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#141002 - 08/12/13 07:57 AM Pattern Training Etiquette
Venlaren Offline
Safety Pilot

Registered: 05/14/13
Posts: 76
Loc: Alabama
I am getting pretty close to my first solo, and like most student pilots, my landings are not quite where they should be yet. Yesterday I was attempting to get some pattern practice in with my CFI. I am flying out of an uncontrolled airport. I have in the past been in the pattern with other planes doing approach work and I have never had any issues. If we started to get to close in behind the other plane we would extend our downwind or departure leg to let them get farther ahead of us.

Well yesterday after a couple of touch and gos, another plane entered the pattern and began doing missed approaches. Because we were doing touch and gos and this guy was never hitting the ground he kept getting closer and closer to me. I was getting pretty nervous by just how close this guy was getting. On one touch and go, I was not even off of the runway yet and I hear the other plane call that he is going around. After I lift off I turn back and see the guy between the numbers and the 1000 foot mark at about 350 AGL and I still have a good bit of runway underneath me. This runway is only 6604 feet long. I would put him at well under 2,000 feet away from me when we turned down wind.

I asked my instructor if we could exit the pattern and do something else until the runway opened back up. I was terrified that if we did another touch and go and this guy did a missed approach again I would wind up underneath him.

Now my question, was I being overly nervous being a rookie pilot, or was this kind of a dick move on the other pilots part?


Edited by Venlaren (08/12/13 08:00 AM)
Edit Reason: Formatting for readability

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#141014 - 08/12/13 09:43 AM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: Venlaren]
oilwell1415 Online   content
Gold Pilot

Registered: 09/20/12
Posts: 1642
Loc: Tulsa, OK
You both have the same right to be there and use the airport for its intended purpose and it sounds like either of you could have done something to make things better. How is the other pilot suppposed to know that he is making you uncomfortable? I'm also a little curious to know how he is doing missed approaches faster than you are able to go around the pattern. Going missed implies that he was on an approach at some point and it takes several minutes to establish on an approach, fly it to the runway, go missed and start over.

Put yourself in his shoes. If he's taking several minutes to set up an instrument approach so he can fly it to minimums and go around you aren't making his life any easier either. He might have been going missed to make your life easier, although it's at least as likely that he was practicing the missed approach procedures.

If you really want to get down to it, an aircraft established on final has the right of way over another aircraft in the pattern, so once he is established on final, you are supposed to yield. You don't get to use the "I'm lower" reason to cut him off in the pattern, which may be what he thought you were doing.

Both could have handled the situation differently. Flying at uncontrolled fields is both a blessing and a curse. This is just another challenge that you will have to become comfortable dealing with. It will come with time and experience. In this case, your instructor should have taken the lead to fix things once you told him you were uncomfortable.

EDIT: As usual, right after I post I have a revelation. You werenít talking about missed approaches, you were talking about go arounds. Two similar things that really arenít that similar. I think most of the above still holds true. Anyone in either plane could have taken relatively simple action to solve the problem. You could have flown a long upwind to let him play through, he could have flown a long downwind for spacing or a larger pattern in general. The other pilot and your CFI could have both taken steps to change the situation.


Edited by oilwell1415 (08/12/13 10:27 AM)
_________________________
1947 North American Navion N8747H. It isn't the fastest, doesn't have the biggest payload, burns gas almost as fast as I can pour it in the tank and requires lots of TLC, but it's cool as hell and that's why we play the game.

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#141015 - 08/12/13 10:17 AM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: oilwell1415]
Venlaren Offline
Safety Pilot

Registered: 05/14/13
Posts: 76
Loc: Alabama
I don't know that he was flying instrument missed approaches if it takes time to set it up (sorry I know very little about instrument flying yet). I initially thought he was trying to do touch and goes. I have been in the pattern with 2 other planes all doing touch and goes at the same time keeping good spacing. This guy just kept getting closer and closer.

