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Instructor » Flight Training » Joining the Circuit



To join the circuit at either an uncontrolled or controlled aerodrome, in accordance with the various applicable procedures.


1.  Layout of the Aerodrome Traffic Circuit

2.  Joining the Circuit

Uncontrolled Aerodromes

  • Join directly into the circuit
  • make a standard overhead join

Controlled Aerodromes

  • Request overhead join.  ATC also has the option of instructing the pilot to carry out a standard overhead join.
  • Join on downwind, base or final in accordance with ATC clearance.
  • Such a clearance may be for an aerodrome traffic circuit opposite to the published circuit for that runway.
  • Another possible clearance is to "cross overhead and join downwind".  This is not a standard overhead join.
  • A clearance to join downwind, base, or final does not absolve the pilot from giving way to other aircraft already established in the circuit.

3.  Joining Procedures

The pilot of an aircraft intending to land at an unattended aerodrome, may join the circuit provided that:

  • joining intentions are advised to aerodrome traffic; and
  • the runway-in-use and aerodrome traffic are properly ascertained; and
  • the aircraft is sequenced without causing conflict to aircraft established in the circuit; and
  • all turns are made in the direction appropriate to the runway-in-use.
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