[ ] Yes, I know what “remaining in the pattern” means
Awesome, you know more than quite a lot of fellow pilots flying on expert server.
[ ] No, I am not sure what “remaining in the pattern” means
OK – please read on.
If I’d get a free beer for every pilot making a wrong “remaining in the pattern” call, I’d be drunk 24/7 while controlling… So, let’s say you are first in the queue and are holding short of the runway. You press “Request Takeoff” and select the runway. Now you are presented with two options:
Remaining in the pattern
If you select this option, you are telling tower that you will be staying inside the airport’s airspace. You intend to fly a circuit and will land again at the airport you just departed. ATC will tell you “make left/right traffic” with your takeoff clearance, letting you know in which direction your first turn into crosswind should be. Once you’re airborne, tower may also give you sequencing information if there are other aircraft in the pattern. Do not select “remaining in the pattern” if you intend to depart the airport and fly somewhere else. It is really frustrating for the controller and messes up his/her plans.
Departing (North/East/West/Straight out)
Select this option if you intend to leave the airport and fly somewhere else. Tower will know that you’re leaving and will expect you to continue your climb in the direction you indicated. Do not select this option and call “inbound for landing” once airborne… this will also mess up the controllers’ plan.
I know there are already tutorials about “remaining in the pattern”, but this mistake is the single most frustrating thing for me when controlling on expert. It happens so often that I felt it would be appropriate to post this reminder.