Flying the pattern...

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Flying the pattern...

Postby Fozzer » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:44 am

A manoeuvre which I find one of the most difficult, in my years of Sim flying experience...

Flying the VFR pattern, in preparation to landing.

Trying to spot the direction and position of the threshold of the runway when banked over, and transitioning from "downwind" to "base" to "final"; in 90 degree turns...
...especially in a high-wing aeroplane, when visibility of the runway is blanked off by the lowered wing!
Position, airspeed, altitude and timing is critical at those points if one is not to overshoot the turning points and fail to make the landing, (go around).
This difficulty often encourages me to by-pass the safety rules of flying the pattern, eg; observing traffic, both in the air and on the ground, noting wind direction if possible, etc, etc...resulting in me preferring to fly in a straight line towards the threshold of the active runway instead, which for various reasons, may not be a good idea!

Pattern Perfection!...>>> http://www.flyingmag.com/technique/tip- ... ct-pattern

What are your pattern experiences in the Flight Sim?... ;) ..!

Paul....Pattern: Knit one, purl one, knit two together, pass slipped stitch over..... :mrgreen: ...!
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Re: Flying the pattern...

Postby Brett_Henderson » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:49 am

A little trick I use (real and simming).. while on downwind; locate "scenery" references to mark your: downwind-to-base, and base-to-final, apexes, as secondary references.

As for pattern entry in general... my rule, traffic density allowing, is to enter on the leg aligned nearest your current position/course.. even if that's straight-in. I've always felt better judging an "opening" while the whole pattern is in view, than trying to to hover-n-circle about the airport, waiting to funnel down and into a 45-degree downind entry with every other pilot. IOW, if I'm landing on runway 27, approaching from the south; I'll try to enter on the base-leg (assuming left-hand pattern). I'd rather have to wait (hold) out there, than jockey for position (and altitude) about the 45-downwind "funnel"..
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Re: Flying the pattern...

Postby ViperPilot » Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:30 am

If you listen to LiveATC.net, especially for a smaller airport, you can hear ATC use visual references for pilots flying, entering and exiting the VFR pattern. When I listen to Centennial ATC (KAPA) they regularly make references like, "Call your turn to final over Lincoln Ave.", or "Report over the North shore of Cherry Creek Reservoir".
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Re: Flying the pattern...

Postby Fozzer » Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:19 am

ViperPilot wrote:If you listen to LiveATC.net, especially for a smaller airport, you can hear ATC use visual references for pilots flying, entering and exiting the VFR pattern. When I listen to Centennial ATC (KAPA) they regularly make references like, "Call your turn to final over Lincoln Ave.", or "Report over the North shore of Cherry Creek Reservoir".


I've started to get use to that technique by picking a reference point in the far distance, whilst flying downwind to make the turn to base...

The trouble is..... whilst making the 90 degree turns for base, and final, the dipped left wing on my high-wing Cessnas completely obscures my view of the airfield and the runway, resulting in over-shooting the turns, and often losing the correct path altogether!

A 45 degree bank to the left in a Cessna 150 only offers a view of the underside of the wing, Pitot tube and wing strut, out of the left window, and a wondrous clear view of Heaven out of the right window, whilst out of the front window is the journey to; "somewhere else"... ;) ...!!

...but it doesn't deter me from flying high-wing Cessnas... :D ...!

Paul...On a Cessna wing and a prayer... :mrgreen: ..!
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Re: Flying the pattern...

Postby Brett_Henderson » Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:10 am

A 45 degree bank to the left in a Cessna 150 only offers a view of the underside of the wing


A 45-degree bank in a C152 @ pattern altitude = "death by accelerated stall" :shock:

Even at 5,000agl.. steep turn with flaps deployed is dangerous... let alone at 1,000agl near approach speed.

Try cutting that bank-angle in half.. 20-25 degrees of coordinated bank will yield a standard-rate-turn, and leave you some room for error, iffin' the wind shifts a bit... and reduce the time where you're blind to the runway. :)
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Re: Flying the pattern...

Postby Fozzer » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:09 am

Brett_Henderson wrote:
A 45 degree bank to the left in a Cessna 150 only offers a view of the underside of the wing


A 45-degree bank in a C152 @ pattern altitude = "death by accelerated stall" :shock:

Even at 5,000agl.. steep turn with flaps deployed is dangerous... let alone at 1,000agl near approach speed.

Try cutting that bank-angle in half.. 20-25 degrees of coordinated bank will yield a standard-rate-turn, and leave you some room for error, iffin' the wind shifts a bit... and reduce the time where you're blind to the runway. :)


... :D ...!

I stand corrected, Brett... ;) ...
(I was just getting a bit over-excited in my colourful description!....).... :lol: ....!

But it still gives me problems in the high wing Cessna, etc, when banked over in the turn, and the view to the runway is temporally lost by the angled wing.
By the time the aircraft has been quickly levelled out to spot the runway....and then banked again, I have overshot my turning point...again!

....things happen very quickly in the pattern whilst you are travelling forward all the time!

....(much easier in low-wing aircraft?)... :think: ...!

Paul...dropping a stitch....or two... :doh: ...!

P.S...my cute little turbo-charged Cessna 150 loves maintaining acute bank angles at ridiculously high speeds!... :lol: ... :lol: ...!
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Re: Flying the pattern...

Postby Fozzer » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:44 am

P.S.

......Its amazing how long it takes, and the distance travelled, whilst performing a coordinated turn in an aircraft!...!

