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S-turn Question

Sat Oct 09, 2010 12:00 pm

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.
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 11:57 am

RE: S-turn Question

Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:09 pm

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

Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:51 pm

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.

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RE: S-turn Question

Sat Oct 09, 2010 6:35 pm

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.
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RE: S-turn Question

Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:33 pm

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.
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RE: S-turn Question

Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:05 am

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
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RE: S-turn Question

Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:15 am

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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