Timed Turns

Because a standard rate turn is three degrees per second, turns to headings can be made by timing the turn. This can come in handy if you lose your heading indicator or just to keep in mind as you perform routine turns. To make a timed turn, simply determine the heading change required and divide by three to obtain the number of seconds you must maintain the turn. For example, to turn right from 090 to 240 degrees, a 150 degree turn is required. This equates to a standard rate turn for 50 seconds or a half standard rate turn for 100 seconds.

An easy way to accomplish this calculation is to simply look at the heading indicator and count up the heading change required in 30 degree increments, remembering that it takes 10 seconds to turn each 30 degrees at standard rate. In our example, we would count five blocks of 30 degrees, or 50 seconds.

Compass Turns

Turns accomplished by reference to the compass must be made with the compass errors in mind. The compass will be accurate on an east or west heading. When turning to northerly or southerly headings, lead and lag will be about the same as your latitude. Since the compass leads south, you should roll out late by about your latitude.

For example, at a 30 degree latitude, to turn from a 090 to a 180 degree heading, you would roll out on a 210 heading as indicated by the compass. The compass will then return to a 180 heading.

In this example, to instead make a left turn from 090 to 360 degrees, you would roll out early on a 030 heading as indicated by the compass. The lag will dissipate once you stop turning and the compass will settle on a 360 heading.

Remember to lead your rollout early, just as you would with any other turn. We normally lead a rollout from any turn to a heading by about half the bank angle.

The greater the horizontal lift at a particular airspeed, the greater the rate of turn.

Angle of attack in a turn must be increased to maintain level flight. This is due to the reduction of the vertical component of lift.

When airspeed is decreased in a turn, the bank angle must be decreased or angle of attack must be increased to maintain level flight.

During a constant bank turn, an increase in airspeed results in a decreased rate of turn and an increased turn radius.