How to do patterns? [SOLVED]

Call me a noob but how do I know what heading to put when I want to do circles at an airport?

You’re going to have to keep readjusting it…

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You mean patterns? If that’s the case, the runway number is the heading needed for the runway rounded to two digits (ex. 36=360°). If you’re good with mental math, your downwind leg in this case would be at 180°, and your base would be 90°.


Ok thank you that was very helpful! Have a good day or night depends 🤓


what I do is note the runway heading at takeoff. To turn on to downwind I add/subtract 180, then for base add/subtract 90, then for final add/subtract 90. practice makes better

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Thank you all you guys are very helpful!

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Keep heading off. Hand fly the plane the whole way

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I’m not very good at that lol


Take a look in #tutorials. Some great tutorials in there for all aspects of flight.


Ok. I have like 75% of my expert server time in the c172 and about 52% is patterns and I have flown a pattern irl before so I’m good at it. If you PM me i can tell you how to do an extended pattern.

Very true!

Just Bc you’ve done it once doesn’t make you good at it. I’ve done patterns a lot and trust me it takes a lot of time to get them perfect.

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If you want someone who has flown more patterns in RL and IF, fill free to pm me

Sounds like to me that your good at RL patterns but I digress. :)

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Take the bickering to a PM you two aren’t helping the OP with his question at this point.


Sorry. Didnt mean to mess sit up.

Here’s a video I made when we had IFMP going. It will show you the basics of a pattern.

@Levet May stil have the text that went along with it.

Edit I still had it here you go IF Pilot Handbook - Google Docs


Fly it by hand, legs on traffic patterns are typically not long enough from each other for the A/P to complete a turn on time, considering your turns are supposed to be squared off(AP tends to swing wide and rounded for most turns). Like the others have said, practice makes perfect.
Here is a basic left traffic pattern{Left patterns will always have left turns into your legs, right patterns will have right hand turns into your legs). I’d suggest watching some tutorials on YouTube(specifically for IF if possible) so that you can get an idea of how they work. I do a lot of patterns in rl, you can message me if you’d like to get more in depth on how to do correct and neat patterns.