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Alex Cheng
General Member

Yes, I know that figure 8s is the established pattern. The question is why? That’s the point of my last post. Why are we advocating tight maneuvers with multiple crossing flight paths all the way to short final? Why is this done close to rising terrain in a “box” that has a high probability of being congested? Yes, turbulence may be abundant, especially in the approach area, so why would you want to meander about and spend any more time than you have to in said area? It seems that Mr. Crouse was also bewildered by the pattern as depicted in the original post.

You can vary the glide between both PG and HG within certain limits, but no, you cannot simply nose a HG down to lose altitude, especially high performance gliders. You will just trade altitude for energy. The difference between HG and PG is moot because if we all stay in the appropriate side of the pattern, we are going to be flying with like wings with similar performance. It is your buddies that you have to deal with. What are you going to do when the sky shuts down and everybody shows up at in the same area at the same altitude? What if all they know is to do figure 8s inside the box, because that’s all they’re taught? Add a out of town pilot into the mix, who disregards the rules, and you have a high potential for disaster. I’ve seen too many pilots injure themselves over the years in that area to remain silent. Figure 8s going into final are not appropriate for this site. The reality of the matter is, people are going to fly poorly and make mistakes. Why not give them an advantage and teach them a superior, and safer way to land from the start? And as I said before, if they are teaching students to rely on figure 8s to lose altitude because of sloppy pattern discipline, it becomes a crutch.