Excerpt from AIM Chapter 4

433. Traffic Patterns

At most airports and military air bases, traffic pattern altitudes for propeller−driven aircraft generally extend from 600 feet to as high as 1,500 feet above the ground. Also, traffic pattern altitudes for military turbojet aircraft sometimes extend up to 2,500 feet above the ground. Therefore, pilots of en route aircraft should be constantly on the alert for other aircraft in traffic patterns and avoid these areas whenever possible. Traffic pattern altitudes should be maintained unless otherwise required by the applicable distance from cloud criteria (14 CFR Section 91.155). (See FIG 4−3−2 and FIG 4−3−3.)

FIG 4−3−2
Traffic Pattern Operations Single Runway


Key to traffic pattern operations

  1. Enter pattern in level flight, abeam the midpoint of the runway, at pattern (1,000’ AGL is recommended pattern altitude unless established otherwise. . .)
  2. Maintain pattern altitude until abeam approach end of the landing runway on downwind
  3. Complete turn to final at least 1/mile from the
  4. Continue straight ahead until beyond departure end of
  5. If remaining in the traffic pattern, commence turn to crosswind leg  beyond  the  departure end of  the runway within 300 feet of pattern  
  6. If departing the traffic pattern, continue straight out, or exit with a 45 degree turn (to the left when in a left−hand traffic pattern; to the right when in a right−hand traffic pattern) beyond the departure end of the runway, after reaching pattern

Important Safety Links:
AOPA Air Safety Institute 
Quiz Bold Method / Aviation Quizzes
Aviation Safety Magazine                            
FAA Regulations


The “Certificate of Waiver or Authorization” has been issued to Patty Wagstaff Airshows Inc., 3501B North Ponce de Leon Blvd., #397, St. Augustine FL 32804 Telephone (904) 806-5778. Anyone wishing to utilize the Aerobatic Box shall contact Patty Wagstaff, or her designee, for permission. Notification will be made to Lockheed Martin FSS (800) 992-7433 and Jacksonville TRACON (904) 741-0700 to activate a NOTAM 30 minutes prior to any activity in the box.

A copy of the FAA Certificate of Waiver or Authorization is available for viewing at the Keystone Airport, Airport Manager’s, office.