Turns Around a Point

The purpose of practicing turns around a point is to teach you to make smooth, coordinated turns no matter the wind direction. For example, if you experience poor visibility and must quickly make a 180-degree turn and go back where you came from, it’s good to know how to do it without losing altitude or airspeed.

Your practical test will require two or more complete circles around a ground reference without losing altitude or airspeed. The ground point selected typically is a major road intersection or some other visual target like a large tree. You will adjust the bank angle depending on where the wind is coming from, with the shallowest bank made as the wind becomes a crosswind.

Number of Take-Offs Equals Number of Landings (Hopefully)
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The tricky part of this maneuver for most pilots is the constant adjustments that need to be made, especially of the plane’s bank. You’ll be looking inside the cockpit to various instruments, then outside to verify that you’re making a smooth circle around the object, and then back inside to the controls, and back outside … until the circle is complete.

Flying turns around a point
Flying turns around a point
"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
-- Andre Gide

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