Who Has the Right-of-Way?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by OkieFlyer, May 16, 2018.

  1. OkieFlyer

    OkieFlyer En-Route

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    This may be a dumb question. I think I know the answer, but I want to hear from others.

    At a non-towered airport, if there is someone on base leg, and someone on a straight in instrument approach, which one do you think should deviate if they are converging?

    For your IFR guys, do you see your practice instrument approach more or less important than the peeps in the pattern? Perhaps that's not the right way to ask. How important do you feel your instrument approach is in relation to the standard procedures at a non-towered field in VFR conditions?

    Do you expect pattern flyers to deviate to make your approach work?

    For VFR only guys, do you expect the pattern to take precedence over practice approaches?

    Do you expect the plane on IFR approach to break off if he's entering the pattern at a bad time, or do you just try to make room?


    Just curious what peoples' thoughts are on the subject.
     
  2. falconkidding

    falconkidding Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Idk had a 310 yell at us for cutting off his instrument approach. Had 4 other planes in the pattern not sure what he wanted us to do. I dont care to extend and do it all the time for jet traffic but gotta communicate early and often and accurately before ill jump in an volunteer to mix up the pattern
     
  3. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    91.113 and 91.115 are where I'd start.
     
  4. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    If one of the aircraft happens to be a cirrus, I know who has the right of way.
     
  5. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    Right of way goes to the lowest aircraft, BUT should not be used to cut off someone else. Traffic on final often gets RoW, but not always; there is still debate about the definition of "on final."
     
  6. eman1200

    eman1200 Final Approach

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    hhmmm, details details...........the lower aircraft has right of way, no? I would expect someone on base to be lower than someone a few miles out on an approach, but who knows where the IFR guy is, right? doesn't matter ifr or vfr for me, I try to work with whoever/whatever the situation may be, but some of u IFR guys think ur shiznit don't stink and everyone should get out of your way.
     
  7. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Common sense and basic communication.

    If everything needs to be paint by numbers, flying might not be the best choice for ya lol

    I'm tight base for a touch and go in a PA18 with a C182 on 8 mile straight in, the PA18 goes first

    C182 on a bomber sized downwind with a PC12 on a 6 mile final, C182 can extend his downwind and turn base abeam the pilatus.

    Just talk and use common sense, not that big of a deal really.
     
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  8. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    On a practice approach,pilots usually cut of the approach and join the pattern or go missed,before they interfere with VFR traffic in the pattern.
     
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  9. DanWilkins

    DanWilkins Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don't know the answer. I do know that when two pilots believe that each has the right of way bad things can happen. I don't like being dead right.
     
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  10. JCranford

    JCranford Pattern Altitude

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    If I’m doing practice approaches, I’ll yield row to VFR pattern traffic
     
  11. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Not enough info, in my opinion if you are on base when the straight in announces, you have ROW. It really depends, if someone is on a 2 mile final and I am downwind, I would extend for them. Lots of scenarios. Ideally the guy on the straight in calls at least 4 or 5 miles out, which should make things pretty easy. If there are 3 in the pattern, 2 on downwind one on base, the IFR guy can fit himself into the down wind and fly a normal pattern. This isn't just for IFR traffic, I've been on long finals before flying vfr and broken off for traffic in the pattern. Make it work.
     
  12. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The correct answer is who has to pee the worst? That guy gets the right of way.
     
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  13. DanWilkins

    DanWilkins Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Who carries a drain bottle? I do.
     
  14. TheGolfPilot

    TheGolfPilot Line Up and Wait

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    It comes down to situational awareness and a little courtesy. If it’s severe vmc and the pattern is full, the guy on the approach needs to maneuver if they can’t fit in.
    Now if it’s 700 overcast and someone is putting around the pattern just barely in class g, they need to give way to the guy on the approach.

    Unfortunately common courtesy isn’t so common
     
  15. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This occurs daily at the local airport. Everyone communicates and it gets worked out. Two flight schools on the field and we all know each other, so we all try to accommodate each other and get along.

    Communicate, yeah that's the ticket!

     
  16. Kansas Flyer

    Kansas Flyer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    "Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Traffic. Pilots conducting instrument approaches should be particularly alert for other aircraft in the pattern so as to avoid interrupting the flow of traffic, and should bear in mind they do not have priority over other VFR traffic."

