This note came from a reader who flies a Piper Arrow
“Last night I was approaching XXX from the east, sequenced behind a PC-12 approaching from the south, both operating under IFR clearances. He canceled airborne; I heard him call “an extended left base for 34″. This seemed a bit odd, since 34 is published as right traffic. I waited until I saw him on short final, apparently in good position to land, before cancelling IFR and announcing my intention to enter a right base for 34.
The next thing I knew, he was calling his crosswind turn, again in left traffic, for 34. I asked at that point if 34 wasn’t right traffic, but got no answer.
So — what was I supposed to do now? Flying a right base toward converging traffic obviously wasn’t going to work. Circling until he got down again wouldn’t help if he was doing pattern work, perhaps for night currency. I asked if he was “closed traffic,” and he affirmed. Flying left traffic on what I knew to be a published right pattern didn’t appeal to me much, either.
I’d be interested to hear what your readers would have done.”
1. Advise the PC12 Pilot in stronger terms (politely)
2. Go someplace else to practice
3. Take his tail number and report him to the FAA
4. Set Phasers to ‘Stun’ and blast him
Hate to put more verbiage on ASOS or AWOS on traffic patterns but that might be one solution.
I think this helps to make our case that right traffic patterns should be identified on IAP charts. There are some government types who are not yet persuaded but we’re working on that.