Two types of traffic patterns are established at each airfield:
The standard traffic pattern
The overhead approach pattern
Normally, traffic patterns provide for left traffic flows; however, right traffic flows are
used when required or deemed necessary by the controller and pilot.
Standard Traffic Pattern
The standard traffic pattern is used throughout the Navy. The altitudes for this pattern
may vary due to the air station's geographic location or the mission of the aircraft
modification to pattern entry procedures. However, the basic pattern parts remain the
Under normal conditions, the flow of traffic is counterclockwise, and the pilot makes left
turns in the traffic pattern.
Traffic Pattern Components
The standard traffic pattern components are the upwind leg, the crosswind leg, the
downwind leg, the base leg, and the final approach. The traffic pattern components are
depicted in Figure 9-1.
Figure 9-1 -- Traffic pattern components.