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runway lineup

Pro Member Trainee
mcmxl Trainee

When I am on the base leg of a traffic pattern how do I know when it is time to turn to lineup with the runway? I always either overshoot or undershoot it. Mad

Pro Member Chief Captain
hinch Chief Captain

follow some of the flight lessons in fs to learn how to use ils and the glideslope 🙂

Pro Member Chief Captain
pilotwannabe Chief Captain
Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

mcmxl wrote:

When I am on the base leg of a traffic pattern how do I know when it is time to turn to lineup with the runway? I always either overshoot or undershoot it. Mad

Since you're not specifying a particular aircraft, I'd suggest the following:

Keep practicing the traffic pattern using a small prop first - handflying only!
Don't use ATC and clear all weather, let's keep it simple.

Now when you're flying your pattern, before you start banking, keep peeking out the window (I prefer to use the NumPad for this purpose rather than the hat switch on my stick).

You have to have a visual of the rwy threshold... but where exactly that should be on your monitor screen depends entirely on the type of aircraft you're flying. That's why it's a good idea to stick to the same a/c for a while until you get the hang of it.

Note: Make sure you are not too close to the rwy while on your base leg - the more distance between the base leg and the rwy threshold, the easier it will be to make corrections prior to touchdown.

Good luck 😀

Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

Just to add to Tailhook's suggestions,

On the downwind leg, you should fly past the runway threshold, until you are at a 45 degree angle with it. This means that when you press 1 on your keypad to look to the back left, then the runway threhold should be in the middle of the screen. Turn at this point, known as Decision Point.

On base leg, you should turn, just before your nose starts to line up with the runway you will be landing on. Turn at 30 degrees to intercept the final approach.

If you are too high at this point, make S-turns in the air to cover more distance to lose altitude.

Make sure you practice this with something slow such as a Cessna

Good luck!

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