How to fly a (visual) pattern

When you feel necessary no idea about those guidelines, I would say 10 nm and as a reminder 4 nm out.

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I guess if there were more precise ATC options, if you were more than 4nm then you’d call “Long final”, 4 or less then, “Short final”.

Such a good tutorial, it’s worth bringing this back from time to time. Thought I would add YouTube video from Embry Riddle to add some more visuals.


Hi I am not that new but still at a lot of things…how do you make such a sharp turn?

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You tilt your device or adjust the autopilot to make a sharp turn :)

On a serios note, if you extend your crowsswind a little bit more you won’t have to make such a sharp turn :) Another tip is to have a slower speed when turning base, makes the plane turn faster with the same angle as if you would have had another (higher) speed :)

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Lets bring this back up. I’ve noticed a lot of pilots flying a pattern at 3000 ft AGL and turning base and final 10 miles out. I’ve also noticed a lot of pilots calling downwind and base outside of the towered airspace well above 5000 ft. This is not a downwind or base leg and I will instruct you to enter straight in because that’s what your doing. Also if your remaining in the pattern there is no need to call inbound I’m seeing this occur more and more. Also if your instructed to enter downwind that is an instruction to drop to 1500 ft AGL for jets 1000 ft AGL for GA’s and enter downwind at a 45 deg angle.


Agreed (filler)

Thank you this helped me so much because I’m about to take a test for the Advanced ATC

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Whats the difference between Left Downwind and Right Downwind.
Does Left downwind mean that the runway is to your left? Or does it mean that you are left of the runway with the runway to your right?

It means the runway is to your left and your on the left side of the runway.

@d3v1nO the downwind and base in this picture would be a left handed pattern

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nice tutorial . thanks a lot

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Your tutorial is very good !

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Hi if I’m flying at 12thousand feet and Atc tell me to descend to 4000 feet do I have to drop that height in a certain amount of time or at a certain rate ? Or is there a general descend rate ?

As you wish, we have in our manuals minimum of 500 feet a min and max of 5000 feet a min. I would go between -1000 / -1400 feet / min because you don’t want to get a violation for flying to fast when below 10.000 feet.


@Aernout, Is that for a380 or a general rule of thumb for most aircraft? Have you ever exceeded 4000vs in a commercial jet?

Or you could apply spoilers while you have your throttles at minimum.

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Follow your ground speed x5. The lower you are to the ground, the slower your ground speed will be.

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Yeh I have used spoilers and landing gear (a no no I understand) it seams like I can’t drop the aircraft fast enough for some Atc and even then they ask me to decend more and I ain’t even near the height they asked me to decend to the fist time (if you get me not explaining this very well ) can you be reported for this ?

The key is not fly too fast at 12000ft. At that altitude I’m at 280kts. With spoilers and throttle to minimum you should get under 250kts before reaching 10000ft.

I do that also but I go a bit slower 230 knots so I’m under the 250 knots under 10,000 ft don’t want to upset my grade 3 😜😎

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