S-Turns


Objective: The objective of this lesson is to develop a student’s ability to perform and knowledge of the maneuver. To develop the students ability to perform the maneuver with proficiency according to the standards set forth in the PTS. To develop an understanding of the factors involved in S-turns.

Mechanics: It’s just like a turn about a point just half as much work, twice. This maneuver is much like a turn about a point except that instead of turning 360 degrees about a point, we will turn 180 degrees about a point. After the first 180 we will turn 180 degrees in the opposite direction. You will first choose a point on a road that runs perpendicular to the wind. Once you have done this you will want to make a 180 turn about this point. When you have completed this turn you will pick another point to turn about, and repeat the maneuver. (Note: The consecutive turns will be in opposite direction, left then right) Also you will want to make sure that when you are at the road which you picked your wings are level. This maneuver will help in the understanding and controllability of the aircraft at low altitudes and in turns. We do this maneuver at 600 – 1000 feet AGL.

Steps:

  1. Clearing turns
  2. Pick a “reference line” which runs roughly perpendicular to the wind, and two prominent points on that “reference line” about 1 ½ mi apart.
  3. Start downwind at 600-1000’ AGL, on one end of the two points.
  4. Make your first 180 degree turn about a point, remembering that the wind is behind you so roll into an aggressive bank (not exceeding 45)
  5. and shallowing the bank as you continue as to keep equidistance from the point. As soon as you are wings level at the road begin the second turn.

  6. Make your second 180 degree turn around the second point in the opposite direction. This time the wind is in your face so start with a shallow bank but make sure it is ever increasing and again end wings level over the road.

Common Errors:

  1. Failure to clear the area.
  2. Fixation on the point and the bank can cause a loss or gain of altitude.
  3. Drifting towards or away from the point.
  4. Not rolling to wings level at “reference line”

Completion Standards:

  1. The student will be considered proficient when he or she understands the aerodynamic concepts of this maneuver and can perform the maneuver according to the standards set forth in the PTS.

PTS Standards of completion:

  1. Exhibits knowledge of the elements related to S-turns.
  2. Select a suitable ground reference line.
  3. Plans and enters the maneuver at appropriate points (600-1000 AGL.) (perpendicular to the wind)
  4. Applies adequate wind drift correction to track a consistent radius turn on each side of the selected reference line.
  5. Reverses direction directly over the reference line.
  6. Divides attention between the airplane control and the ground track while maintaining coordinated flight.
  7. Maintains altitude + 100’, airspeed + 10 knots