Was wondering if there’s any official guideline or protocol for when to make your first turn into the pattern after takeoff ? I did some pattern work the other day and made my 180 left turn about 5 or 6 miles out of the airport, however the pilot behind me was flying the same pattern but started to turn after only about 3 miles thereby ending up in front of me. Result was that we both found ourselves entering the downwind leg about half a mile apart and in danger of colliding ! I’m not suggesting that he/she was in the wrong, it may very well have been me.
I’m aware that on the last turn of the pattern to final ATC can issue instructions to “extend downwind” or “I’ll call your base” to prevent pilots on the downwind leg from turning to final when there’s traffic, however there doesn’t seem to be any hard and fast rule for that initial turn after takeoff.
I have seen when ATC ing that there’s a command to “extend upwind” but must admit I’ve never used this and have never been instructed to do so, even on the advanced server.
Thoughts anyone ?