It started out he entered the down wind when I was on final. I did a touch and go he lined up on final and made a call that he was going around when I was turning down wind. This was good spacing no problem. After I did 2 more touch and goes and he went around two more times, this guy turned final long before I ever hit the runway.

I went full power to get off the runway because I knew he was on final approach right behind me. I would not have had enough time to taxi to the turn off if he had really been landing. He called going around again right as I rotated and he was right on my tail when I got back in the air.

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#141016 - 08/12/13 10:18 AM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: oilwell1415]
XP Driver Offline
Club Sponsor
Gold Pilot

Registered: 01/08/11
Posts: 2122
Loc: Fairfax, Virginia
You make some good points Oilwell but I think the guy doing the approaches was not being kind. I always sidestep to the upwind when I am practicing a missed approach or executing a go around just to avoid overflying the runway. It is a small thing and makes life much easier for those in the pattern or on the ground getting ready to take off. In fact at my home airport which has a tower they insist that we do this.

Regardless I think you did the right thing in breaking off for a while Verlaren - I have often left the pattern to do other work when somebody else in the pattern is doing things that make me uncomfortable. That shows good piloting sense in my book, keep it up!
_________________________


Once you go XP you never go back!

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#141021 - 08/12/13 11:00 AM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: XP Driver]
Bigdoggh Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 05/26/11
Posts: 1440
Loc: Georgia
Sounds like you were both doing the appropriate callouts. We have a growing problem at PUJ with folks coming over to train but not using the radio. Happened again yesterday. Sorry...pet peeve of mine.
_________________________
George - 1972 C-172L


FTY ANB CTJ LGC GVL AHN 20GA PUJ ALX ACJ UOS DTS AVL I69 YUP DVK AIK DVT SAF AXX ROA DYL TTN LYH GSP DNN VPC PIM RYY JKA ASD MJD RHP MKL M05 HKA TYS CHA TYQ OSH

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#141098 - 08/12/13 11:20 PM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: Bigdoggh]
elliot172 Offline
Bronze Pilot

Registered: 08/07/11
Posts: 599
Loc: Trinidad,co
With uncontrolled airspace, especially around uncontrolled airports , the odds of another pilot doing something unexpected goes up dramatically. Technically in the US if you fly out of an uncontrolled airport you do not even need to have a radio in your aircraft. Is this safe, I don't think so, but it does happen that an aircraft will enter into the pattern and you will not hear any radio traffic from him.

There are always the possibility of errors. The pilot may be tuned to the wrong frequency, the pilot may be a student and announce he is at one position and be completely opposite. For example I always hear aircraft saying they are 5 miles North of the field and the field is actually 5 miles North of them.

The easiest way to deal with any unusual activities in the pattern are

1- First and foremost fly your aircraft. Don't become so distracted by other aircraft in the pattern that you stop paying attention to what your aircraft is doing. It only takes a quick distraction in the pattern and you will end up in a stall/ spin situation which in a pattern is usually fatal. I have been in pattern around a local 4500 foot runway with 6 other planes doing touch and go's, all were student pilots. We had times where one would be rotating as the other is touching down with another turning final, one turning cross and two on downwind (almost always Air Force trainees.and these guys and gals aren't always the best pilots when they are learning). It is hecktic but as long as everyone is aware of each others position it is not a problem. As a matter of fact I had a flap malfunction on that particular flight and I could not lower or raise my flaps. I completely blew one approach and had to head for Pueblo. The pattern was full, one climbing out, one had touched down in front of me and was powering up for his go around, I had one turning final, one on crosswind and two on downwind. I radioed my intentions, side slipped to the right of the runway climbed to 1500 feet above pattern altitude and departed the pattern to the North once I was past the crosswind leg of the pattern.

