2016 Briefing: Flying during the event: Scenic Pattern

Posted on Posted in 2016, Briefing



All Pilots must have a Briefed Pilot Wristband for flying during the Event.  You must attend the on-playa Pilot Briefing which is held daily at 10:00 (10 AM PDT)  Upon successful completion of the on-playa Briefing, pilots will be registered and receive their Briefed Pilot Wristband allowing them to fly during the event.

Radio Reports:
The primary function of the pilot is to FLY the plane (which may be challenging with all the other visual distractions). LOOK FOR TRAFFIC and then COMMUNICATE clearly and briefly to alert others of your position and intention!  This will be very challenging flying due to excited passengers and incredible views!

Passing a Plane:
KEEP LOOKING for planes around you. Periodically announce your position as the flow of traffic and radio transmissions allows. SLOWER PLANES should fly closer to the trash fence in Scenic Pattern. If you are going to pass a slower plane:

  • INTENTION:  Announce your intention.
  • POSITION: Give your position using points of BRC pentagon and altitude
  • PASS:   On the outside / left wing of the overtaken aircraft.
  • Watch-Out for… CAUTION:  Sky Divers, Uninformed Visitors, Military

Report Unsafe Flying:
If you see an aircraft going counterclockwise around the event or flying outside the recommended parameters report to Unicom immediately with:

  • Direction of aircraft
  • Location
  • Altitude
  • Description of aircraft and if possible a tail number
  • Any BRCMA pilot who is flying counter-clockwise around the event will have his/her flying privileges revoked for the duration of the event.

This is required for each flight during the Event with or without passengers.  This enables us to monitor the number of planes in the air.

Flights of more than 1 hour will be met by Interceptor … no exceptions.

Flight Path for Scenic Patterns:
The Scenic Pattern is determined by the BRC Pentagon outlined by an orange trash fence surrounding the Event.
 The type of aircraft and speed determines the altitude and pattern that you will fly  TODO LINK


  • The Airport is at Point 5.   
  • The vehicle entrance road running from the highway into the Main Gate for the event is between point 5 and Point 1.
  • The city ends around 10:00 and 2:00 and it is open playa with art installations and The Temple with Point 3 in the top center.   See BRCMA Charts.  TODO INSERT DIAGRAM OR USE BELOW, can text be tighter to graphic?

CLOCKWISE Flow of Scenic Pattern, top of Pentagon =  Point 3  (12:00 on clock) EXIT

                        ENTER Point 1  Regular Pentagon Inscribed In A Circle | ClipArt ETC Point 5                                                                                                                                      the Airport

  • Scenic Pattern follows the outline of a pentagon formed by the perimeter fence (orange trash fence) around the event / BRC
  • Stay on the outside (away from BRC) of the orange trash fence.
  • Always fly CLOCKWISE  to BRC, right (starboard) wing towards The Man/city.
  • May extend up to a mile out on  the side with Points 1, 2, 3, 
  • Stay tight to the orange trash fence on the Airport side (Points 4 to 5) to avoid interference with runway operations.
  • Position reports follow the points of the pentagon formed by the orange trash fence
    • Enter the Scenic Pattern at Point 1 (7:30 clock/BRC streets), report intention prior.
    • Mandatory reporting at Point 5 (4:30). This is to both to alert pilots entering the Scenic, as well as other Airport Point 5 operations.
    • Exit the Scenic Pattern at Point 3 (12:00) , the “top” of the pentagon, report intention prior to exiting and include your destination: Frog Pond, Reno, Hot Springs.
  • Best photographic position for passengers is on the right (starboard) wing down side.

Keep Radio Transmissions Brief:  state intention slightly before executing maneuver, identify with color/type under 4500 lbs or model/make if over 4500 lbs:

  • Caravan, Point 1, entering Scenic, 7000
  • Blue high-wing, Point 1, entering Scenic, 6000’
  • Red biplane, Point 3, exiting Scenic, 5500’ heading to Frog Pond. TODO
  • White and Blue low-wing, Point 5 at 6000’

No climbing or descending within the pattern.  If you need to climb or descend:

  • leave the pattern at Point 3.
  • climb or descend to desired altitude.
  • enter pattern at Point 1.


PARTIAL LOW SCENIC Ultralights, Paragliders, etc. :   up to 5000 MSL (1000AGL) maximum altitude.  Tokens are not needed, passengers must have Temporary Visa wristband. Lower flights encouraged and appreciated by passengers.  TODO confirm

  • Takeoff Airport/Point 5 past Point 1 and 2
  • Turn around at Point 3  turns at point 3 can be “wide” and may extend slightly past point 3.
  • Come back past  Point 2 and 1
  • Land at Point 5/Airport

SLOW SCENIC:   5500’ MSL (1500′ AGL) = all aircraft flying between 60-100 knots.

FAST SCENIC6000’ MSL (2000′ AGL) = all aircraft flying greater than 100 knots.

INBOUND SCENIC7000’ MSL (3000′ AGL) = all INBOUND aircraft have the OPTION of a scenic pattern before proceeding to the  Landing Pattern.  This includes GA and Air Carrier:  returning (Boomerang Flights) and new arrivals.

Keep Scenic Flights and Landing Patterns Separate:
There is enough space between the city limits and the runway so that scenic flights do not interfere with landing traffic.  No Direct-to-Final entry from the Scenic Pattern to the Landing Pattern of any runway.

See BRCMA Charts for Scenic Pattern

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