Downwind to Final

Ok, so I may sound a bit stupid saying this, but I’ve always had trouble turning from downwind to final, I always overshoot. Is there a certain way to know the perfect time, speed, and heading to turn from downwind to final? If so, provide me some info!


Its all dependent on the airport and it’s location

@RedWolf do you have any specific airport your thinking of?

Just any airport, it’s caused me issues a few times.

do you not have the downwind to final part in your fpl?

I would recommend u turn early but not too early if ur a bit off turn a few degree and wait till u are close to the cone line

I mean, I use SimBrief.


It really does depend on your speed and how sharp the turn is. I normally tend to fly downwind at 200-220kts and base at 160-180kts. I also like to hand fly my turns as I feel like the autopilot doesn’t provide enough bank if you know what I mean. I believe the AP is limited to around 25 degrees while banking so I make it 30 by hand flying which is the max banking you can do before alarms start sounding. Your turns also does not have to be a perfect 90 degree turn that is very sharp. You can start turning a bit earlier and slowly start levelling out until you’re aligned with the runway.

Kind regards

Kyle :)


Downwind to final? Are you forgetting something???

What type of airplanes do you usually fly?


I assume you mean you overshoot base, and go beyond the runway, having to come back again?

I would just practice over and over again, paying more attention to how bank angle changes how fast you turn. Maybe at first be determined to start the bank a bit early and go into the bank steepness more slowly. And come out of the bank steepness more gradually.

That gives you more time to adjust as you make the turn.

Aim for a rectangle shape to get from downwind to final with your turns as much as possible.

Also practicing separately to smoothly roll toward a heading you assign yourself, with the goal of being out of your bank just as you reach your assigned heading, could be useful practice.

You learn to judge based on practicing a lot to judge how much distance you need to allow yourself to make the turn. If you find yourself not having enough time to turn, then you make your downwind further out from the runway etc.

It is usefull having a target speed for that transition to final, so that you get used to how fast or slow your turns are at a single speed. If you could give your aircraft, people can give some advice on that.

In a rectangular pattern, headings are fixed by the runway heading, since you will be making a rectangular turn around.

Whenever I fly manually I often put ILS frequency in NAV data and wait until the RMI shows me the pointer completely opposite to my current heading and I also make sure that I’m 10 miles away from the runway and flying at pattern altitude. Main goal is to keep aircraft heading close to runway heading, it doesn’t matter if you are 5 degrees deflected from the runway centreline provided you must be at least 7 miles away from the intersection.
But if flying according to FPL check for approach charts for the airport online so that you’ll not exceed the dedicated speed limit and turn can be smooth and aligned.

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.