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Turns Around A Point - Our Newest Free Online Tool

It's been another really great week at Boldmethod, and we're ending it on a high note! We've just released our newest free online tool for you - Turns Around A Point. Whether you're a student just learning the maneuver, or a seasoned CFI who's done more laps around a point than you can remember, this tool is for you.

First, please forward this page to your instructor (or, if you're an instructor, forward it to your co-workers!). The tool is free to use and will make everyone's life a little bit easier. We really appreciate you passing it on!

View Turns Around A Point In Full-Screen Mode >

How To Use The Turns Around A Point Tool

There's some pretty cool things you can do with this. You can drag the airplane anywhere in the turn and watch it crab and bank to compensate for wind.

You can also drag the orange wind arrow around to change the wind direction and speed. Watch the airplane adjust heading and bank when you do - it's pretty wild!

We've also added some handy buttons at the bottom to help you change, pause, understand (and explain) the maneuver.

What If You Have To Fly This Thing In Real Life (IRL)?

Are you a student pilot getting ready for your checkride? Once you've briefed turns around a point with your instructor, here are the 9 steps you need to pass the maneuver on your checkride:

1. Perform clearing turns and scan for traffic in the area.
2. Select a suitable ground reference point. A road intersection in an unpopulated area is typically a good point.
3. Establish a left downwind entry from the point, unless your examiner asks you to use a different entry.
4. Enter at the recommended airspeed, an altitude between 600 and 1000 feet AGL, and at an appropriate distance from the reference point (typically 1/4 to 1/2 mile).
5. Roll into the turn. Since you're on downwind, your ground speed is high. You'll need the steepest bank at this point to maintain a constant radius around the reference point.
6. As you turn around the point, gradually decrease bank angle to compensate for wind-drift and your decreasing ground speed.
7. As you approach the 180 degree point, your ground speed is at its lowest point. You'll need the least amount of bank at this point to maintain a constant radius around the reference point.
8. Scan outside and inside the airplane to maintain +-100 feet altitude and +-10 knots airspeed during the 360 degree turn.
9. Rollout once you've completed one turn, unless your examiner asks you to complete another turn. If you've done everything to standards, you just passed your turns around a point ground reference maneuver!

Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at

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