Landing on the same airport when "no patten work allowed"?

I have a question about “No patten work”.
If ATIS says “No patten work” and i just want to take off and land full stop again (only once) on the same airport (no touch and goes), how do I do that so it is allowed?
Can I just fly around in the controlled airspace and declare “In bound for landing” ? Or do I need to get out of the tower controlled airspace, and then turn around and land back on the airport again?


Hi @Panduro

This link will send you to a conversation about no pattern work details and help you answer your question! See you in the skies again

I’m speaking for myself. And myself only. If I was tower, and you wanted to do this here what I would not mind. Request takeoff and depart whatever direction you want or what the ATIS says. Then fly away from the airport for a good 10-15min turn back toward the airport and call inbound. My opinion on this also is based on the amount of traffic and the visibility. Like I said, I’m speaking for myself and myself only!!


“No pattern work allowed” can be used for a few reasons:

  1. The airspace is busy. When an airport has a lot of arrivals and departures, controllers may use “no pattern work” as a way of mitigating traffic. Having airplanes of any size take off and come right back into the approach line is not good. In this case, you should not request takeoff remaining in the pattern, and should not call inbound once you’re landing. Doing either could result in a ghosting.

  2. Visibility is too low for safe VFR flight. If the METAR reports that’s visibility is too low for VFR patterns, you cannot fly patterns. In this case, you should not request takeoff remaining in the pattern. If you’d like to take off and contact approach for an ILS approach, you can.

In any case, if a controller includes “no pattern work allowed” in their ATIS broadcast, it’s best to find a different airport to takeoff and land at, or takeoff and land somewhere else.

Read more about ATIS commands here: What the ATIS commands mean to a pilot?


Very well said. However, I think that if a pilot were to takeoff, depart the airspace (as mentioned above) and fly away for 10-15 minutes, then return that would be okay. In this scenario, I imagine the pilot climbing to a minimum of 10,000 feet AGL and flying well clear of the airspace. Then calling in and being sequenced with the rest of the traffic. As long as you don’t stay in the pattern, you would be good in my mind. A bit of grey area here, perhaps.


For the first reason, no. I get that it’s fun and exciting to fly in controlled airspace, but don’t clog up busy airspace just because you can. It’s better to find a less-crowded airport for patterns, or have a substantial flight between takeoff and landing.

If weather is bad and you want to fly a full IFR flight that ends at the same airport, that’s okay.

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I would agree with that sentiment. But if we’re addressing the question of “no pattern work”, leaving the airspace and returning would not count as pattern work in my book, as you are not remaining in the traffic pattern. Leaving the airspace and returning is not a traffic pattern.

I’m not suggesting I would do this, but technically the above mentioned scenario would not be in violation of the ATIS commands.


You’re right. If a pilot took off, called inbound, was told no pattern work directly, and then just dipped out of the airspace and back in so it wouldn’t be a “pattern”, I’d be upset. But if you have a real flight in between takeoff and landing, who am I to stop you?


I agree. It would be at the controller’s discretion. If a controller noticed that same pilot returning, they very well could turn that pilot away for the reason you mentioned.

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I think it make sense that if there is no patten work allowed and if I’m not flying the patten, then all should be good. Then I can fly out of the airspace, and return again. (I don’t want to botheres the controller, only find out the rules here)
Remember I will not do any touch and go, only one landing full stop. As a controller on a busy airspace, it all about squeezing and clearance. I you have to do it in the airspace, or on a plane there comes from another airport, it still the same work for the controller, I

As long as you depart the airspace and the. Return I don’t see why not.

It would mostly come down to situational awareness. Look at the airspace, incoming traffic, ect and make the decision. If you were to do this, my suggestion would be to leave the airspace for a minimum of 15 minutes and 50nm away. Then follow the flow of traffic to attempt the approach

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Is this a gray zone or can we actually make it Black and white, so all is clear?

No. That is patternwork. One pattern, two patterns, doesn’t matter. It means “leave
the airspace, go elsewhere.”

Hovering around doesn’t help anyone either


There’s nothing gray about it.

Without exception (i.e. black-and-white): vacate the airspace.

No pattern work should be self explanatory…If ATIS reports no pattern depart that aitport and do your touch and goes at another airport.

He said he doesn’t want to do touch and goes… like 3 times.

As @Tim_B stated No Pattern work. Means exactly that. Depart the airspace period, do not announce you are coming back to land. You will be denied, and ghosted if it persists. There is no loop hole around what we have put in the ATIS broadcast, or told you directly. Once we start allowing this then we get the pilots who announce inbound for landing, then say they are going around when the wheels touch the ground. Yes it happens.

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Well said, but lets follow the ball for a second:

If the pilot takes off and announces a departure to the south, executes that departure to the south out of the airspace, flies away for 15+ minutes and, makes a big loop and calls inbound, I don’t see this as being in the airspace.

Lets say there was this type of ATIS instruction at KSGU, the pilot could depart, climb to lets say 6,500 or 8,500 ft, fly west to 67L and make a few laps, then turn eastward to return to KSGU. The pilot is clearly out of the traffic pattern and has re-entered for one full stop landing.

I agree there is no loop hole to ATIS or ATC commands on here, but in this situation, the pilot is not remaining in the pattern as defined by FAR 1.1

Well no one is ever going to deny me at SGU as it’s uncontrolled, but yes that by definition wouldn’t be pattern work. However it’s ultimetly up to the controller.