Number 286
July 2003
A Monthly Safety Bulletin from The Office of the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System
P.O. Box 189, Moffett Field, CA 94035-0189

Is There a Pattern Here?

Vigilance and adherence to published procedures are critical when operating in or near an airport traffic pattern. Whether the airport is towered or non-towered, certain fundamentals apply to all pattern operations. Clear, concise communications, see and avoid, and use of standardized arrival, approach, and departure procedures provide a pattern for efficiency and safety.

Standard Traffic Pattern Entry Procedure

Cutoff on Takeoff

As the pilot of a homebuilt aircraft reported to ASRS, use of the correct procedures for departing a non-towered airport can be "overshadowed" by a less conscientious arrival. Judging from a rather terse communication after landing, it appears that the Cessna pilot may have had an attitude problem.

Old Habit - New Pattern

A Bonanza pilot related how an unfamiliar approach to a familiar field caused some confusion. Proper entry into the traffic pattern is crucial and should be based on situational awareness, not a habit pattern.

Traffic Alert

The Grumman AA5 pilot who submitted this report got a valuable assist from an onboard traffic warning system. As the reporter pointed out, traffic alerting systems do not replace the pilot's responsibility to see and avoid traffic.

Is There a Lesson Here?

Flight instruction can be a demanding task, but the process should never demand so much of an instructor's time and attention that safety is compromised. Several recent ASRS reports address some of the more common "unintended" lessons that result from flight training.

Two Pilots Too Busy Training

Twin Engine Airplane with an Engine OutWhile an instructor and a student pilot in a twin-engine Seneca were preoccupied with an engine-out maneuver, a Cessna 152 occupied a growing portion of their windscreen. Unwittingly, the flight instructor in the Seneca also provided some free lessons to the Cessna pilot who related the incident to ASRS.

Two Pilots Too Busy Training II

A Tower controller reported to ASRS on another incident involving a simulated engine failure in a light twin. Once again, a training maneuver resulted in a traffic conflict that required an evasive maneuver.

"The horn, the horn, the lusty horn, Is not a thing to laugh or scorn" William Shakespeare As You Like It Act 4 Scene 2

In the next report, a student pilot and a flight instructor in a Cessna 182 RG learned a hard lesson about checklists and distractions. The instructor also shared a sound lesson about audible warnings.

From the student pilot's report:

From the flight instructor's report:

Visit the ASRS Booth in the NASA Hangar at EAA AirVenture 2003

ASRS Recently Issued Alerts On...
Jetstream 4100 pitch down incident
DA50 auto pressurization controller failure
Beechcraft A100 fuel tank access plate leak
Hold short lines obscured at a Southern airport
Civil/Military traffic conflict at a Southern airport
June 2003 Report Intake
 Air Carrier/Air Taxi Pilots
 General Aviation Pilots