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Many airports publish a Traffic Pattern Altitude. For those that do not, the standard that pilots are expected to fly is 1000' AGL per the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. (The AIM and CFRs likely cover this as well...)

Are ultralights expected to fly the same pattern altitude, or something different? If different, what is the standard and where is it published?

EDIT: This advisory circular references a 500' AGL pattern: AC90-66A

I may answer my own question later, but leaving open for now...

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  • $\begingroup$ I think ultralights use a traffic pattern similar to helicopters i.e. opposite direction to fixed wing traffic pattern (default to an RH pattern) and at 500 feet AGL as opposed to 1000 feet. $\endgroup$ May 16, 2023 at 17:51
  • $\begingroup$ @CarloFelicione, that would make complete sense, although the AC I just linked above doesn't seem to go into that sort of detail. $\endgroup$ May 16, 2023 at 17:53

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According to that circular, and to the best of my understanding, it can vary from airport to airport, depending on the surroundings, nearby airspace, flow of fixed wing traffic, etc. but typically ultralights will have their own takeoff and landing area on the airfield proper separate from the main runways and taxiways used by fixed wing aircraft. This is typically a grass strip running parallel to a runway (ex KDIJ); you don’t exactly need an 10,000 paved runway to fly your Eipper Quicksilver on a sunny Saturday! Under the Part 101, they are required to remain clear of all other traffic. Typically the airport will establish a pattern going in the opposite direction, and inside of fixed wing traffic around the airfield, and TPA will be at 500’ AGL for ultralights and rotorcraft.

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