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Old 13th Jan 2015, 20:40
  #7 (permalink)  
mary meagher
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 1,548
Hey, dungflinger, you are just as hung up on square circuits as the rest of the noisy bunch.

In the UK anyway, glider circuits ALWAYS fly the diagonal leg. So begin with your downwind, judging the correct angle to your intended field....too high? move out, too low, move in. Then instead of carrying on downwind until you LOOSE SIGHT OF THE FIELD, you cut off the corner. And this way never get disoriented.

In the US, gliders usually share a field with power and need to fit in with the rectangular patterns, fair enough. Here in the UK, every gliding circuit (or pattern if you prefer that term) includes the DIAGONAL LEG. Much safer and works nicely for field landings.

I used to be sitting behind my student, when in the old days square circuits were flown, sending thought waves, dropping hints, and actually getting the leans, losing sight of the landing area, wondering if he was EVER going to turn on to the base leg....the new way makes so much sense. If you don't have to worry about circuit traffic in your field landing practice, try it, guys. It works.

Remember, glider pilots only get one chance to get it right. Going around is seldom an option.
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