How We Join the Power Circuits
(Updated July 2015)
There is no Overhead Join, Crosswind Join, Straight-In Join or Deadside at Daedalus due Gliding winch-launching and aero-towing operations. Given that and the nearby airspace ar Southampton and Fleetlands visiting pilots often appreciate further information as to how circuits joins are safely and easily accomplished here.
The four joins for runway 05/23 which have been established over many years as normal local practice are illustrated below. Putting them all on one diagram makes them look more complex than they are, but like any join at a new airfield your pre-flight preparation pays off.
Top tip: assess the wind on the day - if it's 23 (it usually is of course) plan your flight to Cowes and make the downwind join. If it is 05, those are the joins where preflight prep pays off most - from the south plan to join left base noting the CTR 'corner'; from the north plan to join downwind noting the dodge past Fleetlands ATZ east.
Fareham is the large town depicted underneath the "FLE" of "FLEETLANDS.
Joining Downwind Runway 23 righthand.
This is an easy and by far the most commonly used join. Fly to the vicinity of Cowes to join downwind right hand for 23. As you coast in the lakes at Titchfield Haven should be on your right and the Breezes static caravan park is on the coast further to your left (it is a good visual reference for the CTR boundary but you don't want to be having a *very* close look at it!)
Joining Right Base Runway 23.
If arriving from the north the least challenging and most fun sightseeing thing to do is to route to Portsmouth and then Cowes to join downwind 23. Otherwise from the north we position to the vicinity of Fareham West, outside the circuit, to join right base 23 having given way to any traffic established in the circuit.
Joining Downwind Runway 05
From the north we position to the vicinity of Fareham West (remaining outside Eastern-portion of Fleetlands ATZ unless in contact with Fleetlands) to join downwind lefthand for 05 (giving way to traffic established traffic).
Joining Left Base Runway 05
Position to the vicinity of Calshot VRP (remaining outside CAS, noting the 'corner' of the CTR) and join left base 05 giving way to circuit traffic. The trick with this one is to not go up tight to Calshot and end up trying to give way (orbit) near it - for airspace and potentially circuit confliction reasons (some folk might fly longer 05 downwind legs than you might expect). Hold off further south and go toward Calshot when traffic situation will permit a smooth transition toward the base leg.
Base leg joins are not everyone's cup of tea, especially when it is busy - in which case local pilots route to the east of Gosport, to join downwind for the runway in use.
Straight-in approaches are generally discouraged for several reasons, including because they are disruptive to the gliding launch rate - they make it very difficult for the Duty Instructor at the launch point to judge when a glider can safely be launched, wheras the DI's are very experienced at safely judging the go/no-go for a launch when observing relative normal circuit trafic proceeding along base and onto final. If the launch rate slows then in turn power pilots waiting their turn to depart in turn also get delayed. We like to, and for safety's sake need to, play well as a team across the various types of flying here. When there is no gliding and the circuit is quiet straights-ins do work, including when 23 is in use, talking with Fleetlands regarding ATZ-East during their hours.