Hello my fellow pilots!
I have a question about the ‘report position’ command when flying a pattern. Do you have to use report position when on downwind flying a pattern and are in contact with ATC or do you just wait until ATC clears you for ‘the option’ or ‘to land’?
If the airport isn’t too busy, controllers will clear you for the option without you having to report position. If the airspace is busy and ATC somehow forgets about you, it’s not a bad idea to state your intentions again. Additionally, if you are flying a pattern and want to full stop, it’s a good practice to report your position and let ATC know that you won’t be flying anymore patterns.
There is no need for you to report position while flying a pattern, unless you are going to end. In that case, it is always good practice for you to report full stop so the ATC can recognize it and serve the airport accordingly.
When I take off for a circuit/pattern-flight, I always report halfway on the downwind. I think it is mannerly, and on more than one occasion I have been very appropriately asked to extend my downwind because of traffic.
I think touching base downwind is never a bad idea, unless you have been clearly instructed otherwise.
You wouldn’t get ghosted for it, but if the ATC is busy on the ground, or sequencing other planes, it’s just one more message to deal with, especially if you’re already cleared. If you’ve been flying downwind for 10nm, then it’s a different story, of course, but in most cases, it’s always better to let the ATC handle it.