Section 9, Lesson 1
In Progress


ATC & Traffic Pattern Scenarios

We added this topic to discuss scenarios that a pilot may experience in the traffic pattern. You will also find a handout in the flight bag called “Traffic Pattern Shenanigans”. While we cannot anticipate every strange situation pilots will experience in a traffic pattern, we hope the following scenarios will be helpful as you build a decision making framework to apply to traffic pattern operations.

Lesson Notes

The scenarios in this lessons are intended to help you think about the dynamic airspace environment and consider how you would react to varying situations. Remember that safety is always the #1 priority. Pilots often think that because they are following the rules and making regular radio reports that they will be safe. In reality, safety assurance requires a more involved process of analyzing the situation as a whole, making decisions and adjusting as conditions change.

Thinking Questions

These aren’t necessarily questions for Flashcards… more like thinking questions. You need to have an idea of how to act when things get weird in the airport environment.

You’re on a one-mile final, cleared to land, when tower clears another aircraft to takeoff on the same runway. You know there won’t be enough spacing for them to takeoff and you to land. What do you do?

You’re on a 5 mile final and ATC clears another aircraft to make a 2 mile base and land, ahead of you. You’re not sure if it’ll be enough spacing. What do you do?

As you’re in left downwind to land on runway 25, another airplane calls in, for the first time, saying they’re on left downwind to land on runway 07. What do you do?

On short final for runway 23, you notice another airplane on the runway, departing runway 5, directly at you. They’ve made no calls on the radio. What do you do?

Immediately after takeoff, in a Cessna 172, a pilot calls in saying they are on the crosswind leg for the runway you just departed. Is there a potential traffic conflict? What do you do?