2- Keep your head on a swivel. Look for the unexpected aircraft entering the pattern in the wrong direction. The pilot may not be familiar with the airport layout, or there position. I have seen this more times then I can count. Be very aware especially if a flight school is within 200 miles. Keep an eye out for the aircraft that might just pop in without a radio. I like to call these the stealth aviators. They tend to be ultralights, power parachutes and some light sport types. Sometimes they are hard to see and tend to fly very low and slow, sometimes right in your path on approach

3- Be predictable and make your radio calls even if you dont think anyone is around. Fly your pattern in a predictable manner. Both of these help to avoid collisions. It is usually when a pilot does the unexpected that really makes everyone's day more complicated.

4- If you are uncomfortable with the situation, or you don't feel you can fly safely with a lot of extra traffic or someone makes you feel uncomfortable, there is nothing wrong with exiting the pattern.

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#141121 - 08/13/13 07:44 AM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: elliot172]
vettdvr Online   content
Club Sponsor
Diamond Pilot

Registered: 06/24/10
Posts: 5763
Loc: Slidell La
When you feel uncomfortable it is time to do something different. You don't have to leave the pattern totally you can do a break out / re-entry to change your spacing. We frequently have parachute jumping and if I am on down wind with jumpers out I break out and circle watching for jumpers and planes. I WILL NOT fly in the pattern with jumpers in the air. They have been know to miss the LZ by a mile .

For flying instruments it is a lot of work to do the 6/6 and keep proficient, I practice with safety pilot. When flying our minimums are 466' and the FAF is 1600'. What I do is set a new min of 1000' AGL so as to not go below pattern altitude on VFR days. This way I don't get below the pattern while flying the localizer in on the approach. If there is ANY confict I will break out and this will set me back about 20 minutes to climb to altitude/enter holding, then fly the apporach. So it really isn't fun to try to repeat an approach for someone doing touch and go's . But it does happen. Fly safe.
_________________________
Vettdvr

Single/Multi/instrument/type/commercial But then I am still learning.

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#141124 - 08/13/13 08:04 AM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: elliot172]
Venlaren Offline
Safety Pilot

Registered: 05/14/13
Posts: 76
Loc: Alabama
Originally Posted By: elliot172
I have been in pattern around a local 4500 foot runway with 6 other planes doing touch and go's, all were student pilots. We had times where one would be rotating as the other is touching down with another turning final, one turning cross and two on downwind



WOW, I do not think I could handle flying with that many planes in that small of a space. When I had 2 other planes in the pattern with me, we all kept pretty good spacing and I did not feel afraid at all, but I was hyper alert to their position the entire time. I guess once I get decent doing landings I will need to spend some time in a crowded pattern to get more comfortable with it.

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#141128 - 08/13/13 08:25 AM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: Venlaren]
Don Tedrow Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 2036
Loc: Bastrop, TX
Yeah, I'd say he was close, but not dangerously close. When I instructed at the college, we'd sometimes have 6 in the pattern, with airplanes over the numbers approaching flare, another midfield departing, and another at departure end of a 5000' runway. If they are similar speeds, not a big deal, but I would be nervous if the following aircraft was much faster. We mixed in Twin Otters and BE-99s with our patterns.

Understand that even at a Towered field, it's perfectly legal for an SE piston aircraft to land 3000' behind another SE piston rolling out. A piston twin would need to be at least 4500' behind the single.

(and at some big fly-ins, I've seen lots less than 3000' between arrivals)
_________________________
1972 C172L



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#141129 - 08/13/13 08:30 AM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: Venlaren]
oilwell1415 Online   content
Gold Pilot

Registered: 09/20/12
Posts: 1642
Loc: Tulsa, OK
A crowded pattern typically isn't too bad to deal with as long as everyone does it right. That problem is there aren't too many situations that everyone will do it right. I flew to a local airport a few years ago to do some pattern work and started making radio calls about 10 miles out. When I announced 3 miles out a lady on the ground with a handheld advised me that there were 8 Kitfoxes in the pattern without radios. No thanks, I'll go elsewhere. Too much performance difference between them and me to do that with no radios. In Elliot's case above, he's got a pattern full of DA-20s with Air Force instructors in them. Those planes are comparable in speed to his in the pattern and should have at least one brain on board, so not a big deal. Last year about this time I went to a fly in at a little grass strip near here and there must have been 20 planes coming in to land at one time and nobody was doing anything remotely standard. The 1800x25 strip didn't bother me at all, but the random traffic coming in that ranged from ultralights with no radios to Bonanzas did.

