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S-turn Question  
User currently offlineAndyinPIT From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 320 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3646 times:

What exactly goes on in the cockpit when S-turns are requested? Just curious as to how much of a pain it is (if at all) for pilots when they are issued.

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineKcrwflyer From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3961 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3600 times:

I don't think it's a big deal at all. When ATC asks, whoever is flying just executes the turn.

User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 22873 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3578 times:

The only real issue with S-turns is that you want to be done with them with enough time left to re-establish a good straight approach. How long you need to do that depends on the aircraft - larger aircraft need more time. If I think the tower is requesting S-turns too late, I'll just opt for a go-around.

But flying them is no big deal. Turn to the left, turn to the right, etc. You might have to turn the autopilot off if you were doing a coupled approach, but you'd only be doing S-turns in VMC anyway, so that's not a big deal unless you need the coupled approach for legal reasons.


7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 3081 posts, RR: 48
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3461 times:

I agree with Mir. They are no problem and sometimes the aircraft is the one asking for them (to lose altitude and/or gain spacing on preceding aircraft by using a longer ground track.) I don't recall ever doing them with the autopilot on; it's just easier to disconnect and hand fly the turns, making sure to meet the stabilized approach requirements in your ops specs. It's a safe way to get the spacing you need on final, and beats going around and getting resequenced as long as adequate spacing and approach stability can be guaranteed.

In short, like Mir and Kcrwflyer indicated, it's pretty much a non-event.

User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7443 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3352 times:
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I;ve been ableto jump seat quite a bit and i've only had the chance to experience it twice. Both times were were coming in a little fast and high and it was the CA that actually requested it from the TWR.

What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 7561 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3226 times:

I have been asked to slow down a couple of times; one time I offered (and the offer was accepted) to do a 360. Of course this was VFR, and no big deal. With the 182 I could usually slow down enough without doing S-turns for just about any situation, but doing them would be no big deal.

The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineThirtyEcho From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1742 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3167 times:

They used to be more frequent than they are now. ATC is much more capable of providing separation far from the final approach course. In VFR environments, I don't hear them issued but once in a blue moon. In any case, it isn't a big deal.

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