Whether at Camden or other aerodromes, the Holding Point is a rather important point on the aerodrome. There are quite a number of factors to consider approaching the holding point, as we saw in last month's “Power against brakes". There might be a down slope, or a poor view of the runway or the approach path.
If you consider the holding point at Runway 28, almost opposite Curtis Aviation, the angle affords a good view down the strip, but not back along the approach path. In fact, the angle is such that the view of any aircraft on finals will be entirely obscured in a high-wing aircraft. You will want a good view of the approach path before entering a runway, whether you are at a CTAF/MBZ or controlled aerodrome. Therefore, when holding at 28, hold about 1.5 aircraft lengths from the holding point, facing more towards the Camden hospital. In a Citabria (for example) this will mean the wings no longer obscure the approach path and good visibility will be obtained prior to entering the runway.
Planning to hold well short, rather than with the nose on the “yellow lines" will assist you in other ways as well. Firstly, it will provide more time and space for you to act should your brakes fail near the holding point. This is particularly important approaching runway 24 given the down slope. Secondly, should you experience a radio problem, it will leave you space to manoeuvre the aircraft without a potential runway incursion. If you do not have a clearance to enter the runway, you may not do so.
Finally, on non-sealed runways, holding points are well travelled and may have more stones or gravel in that area and it is better to be rolling over these stones rather than powering up to over come the inertia of the aircraft on top of the stones.
Jim's Wisdom - Brakes against Power
DON'T DO IT!
For every force there must be an equal and opposite force! Whilst Newton's Laws have stood the test of time, they were not intended to be expressed through the use of brakes whilst the aircraft is under power. We use power when taxying an aircraft to overcome it's inertia. Once momentum is built, a reduction in power might be more useful than application of brakes.
Whilst brakes result in a fairly immediate retarding effect, reduction in power is not so immediate, and therefore requires some anticipation. This makes for excellent practice being in the air, where you are required to be “ahead of the aircraft", so why not start on the ground? If brakes are used constantly on the taxi out to the run-up bays and runway, they may, particularly in hotter weather, become so hot as to provide no braking effect when you might need it most. This can be approaching the holding point for Runway 24 (which has a considerable downslope) whilst an aircraft is on short finals for the runway, or during an aborted take-off when you require considerable braking force.
Tips for avoiding brakes against power.
1. Use enough power to overcome the inertia of the aircraft
2. Anticipate turns and downslopes and retard the power well in advance
REMEMBER: Keep the brakes in good condition for when you might need them most:
The runway & The holding point
Why do we give inbound calls to the tower at Camden? The first most obvious reason is to obtain a clearance from the controller to enter the zone. However, it is also equally important for other pilots to hear where you are and how high you are, both on the inbound call and the next reporting call.
Pilot responsibilities include: 'A pilot must sight and maintain separation from other aircraft whilst operating in the GAAP CTR'. In other words, it is you, not the tower that provides primary traffic separation. ATC will only provide a separation service, or rather, a traffic information service, when:
a) pilot of one aircraft is required to give way to, follow, or otherwise adjust the aircraft's flight path relative to that flown by another aircraft. AND / OR
b) the relative positions of aircraft cannot be established, and a collision or near miss may be likely unless one or both aircraft adjust their respective flights paths.
The pilots must maintain a good lookout and good listening watch supplemented with useful position reporting.
It is therefore important to report position and height as you approach the reporting point requested by the tower.
Jim's suggested calls
PILOT: Camden Tower, Mike Whiskey Yankee, a Citabria, is Bringelly, one-thousand, eight-hundred, inbound (for circuits)* with Mike.
TOWER: Mike Whiskey Yankee, join downwind, report again at two miles.
PILOT: Join downwind, Mike Whiskey Yankee.
PILOT: Mike Whiskey Yankee, approaching two miles downwind, one-thousand eight-hundred
Making your reporting call whilst approaching the reporting point and providing details of your height will help other pilots in the circuit sight and maintain separation.
* If you require circuits upon return, make sure you request such on your inbound call, however, absolutely no later than the two-mile call.
REMEMBER: A circuit entry instruction does not constitute approval to descend. A sequencing instruction (MWY, you're #2) does constitute an approval to descend.