It just takes time to get used to it.
_________________________
1947 North American Navion N8747H. It isn't the fastest, doesn't have the biggest payload, burns gas almost as fast as I can pour it in the tank and requires lots of TLC, but it's cool as hell and that's why we play the game.

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#141135 - 08/13/13 09:47 AM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: elliot172]
Ward Holbrook Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 2195
Loc: Carpinteria CA
Originally Posted By: elliot172
With uncontrolled airspace, especially around uncontrolled airports , the odds of another pilot doing something unexpected goes up dramatically. Technically in the US if you fly out of an uncontrolled airport you do not even need to have a radio in your aircraft. Is this safe, I don't think so, but it does happen that an aircraft will enter into the pattern and you will not hear any radio traffic from him.

There are always the possibility of errors. The pilot may be tuned to the wrong frequency, the pilot may be a student and announce he is at one position and be completely opposite. For example I always hear aircraft saying they are 5 miles North of the field and the field is actually 5 miles North of them.

The easiest way to deal with any unusual activities in the pattern are

1- First and foremost fly your aircraft. Don't become so distracted by other aircraft in the pattern that you stop paying attention to what your aircraft is doing. It only takes a quick distraction in the pattern and you will end up in a stall/ spin situation which in a pattern is usually fatal. I have been in pattern around a local 4500 foot runway with 6 other planes doing touch and go's, all were student pilots. We had times where one would be rotating as the other is touching down with another turning final, one turning cross and two on downwind (almost always Air Force trainees.and these guys and gals aren't always the best pilots when they are learning). It is hectic but as long as everyone is aware of each others position it is not a problem. As a matter of fact I had a flap malfunction on that particular flight and I could not lower or raise my flaps. I completely blew one approach and had to head for Pueblo. The pattern was full, one climbing out, one had touched down in front of me and was powering up for his go around, I had one turning final, one on crosswind and two on downwind. I radioed my intentions, side slipped to the right of the runway climbed to 1500 feet above pattern altitude and departed the pattern to the North once I was past the crosswind leg of the pattern.

2- Keep your head on a swivel. Look for the unexpected aircraft entering the pattern in the wrong direction. The pilot may not be familiar with the airport layout, or there position. I have seen this more times then I can count. Be very aware especially if a flight school is within 200 miles. Keep an eye out for the aircraft that might just pop in without a radio. I like to call these the stealth aviators. They tend to be ultralights, power parachutes and some light sport types. Sometimes they are hard to see and tend to fly very low and slow, sometimes right in your path on approach

3- Be predictable and make your radio calls even if you dont think anyone is around. Fly your pattern in a predictable manner. Both of these help to avoid collisions. It is usually when a pilot does the unexpected that really makes everyone's day more complicated.

4- If you are uncomfortable with the situation, or you don't feel you can fly safely with a lot of extra traffic or someone makes you feel uncomfortable, there is nothing wrong with exiting the pattern.

Good stuff! Actually everyone has given excellent advice. Let me throw out a few other things to consider...

If your uncontrolled airport is frequented by business jets be aware that they typically fly a 1500' AGL pattern, so look up as well as around. Also consider that the bizjets aren't going to be flying close in patterns and frequently will be arriving on one of the published instrument approach procedures - especially if there are ceiling or visibility concerns.

If you've got radios and a transponder please use them. The "Prime Directive" when it comes to collision avoidance always has been and always will be "See and Avoid". This implies that you must not only see, but you must be seen as well. Make yourself known in the pattern using every tool that you have - your radio, your transponder (for the TCAS equipment in the jets), and your landing lights. Yes, run your landing lights in the pattern even during the day it makes a huge difference. You'll notice that turbine aircraft have their lights on anytime they're below 18,000' day or night. It's not because we like to have our lights on, it's because we are easier to pick out. If you've got the capability to pulsate your lights you want to do that as well.

