Base to final turn, overshoot final, now what?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by PaulS, May 22, 2020.

  1. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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    yes it is. there are only two answers. fly the plane and get back to a stabilized approach, or go around. how you accomplish that cannot be answered until you are in the situation. there is no simple answer other than fly the airplane.
     
  2. jimhorner

    jimhorner Line Up and Wait

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    Oh my goodness:

    1. Way more than 30 degrees bank.
    2. Clearly non-stabilized approach.
    3. Turn to final well within the proper 747 pattern.
    4. Not lined up on the centerline until the last minute.

    Only one conclusion here: Yer gonna die if you keep flyin like that!

    I’m kidding, of course. Looks like a lot of fun. I don’t have any Pitts time, but I do have solo time in a Great Lakes bplane. Very difficult to see the runway from the back seat on final. Curving approaches are the way to do it.

    I’ve been asked to do S turns on final and even once asked to do a 360 on final by the tower for spacing. No big deal.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
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  3. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    About 2 years ago I watched an excellent video on avoiding overshooting the extended centerline of final, and now I cannot find it!
    It made the far side of base leg a "Red zone" (similar to the Red Box of APS, to aid engine manipulation). It explained very well the hazards, and how to avoid, and what to do if in that position (yah, just go around).
    I have not so far been able to avoid the Red zone every time, but I have successfully recovered without extreme maneuvers (wings level, straight ahead climb, speed control, ball in the center, check ego in seat pocket).
     
  4. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    No it isn't a thread of two answers or trying mold something into an SOP, not even close, in fact I would say it's the opposite of what you say it is.

    My issue in the first post was about pilots who won't make an adjustment if they mess up the turn to final, they will go around if it doesn't fit their impression of a perfect pattern. My answer, again in the first post, is I fly the airplane. If I've really messed up then I suppose I will go around, but it has never happened to me on the base to final turn. It has happened on short final and after a touchdown/bounce.

    If you aren't comfortable fixing a messed up base to final turn, then by all means go around. But from the posts here, there are a lot of different ideas about how to fix things, including a couple about how a stable approach doesn't work for some situations. It's been an interesting read for me with some unexpected things and maybe a few things I'm not interested in trying, but to each his own.
     
  5. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    I don’t think you’re going to find a one size fits all answer.

    If you overshoot bass to final at my home airport with parallel runways, you’re likely to be staring at a jet about to take your nose off.

    Your safest option *might* be to *climb*.

    All depends on what insanity you just caused, outside the plexiglass ahead.

    Overshoots with close parallels is bad juju. No bueno.
     
  6. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

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    I do what you do. Simple correction to get back on final. I’ve never had to do a go around due to overshooting the turn to final, which probably happens 10% of the time. I suspect some of that might be new pilots who have had it drilled into their heads by CFIs that overshoot equals not having a stable approach.

    Also, go arounds are not free! They cost at least $30-40 depending on what you fly.

    Could someone please explain again why a constant circling downwind to final is a bad thing? Is it a more difficult maneuver?
     
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  7. Hacker

    Hacker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Well, at least we haven't had anyone advocate for no more than 15 degrees of bank in the pattern yet. I've heard more than one CFI advocate for that one.

    If 30 degrees of bank is safe, then 15 degrees of bank is safer, right?

    Maybe if we add a pad to the pad of the pad to the aircraft's actual performance capabilities, we can procedure all the airmanship out of flying an aircraft.
     
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  8. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    I experimented with it once in my Sky Arrow, and at least I can say it’s not horrible.

    But I’m blessed with excellent visibility in turns. A low wing plane would have the “outside” wing up during the entire turn, possibly blocking the view of planes on final.

    I tend to fly a pretty close pattern, and hence pretty brief base. Still, even rolling my wings level for about 5 to 10 seconds affords me an opportunity to look around, judge the wind and plan when to begin the turn to final.

    Works for me, but the constant circling turn can sometimes work as well, I suppose.
     
  9. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    Three years ago, this discussion came up and I made a video comparing circular and square patterns at Copperhill airport:



    The GoPro mounted to my baseball cap makes for a jerky video, but also documents where I’m looking at any given moment.

    Both patterns work out fine, but as I said, I appreciate the few moments of wing-level flight on base to size up how things are going wind-wise and to time the turn to final.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
  10. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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  11. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    I don’t think it is bad. I think it’s easier.
     
  12. Pugs

    Pugs Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It's not and it's the pattern we fly at the boat. I routinely fly it at the field with no traffic as well. In many ways safer as you're always in position to put it on the runway should the engine quit. If it's a controlled field I just let them know "short pattern"
     
  13. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    Maybe.

    But I still see a new or poorly trained pilot realizing halfway through the continuous turn that a tailwind is drifting him beyond where he should be in the turn. He’ll still need to increase the bank so as to not overshoot. Or just “help” a tiny bit with rudder, since he knows a shallow bank is the whole point of the continuous turn.
    Seems to me much the same problems can develop.
     
