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IFR traffic pattern?

Posted By:
Alex McCracken
#1 Posted: 6/24/2011 21:45:43

I regularly fly on my flight simlator since Im not old enough for a lisence yet,but when i fly multiplayer, people ask about an IFR traffic pattern for touch and goes. I heard there was another name for this, is this true, and if so, what is it?

Thanks for any help



"There are things you know, things you don't know, and things you dont know you dont know"
John Nealon
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#2 Posted: 6/25/2011 19:54:43


If the weather is down to the minimums then there are no touch & go landings.  The approaches would be flown to a full stop landing or the pilot would perform a missed approach procedure.   On take off the pilot would perform whatever departure procedure he or she had been given in the clearance and leave the airport area.  However if the pilot  is on an instrument approach to the airport and breaks out of the clouds in VMC (Visual Meteorological Conditions) then the pilot could cancel the Instrument Approach clearance and fly a VFR traffic pattern including touch & go landings. 

Have fun with the Sim. Every Sim I've used is harder to fly than the real plane so you should have no problem when you get in the air.



Peter Weiskopf
Warbirds of America MemberHomebuilder or Craftsman
#3 Posted: 6/26/2011 16:31:19

This is sort of a trick question. There are several valid answers depending on the given conditions.

In all cases SEE and AVOID is RULE 1 

Conditions:    (Apologies to the FAA if I do not use the term NON TOWERED)

1.Airport is IMC and controlled

2a.Airport is IMC/not controlled but 1 mile clear of clouds and appropriate ceiling

2b.Airport is IMC/not controlled and less than 1 mile clear of clouds

3.Airport is VFR and Controlled

4.Airport is VFR and uncontrolled.


Conditions 1 and 3 The pattern  is what ever the tower instructs.

Condition 2a. Aircraft are conducting instrument approaches and are on an instrument flight plan.  If ATC has RADAR coverage, they will advise the IFR aircraft about the VFR traffic. The standard right of way rules apply. The IFR arrival does not have priority. RULE 1 applies. This is always something that pilots argue about. But ties goes to the NTSB for accident analysis.

Condition 2b. There should not be any VFR touch and goes. Subtle distinction, but IFR traffic may be cleared for the option and the option may be a touch and go. I would not expect ATC to clear 2 A/C for the option at the same time.

Condition 4. Right of way rules and RULE 1. IFR Aircraft may utilize the straight in  approach, however, they may be required to give way to aircraft established in the pattern. If they can sequence themselves in fine, otherwise they join the pattern. Generally, a sidestep to an upwind entry works.( But not if there is glider or helicopter traffic).

I will let someone else play with this a bit.