Pattern Madness

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by dmccormack, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So I'm flying with a new student -- hour 6 -- and we're doing the normal pattern entry. on a 45, closer to the upwind end of the runway, but fairly close, etc. Winds are light but favoring 28, all traffic that has landed in past 45 minutes has landed on 28.

    He announced 3 miles from the field, entering the pattern, downwind for 28. I can hear other chatter on the radio but no airport ID -- just typical "Yeah, Jerry, I'm over here.." stupidity.

    We're nearly abeam the numbers when I see a glint of silver ahead -- airplane, our altitude, right at us.

    "My airplane."

    I do a right turn out of the pattern (C150, so a right turn lets me keep an eye on him), and watch as hero does a steep 360 then heads for the upwind side. I also hear , "Yeah, uhh, gonna head over to upwind side.."

    Again, no identifier, no nuthin.

    I get us back on downwind and see it's a silver RV.

    :mad2:

    Now -- someone please tell me -- why, oh why is it always these blasted RV drivers who feel compelled to do overhead breaks over public use, busy GA fields?

    I've yet to hear or see a Cessna or Piper or even Cirrus call "Overhead break" and ignore all pattern protocol (though I have had close calls with the same when they mis-called position, etc).

    Also, the non-standard radio use, the complete disdain for other traffic seems unique among these wannabes. What am I missing?

    :dunno:
     
  2. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    Apparently there was a fairly recent directive from the FAA that airport identification is no longer required or recommended as part of one's radio calls. I noticed about a year ago that there were a lot of people who would just things like '123AB on left down wind for the runway'. I thought this strange and non useful. But it seems extremely popular. I am sure I just missed the flyer, NOTAM, update to the FARs somehow. I see now that I am not the only one to have missed it either. You too are unaware of this radio procedure change.

    [/SARCASM]
     
  3. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    Did you speak with the pilot?
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  4. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Tried -- looked for him but didn't land at our airport.

    I've talked with a couple of others on the ground after near-misses. Don't think it does much good, frankly.
     
  5. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    That's the only way to go, and it is a fine line. Did the guy do something unsafe (if so, he needs to hear that from someone) or did he just do something you didn't like (my peeve is huge patterns)?

    Ideally, you try and say something to the illegal/unsafe guy, but bite your tongue with regard to the guy who did something that went against your preferences.
     
  6. bbchien

    bbchien Final Approach

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    Dan, the other guy is "cool" so he doesn't have to observe anything. He thinks those dangerous underpowered Cessnas should all be grounded.

    If this sh_t doesn't stop E-A/B is going to go away. FAA told Van this last year, as in "Do something".

    COOL is not a flat four banger.
    COOL is not spontaneously doing unbriefed formation aerobatics and eeclusively over airports so others can see you being cool.

    COOL is getting utility and operating for a lifetime without injuring anybody.
    You ought to post this on the red board Never Again string. The RV-er there just can't seem to grasp that they have a problem.
     
  7. ajstoner21

    ajstoner21 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'm getting the impression there is a common problem among RV pilots.

    First, What is E-A/B? And What is Van doing that needs to change?

    (This is all new to me. I never really paid attention to experimental/kit stuff)
     
  8. Tom-D

    Tom-D Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This sounds like you folks are talking about the RV squadron at AWO,, I'm starting to believe that attitude comes in a RV kit.
     
  9. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Experimental Amateur Built.

    The nice thing about RVs, they handle like a mini-fighter. The bad thing about RVs, they handle like a mini-fighter.
     
  10. BiffJ

    BiffJ Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Its not really limited to RV's though. We heard a Cessna of some sort announcing a straight-in to runway 07 at a local airport a couple days ago. The problem was the 4 gliders, 2 tugs and a couple others who were using the opposite runway- 25. When notified that all other traffic was using runway 25 the cessna said he'd watch out for them.......while he landed on 07. I guess the bright side is that he was at least talking.

    Frank
     
  11. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas En-Route

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    Couple of things I've noticed, having been around aircraft homebuilding since 1972: (1) Some guys spend a lot of time (years) building an airplane. They're often building because they can't afford to buy, so as they build they can't afford to fly, either. Skills get rusty, and problems show up when they start flying. (2) Some homebuilders are building airplanes that can't be bought. High-performance, flashy stuff, very expensive, very impressive. This can make them arrogant, and I've also noted that some guys, having been good at making a lot of money, start thinking they're good at everything else including flying. They're the guys that drill holes in the ground with fast airplanes when they get into situations beyond their skills. Before they do that, they cause problems around the airports, coming and going in illegal and/or dangerous manners. Almost impossible to get them to shape up.

