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Around major airports, vectors to final on an instrument approach are the norm. But outside radar coverage it’s common to fly a procedure turn to start an approach. This video tip reviews the basics of this maneuver, including when it’s required, what shape these turns take, and why the winds aloft matter. It’s a great 3-minute review for any instrument pilot.

This video tip is from Sporty’s Instrument Rating Course.

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4 replies
  1. Bob H
    Bob H says:

    The video states that a procedure turn is not required when:
    1. NoPT on chart
    2. Radar Vectors to final
    3. Timed approach from hold
    4. Procedure turn NA on chart
    This is incomplete. A procedure turn is also not required when the transition from the IAF does not take you to the FAF, but intercepts the course prior to the FAF and on altitude. Since you are on altitude and course, you are established on the approach and thus do not execute a PT. See KCON, ILS35, transition from MHT VOR IAF. It is not charted NoPT, yet a procedure turn is not necessary nor expected. A discussion with the FAA about the KCON ILS35 confirmed this for a group of pilots who originally held that your list of four no PT circumstances covered all circumstances.

  2. George Hamilton
    George Hamilton says:

    I obtained a license in an SE Asian country, US license not accepted; I got to fly a simulator both GA type and two airline types flown by the national airline. They used the procedure turn shown to them by KLM; 39 second turn immediately reverse heading, wings level on the inbound course. Minimum wind effect and flying time.


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