VFR Pattern

flylownfast

New Member
I'm a student pilot, how come atc always yells and tells me that I'm flying to wide of a pattern. He sometimes says that he's going to kick me out of the pattern, does he have the right to do that?
 

ftyflyboy

Well-Known Member
Make sure you tell them you are a studend pilot when talking with them. This will sometimes give you a little more lee way with them.
 

MarkE

Murrrrrph!
Definitely let them know you're a student pilot. Also maybe you can have your instructor review how your flying your pattern to make sure it's correct.
 

BajtheJino

I'm looking at you.
And don't forget you're not a 747. Keep it within gliding distance-if you don't know how far that is pull the power back one day and run the scenario in you mind. Will you make it? If not it's time to pull it in a little closer. Not to mention you help the flow of traffic by keeping it in closer. One airplane in the pattern can ruin everyone elses day by doing 747 patterns.
 

ATC RET 2003

No More Vectors
Also, if the controller is truly yelling at you, ask your instructor to help you call the facility and have a discussion with a supe about it. Yelling shouldn't happen.
 

youngflyer

Well-Known Member
Is this class C or D? I know at SYR, we always have to fly the patterns really, really tight to keep the arrivals flowing.
 

DPApilot

GUYSH! GUYSH! GUYSH!
I fly at a fairly busy Class D airport, and we tend to keep the patterns tight.

i really keep um tight when i fly to MDW or RFD during the UPS rush, that's interesting!
 

Maurus

The Great Gazoo
And don't forget you're not a 747. Keep it within gliding distance-if you don't know how far that is pull the power back one day and run the scenario in you mind. Will you make it? If not it's time to pull it in a little closer. Not to mention you help the flow of traffic by keeping it in closer. One airplane in the pattern can ruin everyone elses day by doing 747 patterns.
I have had many flights where my student lost a lot of landings because of a C-150 doing 747 patterns. 6 landings in an hour instead of 10 or so when practicing to solo. The climb out to traffic pattern altitude on the upwind before turning x-wind hurts in a C-150, not to mention the aircraft is always drifting away from the runway and they extend their downwind by a mile. The worst part is that our school doesn't allow us to extend our downwinds. We have to turn base and just enter the upwind and try again.
 

Bernoulli Fan

Controller
The worst part is that our school doesn't allow us to extend our downwinds. We have to turn base and just enter the upwind and try again.
Interesting. I'm assuming you're at an uncontrolled field. What happens when your student goes to a towered field and the controller instructs him to extend his downwind?
 

tlewis95

I drive planes
The worst part is that our school doesn't allow us to extend our downwinds. We have to turn base and just enter the upwind and try again.
Why not?

Is it just to keep within gliding distance of the runway?

Does that mean that you get to cut a 152 doing a 747 pattern off?
 

TXaviator

Well-Known Member
tight patterns are good patterns. i HATE following someone who puts themselves on a 5 mile final and 2 miles laterally from the runway... burning up my time and gas!!!

you can keep it PLENTY close using no more than 30 degrees bank and nice coordinated turns.
 

Maurus

The Great Gazoo
Interesting. I'm assuming you're at an uncontrolled field. What happens when your student goes to a towered field and the controller instructs him to extend his downwind?
Why not?

Is it just to keep within gliding distance of the runway?

Does that mean that you get to cut a 152 doing a 747 pattern off?
We are told to just go to the upwind at uncontrolled airports. Yes it is mainly because of staying within gliding distance. We can extend our departure leg to compensate for the 747 C-150, but it then leaves room for others to join the pattern between us. The sad part is that the school has other various aircraft that fly the exact same pattern.

Fly to traffic pattern altitude on the departure leg, turn x-wind leg, turn downwind leg, not correct for the x-wind and drift away from the runway, extend the downwind about 1.5 to 2 miles out.

In the end it is because the Chief said we can't extend the downwind leg.

As far as cutting the c-150 off, we announce our base turn over the numbers and stay at traffic pattern altitude. Not really cutting them off as there is easily over 800 ft of separation at that point.
 

minitour

New Member
I have had many flights where my student lost a lot of landings because of a C-150 doing 747 patterns. 6 landings in an hour instead of 10 or so when practicing to solo. The climb out to traffic pattern altitude on the upwind before turning x-wind hurts in a C-150, not to mention the aircraft is always drifting away from the runway and they extend their downwind by a mile. The worst part is that our school doesn't allow us to extend our downwinds. We have to turn base and just enter the upwind and try again.
Wow. I'm surprised that you have to climb all the way to TPA on upwind and aren't allowed to extend downwind. What about playing with speed?

IOW:
Instead of extending downwind, slow down on the downwind and still be able to fit in the landing instead of doing the upwind shuffle?

-mini
 

///AMG

Well-Known Member
tight patterns are good patterns. i HATE following someone who puts themselves on a 5 mile final and 2 miles laterally from the runway... burning up my time and gas!!!

you can keep it PLENTY close using no more than 30 degrees bank and nice coordinated turns.
Absolutely right. You are only "too tight" IMHO if you are either 1) cutting folks off on base/final, or 2) not having enough lead on base to roll out on final w/o exceeding 30 AOB. For example, our standard pattern is pattern altitude until the 180/abeam position...from there, reduce power and begin a continuous turn all the way onto final not exceeding 30 AOB. We have no "base" leg, and normally have about 10-15 seconds between rollout on final and touchdown. Of course this isn't standard procedure for civilians, but we do it on the road at civilian fields all the time and it has never been a problem for me. I know it is the standard teaching point in civil flight school (having been there too a number of years back) to fly a wide-ass box pattern so that you have plenty of time to get the a/c stabilized, configured and on-speed, but it is un-necissary for a light aircraft. Just from a safety standpoint, if a controller is berating you over the radio about your pattern, you are most likely screwing up his traffic flow and more importantly, too far to glide to the field if you lost your engine. And yes, he is allowed to give you the boot if you are sucking too much.
 

TheresaPilot

Well-Known Member
I'm a student pilot, how come atc always yells and tells me that I'm flying to wide of a pattern. He sometimes says that he's going to kick me out of the pattern, does he have the right to do that?

It sounds to me like your instructor hasn't shown you the proper visual ques/references to know how wide of a pattern to fly. Typically in training aircraft such as 150s or 172s, you use the distance that the runway is down your strut when you look out your window. The runway should be about halfway down the strut in a left-hand pattern for it to be about a 1 mile wide pattern. 1 mile wide patterns are typically the largest you should be flying--especially at a controlled field (they like tight patterns and I have seen/heard them kick people out for too wide of a pattern).

Have your instructor take you to an uncontrolled field to show you the difference in the visual references between the pattern you think you should be flying (ie, the one you're getting yelled at for), versus what you should actually be flying (about 1 mile wide). You should also think about maybe extending your upwind a little more incase your climb performance isn't allowing you to get to pattern altitude prior to exceeding a 1 mile wide downwide leg. Extending your upwind an extra 100' could be a key difference in the width of your downwind leg and shouldn't bother the tower guys too much--everyone's pretty slow on the upwind.
 

Douglas

Old School KSUX
IOW:
Instead of extending downwind, slow down on the downwind and still be able to fit in the landing instead of doing the upwind shuffle?
the old slow flight down wind for sequencing.
Is it just to keep within gliding distance of the runway?
I love a tight pattern for sequencing and glide distance but IMO there is a point where if you can't take your plane on the occasional extended downwind out of glide distance, should you really be taking it x-c.
 
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