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The way I understand it the UND conducted a study on this and it has gotten quite a bit of attention from AOPA and possibly the FAA.
I think at this point they are simply questioning whether, as some claim, there are safety benefits to a continuous turn. As one article pointed out, the square turns to final have not really been questioned in some time.
The argument in favor of a continuous turn suggests a less chance of the turn to final stall (still to be proven) since it may help to prevent the over-shoot that frequently precedes the low altitude stall.
The downside for high wing planes is you lose sight of the runway for the majority of the turn.
For low wing planes you lose the visibility of another aircraft on final since the wing blocks the view.
Other benefits include a continuous turn can be stabilized, more so than square turns, since you are not making multiple roll changes. Also the continuous turn may keep you a little closer to the runway than square turns.
I mix up my landings but seem to return to the square patterns. To me, it gives me a little more time to line up on the runway and get a feel for the winds and turbulence.
It will be interesting to see what the results of the study and others opinions on this.
An aircraft in a continuous turn is more visible to others because of the larger wing aspect.
Reading on this morning I see the standard pattern height is now 1000' AGL with left hand turns only, unless obstacles or other reasons for right hand patterns. I think you still make the standard 45 degree entry on downwind, but not sure yet about that. I have read conflicting statements will need to see official language I guess. this only for non controlled airspace.
New advisory circular for non towered airports released this year.
not specific about rounded patterns, same std. pattern as before(just says you should complete turn to final 1/4 mile from runway). All patterns recommend to be 1000 ft AGL. Left turns unless some reason to specify right pattern. FAA just recommends and airport establishes. Just an Advisorty Circularu