Steep turns on takeoff and landing

From:         Christopher Stone <cbstone@flagstaff.Princeton.EDU>
Organization: Princeton University
Date:         15 Jun 95 19:27:56 
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Yesterday I landed on a TWA 727-200 at Albuquerque.  As we approached the
airport, we made a steep turn to the right, then the left, then the right
again.  Each turn was *very* steep -- it felt like we were tilting at
about 45%, although I'm sure it must have been less than that.  During
the final turn, the nose was pointing rather sharply towards the group,
and we weren't that high up -- I could make the ground out quite clearly
out of the window, and it didn't look like the wing was that far from the
ground.

Usually I love flying, but I must admit that steep turns near the ground
-- right after takeoff, or before landing -- always make me a tad
nervous.  Is this merely an irrational fear on my part?  What are the
limits upon how steeply an aircraft such as a B-727 can turn?  Is it any
more dangerous to turn near the ground than high up?  Do pilots ever get
dioriented as a result of this sort of turning?
--
Chris Stone * cbstone@phoenix.princeton.edu
"In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been
granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger.  I
do not shrink from this responsibility; I welcome it." -John F. Kennedy