How do you you prevent overshooting waypoints?

I begin banking as soon as I’m told to turn heading, yet always seem to overshoot the waypoint regardless of speed. I essentially have to turn manually and watch the map if I want a decent turn.

Any tips from the IF community?

Here’s an example of the trouble I’m having from a recent flight from KLAX to KSAN:


Manually turn. AP turn has a maximum bank.

Also, your flight plan to KSAN there has a 300-plus degree turn. That should explain itself.


If you hold down the HDG button, it will show the exact bearing to your next waypoint. It may change as you get closer or depending which way you are flying, but you will always point directly to the waypoint if you do this.


I usually turn earlier when the System warned us the next waypoint so I won’t overshoot the waypoint.


Yeah the “ILS Intercept style!” 😂


They system turn alert pops up consistently but depending on your speed you may not be able to stay on top of your flight path. Make turns accordingly based on speed, and keep in mind what Tim said up above. Your path should flow easily from waypoint to waypoint without exaggerating maneuvers if you’re flying an airliner.


What I’ve noticed is that if you use the “eta to next” in the dock at the bottom of screen while flying, anywhere from :36- :39 seconds till the waypoint at 180-210 kts and start a 90 degree turn, it pretty much gets you on the spot. Right towards the end of the turn it might be necessary to turn off autopilot and complete the rest until you intercept the localizer. It works for me at least.
It is also my opinion that your base leg needs to be just a bit longer. Could help facilitate a better intercept. Again just an opinion. I’m no professional.


Dependant on the turn you will need to use outopilot or start turning earlier. For example if there’s a sharp angle you should’ve start turning way ahead of schedule.

I look at might flight time ahead of time and estimate when I reach that waypoint :)

If you select “Bearing” the dock it will give you a good time to turn and won’t let you stray very far off track. You should also avoid putting very sharp turn in your flight plan especially at time that you will be at high speeds. Just use the bearing and everything will be fine, no need to turn manually or anything like. Also utilize the ETA to Next tool which tells you the Estimated time to the next waypoint. It usually changes once you get down to about 16 seconds and this is when you make your turn. Utilizing these two things along with having a reasonable planned flight path with let you navigate smoothly.


It’s all about timing, you have to know how the aircraft you’re flying turns. For instance, the 717 has less of a turn radius than say an A321.


Turns in flightplan by defention have ‘immediate’ turns. And aircrafts make ‘soft’, ‘gentle’ turns. An aircraft can not fly a corner in a line - I think it’s really that simple.

So when I see a turn coming up, I activate the next leg manually in the flight plan, and start turning the aircraft 30 - 40 seconds before the fpl turn.


Most of my flightplans at cruise altitude are usually small gentle turns. The tighter ones are usually more for an approach into an airport, by then i would be rather slow and can easily make a turn.

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Well, in a real airplane you do not turn before your waypoints, you have to go exactly over it. The lines in between the waypoints are just to tell you the general direction of them and if you’re somewhat on course. You don’t actually need to follow those lines exactly. I’ve seen many pilots doing this when what you’re supposed to do is fly over it and then turn to the next waypoint. If you’re confused and are not sure which heading you would need to fly to get to the next one, there is a way you can select heading to the next waypoint at the bottom of your screen. Cheers!


I start my turns about 30 second into the “NXT Waypoint <1min”

I’m sorry. While re-reading my comment I realized how it seems as if I’m telling you something else. My wording comes out like I’m telling you that you MUST pass over it. You don’t actually have to unless ATC has requested you to. The main point of my comment was just to let you know that there is something you can select on the bottom of your screen that can tell you the heading to your next waypoint if you are off in the turn by a little bit.


When you have the notification that the next waypoint is in less than 1 min. Wait for 15-20 seconds and start your turn

To everyone here, think about it, global is coming and along with that LNAV. This will not be an issue/problem for very much longer. I hope.

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Well, unless there is a change to the system, I’m guessing LNAV would initiate a turn at a given time/distance before reaching the waypoint as it does now, but it currently overshoots when at high speeds.


Always make your flight plan with soft turns. You should never have a 90° turn on your flight plan. Also (this may not be realistic), if you’re at cruise, slow down some so your plane turns more.

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