How to Do a Circuit in a Cessna 150
A Circuit is the path an aircraft flies in the traffic pattern around an airport. These instructions are for a normal circuit which is left hand, so all the turns are left turns (better for the pilot, sitting on the left, to see what he's turning towards). The speeds and check list are for a Cessna 150. This circuit is controlled so there is an air traffic control tower. The circuit height is 1,500 feet (457.2 m) ASL in Ottawa.
Get clearance to take off from tower and takeoff.
Stay straight on runway heading climbing at 70 knots
Once you are at a safe height above 500 feet (152.4 m), lift the left wing up to look for traffic before you make your turn.
Turn left 90 degrees in a climbing turn with no more than 10 degrees of bank.This leg is called crosswind. You still should be climbing at 70 knots.
Once you are at a 45 degree angle from the runway lift the left wing up and look for traffic.
Turn 90 degrees in a climbing turn to the left.This leg is called downwind; on the downwind you should be parallel with the runway.
Once you reach 1,500 feet (457.2 m) above sea level then level out and then reduce the power to 25 rpm.Your airspeed will be around 90 knots once you are levelled out.
Call air traffic control tower with the radio.(Tell them your indent, your position, what runway in use, if you want to land or touch and go.)Ex. Ottawa tower this is Alfa bravo delta tango on the downwind for runway 04 touch and go.
Do pre landing checks.Ex for the Cessna 150 they are fuels on, mixture rich, throttle set, Carb heat hot, Mags on both, master on, primer locked, oil pressure and temperature gauges in the green, brake pressure check, landing light on, doors and seat belts secure.
Once you are 45 degree angle from the runway lift the left wing and look for traffic.
Turn 90 degrees left this leg is called the base.
Cut the power when you think you can glide to the runway with 70 knots descending from 1,500 feet (457.2 m).
Look out the window judge when you should turn final.When you think it’s time Lift the left wing up and turn 90 degrees to turn on to final approach.
Line up with the runway and Add power if you think you’re too low to the ground.
Once you have clearance to land or touch and go.Ex. victor lemma mike tango cleared to land on runway 04.
Land or do a touch and go on the runway you are cleared for.
- Extend(one of the legs) - means keep make your circuit bigger.
- Always look before you do any maneuver in the air.
- Apply right rudder when climbing to counter act the asymmetric thrust.
- Watch your airspeed when your climbing don’t let it get below 60 knots.
- Terms in bold are what the air traffic control tower might use to you when you in the circuit to space traffic:
- 270 rejoin circuit– means instead of turning to the next leg keep going straight and you do a 270 degree turn with 30 degrees of bank and then rejoin one of the legs.
- Climb speed for a Cessna 70 knots
- Look for traffic–look for other traffic around you.
- Listen actively to your radio.
- Follow traffic–means follow traffic in front of you
- 360-means do a 360 degree turn at 30 degrees of bank to rejoin one of the legs.
- Well call(one of the legs)-means they will call you turn.
- If you don’t think you can land safely overshoot.
- Circuit height is normally 1,000 feet (304.8 m) AGL but this is for Ottawa airport were because of buildings and other things the circuit height has to be higher.
- Once on final, be sure that your aircraft is descending at a rate of 500 feet per minute at 70 nautical miles per hour (KNOTS) with full flaps and the gear down (unless undercarriage is non-retractable (fixed). This should give you a healthy descent rate and once on the runway there should be minimal need for using the wheel brakes unless the runway is short.
- Never over use the brakes as that will overheat them and cause them to wear down fairly quickly and become less responsive on future flights.
- During flare keep the nose up as long as possible and once on the ground. Keep pulling the control column toward yourself to avoid putting too much pressure on the nose wheel. If you are flying a tail dragger then this action will be quite difficult and different.
- Never take off or land without clearance.
- As a matter of habit, it is usually taught to check undercarriage DOWN and locked on downwind - even though the 150 has fixed gear it will get you in a good mindset for future advanced types where the wheels do go up!
- Never more than 20 degrees of bank in a climbing turn.
Video: Circuit Workout For Beginners
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