in the traffic pattern.


According to the updated AC, the FAA states, "To mitigate the risk of a midair collision at a non-towered airport in other than instrument conditions, the FAA does not recommend that the pilot execute a straight-in approach for landing when there are other aircraft in the traffic pattern. The straight-in approach may cause a conflict with aircraft in the traffic pattern and on base to final and increase the risk of a midair collision."


This update comes in response to a series of tragic midair collisions, including incidents in Winter Haven, Florida, Dallas, and Las Vegas.


The AC also provides guidance on communication procedures and general operating practices for pilots flying in and around airports without control towers or those that operate only part-time.

If you are planning to fly in or around nontowered airports, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with these best practices. Take the opportunity to thoroughly review nontowered airport operations and procedures by referring to the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge and the Aeronautical Information Manual. These resources will help you ensure a safe and smooth experience.

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1 Comment


al4r31
al4r31
Jun 28, 2023

The Las Vegas incident really didn’t involve this problem as the field is tower controlled. The problem there involved an older pilot that was confused about the runway he was supposed to land on. He was supposed to use 31 left and used 31 right which a Cessna 172 had clearance to land on. Also the older pilot was also going too fast in his approach.

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