( How I wish we could edit our posts more frequently!).... ;) ...!

Paul... :D ...!
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Re: Flying the pattern...

Postby Brett_Henderson » Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:04 pm

Yeah, it's a bit of a discipline (holding a coordinated, constant-rate-turn)...

A problem I've always had, was taking too long to roll into one, and efficiently rolling out. If the in/out parts are sloppy and slow, you only spend a brief period actually turning.. hence over-shooting runway centerline.. :oops:

Like every thing else.. practice..practice..practice .. :)
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Re: Flying the pattern...

Postby WPadgett » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:04 pm

"A 45 degree bank to the left in a Cessna 150 only offers a view of the underside of the wing, Pitot tube and wing strut, out of the left window, and a wondrous clear view of Heaven out of the right window, whilst out of the front window is the journey to; "somewhere else""

So, as I understand it, what you want is an unobstructed view of the runway during turns.

Piece 'O cake.

In 'Cockpit' view, press W one time which will leave the flight instruments along the bottom of the view. Views in this mode are not obstructed by aircraft parts. During your turn you can cycle between your preferred cockpit view and the 'Cockpit (W)' view to get a clear view of the runway until it becomes visible in your preferred view.
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Re: Flying the pattern...

Postby Fozzer » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:17 pm

WPadgett wrote:"A 45 degree bank to the left in a Cessna 150 only offers a view of the underside of the wing, Pitot tube and wing strut, out of the left window, and a wondrous clear view of Heaven out of the right window, whilst out of the front window is the journey to; "somewhere else""

So, as I understand it, what you want is an unobstructed view of the runway during turns.

Piece 'O cake.

In 'Cockpit' view, press W one time which will leave the flight instruments along the bottom of the view. Views in this mode are not obstructed by aircraft parts. During your turn you can cycle between your preferred cockpit view and the 'Cockpit (W)' view to get a clear view of the runway until it becomes visible in your preferred view.


Unfortunately, that's not an option in a real high-wing Cessna when flying the pattern in the "Flight School"!.... :D ...!

Paul... :mrgreen: ...!
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Re: Flying the pattern...

Postby WPadgett » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:50 pm

"Unfortunately, that's not an option in a real high-wing Cessna when flying the pattern in the "Flight School"!"

Sorry. Didn't realize the discussion was "real flying." I have about 100 hours in C-150 and C-172 aircraft during training and don't recall any problems flying the landing pattern and I flew many of them. As I recall, turning to base was just a 90° turn from the down wind heading and when turning final it was easy to keep the runway in view.

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Re: Flying the pattern...

Postby logjam » Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:21 pm

Most of my RL flying was done in a low wing A/C, but I never had a problem in High wing monoplanes either. I always changed my viewpoint to my next landmark after starting the turn. That is r/w lighting, a barn roof or something else. Sometimes I’d end up on final a bit to the right or left, but that’s what the controls are for.
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Re: Flying the pattern...

Postby beaky » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:38 am

Foz:
The trick to this in high-wing aircraft is twofold: first and foremost, you have to have a look while you can still see the horizon 90 degrees to one side. Pick some visible point on the horizon to roll out on.
Then, even if you only have a wibbly-wobbly, laggy-leady mag compass to go by, you can reference that (in quick glances) to know when to start looking for that visual reference point (before you turn, note your heading, and add or subtract 90 degrees for your next heading). You should have plenty of time between its reappearance and the moment you need to level out for the next segment of the pattern. If you have a DG, and it is set properly, this becomes child's play.
There's also the timed turn trick: if you have a turn coordinator that shows when you are in a standard rate turn (that is, 180 degrees per minute). you can just establish a nice, coordinated standard-rate turn, and count to 30.
In the end, of course, it's not really all that simple, even when you can see inside the turn the whole time... wind can make it tricky to fly perfect right-angle turns. But I've found that it's not the end of the world, even on a check ride, when your corners are not perfect... far more important is turning at the right moment, so that each leg leads into the next in a way that is safe and sensible. Even managing altitude and airspeed, and having the airplane configured correctly, is a lot more important than flying a track that is all nice and squared.
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Re: Flying the pattern...

Postby Fozzer » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:59 am

Ta, Sean...

From my couple of RW, and lots of flight sim flights in the little Cessna 150/152, flying the pattern certainly keep you on your toes, and your wits about you!... :D ...!

All good for regular practice!

Paul.... :mrgreen: ...!
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Re: Flying the pattern...

Postby RichD » Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:46 am

Foz, You could have a switch that allows you to move your eye point forward and back so that while in the turn you can move forward to look in front of the wing, which I use with great success I might add 8-)

I don't know if you use EGBS as your home base, but the circuit there when I worked in the tower was 1000 agl but a wide circuit @ 3 miles so that aircraft would fly around at the villages of Pembridge and Eardisland. As its a wide one, it makes for good practice. Climb out on runway heading, turn crosswind leg @ 500 agl, turn downwind @800 agl, downwind until friendly chappie in tower tells you to touch and go or land. Time 60 seconds and start decent, @ 800 agl turn base and the rest is easy.

When learning to fly at KPDK in a Pa28 Warrior 2, the circuit there was not as wide, 1.5 miles IIRC, and to find the correct time to start your descent you had to line up the landing thresh hold at an angel of 45 degrees between the wing and the tail, basically looking over your shoulder.

I'm not trying to teach you to suck eggs, but hope it helps.

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