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Left/Right Hand Circuits

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Guest franksalot

When flying LH/RH Circuits at an airport; long are the circuit legs normaly? Or can they be, as they, as long as a piece of string :)KenSomerset, England

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Guest franksalot

Hello Tord,Thank you for your reply, it is most helpful. I would guess that it is down to your Flight Instructor or airfield regulations.Ken

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Generally, circuits should be flown as tight as is reasonably practical, and within whatever constraints are dictated by the airfield (e.g. stay outside this village, don't overfly that house, dont stray South of the railway line etc.) The constraints are normally imposed for noise abatement, terrain clearance, or sometimes airspace reasons. These are normally published in the AIP, or in the commercial VFR flight guides (Pooleys or AFE in the UK)Big wide circuits are usually a sign of a student pilot.For a typical circuit in a low wing "spam can" (e.g. Piper Warrior et. al.), climb on the runway heading. At 300ft, raise the flaps and trim for the climb. If you've passed the end of the runway by 700ft, turn crosswind, if not, maintain heading until you're beyond the end of the runway. Level off at 10000 ft and trim for about 100kts. With the runway threshold about 45 degrees behind you, turn downwind. this should put the runway right on your wing tip as you fly parallel to it. Again, when the runway threshold is 45 degrees behind you, turn base, reduce power, add one stage of flaps and trim for 75kts. Judging the turn onto final just takes lots of practice, but once established set landing flaps and retrim for 70 kts. As you cross the threshold, reduce you speed, then flare, hold off and land. (so much grief in so few words!)

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FWIW, generally at high altitude airports, such as those getting up past 6000' msl, the pattern is going to end up wider, because your groundspeed is actually higher. It's also the reason that most high altitude airports catering to GA have longer runways if possible.L.Adamson

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>When flying LH/RH Circuits at an airport; long are the>circuit legs normaly? Or can they be, as they, as long as a>piece of string :)>>Ken>>Somerset, EnglandNormally Its flown at 1000 feet AGL. If you are flying a Cessna172 at downwind...you would see the runway at half the length of the wing strut. Thats how far away you should be when parallel to the runwayAt the runway numbers...how far would you have to go downwind before turning base? Imagine your engine quits at the point you are parallel to the numbers, you should be in a position to glide in and land safely taking into account the wind.So, if its highly windy..you would turn into base quick.. if its a no wind you will go a little further out.Basically, once you are on the circuit/pattern..you should be in a position to land on the runway..with or without the engine. If you are in a sim. Cut the throttle completely...and can you now land? if you can ..then you are doing good.. if not.. you are outside the pattern.OFcourse, you would change a little to accomodate regulation for that specific airport like nose abatement procedures and to manage with other traffic in the circuit.Does that make sense?Manny

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To answer the original posters question, for small aircraft I was taught to keep the airport just off the wing on all legs, that way you are almost 100% assured that if you loose an engine you can still make the field. In other words; where you see the wing stop the airport should be. This means you have to fly the winds also.Left hand traffic is the standard in the US unless published and 1000' AGL/1500' turbo prop/jet. Be sure and check your charts.

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Guest franksalot

Hi Tim, put me in the "big wide circuits" slot :) - although I've been FS'ing since FS95, I missed out on the basic training and went straight for the 'heavy iron'. Now, I'm going to try Online flying, the route I'm following requires me to go basic. Many thanks for your comprehensive reply; I going to print it out for reference.L.Adamson, thank you also; we don't have many airfields with altitudes 6000' + in the UK :) - if I do come across one elsewhere, your info will be helpful. No doubt others reading this thread will find it helpful as well. From your many other posts I know you fly in pretty rugged terrain, in the RW.KenSomerset, England

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Ken, if you're looking at online flying in light aircraft, take a look here: http://www.cixvfrclub.org.uk There's lots of good training material both for flying and also for getting online. We "meet" twice a week via VATSIM -- at Gloucester (EGBJ) on Tuesdays and Biggin Hill (EGKB) on Thursdays. A few of us are RW pilots, but there's a wide range of experience and ability. There's normally a mix of circuit bashing, x-country nav, even instrument training going on.

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Guest franksalot

Thank you gentlemen for your helpful and constructive replies; I have printed all of them so I can 'digest' all the information later.It never ceases to amaze me that how much information there is on, what appears to me at first, a 'simple' manoeuvre. At the time I was not at all sure I was doing the right thing in going back to learn the basics, but I know now it is the right thing to do.Tim, many thanks for pointing me at the CIX Website, I found it very helpful. I have in fact recently joined VBFC, next door to CIX :) - I 'met' Dan Adams one afternoon when 'flying' down from Blackpool to Bristol one afternoon when using SB3/Unicom, thinking I was alone....but up popped APP_EGGD; that is how I moved 'up' - from the PMDG B737NG-800 to my Cessna 182 RG; initially to learn RT Procedure, things just snowballed from there.KenSomerset, England

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