Approaches are usually published with only circling minimums
when the final approach course alignment relative to the runway exceeds 30 degrees (for most procedure types) or the descent angle is greater than 3.77 degrees (for Category C and below).
Jabara has an ILS and an RNAV (GPS) approach to Runway 18, plus a VOR-A and RNAV (GPS)-E, both of which feature only circling minimums
. After my takeoff to the south and likely initial heading to the southeast, either of these approach options mean I would have to fly seven to 10 miles north before a turn west and eventual vector into the final approach course (unless the reason for my return involved communications failure, in which case I'd have to fly even further for the full approach).
You can call up an approach chart without fear (or guilt) that maybe the circling minimums
changed last month.
There is no free lunch, of course, so remember that the new circling criteria expand the area of protected airspace, generally, by raising circling minimums
themselves, to provide more obstacle-free airspace in which to perform the maneuvers.
When the approach only has circling minimums
it's a heads up: Something you might expect isn't available here.
"The circling minimums
published on the instrument approach chart provide a minimum of 300 feet of obstacle clearance in the circling area.
They won't cancel circling minimums
for the last or only conventional (groundbased) approach procedure at the airport.
Each includes circling minimums
greater than 2000 feet agl, and none are authorized at night.
Not only are circling minimums
NA for Cat C and D, but so are straight-in mins.
Don't turn on course until reaching at least 400 feet agl; circling minimums
for the runway in use is better if you have any obstacle concerns at all, and traffic pattern altitude is even better.
In a circle-to-land maneuver, you must maintain circling minimums
until you are in a position to make a normal rate of descent to the touchdown point.
Unfortunately, were all bound by the same approach design no matter what we fly (except for circling minimums