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Initial and Pitch Arrivals

In good weather, military fast jets, such as F/A-18 A/B Hornet and Hawk 127, normally perform an arrival procedure at airfields know as an initial and pitch.

The initial and pitch procedure is the quickest and most efficient way for aircraft in formation to join the circuit pattern for landing.

The initial approach starts about nine kilometres from the airfield aligned with the operating runway. As the aircraft flies over the base it pitches into the circuit by executing a tight 180 degree turn to wash off (reduce) speed and prepare for landing.

Click here to watch a video of initial and pitch arrivals.
initial and pitch image Download the image in JPG or PDF

The aircraft may also approach the base using navigation aids such as Instrument Landing System (ILS) and Tactical Air Navigation System (TACAN).

These approaches are required in poor visibility conditions but may be flown during good visibility for training purposes.