DFW area pilots: Practice Area and Common Practice Airports?


Well-Known Member
I have a CFI checkride for March 3rd and am planning to meet the FAA inspector at Love Field. For those of you who have trained out of Love Field, Addison, etc:

Are there common practice areas which are used by most of the local flight schools? If so, what are they called and where are they located?

What airports do you typically practice Pattern Work at? Do you usually go beyond the lateral limits of the Class B before beggining any maneuvers?


New Member
I haven't flown out of the area in a while, it was all 1999 and 2000. However, when I was there, I did most of my flying out of Grand Prairie (GPM) and Arlington (GKY) on the south side of the Bravo. Primarily used Dallas Executive (RBD) for approaches. Pattern work at GPM, GKY, RBD, Midway (Midlothian/Waxahatchie), or Fort Worth Spinks (FWS) ... FWS and Midway were my personal favorites. I would do maneuvers south of Joe Pool Lake down there ... you're not out from under the highest limits of the Bravo, but you're comfortably below the floor with plenty of altitude and well clear of the big antenna farm off I-20.

I flew out of ADS a couple of times ... pattern and approach work at ADS is tough because it's so busy ... we used McKinney (TKI) for both. From Love, RBD is a fairly short flight south and has a good variety of approaches. Lancaster airport is also down south of RBD though I've never been there. You could also depart east and do pattern work at Mesquite ... again, I've not used Mesquite but it's out there off the LBJ.

Take the time to learn a few landmarks (freeways, buildings, rivers) from the TAC to make life talking to ATC easier. For example, if you're doing the 17 approach at RBD, ATC will ask you to "remain south of the Trinity" ... meaning the Trinity River. It runs parallel to I-30 (the road that connects downtown Dallas and downtown Fort Worth) and is pretty easy to spot as there's a greenbelt on both sides.

Hope this helps you out.