Clearing Turns

This forum has been developed to discuss flight instruction/University and College programs.

Moderators: ahramin, sky's the limit, sepia, Sulako, Right Seat Captain, lilfssister, North Shore

Post Reply
Message
Author
badmash
Rank 1
Rank 1
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:45 pm

Clearing Turns

#1 Post by badmash » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:47 am

Every exercise we perform - steep turns, slow flights, stalls, and spins need some kind of clearing turns. What are the best types of clearing turns for each of these?

Thanks!
---------- ADS -----------

Oscar
Rank 2
Rank 2
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:58 pm

Re: Clearing Turns

#2 Post by Oscar » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:35 am

Turn your neck, and look outside. 5 seconds. Done.
---------- ADS -----------

trey kule
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 4222
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:09 pm

Re: Clearing Turns

#3 Post by trey kule » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:02 am

If your instructor says you need to do a clearing turn, before doing a steep turn....find another instructor.
If that is a school policy. Find another school.

Somehow Steep Turns have evolved into such a difficult thing that some students are expected to do a clearing turn before doing a steep turn. Something they will NEVER do in the real world, and is totally unnecessary....It is just a turn for goodness sake.

And pass this on. This, incrediably stupid practice needs to end.
---------- ADS -----------

NotDirty!
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 186
Joined: Wed May 21, 2014 4:04 pm

Re: Clearing Turns

#4 Post by NotDirty! » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:19 am

trey kule wrote:If your instructor says you need to do a clearing turn, before doing a steep turn....find another instructor.
If that is a school policy. Find another school.
When I start my flight school, I am going to make it the safest school in the land, so we will have a policy that before conducting any clearing turns, you must first do a clearing turn... This is a sure fire way to get rich in aviation; I am surprised nobody else has thought of it yet!
---------- ADS -----------

photofly
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 6005
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:47 pm
Location: Part of the "me, me, me" crowd, and loving every second of it.

Re: Clearing Turns

#5 Post by photofly » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:21 am

A clearing turn is anything that allows you a good opportunity to see any other aircraft near you. Focus on what you want to achieve instead of fetishising one procedure over another.
---------- ADS -----------
Control the horizon, control the airplane

jg24
Rank 2
Rank 2
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:44 pm
Location: The Great White North

Re: Clearing Turns

#6 Post by jg24 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:35 am

badmash wrote:Every exercise we perform - steep turns, slow flights, stalls, and spins need some kind of clearing turns. What are the best types of clearing turns for each of these?

Thanks!
I think the 'instructor approved' clearing turns you're looking for are the A) 180 deg turn, and B) the two 90 deg turns, (one right and then left, or left and then right)....

But practically speaking, stretch that neck a lil, scan with your head left to right, maybe bank a little to avoid those wing-induced-blind-spots....

just my opinion.
---------- ADS -----------

User avatar
Cat Driver
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 18856
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:31 pm

Re: Clearing Turns

#7 Post by Cat Driver » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:56 am

To make flying safer I would ban all teaching of steep turns as they are dangerous because there are so many checks to do before doing a steep turn that the pilots are in danger of getting completely out of control.
---------- ADS -----------
The hardest thing about flying is knowing when to say no


After over a half a century of flying no one ever died because of my decision not to fly.

trey kule
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 4222
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:09 pm

Re: Clearing Turns

#8 Post by trey kule » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:01 pm

Photo
I usually enjoy your advice, but in this case you are missing the point. A steep turn is...,a turn. In VMC there is no need to have your eyes inside the cockpit...none at all. To even suggest you need to do a clearing turn first is ridiculous
---------- ADS -----------

User avatar
JasonE
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 359
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:26 pm

Re: Clearing Turns

#9 Post by JasonE » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:20 pm

Clearing turns before any height loss exercise or unusual attitude. Steep turn is a turn.....
---------- ADS -----------

photofly
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 6005
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:47 pm
Location: Part of the "me, me, me" crowd, and loving every second of it.

Re: Clearing Turns

#10 Post by photofly » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:29 pm

trey kule wrote:Photo
I usually enjoy your advice, but in this case you are missing the point. A steep turn is...,a turn. In VMC there is no need to have your eyes inside the cockpit...none at all. To even suggest you need to do a clearing turn first is ridiculous
Ah. I didn't suggest that.

There were two points raised by the OP: what counts as a clearing turn, and, unwittingly, when do you need to do one.

I addressed only the first: what is a clearing turn? I don't have anything to add to your forthright coomments on the second issue, with which I somewhat agree. (Although if someone wants to have a good look around at any stage in flight, raise a wing or two, at their own discretion, I'm not inclined to discourage or forbid it.)

