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Mickel

Pattern (or circuit) and other queries

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Folks

 

Since we're all flying in US airspace in Flight, could some who has time in it confirm or correct some assumptions I have:

It's not polite to blast into and around a pattern in a high performance a/c at cruise speed - that you should slow to something like 120kts to allow for the fact that there might be a C152 (Icon, Stearman etc) stooging around the pattern at 95kts (or less). (obviously this doesn't apply to the commuter airliners, and in my experience people give way to them anyway) Probably less of an issue at a controlled airport as the guy or girl in the tower can arrange separation - but we don't have any of those yet.

 

Radio calls are made at 10 miles, downwind and final (and at any time required to help traffic flow). Is there another to say where you're joining the pattern? When should that take place? Those countries that have overhead joining would also call overhead (assuming Flight expands beyond the US).

 

How do you establish the runway in use if there is no other traffic on the radio? This is why I assumed the rest of the world arrived overhead (1,500' AGL, or 2,000' if turbine traffic uses the airport), established runway in use from the windsock, descended on the non-traffic side of the runway to circuit height and joined mid-downwind across the runway. Seems brave to just fly in and assume the wind is as forecast (which we can do in Flight because it is - at least for now).

 

Cruising levels:

VFR anything between 500' & 2,000' AGL

East IFR tracks, even thousands

East VFR tracks, even thousands + 500'

West IFR tracks, odd thousands

West VFR tracks, odd thousands + 500'

Are these right?

 

There are bound to be more that come up, especially as the sim advances.

 

Cheers

 

 

Mike

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Folks

 

Since we're all flying in US airspace in Flight, could some who has time in it confirm or correct some assumptions I have:

It's not polite to blast into and around a pattern in a high performance a/c at cruise speed - that you should slow to something like 120kts to allow for the fact that there might be a C152 (Icon, Stearman etc) stooging around the pattern at 95kts (or less).

 

The only explicit speed limit I'm aware of is that you must slow to below 200kts in the pattern (not really a problem with Flight's current aircraft). Beyond that, you are also required to operate at a speed "compatible with other aircraft in the pattern." So yeah, if there's a biplane out there, expect to have to slow down more than your ordinarily would. I normally enter the pattern a little higher than my flap-operating range (the white arc on the airspeed indicator).

 

For anyone not following the "Landing the Maule" thread, I just posted a guide in the Tutorial section yesterday of a typical "how to enter the pattern and land" scenario: http://forum.avsim.n...raffic-pattern/

 

Radio calls are made at 10 miles, downwind and final (and at any time required to help traffic flow). Is there another to say where you're joining the pattern? When should that take place? Those countries that have overhead joining would also call overhead (assuming Flight expands beyond the US).

 

You just made me realize I neglected to include radio calls in that guide. I'll have to add them, but it may be a while. I'm about to head out of town for a few days.

 

How do you establish the runway in use if there is no other traffic on the radio? This is why I assumed the rest of the world arrived overhead (1,500' AGL, or 2,000' if turbine traffic uses the airport), established runway in use from the windsock, descended on the non-traffic side of the runway to circuit height and joined mid-downwind across the runway. Seems brave to just fly in and assume the wind is as forecast (which we can do in Flight because it is - at least for now).

 

Lack of any good way to determine the wind speed and direction in Flight is one of the reasons I tend to stick to the Low & Threatening scenario. The winds in it are fairly consistent with the tropical trade-winds normally felt in Hawaii, so I know about what to expect. Not to mention, the runways in Hawaii are normally aimed north-east, straight into the prevailing trades.

 

Cruising levels:

VFR anything between 500' & 2,000' AGL

East IFR tracks, even thousands

East VFR tracks, even thousands + 500'

West IFR tracks, odd thousands

West VFR tracks, odd thousands + 500'

Are these right?

 

It's the other way around, actually...

 

East-bound traffic at odd thousands, west-bound traffic at evens. This only applies at or above 3000', though. It's a free-for-all below 3000'.

 

I'd fly higher than 3000' unless sight-seeing. Short trip, I'm usually 3500' or 4500'. Longer ones, I'll climb higher.

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Announce position at each leg, as well as if you'll be departing downwind or straight out if departing.

 

When arriving I have found that most airports in my area have automated weather. I also listen to see what runway is in use. In the absence of either of those, I will overfly to check the sock. None seem to bother setting the tee anymore so I don't rely on it.

 

it gets tricky when there is a direct crosswind and pilots aren't listening or looking and line up to use the same runway in opposite directions. Some airports, like mine, tend to favor operations in one direction due to obstructions.

 

I haven't come across anyone doing all the calls like this in Flight, but there are users that are announcing around the airport, asking for favored runway, etc. It does increase the fun factor.

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It's the other way around, actually...

 

grrr... you're right. You'd think I'd have checked that I didn't make that mistake BEFORE I posted. :Doh:

 

It's a free-for-all below 3000'.

 

Thanks for that.

 

I'll keep an eye on the tutorial with the radio calls. For now I'll just carry on as I do. :-)

 

Mike

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grrr... you're right. You'd think I'd have checked that I didn't make that mistake BEFORE I posted. :Doh:

 

A good mnemonic for remembering:

 

NEODD-SWEVEN (pronounced "anyodd, sweeven")

 

where NE as being 360 to 179 and SW as 180 to 359

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I just went with "It's Odd that East isn't Evens."

 

If the two "E"s were together, it would have been easier to remember.

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