Flying a Pattern on Departure

March, 11, 2021 by

You can fly the pattern on departure as a standard VFR departure. Simply take off, join the standard pattern, and then exit it on the downwind leg.

This can be used to gain more altitude before departing the area or to turn around (e.g. take off to the North, need to head South).

For instance, the terrain surrounding UBBN sometimes calls for a pattern on departure, so as to clear the peaks safely and quickly. Other airports have SIDs that very closely resemble a pattern for the same reasons as above.

Luca Caviness is an editor for the IFATC Education Group and an IFATC Supervisor. He is also a real-world student pilot.