Why do CFIs discourage midfield crosswind?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by hish747, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I get both points. But still fail to see how keeping the entire pattern in view for an approaching aircraft is not much safer and less likely to result in a midair than any other option like the descending teardrop where at least one of the two planes has 0 visibility toward the other plane at any given time.

    Is it a surprise to have a plane join you on midfield downwind at 90 degrees unexpectedly? Yep. He should avoid that. FWIW I think it'd be equally surprising to have an airplane join me on midfield downwind from 135 degrees behind me too. But if the entering plane misses you I don't think it matters what angle he surprises you from
     
  2. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    First, I did not call him stupid. And second, maybe you missed my follow-up post:
    Just trying to inject some levity into a topic that's been hashed here before ad nauseam and always turns into the same pizzing contest.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
  3. LongRoadBob

    LongRoadBob Cleared for Takeoff

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    That first sentence was unecessesary...but the rest was a point that I have wondered about too.

    I had started a thread about this a while back, and it went about the same. Since aviation mostly seems to be built on experience, and ratcheting up procedures to make I all safer I was kind of expecting they had this all figured out yet I figured it was me not getting it. Seeing all the discussion, and differing views on this let’s me know I have to have a talk with my CFI to hear what he says about it.

    Very interesting discussion. Also since there are so many views I see more and more why I have to have my head on a swivel...so where can I buy a head swivel mount?
     
  4. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Easy with an Airport elevation of 2,500'. :cool:
     
  5. LongRoadBob

    LongRoadBob Cleared for Takeoff

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    It’s good to have these threads. For a newcomer, it make us realize that there is no universal consensus.

    This was the most recent tutorial I watched the other day and makes some sense to me. Here they show towards the end a “target point” further out to come in on the 45 safely.

     
  6. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It's worth mentioning...

    Over the runway, on a midfield crosswind, places you right at the center of the goat rope and requires you to check for traffic in every direction from your position. And, add to that, on a calm day, when there's no obvious runway in use and planes could be planning to use the opposite runway as you?

    Fuhgeddaboutit!

    And, yes, I know, you should always check for traffic in every possible direction, but why put yourself in a location that demands it?
     
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  7. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    This gave me an idea on how to sort out the free-for-all around uncontrolled airports (puh-leeze, it AIN'T "pilot controlled"). Just change 91.126 to require all "looks" to be to the left instead of "left-hand turns"! I bet everybody would ease into the pattern more carefully if they had to depend on somebody else's eyesight instead of their own marvelous vision.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
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  8. JOhnH

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    I agree with that.
    I don't care if someone wants to call it "pilot controlled", but don't correct me or others when we say "uncontrolled". If there is no control tower, it is uncontrolled.
     
  9. LongRoadBob

    LongRoadBob Cleared for Takeoff

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    Someone mentioning the pearl drop 270 turn effectively blind siding the pilot on high wing planes made me realize high vs low wing would maybe have different methods that were more optimal for seeing other traffic?
     
  10. Witmo

    Witmo Pattern Altitude

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    s

    High wing/low wing, grass/paved, fast airplane/slow airplane, tandem/side-by-side, local/transient, calm winds or direct cross/20 knots straight down the runway, experienced pilot/inexperienced, lots of traffic /no traffic, etc etc etc. There is no single entry that's perfect under all the variables a pilot should be considering before sticking his nose into a traffic pattern. That 45 degree entry might be putting the sun directly into your face at that particular time of day which effectively blinds you to everything in front of you so some other entry would be much more appropriate for the given circumstance.
     
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  11. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Interesting to contemplate. I'm having some trouble imagining the implementation of this technique in a way that avoids eventually having the sun in your eyes. Do you take a wide route to final and then make a straight-in? How do you get there without the sun blinding you on the way? You could just postpone landing until after the sun sets, I guess.
     
