Welcome Guest. Sign in or Signup

3 Answers

Entering Traffic Pattern

Asked by: 3942 views , ,
General Aviation

It's been 44 years since I obtain my private pilot cert and flow my last flight. Now retired, I want to fly again and working on becoming current..

Here's the question:

Say I am 15 miles due west of an airport who's active runway is 13 and I am told to "enter left downwind".

That would be on the opposite side of the airport.  Do I fly directly over the airport to enter the pattern?

What is the proper way to enter this pattern?

 

3 Answers



  1. Brent on Jun 30, 2012

    Since you mentioned being told to enter the left downwind, I assume your scenario involves a towered airport? If so, you’re unlikely to get such a clearence. The controller would probably give instructions similar to “continue in for right based to 13” or some such. If I got the confusing clearence you described from ATC, I would ask for clarification.
     
    At a non-towered airport, with a left pattern for 13, you have to get to the other side of the airport somehow. If you’re already at TPA, you’ll probably have to do a crosswind leg at the departure end of the airport, being mindful of any landing or departing traffic. Otherwise, I would cross above the airport at midfield at least 1000 feet above the pattern and use a descending right turn to enter the downwind at a 45 degree angle.

    +5 Votes Thumb up 5 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes



  2. Tim on Jun 30, 2012

    Yes – it was a towered airport.
    Actually, I encountered the situation in MS FlightSimulator and did not know how to proceed.
    Your answer has cleared things up – Thank you.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes



  3. Wes Beard on Jul 01, 2012

    Here is a reference for you to use: AIM 4-3-3.
     
    http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/ATpubs/AIM/aim0403.html#aim0403.html.2
     
    After such a long time not flying you will find many things different than in 1968.  My suggestion would be to read the Pilots Handbook of Knowledge and the AIM except for the parts dealing with IFR procedures.
     
    http://www.faa.gov/library/manuals/aviation/pilot_handbook/ 

    +1 Votes Thumb up 1 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes


Answer Question

Our sincere thanks to all who contribute constructively to this forum in answering flight training questions. If you are a flight instructor or represent a flight school / FBO offering flight instruction, you are welcome to include links to your site and related contact information as it pertains to offering local flight instruction in a specific geographic area. Additionally, direct links to FAA and related official government sources of information are welcome. However we thank you for your understanding that links to other sites or text that may be construed as explicit or implicit advertising of other business, sites, or goods/services are not permitted even if such links nominally are relevant to the question asked.