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It is anticipated that a radical shift in design paradigm will be required in order to enable perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) areal densities beyond 1 Tb/in2 . The shift in question will involve the use of advanced magnetic recording assist technologies such as patterned media, heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), or microwave-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR). This paper is concerned with one of the challenges associated with the practical implementation of patterned media technology, namely, the impact of non-planarity, and shifts in pattern orientation (at data-servo transitions, in particular) on the dynamic fly performance of air bearing sliders. The nature of the latter challenge becomes apparent when considering that key to realizing recording areal densities exceeding 1 Tb/in2 will be air bearing sliders with superior dynamic fly stability at sub-2 nm clearances. Of the two types of patterned media technologies in development in the disk drive industry, namely, discrete track media (DTM) and bit patterned media (BPM), the former was chosen as a case study in this work.