Airplane Maneuvers – Rectangular Course

Written by Jack on May 31st, 2008
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Objective: To develop division of attention between the flightpath and ground references, while controlling the airplane and watching for other aircraft in the vicinity. To develop recognition of drift toward or away from a line parallel to the intended ground track.
Content: Before Flight:

  • Review applicable aircraft performance information
  • Airspeed and altitude should be held constant during maneuver
  • Bank should normally not exceed 45° during maneuver
  • All turns should be started when aircraft is abeam the corner of the field boundaries
  • Anticipate turns based on groundspeed and turning radius

During Flight:

  • Select rectangular field, or area bounded on four sides by section lines or roads about a mile in length
  • Aircraft should be flown parallel to and apprx. ¼ – ½ mile outside of rectangle so that it may easily be seen by both pilots
  • Enter the maneuver 45° to downwind and fly first leg downwind
  • Make first turn when aircraft is abeam the corner of the field boundaries and time the turn so that wings level when abeam the corner of the field boundary
  • Continue this process around the field maintaining the same distance from the field boundaries by correcting for wind
  • Exit the maneuver at the completion of the downwind leg

See AFH C. 6-4

See AFH Figure 6-4

Completion Standards: The lesson is complete when the student demonstrates knowledge through a written or oral exam and is able to perform a rectangular course to the satisfaction of the instructor and in accordance with the current Practical Test Standards for the student’s stage of training.

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