On the subject of steep turns, I always figured the hardest part is keeping a good lookout *during* the manoeuvre. I certainly wouldn't let a lookout *before* the manoeuvre be used to reduce the importance of looking out through the steep turn.
---------- ADS -----------
Control the horizon, control the airplane

cgzro
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1735
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:45 am

Re: Clearing Turns

#11 Post by cgzro » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:47 am

Most mid air collisions don't occur between aircraft that are both in level flight. Usually one is climbing or descending into the other. So you really need to think of yourself in three dimensions and look all around and up/down before doing anything that changes your vertical position. For example before a spin or stall, do a turn and look down! The most likely place to have a mid air is in or near the circuit so this is where you need to be especially vigilant, especially turning onto downwind or final.
---------- ADS -----------

CpnCrunch
Rank 10
Rank 10
Posts: 2602
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:38 am

Re: Clearing Turns

#12 Post by CpnCrunch » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:03 am

You should just look out the windows before doing any type of turn. You don't want to turn into the path of another plane, especially in the circuit.
---------- ADS -----------

Chris M
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:41 am
Location: Toronto

Re: Clearing Turns

#13 Post by Chris M » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:18 am

I shoulder check. In the Cessna I'll lift the wing to look under it.

The only time I've NEEDED to do steep turns is to avoid large birds. Not exactly time to do clearing turns and checklists when you're trying to avoid a collision.
---------- ADS -----------

User avatar
5x5
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1342
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 7:30 pm

Re: Clearing Turns

#14 Post by 5x5 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:32 am

I am continually disheartened by the immediate response of so many posters here (many of whom should know better) that any question related to flight training needs to be answered with venom and distaste for instructors and flight schools in general.

All the responses that relate to doing steep turns in normal flight or turns in the circuit don't apply here. Obviously a steep turn for avoidance would not be preceded by any clearing turns. As for the other comments, keep in mind where this steep turn being talked about is commonly done and for what purpose. It's done in a Practice Area and quite possibly in fairly close proximity to other aircraft also doing upper air exercises. And all of these aircraft are piloted by student pilots, not experienced high time pilots. With the focus of the training being on the control of movement in all 3 axis as well as power for airspeed there is a lot going on and it's easy to become a little more focused inside the aircraft than you would in normal flight. This goes for the Instructor as well on dual flights as they have to observe the student's performance as well as keep a lookout.

So, in an area where there is a much higher potential for multiple aircraft all involved in a wide variety of training exercises, with distraction from the normal lookout, what is the possible harm of a measured, stable clearing turn with focus entirely outside to make sure there are no other aircraft close by that are also doing exercises that could cause possible conflict?
---------- ADS -----------
Being stupid around airplanes is a capital offence and nature is a hanging judge!

“It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.”
Mark Twain

Gannet167
Rank 6
Rank 6
Posts: 436
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:23 pm

Re: Clearing Turns

#15 Post by Gannet167 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:00 pm

For what it's worth, when students conduct "clearing turns" in Moose Jaw, in preparation for slow flight, stalls, aerobatics etc. the turns are two 90 degree or one 180 degree turn, conducted at 60 degrees of bank and 2G. They're normally around 200 to 250 kts as they do these turns in preparation for any basic air handling. A 60 degree bank turn is considered a normal turn and doesn't require any clearing turn before conducting the clearing turn. All turns in the circuit are also 60 degree bank turns. Visibility considerations between low and high wing are likely a factor, but moving the nose quickly to get a good look at the area in question and minimizing the time spent belly up to potential conflicts is important.

Any time a student is turning, their eyes should be outside of the cockpit for traffic and obstacles (as applicable), and very critical for early training - building a good habit pattern of looking at the horizon and learning to set accurate attitudes. Any tendency to be inside the cockpit leads to flying VFR off instruments, chasing parameters and/or getting fixated on irrelevant things.

A turn is a clearing, area inspection. You don't need to clear the area before clearing the area, unless you're trying to get more billable time out of the Hobbs meter.
---------- ADS -----------

trey kule
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 4222
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:09 pm

Re: Clearing Turns

#16 Post by trey kule » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:08 pm

5x5


Really? You find a steep turn such a difficult thing that, even when an instructor is on board, there is so much happening to require a clearing turn before a steep turn.
Please tell me you are not an instructor.

The complete lack of common sense , and worse, the rationalizations for it, need to be stopped. As far as instructor bashing, it is happening. maybe instructors need to be able to teach a student pilot how to look out AND do a steep turn. It is not very difficult.
And maybe those instructors who are unable to monitor the student and look out as well, need to learn how to teach steep turns properly.
It is not isolated to one or two instructors, and, as I had documents provided to me, it is an SOP for some companies...The CFI, in my opinion should be fired for stupidity.
This is not about bashing all instructors. Just the stupid incompetent ones.
And hopefully the message will get out and the practice will stop.

It is nothing more than a turn with more bank, and requires the student to pay attention to the pitch as the bank angle increases. You can actually do it without looking at the instruments,,.amazing, I know!
---------- ADS -----------

trey kule
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 4222
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:09 pm

Re: Clearing Turns

#17 Post by trey kule » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:17 pm

After reading Garnet,

One of things about clearing turns was they were part of a HALT check, and the procedure was referred to as a pre stall-spin check. Not a pre stall-spin-turn check.
In the civilian world, that check acronym has now morphed into about 77 letters, and seems to include the steep turn as having the possibility and probability of loss of control and altitude loss.
i think a 60 degree bank in the civilian training world would be considered an aerobatic manoevre.....we are talking here of instructors....(reference 5x5) who cannot monitor a student in a 45 degree bank and look out at the same time...

