This page is dedicated to random aviation info I’ve picked up by hanging out at my flight school.
- When in the pattern, tower may ask you to do a ‘teardrop’. In the case I heard about, the student pilot was on the base leg of the pattern and was asked to do a tear drop to allow another plane to land before him. Teardop: while maintaining your altitude, extend the course you’re on and eventually [ie when told], make a 180° direction reversal. After the direction reversal, fly the ground track you were just on (before the 180° turn).
- I have had tower ask me to do a 360° on a leg in the pattern (360° turn in pattern: on downwind (or etc), do a 360° turn which will have you deviating off the normal pattern ground track, then you re-enter the pattern at the same location you’d left from when you finish flying your circle; your ground track will look like your normal pattern rectangle but with a circular bubble clinging on to it) but huh, teardop, it’s a real thing.
- On a leg like base, a 360° turn to allow another plane to land ahead of you is impractical because your circle would put you on a potential collision course with the other plane. A teardrop would get you away from the other plane and tells you the point that tower wants you to rejoin the pattern at.
- “When you have a victor airway going through a MOA and the MOA is active or ‘hot’, can you still fly on the victor airway?” Yes. The victor airway is ‘protected’ airspace which the “active” people of the MOA will “try to avoid” – BUT it is still courteous (and SMART) to call range control/the people in charge of the MOA. Let them know the route you are flying so they can be extra vigilant to avoid you (avoid having high speed aircraft, or artillery, or who knows what else from hitting you. This fact is important somewhere like Alaska where the entire eastern-central portion of the state (east of Fairbanks, all the way to Canada) are MOAs – there is absolutely no practical way around them for some destinations.
- Hearsay: I’ve heard from other students that stalls are easier in the summer than in the winter – no idea if this is true as I haven’t noticed this for myself. As people were pondering, this was the consensus: “Physically, the denser air of winter should make stalls easier, not harder, right?”