Understanding Pattern Positions

Hello folks,hope all are doing well (: ,well,so I just landed at YSSY after spending 7hrs in air.Well,most of the times,during my ATC sessions,I notice that many pilots are confused in reporting their position(Mostly during pattern works).Most of them are unaware of pattern sequence like Right base,Right down wind etc… This isn’t a problem only on traning server but also In expert server.One of the Pilot was reporting pattern position (wrongly and unnecessarily) also he was confused in understanding sequence and entry positons however he left the game after receiving a warning from controller.

Many of pilots out here use to increase their landings …which is good.But what if a ‘Grade 5’ pilot doesn’t know the sequence,pattern positions and airborne operations correctly?.Most of us while concentrating on landings forgets realism and professionality no offense.

So keeping these notes in my minds…I have prepared a thread informing us about various pattern positions.

Here you go:

What are pattern positions?

Well…Pattern positions are the positions which keeps you on track ,it plays a beautiful role in handling air traffics,whether it is controlled airspace or uncontrolled.

Let’s take a look here;

In above picture,you can see 7 pattern positions:
Right downwind
Left downwind
Right Base
Left Base
Right crosswind
Left crosswind

These are the positons of patterns,present in atc tab–>report position section in IF.

By creating this thread, I’m not encouraging anyone to report their position continusoly when entering pattern (you’ll ghosted if you’ll do that). It’s just to make pilots aware of what positions they are flying and what positon they have to enter(As per Atc instructions).

Let’s take a look at Pattern legs now:

Above Picture is enough to make you aware of pattern positions.But You need to understand them more efecciently to avoid any type of collision.

Downwind leg

Starting from defination; Downwind leg -->A long level flight path parallel to but in the opposite direction of the landing runway. (Sone consider it to have “sub-legs” of early, mid and late. Certainly a plane giving a position report of “mid-downwind” can be visually located easily.)

Type of downwind legs:

There are two type of downwind legs :
Right Downwind
Left Downwind

Now,the point comes that how you’ll know at which downwind position you are?
For Pilots: It’s just easy to understand your down wind position.

Right downwind–>Airport on your right
Left downwind–>Airport on your left

Isn’t it too simple?!
Now let’s understand Atc Instructions relating to downwind legs:

In this airport (VEPT) if ATC instructs you to ‘enter right downwind runway 07’ then you just need to line up with downwind leg(Right). After lining up, you’ll need to turn right to execute your final approach. Remember that if ATC instructs you to enter Right Downwid or Base then you don’t have any relation to anything on your left side,it totally means that you’ll turn only right,not left,until Atc allots you runway change or give other instructions depending on situation

This is mostly instructed for the Aircrafts coming from opposite side of the runway on which Aircraft is going to land,like in above picture, aircraft will come from side of runway 25 means straight to downwind leg.And when you are not coming from any sides on runway then you’ll be instructed mostyl to enter in base or downwind leg.Ensure to make pattern entry at 45° angle when entering downwind leg.
And in ‘remaining in patterns’ it is an usual leg.

Please don’t report position unnecessarily, you’ll be reported on expert server.

When To report position?
When you’re landing in the ruway and you haven’t got any clearance yet from ATC.No need to report when you’re cleared to land.

Base Leg

Base leg–>A short descending flight path at right angles to the approach end extended centerline of the landing runway.

There are two type of base leg:
Left Base
Right Base

Again taking ‘VEPT’ into consideration

Base is again an easy thing in aviation.If you’re entering from Right side of runway 07,then you’ll instructed to ‘enter right base Runway 07’ it does means that you’ll have to execute a final turn when entering ILS cone of airport,it makes a 90° angle between centerline of runway and approach.

Understanding Base Positions:

Now it’s an easy game:
Left Base–>You’ll need to turn left when arriving closet to ILS cone of runway to centerline

Right Base–>You’ll need to turn right when arriving closer to ILS cone fof runway to centerline.

It’s usually instructed for airports arriving from another airport,and some times for aircrafts remaining in pattern to maintain spacing and avoiding collision.

Reporting Base Position goes same as of downwind.


A descending flight path in the direction of landing along the extended runway centerline from the base leg to the runway. The last section of the final approach is sometimes referred to as short final.

So it’s the place when you execute a final turn for centering the runway when entering from base or downwind.And If it comes straight,then it’s not a big deal.As soon as you’ll enter straight into ILS cone it means that you are in Final Position.

This is mainly use to report in an uncontrolled airspace,and as always no need to report unnecessarily if you’re cleared to land.

Crosswind Leg

It doesn’t have any relation when inbounding into the airport.Its an departure position.
A short definition: A short climbing flight path at right angles to the departure end of the runway.

There are two types of crosswind legs:
Right Crosswind
Left Crosswind

Understanding Crosswind Leg:

Right crosswind–>When you make a right turn sharp at 90° to the departure end after takeoff

Left Crosswind–>When you make a left turn sharp at 90° to the departure end after takeoff

There’s no major need to report crosswind positon to ATC. Or maybe I’m unaware of the proceedures!🤔

I hope my thread works well and help the Pilots who are always intending to learn something new🙂.

Prasoon Singh


Somewhat a duplicate of How to fly a (visual) pattern.


I don’t think that! That’s about atc instructions regarding patterns , though I have added ATC instructions but I guese it’s a defination of Various Patterns A deep knowledge 🤔. Apologies If I’m wrong

Although this post goes into more detail, I believe this satisfactorily explains patterns, but let’s see what the moderators have to say.


Yup,let’s keep it upto MODs

Very very helpful! Just what I was looking for in the run up to my theory IFATC! Thanks

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