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Turns Around A Point

Introduction:

  • Extension on S-Turns across a road where the airplane is flown in two or more complete circles of uniform radii or distance from a prominent ground reference point [Figure 1]
    • Further teaches the radius of a turn is a distance which is affected by the degree of bank used when turning with relation to a definite object
    • Perfects the ability to subconsciously control the airplane, while dividing attention between flight path and ground references in a turn
    • Develops a keen perception of altitude

WARNING:
All procedures here are GENERALIZED for learning.
Fly the maneuver in accordance with the Pilot Operating Handbook (POH)
and/or current Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)


Turns Around a Point Procedure:

WARNING:
All procedures here are GENERALIZED for learning.
Fly the maneuver in accordance with the Pilot Operating Handbook (POH)
and/or current Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)


  1. Determine wind direction
    • This is important for the entry heading and reference point
  2. Perform clearing turns looking for traffic and ground obstructions
  3. Select a reference point in an area where an emergency landing can be made if necessary
    • Select a point easily distinguished and small enough to present precise reference
    • Isolated trees or crossroads work best
  4. Establish and maintain traffic pattern airspeed and 1,000' AGL
  5. Enter on a downwind to one side of the selected point at a distance equal to the desired radius of the turn
  6. Directly downwind and abeam the reference point, roll into the steepest bank to initiate maintaining a constant radius
    • This will be your highest ground speed
  7. Turn not to exceed 45°
  8. As the turn continues, begin to shallow the bank, as necessary, to continue maintaining a constant radius
    • Ground speed will decrease
  9. Directly upwind the bank should be at its shallowest
    • Ground speed will be slowest
  10. As the turn continues, begin to steepen the bank, as necessary, to continue maintaining a constant radius
    • Ground speed will begin to increase
  11. Continue the maneuver for another set of turns or depart on entry heading, as directed
  12. Upon completion of the maneuver, resume normal cruise, RPM
    • Trim as necessary
  13. Complete cruise flow/checklist
Airplane Flying Handbook, Figure 6-6. Turns around a point
Airplane Flying Handbook, Turns around a point

Notes:

  • Use a maximum bank of 45° while maintaining altitude
  • As experience and understanding of the effects of wind drift, bank angle, and wind correction angle improve, you may enter the maneuver from any point
  • Take into account ground speed and wind velocity to determine the angle of bank required initially to maintain the proper ground track
  • Radius distance must permit seeing the point throughout the maneuver, even in a bank
  • In addition to varying the bank angle, "crabbing" is also necessary:
    • Crab in during the downwind half of the circle, crab out during the upwind half of the circle

Turns Around a Point Common Errors:

  • Failure to adequately clear the area
  • Failure to establish appropriate bank on entry
  • Failure to recognize wind drift
  • Excessive bank and/or inadequate wind correction angle on the downwind side of the circle, resulting in drift toward the reference point
  • Inadequate bank angle and/or excessive wind correction angle on the upwind side of the circle, resulting in drift away from the reference point
  • Skidding turns when turning from downwind to crosswind
  • Slipping turns when turning from upwind to crosswind
  • Gaining or losing altitude
  • Inadequate visual lookout for other aircraft
  • Inability to direct attention outside the airplane while maintaining precise airplane control

Airman Certification Standards:

References: