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6 Answers

Non Towered Airport Pattern

Asked by: 1829 views Airspace, FAA Regulations

The AOPA diagram figure 9 shows the airplane making a right hand turn once outbound on the 45 degree leg. The diagram illustrates a standard left turn pattern. However, the FAA says to make all turns to the left unless indicated otherwise yet a right hand turn is shown on the 45 outbound. Should the diagram also show a left turn on the 45 degree outbound or in this articular leg of the pattern a right turn is acceptable? AOPA link:   http://www.aopa.org/-/media/Files/AOPA/Home/News/All%20News/1997/AOPA%20Action%20%289%29/sa08.pdf Thank you for the feedback.

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6 Answers

  1. Jim F. on Aug 10, 2013

    Sure, it’s fine. Yeah, left turns are definitely preferred, but in this case, if you make a left turn, you’ll be doing the opposite pattern. How’s that gonna work out?

    And in reality, talk and keep your eyes out, and if there’s really no traffic, you can enter however you want.

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  2. John D. Collins on Aug 11, 2013

    The FAA wrote an opinion that the turn to enter the pattern doesn’t count, just the turns after you are in the pattern.

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  3. Dan Chitty on Aug 11, 2013


    Thank you for the feedback. Much appreciated.
    Can you direct me to the internet link the opinion the FAA wrote?


    Thank you for your feedback as well. Much appreciated.

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  4. Gary Moore on Aug 11, 2013

    I think the AIM is pretty clear on the recommended procedure…


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  5. Mark Kolber on Aug 12, 2013

    Dan, it’s here:


    I had to laugh when I read your question. I’ve always enjoyed pointing out this meaningless anomaly in the rule. Too bad someone had to spoil the fun by actually asking the Chief Counsel’s office.

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  6. Dan Chitty on Aug 12, 2013

    Mark, Thank you for the link.

    Thank you all for the great feedback

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