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Direction of turns, Uncontrolled airport

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Jesting Pilate
Dec 5, 2001
FAR 91.126 (b) (1) states that "each pilot of an airplane must make all turns of that airplane to the left unless the airport displays approved light signals or visual markings indicating that turns should be made to the right....etc."

Can someone tell me what these approved light signals or visual markings are?

I've flown into many uncontrolled fields and never noticed markings indicating direction of turn, so I'm curious.


You've never seen traffic pattern indicators on a segmented circle? Those have been standard field markings for almost 70 years. When you fly over the field to check the windsock or tetrahedron, you're looking for wind and pattern; both indicators typically in the same place. Look again next time you fly over. You'll probably see that these indicators have been staring back at you all the time.

Many of the uncontrolled fields I've flown into are north of the border, where markings are somewhat different, and most of the US grass strips I've been into are lucky to have a windsock, let alone a circle/tetrahedon arrangement. Others are water aerodromes where once again, a segmented circle would not apply.
use Left hand traffic unless other wise depicted, Non-standard traffic has been for a couple of years been stated on Sectional charts with the airport info. Its nice someone like yourself is making the effort to get the info.

A lot of pilots are idiots and do whatever they whant and don't bother to find out local traffic or don't care, like weekend warriors, pilots who think it doesn't apply to them, even CAP guys, and guys who just have thier head stuck so far up thier a## they think they are the only ones out so they do what they whant, and pilots that don't bother to use a radio to possibly find out whats goin on. (its a pet pev of mine, can you tell)
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Thanks for all the info. In the past, where I've flown, pilots are expected to know LH or RH traffic pattern prior to even getting to the airport and that's what I've normally done. The concept of just flying to the airport, looking down and figuring out the traffic pattern at that point seemed kind of novel....
Also, remember that on sectional charts, most airports that have RHP are depicted as such under the Airport information (CTAF). It gives the runway and the pattern.

After receiving replies to my post I ventured out to some uncontolled airports w/RH patterns that I hadn't visited before. Sure 'nough, the indicators are right where they're supposed to be - in plain sight! Thanks to all for the help
One more thing guys how do you tell at night?

The windsock light will be amber and not red. If any non standard patters exists at that airport.

What is the reference for that? The obstruction light on a windsock is optional; it isn't required. I'm not familiar with athe concept that a change in color of the windsock obstruction light represents a non-standard traffic pattern. Can you provide a specific reference? Thanks.

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