    AC 90-66B
     
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  17. OkieFlyer

    OkieFlyer En-Route

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    Those scenarios are quite obvious, and as primarily and non-towered field flyer, I'm quite used to much closer traffic than that, and communicating and working things out on our own. The question is whether a the practice approach should be broken off before upsetting the flow of traffic in the pattern. Simple sequencing and a slight extension of downwind is obviously easy to do, but I'm talking about approaches that are going to upset the apple cart, and whether the person on instrument approach feels he should be the one to break off or expect the pattern guys to move.

    I ran into a situation a couple weeks ago where Tulsa Departure was dropping guys off radar service on 5 mile finals at an airport outside the Tulsa Class C. There was a steady stream of instrument approaches coming in and their first call on CTAF was 4-5 mile final, one after another. It's difficult for the pattern traffic sequence themselves around a bunch of straight in finals, particularly if their first call is just a few miles out. I was in the pattern and extended downwind for one guy, turned base, then surprise, another one jumped in on CTAF. Since I was extended already, so I'm already going to have about a 2.5 mile final myself at this point and we were going to end up pretty close to each other. I was slightly ahead but not yet on final. I just called him up and said I've already extended for the guy ahead of you, I'm going to go ahead and turn final. He (slightly annoyed) said okay, I guess we'll just go missed. He was a pretty good sport about it, and it wasn't a huge deal, but it got me wondering whether we did what's best. I'm generally the first to offer to extend or whatever I need to do to make it work. That's just how it is in non-towered land and it works well most of the time. That said, I'm very much not used to a bunch of practice approaches and particularly not used to ATC dropping people in on straight in finals that close to the airport. Generally speaking, if there is someone doing an instrument approach, they'll start talking to the traffic well in advance so everybody can work around it. No biggie.

    Yes. That's what I would expect.
     
  18. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Your answer previous post, #16.
     
  19. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The pragmatic answer is talk to each other, folks, and work it out. If I'm in the pattern and will converge with a straight in on base, I'll just extend my downwind a bit and all is well. No sense getting put out. The straight in may be a plane on an instrument approach, or a turbine aircraft that doesn't need to fly a big pattern at a small airfield.
     
  20. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route

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    Neither one of you...
     
  21. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well the IFR dudes should really be monitoring a good ways further out, and be letting folks know their plan well before short final, some are just a little lazy though
     
  22. Sundancer

    Sundancer Pattern Altitude

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    Not sure of the "rules", nor care overmuch; if I'm practicing approaches in VMC, I kinda assume that's not a license to come straight-in with VFR traffic in the pattern; it's on me to "fit-in". Non IR pilots don't often know the fixes or intersections, so I'll call distance out and RWY on CTAF.

    Udder hand, if I'm VFR and about to turn base, and someone calls five miles out, they'll be following me, unless a fast mover is in the mix.
     
  23. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    If someone is on a practice approach I will usually yield so they can execute to mins and missed approach if needed...even though I may have right of way, no need to blow an entire approach for someones else if I can extend or do a quick 360.

    Now if you just announce straight in...join the conga line buddy.

    Either way, never ASSUME the right away...cuz even though you may be correct, you may be the one killed if the other pilot does not agree with your assumption.
     
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  24. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    I've experienced a situation where a "fast mover" who really wasn't that fast tried to bully everyone out of his way. "VFR spamcan, midfield downwind for 19" "Uh, yeah, this is TBM XYZ, we're on a 5 mile final at 170 knots, inbound 19, gonna need VFR spamcan to extend".

    Unsaid: "Huh?? How 'bout you put the brakes on that sucker and fit into the flow?"
     
  25. OkieFlyer

    OkieFlyer En-Route

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    I couldn't agree more. I would do the same. I can't do that if I'm on base when he calls in, however.

    Again, we worked it out, but we got closer to each other than I like before it got worked out.

    In this case, ATC didn't let them off the hook with sufficient time for them to communicate and allow us to sequence properly.
     
  26. woodchucker

    woodchucker Line Up and Wait

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    Podunk traffic, Cessna final .... declaring peemergency ...
     
  27. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’m happy to extend, but wish the IFR approaches would use distance vs IFR landmarks on CTAF. Hard to know where they are when you don’t have an approach plate
     
  28. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    I'm more than willing to extend downwind a bit to let them get some decent training in. If they are doing it when it's busy and want to play some kinda 'we should have priority card,' that I don't like. I also don't like someone in the pattern playing some kind of 'you ain't entering on the 45 so F you card' just to make a point.
     
