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Standard Rate Turn

Standard Rate Turn

A standard rate turn is a turn in which an airplane completes a 360-degree turn in 2 minutes. This is done by a turn of 3 degrees per second. If the airplane is moving faster than 250 knots, then a standard rate of turn is 1.5 degrees per second, or a 360-degree turn in 4 minutes. Every airplane must be able to complete a standard rate turn in order to be certified.

True airspeed is directly related to a standard rate turn. If you are traveling at a faster speed, then you are going to need a steeper bank in order to accomplish the 3-degree per second requirement. To accomplish a standard rate turn, pilots use either a turn coordinator or a turn and bank indicator. There is a marking on the instrument that points to the standard rate and allows the pilot some ease when flying in instrument conditions, and there is a clock, so the pilot can time himself to make sure his turn is on point. On lighter aircraft, there is a 2-minute turn indicator to assist the pilots. To figure out the amount of bank needed in order to accomplish a standard rate turn, we have the equation:

Stadard Rate of Turn Equation

where: TAS = true airspeed

Standard rate turns are used as a commonality in almost all instrument procedures, and when pilots go to be instrument-certified, they must be able to perform a standard rate turn for the check pilot. Holding, intercepting, tracking, approaches, departures, and vectors are all accomplished using standard rate turns.

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