VansAirForceForums  
Home > VansAirForceForums

-POSTING RULES
-Advertise in here!
- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.


Go Back   VAF Forums > Main > Safety
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-05-2021, 09:11 PM
highflight42x highflight42x is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Pasco
Posts: 107
Default crosswind vs. incoming 45 traffic: who has the right-of-way?

Here is a situation I encounter a lot at non-towered airports: airplane #1 is on crosswind and either turning or near to turning downwind, and airplane #2 is close-in on the 45 and about to turn downwind. Who should yield to whom? The FAA rules and advisories are not clear on this except that the airplane to the right or below the other has the right-of-way (pls educate me if I missed something in the regs). But, the situation changes rapidly and predictably as both airplanes are near to turning or into their turn to the downwind. When I am airplane #2, many times I have turned off of the 45 and done a 360 to let the crosswind airplane get well ahead on the downwind. And when the situation looked like I could stay ahead of the crosswind-to-downwind airplane by at least several hundred feet, I've made my 45-to-downwind turn in front of the crosswind airplane. And I've been airplane #1 many times as well - the same sort of decisions are required in that position. I have always thought, from training and experience, that the 45 and the crosswind are equally "in the traffic pattern", and it is a judgment call for each pilot to maintain adequate spacing. Can y'all point me to the FAA regs and advisories that will clarify this, or relate your experiences?

thanks!

Steven
1450 RV hours - another one today!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-05-2021, 10:19 PM
Tandem46's Avatar
Tandem46 Tandem46 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 688
Default

+1
Quote:
Originally Posted by RV8JD View Post
I think very few pilots think of who has the "right-of-way", but rather what will work out best given relative speed, distance, and verbal communication between the pilots.
__________________
RV-7 Flying since 2004
IO-360 1 LSE & WW200RV
1,200 hrs+
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-06-2021, 05:36 AM
Mel's Avatar
Mel Mel is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas area
Posts: 11,385
Default My Opinion........

The aircraft on crosswind is in the pattern and has right-of-way. This assumes that this aircraft is beyond the departure end of the runway and not mid-field.

The aircraft on the 45 is entering the pattern and should yield the the aircraft already in the pattern.
__________________
Mel Asberry, DAR since the last century. Over 1,000 certifications accomplished. Discount for Veterans, Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters.
EAA Flight Advisor/Tech Counselor, Friend of the RV-1
Recipient of Tony Bingelis Award and Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award
USAF Vet, High School E-LSA Project Mentor.
RV-6 Flying since 1993 (sold)
<rvmel(at)icloud.com>
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-06-2021, 06:26 AM
lr172 lr172 is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
Posts: 6,985
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel View Post
The aircraft on crosswind is in the pattern and has right-of-way. This assumes that this aircraft is beyond the departure end of the runway and not mid-field.

The aircraft on the 45 is entering the pattern and should yield the the aircraft already in the pattern.
This is what I thought was true, though I am not sure I read it verbatim. When I am entering the pattern with traffic taking off and staying in the pattern, I tend to assume it is a student and that he/she will do something stupid. If I can establish 2 way communication (simply telling him what I intend to do doesn't count), I will work something out. If I can't, I usually break off and do a 360 or some other maneuver before entering the pattern in conflict.

I am based at a non towered airport with a lot of student activity, so have had some scary situations. They sometimes get nervous and either don't make calls or listen to other calls.

Larry
__________________
N64LR - RV-6A / IO-320, Flying as of 8/2015
N11LR - RV-10, Flying as of 12/2019

Last edited by lr172 : 12-06-2021 at 06:30 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-06-2021, 06:27 AM
edclee edclee is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Lancaster, SC
Posts: 255
Default Pattern

Mel has it right. FAA recommended pattern entry is 45 downwind. There is no other "recommended entry". Crosswind is certainly in the pattern and gives you the right of way, but crosswind is not the middle of the runway, it is past the departure end in a closed pattern. I think if anything ever came of it, the FAA would find you at fault for not giving way to a 45 entry plane if you were entering on a crosswind over the airport.

