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How to work out a Standard Rate turn?

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  • How to work out a Standard Rate turn?

    does anybody know how to work out a bank angle in a standard rate turn i.e. when a commercial jet turns 180 degrees from a downwind leg to a final approach? (if you are a pilot you may be able to help more than other people)

    surely you have to take into consideration the number of degrees between your current heading and the new one (in this case is 180), the speed at which you are flying and the distance between the downwind leg and upwind leg. (i'm not fussed about crosswinds at this stage).

    is there a set distance between the runway and downwind leg.
    do pilots somehow make an accurate guess without using instruments.
    are all base leg turns set at something like 10 degrees of bank.
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  • #2
    A standard rate or "2 Min." turn is equal to a turn rate of 3 degrees per second or 360 degree turn in 2 minutes. The bank angle is dependent on airspeed. At 90 knots it works out to about 15 degrees. At 130 it's about 20 degrees. At 180 knots it's about 25 degrees.

    The formula is:
    Airspeed in knots divided by 10 plus 7.

    Commercial aircraft rarely fly a standard pattern which has four legs. Rarely is the turn from downwind to final made in one continuous constant standard rate turn.
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    • #3
      Last edited by JordanD; 2009-03-20, 04:58.


      • #4
        The equation to find the bank angle needed for a standard rate turn is:

        15% of your Groundspeed.

        Sure you can do the other methods (like for 160, drop the 0 and add 5 or 7) but when you're dealing with faster speeds, the above method is the correct way.

        If you use the equation in the post a couple above mine with a GS of 160 you get 23, but if you do the 15% you get 24 which is the correct number.

        The only time a commercial airliner would be doing the traffic pattern is on a visual approach and then it is done visually, I highly doubt their watching their times and DG and compass to figure it out when they can just look out the window. Otherwise they would be coming in on vectors or flying the instrument approach. No instrument approach has a downwind.
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