July 2007 Issue

Patterns Of Risk

Everything we do in an aircraft follows a pattern, but interruptions occur. Recognizing and responding to those interruptions are key.

I was in the right seat of a late-model A36 Bonanza with a student, fine-tuning his landing technique with some full-stop trips around the pattern in gusty winds. During one trip up the parallel taxiway we heard a Learjet on Unicom call that he was taxiing out behind us. On our next downwind I noted the Lear taxiing toward the active runway, so my student made a point of radioing our turn onto base. The jet crew turned perpendicular to the end of the runway without another call, oblivious to my studentís report of turning onto a short final.

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