Optimal pattern for training

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JAM_MAN
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:55 pm

Optimal pattern for training

Postby JAM_MAN » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:33 pm

I've started practicing pattern flying with my FI and touch and go. We fly off a short field dirt strip but practice at a county airfield with a 150' wide 8,000 ft. Strip that also has military training flights in the pattern (mostly parachute drops from 15,000 and the drop planes fly @5,000 downwind). My FI has me flying what seem to inexperienced me as short pattern legs, resulting in almost (maybe 10 sec of base) a continuous turn from base to final. The stated reason issues to not interfere with other traffic, which is actually not frequent. There is little GA at this field.

I'm confident that most of my anxiety is inexperience, but wondering if a less abbreviated pattern would allow more time for learning turns and alignment. The Aerotek aka Eurofox is well behaved but does require coordinated turns, of course very important at slower airspeeds.

3Dreaming
Posts: 2390
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:13 pm
Location: noble, IL USA

Re: Optimal pattern for training

Postby 3Dreaming » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:20 pm

Each airplane is different. From what you describe I would guess that you are flying a power off approach. As long as you are not rushed and diving for the runway I suspect that the pattern you are flying is OK. The important thing is blending in with other traffic at the airport.

JAM_MAN
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:55 pm

Re: Optimal pattern for training

Postby JAM_MAN » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:15 pm

Power to 3,000 rpm (912ULS) abreast the numbers on downwind pitch for 80 mph, slower after turning base. After base, power as (if) needed. I do feel rushed, I suspect primarily because of low hours and fearing uncoordinated flight at slow speed on the base to final turn. Obviously the very experienced FI is fine with it. It's more the learning aspect that I'm dealing with.

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FastEddieB
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Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:33 pm
Location: Mineral Bluff, GA

Re: Optimal pattern for training

Postby FastEddieB » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:10 pm

For now, I'd suggest following your instructor's lead. Things will seem less rushed as you gain experience.

All thing being equal, a tighter pattern is safer, keeping the runway within gliding range if something goes wrong.

The Law Of Primacy will make you tend to favor techniques that are learned first. If you get comfortable with tight patterns now, there's an excellent chance you'll fly patterns that way for the rest of your flying career. And one day you may be very glad you did.
Fast Eddie B.
Sky Arrow 600 E-LSA • N467SA
CFI, CFII, CFIME
FastEddieB@mac.com

JAM_MAN
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:55 pm

Re: Optimal pattern for training

Postby JAM_MAN » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:37 pm

Very good point! Thanks.

TimTaylor
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:17 pm

Re: Optimal pattern for training

Postby TimTaylor » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:59 pm

Keep the ball centered (step on the ball) and maintain proper airspeed and you'll be fine. Add power if you are getting low, unless you are coming in too fast. In that case, you may be able to simply raise the nose a little.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument


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