Ground Reference Maneuvers

Areas of Operation: §61.107(2)(vi)

Preparatory Assignment: Read AFH Rectangular Course, S-Turns across a road, and turns around a point 6-4, 6-6, 6-7

Attention: How do you trailer a boat when the wind is blowing from the side? How do you fly in a straight line over the ground when the wind is pushing you side ways?

Motivation: When you can control your position over the ground, your traffic pattern is sharper which makes your energy management easier.

Objective: Introduce and practice rectangular course, s-turns, and turns around a point.

Completion Standards:  Effectively use positive exchange of flight controls, while retaining positive aircraft control.  Understand the purpose of perfecting these maneuvers.

 Review: The elements of each maneuver, common errors, and how to correct common errors.

Preflight Briefing:

Review the step by step procedures of each maneuver and how to compensate for wind in different situations.

 

Flight:

Technical Subject Areas: Areas of Operation; Ground Reference Maneuvers

 

Rectangular Course (AFH 6-4)

  • Purpose: simulates the conditions encountered in airport traffic pattern.  To develop division of attention between the flight path and ground references, while controlling the airplane and watching for other aircraft in the vicinity.  Develop recognition of drift toward or away from a line parallel to the intended ground track.
  1. Select a safe altitude
  2. Select a suitable ground reference with consideration given to emergency landing areas
  3. Focus on orientation, division of attention, and planning.
  4. Configure the aircraft and airspeed prior to entry.
  5. Consider the relationship of a rectangular course to an airport traffic pattern.
  6. Correct for wind drift
  7. Maintain desired altitude, airspeed, and distance from ground reference boundaries.
  8. Time turn entries and rollouts to maintain equidistance from rectangle (ground track)
  9. Coordinate flight controls
  • Pick a clearly distinct rectangle like a rectangular country road pattern
  • Enter 45° to Downwind
  • Maintain a crab angle into the wind to keep a rectangular ground track
  • Maintain an altitude and airspeed throughout the maneuver
  • Divide attention between the flight path ground objects, and the handling of the airplane
  • Adjust crab angles for wind changes to retain a set ground track around the rectangle by anticipating drift and turning radii.
  • Common Errors
  1. Poor planning, orientation, or division of attention
  2. Uncoordinated flight control application
  3. Improper correction for wind drift
  4. Failure to maintain selected altitude or airspeed
  5. Selection of a ground reference where there is no suitable emergency landing area within gliding distance

S-Turns across a road (AFH 6-6)

  • Purpose: to learn to maintain semicircles of equal radii on each side of a selected straight line on the ground, compensating for wind drift
  1. Select a safe altitude.
  2. Select a suitable ground reference line with consideration given to emergency landing areas.
  3. Consider orientation, division of attention, and planning.
  4. Configure the aircraft and airspeed prior to entry.
  5. Use correct entry procedure
  6. Use wind drift correction
  7. Track semicircles of equal radii on either side of the selected ground reference line.
  8. Maintain desired altitude and airspeed
  9. Reverse turn direction over the ground reference line.
  10. Coordinate flight controls.
  • Select a straight line ground reference perpendicular to the wind
  • Use a power setting enough to maintain altitude easily (clean configuration), as well as a constant airspeed
  • Enter perpendicular to the road downwind (with a tailwind)
  • Upon crossing the road, enter a steep bank back toward the road
  • Use moderate bank at the 90° point of the turn to retain an equal distance either side of the road (as compared to your next turn)
  • Lessen bank to a shallow bank, then to level wings as your cross the road
  • Use shallow bank upon crossing the road
  • Moderate bank at the 90° point
  • Steep bank to get back to wings level crossing the road perpendicular again over the road.
  • Common Errors
  1. Faulty entry technique
  2. Poor planning, orientation, or division of attention
  3. Uncoordinated flight control application
  4. Improper correction for wind drift
  5. An unsymmetrical round track
  6. Failure to maintain selected altitude or airspeed
  7. Selection of a ground reference line where there is no suitable emergency landing area within gliding distance

Turns around a point (AFM 6-7/6-8)

  • Purpose: to perfect the ability to subconsciously control the airplane while dividing attention between the flight path and ground references, to understand that the degree of bank used affects distance from point and ground track, to develop a keen perception of altitude, to perfect the ability to correct for wind drift while in turns, and to further perfect turning technique.
  1. Select a safe altitude
  2. Select a suitable ground reference point with consideration given to emergency landing areas
  3. Consider orientation, division of attention, and planning.
  4. Configure the aircraft and airspeed prior to entry
  5. Use proper entry procedure
  6. Correct for wind drift
  7. Maintain desired altitude, airspeed, and distance from reference point.
  8. Coordinate flight controls
  • Use a power setting enough to maintain altitude easily (clean configuration)
  • Use no more than 45° of bank
  • Pick a reference point of a clear 4 way road intersection (easiest reference)
  • Enter downwind (with a tailwind) either side of the selected point
  • Use shallowest bank going into the wind
  • Use steepest bank going away from the wind
  • Use a steeper bank on the upwind side than the downwind side

Common Errors

  1. Faulty entry procedure
  2. Poor planning, orientation, or division of attention
  3. Uncoordinated flight control application
  4. Improper correction for wind drift
  5. Failure to maintain selected altitude or airspeed
  6. Selection of a ground reference point where there is no suitable emergency landing are within gliding distance.

 

Complete clearing turns before every performance maneuver—usually at least 180° change in direction, looking for traffic (Jeppesen Private Pilot pg. 4-6)

 

Post-Flight Debriefing:

Identify tasks that were completed to standards or above.

Identify and discuss tasks that were not completed to standards.

Record and grade completed tasks in the training record

Record training in the student’s logbook (reference the Areas of Operation above).

Give an assignment for the next flight session.

 

Next Assignment: Prepare for completing this lesson by reviewing tasks that were not performed to standards. If all tasks were performed to standards, assign the next lesson’s required material.