Exercise 9 – Turns

This article will contain all types of turns. It is your responsibility as an instructor to determine when to teach the respective types of turns that are possible.

Gentle and Medium Turns


  • Always begin with a Lookout
    • Not doing a lookout is a major error, do not allow the student to turn without a lookout
  • Review body posture during the turn

Adverse Yaw

  • Review the need for rudder control when rolling the aircraft
  • This can be a brief review of “rolling around a point”
    • This exercise description is available in Ex. 5, near the end of the lesson

Gentle Turns

  • Lookout
  • Describe entry procedure and recovery. Relate this to a simple bank.
  • While in turn, show angle of horizon relative to dash. Look out the sides to show the wing angle.
  • Roll out on a geographic point

Student Practice

  • Roll out on headings and allow additional student practice
    • Be sure to teach student to lead roll out by half of the bank angle

Medium Turns

  • Show entry procedure with a bit of extra back pressure on control column
  • Be sure to point out higher angle of horizon and wing angle out the side windows

Student Practice

Climbing and Descending Turns

  • The reality: A skilled pilot is not limited to climbing at most, 15° of bank and in a descent to 30°
    • For the purposes of training, try and limit the student to these angle in the initial stages
  • When in a climbing turn, pilots tend to over-bank and in a descent tend to under-bank
    • If you don’t know why, review angles of attack in climbing and descending turns
    • Make sure the student doesn’t over/under bank the desired angles
  • Control Yaw in all attitudes, rudder input may be required to maintain the turns

Student Practice

Steep Turns

  • Lookout, a HASEL check is NOT required.

Entry and Recovery

  • Practice rolling into a 45° bank
    • Control yaw and make sure the correct back pressure is applied
  • After a 90° heading change, roll out controlling yaw and relieving back pressure

Student Practice

Maintain Alt and Bank, then Airspeed

  • Once the student has mastered the entry and recovery, find a point on the cowl where the horizon intersects it
  • Enter and maintain altitude and bank angle while keeping coordinated
  • Complete a 180° turn and recover
    • If the student is progressing well complete a 360° turn

Student Practice 

  • Using a landmark, make a full turn back to the landmark incorporating the power through 30° of bank.
  • Lead roll out by half the bank angle and reduce power to cruise through the 30° of bank

Student Practice 

Common Errors

  1. Applying too much back pressure at the beginning of the roll-in – airplane gains altitude
  2. Applying power too roughly or too rapidly at the beginning – possibly causing engine over speed
  3. Using back-pressure alone in attempting to correct for a nose-low condition, forgetting bank must be shallowed
  4. Using the centre of the cowling for pitch reference, instead of a point directly infront of the pilot
  5. “Losing” the reference point
  6. Forgetting “torque” correction or having other co-ordination problems
  7. Letting the nose rise on roll-out – usually a result of neglecting to retard the throttle and relax back pressure on the wing

Other Steep Turns 

Minimum Radius

  • The radius is influenced by the speed of the aircraft as well as the bank angle
  • Normally conducted with full flap or one notch less than full
  • At or around your glide speed
  • Between 45° and 60° of bank
  • Full Throttle

Collision Avoidance

Purpose is to change direction, ASAP

  • Power idle
  • 2G pull up and 90° turn using coordinated rudder and aileron
  • Allow the nose to drop to prevent a stall

Steep Descending Turn

This maneuver is an altitude losing maneuver which requires precise energy and power management

  • Power idle (carb heat on if applicable)
  • Full flap and reduce to glide speed
  • Trim the aircraft and then bank to 45°
  • Do not allow airspeed to increase

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