That said, I will always use the over the airport, crosswind entry if I am on that side of the airport.
Ed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel View Post
The aircraft on crosswind is in the pattern and has right-of-way. This assumes that this aircraft is beyond the departure end of the runway and not mid-field.

The aircraft on the 45 is entering the pattern and should yield the the aircraft already in the pattern.
__________________
Sonex/Corvair 2016 Finished, Sold 2020
RV-9A 2005 Purchased
IO-320 160 hp
Exempt but happily paid for 2022
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-06-2021, 07:50 AM
Mel's Avatar
Mel Mel is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas area
Posts: 11,385
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by edclee View Post
Mel has it right. FAA recommended pattern entry is 45 downwind. There is no other "recommended entry". Crosswind is certainly in the pattern and gives you the right of way, but crosswind is not the middle of the runway, it is past the departure end in a closed pattern. I think if anything ever came of it, the FAA would find you at fault for not giving way to a 45 entry plane if you were entering on a crosswind over the airport.
That said, I will always use the over the airport, crosswind entry if I am on that side of the airport.
Ed
I would recommend that if you enter the pattern on crosswind that you do it beyond the departure end of the runway. That will give you a more complete picture of what's happening. And reduces possible conflict with traffic entering on the 45.
__________________
Mel Asberry, DAR since the last century. Over 1,000 certifications accomplished. Discount for Veterans, Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters.
EAA Flight Advisor/Tech Counselor, Friend of the RV-1
Recipient of Tony Bingelis Award and Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award
USAF Vet, High School E-LSA Project Mentor.
RV-6 Flying since 1993 (sold)
<rvmel(at)icloud.com>

Last edited by Mel : 12-06-2021 at 07:52 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-06-2021, 07:56 AM
N804RV's Avatar
N804RV N804RV is offline
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mount Vernon, Wa
Posts: 899
Default

The genius of the 45 degree entry is that if you're doing it right, there should not be a conflict between it and crosswind traffic. Because, an aircraft that is correctly making the turn from the 45 to downwind is already well ahead of the crosswind traffic.

When you enter the 45, your nose should be pointed at the approach end of the runway such that your turn to down wind will be mid-field at the proper lateral distance for your aircraft, well in front of crosswind traffic.

If that's not how you're making your 45s, I suggest using the "arrival" procedure in ForeFlight to give you some guidance to follow till you get the sight picture.

I really think a big part of the problem is that many CFIs allow their student's to fly such big patterns (in order to give them more time to establish a "stabilized approach") that we have a distorted view of what the pattern should look like.
__________________
Ken W.
Mount Vernon, WA
2022 VAF Supporter
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-06-2021, 08:56 AM
AlpineYoda AlpineYoda is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 398
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by N804RV View Post
The genius of the 45 degree entry is that if you're doing it right, there should not be a conflict between it and crosswind traffic. Because, an aircraft that is correctly making the turn from the 45 to downwind is already well ahead of the crosswind traffic.
Can we say "it depends"?

I can think of a LOT of variables. If the plane on crosswind is a C-152 or a Cub and you are flying a SF50 jet, and your 45 is not exactly midfield but a little closer to approach end, then you may not have the "right of way" but you can get into the pattern and land without interrupting the other plane. Vice versa, if the plane on the 45 is doing 60 kts and the plane on crosswind is doing 150kts, then the plane on crosswind will have to deviate for the plane on the 45 or it will overtake it if the plane on the 45 joins ahead.

Looking for a hard and fast rule? What I was taught basically boiled down to "will you enter the pattern and land without interrupting anyone else?" If yes, then proceed. If you will cause someone else to deviate from their intended speed or path, then join behind the plane on crosswind. Not much different from the decision to pull into traffic from a stop sign or yield sign in the car.

