of the Squadron 2018
State of the Squadron 2017
of the Squadron 2016
ADS-B Equipment Mandate
Advisory Circular on Nontowered Airport Operations
Airport Flight Operations
March of 2018 the FAA
released a revision to the Advisory Circular on Nontowered Airport
AC 90-66B. The revisionstandardizes traffic pattern altitudes,
of way authority for straight in final approaches and reinforces
procedures. Some pilots have not reviewed this updated AC so here are
the key takeaways from the document:
patterns altitudes at most nontowered airports are now standardized at
AC clarifies that airplanes terminating an instrument procedure with a
straight-in approach do not have the right of way over VFR
the pattern, and when circling to land, left-hand turns are standard,
unless the approach procedure explicitly states otherwise.This has been
by prior FAA legal interpretations of § 91.126(b).
any practice instrument approach, regardless of its direction relative
airport operations, does not take priority over other VFR aircraft.
should be ready to communicate on CTAF, discontinue the approach, and
traffic pattern as needed, based on the traffic saturation of the
and/or the current runway in use, to maintain aircraft separation and
a point of interest, it should be noted that the FAA does not regulate
pattern entry, only traffic pattern flow. In other words, all turns in
traffic patternare to be to the left unless otherwise specified.FAA
and 91.127 addresses traffic pattern direction.
avoidance is a high priority-The FAA recommends turning landing lights
approaching the airport and during the final approach phase or during a
straight in approach.
are occasions where a pilot can choose to execute a straight-in
landing when not intending to enter the traffic pattern, such as a
approach executed as part of the termination of an instrument approach.
should clearly communicate on the CTAF and coordinate maneuvering for
execution of the landing with other traffic so as not to disrupt
the flow of
other aircraft. Pilots operating in the traffic pattern should be
all times to aircraft executing straight-in landings, particularly when
a base leg prior to turning final. The pilot on the straight in
not have right of way over aircraft in the traffic pattern.
within a 10-mile radius of a non-towered airport should continuously
and communicate, as appropriate, on the designated CTAF until leaving
or until clear of the movement area.
calls should be made about 10 miles out when approaching the airport.
help identify one airport from another, the correct airport name should
spoken at the beginning and end of each self-announce
transmissions may include aircraft type to aid in identification and
pilots should not use paint schemes or color descriptions to replace
the use of
the aircraft call sign.
should always enter the pattern at pattern altitude, especially
flying over midfield and entering the downwind directly. A midfield
alternate pattern entry should not be used when the pattern is
takeoff the FAA recommends making the turn to Crosswind at 700 ft.
300ft. below traffic pattern altitude).
departing the traffic pattern, airplanes should continue straight out
with a 45-degree left turn (right turn for right traffic pattern)
departure end of the runway and after reaching
a nontowered airport, do not broadcast “Any aircraft in
pattern, please advise.” This is specifically discouraged in the