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6/17/21 

AIM 

airspeed requires or for practice power

off landings 

(autorotation) and if local policy permits. Landings 
not to the runway must avoid the flow of fixed wing 
traffic. 

b. 

A pilot may vary the size of the traffic pattern 

depending on the aircraft’s performance characteris-
tics. Pilots of en route aircraft should be constantly 
alert for aircraft in traffic patterns and avoid these 
areas whenever possible. 

c. 

Unless otherwise indicated, all turns in the 

traffic pattern must be made to the left, except for 
helicopters, as applicable. 

d. 

On Sectional, Aeronautical, and VFR Terminal 

Area Charts, right traffic patterns are indicated at 
public

use and joint

use airports with the abbrevia-

tion “RP” (for Right Pattern), followed by the 
appropriate runway number(s) at the bottom of the 
airport data block. 

EXAMPLE

 

RP 9, 18, 22R 

NOTE

 

1. 

Pilots are encouraged to use the standard traffic 

pattern. However, those pilots who choose to execute a 
straight

in approach, maneuvering for and execution of 

the approach should not disrupt the flow of arriving and 
departing traffic. Likewise, pilots operating in the traffic 
pattern should be alert at all times for aircraft executing 
straight

in approaches. 

REFERENCE

 

AC 90

66B, Non

Towered Airport Flight Operations 

2. 

*RP indicates special conditions exist and refers pilots 

to the Chart Supplement U.S. 

3. 

Right traffic patterns are not shown at airports with 

full

time control towers. 

e. 

Wind conditions affect all airplanes in varying 

degrees. Figure 4-3-4 is an example of a chart used to 
determine the headwind, crosswind, and tailwind 
components based on wind direction and velocity 
relative to the runway.  Pilots should refer to similar 
information provided by the aircraft manufacturer 
when determining these wind components. 

Airport Operations 

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