[jhb_airlines] Re: QFE

  • From: "Bones" <bones@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2004 21:48:36 +0100

QFE is optional these days. For a start it was not universally accepted
around the world - although not uniquely British either. As time has
gone on the swing has been towards staying with QNH for landing - most
UK airlines now stick with this and don't touch QFE at all.

The argument for QNH and QFE remains an interesting one. The British
view was that by setting QFE you always had height reference to each
individual airfield altitude. This is good in that with QFE set you
always know that circuit altitude is 1000ft and you drop to 3000ft for
an ILS approach - wherever you are. Those against QFE said it was
another setting to alter in the cockpit and failure to do so would be
grave. The chance of error was also increased in that another value was
a further chance to dial in an incorrect value.

With QNH set both pilots and controllers know that your reference is
always in terms of height above sea level. This makes it easy to judge
terrain or obstacle clearance as you can read these values right off the
map but it also means some calculations for determining circuit height
and ILS starting altitude. A good example is Nairobi at 5000ft AMSL
where you have to work out your circuit height is 6000ft and the ILS
starts at 8000ft. Even at Manchester you have to keep in mind that
circuit height is 1200ft and the ILS is captured at 3200ft.

For FPI I will provide a runway QFE if anyone wishes to use this. Up to
now I have always stayed with QNH - simply to make life easier for you
all and reduce the knob twiddling during vectors to final. If you tell
me that you "request QFE for landing" I'll make sure you get it.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
> [mailto:jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of 
> Alastair McIntyre
> Sent: 11 August 2004 18:32
> To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [jhb_airlines] QFE
> John,
> Thanks to yourself, and Brian, for hosting last nights session.
> Re minima, etc., when should you use the QFE altimeter setting?
> Many thanks
> Alastair

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