Overhead Break

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Notatestpilot, Oct 25, 2020.

  1. Notatestpilot

    Notatestpilot Filing Flight Plan

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    I was flying back to my home airport, which is uncontrolled.
    I announced on CTAF that I was 10 miles out, then continued with subsequent closing distances.
    I also let other traffic know that I was going to enter the pattern with an overhead break to the left and joining the left downwind for the active runway.
    The only other aircraft in the pattern was doing T&G’s. To be safe they landed then taxied back...
    Do y’all think its safer to keep it simple and just do a normal entry instead of being a military wanna be overhead break?
    Ive also been at a towered airport where the controller called it an “initial”, which Ive learned/assumed was allowing a landing aircraft do the overhead break then joining the pattern. Does the term ‘initial’, equate to an overhead break?
     
  2. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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  3. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Your post is a little confusing. So you did the overhead but don’t know what “initial” is?

    Anyway, I don’t care if a pilot enters via 45, straight in, or the overhead. As long as they’re announcing their intentions, it’s all good.

    Oh, initial is 3-5 miles from the field where the maneuver starts. If it’s an airport that routinely conducts the overhead, initial, altitudes, turns, etc will be published. At civilian podunk airfield, expect anything.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020
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  4. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Were you flying an RV?
     
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  5. Boone

    Boone Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Just do what everyone else is doing and leave the military procedures out of it. I wish the 45° entry would go away and everyone would learn the overhead, but it’s not going to happen.
     
  6. Notatestpilot

    Notatestpilot Filing Flight Plan

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    Yes, RV.
    The other ‘slang’ that gets me is when tower tells me to “fly to the numbers.”
    If Im already on a base entry how do you fly to the numbers?
    I dont think I can safely execute a landing.
     
  7. Bellanca_Pilot

    Bellanca_Pilot Pre-Flight

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  8. Boone

    Boone Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I hear that occasionally at a local Class C. I have taken it to mean fly direct to intercept a safe landing path, not fly a straight line to the numbers.
     
  9. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    The idea is to be predictable, so folks know where to look for you. I know the object in the military is to be bad assed and all (actually, i think the overhead break stuff is to get airplanes on the ground faster) but we civilian pilots don't see a lot of that. If someone came on the radio and said they were going to do that I don't know where I'd look, other than overhead (which might not be easy were I flying a high wing airplane). The guy doing the T&G's did the right thing. If you're a civilian pilot you might try and fly like one. When in Rome and all...
     
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  10. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Why not? You need 2000 ft to land your AIM equipped RV?
     
  11. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    And God forbid anyone actually, you know, like take the ten minutes it takes to actually read something so they would understand what’s going on.


    Perish the very thought. And ban those silly approach things except in IMC, while we’re at it. Just so people don’t get confused, right?
     
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  12. Spacedoc

    Spacedoc Filing Flight Plan

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    Here's another thing to consider: I'm a low hour guy who just got his PPL over the summer. I didn't know what the hell an "overhead break" was until I read this thread and then looked it up. I'd never heard the term before. If you're doing this into untowered fields there's a chance that other pilots won't know what the phraseology means. I wouldn't have known what you were planning to do. If I had been that guy doing T&Gs I would have landed to a full stop as well until you were on the ground.
     
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  13. Bellanca_Pilot

    Bellanca_Pilot Pre-Flight

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    Another thing you will find Naval Aviators doing is using an oval pattern not squared off. Noting wrong just different. And completely acceptable to me.


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  14. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Pattern Altitude

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    I've done plenty of overhead patterns, but I'm not one of those wannabe military formie group clowns who insist on calling "initial" and "break". 99% of pilots don't know WTF that means. The point of using the PTT is to communicate, not to sound cool. So make sure COMMUNICATION actually happens. I don't care if the terms are in the AIM. Nobody's taught it and nobody hears it until the off-chance these military dress up groups call it up. Just say you're overhead upwind for a 360 circle to land. Even pilots who've never had a run in with these types will know what that means.
     
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  15. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pattern Altitude

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    My opinion:

    I would not do an overhead pattern at a non-towered airport.

    there is only one where I do an overhead pattern with some regularity and that’s Brown Field (KSDM) when approaching from the East.

    At Brown, when coming in from that direction, you’re awfully high having just come in over mountains. You need to lose altitude and the overhead pattern can be helpful.

    I don’t believe the average GA pilot is really aware of the overhead or how to predict the path of someone using it.
     
  16. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    I'll take 'Most Predictable Conversations' for $400, Alex.
     
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  17. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    I wonder if this is the same guy that when a buddy of mine was getting checked out in his RV6 some wannabe military RV pilot heard him on the radio and chimes in "I'll fly cover for you," and he circled above the airport continuously while my buddy got checked out in his new to him RV6.
     
  18. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    Whatever you do try to make it obvious to others in the pattern. Personally I don’t use the term overhead break if that’s what I’m doing. I call an entry on the upwind. In my experience it seems to be less confusing to other pilots but I don’t put it out there as the right thing to do...
     
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  19. KeepWatch

    KeepWatch Pre-Flight

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    Please tell me he called out a bogey at 4 o'clock high just to see what would unfold.

    ..... switching to guns.
     
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  20. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I do the warbird arrival at Oshkosh with great regularity. The tower often asks if I want to do the break, and I usually refuse. I can go from 135 knots on the approach to any spot on the runway they want in the last quarter mile just fine (Navions have a lot of drag when they're dirty).
     
