Ground Reference Maneuvers
Lesson Plan

Introduction:

  • To determine that the applicant exhibits satisfactory knowledge, risk management, and skills associated with ground reference maneuvering which may include a rectangular course, Sturns, and turns around a point
  • Note: See Appendix 7: Aircraft, Equipment, and Operational Requirements & Limitations
  • References: FAA-S-ACS-6, 14 CFR part 61; FAA-H-8083-2, FAA-H-8083-3

Attention:

  • Research a mishap case study:
  • Discuss how the initial conditions developed into an incident/accident/mishap
  • Relate similar personal experience of the same type of incident/accident/mishap

Motivator:

  • Ground reference maneuvers develop basic pilot skills, using the ground to gauge deviations, as well as serve as the basis for follow-on maneuvers
  • To begin, pilots must understand wind and wind drift
  • To demonstrate an understanding of wind and wind drift, pilots must first select suitable areas above which to perform each ground reference maneuver
  • Performing the wind drift circle takes those principles and demonstrates them in flight
  • With the effects of winds understood, pilots can practice correcting for it by performing turns around a point and S-turns
  • These training exercises ultimately prepare a pilot for the rectangular course, which trains the pilot for the next phase of training, the traffic pattern
  • Later, if/when working toward a commercial pilot certificate, eights along a road, eights across a road, eights around pylons, and finally eights on pylons expand upon the previously introduced ground reference maneuvers to demonstrate increasingly proficient control while making corrections throughout the maneuver

Overview:

Topic:
Time:
Introduction:
0:05
Ground Reference Maneuvers:
0:15
Review (quiz):
0:05
Case Studies:
0:05
Total Ground Time:
0:30

Required Materials:

  • Paper, Pen, Marker, Whiteboard

Instructor Actions:

Student Actions:

Private Pilot - Ground Reference Maneuvers Airman Certification Standards:

  • To determine that the applicant exhibits satisfactory knowledge, risk management, and skills associated with ground reference maneuvering which may include a rectangular course, Sturns, and turns around a point
  • Note: See Appendix 7: Aircraft, Equipment, and Operational Requirements & Limitations
  • References: 14 CFR part 61; FAA-H-8083-2, FAA-H-8083-3


Ground Reference Maneuvers Risk Management:

The applicant is able to identify, assess, and mitigate risk associated with:
  • PA.V.B.R1:

    Failure to divide attention between airplane control and orientation
  • PA.V.B.R2:

    Collision hazards, to include aircraft, terrain, obstacles, and wires
  • PA.V.B.R3:

    Low altitude maneuvering, including stall, spin, or controlled flight into terrain (CFIT)
  • PA.V.B.R4:

    Distractions, improper task management, loss of situational awareness, or disorientation
  • PA.V.B.R5:

    Failure to maintain coordinated flight

Ground Reference Maneuvers Skills:

The applicant exhibits the skill to:
  • PA.V.B.S1:

    Clear the area
  • PA.V.B.S2:

    Select a suitable ground reference area, line, or point as appropriate
  • PA.V.B.S3:

    Plan the maneuver: (the evaluator must select at least one maneuver for the applicant to demonstrate)
    • PA.V.B.S3a:

      Rectangular course: enter a left or right pattern, 600 to 1,000 feet above ground level (AGL) at an appropriate distance from the selected reference area, 45° to the downwind leg
    • PA.V.B.S3b:

      S-turns: enter perpendicular to the selected reference line, 600 to 1,000 feet AGL at an appropriate distance from the selected reference area
    • PA.V.B.S3c:

      Turns around a point: enter at an appropriate distance from the reference point, 600 to 1,000 feet AGL at an appropriate distance from the selected reference area
  • PA.V.B.S4:

    Apply adequate wind-drift correction during straight and turning flight to maintain a constant ground track around a rectangular reference area, or to maintain a constant radius turn on each side of a selected reference line or point
  • PA.V.B.S5:

    If performing S-Turns, reverse the turn directly over the selected reference line; if performing turns around a point, complete turns in either direction, as specified by the evaluator
  • PA.V.B.S6:

    Divide attention between airplane control, traffic avoidance and the ground track while maintaining coordinated flight
  • PA.V.B.S7:

    Maintain altitude ±100 feet; maintain airspeed ±10 knots

Re-Motivation:

  • We usually think of air in the form of wind, like a stream flowing from one point long the surface to another however, air is more dynamic
    • Air can also flow up, producing thermals used in gliding
    • Air can also flow downwards, producing downdrafts like those seen in microbursts
  • Ground reference maneuvers demand pilots face atmospheric conditions and apply appropriate corrections
  • Consider practicing maneuvers on a flight simulator to introduce yourself to maneuvers or knock off rust
  • Still looking for something? Continue searching:

Closure:

  • Advise students that this lesson will be used as a starting point for the next lesson
  • Assign study materials for the next lesson