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The traffic flow that is prescribed for aircraft landing at, taxiing on, or taking off from an airport. The components of a typical traffic pattern are upwind leg, crosswind leg, downwind leg, base leg, and final approach.
Upwind Leg- A flight path parallel to the landing runway in the direction of landing.
Crosswind Leg- A flight path at right angles to the landing runway off its upwind end.
Downwind Leg- A flight path parallel to the landing runway in the direction opposite to landing. The downwind leg normally extends between the crosswind leg and the base leg.
Base Leg- A flight path at right angles to the landing runway off its approach end. The base leg normally extends from the downwind leg to the intersection of the extended runway centerline.
Final Approach. A flight path in the direction of landing along the extended runway centerline. The final approach normally extends from the base leg to the runway. An aircraft making a straight-in approach VFR is also considered to be on final approach. (See STRAIGHT-IN APPROACH VFR.) (See TAXI PATTERNS.) (See AERODROME TRAFFIC CIRCUIT.)
source: FAA Pilot/Controller Glossary
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