Figure 7-16 illustrates the typical box pattern and its terminology. Base leg should always be
referred to as "left base" or "right base," depending on the direction on the turn to final (i.e., a left
base would mean a left turn to final).
There is not an FAA or military standard for the length of the
"final" leg. Fly the base leg deep enough so as to allow you to fly
the aircraft to a 1200-1500 feet straightaway at 100-150 feet AGL.
Establish contact with ATC to communicate your request and/or intentions. If at a
tower-controlled field, contact tower when instructed to by Approach Control or prior
to entering the Airport Traffic Area.
Fly the aircraft in fast cruise at an appropriate altitude to a position approximately
2-3 miles from the runway on an extended runway centerline or extended base leg.
Transition to the landing approach configuration by slowing below 150 KIAS,
lowering the landing gear and completing the Landing Checklist. This should be
done no later than base leg (if used) or a one-mile final. Lower/hold flaps as
If requested, make the appropriate radio call to the tower or RDO (i.e., "Report 2-mile
final"). If at a tower-controlled field, obtain landing clearance prior to landing and
report landing gear down and locked. Check the winds!
Fly to intercept a standard glideslope at 85/95 KIAS, 1200-1500 feet of straightaway
and 100-150 feet AGL, wings level.
Continue the approach and landing as in paragraphs 706 and 707.
Intended point of
Figure 7-16 The "Box Pattern"
FLIGHT PROCEDURES 6-33