Pattern Entry and Runway Procedures at KITH

AIM Pattern

     So...after the required initial contact with tower, proceed inbound following the instructions you received (and hopefully read back). As you enter the delta airspace it is a good idea to turn on your anti-collision and landing lights for optimal conspicuity and exercise caution for other aircraft. Pattern altitude for piston aircraft at Ithaca is 2,100MSL. The AIM Section 3 guides the other pilot actions but follow whatever entry leg and reporting requirements the controller requested. Suffice to say, vigilence is required and patterns should conform to a sensible speed and distance. Don't be surprixed if you get a base leg entry or right traffic. But if the entry seems peculiar from your direction on entry, please query the controller and resolve your confusion. Maybe you said you were north and you really were west? It could also be that traffic is being vectored inbound by Elmira Approach and tower knows this. When you get to your assigned entry and report to tower, you will usually receive a clearance to land. No further reports will be necessary (unlike a non-tower operation where you might call base and final). Here is a good video on pattern procedures from UND.

      If the traffic situation has changed, tower may issue a delay in the form of an extended downwind or a circle maneuver. Basically, we cannot park you until the traffic ahead has landed so we have to issue some form of delay vector or procedure. A "right 360 turn on the downwind" might be issued to give time for a plane ahead to land. "Visual separation" might be approved if you visually acquire the plane ahead. Your correct call here is "traffic in sight" not "tally ho" if you see the plane ahead. If you do not see the plane the correct radio call is "negative contact" please not "no joy" and tower will provide separation. Remember, a clearance to land is not issued until separation is assured on the runway, and even then be ready to go-around if the traffic fails to clear in a timely manner.

     Once on final, with final checks complete and a landing clearance, still feel free to go-around if your landing appears unsafe for any reason (you are still commander of your aircraft!) Once on the runway and slowed down, turn off at the first available taxiway and completely clear over the dashed and solid double yellow lines (see the diagram below). Until you clear these linew completely you are technically still on the runway and we cannot land anyone else!


Hold Short

 OK, now we have crossed the double lines...who do we talk with? The correct answer is to stay on tower frequency until instructed to change to ground, or taxi in with tower. A couple of very important considerations here. Please do not stop on the runway or make a 180 turn without permission! No Clearance is necessary to taxi off the runway since this is approved with landing and expected. Delay on the runway in a busy situation may cause the next aircraft inbound to be send on a go-around. Once clear you can run your checklists and whatever is necessary and remember you need further clearance to taxi anywhere; stay with the frequency you were on (tower) unless instructed to change! Ground frequency at Ithaca is 121.80 but you will probably be talking with the same controller (if told to switch). Once you are over the single dashed and solid yellow lines you are in the "non-movement area" which means you are free to do whatever you want and no longer in our control. Taughannock Aviaion (the only local FBO) is available on 131.60 for parking instructions. The food at the restaurant is great!