Updated: Dec 8, 2020

Procedure Turns Lesson by wifiCFI


Procedure turns are published on Instrument Approach Plates as a way to safely turn a pilot around and get him/her lined up with the appropriate approach course.

Procedure turns are mandatory in all cases except these:

When cleared for a “Straight-In Approach” by ATC

When being Radar Vectored by ATC

When the approach plate indicates “No PT”

The maximum authorized airspeed for performing procedure turns is 200 KIAS.

Types of Procedure Turns

There are 2 different types of Procedure Turns, they are:

Barbed Procedure Turn

Hold In Lieu Of Procedure Turn

Barbed Procedure Turn

A barbed procedure turn can be flown anyway the pilot would like.

As long as he/she follows these 3 rules:

First, the procedure turn must be made on the correct side of the final approach course.

Second, the pilot must remain within the distance limits depicted.

Third, the pilot must remain at or above the minimum altitude depicted.

Minimum procedure altitudes are broken into 3 parts:

Crossing Procedure Turn Outbound.

Performing Procedure Turn.

Procedure Turn Inbound and “Course Alive.”

“Course Alive” means the course needle is moving toward center.

While a barbed procedure turn can be flown however the pilot wants,

The chart also gives suggested heading directions for completion.

Typically, pilots will fly the outbound heading for 1 minute.

Then turn and fly the inbound heading to intercept the approach course.

This allows a pilot to reverse course and execute the approach in the correct direction.

Hold In Lieu Of Procedure Turn

A Hold In Lieu Of Procedure Turn also helps a pilot to reverse course.

However, this type of Procedure Turn must be flow as it is depicted.

The pilot will select the appropriate holding entry procedure.

The pilot will complete the entry (and only the entry).

This will reverse the pilot’s course.

“No PT”

When a pilot is approaching the final approach course from a fix that indicates “No PT,” the pilot will not perform the procedure turn.

This also means the pilot CANNOT perform the Procedure Turn without authorization from ATC.

It is not optional.

FAA Sources Used for This Lesson

Federal Aviation Regulations Part 91

Instrument Flying Handbook

Aeronautical Information Manual Chapter 5

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