Wx Mins TWR Pattern

AAalphaAA

Newcomer
Nov 3, 2016
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[FONT=&quot]If the Wx min is 1500’AGL to open the tower pattern, and the METAR is BKN010 but a pilots reports the ceiling at 1500’AGL. Can ATC officially open the pattern, even if the METAR remains BKN010? Or, does the METAR have to indicate BKN015 or greater?

If ATC relays a PIREP to wx, does that make the report official and the pattern can be opened? [/FONT]
 

Foogy

Rookie
Nov 3, 2016
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2-6-5 you shouldn't use it since it isn't an official report. You can forward it to the observer on duty or if the tower does it own values you can use your best judgement. But unless the pilot says their trained as FAA approved observers, their report doesnt mean much since it's not official.
 

Stinger

Epic Member
May 24, 2009
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Every FAA airport I've worked, been around, and flown into, will keep the tower pattern open as long as the weather is VFR. OVC010 and 3SM...tower pattern is open.
I've also worked with prior military controllers who used to close the pattern for reasons you've stated, or they lost sight of the aircraft at some point in the pattern.
Point being, unless you're assigning an altitude to aircraft in the pattern, they can fly at any altitude they want...so closing it for a lower ceiling is a misapplication...and not letting the pilots fly their aircraft.
 

Foogy

Rookie
Nov 3, 2016
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Which does bring up a good question, are you under the assumption wx mins for pattern work are 015 ceiling or is that a local SOP? Or just a generalized questions about the use of pireps?
 

AAalphaAA

Newcomer
Nov 3, 2016
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015 ceiling is the wx min for the pattern.
Definitely coming from a Military perspective. Our patterns are based of the field elevation (MSL) vs the type of pattern (helicopter/rectangular/overhead(AGL)) to be flown. We play the AGL vs MSL plus 500’ wx clearance game, per each pattern to come up with the wx mins. We do have many additional “safety” rules beyond the .65.
 

Foogy

Rookie
Nov 3, 2016
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Then yeah, anything outside of an official weather observation doesn't hold weight when you have to explain why the only two planes in the sky had a deal.
 

AAalphaAA

Newcomer
Nov 3, 2016
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Thanks for all the assist. Thought I was missing a rule regarding PIREPs, after I questioned some controllers.