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A timed turn is a turn in which the clock and the turn coordinator are used to change heading by a specific number of degrees in a given time. For example, in a standard rate turn (3 degrees per second), an airplane turns 45° in 15 seconds; in a half standard rate turn, the airplane turns 45° in 30 seconds.

Prior to performing timed turns, the turn coordinator should be calibrated to determine the accuracy of its indications. [Figure 7-34] Establish a standard rate turn as indicated by the turn coordinator, and as the sweep-second hand of the clock passes a cardinal point (12, 3, 6, 9), check the heading on the heading indicator. While holding the indicated rate of turn constant, note the indicated heading changes at 10 second intervals. If the airplane turns more than or less than 30° in that interval, a respectively larger or smaller deflection of the miniature aircraft of the turn coordinator is necessary to produce a standard rate turn. After calibrating the turn coordinator during turns in each direction, note the corrected deflections, if any, and apply them during all timed turns.

Figure 7-34. Turn coordinator calibration.

Figure 7-34. Turn coordinator calibration.

The same cross-check and control technique is used in making a timed turn that is used to execute turns to predetermined headings, except the clock is substituted for the heading indicator. The miniature aircraft of the turn coordinator is primary for bank control, the altimeter is primary for pitch control, and the ASI is primary for power control. Start the roll-in when the clock’s second hand passes a cardinal point, hold the turn at the calibrated standard rate indication (or half-standard rate for small heading changes), and begin the roll-out when the computed number of seconds has elapsed.  If the rates of roll-in and roll-out are the same, the time taken during entry and recovery does not need to be considered in the time computation.

Practice timed turns with a full instrument panel and check the heading indicator for the accuracy of turns. If the turns are executed without the gyro heading indicator, use the magnetic compass at the completion of the turn to check turn accuracy, taking compass deviation errors into consideration.

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