"Cleared for the Option" and "enter right or downwind" Questions

Hey fellow flyers… I have 2 quick questions… What exactly does “cleared for the option after the option” mean exactly? And also when you’re flying in right downwind of the runway do you just stay at the same direction or crossover to left downwind?

Cleared to land means you have to do a standard landing.

If you are cleared for the option, you are allowed to do what you want basically. Touch & Go, short approach, low approach, stop & go, etc. << God knows that that is not an accurate list and there are probably a lot of other things you can do. If you call inbound for a touch & go, you will be cleared for the option. You will probably hear “After the option, make left traffic” or “make right traffic”. This means you will follow the left or right traffic pattern. The one displayed below is a left traffic pattern, because you are always turning left:

P.S. This is not a bug report. Please be careful about which category you post stuff in. :smile:


Thanks this really helped but just on short notice so if Iam on Left downwind and the ATC Controller Dosent call my base do I transition to right downwind or head straight… Thanks!

Normally, you can turn base when you think it’s time. That is, you decide where the best Key Position is. When the controller says “I’ll call your base”, then they get to decide when you can start the base leg turn. It’s usually employed to give them better control over traffic sequencing.

So it’s normal when you call your own base and if you haven’t been told otherwise, you turn when you think it’s best - as long as you’re generally following the Pattern.


Okay got it, thanks a lot!

Once in the pattern (e.g. downwind leg) it is up to you to follow the plane in front of you. The controller should give you a command “XXX, #3, traffic to follow is on rigth base”. This means there are two planes in the pattern ahead of you to land, and you will be third. It also means that #2 is on right base, which should help you find him.

Turn base to follow that plane and you dont need to be told to do that. If you are the pattern alone, or #1, turn when you are ready. If ATC says “I’ll call your base”, do not turn until told to do so.

Hope that helps!

1 Like


Here is another view of the left and right traffic patterns.


These traffic patterns are great for Cessna, pipers and sirrus, it looks bit funny seeing a380 doing this pattern all the time, when are we going to have LNAV/VNAV and able set up holding pattern in flight plan. That would give us more pleasure flying big jet.

1 Like