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What’s the speed limit in a procedure turn?

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FAA Regulations, General Aviation, Instrument Rating

Just as the question asks, what is the speed limit in a procedure turn?  I've seen it as both 200 KIAS and 250 KIAS.  The sources that say 250 KIAS (from around 1996 when I started my IFR training) include the Gleim Instrument Pilot written test prep book, the Jeppesen Instrument/Commercial Manual, and the King Schools instrument rating written exam course [book & video].  However, as far as official government sources go, the only place I can find where a speed limit of 200 KIAS is specified is in the AIM, 5-4-9 a 3, and in FAA-H-8083-16A (Instrument Procedures Handbook) and FAA-H-8083-15B (Instrument Flying Handbook).  I can't find anything in the actual FARs. So, which is it?  200 KIAS or 250 KIAS?  (Or did it used to be 250 and it has since been reduced to 200?)  I'm revising one of my old study documents and I'm trying to get all the information and references correct, so if you can include the source for your answer that would be very helpful.

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1 Answers

  1. John D Collins on Nov 29, 2015

    Unless the airspace dictates a slower speed, a PT is predicated on a maximum speed of 250 Kts, 25 degree bank, and a 50 to 60 Kt wind. Below 10,000 MSL, the maximum IAS is 250 Kts. Below a class B shelf, the maximum IAS is 200 Kts. Both are established in 91.117. The AIM is not regulatory and uses the phraseology of:

    When the approach procedure involves a procedure turn, a maximum speed of not greater than 200 knots (IAS) should be observed from first overheading the course reversal IAF through the procedure turn maneuver to ensure containment within the obstruction clearance area.

    This is a recommendation and not a limit.

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