# On a procedure turn, do you make the turn on the inside or outside of the procedure turn?

When flying a procedure turn like the one shown below, the first step is to fly outbound 039 degrees. When you turn inbound to 219 degrees, do you make that turn to the left or to the right? The left meaning to turn to the outside of the procedure turn (a greater distance from the FAF) and the right meaning to turn to the inside of the procedure turn (a shorter distance from the FAF).

If you look at these pictures, it looks like the procedure turn is made outwards from the course:

Section 5-4-9 of the AIM contains a lot of guidance on procedure turns, and says (in short):

• If the procedure turn is charted as a teardrop or hold-in-lieu of procedure turn, then it must be flown as charted. (Does not apply in this case.)

• If it is a standard procedure turn, the barbed arrow shows the maneuvering side (so the first turn should be flown as indicated), but the rest of the procedure is at the discretion of the pilot, as long as they stay within the distance specified on the chart.

I was taught (and see it as a "standard practice") to turn away from the fix defining the start of the procedure turn for the 180 degree turn, and in fact have never seen anyone fly it the other way. That being said, there is nothing which prevents it if it can be done within the protected area and accomplishes the purpose of becoming established on the final approach course in time.

A small excerpt from the AIM (lots more information is available there):

5−4−9. Procedure Turn and Hold−in−lieu of Procedure Turn

...

1. On U.S. Government charts, a barbed arrow indicates the maneuvering side of the outbound course on which the procedure turn is made. Headings are provided for course reversal using the 45 degree type procedure turn. However, the point at which the turn may be commenced and the type and rate of turn is left to the discretion of the pilot (limited by the charted remain within xx NM distance). Some of the options are the 45 degree procedure turn, the racetrack pattern, the teardrop procedure turn, or the 80 degree 260 degree course reversal. Racetrack entries should be conducted on the maneuvering side where the majority of protected airspace resides. If an entry places the pilot on the non−maneuvering side of the PT, correction to intercept the outbound course ensures remaining within protected airspace. Some procedure turns are specified by procedural track. These turns must be flown exactly as depicted.

...

• yes, I was always taught you MUST stay on the protected side
– rbp
Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 21:15

In the FAR's it is left up to the pilot how to perform the turn. You just have to do it on the correct side of the approach coarse and stay within the protected area.

In your instrument training, your instructor may have insisted that you fly a standard barbed PT just as it's depicted. Nothing wrong with that. But you don't have to do it that way. Both the FAA's Instrument Flying Handbook and the AIM say that "the point at which the turn may be commenced and the type and rate of turn is left to the discretion of the pilot." Besides the standard 45-180, you can also fly a 90-270 or what some pilots call the 40-second turn, which consists of an abbreviated 45-degree outbound turn to compensate for the effects of a tailwind. www.avweb.com

as long as the pilot stays on the side of the procedure turn barb, inside the protected airspace determined by distance or time and does not exceed the maximum holding airspeed you may fly the course reversal as desired. aviationtrainingus-rob.blogspot.com

That said, the usual way is to the outside of the procedure. That would give you more distance for the approach.

"a barbed arrow indicates the maneuvering side of the outbound course on which the procedure turn is made"

That only means the procedure must be flown on the east side of the outbound course. It does not tell you which way to turn after flying 039 degrees.

JEPP charts show the entire loop on a procedure turn and they never turn towards the FAF. The turn is always away from the FAF.

Even if you believe that turning right after 039 degrees would keep you in the maneuvering area, do not do it.

No one does it that way and if you are flying with someone else in the flight deck they will question your sanity and not want to fly with you again. :)

I agree with all the above references to AIM 5-4-9, Instrument Flying Handbook and Instrument Procedures Handbook. Personally, I use whichever course reversal that suits best for the given wind direction and velocity, i.e. I make the wind work for me. Situation: On the approach depicted above, give yourself a wind from 090@65kt at 3,000' You will be holding a Hdg of about 055-060 just to make the 039 track, then turn left all the way around to a Hdg of about 155-150 to maintain inbound course of 174...good luck with that! Much easier for you and comfortable for the passengers to fly/track (354) outbound something like 7-8nm, make a gentle right-hand turn to Hdg of about 160 and let the wind push you on course (174). Boom! Easy money! If I'm with a new FO, I will brief them on what to expect before Departure or En Route if leg provides time for answering any questions they may present. Been teaching Jr. Capt's and Fo's the technique/awareness of making the Wind work for you, if you can, for 34 years in fix-wing and rotor-wing! :-)

Look at the top left of the profile view, you see "Remain within 10nm" you can do the turn however you want as long as you remain with in 10nm. A 172 may have no problem staying inside 10nm if they did the turn to the left, a HondaJet might have more trouble remaining within the protected airspace.