Most airlines and other aviation organisations specify minimum acceptable criteria for the continuation of an approach to land.
These vary in detail but the following summary published by the Flight Safety Foundation is one view of the important considerations.
All flights must be stabilised by 1000 feet above airport elevation in IMC and 500 feet above airport elevation in VMC.
An approach is stabilised when all of the following criteria are met:
- The aircraft is on the correct flight path
- Only small changes in heading/pitch are necessary to maintain the correct flight path
- The airspeed is not more than VREF + 20kts (37.04 km/h)
- Indicated speed is not less than VREF - 5kts
- The aircraft is in the correct landing configuration (gear + flaps)
- Sink rate is no greater than 1000 feet/minute; if an approach requires a sink rate greater than 1000 feet/minute a special briefing should be conducted
- Power setting is appropriate for the aircraft configuration and is not below the minimum power for the approach as defined by the operating manual
- All briefings and checklists have been conducted
- ILS approaches must be flown within one dot of the glide-slope and localizer
- A Category II or III approach must be flown within the expanded localizer band
- During a circling approach wings should be leveled on final when the aircraft reaches 300 feet above airport elevation.
An approach not becoming stabilized below 1000 feet above airport elevation in IMC or 500 feet above airport elevation in VMC requires an immediate go-around.
Abnormal conditions requiring a deviation from the above elements of a stabilized approach require a special briefing.
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