New AC on Pattern Ops

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  • New AC on Pattern Ops

    The FAA has come out with a new, comprehensive AC on non-towered field airport ops. It looks good, clear and sensible to me, with one error I think (para. 9.9.1, referring to a "45 degree" base turn, which should be 90 degree). Here it is: https://www.nbaa.org/ops/safety/AC_90-66B.pdf

    It covers stuff that I find myself often reminding clients of....e.g. turns to crosswind only at or above 300' below pattern altitude, getting down to pattern altitude well before pattern entry to avoid descending in or near the pattern, etc. I'm still not keen on using full N number callsigns in the self-announcements, FCC be damned. ;-)

  • #2
    "However, there are occasions where a pilot can choose to execute a straight-in approach for landing when not intending to enter the traffic pattern, such as a visual approach executed as part of the termination of an instrument approach. Pilots should clearly communicate on the CTAF and coordinate maneuvering for and execution of the landing with other traffic so as not to disrupt the flow of other aircraft."

    Guess that clarifies that straight in approaches to a runway are OK, but indicates that the traffic in the pattern have priority.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Andy Alson View Post

      but indicates that the traffic in the pattern have priority.
      Unh, well, no, not 'zactly.

      best, randy

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      • #4
        Randy, if the straight in traffic needs to "not disrupt the flow of other aircraft" wouldn't that mean the traffic in the pattern has priority over the straight in traffic?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Andy Alson View Post
          traffic in the pattern has priority over the straight in traffic?
          Nope, not really, needs to be communication (on BOTH their parts) so as to NOT disrupt the flow of traffic.

          best, randy

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          • #6
            I read it as you do, Andy, with a nod of the head to the right of way rules about lower traffic on final.
            Last edited by Scott Dyer HPN/NY; 05-12-2018, 14:35.

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            • #7
              I don't think that a situation where an airplane on downwind delays his base turn to follow an airplane on a straight-in, that he didn't have time to land in front of, necessarily constitutes a disruption.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Larry sreyoB View Post
                I don't think that a situation where an airplane on downwind delays his base turn to follow an airplane on a straight-in, that he didn't have time to land in front of, necessarily constitutes a disruption.
                Concur. This is just gonna take a tremendous expenditure of time/effort to type but surely it's GREAT to see some discussion about it precipitated on here, Made me think back to the 35 years I spent at the airline, a goodly portion of which (head shakin' mode here) I spent in courtrooms and hearing rooms and the like defending line pilots. Hate to tell'ya how much time I and others in management spent endeavoring to make it understood by the FAA/etc. that "straight-ins" ARE both legal AND permitted. If not, then how in the world would one acccomplish an instrument apppoach to a runway? Had around 90+ aiports on our system and this subject was covered /discussed /administrated /argued over /batted back and forth with the feds /written about /became the subject of countless federal-other jurisdictions hearings , etc. In the end analysis, it's back to my old line that one of the Doolitle Raiders (Travis Hoover) pointed at me and said to me in a Flt. Safety meeting - "Lt., pay attention"! In this case, communicate and don't assume that you have priority because you're on the downwind leg of a rectangular pattern.

                best, randy

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Andy Alson View Post
                  "However, there are occasions where a pilot can choose to execute a straight-in approach for landing when not intending to enter the traffic pattern, such as a visual approach executed as part of the termination of an instrument approach. Pilots should clearly communicate on the CTAF and coordinate maneuvering for and execution of the landing with other traffic so as not to disrupt the flow of other aircraft."

                  Guess that clarifies that straight in approaches to a runway are OK, but indicates that the traffic in the pattern have priority.
                  I don't see that as saying they have the right-of-way. It seems more like the straight-in does NOT have the right-of-way and needs to "play nice" with others.

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                  • #10
                    So, are you guys saying that neither the aircraft on final or the aircraft on the downwind has "the right-of-way"? Is the FAA just saying OK the straight in approach is fine, and you guys should work out the priority on your own with no guidance or regulatory hints?

                    That doesn't sound like the FAA that I know.

                    Andy

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Andy Alson View Post
                      So, are you guys saying that neither the aircraft on final or the aircraft on the downwind has "the right-of-way"?
                      That's certainly one interpretation of it. The problem with "right-of-way" is it tends to imply that "I can do what I want and you just have to deal with it". I'd imagine there might be a certain attitude from the "straight in" folks that they have defacto right-of-way due to the limited ability to adjust to others when compared to those in the pattern.
                      (Unless I'm missing something, all they can do is adjust airspeed or break off the approach.)
                      The FAA is saying the straight-in does NOT have right-of-way.

                      "Play nice" does sound odd coming from the FAA, but until there's an authoritative ruling, I'd be cautious about who really has priority.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Russell Holton View Post
                        The FAA is saying the straight-in does NOT have right-of-way.
                        But that also doesn't mean that an airplane on downwind can turn base and cut him off, either.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Larry sreyoB View Post
                          But that also doesn't mean that an airplane on downwind can turn base and cut him off, either.

                          Larry -- Right, hence the earlier reference to 91.113(g) (without using the actual numbers).

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