But yes, I think , like so many other things, it is all about the hobbs time... 100 hr ppls are not that rare
---------- ADS -----------

User avatar
Cat Driver
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 18856
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:31 pm

Re: Clearing Turns

#18 Post by Cat Driver » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:30 pm

Careful there Trey K. or you will end up on 5X5's bad list just like me. :smt040

I wonder if they require the new CPL trainees to recover from unusual attitudes under the hood on basic instruments.....T&B. ( Turn Corordinator. ) - Airspeed- Altimeter only. With the A.I and D.I. covered up?

Like they used to make us do.
---------- ADS -----------
The hardest thing about flying is knowing when to say no


After over a half a century of flying no one ever died because of my decision not to fly.

photofly
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 6005
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:47 pm
Location: Part of the "me, me, me" crowd, and loving every second of it.

Re: Clearing Turns

#19 Post by photofly » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:39 pm

Cat Driver wrote: I wonder if they require the new CPL trainees to recover from unusual attitudes under the hood on basic instruments.....T&B. ( Turn Corordinator. ) - Airspeed- Altimeter only. With the A.I and D.I. covered up?
Yes, they do.
---------- ADS -----------
Control the horizon, control the airplane

Gannet167
Rank 6
Rank 6
Posts: 436
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:23 pm

Re: Clearing Turns

#20 Post by Gannet167 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:44 pm

I agree. 60 degree bank turns are likely excessive in a Cessna.

Students in MJ are expected to fly 60 degree bank turns and maintain fairly accurate altitude, WHILE their head is turned and tilted up in the direction of the turn. This discipline is beat into the students from flight 1, and graded on each trip. If they don't have their head turned, looking into the turn, they won't pass their solo check, their 8th flight.

On a low level navigation mission, 240 kts, 500' AGL, Turns are 60° and students must be looking in the direction of the turn. They cannot descent or it's a hard fail.. A small climb is permitted. Most students can roll on a 2 or 3 G turn and keep the plane within +/- 50', 20' if they're good.

This is only accomplished by attitude flying. Not staring at the AI, not chasing the altimeter. It's pretty obvious which students chase performance instruments: they're +/- 200' immediately. This is a terrible habit, is the root cause of many difficulties students experience, often undiagnosed and can be hard to break.

Look out the window. The steeper the turn the better. You see more, faster. The longer you take to complete the clearing, the less confidence you can have that the area of concern is still clear.

For spins, a couple of wing overs to clear the area under you is a great idea. Clearing turns don't help much as you'll be vacating that altitude shortly and falling quickly (and without any control over the aircraft for a period) through what's under you.
---------- ADS -----------

lownslow
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 789
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:56 am

Re: Clearing Turns

#21 Post by lownslow » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:30 pm

badmash wrote:Every exercise we perform - steep turns, slow flights, stalls, and spins need some kind of clearing turns. What are the best types of clearing turns for each of these?

Thanks!
The purpose of a clearing turn is a good lookout to ensure there aren't any other airplanes in a place you may soon be. In the case of a steep turn at a constant altitude you just look into the turn itself as you go so no need. For a stall or spin you will be descending rapidly and need to check the area ahead and below is clear. In most cases, the blind spot is below you on the passenger side; just remember the two jump planes that snuck up in each other's blind spots a couple years ago and collided. A pair of 90 degree turns (heading change, not bank angle!) or a 180 will do just fine. Just make sure you're checking the area below where you'll be stalling or spinning.
---------- ADS -----------

User avatar
youhavecontrol
Rank 1
Rank 1
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:17 am

Re: Clearing Turns

#22 Post by youhavecontrol » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:22 pm

I concur with lownslow.
This is what I teach:

Steep turn: Do a visual scan in the direction you plan on turning prior to making the turn, and then on occasion during the turn.
Slow Flight, Stalls, Spins: Do a 'look-out', aka clearing turn, which can either be a 180 degree or two 90 degree medium/gentle turns while scanning for traffic.

I can definitely say that on more than one occasion the look-out has saved me from getting uncomfortably close to an un-announced aircraft on the wrong frequency or in the wrong training area.
---------- ADS -----------
"I found that Right Rudder you kept asking for."

Aviatard
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 290
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 2:45 am
Location: In a box behind Walmart

Re: Clearing Turns

#23 Post by Aviatard » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:41 am

5x5 wrote:I am continually disheartened by the immediate response of so many posters here (many of whom should know better) that any question related to flight training needs to be answered with venom and distaste for instructors and flight schools in general.
A few things I have learned from this forum:

1. Most instructors are incompetent and generally out to soak students for hours and money.
2. Flight schools are crooked. Every one of them is going to rip me off.
3. Everything I thought I knew about flying is wrong.
4. Pilots nowadays are stupid. In the old days we could learn to fly in 10 hours. Now we're dumb.
---------- ADS -----------

Post Reply

Return to “Flight Training”