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3 Answers

Procedure Turn.

Asked by: 689 views FAA Regulations, Flight Instructor


I was under the impression that when you perform a barbed type procedure turn, the pilot could turn to any heading they wanted to as long as they turned in the direction (side) of the barb. However, recently I have been told that you have to use the heading as indicated on NOS charts and additionally you have to make the second turn in the direction opposite from the first turn. The AIM says that you have to turn towards you course, but I can't seem to understand what restricts one from turning towards the airport if you wanted to. For example, for the approach bellow, could you turn left to a heading of 101 and then make another left turn to intercept the final approach course if you were close to the 10nm limit? 

3 Answers

  1. Best Answer

    KDS on Jan 16, 2018

    This is from FAR 97.3:

    Procedure turn means the maneuver prescribed when it is necessary to reverse direction to establish the aircraft on an intermediate or final approach course. The outbound course, direction of turn, distance within which the turn must be completed, and minimum altitude are specified in the procedure. However, the point at which the turn may be begun, and the type and rate of turn, is left to the discretion of the pilot.

    You can make your initial turn to whatever heading works for you. If you get a chance, ask whoever told you that you couldn’t, to show you their refrence stating otherwise.

    As far as making your turn back inbound to the left in the example you gave, I can’t think of any regulatory prohibition. However, the question is better asked, why would you want to do that. If you’re so close to the 10 NM limit that a turn to the right is going to take you outside of it, things are already not looking good.

    I’ll just add this. I’ve never heard anyone advocate making a turn that way. I’ve never heard an instructor teach it that way. I’ve never seen any pilot do it that way, with one exception. Okay, I was the exception, but I was pretty confused at the time.

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  2. Skyfox on Jan 17, 2018

    For the turn back inbound, that’s actually how I was trained to do it; in the case of the example approach you provided, turn left to go outbound on the 101° course, then make a left turn for the 281° inbound leg to return to the approach course. The reason given was that it does help keep you within the 10 NM radius of protected airspace, as well as shortening things up a little bit by having you intercept the final approach course a little bit closer to the airport.

    However, it does have a caveat to keep in mind in that intercepting the approach closer to the airport will give you a little less time to get established on the final before reaching the FAF, glide slope, etc., so if you get behind with things in the cockpit you may find yourself in a bit of a rush. I don’t recall ever reading anything that specifies the turn back towards the approach course must be in one direction or the other.

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  3. Mark Kolber on Jan 22, 2018

    It sure sounds like someone who had no idea what he was talking about recently told you a bunch of things. Or, that you misheard some stuff.

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