How do you know what direction to fly the downwind leg?

That’s an easy answer. Fly a heading exactly opposite of that used for takeoff. Without doing any math, just look at the number shown at the bottom of the heading indicator when you’re aligned with the runway. That’s the heading you’ll fly on the downwind.

This provides for a symmetrical, rectangular traffic pattern, instead of one having the shape of an enormous amoeba.

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Also, the runway numbers have to do with the heading you use to land and take off perfectly. For example, at Candlelight Farms, there’s a Runway 16 and 34. For Candelight Farms, Runway 16 heading is 160 and 34 is 340. Not the same for some airports, becuase runways 8 and 26 at Danbury Municipal are 83 and 263.

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