Exercise 9 – Medium Turns

Exercise 9 – Medium Turns



Medium Turn – Left

  • Entry, maintaining, rolling out


  • Attitude: judge purely visually at first
  • Bank angle with aileron
  • Pitch attitude with elevator: back pressure
  • Lookout, Attitude, Instruments (LAI)
  • [Accept reduced IAS]


  • Level wings: aileron – rudder to balance (ball in the middle)
  • Pitch attitude: for level flight – relax back-pressure
  • Lookout: outside turn


  • LOOKOUT – Last look in direction of turn
  • Attitude:
  • Bank Angle – aileron
  • Balance – rudder
  • Pitch – back-pressure
  • Stress: coordination of controls


Different Aspect


  • Different picture – Identical technique
  • Effective lookout more difficult

Rolling Out/Entry

  • As for left turns



  • Introduce Instruments into LAI (Altimeter – level, A/H – bank angle; Ball – balance)

Rolling Out

  • Anticipate: feature/heading (inclusion of DI in LAI for maintaining)
  • Refine datums


  • Basic technique same as level turns
  • Bank angle of 15°
  • Maintain IAS with attitude
  • Using bank reduces RoC


  • Basic technique same as for level turns (Max 30° at this stage)
  • Maintain IAS with attitude
  • Effect of power and flap settings same as for a straight descent
  • Using bank increases ROD



1. For this exercise, bank angles should not exceed about 30°. Turns at higher angles of bank are considered as steep turns.
2. Teach level, climbing and descending medium turns before starting circuits.


  • Preparatory Instruction

1. Principles of turning

2. Use of controls when turning

3. Adverse yaw: use of rudder to counteract

4. Use of power (In a turn, the IAS is lower than in straight flight. Accept IAS loss – do not adjust power.)

5. Climbing and descending turns


  • With side by side seating it is best to teach turning only to the left initially (because lookout is easier for the student). Then teach turning right. Later, alternate the direction of turns so that the student has practice at turning both ways.
  • Initially, emphasize the correct judgement of attitude and angle of bank by using the horizon as an external reference. Stress LOOKOUT and ATTITUDE initially. It is infinitely preferable that the student maintains a steady bank angle, visually, rather
    than keeping changing it to achieve precisely 30° using the Artificial Horizon. Only as he becomes more proficient should you teach your student to cross-refer to the instruments to achieve greater accuracy. Teach the specific application of LAI, stressing that only brief glances should be used when checking instruments.
  • Initially the roll out heading is not important. Teach rolling out onto features and specific headings only when your student has mastered the roll out technique.


1. Stress the importance of good lookout before, during and after every change of direction and that this is more important than striving for super-accuracy and subordinating lookout to checks of flight instruments.

2. Discuss the use of Anchor Point(s) and the requirement for the student to orientate himself at intervals in order to develop his sense of direction.


  • First demonstrate a medium turn left. Then teach turning left (it is most effective to start with maintaining the turn, followed by rolling out and finally, the entry). When the student has mastered the basic technique, teach turning right.

1. Maintaining (Left)


a. Attitude – Maintain steady bank angle (with aileron); back-pressure to maintain pitch attitude; NO TRIMMING.
b. Lookout – From ahead to as far round into the turn as possible.
c. Instruments – Angle of bank, height, balance. (Later include DI for roll- outs on heading.)

2. Maintaining (Right)

a. Attitude – Different apparent attitude when turning right.
b. Lookout – More difficult (across cockpit, roof restricts view) but stress it is as important as ever.
c. Instruments – As for left turns.

3. Rolling Out

Teach flying the aeroplane back to the Straight and Level attitude:

a. Attitude – Select: roll wings level; squeeze of rudder to balance (by feel, NOT looking at ball), relax back-pressure.
b. Lookout – When wings level, check area outside turn, then resume full lookout scan.
c. Rolling out on features/headings – Anticipation, visually and using DI (10°).

4. Entry


a. Lookout – Last look in the direction of turn. If your student starts to enter any turn without looking out, take control, return to wings level, ask what they forgot and invite them to try again – AFTER looking out.

b. Attitude – Select: roll to 30° bank angle; squeeze of rudder to balance (by feel, NOT looking at ball) apply back-pressure to maintain pitch attitude. Stress coordination of all 3 controls.


  • The handling technique is the same for level turns. Remind your student that, as with a straight climb, ATTITUDE CONTROLS IAS. Bank angle is limited to 15° to avoid a substantial decrease in the rate of climb.


1. Handling technique is the same as for climbing turns.
2. Effect of power and flap settings are the same as for a straight descent.
3. Show that using a bank increases the rate of descent. (Steep descending turns are taught in Exercise 15.)


  • Correct any tendency to fail to lookout properly, especially before entry, promptly. Do not allow your student to develop bad habits in this regard.
  • Many students do not maintain a steady attitude (allowing bank to vary without altering back pressure). This is often the result of over-concentrating on and “chasing” flight instruments, in an effort to fly accurately. If you suspect this, cover the instruments and insist on your student relying on visual attitude (you can usually show that this produces more accurate turns).
  • Some students forget the lessons of Exercise 4 about the function of the controls when the aircraft is banked. If necessary, re-teach that, even when banked:

a. Ailerons control the bank angle.
b. Elevators control pitch but stress that, at high bank angles, pitching up tends to tighten the turn rather than raising the nose towards the horizon.
c. Rudder controls the yawing plane – for balance.

  • Some students are slow to learn how to coordinate use of rudder to compensate for adverse yaw and to maintain balance whilst rolling into and out of turns. Be patient, re-teach as necessary and give lots of practice.