A Flight Simulator Odyssey

by Charles Gulick

A Rightful Base

Chart: Washington
En Route Coordinates:
   Aircraft: N16382, E20412
   Tower: N16366.078, E20379.495
   Aircraft: 1500
   Tower: 27
Heading: 228
Time: Day, Dawn, or Dusk

You're paralleling a right base leg for Runway 32 at Baltimore's Martin State Airport. Paralleling means you aren't in the airport traffic pattern proper, but a distance out. Still, you are on the heading you'd be on for a right base leg if you were in the pattern, and you'll make a right turn to your final approach--again, as you would if you were in the pattern. This could also be called a wide right base.

The scenario is a good one for practicing your turn to final. Exactly where you should start the turn depends on both your airspeed and the degree of bank you assume at the outset of the turn. Given an airspeed of 80-85 knots, and an approximate 30-degree bank and turn, try starting your turn when your destination runway is just forward of your wingtip (using a 90-degree right side view). Note that Runway 32 reaches right out to the water, which will help you identify it correctly; this will also help you not to start your turn too early.

Elevation at MTN is 24 feet.

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