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4 Tips To Clean Up Your Turns Around A Point

Here are 4 easy-to-use tips to improve your turns around a point. Want more insight into the maneuver? Try our free turns around point online tool here.

1) Understand the Maneuver

Turns around a point are designed to be entered on the downwind. As you being turning around the point, your groundspeed will start to slow, because you have less tailwind, and less ground speed. This means you need less bank angle.

As you continue your circle to your 180-degree point your tailwind has now become a headwind, making this the shallowest bank of the whole maneuver.

As you continue past the 180-degree point, your bank angle will start to increase again, because your tail wind and ground speed are increasing again. When you've made one full 360-degree turn, the maneuver is completed.

2) Know the ACS by heart

Knowing what is expected of you allows you to focus on the important components of a maneuver.

Here's what the ACS says about turns around a point in plain English:

  • Clear the area for obstructions and traffic before starting maneuver
  • Balance your attention inside and outside of the cockpit
  • Be able to maintain coordinated flight
  • Adequate wind correction is to be made to keep a constant ground track
  • Enter at an appropriate distance to your point (generally 1/4-1/2 mile)
  • Enter at an appropriate altitude; 600-1000 feet AGL
  • Maintain +/- 100 feet, and +/- 10 knots

3) Pick the right point

Before you start your turn around a point, make sure you have picked a good place to complete your maneuver. Look for prominent landmarks with no terrain or obstructions around them. Water towers and roadway intersections make great points and can be found almost anywhere.

Google Maps

4) Imagine you are tied to your point

As you start to turn, look out your window and down your wing. Imagine that a piece of yarn has been tied between your wingtip and the point. This trick holds up for both high and low wing planes, giving you the sight picture necessary to maintain a constant radius turn. Maintaining this mental image will lead you to complete a more accurate and precise maneuver.


Want more insight into the maneuver? Try our free turns around point online tool here.


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Nicolas Shelton

Nicolas is a private pilot from Southern California. He is currently studying at Purdue University, where he is working on advanced pilot ratings. You can reach him at nicolas@boldmethod.com.

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