Part II — The Ground and Air Instruction Syllabus — Exercise 9 — Turns


To teach:

(1)  Gentle, medium, climbing and descending, and steep turns.

(2)  Turns to selected headings.


As required.

Essential Background Knowledge

(1)  Review collision geometry and scanning technique.

(2)  Explain safety considerations (e.g., collision avoidance techniques).

(3)  Define angles of bank as applicable to light training aircraft:

  1. Gentle — up to 15°;
  2. Medium — 15° to 30°;
  3. Steep — beyond 30°.

(4)  Review control of adverse yaw resulting from aileron drag.

(5)  Explain how to:

  1. Carry out an effective look-out prior to a turn;
  2. Enter a turn maintaining co-ordinated flight;
  3. Stay in a turn (i.e.):
  1. maintain bank and pitch attitudes by visual reference;
  2. look out during turn.

D. Recover while maintaining co-ordinated flight.

(6)  Climbing and descending turns — reasons for pitch and bank attitude limitations.

(7)  Point out:

  1. Proper use of each control in a co-ordinated turn;
  2. Precautions to avoid inadvertent entry into a spiral.

(8)  Steep turns.

  1. Explain:
  1. why additional lift must be produced as angle of bank is increased;
  2. how drag increases as lift is increased;
  3. why power must be added if speed is to be maintained;
  4. why there is a tendency to roll toward higher angles of bank;
  5. relationship between speed and radius of turn — minimum radius turns — entry speeds — use of power — use of flaps;
  6. use of steep turns for evasive action or collision avoidance — rapid change of direction;
  7. when a steep turn may be inappropriate for collision avoidance — head on, inside a range of approximately 10 seconds to impact;
  8. attitude and speed control during steep power-off descending turns — use of flaps.

(9)  Slipping turns — Refer to Exercise 15, — Side-slipping.

(10)  Question student on the exercise and clarify as necessary.

Advice to Instructors

(1)  Emphasize the importance of a meaningful look-out prior to and during each turn. Set a good example during the air demonstration.

(2)  It is important that turns be practised in both directions to emphasize the different visual reference in aircraft with side by side seating, and to ensure students do not favour the left turn they learn from the beginning in most circuits.

(3)  One of the most common faults in turning is excessive and incorrect use of the rudder. This should never occur if the student is taught from the beginning not to apply rudder at all unless it is necessary to correct adverse yaw.

(4)  Because of increased stress on accuracy, the student should be shown how to monitor instruments without sacrificing look-out.

(5)  Some steep descending turns should be practised at low altitudes where they are likely to be used in a real emergency.

(6)  During turns, emphasize that the elevators control the attitude of the nose and that any attempt to raise the nose with the rudder will cause a slip.

(7)  A faulty turn may often be traced to inaccurate flying just before entry; therefore, until competency is achieved, insist that the student flies straight and level before commencing any level turn.

(8)  Make sure the student appreciates and counteracts the detrimental forces of gyroscopic and slipstream effect in climbing and descending turns.

(9)  On occasion it is necessary to return to level flight while in a climbing or descending turn. Practice in this area is also a good co-ordination exercise.

(10)  Steep turns as an exercise have a value beyond the practical application. They provide one of the few instances of sustained extra loading, its effect on the pilot and the handling of the aircraft, and excellent practice in co-ordinating the movements of all controls to produce the desired result. Considerable practice is required to ensure the student can perform a precision 45° banked turn, at an airspeed selected by the examiner, and maintain a constant altitude, as required on the flight test.

(11)  Make sure the student appreciates that a steep turn at the last moment to avoid a collision may actually increase the probability of impact. A vertical manoeuvre may be more effective in close range, head on collision situations.

Instruction and Student Practice

(1)  Safety

Demonstrate, and insist upon proper look-out before and during manoeuvre.

(2)  Gentle level turns

  1. Demonstrate:
  1. correct entry — yaw control;
  2. co-ordinated flight during turn;
  3. visual reference for control of pitch and bank attitude — instrument indications;
  4. recovery — yaw control while rolling out;
  5. instrument indications.

(3)  Additional considerations for:

  1. Medium level turns
  1. demonstrate increased angle of bank;
  2. instrument indications.

B. Climbing turns

  1. demonstrate tendency of aircraft to increase angle of bank during turn — stress need for co-ordinated flight;
  2. instrument indications.

C. Descending turns

  1. demonstrate tendency of aircraft to decrease angle of bank — stress need for co-ordinated flight;
  2. instrument indications.

D. Steep turns


  1. use of power to maintain constant pre-selected airspeed — constant altitude;
  2. consequences of not adding power — loss of airspeed;
  3. bank and power limitations;
  4. relationship between speed and radius of turn — minimum radius — entry speed — use of power — use of flaps;
  5. co-ordination and technique for evasive action or collision avoidance;
  6. attitude and speed control during steep power-off descending turns — use of flaps;
  7. instrument indications.

NOTE:  Stress attitude control to avoid spiral entry — how to monitor instruments.

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