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More Traffic Pattern Decisions

At the end of the last article I was returning from the practice area to land at the Stead Airport (KRTS).

The winds on departure, according to the AWOS, were 110/8 and I had selected Runway 08 as my departure runway. At that time there was no other traffic operating at the airport.

Since I had only been gone from the airport for about a half hour I was expecting not much change in the weather conditions. Aah, but this is Reno, NV.

The AWOS now was reporting winds at 130/12 so Runway 14 was the clear choice.I figured I’d do a few touch and go landings for practice.

As I was north of the airport and maneuvering toward a point where I could execute a 45 degree downwind entry to Runway 14 I heard other traffic call entering downwind for the same runway.  Normally this wouldn’t be much of a factor – just find the traffic visually and take the necessary spacing to safely share the traffic pattern.

Decisions in the Traffic Pattern

I managed to get a short flight in over the weekend – only about 45 minutes but that was enough.

I wanted to fly on Saturday because a weak cold front was forecast to pass through on Sunday and to pick up the winds a bit (it did). A series of circumstances resulted in not getting into the air until about 2 pm.

Aerial view of the Reno-Stead Airport (KRTS).

There were no aircraft in the traffic pattern by that time of day so I listened to the AWOS to help in the runway choice decision. The winds as I taxied out were from 110 degrees at 9 knots. Hmm.

My airport has two runways 14-32 and 8-26. So, using runway 8 would have the wind 30 degrees right of the runway heading and using runway 14 would out it 30 degrees to the left. So, which would be better?

This Month’s VMC Club Discussion

In case you aren’t familiar with VMC Club it is a monthly gathering of individuals who discuss a VFR flying scenario presented by a discussion coordinator. VMC Club is an EAA function developed as an off-shoot of the International IMC Club which merged with EAA a few years ago. Both gatherings are conducted conducted in the same format. Consider it semi-directed hangar flying.

Our EAA Chapter’s VMC Club coordinator is in the middle of moving into a newly constructed home, which is enough stress without trying to prepare a public presentation. Add to that the current challenges EAA is having with their website server migration causing the inability for both VMC and IMC Club coordinators to reach the database of discussion scenarios.

I had, just in case, put together a short VFR flying/Sectional Chart quiz and found an AOPA Safety Foundation video that would work for a discussion so I stepped in and conducted the meeting. 

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