Turning and Pointing
Well, it’s a little more than just that. The idea behind a “turn about a point” is to develop a skill of being able to control the airplane in reference to a point on the ground, while accounting for the wind aloft trying to blow you off course. Since when you are flying in the traffic pattern you are really just flying in reference to a point on the ground (the runway) and the wind is always blowing you slightly off course from some direction, this is certainly a valuable and necessary skill to master to become a successful pilot.
What we’re looking for:
- Inscribe a perfectly round circle on the ground as you fly your circle around the point, as if there was a pen attached to the bottom of the airplane.
- Choose an appropriate altitude to fly the maneuver at (which would be somewhere between 600′-1,000′ agl)
- Maintain airspeed within +/- 10kts and altitude within +/-100′
- Choose a good point (a well defined and small point, not something large like a lake or large group of trees)
- Start the maneuver on the downwind (with the wind on your tail, in other words, with a high ground speed)
- Keep an eye out for traffic and don’t forget to scan inside the cockpit at your instruments from time to time