Flight Training - July 2020 - 26

TECHNIQUE

BY MIKE COLLINS

ILLUSTRATION BY CHARLES FLOYD

TOWERED AIRPORT TRAFFIC
PATTERN OPERATIONS
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO LISTEN CLOSELY

FLYING OUT OF A NONTOWERED AIRPORT, YOU QUICKLY GET IN THE GROOVE OF A STANDARD

traffic pattern. You'll usually enter the pattern in the same way, from the same general area; normally
fly a left traffic pattern, with all your turns to the left; and you'll self-announce on the unicom or
common traffic advisory frequency-looking, and listening, for other traffic all the while.
Operations at a towered airport can be quite different. FAR 91.123 requires you to follow all ATC
clearances and instructions. The controller may assign you a left downwind entry, a right crosswind
entry, or even a straight-in approach. During pattern work, one circuit might be to the left and the
next to the right. The controller will compare your position, speed, and objectives with those of
other nearby aircraft and sequence each of you to minimize delay.
Departure
Taxi onto the runway and be ready to begin your takeoff roll immediately. If
you've been told to "line up and wait" and the controller doesn't clear you to
take off within 90 seconds, tactfully remind him or her you're on the runway.
"Cessna Three-Two-Zero-Six-Echo, Anytown Tower, cleared for takeoff.
Straight-out departure approved." (If you plan to operate in the pattern, tell
the ground controller and the tower that you're "closed traffic," and your
clearance will specify a left traffic or right traffic pattern.)
"Anytown Tower, Cessna Three-Two-Zero-Six-Echo, cleared for takeoff."

Ground tips

At end of runway
At the end of the runway, when you've
completed your runup, call the Tower:
"Anytown Tower, Cessna ThreeTwo-Zero-Six-Echo, ready for takeoff,
Runway 27."
"Cessna Three-Two-Zero-Six-Echo,
Anytown Tower, line up and wait."

26  FLIGHT TRAINING JULY 2020

* Always have an airport taxi diagram available for
reference, either printed or digitally (or both). Also,
listen to the taxi instructions given to pilots of any
nearby aircraft.
* If you are unsure of a taxi route, ask ATC for a
"progressive taxi," and the controller will provide
step-by-step taxi instructions.
* If after landing the controller says, "Contact
ground, point seven" (or "point nine"), it's shorthand for 121.7 or 121.9 MHz-common ground
control frequencies. If the controller says "Taxi to
the ramp, stay with me," it simply means to remain
on the tower frequency; this is a common
expedient when there's not much traffic.



Flight Training - July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - July 2020

Contents
Flight Training - July 2020 - Intro
Flight Training - July 2020 - Cover1
Flight Training - July 2020 - Cover2
Flight Training - July 2020 - Contents
Flight Training - July 2020 - 2
Flight Training - July 2020 - 3
Flight Training - July 2020 - 4
Flight Training - July 2020 - 5
Flight Training - July 2020 - 6
Flight Training - July 2020 - 7
Flight Training - July 2020 - 8
Flight Training - July 2020 - 9
Flight Training - July 2020 - 10
Flight Training - July 2020 - 11
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Flight Training - July 2020 - 14
Flight Training - July 2020 - 15
Flight Training - July 2020 - 16
Flight Training - July 2020 - 17
Flight Training - July 2020 - 18
Flight Training - July 2020 - 19
Flight Training - July 2020 - 20
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Flight Training - July 2020 - 27
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Flight Training - July 2020 - 29
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Flight Training - July 2020 - 55
Flight Training - July 2020 - 56
Flight Training - July 2020 - Cover3
Flight Training - July 2020 - Cover4
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