The turn from downwind to base


Well-Known Member
The way im doing it now has seemed to always work out (havent come up short yet)

But my instructor told me a way to tell exactly when pretty much no matter how wide or close you are and what altitude your at, with limits though.

He said you should watch for it to rise in the window when the runway is just over your shoulder.

Anyone heard of this or is able to do it.

I havent been able to notice this yet.

Thanks for your response



Well-Known Member *giggity*
I remember I started my base either past the powerlines at one end of the field or the highway at the other... I dont know exactly how I got the feel, but at strange airports I just kind of know where to make my turn... I guess it is aquired...


New Member
Just look over your shoulder; when your desired touchdown spot is 45 degrees behind your wings (7:30 position), start your turn to base--unless there's traffic on the straight-in. In that case, hold off on your configuration change (maintain pattern altitude), wait til the traffic is off your wing (opposite direction), then turn base and configure for the approach.


Well-Known Member
Hey thanks for the posts guys

I do usually make my turns 45 degrees off the runway but the visual with the runway rising in the window is also an indicator I guess.

Like say density alt sucks and you descend a little faster, 45* off the runway might put you a little low. At least in the P-140 I fly does that.

I just really was wondering if anyone can see this happening




New Member
A good rule of thumb is to start the turn when the end of the runway is halfway between the wing and tail (45 degrees).