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Aerodrome Circuit Pattern

The circuit patterns for both fix-wing and helicopter are generally the same except for direction and height. A fixed wing circuit is higher than that of helicopters.


The upwind leg begins at the point where the airplane leaves the ground. It continues climbing straight ahead to gain the sufficient altitude before the 90-degree left turn is made to the crosswind leg.


The crosswind leg is a flight path at a 90° angle to the takeoff direction. After making a left turn from the upwind leg one enters the crosswind leg. This turn is made at a safe height, while the climb is continued towards the indicated or cleared circuit altitude.


The downwind leg is a flight path parallel to the landing runway in the opposite of the landing direction with the runway at the left side of the aircraft.


The base leg is a flight path at a 90° angle to the landing runway direction and connects the downwind leg to the final approach leg.


The final approach leg is a flight path in the direction of landing from the base leg to the runway.

Components of Aircraft

Air Traffic Control

Air Traffic Control (ATC) is a service provided by ground based controllers who direct aircraft. The primary purpose of ATC is to separate aircraft to prevent collisions either aircraft on ground or in the air, to organize and expedite the flow of traffic and to provide information and other support for aircrews when able. Prevent collisions is refered to as separations, which is a term to prevent aircraft for coming too close to each other by use of lateral, vertical and longitudinal separation minima.

ATC is also provide additional services such as providing information to aircrews, weather and navigation information and NOTAMs (Notice to Airmen).