  14. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    I can do that equally well with the pattern I fly.
     
  15. Pugs

    Pugs Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Then we're both flying the "correct" pattern. It's getting rare. :D
     
  16. Doug Reid

    Doug Reid Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I was taught by an ex navy pilot. He referred to a circling approach as a "carrier approach". In a low wing airplane, you can see the runway all the way around from downwind to final. In a high wing airplane, you need to square the pattern in order to see the runway. I have no problem with anyone doing either as long as they are safe. Now..to answer OP's question...if you have sufficient time and distance to continue a shallow turn to get on final...do that. If not...go around.
     
  17. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I’m glad you posted this. I’m going to shorten it and make it more stupid....

    Banking does not increase your stall speed one bit. If you trim your plane for 1.3 times stall, you can bank all you want with no fear of a stall. As long as you don’t pull back.
     
  18. Stingray Don

    Stingray Don En-Route

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    “As long as you don’t pull back”
    _______________

    That’s the key caveat. A steep bank angle will increase the rate of descent. The tendency might be to pull back when you are already low and slow. If I can’t make it work with a 30 degree bank, then I would rather just go around, but that’s just me.
     
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  19. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    You know, I have never done it in the pattern, but it would be interesting to fly a normal pattern, for me, that means hit 500 ft agl on or just after the turn to final, with the only exception being, turn at 45 degrees, with no back pressure. It would be interesting to see how much additional altitude is lost and if you end up too low.


    For the pedantic here who are going to pipe in and say I've never lived, despite my saying I don't do over 30 degrees in the pattern, I have done it before, many times, it's just not how I choose to operate, you do you, I'll do me.
     
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  20. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    I don’t think it prevents uncoordinated flight. Someone that bad at flying will f it up no matter how they choose to fly their pattern.
     
  21. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    I remember when I first started flying, after I got my license, I blew through the final, the wind was howling at altitude. I remember how strong the urge was to press the left rudder to cheat the nose over to where I wanted it. I was patient though and landed. After I landed I thought about that urge, and banished it from my brain. Apparently more pilots need to do this "banishing".
     
  22. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    Anecdotally I believe it often correlates to poor/mediocre instruction.
     
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  23. ahypnoz

    ahypnoz Pre-takeoff checklist

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    After reading all these comments, I now understand why the rate of stall spins mortality rate is so high in Ga.


    This is from the AOPA “keep the wings” flying stall and spin accidents:


    “Steep turns in the pattern accounted for 32% of all fatal accidents. Of the stalls, 25% of stalls occurred in during “go around” and 54% of stalls occurring in all legs of the pattern between cross wind turn and final approach were fatal.


    While stalls during the turns from down- wind to base and base to final were less common than expected, accounting for less than 4 percent of those in the traffic pattern, their lethal reputation is fully justified: two-thirds of the former and 80 percent of the latter caused the death of someone on board. Stalls on final approach – some involving S-turns, 360s, or other attempts to slow for traffic ahead – were more frequent at six percent of the total, with a 40 percent lethality rate.”


    Take away

    1. If you do not do steep turn in the pattern, I.e limit the turn to 30 degrees or less you have reduced your mortality risks by 32%. (if you plan to turn at 30, but accidentally end up at 45, that is bad, but not real bad, if you plan on limiting yourself at 45 and end up at 60 in the pattern, going low and slow you might become a statistic).

    1. Base to finial and final to base stalls are rare (4%) but have a 80% mortality rate.

    1. be very very careful if you do any maneuvering on final, other than a controlled coordinated approach is very dangerous s turns 360 etc.



    If you never go missed, you are telling me that you never ever practice going missed. You are probably in the 25% stall mortality rate in the “go around”


    Personally I love trying to “make it work” when I am either too high or too wide or sometimes even both on final. It is fun to land it on the 1000 foot marker. But one thing I also do is practice my “go around” it is about 1 in 20 landings. If I am too wide and I can not get it back to center line in a coordinated bank of 30 degrees or less, I tell myself, I guess this is a good time as any to practice my 1:20 “go arounds.”


    Ask yourself, when was the last time you practiced an unexpected, while fully configured for landing “go around” while on final.

    Just based on listening to the radio, not very many pilots “go around”, thus the high 25% “go around” fatality rate. It should Not be so high, but it is.
     
  24. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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  25. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Every Commercial pilot does power-off 180s.

    As far as why they’re not the standard pattern, visibility mostly.

    The level portions of the pattern give you a chance to see behind a wing that’s either blocking your view of the runway environment in the turn (high wing) or blocking your view of the guy on a ten mile straight in about to run into you (low wing).

    But folks do power-off 180s in traffic patterns all the time at airports with training going on for Commercial students.

    Most instructors will fail the engine on Private students in the downwind also... point the nose right at the runway if you’re already low and the pattern is on the downwind side today, and get over there... no dawdling. Can lose a little altitude later... perfect pattern may be a bad idea on a high wind day.

