Flight Lesson 8

Airport Operations – Airport patterns, communications.

Ground lesson 8 must be completed before this flight lesson.

Objective: For the student to become proficient with traffic pattern operations.

Assignment for this lesson: Read and understand FAA Airplane Flying Handbook book Chapter “ 7. Airport Traffic Patterns” as specified in “HPTS Sport Pilot Guide of What to Study.”


  • Set up the weather to be calm with no turbulance and the airplane to be at Carson City runway 27.
  • Do a normal takeoff staying in the middle of the runway climbing at 60 knots (or recommended climb speed for aircraft). At the end of the runway do a left 30 degree bank left 90 degree turn to a south heading of heading 180. This is the “cross wind” leg of the pattern.
  • Make another left hand turn 90 degrees to a heading of 90 degrees. This is the downwing leg of the pattern. Climb to pattern altitude 5700 feet and level off by reducing the throtttle. Reduce speed to recomended speed for flaps and lower the flaps to recommended landing flap setting. Look to the left to keep an eye on the runway. Continue flying the 90 degree heading at pattern altitude.
  • Once you get past the East end of the runway past about 45 degrees from the east end of the runway you should be about over the river. Reduce the throttle to about half and start a descent.
  • Once over the river turn left 90 degrees with a 30 degree bank to a heading of 0/360 North. This is your base leg of the pattern.
  • Look to the left and make a 30 degree bank turn 90 dergees to the left so you should be heading right down the runway similar to your low approach (this taks lot’s of practice). Now you are looking right down the runway and adjust the throttle as needed to approach the runway and land.
  • Once you land, move the flaps to the takeoff position and apply full throttle and take off again and do another airport pattern again.

After you successfully do a couple of patterns start announcing as you turn onto your legs saying, “Who you are calling, who you are, where you are, what your intentions are, repeat who you are calling”.

Pattern Communicating Examples:

  • During takeoff: “Carson Traffic, Zodiac six zero one Zulu Yankee (601ZY) taking off on runway 27, Carson traffic.”
  • Turning onto cross wind: “Carson Traffic, Zodiac six zero one Zulu Yankee turning onto cross wind, staying in the pattern, Carson traffic.”
  • Once on downwind “Carson Traffic, Zodiac six zero one Zulu Yankee, downwind, Carson traffic.”
  • Turning onto base leg “Carson Traffic, Zodiac six zero one Zulu Yankee turning onto base, Carson traffic.”
  • Turning onto final approach “Carson Traffic, Zodiac six zero one Zulu Yankee turning onto final, touch and go, Carson traffic.”

____ Pattern work

____ Airport communications

Completion Standards: This module is complete when the student can maintain flight within 150 feet, 15 degrees, and +/-10 knots while performing the maneuvers listed in the content of this module. The student can operate proficiently in traffic patterns and communicate while in the pattern.