Circuit Notes

In which I attempt to summarise how to fly a circuit into dot points.


Once again, my lesson was cancelled due to weather. The winds were westerly today meaning total crosswinds and therefore completely unsuitable for letting me have another crack at circuits (my landings are interesting enough without a crosswind)…

However in another attempt to procrastinate (no motivation for these exams whatsoever) I’m doing some notes on heights/speeds etc I need to remember for circuits so I can learn them and not need to think about them when actually in the circuit.

Take Off

  • Full power
  • Keep on centreline with rudder
  • Backpressure to raise nosewheel off ground
  • At around 60kts rotate (pull back on stick to take off)
  • Fly straight above ground until reach 70kts then climb


  • Full power
  • 70kts
  • Climb
  • Pull on brakes to stop main wheels spinning and vibrating plane
  • 550ft (300ft AGL) raise flaps
  • 750ft (500ft AGL) climbing turn onto crosswind


  • Full power
  • 70kts
  • Climbing
  • Wing should be parallel to runway (plane perpendicular to runway)
  • When reach 1250ft (1000ft AGL) level off
  • Runway 45 degrees to plane, turn onto downwind + radio call


  • 2800rpm
  • Straight + Level
  • Parallel to runway
  • 1250ft (1000ft AGL)
  • 95-100kts
  • Runway about halfway down wing strut
  • Pre-landing checks about halfway along downwind – brakes off, carby heat on, landing gear down if applicable
  • Runway 45 degrees to plane, descending turn onto base + radio call
  • During turn reduce power to 1800rpm


  • 1800rpm
  • 75-84kts
  • Flaps lowered to half
  • Perpendicular to runway
  • Descending
  • Turn onto final so roll out on extended centreline – around 850-950ft (600-700ft AGL) + radio call


  • 1800rpm
  • 65-70kts
  • Head for aim point on runway
  • Control airspeed with power and flightpath with elevator and ailerons
  • Look at shape of runway
  • Carby heat cold


  • Flare 5-10ft above runway – when perspective changes
  • Look at far end of runway
  • Power reduced to idle
  • Increase backpressure as plane loses airspeed
  • Touch main wheels down first

3 Responses to Circuit Notes

  1. Zurtri says:

    For Final should also “65-70knot airspeed” be added?

  2. darksarcasm503 says:

    Quite possibly, thanks 😛

  3. Corey says:

    Hey, noticed you commented on my blog, just thought I’d hit you back. Our blogs seem quite similar! I especially love that you keep track of the costs too. haha

    Stay in touch, I’m sure through our shared suffering as student pilots we can learn from each other and just become better pilots in general.

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