I am also a writer... Please visit my site for my forthcoming book 1775--the story of the start of the American Revolution.  1775
Certified Flight Instructor Resources by Derek W Beck




A fundamental maneuver whereby the airplane maintains a constant altitude but turns to a new heading.


To develop the fundamental techniques required for changing heading.


·         Clear the area

·         Choose forced landing area (always be aware of options)

·         Configure aircraft for cruise (C172RG: 23” Hg, 2300 RPM)

·         Select outside references (point on the horizon corresponding to desired heading)

·         Periodically insure the nose is fixed below the horizon

·         Gently bank the airplane to no more than 20º for shallow turns when learning turning (20º to 45º for medium turns when more proficient) and maintain this bank until approaching desired heading

·         Apply rudder in the direction of the bank to keep the ball centered while applying elevator back-pressure to maintain level flight (constant altitude)

·         Use wingtips as reference of banking angle

·         Anticipate rollout to new heading by leading with half the bank angle (10º for a 20º bank)

·         Trim as necessary to maintain altitude

·         Look for traffic

Common Errors

·         Failure to adequately clear the area before beginning the turn

·         Attempting to execute the turn solely by instrument reference

·         Attempting to sit up straight, in relation to the ground, during a turn, rather than riding with the airplane

·         Insufficient feel for the airplane as evidenced by the inability to detect slips/skids without reference to flight instruments

·         Attempting to maintain a constant bank angle by referencing the “cant” of the airplane’s nose

·         Fixating on the nose reference while excluding wingtip reference

·         “Ground shyness”—making “flat turns” (skidding) while operating at low altitudes in a conscious or subconscious effort to avoid banking close to the ground

·         Holding rudder in the turn

·         Gaining proficiency in turns in only one direction (usually the left)

·         Failure to coordinate the use of throttle with other controls

·         Altitude gain/loss during the turn


FAA-H-8083-3A Airplane Flying Handbook p. 3-7

This document is provided as is. It is intended for use by authorized instructors only. Please double-check all content before using.

  © 2008- Derek W Beck. Some Rights Reserved.  Creative Commons License  Licensed under a US Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike.
Email Me      © 2008- Derek W Beck. All Rights Reserved Except As Specified.
See movies and more at DerekBeck.com