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Quick question about the traffic pattern

Pro Member First Officer
JTH First Officer

When I ask ATC for a full stop landing in FS2004, they often say something like "enter right downwind runway 1R". I know this relates to the traffic pattern but can anyone tell me if this means:

a) Fly on the right side, parallel to runway 1R but in the opposite direction. Then turn left to get on the base leg, then turn left again to get on final.

or

b) Fly on the left side, parallel to runway 1R but in the opposite direction. Then turn right to get on the base leg, then turn right again to get on final?

I'm unsure whether the "right" in the ATC instruction means take right turns or fly to the right of the runway. Thanks in advance for any help 🙂

Oh and P.S. what the hell is "adiru"? I've seen it mentioned on the flight deck of Boeing jets but Wikipedia has nothing on it. Thanks!

Pro Member First Officer
freedspeak First Officer

I've often wondered the same thing. Would appreciate an educated answer. Also are their instructions based on which side of the airport you are on as you approach it?

Don Wood Guest

JTH: right traffic means right turns, left traffic means left turns.

"Make right traffic" for runway 10 means that your traffic pattern will be on the eastern side of the airport with a downwind leg of 190 degrees, a base leg of 100 degrees, and a final leg of 010 degrees (assuming runway 10 is actually oriented 010 degrees magnetic (runway headings are rounded off to the nearest 10 degrees). That will mean all your turns, once established on the downwind leg will be to the right. If the runway heading is not exactly 010 degrees, then downwind and base would still be flown as stated but final would be flown with the actual runway heading.

Freedspeak: If you are flying into a controlled airport, traffic pattern entry will be directed by the control tower based on the assigned runway and your current location. For instance, in the example in this post, if you are approaching from the eastern side, you will probably be instructed to enter the right downwind. The standard way to do that is to approach the downwind couse at a 45 degree angle, in this case about 235 degrees. If you are approaching from the western side, you would be given instructions on how to enter the pattern. They might be something like "cross midfield, at or above 1000 feet, enter the right downwind" in which case you would approach west to east, cross the airport at the stated altitude, then descend to pattern altitude and turn right to the 190 degree downwind.

At an uncontrolled airport, FAA recommends similar approaches to the pattern but they are not mandatory.

I can't help with the second question. Sorry.

Pro Member First Officer
JTH First Officer

Thanks again Don 🙂

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