    Dan
     
  12. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This is why I fly my airplane like I ride my motorcycle. I presume that everyone else in the air is an idiot who is trying to kill me.

    Once you adapt that mind-set, nothing surprises you, and everything works just fine.
     
  13. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Flying level at pattern altitude upwind on the downwind side is unsafe, stupid, and inexcusable, period.
     
  14. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I haven't posted much (at all?) on the Red Board, and I need another gang coming down on me on a web board like I need a hole in the head...

    But you're absolutely right. It's got to stop but I really don't know how we can stop it. It's a true Greek Tragedy, with hubris driving the inevitable -- yet foreseen -- conclusion.
     
  15. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Which is why I was able to see and avoid. That said, stupid pilot tricks over an airport are unnecessary.
     
  16. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    I AM RVDriver on the Red Board. "They" don't have a problem, nor do I. A few individuals may have a problem, and the problem may have a high profile, but don't extend that to the bigger group.

    Similarly, just because doctors have a reputation for cashing in their chips crashing expensive airplanes that were beyond their competency level doesn't mean I lump you or any other doctor into that group or that I say doctor/pilots are a menace to society. Certainly, a few probably are, but that's an individual thing to be addressed on that basis.
     
  17. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    But would it be accurate to say that a higher percentage of RV pilots "hot-dog" it around airports than the typical spam canner?
     
  18. Steve

    Steve En-Route

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    It's liking driving on the interstate...anyone driving slower than you is an idiot and anyone driving faster than you is an idiot, regardless of the speed limit.
     
  19. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Perhaps, but I have yet to see a Cessna or Piper go inverted over the airport...
     
  20. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ... or do formation overhead breaks....
     
  21. Jeanie

    Jeanie Pattern Altitude

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    OK, here's a question - I was flying into Pecos last week for their nice fly in. I heard a flight of 3 coming into the area w/ an "overhead break" and I wondered what's an overhead break... I'm not military so I don't really know how that's supposed to work. What I did know was that it was going to be mildly crazy and I slowed way down (which is funny in a 152) and waited till I knew all those guys were on the ground and outa my way.
    So, how does one do "an overhead break" and if you aren't military practicing in T38s or whatever the current trainer is why would you want to even do that?
     
  22. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's a way for people who never served or didn't serve long enough to pretend they're still in.

    :rolleyes2:

    http://www.vansairforce.com/community/showthread.php?t=34206&page=2

    Maybe there's a hint in that they call themselves "Van's Air Force"?

    :rolleyes:
     
  23. Jeanie

    Jeanie Pattern Altitude

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    WTF, they enter the pattern going 170 kts and do an overhead break to lose airspeed and altitude.... I still don't understand the procedure but it seems a bit extreme to me
     
  24. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Probably because it's entertaining to them, just like doing loops and rolls is entertaining to you. A busy traffic pattern at an uncontrolled airport is probably not the right place to be doing it, though.
     
  25. Pilawt

    Pilawt En-Route

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    Yes, I believe there is something about RVs and their pilots. Yes, that is a generalization, but some generalizations are useful. Not all RV pilots fly like idiots (thank you to those of you who don't), but there is a trend ...

    Likewise with "muscle cars" -- there's a valid business reason why State Farm charges more for liability insurance for a Mustang than for a Chevy Malibu.

    I've made a nice living from those who thought their performance cars made them better drivers than the law-abiding "slowpokes" on the road.
     
  26. Jeanie

    Jeanie Pattern Altitude

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    Yes, Mari, that's what I meant by extreme. Hot dogging around is fun when you have room and you won't hit somebody in the pattern. If you are at a large military field and it's part of the training blah blah blah then I imagine it's a blast to get to do that... but at dinky airports w/ folks training then it seems to be unsafe judgment - which I suppose was Dan's point in the beginning
     
  27. Aztec Driver

    Aztec Driver Cleared for Takeoff

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    That procedure would take more time to complete than just slowing down and doing a straight in approach. And if there is traffic, you still have to time it to fit in. Really saves no time, energy, or money, and, if not done properly, could have lots of consequences. I see no good reason to do this.
     
  28. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well, the slow guys (like my cherokee 140) can't do quite so much hot-dogging...or at least no one would be able to tell. :)
     
  29. Ddayle

    Ddayle Line Up and Wait

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    time and a place.... and the Pattern with Un-briefed fellow pilots of unknown skill level in NOT the place. My only showing off was to do a 180 at 800 AGL after take off and dive to 300'AGL over the runway for a screaming 110MPH pass in a C150. I was very very sure there was Nobody else in the pattern, and I made several radio calls about my intentions. To interfere with people flying 'normal' patterns is rude as well as dangerous. Dave
     
  30. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This is key -- if you hear someone else in or near the pattern, be considerate.

