Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), page 398

Index   397 -- Page 398 -- 399

aircraft. If instructed to follow a preceding aircraft,
pilots are responsible for maintaining a safe approach
interval and wake turbulence separation.

k. Pilots should advise ATC if at any point they are
unable to continue an approach or lose sight of a
preceding aircraft. Missed approaches will be
handled as a go-around.

5-4-25. Contact Approach

a. Pilots operating in accordance with an IFR
flight plan, provided they are clear of clouds and have
at least 1 mile flight visibility and can reasonably
expect to continue to the destination airport in those
conditions, may request ATC authorization for a
contact approach.

b. Controllers may authorize a contact approach
1. The contact approach is specifically
requested by the pilot. ATC cannot initiate this
Request contact approach.

2. The reported ground visibility at the
destination airport is at least 1 statute mile.
3. The contact approach will be made to an
airport having a standard or special instrument
approach procedure.

4. Approved separation is applied between
aircraft so cleared and between these aircraft and
other IFR or special VFR aircraft.


Cleared contact approach (and, if required) at or below
(altitude) (routing) if not possible (alternative procedures)
and advise.

c. A contact approach is an approach procedure
that may be used by a pilot (with prior authorization
from ATC) in lieu of conducting a standard or special
IAP to an airport. It is not intended for use by a pilot
on an IFR flight clearance to operate to an airport not
having a published and functioning IAP. Nor is it
intended for an aircraft to conduct an instrument
approach to one airport and then, when "in the clear,"
discontinue that approach and proceed to another
airport. In the execution of a contact approach, the

pilot assumes the responsibility for obstruction
clearance. If radar service is being received, it will
automatically terminate when the pilot is instructed to
change to advisory frequency.

5-4-26. Landing Priority
A clearance for a specific type of approach (ILS,
RNAV, GLS, ADF, VOR or Visual Approach) to an
aircraft operating on an IFR flight plan does not mean

that landing priority will be given over other traffic.
ATCTs handle all aircraft, regardless of the type of
flight plan, on a "first-come, first-served" basis.
Therefore, because of local traffic or runway in use,
it may be necessary for the controller in the interest
of safety, to provide a different landing sequence. In
any case, a landing sequence will be issued to each
aircraft as soon as possible to enable the pilot to
properly adjust the aircraft's flight path.

5-4-27. Overhead Approach Maneuver
a. Pilots operating in accordance with an
IFR flight plan in Visual Meteorological
Conditions (VMC) may request ATC authorization
for an overhead maneuver. An overhead maneuver is
not an instrument approach procedure. Overhead
maneuver patterns are developed at airports where
aircraft have an operational need to conduct the
maneuver. An aircraft conducting an overhead
maneuver is considered to be VFR and the IFR flight
plan is cancelled when the aircraft reaches the initial
point on the initial approach portion of the maneuver.
(See FIG 5-4-32.) The existence of a standard
overhead maneuver pattern does not eliminate the
possible requirement for an aircraft to conform to
conventional rectangular patterns if an overhead

maneuver cannot be approved. Aircraft operating to

an airport without a functioning control tower must
initiate cancellation of an IFR flight plan prior to
executing the overhead maneuver. Cancellation of
the IFR flight plan must be accomplished after
crossing the landing threshold on the initial portion of
the maneuver or after landing. Controllers may
authorize an overhead maneuver and issue the
following to arriving aircraft:

1. Pattern altitude and direction of traffic. This
information may be omitted if either is standard.

5-4-62 Arrival Procedures

Page 398 of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM.pdf)
AIM: Official Guide to Basic Flight Information and ATC Procedures

Index   397 -- Page 398 -- 399