Finally, be situationally aware. Know what's going on around you. If everyone is making the proper calls in the pattern you should know instinctively where they are at any given point in time. If someone is trying to get in and land or takeoff be courteous and give them room.

Be aware of the requirements of the other aircraft in the pattern with you - that jet entering the pattern is likely going about 200 knots and can only slow down incrementally as they reconfigure. Even then, they're not going to be doing much less than 140 knots on final and 120 over the fence.

It's all about being predictable, common courtesy and situational awareness.

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#141162 - 08/13/13 04:06 PM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: Venlaren]
Wayne R Offline
Bronze Pilot

Registered: 07/17/12
Posts: 560
Loc: Central Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Venlaren
I am getting pretty close to my first solo, and like most student pilots, my landings are not quite where they should be yet. Yesterday I was attempting to get some pattern practice in with my CFI. I am flying out of an uncontrolled airport. I have in the past been in the pattern with other planes doing approach work and I have never had any issues. If we started to get to close in behind the other plane we would extend our downwind or departure leg to let them get farther ahead of us.

Well yesterday after a couple of touch and gos, another plane entered the pattern and began doing missed approaches. Because we were doing touch and gos and this guy was never hitting the ground he kept getting closer and closer to me. I was getting pretty nervous by just how close this guy was getting. On one touch and go, I was not even off of the runway yet and I hear the other plane call that he is going around. After I lift off I turn back and see the guy between the numbers and the 1000 foot mark at about 350 AGL and I still have a good bit of runway underneath me. This runway is only 6604 feet long. I would put him at well under 2,000 feet away from me when we turned down wind.

I asked my instructor if we could exit the pattern and do something else until the runway opened back up. I was terrified that if we did another touch and go and this guy did a missed approach again I would wind up underneath him.

Now my question, was I being overly nervous being a rookie pilot, or was this kind of a dick move on the other pilots part?


It sounds, to me, that you were doing everything correctly. There are some rude and dangerous pilots out there. The best thing to do in that situation is exactly what you did... leave and come back. Your plane is the only one that you have any control over. Keep it safe.
_________________________
Wayne




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#141254 - 08/14/13 10:38 AM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: Wayne R]
Willie Online   content
Platinum Pilot

Registered: 12/28/10
Posts: 2718
Loc: Ft McMurray Alberta Canada
This summer had a plane cut in and land in front of me. Turned out ok but I had to pull up and go around . The pilot was on the wrong frequency and heard no one so went straight in. Did not join down wind
Make sure you are on the right frequency
_________________________
Flying is the 2nd greatest thrill known to man
Landing is 1st

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#141345 - 08/15/13 10:10 AM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: XP Driver]
signu127 Offline
New Member

Registered: 08/13/13
Posts: 13
Loc: LA
Originally Posted By: XP Driver
I always sidestep to the upwind when I am practicing a missed approach or executing a go around just to avoid overflying the runway.


could you explain what you mean by this?

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#141346 - 08/15/13 10:19 AM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: signu127]
elliot172 Offline
Bronze Pilot

Registered: 08/07/11
Posts: 599
Loc: Trinidad,co
Sidestepping to up wind is basically flying to the side of the runway so that you don't overfly another aircraft on the runway. It is just another way to add safety on a go around.

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#141349 - 08/15/13 10:43 AM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: elliot172]
Teg916 Online   content
Pilot in Command

Registered: 04/29/13
Posts: 450
Loc: Sacramento, ca
Since you were in front, it is the other aircraft's responsibility to leave adequate spacing between you two. If an aircraft is getting too close for comfort, you could find a way to politely ask him for more spacing over the radio. Sometimes you can convey this just with your tone of voice during your radio call to let him know you are getting uncomfortable.

As others have said, you always have the option to exit the pattern, which might not be a bad idea if somebody is being unsafe.

