the recommended flight path for an airplane to follow as it approaches an airport for a landing. Same as landing pattern.
A prescribed order of maneuvers in a particular class such as reining or trail.
the path that is prescribed for an airplane that is preparing to land at an airport; "the traffic patterns around O'Hare are very crowded"; "they stayed in the pattern until the fog lifted"
Also called 'circuits' by our Canadian, English, and Australian pilot friends. Generally, unless ATC tells you to do otherwise, there is a pattern planes follow to land: The 'downwind leg' is parallel to the runway about a half mile away in the opposite direction they are going to land on (for example, if landing on a runway going North, the downwind has you flying parallel to the runway a half mile out going South). At the end of the downwind leg, you turn 90 degrees to the 'base leg' and fly that 1/2 mile so you're getting near to being in line with the runway. You turn 90 degrees again, and you should be lined up for the 'final leg' or final approach. If everything was timed right, you're pointed right down the runway here and are ready to land. The purpose of the pattern is to get planes used to the airport conditions before landing, to space out traffic that is near the airport so that everyone is sequenced nicely, and to give safe maneuvering room to lose altitude while keeping the runway and airport traffic in sight.
The configuration or form of a flight path flown by an aircraft, or prescribed to be flown, as in making an approach to a landing.