AIM 4-3-3

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4-3-3. Traffic Patterns

At most airports and military air bases, traffic pattern altitudes for propeller-driven aircraft generally extend from 600 feet to as high as 1,500 feet above the ground. Also, traffic pattern altitudes for military turbojet aircraft sometimes extend up to 2,500 feet above the ground. Therefore, pilots of en route aircraft should be constantly on the alert for other aircraft in traffic patterns and avoid these areas whenever possible. Traffic pattern altitudes should be maintained unless otherwise required by the applicable distance from cloud criteria (14 CFR Section 91.155). (See FIG 4-3-2 and FIG 4-3-3.)

FIG 4-3-2 Traffic Pattern Operations
Single Runway

EXAMPLE-
Key to traffic pattern operations

1. Enter pattern in level flight, abeam the midpoint of the runway, at pattern altitude. (1,000' AGL is recommended pattern altitude unless established otherwise. . .)

2. Maintain pattern altitude until abeam approach end of the landing runway on downwind leg.

3. Complete turn to final at least 1/4 mile from the runway.

4. Continue straight ahead until beyond departure end of runway.

5. If remaining in the traffic pattern, commence turn to crosswind leg beyond the departure end of the runway within 300 feet of pattern altitude.

6. If departing the traffic pattern, continue straight out, or exit with a 45 degree turn (to the left when in a left-hand traffic pattern; to the right when in a right-hand traffic pattern) beyond the departure end of the runway, after reaching pattern altitude.

FIG 4-3-3 Traffic Pattern Operations
Parallel Runways

EXAMPLE-
Key to traffic pattern operations

1. Enter pattern in level flight, abeam the midpoint of the runway, at pattern altitude. (1,000' AGL is recommended pattern altitude unless established otherwise. . .)

2. Maintain pattern altitude until abeam approach end of the landing runway on downwind leg.

3. Complete turn to final at least 1/4 mile from the runway.

4. Continue straight ahead until beyond departure end of runway.

5. If remaining in the traffic pattern, commence turn to crosswind leg beyond the departure end of the runway within 300 feet of pattern altitude.

6. If departing the traffic pattern, continue straight out, or exit with a 45 degree turn (to the left when in a left-hand traffic pattern; to the right when in a right-hand traffic pattern) beyond the departure end of the runway, after reaching pattern altitude.

7. Do not overshoot final or continue on a track which will penetrate the final approach of the parallel runway.

8. Do not continue on a track which will penetrate the departure path of the parallel runway.

Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) — Chapter 4 — Air Traffic Control
4-1-1 ARTCCs • 4-1-2 Towers • 4-1-3 FSS's • 4-1-4 Recording • 4-1-5 Release of IFR Aircraft • 4-1-6 Visits to Air Traffic Facilities • 4-1-7 Operation Take-off and Operation Raincheck • 4-1-8 Approach Control Service for VFR Aircraft • 4-1-9 Airports Without Operating Control Towers • 4-1-10. IFR Approaches/Ground Vehicle Ops • 4-1-11 UNICOM/MULTICOM Freqs • 4-1-12 UNICOM for ATC • 4-1-13 ATIS • 4-1-14 AFIS • 4-1-15 RADAR Traffic Service • 4-1-16 Safety Alert • 4-1-17 Radar Assistance to VFR Aircraft • 4-1-18. VFR Terminal Radar Services • 4-1-19 TEC • 4-1-20 Transponders • 4-1-21 Hazardous Area Reporting • 4-1-22 Airport Reservation Ops • 4-1-23 Requests for Waivers • 4-1-24 Weather Processor
4-2-1 General • 4-2-2 Radio Technique • 4-2-3 Contact Procedures • 4-2-4 Call Signs • 4-2-5 Leased Aircraft • 4-2-6. Ground Call Signs • 4-2-7 Phonetic Alphabet • 4-2-8 Figures • 4-2-9 Altitudes • 4-2-10 Directions • 4-2-11 Speeds • 4-2-12 Time • 4-2-13 Radio Inop Comm. • 4-2-14 VFR Comm.
4-3-1 General • 4-3-2 Towered Airports • 4-3-3 Traffic Patterns • 4-3-4 Visual Indicators at Untowered Airports • 4-3-5 Unexpected Maneuvers • 4-3-6. Use of Runways • 4-3-7 LLWS/Microbursts • 4-3-8 Braking Reports • 4-3-9 Runway Friction • 4-3-10 Intersection Takeoffs • 4-3-11 LAHSO • 4-3-12 Low Approach • 4-3-13 Light Signals • 4-3-14 Comms. • 4-3-15 Departure Delays • 4-3-16 VFR Flights • 4-3-17 VFR Helicopter Ops • 4-3-18 Taxiing • 4-3-19 Low Vis. Taxi • 4-3-20 Exiting the Runway • 4-3-21 Practice Approaches • 4-3-22 Option Approach • 4-3-23 Aircraft Lights • 4-3-24 Flight Inspection/`Flight Check' Aircraft in Terminal Areas • 4-3-25 Hand Signals • 4-3-26 Uncontrolled Airports With ASOS/AWOS
4-4-1 Clearance • 4-4-2 Clearance Prefix • 4-4-3 Clearance Items • 4-4-4 Amended Clearances • 4-4-5 CDR • 4-4-6 Special VFR • 4-4-7 Pilot Responsibility • 4-4-8 VFR-on-top • 4-4-9 VFR/IFR • 4-4-10 Adherence to Clearance • 4-4-11 IFR Separation • 4-4-12 Speed Adjustments • 4-4-13 Runway Separation • 4-4-14 Visual Separation • 4-4-15 Visual Clearing Procedures • 4-4-16 TCAS I & II • 4-4-17 TIS
4-5-1 Radar • 4-5-2 ATCRBS • AIM 4-5-34-5-3 Surveillance Radar • 4-5-4 PAR • 4-5-5 ASDE-X • 4-5-6 TIS • 4-5-7 ADS-B • 4-5-8 TIS-B • 4-5-9 FIS-B • 4-5-10 ADS-R
4-6-1 RVSM Mandate • 4-6-2 • Flight Levels • 4-6-3 Operator Approval • 4-6-4 Flight Planning into RVSM • 4-6-5 Pilot RVSM • 4-6-6 MWA • 4-6-7 Wake Turbulence • 4-6-8 Pilot/Controller Phraseology • 4-6-9 Contingency Actions • 4-6-10 Accommodation of Non-RVSM • 4-6-11 Climb/Descent to/from Flight Levels Above RVSM