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#141356 - 08/15/13 11:12 AM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: elliot172]
signu127 Offline
New Member

Registered: 08/13/13
Posts: 13
Loc: LA
oh okay, simple enough...thank you!

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#141682 - 08/18/13 08:29 AM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: signu127]
3hawks Offline
Pilot in Command

Registered: 12/16/12
Posts: 285
Loc: Minnesota
I have a question about which runway to use. Yesterday I flew out to a small airport in a rural farming community. The winds were 200 degrees at 12 knots gusting even higher, the sock would be straight out.

There are no taxiways so you would have to back taxi, on the runway, in order to takeoff on 1-1. There were 8 airplanes that used the airport in the 1.5 hours I was out there giving airplane rides.

Every one of them but me landed on 1-1 and took off on 2-9. At one time I was on downwind for 1-1 and a Mooney was 3 miles to the East with an Air Tractor taking off on 2-9. When I questioned what was happening, on Unicom, the Air Tractor pilot told me to just extend my downwind and he would avoid me.

When I talked to the Mooney pilot he explained that with a direct crosswind it was easier and faster, especially for the crop duster to use this method. He said it was done all the time at small airports like this.

Is this safe and acceptable? Everyone was always communicating over the radio but it still seemed unsafe. How much wind is to much to crop dust? How do you read the windsock for gusts?

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#141694 - 08/18/13 11:56 AM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: 3hawks]
elliot172 Offline
Bronze Pilot

Registered: 08/07/11
Posts: 599
Loc: Trinidad,co
I always prefer to land or takeoff into the wind. With the wind at 200 I would have chosen runway 29 because my crosswind component would be much more acceptable for me, giving me a factor of around 6 knots at 10 degrees. Though i dont have my crosswind component chart handy at the moment so i can be wrong. The gust factor is usually in the direction of the prevailing wind. I have landed a Cessna several times when einds were 30 plus knots gusting to the 40's with the wind within 5 to 10 degrees of the runway. A little concerning at first, but doable. Landing on 11 would have given about a 6 knot quartering tail wind, still possible but not much room for error if you need to go around. I try to avoid tailwinds while landing or taking off. Unless I have a very long runway.

The rule of thumb at an uncontrolled airport is supposed to be to land or takeoff on the runway that the wind is predominantly favoring or that traffic is using.

A crop duster being a low wing, heavier airplane can handle much more crosswind then a high wing Cessna. Most tend.to stop operations when winds exceed 30 knots. Don't forget they fly super low when spraying so the wind is not much of a factor most of the time when it comes to them. They can also usually fly into the wind while dropping.

Small airports are often pilot discretion when it comes to runway selection. It is always up to each pilot to make that determination and to see and avoid other aircraft. So in actuality it is permitted and most of the time safe as long as everyone is aware of each other.

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#141733 - 08/18/13 06:09 PM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: 3hawks]
Don Tedrow Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 2036
Loc: Bastrop, TX
Sounds like pretty much a direct Xwind, so really no difference either way. So long as everyone is talking and playing nice, not too busy, no big deal. When you head out west, a lot of mountain airports are one way in, and the exact opposite way out. Land uphill, TO downhill, unless winds are above a number approaching 15-20 kts favoring an uphill TO. The old Ruidoso airport was that way, you'd need a light, turbocharged, high-power aircraft to depart uphill. The canyon rose more rapidly than the runway. Salida Colorado normally departs east and lands west. The airport remarks say:

Quote:
RY 24 RECOMMENDED FOR LANDING; RY 06 FOR DEPARTURE WEATHER & TRAFFIC PERMITTING.


That's with only a 1.9% gradient, but a high elevation airport.

You were blessed in that the cropduster was actually talking and cooperating on the CTAF. Most I've run into wouldn't even bother with using a radio. I still get along with them, most of the time.
_________________________
1972 C172L



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#141742 - 08/18/13 06:21 PM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: Don Tedrow]
elliot172 Offline
Bronze Pilot

Registered: 08/07/11
Posts: 599
Loc: Trinidad,co
Sorry wasn't quite thinking when I read your post. Did not realize either runway was a direct 90 degree crosswind either way. Still pilots preference at an uncontrolled field unless posted .

