Changing Runways in the pattern

Changing Runways in the pattern

Postby virtualDon » Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:55 pm

I was finishing the CAT-6 at KMHV tonight and had what was probably a controller error but I'm not sure if I did the right thing or not. I checked in and was given a left downwind to RY30 and told to report mid-field. Later:

N317GC: MHV tower, N7GC, mid-field left downwind RY30.
MHV TWR: N317GC, RY26 cleared to land.
N317GC: Cleared to land RY26, N7GC. Confirm RY26, I am making left traffic for RY30. Do you want me to circle to RY26?
MHV TWR: N317GC make left traffic RY26

I read this back and then confusion set in. I was at pattern altitude abeam the RY26 numbers but about 2/3 of the way along RY30. I turned to an 080 heading to finish the RY26 downwind and almost immediately started my base turn. The controller was busy and after turning final I was just about to go around when he said N317GC RY26 cleared to land. After landing I exited the runway and waited. The controller was very busy so I just sat their on Echo waiting for a chance to report clear of RY26. When I did, he asked me what I did. I said I believe I was cleared for and read back to make left traffic for RY30 and then was cleared to land on RY26. He said "OK, pass for the CAT-6" and gave me taxi instructions.

I don't know if they meant to clear my in on RY26 and just messed up (or if I gave a wrong readback in the first place). Doesn't matter, I confirmed the clearance and they made their RY26 instructions clear. The real question I have is, with nothing more than "make left traffic, RY26", can I simply turn on the RY26 left downwind (turning from my 120 downwind heading for RY30 to a 080 heading for RY26)? Or should I have turned out to the right, exiting the RY30 pattern and circled back to the 45 degree entry for RY26 left downwind?
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Re: Changing Runways in the pattern

Postby Kevin_atc » Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:31 pm

Can you find the audio and post the link and timestamp: www.pilotedge.net/audio
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Re: Changing Runways in the pattern

Postby Keith Smith » Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:17 pm

The real question I have is, with nothing more than "make left traffic, RY26", can I simply turn on the RY26 left downwind (turning from my 120 downwind heading for RY30 to a 080 heading for RY26)? Or should I have turned out to the right, exiting the RY30 pattern and circled back to the 45 degree entry for RY26 left downwind?


Since the last pertinent instruction was efftectively, "enter left traffic rwy 26," then answer is yes, you'd navigate from present position to whichever leg of the pattern made the most sense for the new rwy. A left turn to drop into the left downwind for rwy 26 sounds fine.

I had something similar happen into Charleston while on a straight in for rwy 15, there was a British RAF C-17 holding short of rwy 15 waiting for me to land. I let the controller I could take rwy 3 with a LAHSO rwy 15 which would permit the C-17 to get out immediately. He was grateful and told me to enter left traffic for rwy 3 and cleared to land rwy 3 hold short of rwy 15. All I did was continue towards the rwy 15 numbers then made a right turn to enter the right downwind for rwy 3.
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Re: Changing Runways in the pattern

Postby virtualDon » Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:29 pm

Kevin_atc wrote:Can you find the audio and post the link and timestamp: http://www.pilotedge.net/audio


Here's the link, http://audio.pilotedge.net/2020/10/2020-10-25_19_17510.mp3 , start at time 4:00 however from the time I check in to the time I read back the landing clearance (4:35) does not seem to be on the recording. The recording picks up half way through my read back.

Additionally, the controller says "Enter left traffic RY26, go ahead and turn left, left traffic 26". I never heard the second part of "turn left" so it looks like I did just what he wanted!
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Re: Changing Runways in the pattern

Postby kullery » Tue Oct 27, 2020 7:34 am

Interesting that your initial clearance to land on 26 was issued by one controller (http://audio.pilotedge.net/2020/10/2020 ... _18011.mp3 @ 10:40) after you made your midfield 30 position report.

Your readback and the subsequent clarification seems to occur with a different controller (http://audio.pilotedge.net/2020/10/2020 ... _17510.mp3 @ 4:35).

I'm curious why you said "after turning final I was just about to go around"? You had already been cleared (and read back the clearance) for runway 26 so there is no obvious reason why you would have been considering a go around. Perhaps with the confusion, you were seeking confirmation of the landing clearance (not a bad idea).

The fact that the 2nd controller AGAIN cleared you to land, may indicate that there was some miscommunication between the 2 controllers.
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Re: Changing Runways in the pattern

Postby virtualDon » Tue Oct 27, 2020 10:43 am

I couldn't find that first recording - it was odd that one controller cleared me for RY26 and when I questioned it a different controller responded. He did say make left traffic RY26 and I should have verified right then that I was still cleared to land but I was too busy trying to decide whether or not to just turn downwind RY26 or come around and re-enter at midfield. As it turns out I just slid over to the RY26 pattern which is what he wanted. Later on final, I was going to ask if I was cleared to land still but he was very busy. I thought, I can always go around - it's my prerogative - and sort it out later but just at that moment he recleared me to land. So it all worked out - I just should have verified the clearance sooner.
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Re: Changing Runways in the pattern

Postby Keith Smith » Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:27 pm

Regarding the voice change, it's very likely that there was a shift change.
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Re: Changing Runways in the pattern

Postby virtualDon » Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:48 pm

Keith Smith wrote:Regarding the voice change, it's very likely that there was a shift change.


Maybe, but the first controller cleared me for RY26, I read it back and questioned it and immediately another controller responded - though the second controller was on ZLA RADAR audio recording and the first one was on ZLA Tower.
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Re: Changing Runways in the pattern

Postby Keith Smith » Wed Oct 28, 2020 9:19 am

That would be a shift change where the tower position was going offline, resulting it being covered by the overlying controller.
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