1005. CLEARING TURNS
During aerobatic flight, attitude, altitude and direction of flight change rapidly. You must
therefore exercise extreme caution by ensuring the immediate area is clear of other aircraft and
that no danger of midair collision exists. A clearing turn, as the name implies, allows you to
clear the area in which you are operating. A clearing turn shall be executed after the Aerobatic
Checklist and immediately prior to the performance of any aerobatic maneuver. Utilize a
minimum of 45º angle of bank and turn for a minimum of 180º of heading change. Two 90º
turns in opposite directions will suffice. The direction of the last clearing turn shall be in the
direction in which the maneuver will be performed. Throughout the turn, check the area
thoroughly for other aircraft. Continue the turn until you have the desired airspeed and sufficient
ground references to maintain orientation during the maneuver. Remember 180º of turn is a
minimum, not an absolute.
If the number of section lines or ground references is limited, then a teardrop maneuver is an
effective means of performing the clearing turn while positioning the aircraft for the next
maneuver. This may be performed by turning to place the nose approximately 45º from the
section line, timing for 10-15 seconds, and then turning back to the reciprocal of the original
Failure to plan or execute the clearing turn(s) so that the chosen ground references are
properly positioned to allow for adequate orientation during the subsequent
Not "clearing" the area sufficiently during the turn.
Poor basic airwork during the clearing turn(s), resulting in the aircraft not being at the
correct altitude and/or airspeed to commence the planned maneuver in a timely
Failure to execute the maneuver within the cleared airspace.
1006. ALTITUDE LIMITATIONS
Commence each aerobatic maneuver from an altitude which is sufficient to allow a return to
straight and level flight above 5000 feet AGL. You must also exercise caution to ensure that you
do not exceed the maximum altitude permitted for your particular operating area. If performed
correctly, all of the maneuvers (except the Aileron Roll) require approximately 1500 feet of
vertical airspace. Use this figure while planning your entry altitude, keeping in mind that the
minimum recommended altitude for bailout during out-of-control flight is also 5000 feet AGL.
Sound judgment applies in choosing an altitude from which to commence each particular
maneuver. Generally, the higher you can begin without exceeding your maximum altitude is the
most logical choice. As your experience increases, you should manage your altitudes in order to
control your energy states more effectively, thus increasing efficiency within the same allotted
time and available fuel.
INTRODUCTION TO AEROBATICS 10-3