    Even so, I can't ever see a reason to fly at TPA opposite the normal flow -- especially a field where NORDO is frequent.
     
  31. Ddayle

    Ddayle Line Up and Wait

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    How slow? The Wa. State Patrol recently released a memo that driving to slow in the left hand lanes ( which is Illegal) is the leading cause of road rage. It is also illegal to drive continuously in the left lane of any state road or highway, the RCW says that the left lane is a passing or left turn lane & thru traffic should use the Right hand lane, and illegal to have more than 5 cars backed up behind you if you are not maintaining the speed limit. Ok do these are rarely enforced. But they are still the law. I am allowed by law to exceed the posted speed limit while passing and am allowed a 'reasonable distance' to slow to the limit. Most of these 'slowpokes' I observe will drive five under the speed limit then fail to make a complete stop behind the stop line or fail to signal as they move into my lane with out looking. I have never been hit by a speeder, but I have been hit and hospitalized by 'slowpokes' who did not yield the right of way. If I pass you I am not forcing you to follow at my speed, my draft will not accelerate your car, but if a slowpoke blocks my way at 5 under then they are imposing their will on me.. very unfair behavior. Sorry, I do not believe that driving slow automatically makes one either safe or legal. I may speed but otherwise I drive VERY legally (I have won EVERY ticket I have contested in court, but If I am guilty I pay the fine gladly). But then I notice that many people with very low performance also are driving high performance cars. My pet peeve is BMW drivers, my experience is that they so seldom use turn signals that I assume signals must be optional equipment they did not buy. This the Same guy who does the overhead break in his RV. Dave
     
  32. bbchien

    bbchien Final Approach

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    Try again, Kyle.

    I'm a P3 skipper, learned in a disciplined environment. Became a doc to educate my kids. The issue is the lack of discipline. Checkout the string again.

    RV pilots have a problem amongst themselves, and refuse to see it.

    I would summarize it by saying,

    "COOL" is not showboating over a public airport.
    "COOL" is not disregarding others in flight.
    "COOL" is years of useful transport utility without hurting or bending anybody.
    "Overhead Break" at a public airport.....not so much.
    "Those dangerous underpowered Cessnas".....not so much.

    If you guys don't start exerting pressure on your own, believe me, AFS 600 will do it for you. I'm just the messenger.

    Here's a digest of the redboard string:
    http://forums.aopa.org/showthread.php?p=1408644#post1408644
     

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    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  33. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It actually served a purpose in the old radial engine military airplanes in that it allowed you to maintain a decent power setting (to prevent shock cooling and reverse loading by pulling the power way back) and then slow the airplane down in the break enough to get you inside the flap and gear speeds.

    Really not much practical purpose in a modern day GA airplane unless you are just trying to act cool/show off.

    As far as entering the pattern at 170, it is more like flying a straight in low approach at high speed and then when you are over the runway, you enter the pattern by pulling up and turning x-wind, levelling off on the downwind at pattern altitude. Think of it as an extreme ILS turned into a circling approach.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  34. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    All true. Practicing for an airshow is about the only modern reason to do it.
     
  35. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    True. I've seen people do the overhead break at controlled and uncontrolled airports but I've honestly not given that much thought to it one way or another. One thing I did learn today is about how many people view RVs. I've always thought of them as a cute little homebuilt. The words, "wanna-be military" never entered my mind, even though I have seen some painted in military-looking colors. I never knew they had more negative reputation than Cirruses/Cirri or whatever they are called. :rofl:
     
  36. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There are some airports that seem to attract RVs. Hang around there a week or so and you'll quickly come to the same conclusions...
     
  37. Tom-D

    Tom-D Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Actually it doesn't matter what type of engine you have as much as a method of getting a 10 aircraft squadron over head and then separated to land.
    The Navy at sea, will have the returning air group arrive over head the ship for the boss to see how many aircraft he has to land, then break at 30 second intervals ahead of the ship and enter into the down wind. to land 2 minutes apart.

    I see no problem if the RV squadrons want to do this, but they should arrive at the airport much higher than pattern altitude and break into the up wind.
     
  38. Tom-D

    Tom-D Touchdown! Greaser!

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    AWO is one of them, and the RV squadron is mostly old military pilots and old retired airline pilots (maybe both) running on ego.
     
  39. kkoran

    kkoran Cleared for Takeoff

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    Please explain how a "break into the up wind" would work?
     
  40. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    You mean that it's like that all the time and not just on the few days before the yearly fly-in? I have a story about AWO which starts with looking at the NOTAMS and wondering why there would be a temporary tower there the next day. I had no idea. :redface: