Eights On Pylons

Definition: Ground reference Maneuver where a pylon is kept in the same relative position to the wingtip.

Objective: To develop the ability to maneuver the aircraft accurately while dividing ones attention between the flight path and selected points on the ground.

Mechanics: Pitch for airspeed and keep the correct bank in while circling the points at your pivotal altitude.

Pivotal Altitude: The altitude you will fly this maneuver, as you “pivot” about the pylons. It is determined by the following formula: GS^2/11.3.


  1. Determine Pivotal Altitude
  2. Pick two points 3-5 seconds from each other, perpendicular to the wind.
  3. Clearing Turns
  4. Enter from the downwind and make a turn about the first point at the pivotal Altitude.
  5. If the point moves rearward then you are too fast and too low so you should climb.
  6. If the point moves ahead of the aircraft then you are too slow and too high, you should descend.
  7. Keep the point using pitch
  8. Keep the same distance from the point using bank as you would in a turn bout a point.
  9. After you complete the turn fly to your next point and repeat the procedure.

Max and Minimums Downwind

  1. Altitude is highest
  2. TAS is lowest
  3. GS is highest
  4. Bank is steepest
  5. Distance to the point is least


  1. Altitude is lowest
  2. TAS is highest
  3. Ground Speed is lowest
  4. Bank is shallowest
  5. Distance from the point is greatest

Common Errors

  1. Using rudder to keep the point instead of pitch
  2. Wrong pivotal altitude
  3. Not keeping the point

Completion Standards

  1. Enters at pivotal Altitude
  2. Keeps ball centered
  3. 30-40 degrees at steepest point
  4. Hold pivotal Altitude