All that being said, I see lots of cowboys here in CO. There is a glider tow plane that has a hangar near mine who I routinely see cutting everyone off. He always flies a midfield 90 degree approach, then banks 60-75 degrees (might even be close to 90 degrees sometimes) in a 270 degree turn and drops straight onto the runway. I have seen plenty of planes on base or even long final when he does this. I don't think I have seen many people have to go around because of him, but I'm sure it is a bit of a surprise to think you are #1 for landing, turning base to final, and then see this guy spiral down right in front of you out of nowhere.
__________________
RV-10 build blog -- https://eaabuilderslog.org/?blproject&proj=7ZSwfzr2g
Started 12/19/2019
Engine hung 1/9/2021
Hoping to fly in April 2022

N1814T reserved with FAA
Donated Jan 4 for 2022
EAA and AOPA member
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-06-2021, 09:13 AM
rv8ch's Avatar
rv8ch rv8ch is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: LSGY
Posts: 4,622
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpineYoda View Post
...
All that being said, I see lots of cowboys here in CO. There is a glider tow plane that has a hangar near mine who I routinely see cutting everyone off. He always flies a midfield 90 degree approach, then banks 60-75 degrees (might even be close to 90 degrees sometimes) in a 270 degree turn and drops straight onto the runway. I have seen plenty of planes on base or even long final when he does this. I don't think I have seen many people have to go around because of him, but I'm sure it is a bit of a surprise to think you are #1 for landing, turning base to final, and then see this guy spiral down right in front of you out of nowhere.
The skydiving aircraft pilots are also fun to have in a busy pattern!

To be fair, they are usually very experienced and have a very "ain't nobody got time for that" attitude when it comes to slow aircraft flying a bomber pattern.

Gotta say I didn't know it was "legal" to enter the downwind after overflying the field with a 90. I've always done the descending teardrop entry. Good to know!
__________________
Mickey Coggins
Fresh Ukraine update from RV-6 owner Alex 6 May 2022!
http://www.rv8.ch/help-people-in-ukraine/
"Hello, world!"
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-06-2021, 09:16 AM
wawrzynskivp wawrzynskivp is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Incline Village Nv
Posts: 310
Default Right of Way

I love these discussions

Lots of advisory material and recommendations, only one set of rules defining right of way.

Fundamentally right of way only comes into play during a meeting scenario, or in the moments prior to a mid-air that both pilots have the opportunity to see and avoid.

Crosswind vs 45 entry shouldn't really generate a meeting scenario, perhaps the question is more one of 'interval.'

But let's say the person entering is nearer the departure end of the runway and a head to head pass is assessed. 91.113(e) burdens both aircraft to make room by maneuvering to the right.

If the person entering the pattern is closer to midfield, then as somebody suggested there really isn't a meeting situation with somebody on crosswind. But if we are really talking about somebody turning off crosswind and seeing the conflict then it depends on the pattern direction. Left pattern the aircraft turning off crosswind is burdened, right pattern the entry aircraft is burdened.

91.113(g) is perhaps the most misused of the rules. It is prefaced by 'on final to land or landing.' So its parts wouldn't apply to any other parts of the pattern.

Here is my favorite: At an untowered field there is a meeting situation between an aircraft on base and one performing a straight in. Many pilots/CFIs/even the authors of AC 91-66 claim the aircraft in the pattern has the right of way. (yes, they and I had that discussion and it led to a wording change) "[aircraft] on final approach to land or while landing, have the right-of-way over other aircraft in flight" Even a hot air balloon is burdened to do everything they can to 'give way' to the aircraft on final.

That rule gets people into a twist, and they make up all kinds of unrealistic scenarios to lend 'right of way' to aircraft in the pattern. Right of way isn't 'interpreted' except perhaps by a judge in the aftermath of an unfortunate event, and it certainly isn't or shouldn't be inferred.

I think the OP really spoke to how to take interval in non-towered situations. There aren't any rules for that only guidance.

Here is another favorite tickler (91.126): The only enforceable rule about patterns at non-towered fields is that when approaching to land all turns must be made to the left unless it is marked to make right traffic. My reading so far on FAA decisions about pattern conflicts always fall back on that rule. (circling from an approach is also similarly restricted) 'Approaching to land' is a very different thing from 'on final.' So a right turn from the 45 entry into a standard pattern would very much seem to violate this rule....Anyone want to feast on those entrails?

Last edited by wawrzynskivp : 12-06-2021 at 10:57 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:13 AM.


The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.