Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), page 402

Index   401 -- Page 402 -- 403

5-5-3. Contact Approach

a. Pilot.

1. Must request a contact approach and makes it

in lieu of a standard or special instrument approach.

2. By requesting the contact approach, indicates

that the flight is operating clear of clouds, has at least
one mile flight visibility, and reasonably expects to
continue to the destination airport in those conditions.
3. Assumes responsibility for obstruction clear-
ance while conducting a contact approach.

4. Advises ATC immediately if unable to
continue the contact approach or if encounters less
than 1 mile flight visibility.
5. Is aware that if radar service is being received,
it may be automatically terminated when told to
contact the tower.

Pilot/Controller Glossary Term- Radar Service Terminated.

b. Controller.

1. Issues clearance for a contact approach only
when requested by the pilot. Does not solicit the use
of this procedure.
2. Before issuing the clearance, ascertains that
reported ground visibility at destination airport is at
least 1 mile.

3. Provides approved separation between the
aircraft cleared for a contact approach and other IFR
or special VFR aircraft. When using vertical
separation, does not assign a fixed altitude, but clears
the aircraft at or below an altitude which is at least
1,000 feet below any IFR traffic but not below
Minimum Safe Altitudes prescribed in 14 CFR
Section 91.119.

4. Issues alternative instructions if, in their
judgment, weather conditions may make completion
of the approach impracticable.

5-5-4. Instrument Approach

a. Pilot.

1. Be aware that the controller issues clearance

for approach based only on known traffic.

2. Follows the procedure as shown on the IAP,

including all restrictive notations, such as:

(a) Procedure not authorized at night;

(b) Approach not authorized when local area
altimeter not available;

(c) Procedure not authorized when control

tower not in operation;

(d) Procedure not authorized when glide

slope not used;

(e) Straight-in minimums not authorized at
night; etc.
(f) Radar required; or

(g) The circling minimums published on the
instrument approach chart provide adequate obstruc-
tion clearance and pilots should not descend below
the circling altitude until the aircraft is in a position
to make final descent for landing. Sound judgment
and knowledge of the pilot's and the aircraft's
capabilities are the criteria for determining the exact
maneuver in each instance since airport design and

the aircraft position, altitude and airspeed must all be

AIM, Paragraph 5-4-20 , Approach and Landing Minimums
3. Upon receipt of an approach clearance while
on an unpublished route or being radar vectored:
(a) Complies with the minimum altitude for
IFR; and

(b) Maintains the last assigned altitude until
established on a segment of a published route or IAP,
at which time published altitudes apply.

4. When applicable, apply cold temperature
correction to instrument approach segments. Advise
ATC when intending to apply cold temperature
correction and of the amount of correction required
for each affected segment on initial contact (or as
soon as possible). This information is required for
ATC to provide aircraft appropriate vertical separa-
tion between known traffic.

AIM, Paragraph 7-2-3 , Altimeter Errors
AIM, TBL 7-2-3, ICAO Cold Temperature Error

b. Controller.

1. Issues an approach clearance based on known


2. Issues an IFR approach clearance only after

the aircraft is established on a segment of published

route or IAP, or assigns an appropriate altitude for the
aircraft to maintain until so established.

5-5-2 Pilot/Controller Roles and Responsibilities

Page 402 of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM.pdf)
AIM: Official Guide to Basic Flight Information and ATC Procedures

Index   401 -- Page 402 -- 403