Letter from Richard Schmidt

Published in Midwest Flyer – June/July 2017

Dear Harold:

I read with great interest your article on traffic patterns (Pilot Proficiency, Dec 2015/Jan 2016). I think it is a good idea to remind pilots of the correct procedure for approach, landing, and departing from an uncontrolled airport. However, I do have to say that you did leave out some important information on the correct terminology to be used at such airports.

In your article, you gave a typical pilot report for someone approaching an airport. You wrote: “Typically, we say something like Piper 12345, 5 miles west, landing Morey Airport.”

This would have been a perfect place to put in the correct procedure. According to AIM chapter 4-1-9.G.6.A (examples), the pilot should announce:

1. Name of the airport he/she is approaching.
2. Aircraft type.
3. Registration number.
4. Altitude.
5. Position in relation to the airport.
6. How they intend to enter the pattern.
7. What runway they intend to land on.
8. Full stop or touch and go.
9. (Repeat) Name of the airport he/she is approaching.

While I think your idea of letting the other pilots know the performance of their aircraft is a good idea, it is not mentioned in the AIM. Your personal experience with a throttle jockey flying by you while in the pattern is a case study of a pilot who is only concerned about himself, and in the process, is putting your and his life in jeopardy. I can only hope that you had a conversation with this guy later.

Richard Schmidt
Light Sport Pilot
Plymouth, Minnesota

Dear Richard:

Thank you for your response to my article. Your comments are very applicable and I appreciate them.

The section of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) to which you refer was not included specifically because the discussion was intended to be an extension of the AIM discussion, not a repeat of it. My assumption was that this article could be used as an extension of the AIM information by flight instructors as they saw fit to do so.

My point with respect to aircraft performance was specifically not discussed in AIM. I refrained from mentioning this because some folks would put a confrontational spin on it, which was not my intent.

With respect to whether or not I had a discussion with the pilot who cut us off in the pattern, yes, I did. The incident has not been repeated.

Harold Green, CFII
Instructor, Morey Airplane Company
Columnist, Pilot Proficiency
Midwest Flyer Magazine

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