Fly the Perfect Circuit Pattern With The ApproBASE App

ApproBASE iphoneI don’t know about you but sometimes when I’m planning the approach into an airfield’s circuit pattern – especially one that requires an overhead join – I just can’t get my head around the path I need to fly.

Which is the deadside? When do I start descending? What happens if there are aircraft joining overhead from other directions?

In the age when technology is really making an impact to improve the lives of pilots and those that operate aircraft, it was only a matter of time before this niche little aspect of getting from A to B got its own digital help.

ApproBASE is a new app by Aviation Logic, a team which champions the strapline “we make it our aim to use modern mobile technology to help solve some of the problems we face in the cockpit.”

The ApproBASE app is actually just part of the ApproNAVIGATOR suite of apps that the company is producing for the general aviation pilot. So what does it do?

Well, quite simply, it lets you plan your approach into an unfamiliar airfield by dialing in all of the important details, such as runway in use, circuit direction, whether it’s an overhead, downwind, base or straight-in approach, and what direction you’ll be arriving from.

Once you have done that, an animated arrow will draw a path on a diagram of the airport showing how you will approach and join the circuit, giving you that plan in your mind of how the overhead join or approach from another way all fits together. It is very simple, but that’s all it needs to be!

It’s probably best to do all of this before setting off on you flight, and to use ApproBASE as a planning tool rather than an in-flight tool. But this is up to you, and it could be handy to refresh your memory prior to making your approach.

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I can certainly see myself using this in conjunction with visiting a new airfield. With information from my Pooleys guide (or a PPR call) telling me how I should join the pattern to land, and knowing from which direction I’ll be arriving, it should make things really clear as to how I should approach.

ApproBASE is available now for iOS iPhones and iPads and is getting good reviews.

You can download the ApproBASE app here:


Aviation Logic are committed to implementing enhancement requests for their products, and in keeping things simple so that “pilots can keep their eyes outside the cockpit”. Find out more about Aviation Logic here:



Matt Falcus is a private pilot and aviation writer. He has been flying since 2006, taking the opportunity whenever the British weather allows to explore the local area and other airfields. He is author of a number of aviation books.

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1 Response

  1. January 26, 2017

    […] [Read our review of ApproBASE] […]

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