Remaining in the pattern

I just had a session at ENGM. 4 people in a row asked for takeoff “remaining in the pattern”. They took off and flew away. What a tease. Perhaps they watched too many reruns of Top Gun. Remaining in the pattern means you are staying within the airspace flying left turns or right turns.

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So to sum this up concisely for those interested, remaining in the pattern means you are going to make a left/right turn after departure and fly a crosswind, downwind, base and final leg, and land at the airport you just departed from. All while maintaining 1000 ft AGL for general aviation aircraft or 1500 AGL for commercial aircraft.

If none of that is your plan (including immediately climbing to 3000 ft AGL like a spaceship), just say you are departing and await your frequency change.

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Also, for those who may not know. Pattern attitude for GA is 1000ft & Jet/Commercial AC is 1500ft.

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what if there is terrain? (I know irl this would be on the charts)

If there would be “terrain” that makes patterns impossible, the controller won’t allow pattern work at all.

No I meant if terrain required pattern work at higher altitude.
Related, but after a go around, if the twoer tells you to make left/right traffic, does that mean to join the flow of appraching traffic, or does it mean climb to 1500AAL and fly a literal traffic pattern until cleared by approach to climb?

If you are instructed to go around and approach is active you will be handed back to the approach controller so that they can vector you back in to the airport.

If you go around without approach active then I would probably climb to pattern altitude and enter a downwind, following all other traffic in the sequence.

For the pattern altitude, do you record it on MSL or AGL?

AGL (or actually AAL)

There is always some pattern altitude though. Otherwise how do you fly a go around? Climb out of airspace and do striaght in???

No, if you are executing a go around I would be climbing to pattern altitude and then following other traffic ahead of you in the sequence before entering final for another attempt at landing.

This is if 1500 AAL is unsafe

Pattern altitude is calculated by 1,000 or 1,500 above airport level. So if the airport is at 500 feet then pattern altitude for GA would be 1,500 feet and for Jets/Commerical aircraft it would be 2,000 feet.

Yeah that may happen if terrain is issue. Also in some airport like queenstown. There’s special 8 shaped pattern…

To add to all the discussion above. Pattern altitude has been discussed. Also don’t make a 10nm final on pattern. Unless atc asks to. Turn around 3-5nm max if 1st in sequence.

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