  12. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Sorry, not following, mid field, I know the traffic on upwind and final are by design, far away and below. A mile from the field, I look at the upwind leg, both directions to check for the oblivious. As I cross the upwind, midfield, I'm looking at the down wind, again both ways, plus in front for someone coming on a 45. By this time I've announced at least 3 or 4 times where I am and what I am doing. Hopefully people in the pattern are talking and I know where those people are. By design, flying over midfield, I don't have to be too concerned with someone taking off, or someone landing, where as on the upwind they are converging with me if it's my unlucky day. Making the turn to downwind is no more dangerous than coming in on a 45. The same issues that can bite you midfield are the same that will bite you coming in on a 45. The calm day scenario makes flying the crosswind regularly to join even more dangerous in my opinion.
     
  13. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Huh? Who's going to be converging with you when you're on upwind? Besides, upwind is not a part of the contemplated scenario.

    Ahhh...relying on radios...got it.
     
  14. Lindberg

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    Was thermaling over an airport the other day and saw the best [worst] of both worlds. Pilot crossed west-east midfield, flew two miles past the field, u-turned, flew back over midfield east-west to enter left downwind.
     
  15. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    BTW...entering the crosswind over the end of the runway (or just a touch beyond) instead of flying a mid-field crosswind also has the advantage that you are flying the EXACT same circuit that you do when you stay in the pattern practicing landings...so you should already be familiar with everything about it. Including the timing and speeds and slowing down, etc.

    This should be especially beneficial for a low time pilot.
     
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  16. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    What if it's Class E to the surface?
     
  17. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    It’s an uncontrolled airport in controlled airspace...unless it happens to have a tower.
     
  18. FlySince9

    FlySince9 En-Route

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    Then the airspace is controlled but the airport traffic area is still uncontrolled...
     
  19. hish747

    hish747 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Actually Tim, to point out the obvious, the 4th word of your 1st post is "stupid". What's more incredible is your comment expressing frustration with such topics becoming a "pizzing contest" since you literally are the one who started it in that direction with your accusation that my motivation was stupidly trying to save time; which is unfounded nonsense and contributes nothing to a serious discourse to be had. A general suggestion to folks who think that a topic has been addressed once too many, please just ignore the thread. You aren't paying the bandwidth or storage costs on POA so let that be someone else's problem. In closing, I really appreciate the contributions by PaulS, dtuuri, LDJones and others who shared their insightful comments. This is exactly what I was hoping to get out of this topic.
     
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  20. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    So you don't look to the upwind?? That's not good at all, no, no, no. Upwind is the guy not on the radio, out enjoying life, it's his down wind.

    Yep, radios and eyeballs, ignore either to your own and everyone else's peril.
     
  21. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    IFR traffic is "controlled". It's for them. VFR traffic can stay out unless the wx is good.
     
  22. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Line Up and Wait

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    What’s the confusion here ? Everyone knows .45ACP, Mary Ann, Emacs, and open carry!
     
  23. FlySince9

    FlySince9 En-Route

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    We weren’t talking about IFR in this thread

     
  24. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Line Up and Wait

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    True, and it may have something to do with that diagram. If a runway is typically about a mile long, that is badly not to scale for a two mile outleg.
     
  25. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    My comment was about controlled airspace. You can't separate the two when you're discussing Class E.
     
  26. Hank S

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    When flying IFR to a nontowered field in Class E airspace, does ATC ever vector you after you call the field in sight? Do they tell you which runway to use, where to enter the pattern (report 3 mile left base for 27), etc., or do you do your own thing in VMC? With no tower, once I call the field in sight, ATC gives me the choice to cancel IFR in the air or on the ground, but they have yet to offer vectors, sequencing or clearance to land at a non-towered field, regardless of the airspace surrounding it.

    In other words, your argument is disingenuous, ineffective, inapplicable, inappropriate and was a waste of your time to try to make it.
     
  27. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    I have no earthly idea what the heck you're talking about.

