Hat tip to Tracy of the Around the Pattern blog for finding and posting this humorous video where AVweb’s Paul Bertorelli attempts to explain why student pilots are being taught to fly traffic patterns that would be too large for even a Boeing 777. However, the video does make the case for why shorter patterns are the better way to go. In addition, Tracy noted in his post that:
Part of my close-in pattern choice is because of my old-school view that it would be nice to be able to hit the pavement if the engine quit and part of it is related to the glide ratio of my aircraft (see: crowbar). When I encounter a difference of opinion on pattern size I choose one of two options. I try to adjust my spacing with the other plane to allow me to fly my own pattern while they do their thing or I land and practice my patterns another day. The one thing that I do not do is fly someone else’s traffic pattern. If you are going to make consistent landings you have to fly consistent traffic patterns.
Advice well worth heeding.