Eights Across A Road


  • The maneuver is a variation of eights along a road and involves the same principles and techniques
    • The primary difference is that at the completion of each loop of the figure eight, the airplane should cross an intersection of roads or specific point on a straight road
    • Wind should be perpendicular to the road
  • Consists of two complete adjacent circles of equal radii on each side of a straight road or other reference line on the ground [Figure 1]
  • Develops the ability to maneuver the airplane accurately, while dividing your attention between the flight path and the selected points on the ground
  • Should not be introduced until the student has a complete grasp on fundamentals (Rectangular Course, S-Turns, Turns Around a Point)
  • Perfects the knowledge of the effect of angle of bank on radius of turn
  • Demonstrate how wind affects the path of the airplane over the ground
  • To gain experience in the visualization of the results of planning before the execution of the maneuver
  • Trains the student to think and plan ahead of the airplane


  • WARNING: All procedures here are GENERALIZED for learning, fly the maneuver in accordance with the Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) or current Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

  1. Determine wind direction
    • This is important for the entry heading and reference point
  2. Commence a clearing turn looking for traffic and ground obstructions
  3. Select 2 reference points on either side of the reference line in an area where an emergency landing can be made if necessary
  4. Establish and maintain an appropriate airspeed (generally 100 KIAS) and 1,000' AGL
  5. Enter the maneuver ~30° to the road
    • You may need to establish a crab to maintain a straight ground path
  6. Abeam the first point, roll into a 30° to 40° angle of bank
    • Usually the first turn is made toward a downwind heading
    • As ground speed increases, the angle of bank will need to increase to increase the rate
    • As ground speed decreases after the first half of the turn, shallow the bank to arrive over the reference line on entry heading
  7. Perform the second turn
    • Ground speed will slow requiring a shallow angle of bank
    • After 180° of turn, ground speed will increase requiring an increase in angle of bank
  8. Depart the maneuver on the entry heading
  9. Complete cruise checklist


  • The measure of progress in the performance of eights along a road is the smoothness and accuracy of the change in bank used to counteract drift
    • The sooner the drift is detected and correction applied, the smaller will be the required changes
    • The more quickly the student can anticipate the corrections needed, the less obvious the changes will be and the more attention can be diverted to the maintenance of altitude and operation of the airplane
  • Eights Along A Road
    Airplane Flying Handbook, Eights Across A Road
  • Errors in coordination must be eliminated and a constant altitude maintained

Eights Across a Road Common Errors:

  • Failure to adequately clear the area
  • Skidding or slipping turns
  • Excessive gain or loss of altitude
  • Over concentration on the pylon and failure to observe traffic
  • Abrupt control usage

Airman Certification Standards:


  • Consider practicing maneuvers on a flight simulator to introduce yourself to maneuvers or knock off rust
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