# Traffic pattern

Excelsis Guest

I have been making flights into Amsterdam ( EHAM), VFR, and, depending on the direction I'm entering from, ATC either gives me "runway 1L left downwind" or "runway 1R right downwind"

Does "left" and "right" mean here the direction of the TURN in the traffic pattern or does it mean that the downwind leg is to the left or right of the landing (final leg) runway (therefore avoiding making a traffic pattern over the actual airport itself)?

Thanks

## 4 Responses

Tailhook Chief Captain

No. It simply tells you which of the two parallel runways to land on.

Because there are two RWYs number 1, L and R are used to distinguish one from the other.

Excelsis Guest

Tailhook wrote:

No. It simply tells you which of the two parallel runways to land on.

Because there are two RWYs number 1, L and R are used to distinguish one from the other.

Thanks, I realise there are two runways with the same direction, but why does ATC use the terms "left downwind" and " right downwind" then? If they vector me into 1L, I know it is the left runway. Same with IR, I know it is the right runway. If I have to make a traffic pattern surely ATC wouldn't want me to make a downwind approach (before turning into base leg and final) OVER the airport and other runways, therefore obstructing traffic?

Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

Excelsis wrote:

I have been making flights into Amsterdam ( EHAM), VFR, and, depending on the direction I'm entering from, ATC either gives me "runway 1L left downwind" or "runway 1R right downwind"

Does "left" and "right" mean here the direction of the TURN in the traffic pattern or does it mean that the downwind leg is to the left or right of the landing (final leg) runway (therefore avoiding making a traffic pattern over the actual airport itself)?

Thanks

Runway 1L left downwind:

Obviously 1L is the runway to be used. The direction, left or right, is the direction of the turns to be used in the pattern, i.e. the traffic pattern consists of left hand turns, from upwind to crosswind, to downwind, to base, to final; all left turns. Downwind means that is your position to enter.

Confusingly, if you are approaching from the liveside, i.e. the side where the traffic pattern exists, then you will need to make a right turn, i.e. opposite to what it states in your entry requirements, to become on downwind, where you will then execute your left turns.

PIC1stOfficer First Officer

Wait till you're given a "LDA" approach, when mountains are all around you. 😳

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