Flight Training - August 2014 - 46

"

IF THE TOWER CONTROLLER
EXPRESSES CONCERN ABOUT
THE SEPARATION BUT HAS NOT
INSTRUCTED YOU TO GO AROUND,
VOLUNTEER TO DO SO."
'FOLLOW THAT TRAFFIC'

All was quiet when you monitored the
automatic terminal information service
broadcast and obtained your taxi clearance. But just as you were cleared for
takeoff on Runway 32 and instructed to
"make left traffic," an aircraft contacted the
tower from a few miles out. It was assigned
instructions to "proceed straight in for
Runway 32." So now you'll have company.
As you level off on the downwind leg,
you spot the inbound aircraft's landing
light on a one-mile final. When the tower
controller asks if you have the traffic in
sight, and you reply in the affirmative, the
controller responds, "Follow that traffic,
cleared for the option." You complete your
first traffic pattern while keeping a careful
eye on the aircraft ahead, which clears the
runway with plenty of time to spare.

or when maintaining directional control in a crosswind proved
difficult. So now, when the controller calls your number and
commands, "Go around," you know exactly what to do. Comply
promptly, and continue flying your assigned traffic pattern unless
new instructions are provided.
In a variation on this scenario, if during your approach the
tower controller expresses concern about the separation but has
not yet instructed you to go around, volunteer to do so if in your
judgment it would be the best solution. In all likelihood the
controller will approve the maneuver and be grateful for your
cooperation and situational awareness.
ELONGATED PATTERN

More than a few student pilots might feel uncomfortable
accepting the short-approach clearance posed in the previous
scenarios. Here's an alternative: Decline! Now the controller
will have to come up with a different idea. One possibility is to
instruct you to extend your downwind leg, buying some time
for the aircraft on final to land and clear. The controller may
also inform you that he or she will "call your base leg." It may
now be a good idea for you to slow down a bit (to avoid flying
excessively far downwind). Also, delay flap deployment until
you are headed back toward the airport and within safe gliding
range. A key point when flying an elongated traffic pattern is to
make sure you are maintaining traffic-pattern altitude and not-
as sometimes observed by flight instructors-gradually losing
altitude as a result of fixation on the traffic situation.

A SHORT CIRCUIT

'MAKE A 360'

Suppose the aircraft in the preceding
scenario was a bit farther out on final
when you spotted it from the downwind
leg. In this case the controller may decide
to make your aircraft number one for the
runway-but with a stipulation: "Make
short approach, cleared for the option."
If you accept the clearance, you will be
expected to keep your traffic pattern
tight. Performing a power-off approach
starting from the point opposite the
numbers, where you normally begin your
descent, is a good way to comply.

An alternative method sometimes used to buy time until the traffic is no longer a factor is to have an aircraft make a 360-degree
turn on the downwind leg. For example, if you are flying a left
downwind to Runway 32, you could be asked to perform a right
360-degree turn, then resume flying the downwind leg. Make
your turn a shallow-banked maneuver-both in consideration of
your low altitude and airspeed, and because the purpose of the
maneuver is to serve as a delaying tactic. Be aware of the winds
at pattern altitude and plan to rejoin the downwind leg at more
or less the same place where you began the 360-degree turn.

TOWER-COMMANDED GO-AROUND

Now suppose the spacing between the
two aircraft is still tight and even a short
approach isn't going to work out. Whether
the reason is the controller's bad call, the
other aircraft's speed, or your inability to
keep your approach short enough doesn't
matter because in all cases, the solution is the same: a go-around. You have
performed them before, on your own-
perhaps when you were too high on final,
46 /

FLIGHTTRAINING.AOPA.ORG

CHANGE TO RIGHT (OR LEFT) TRAFFIC

You touched down nicely, added power for your next takeoff,
and are airborne again when the controller instructs "Make right
closed traffic." It turns out that another aircraft is inbound from
the west, and has been instructed to join the left downwind. Putting you over on the east side of the airport for your next pattern
maximizes separation. Unless you fly frequently from an airport
that makes use of right-hand patterns, this may be an unfamiliar operation, so give yourself plenty of room for base leg and
final turns. Remember that if there has been any right crosswind component on your landings, this will become a tailwind
component on your right base leg, increasing your groundspeed. Failure to take this factor into account could result in
your overshooting the final.


http://FLIGHTTRAINING.AOPA.ORG

Flight Training - August 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - August 2014

Contents
Flight Training - August 2014 - Cover1
Flight Training - August 2014 - Cover2
Flight Training - August 2014 - Contents
Flight Training - August 2014 - 2
Flight Training - August 2014 - 3
Flight Training - August 2014 - 4
Flight Training - August 2014 - 5
Flight Training - August 2014 - 6
Flight Training - August 2014 - 7
Flight Training - August 2014 - 8
Flight Training - August 2014 - 9
Flight Training - August 2014 - 10
Flight Training - August 2014 - 11
Flight Training - August 2014 - 12
Flight Training - August 2014 - 13
Flight Training - August 2014 - 14
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Flight Training - August 2014 - 16
Flight Training - August 2014 - 17
Flight Training - August 2014 - 18
Flight Training - August 2014 - 19
Flight Training - August 2014 - 20
Flight Training - August 2014 - 21
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Flight Training - August 2014 - 24
Flight Training - August 2014 - 25
Flight Training - August 2014 - 26
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Flight Training - August 2014 - 28
Flight Training - August 2014 - 29
Flight Training - August 2014 - 30
Flight Training - August 2014 - 31
Flight Training - August 2014 - 32
Flight Training - August 2014 - 33
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Flight Training - August 2014 - Cover3
Flight Training - August 2014 - Cover4
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