    Constant speed, constant descent rate, in a constant turn or mixing turns and level bank, shouldn’t be a problem for anybody.

    That had better be an ingrained ability long before even solo, let alone a certificate.

    Pattern work just adds ground reference. If the wind is blowing you across final, you missed a visual cue somewhere. You needed a crab to stay parallel on the downwind or you were getting closer to the runway, after base turn the ground is going by faster than usual and you’re covering more of it... etc.

    But you’ll have the same visual cue issues in a constant turn.

    Is it “harder”? I don’t think so. Same problems really. You learn to see the changes in groundspeed and other cues that the wind is changing what you need to do today, with experience.

    And then you get that day that’s 30 knots direct crosswind at pattern altitude and 15 at the surface... ha. And it’s on the tail on base leg... you’ll need a continuous turn anyway... :)
     
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  26. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Why is that?
     
  27. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Many people don't fly coordinated?
     
  28. ebetancourt

    ebetancourt Line Up and Wait

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    Let's remember that correlation is not causation. I believe that not accepting that is one reason we can't seem to make big changes in the accident rates. Accidents happen during steep turns in the pattern, must be steep turns. Couldn't be training, proficiency, currency, ...
     
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  29. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Sounds to me like Class B violations...the majority happen to people whose instructors said “stay out of Class B,” with no instruction on how to do it properly. How many of the 32% had instructors who said “don’t exceed 30 degrees of bank in the pattern,” rather than ensuring a competence level that would allow it?

    of course, if we ensured competence in everything that would prevent accidents, we’d require hundreds of hours of instruction for a Private Pilot certificate.
     
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  30. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

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    The problem with the pattern is the proximity to the ground. A person may fly perfectly coordinated in all maneuvers at altitude but when close to the ground with your attention focused on objects on the ground such as the runway you can get jacked up. You are trying to fly this course across the ground in relation to the runway but because of the wind it just looks all wrong and when you unconsciously try to make it look "right" the next thing you know the ball is slammed all the way over to one side.

    and it doesn't just happen to noobies.
     
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  31. ebetancourt

    ebetancourt Line Up and Wait

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    Just got down from a flight for fun. At one point I was at about 80* of bank and near level flight stall speed. I turned about 60* in a power-off 180 approach and then went around from the flare (had called low approach only cause I was running late and still had to get home). When I came home (1800X60) I lost the strip when I flared, had to find the edge out the side. Amazingly, the airplane is still useable.

    Look, I am very lucky to have flown a lot of different aircraft over the years and gone through USAF pilot training twice (another story). I'm not advocating anyone do what I'm doing. But the PPL is a license to learn. A long list of "don't do this items" means one quits learning at some point. When you get lazy eights down by the book, do some at 60* or 90* (if your airplane is aerobatic) (crazy eights). Get some aerobatic training, practice everything you know. If your instructor has a long list of don'ts, get another instructor (qualified not stupid).
     
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  32. SToL

    SToL Line Up and Wait

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    That was Bob Hoover. He'd put it on one wheel, pull up, roll, and put it back down on the other wheel.
     
  33. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    I probably wouldn’t do a 45 degree bank if people were flying with me just for their comfort. I usually do a pretty good job of overshooting final so I’m more than glad to do it if I’m solo;)
     
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  34. Fiveslide

    Fiveslide Line Up and Wait

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    I thought that looked more like an airshow than a botched landing, that clip doesn't belong amongst the others in that video.
     
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  35. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

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    In all honesty, when I overshoot I do what Paul does, keep coordinated , keep the turn coming. Unless there is a conflict of some sort, like parallel runways, that works just fine. My primary CFI drilled into my head, don’t stall, nail airspeed or in if you have AOA, use it to judge how much lift you have (over simplified statement, without 2 AOA probes under both wing, you don’t get the lift data from both wings), you can’t spin without stalling. I used to practice side slip on base to lose altitude, this thread reminded me to go practice more, haven’t done that in a while. There are other things a lot of CFIs say, for example, don’t put flaps in while turning, might be a good idea for a student pilot , but if you know the plane, you should already expect what it will do when you put the flaps in.
     
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  36. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    The fear is that, in a split-flap condition, it would be more confusing and harder to deal with if it happened while banked. Admittedly rare, but with any kind of planning it’s just as easy to put down flaps on a wing-level leg.
     
  37. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

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    never heard that one before, but i guess its possible especially in electric flaps. thats a good point
     
  38. ebetancourt

    ebetancourt Line Up and Wait

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    Except for airplanes with flaperons, the flaps are usually mechanically tied together. It takes a major failure to cause split flaps. How the flaps are activated is irrelevant.
     
  39. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Pattern Altitude

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    There are monsters under the bed too.
     
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  40. Warmi

    Warmi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    True , but in this example configuration, some kind of mechanical failure at the fork attachment at either side would end up with split flaps ...I guess no more or less likely that ailerons attachment failure.

    122C9976-8B1E-402E-8B2B-F763A1E8E8B2.jpeg