  29. OkieFlyer

    OkieFlyer En-Route

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    I will quote myself from the opening question:

    Y'all gonna extend the base leg?
     
  30. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If I’m on base and someone calls 3 or 4 miles out then chances are I’m landing ahead of them with no conflict.
     
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  31. OkieFlyer

    OkieFlyer En-Route

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    Eh, it was an oddball situation that turned out fine. Had I not been so far out due to extending for the first guy, there would have been no issue at all. Just wish he would have knocked off the approach before we were close enough for a LowflynJack photo op.
     
  32. DanWilkins

    DanWilkins Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If we can express our differences here instead of in the traffic pattern, we all will be safer.
     
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  33. FlySince9

    FlySince9 Pattern Altitude

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    I've noticed that most of the practice approaches, where I'm based, are broken off before getting mixed up with local traffic, but will announce when their next will be a full stop... seems like they won't do the full stop if their approach will conflict with the vfr traffic, but as I've said in at least 2 other threads, many IFR guys talk IFR and VFR guys have no idea how that equates/relates to local vfr traffic patterns. So pretty much check final b4 turning final. By the way, very recently a guy on a real instrument approach was given a visual and he just came barreling down final without calling CTAF... Three other aircraft, including us, were talking and knew each other's position. As we turned final, this guy is about three heartbeats from T-Boning us... He saw us and did a 180... Whew! I confronted him on the ground and he said Approach did not release him until it was too late... Hmmm, he could have cancelled when he had the airport in sight, giving him plenty of time to mix with local traffic safely....
     
  34. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Just start stuttering and say you are turning base, ah final, ah no base, ah...….
     
  35. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They have another comm radio that they should be monitoring and communicating on. I always have done it that way. Even at the airline we serviced a few nontowered airports and used this procedure.
     
  36. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Did the FAA retract that approaches conducted under simulated conditions only count for currency if flown to minimums, or flown to the timer expiration? Because if they haven't, that could be a reason that those a-hole instrument guys aren't breaking off the approaches.
     
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  37. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner En-Route

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    If I hunted around, I could find a couple of violations (Alaska Airlines, IIRC) that back up the AC statement.
     
  38. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    91.113(g) is the answer. However it's another rule that is so poorly constructed that people don't agree on it's meaning

    91.113 (g) Aircraft, while on final approach to land or while landing, have the right-of-way over other aircraft in flight or operating on the surface, except that they shall not take advantage of this rule to force an aircraft off the runway surface which has already landed and is attempting to make way for an aircraft on final approach. When two or more aircraft are approaching an airport for the purpose of landing, the aircraft at the lower altitude has the right-of-way, but it shall not take advantage of this rule to cut in front of another which is on final approach to land or to overtake that aircraft.​

    If you parse this carefully.
    1) Aircraft which just landed have right away provided they are moving to get off the runway.
    2) Then aircraft "on final" or actually landing have right of way
    3) When two aircraft are approaching for landing, an aircraft already on final has right of way.
    4) If neither aircraft is on final, then lower one goes first.
    5) If you're still not sure, yield to the right.

    The biggest confusion here is that "on final" is nebulous. There's also confusion when aircraft type/speed is unknown. A 5 mile final for a Citation is legitimate. A 5 mile "final" for a 152, not so much. Somewhere in the middle it gets weird.

    What I try to judge - when someone calls a straight in "final", how far out are they and can I land and get off the runway before they land? When I turn base, I have a mile to fly which takes about a minute. I probably take 30 seconds to set down and then depending on how well I did with a short field, another minute to clear the runway...so 2.5 minutes for me to do that, which means if they are less than about 2 miles out, then we're close. Add another mile for their comfort, they need to be 3 miles out or I have to extend. Adjust longer for faster aircraft.

    Aircraft coming straight in really screw up the pattern.
     
  39. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Oops. I used to know how to read, lol.
     
  40. wayne

    wayne Line Up and Wait

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    When practicing with a safety pilot in VMC we try to work it out with those in the pattern, often "going missed" on the early side to help with that. If the airport is really busy with pattern / VFR traffic then we go to another airport. Other times I'm doing IFR practice in IMC, so less of a chance of VFR traffic.
     
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