This is an excerpt from a report made to the Aviation Safety Reporting System. The narrative is written by the pilot, rather than FAA or NTSB officials. To maintain anonymity, many details, such as aircraft model or airport, are often scrubbed from the reports.
I was pilot and sole occupant of a Cessna 182C at ZZZ. The runway in use was XX with a left traffic pattern and there were multiple training aircraft in the traffic pattern, including several Diamond DA-42 Twin Stars and several Cessna 172 Skyhawks from multiple large, collegiate flight schools located at nearby ZZZ1.
As I held short of Runway XX a DA42 announced a non-standard right base for XX. Several other aircraft in the pattern commented on the non-standard pattern.
After the DA42 made a touch and go landing I entered Runway XX for closed traffic. As the DA42 ahead made a left crosswind turn, I began the takeoff roll. At 700 feet AGL I announced and made a left crosswind turn.
Approximately 1/2 mile south of Runway XX and at 1,000 feet AGL I announced and made my turn to the downwind leg. I had several aircraft in sight ahead on the downwind.
One aircraft was very wide (I would estimate more than a mile from the runway and several hundred feet above the standard traffic pattern.) Another aircraft reported several miles east inbound on an instrument approach.
As I approached what would have been my base turn, I saw another aircraft on a base leg about a half mile ahead and another on final approach an estimated two miles east. I announced that I had two prior aircraft in sight and would extend my downwind leg and be number three for landing. As I came abeam of the second landing aircraft, I announced and made my left base turn and began descending.
While on the left base leg I heard another aircraft announce left base. I looked all around and was not able to see another aircraft. I announced and made my turn to final for Runway XX. At that point another aircraft reprimanded me over the CTAF for “cutting me off.”
I did not see a conflicting aircraft until a DA42 overtook me from above and announced/executed a go-around.
There was some unprofessional “back and forth” on the CTAF where, in the heat of the moment, we expressed our differing opinions of who was at fault.
I landed without further incident. I still do not know where the other aircraft was prior to my turn to final. I suspect it was at my 4 or 5 o’clock position on the base leg. I thought I had made observations on the base leg, but as I had extended the downwind leg for traffic. I had assumed other traffic would be to my left. Clearly I was wrong.
As a regular user of ZZZ I notice a high volume of training traffic from several local large flight schools. I understand that it is convenient field, with cheap fuel and is just over 50 nm from ZZZ1, making it a good cross-country target.
It is, however, also a pilot-controlled field where a radio is not required and is charted and NOTAMed for intense parachute operations. I think safety would be enhanced if big flight schools limited their operations at such fields accordingly.
Primary Problem: Human Factors