teardrop

teardrop
i. A standard flying pattern similar to the race-course pattern, except that one radius is larger than the other. The teardrop procedure consists of a departure from an initial approach fix on an outbound course followed by a turn toward and intercepting the inbound course at or prior to the intermediate fix or point. Its purpose is to permit an aircraft to reverse direction and lose considerable altitude within reasonably limited airspace. Also called a base turn.
ii. The term also refers to turning onto a reciprocal heading in such a way that the aircraft is on the opposite track after the turn. The term is used in a similar sense in combat maneuvering.

Aviation dictionary. 2014.

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