Corporate jets & right down wind?

Acadia

Well-Known Member
For unknown reasons some corporate & private jet pilots seem to think that left traffic is optional at uncontrolled fields. What is with these folks screaming in at 249kts and not making a radio call until 3 miles from the field (arriving VFR) and then deciding left traffic (at a left traffic field) is optional? If you mention that is left traffic at the field and you get a snide reply and they proceed on the right side. There must be a secret reference in the FAR's or AIM that allows dinks in jets to make up he rules as they go and cause all kinds of traffic problems (not to mention being dangerous) to keep them entertained or on schedule.

I did have the satisfaction of seeing one Citation pilot get a violation for a right down wind entry last week. By chance a few FAA folks were arriving at the same time and witnessed the act and the problems it created.
 

Kingairer

'Tiger Team' Member
Chances are they are IFR even if its VMC. ATC is tardy sometimes in switching them over to CTAF especially at that speed, and it just isnt practical to enter in on a 45. Also, they could be circling to land on the right pattern side, which would be legal. As for a violation, it seems it would be easy to get away with doing if you could say it was for some safety reason.
 

Acadia

Well-Known Member
Nope they are not IFR. ATC claims that when the weather is good 75% of the aircraft cancel IFR in southern Maine so they can do a scenic up the coast for the passengers. When it is good VFR they have them go to CTAF as close to 20 miles out even if they are still IFR. I also monitor the ATC frequency when doing scenic flights so I know who is inbound IFR. The folks causing the problem here have long since canceled. Either way IFR or VFR does not remove the obligation to make left traffic at an airport unless the airport is listed as right traffic (when the field is VFR). These aircraft are not doing an approach with a circle to land. They are 100% cutting corners to save time.

Most of the jet pilots (the ones who fly here frequently) make a call better than 30 miles out and follow the pattern rules. I even here those guys yell at the nitwits with the lame behavior I mentioned earlier.

I did overhear part of the FAA conversation with the Citation pilot. He tried the safety excuse. The funny thing is that each one of these arrivals is almost identical. They have never been here and the fist call is. "Citation 123 3 west for ah um right down wind for 22" They make right traffic because that’s the side they are on. In this particular case he was really on more of an instant right base heading right at traffic in the pattern. He caused one aircraft to go around and another to abort his base leg. His excuse was that the left side sounded busy. The FAA claimed that unless he had an emergency he should have waited and joined the left side. Joining the right side only complicated the traffic on the left side even further and created a dangerous situation.
 

Skinnah

Well-Known Member
hey Acadia, not that it is on this subject but I'm also from Maine and have been to Acadia many times. I love it there. I'm from Bethel, Sunday River Ski Resort.... a fellow Mainah..
 

Eagle

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
There must be a secret reference in the FAR's or AIM that allows dinks in jets to make up he rules as they go and cause

[/ QUOTE ]

yep that just about sums it up. it is a secret.


keep in mind the *ONLY* requirement is that all turns be to the left.

There is no requirement to actually fly the pattern.

Strait in approaches are quite common and not in general a violation.
 

Acadia

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
keep in mind the *ONLY* requirement is that all turns be to the left.

[/ QUOTE ]

I agree. They are making 1-2 definate right turns. The people coming for a staight in dont usually cause any trouble and they make a million radio calls.

Im really only venting about a small handful of jerks. The majority of corporate pilots we see here do a fantastic job working with us little guys and follow the rules to perfection.
 

Acadia

Well-Known Member
Junior

I worked out of Bethel in the winter from about 1993-1998 +/-. I still have a number of friends over that way, but I dont get there much myself anymore.
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the article about all turns to the left in the AIM? Therefore not regulatory?

The word "uncontrolled" sums it up. Are you sure a Citation pilot was violated? and for what?

Just be aware and use sense at uncontrolled fields. The worst pilots by far are the "weekend warriors," those people who just come out and fly evenings and weekends. There is a great opportunity for radio lessons with this group!
 

Acadia

Well-Known Member
The violation was specifically for making right traffic at a left traffic airport. As Eagle posted FAR 91.126 sums up the regulations.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
The violation was specifically for making right traffic at a left traffic airport. As Eagle posted FAR 91.126 sums up the regulations.


[/ QUOTE ]

The standard rectangle pattern is, at least for the fast jets, not normally a viable pattern. I'll normally come up initial for a break into the VFR pattern, or fly a straight-in if there's no restrictions to it (actually safer than flying a pattern). One of the problems I find if coming up initial at a civil field is 1. disimiliar aircraft speeds and 2. pattern altitude differences. Occasionally, I'll beat up the pattern at a civil field (albeit, controlled) and one of the problems is maintaining sequencing with other traffic. Initial is 300 knots with the speed bled off in the break to downwind; downwind speed being final turn minimum speed (acft weight+ fuel + ord + 1/2 crosswind factor; or around 150+ kts). Additionally the turbojet pattern altitude is normally 1500' AGL versus the more common 1000' AGL that piston aircraft fly (helos normally being at 500' AGL pattern). The problem arises when having disimilar aircraft, both in speed and altitude, on the same pattern-side; making sequencing problematic, though truthfully in my experience if there's a GA aircraft on downwind as I'm coming up initial, I simply break at the departure end or slightly beyond.

Now, I'm not condoning what these few corporate types have been doing; from your description it sounds like laziness. But there are some situations that can arise with disimiliar aircraft. Normally, tower will (at a controlled field obviously) have the aircraft on opposite patterns; but a better solution at uncontrolled fields would likely be the jet making a straight-in, again if not restricted in any way.
 

Acadia

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Now, I'm not condoning what these few corporate types have been doing; from your description it sounds like laziness

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You got it. Keep in mind there are Globals & GV's as well as USair Express in a 1900D that frequent this airport and they don't seem to have any problem making left traffic when they arrive VFR. Most of the time the problem aircraft are smaller jets with a lazy pilot. I have heard both the airline and other jets give these guys hell on the radio as well so it is not just me who is complaining.

I was just venting because I had been dangerously cut off once again due to right traffic and poor communication from a Citation. I went and found the pilot and in a friendly way implied that if he did that again I would drag him from his aircraft and beat him with a tow bar!
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
I was just venting because I had been dangerously cut off once again due to right traffic and poor communication from a Citation. I went and found the pilot and in a friendly way implied that if he did that again I would drag him from his aircraft and beat him with a tow bar!


[/ QUOTE ]

Yes! Yes! GA pilot WARS!!!!
 

seagull

Well-Known Member
It is absolutely a violation to make right traffic if left traffic is what is used at that airport. A straight-in is allowable with the caveats listed in the CFR, but you have to be lined up on final by 4 miles out at the minimum. Jets are required to follow the same rules as everyone else.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
It is absolutely a violation to make right traffic if left traffic is what is used at that airport. A straight-in is allowable with the caveats listed in the CFR, but you have to be lined up on final by 4 miles out at the minimum. Jets are required to follow the same rules as everyone else.

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Unless, as I stated, tower clears this at a controlled field. For uncontrolled, I'd go with the straight-in rather than try to mix it up in a disimiliar pattern, for obvious safety reasons. Yes, jets are required to operate the same as everyone else, but I was simply pointing out some differences, ops-wise, between the two types.
 
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