    Edit: I can't engage you in an argument based on your argumentative tone. You need to say something opposite of what I say or else it makes no sense. In this case, as you say, ATC gives the IFR aircraft the choice of canceling in the air or on the ground. That proves my point that IFR aircraft are being protected in Class E controlled airspace. Not just from other IFR aircraft until they cancel, but from VFR aircraft by increased weather minimums allowing see and avoid.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  28. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Speak for yourself!


    <-----

    Because, actually, yes, yes I am.

    And I have a very smart-assed pointed sense of humor that you don't understand yet. Not as bad as EdFred, granted, but still....

    :rolleyes:

    Seriously my first post was all just smart-assed BS due to the previous pizzing contests that have occurred on this topic here. You'll get used to it, or not, I don't care which.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  29. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What he is saying is that IFR doesn't mean a controller is controlling the airport if there's no tower. Regardless of class e to the surface or class g, the airport environment itself is not-controlled, and therefore, these exact same scenarios apply equally. You still need to look for other aircraft and fit into the pattern (unless its IMC, in which case there should not be any VFR traffic in the area).

    And therefore, the IFR conversation is not germane to this conversation.

    So back to the point at hand - is there really a difference between being surprised by someone 90 degrees off your right side during downwind who joins the pattern and didn't see you and someone who entered on a teardrop, didn't see you, and surprises you from behind and to the left of you?

    Nope. Either way, the approaching aircraft has the responsibility to see and fit in, and I'd rather see the whole pattern via a midfield crosswind than to limit myself by doing it 500ft above TPA and then descending into the 45 on the other side.

    And as the aircraft approaching, that's all that matters, frankly.
     
  30. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    I can't figure out what your point is, or what you thought his point was. In other words, water is wet, so what?
     
  31. WannFly

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    Straight in, straight in
     
  32. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Controlled airspace doesn't mean all aircraft in it are under ATC control, just the IFR aircraft. VFR aircraft are "controlled" by weather requirements to protect IFR aircraft. That's why you have transition areas for the IFR approach. In the glory days before Control Zones were renamed Class E surface areas it was apparent that "Control" didn't mean VFR traffic was being directed by ATC because many control zones had no tower or ATC facility of any kind despite the authoritarian name. I think the connection between controlled airspace and IFR traffic has been lost on the younger generation, but knowing it puts things in a more clear perspective of what it's all about. That's why I interjected.

    On the other matter, you're OK with somebody heading straight at you doing the same thing as you only in the opposite direction? Somebody hard to see and fast, like an RV? FWIW, I'm not in favor of the +500 foot crossover either. I used to be, but I've found I'm the only one that ever did it correctly.
     
  33. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have no idea where you're going with the IFR stuff. But I think we all agree that IFR aircraft are not under a controllers guidance or direction in the pattern if a class e airport .

    For the latter - no one is talking about flying opposite you on downwind .90 degrees is not 180 degrees
     
  34. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Until the IFR flight plan is canceled, separation with other IFR aircraft is provided. That's "control".

    See my post #22:

     
  35. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That is not strictly correct. Separation is provided when in IMC. In VMC even under IFR, the pilot is responsible for separation. But either way, that separation does not occur once a pilot is handed to the UNICOM

    Got ya. But still, the approaching aircraft has better visibility this way
     
  36. 1RTK1

    1RTK1 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Did a couple of mid fields on my flight review today.
     
  37. G-force

    G-force Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Here is how L70 wants is done:
    [​IMG]
     
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  38. IK04

    IK04 Line Up and Wait

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    Since the FAA training experts have decided that we are all ignorant of basic safety concepts, we must now integrate risk management into many additional phases of flying (ACS vs. PTS).

    Considering potential courses of action, which would be less risky: encountering a previously unseen airplane on a collision course at 90 degrees while descending inside the traffic pattern or at 45 degrees in level flight at the same altitude?

    That is most likely the reason for the note that says not to use the alternate method if other aircraft are using the 45 degree entry.
     
  39. dmspilot

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    You're not supposed to descend from above TPA to TPA inside the traffic pattern.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
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  40. eman1200

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    Then how do you land?
     
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