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#141749 - 08/18/13 06:53 PM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: elliot172]
3hawks Offline
Pilot in Command

Registered: 12/16/12
Posts: 285
Loc: Minnesota
The wind was varying and we had no weather, but it was a 90 degree crosswind. The pilot I talked with said the windsock was reading 12 knots and gusting to 20.

The reasoning for using the different runways was because there was no taxi way to the far end of the field.

Can you really read the wind velocity accurately by how far the windsock is sticking out?

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#141754 - 08/18/13 07:28 PM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: 3hawks]
Wayne R Offline
Bronze Pilot

Registered: 07/17/12
Posts: 560
Loc: Central Pennsylvania
Most windsocks are 15 kt socks. That is straight out at 15 kts.

If I have a choice of runway with a direct crosswind, I will fly into the wind on base. Otherwise I conform to the traffic.
_________________________
Wayne




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#141840 - 08/19/13 06:48 AM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: Wayne R]
RodneyHooverCFI Offline
The Cessna Sensei
Gold Pilot

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 1645
Loc: Pasadena, MD
Originally Posted By: 3hawks
The wind was varying and we had no weather, but it was a 90 degree crosswind. The pilot I talked with said the windsock was reading 12 knots and gusting to 20.

There are no taxiways so you would have to back taxi, on the runway, in order to takeoff on 1-1. There were 8 airplanes that used the airport in the 1.5 hours I was out there giving airplane rides.

The reasoning for using the different runways was because there was no taxi way to the far end of the field.


Sharing the airport name or identifier would take care of some guessing. From what I gather, the parking area is closer to the west end of the runway, not at midfield.


Originally Posted By: 3hawks
Every one of them but me landed on 1-1 and took off on 2-9. At one time I was on downwind for 1-1 and a Mooney was 3 miles to the East with an Air Tractor taking off on 2-9. When I questioned what was happening, on Unicom, the Air Tractor pilot told me to just extend my downwind and he would avoid me.

When I talked to the Mooney pilot he explained that with a direct crosswind it was easier and faster, especially for the crop duster to use this method. He said it was done all the time at small airports like this.

Sounds straightforward to me: it's easier and faster for everyone to takeoff and land in a direction that provides the shortest taxi time, which in the case of an airport without a parallel taxiway, means less time taxiing on the runway. You have a lot more room to play with in the air than you have on a runway, so it makes sense to me to tweak your pattern so that everyone's time on the runway is minimized.


Originally Posted By: 3hawks
Is this safe and acceptable? Everyone was always communicating over the radio but it still seemed unsafe.

What's unsafe when everyone is announcing what they are doing? Heck, you even had an ag pilot using his radio. I've been flying for nearly 12 years, been near them many times and not once have I ever heard them use a radio...


Originally Posted By: 3hawks

Can you really read the wind velocity accurately by how far the windsock is sticking out? How do you read the windsock for gusts?

Yeah, you can get pretty close if you learn to read them. It is important to know that sock angle vs. speed is more of an exponential curve, not straight-line variation. It's helpful is you can go to an airport that has ASOS or AWOS close to the windsock. Spend some time listening to the reported wind and take note of the windsock deflection. Do that a few times, you'll get a feel for it. When a gust hits, the sock with stand out straighter than where it spends most of the time, so reading a gust is the same as reading base wind speed.
Probably a regional thing, but all windsocks are not set for 15kts when straight out. Here in the windy part of the country, they are straight out at 25kts.
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#141934 - 08/19/13 02:13 PM Re: Pattern Training Etiquette [Re: RodneyHooverCFI]
Don Tedrow Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 2036
Loc: Bastrop, TX
Quote:
Probably a regional thing, but all windsocks are not set for 15kts when straight out. Here in the windy part of the country, they are straight out at 25kts.


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