  21. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Rhetorical question: If the RV guys get into a street fight with CAP mission pilots, which nomad-clad gang is POA supposed to root for?
     
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  22. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    It's only acceptable if you still refer to yourself using your callsign, and immediately tell people that you used to be a military aviator as soon as you start talking. Oh, and have an hour long brief and debrief before every 25nm VFR flight to get breakfast.
     
  23. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    The RV guys will win because the CAP guys won't know what they are supposed to do without a checklist, and then when they find one, it will take them 30 min to read it.
     
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  24. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    The only acceptable answer is the same as when Notre Dame plays OSU: Hope there's a cataclysm in which the Earth opens up and swallows both sides.
     
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  25. MacFly

    MacFly Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I fly an RV and make that approach routinely, although I've always called it a crosswind-for-downwind-from-midfield". I'm going to start announcing it as an "overhead break" just as I put the hook down.
     
  26. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Pattern Altitude

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    That's not an overhead pattern though, other traffic will expect a crosswind entry rather than overhead upwind pattern entry if you say that.
     
  27. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Terms like “initial” or “break” have nothing to do with military specific. If you are doing the overhead, they are common terms and if going into any towered field, you should hear them. And no “break” has nothing to do with breaking up a flight either.

    6ACA4BBE-EB56-4237-8021-61661BC8BFA0.jpeg

    2652FFF5-0380-4A79-9188-C0972F3D0776.jpeg

    Problems exist with the overhead because 1) a lot of pilots in the pattern have no clue what the maneuver consists of and 2) a lot of times the pilot conducting the maneuver doesn’t even understand the specifics of the maneuver.

    Don’t know how many times I’ve heard a pilot stating what the overhead is when in fact, it’s either a high seed pass down the runway to a pitch up. Or, what they’re describing is a 360 power off. This confusion can lead to assumptions of where an aircraft should be among other aircraft in the pattern. If you don’t know how to do the maneuver properly, then just leave it to airfields (fighter / attack) that have a genuine operational advantage in conducting the maneuver.
     
  28. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Pattern Altitude

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    The reality of it is that if you call "initial" for the "break" at an airport where there's a beehive of flight school trainers doing laps around the pattern, nobody will know WTH you're talking about. The fact it's in the AIM doesn't, and never will change this. Pilots need to communicate with terms others understand.
     
  29. Domenick

    Domenick Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Let's get this straight. An overhead approach/pattern/break is a military aviator maneuver designed to reduce aircraft recovery time back to the carrier. In effect it is an abbreviated pattern. The aircraft flies either upwind or on a final. They then "break" at the numbers (or farther down the runway) into a crosswind, cutting across the downwind traffic. The aircraft then flies a very shortened downwind, and more or less typical base and final.

    How is it safe at a civilian non-towered airfield to cut across downwind traffic?

    We have a very busy non-towered field close to my home drome. There are a group of RV wannabe military yahoos who insist on mucking up the pattern with "overhead breaks." They call themselves the "Blackjacks" (oooh). We call them the "JackOffs".
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
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  30. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Having no military flight experience whatsoever, does one have to specifically request the arrestor cable?
    One of those questions that keeps us civilian pilots up at night...
     
  31. Bellanca_Pilot

    Bellanca_Pilot Pre-Flight

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    How adult, calling other fliers names. WOW!


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  32. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    That's just mean

    Probably the RV guys, since they at least OWN their planes :)

    Places with a lot of RV pilots doing the Overhead also have a lot of training going on. Wouldn't training to understand the term be better than squashing its use? Another example is doing practice approaches to same training hive. Do you report your position on the chart only, your distance to the field only, or both while communicating your intentions?
     
  33. MacFly

    MacFly Pre-takeoff checklist

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    As long as I remember to get the hook down, it's all good.
     
  34. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    If they aren’t familiar with those terms then they don’t know what the overhead is to begin with. How do you communicate a maneuver to the uninitiated with unfamiliar terms?
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
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  35. Bellanca_Pilot

    Bellanca_Pilot Pre-Flight

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    We have a large group of RV’s here in Central Texas that go around the country in a group even to Oshkosh. The amazing thing is that just about every RV Group I know of includes many former guys who flew F14,F18,F16,F15, T38, F5, A4, T2. Etc................. I support them. And yes, they too own their own planes!


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  36. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Pattern Altitude

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    You think a flight school needs to have a big pow-wow with all their instructors to get them to teach all their students about overhead patterns, "intial", and "break", just for a small group of formation wannabes at an airport with 170 planes based there? How about the few wannabes stop trying to sound so cool and just say "overhead upwind for a 360 circle to land" if they feel they want to do an overhead, and the pattern will accommodate it.
     
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  37. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Pattern Altitude

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    Post #'s 14 and 36
     
  38. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

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    He better be, only RVers are allowed this entry;) since Cirrii get the 10 mile straight in ...:p

    Seriously, most of the guys DOING one don't know the true pattern either:confused::confused:

    My field has too much student activity and several Cirrii to even consider it ... if low traffic, I have worked it out with the CFI in front of me to allow me to power off 180 since his student is running a 747 pattern.
     
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  39. Boone

    Boone Ejection Handle Pulled

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    The Navy definitely looks better doing it but the AF actually does it as well. Easy mistake to make.
     
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  40. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    Is it safer to do what everyone expects you to do? Probably. Will you annoy others if you do it anyway. Definitely.

    If you're ok with being that guy, be that guy.
     
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