3 Tips for the traffic pattern

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3 Tips for the traffic pattern

Post by ivannparra »

3 Good tips for a traffic pattern


My name is Ivan Parra, I'm from Argentina. I am a holder of a CFII certificate in both, the USA and Argentina. I have about 1400 hrs of flight experience and I've just joined aviation24. Aviation is my passion since I have memory, although I am the first pilot, or aviation related in the family I think it's somehow in my gens.

I am now thinking about creating some aviation-related articles and I decided to post something I wrote and want to share with the community. Any feedback, references, and tips are welcome! Please, let me know of any aviation-related topic you wanna read about!

The 3 safety tips for the traffic pattern

The following three, are traffic pattern safety tips that I apply myself and teach my students. Most likely you can apply them to almost all light airplanes and standard traffic patterns. By doing so, you are adding a safety boundary.

1-Nose below the horizon: Stall condition happens when the airplane reaches its maximum angle of attack, which in an unaccelerated and steady flight condition (load factor = 1) will match the stall airspeed (Vs1) given in the POH and shown in the airspeed indicator. By keeping the nose down, below the horizon, you can be sure that your airspeed is good, even when the engine is in the idle position.

This applies to level flight or turns. During turns as greater the bank angle, the greater the nose should be pointing to the ground to maintain a good airspeed due to the lack of vertical lift that is now split into vertical and horizontal lift vectors.

Note: This is a C-172, for another airplane, the sight would be different, the idea of keeping the nose down is to have a good airspeed/lower angle of attack. Go with your CFI and find which pitch attitude is good for your airplane.

2-No more than 30° bank: By performing shallow to medium banks during the pattern we reduce the chances of increasing the load factor by pulling back with the yoke during a turn (trying to reduce the sink rate). As greater the bank, the easier to increase the load factor.

Be aware, that performing a maximum 30° bank angle turns will reduce the chances to increase load factor, but you should never flattener your turns in the traffic pattern with the yoke, if you are low, add more power!

If you ever should steep your bank to avoid overshooting final, the safest is to add power and go around, but just in case you ever found yourself performing a turn with a bank angle greater than 30°, as mentioned above, pitch down the airplane. Keeping your nose down will keep you alive!

3-Center the ball: The base to final turn is certainly dangerous when uncoordinated. We all have heard about an accident related to this maneuver. But why this happens?

Often, pilots who found themselves overshooting the final leg tighten their turn by applying pedal into the turn and adding back elevator. By doing so, the airplane enters into a skidding (uncoordinated) condition with an increased load factor. The increased load factor will increase the stall speed, and if an airplane enters into a stall while skidding, the airplane will finally enter into a spin, which will require at least 1000 ft for recovering the normal flight. We usually are about 600 ft to 400 ft on the base to the final turn, giving not enough altitude to recover the normal flight.

Fly safe
CFII, AGI, IGI, Argentina and the USA

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Re: 3 Tips for the traffic pattern

Post by sn26567 »

Welcome to Aviation24.be. Thanks for your tips!
ex Sabena #26567

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