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Thread: No Tower,.....No Problem.....Well Maybe!!!

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    Member RocketRick's Avatar
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    Lightbulb No Tower,.....No Problem.....Well Maybe!!!

    The season is here and I thght this wld be good for us to review to improve safety and make sure we don't have anymore mid-airs.

    It's a Safety Advisor for operations at non-towered airports.

    Hopefully we can be consistent to/in the pattern.

    I know when I was practicing at Willow, Goose Bay or Big Lake I usually flew straight into the downwind leg..That's wrong btw.

    http://www.aopa.org/asf/publications/sa08.pdf

    RR

  2. #2

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    Good review, I often do straight into final, base, and downwind occasionally depending on location and traffic I do like midfield crossover to have a look at air and ground traffic in case someone is not calling out. I don't think I have ever said "traffic in area please advise". I usually say "which way is everyone landing today" or "who is in the pattern. Everyone giving a position call when new aircraft enters pattern helps a lot.
    DENNY

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    Radios aren't always used. Gotta look for myself. I've learned that lesson more than once. I've been in close calls on two occasions where the other guy flew a long straight-in final. One didn't have a radio or didn't have it on the proper frequency. That was at Wasilla so I suspect the latter. The other made his call from 25 miles out and never another peep, and I was talking so apparently he wasn't listening, either. Lots of examples of poor piloting out there. See and avoid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boneguy View Post
    Good review, I often do straight into final, base, and downwind occasionally depending on location and traffic I do like midfield crossover to have a look at air and ground traffic in case someone is not calling out. I don't think I have ever said "traffic in area please advise". I usually say "which way is everyone landing today" or "who is in the pattern. Everyone giving a position call when new aircraft enters pattern helps a lot.
    DENNY
    It helps a lot if you enter the traffic pattern properly, too . . . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    Radios aren't always used. Gotta look for myself. I've learned that lesson more than once. I've been in close calls on two occasions where the other guy flew a long straight-in final. One didn't have a radio or didn't have it on the proper frequency. That was at Wasilla so I suspect the latter. The other made his call from 25 miles out and never another peep, and I was talking so apparently he wasn't listening, either. Lots of examples of poor piloting out there. See and avoid.
    . . . and one darrk night when I had lost all electrical in a C-172, a CAA C-180 almost ran over me as I was about to turn final at Merrill. We both met in the old CAA office and, before he could get very far into his diatribe, I asked for the forms required to file a formal conplaint against him. After all, he had not given way to an airplane in distress . . . Long, straight-in finals are a very poor way to go sometimes.

  6. #6

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    I have called downwind on wrong frequency more than once. Few days ago we had three aircraft arrive at close to base at same time. It was not a issue due to good communication. There are several reasons for someone in pattern not being heard. Grizzley 2 issue and my poor radio procedure are good examples. I fly slow aircraft so don't have to look at the dash much and can look out the window a lot, some fly faster aircraft and are on the gauges more. Big Lake has VOR traffic training a lot, heavy and fast traffic you have to look out for. I was flying the Iron Dog this winter and found a line for gas McGrath. You never know who or how many planes are arriving same place as you and how they will enter patten so best to keep an eye out as Mr Pid says. 45 downwind and midfield crossover are nice but don't always work so keep the head on a swivel.
    DENNY

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    Member Sierra Hotel's Avatar
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    Mr. Pid brings up a good point my instructor hammered into me when I first started flying in Alaska. Having learned in the highly regulated airspace around Wright-Patterson AFB in the '80's, I thought EVERYBODY was supposed to be on the radio. My Alaska instructor brought home the point that at uncontrolled airfields in Class E and G airspace radios are not required. I get surprised by this every once in a while going in/out of Soldotna and Wasilla - not so much in Birchwood, which is a fairly high-traffic area.

    And Denny, you're already flying so friggin' slow in the pattern you can probably do a vertical approach to clear traffic

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    Member RocketRick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly 2 View Post
    It helps a lot if you enter the traffic pattern properly, too . . . . .
    Griz - thats what I was trying to say. If we are all consistent...we can mitigate mid-airs....maybe..

    Plus..and this is a contentious point....we have the same freq for E vs W of the Parks,...most anyways. Maybe provide separate freq for the ones close to ANC?

    I'd done good bit of practice at Willow..Near bouts always left-hand. For some reason i was flying right-hand. I called another plane doing lefr-circuit and he said nope it's left-circuit. I immediately switched on next go around. Scary cause most mid-airs are not survivable.

    RR

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    Member IndyCzar's Avatar
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    my charting shows willow 31 with right traffic...has something changed?...

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    Not in the last 15 years.

    The pattern keeps you out of the floatplane traffic off the lake. Pretty reasonable.

    hahaha! Check out the title of the thread! IRONY.

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    Member RocketRick's Avatar
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    We were landing south.

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    Hmm. I was taught that traffic patterns are LH unless noted otherwise on the chart. It's my responsibility to know so I check the chart or supplement before I visit an unfamiliar airport.

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    Yep nonstandard pattern, Birchwood has RH pattern when landing to south. This keeps hillside pattern clear for ultralites and helicopters. Birchwood changed runway numbers to 02/20, now that can be a mess. In the afternoon people like to land to the north to avoid sun in there eyes and will even take some quartering tailwind to do so. Most common takeoff is to the South. Not uncommon to see pattern change quickly, not related to wind direction, but to sun location. Seems to work just fine with everyone willing to hold or change landing/takeoff plans. Talkeetna is another nonstandard pattern. with big crosswind and downwind legs to avoid town.
    DENNY

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    Member Sierra Hotel's Avatar
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    Yeah, Birchwood, Willow, Wasilla, Homer, Seldovia, and Soldotna all have non-standard patterns . . . .

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    I just failed a check ride for this very issue. Doing a simulated cross country and the instructor diverted me to another airport. I found the airport easy enough, but forgot to look at the map and it had a non-standard pattern. I set up for a standard LH pattern and landed anyway. Hopefully that is a mistake I will never make again.

    Good advise! In the end we are individually responsible for knowing the pattern at the airport we are landing at AND to see and avoid the other traffic in the area.

    Flay safely everyone!
    I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy!
    Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice, remember life is expensive and ammo is cheep!

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    Member RocketRick's Avatar
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    See Piddy?

    I aint the best pilot by no means but I am the most paranoid! Ha!.

    RR

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