| Home | Privacy | Contact |

Airplane Flying Handbook
Basic Flight Maneuvers

| First | Previous | Next | Last |

Airplane Flying Handbook


Table of Contents

Chapter 1,Introduction to Flight Training
Chapter 2,Ground Operations
Chapter 3,Basic Flight Maneuvers
Chapter 4, Slow Flight, Stalls, and Spins
Chapter 5, Takeoff and Departure Climbs
Chapter 6, Ground Reference Maneuvers
Chapter 7, Airport Traffic Patterns
Chapter 8, Approaches and Landings
Chapter 9, Performance Maneuvers
Chapter 10, Night Operations
Chapter 11,Transition to Complex Airplanes
Chapter 12, Transition to Multiengine Airplanes
Chapter 13,Transition to Tailwheel Airplanes
Chapter 14, Transition to Turbo-propeller Powered Airplanes
Chapter 15,Transition to Jet Powered Airplanes
Chapter 16,Emergency Procedures



When using the rudder pedals, pressure should be
applied smoothly and evenly by pressing with the ball
of one foot. Since the rudder pedals are interconnected,
and act in opposite directions, when pressure is applied
to one pedal, pressure on the other must be relaxed
proportionately. When the rudder pedal must be moved
significantly, heavy pressure changes should be made
by applying the pressure with the ball of the foot while
the heels slide along the cockpit floor. Remember, the
ball of each foot must rest comfortably on the rudder
pedals so that even slight pressure changes can be felt.

In summary, during flight, it is the pressure the pilot
exerts on the control yoke and rudder pedals that
causes the airplane to move about its axes. When a
control surface is moved out of its streamlined position
(even slightly), the air flowing past it will exert a force
against it and will try to return it to its streamlined position.
It is this force that the pilot feels as pressure on
the control yoke and the rudder pedals.

The ability to sense a flight condition, without relying
on cockpit instrumentation, is often called "feel of the
airplane," but senses in addition to "feel" are involved.

Sounds inherent to flight are an important sense in
developing "feel." The air that rushes past the modern
light plane cockpit/cabin is often masked by
soundproofing, but it can still be heard. When the
level of sound increases, it indicates that airspeed is
increasing. Also, the powerplant emits distinctive
sound patterns in different conditions of flight. The
sound of the engine in cruise flight may be different
from that in a climb, and different again from that in
a dive. When power is used in fixed-pitch propeller
airplanes, the loss of r.p.m. is particularly noticeable.
The amount of noise that can be heard will
depend on how much the slipstream masks it out.
But the relationship between slipstream noise and
powerplant noise aids the pilot in estimating not
only the present airspeed but the trend of the airspeed.

There are three sources of actual "feel" that are very
important to the pilot. One is the pilot's own body as
it responds to forces of acceleration. The "G" loads
imposed on the airframe are also felt by the pilot.
Centripetal accelerations force the pilot down into the
seat or raise the pilot against the seat belt. Radial
accelerations, as they produce slips or skids of the airframe,
shift the pilot from side to side in the seat.
These forces need not be strong, only perceptible by
the pilot to be useful. An accomplished pilot who has
excellent "feel" for the airplane will be able to detect
even the minutest change.

The response of the aileron and rudder controls to the
pilot's touch is another element of "feel," and is one
that provides direct information concerning airspeed.
As previously stated, control surfaces move in the
airstream and meet resistance proportional to the
speed of the airstream. When the airstream is fast, the
controls are stiff and hard to move. When the airstream
is slow, the controls move easily, but must be deflected
a greater distance. The pressure that must be exerted
on the controls to effect a desired result, and the lag
between their movement and the response of the airplane,
becomes greater as airspeed decreases.

Another type of "feel" comes to the pilot through the
airframe. It consists mainly of vibration. An example
is the aerodynamic buffeting and shaking that precedes
a stall.

Kinesthesia, or the sensing of changes in direction or
speed of motion, is one of the most important senses a
pilot can develop. When properly developed, kinesthesia
can warn the pilot of changes in speed and/or
the beginning of a settling or mushing of the airplane.

The senses that contribute to "feel" of the airplane are
inherent in every person. However, "feel" must be
developed. The flight instructor should direct the
beginning pilot to be attuned to these senses and teach
an awareness of their meaning as it relates to various
conditions of flight. To do this effectively, the flight
instructor must fully understand the difference
between perceiving something and merely noticing it.
It is a well established fact that the pilot who develops
a "feel" for the airplane early in flight training will
have little difficulty with advanced flight maneuvers.

In contact (VFR) flying, flying by attitude means visually
establishing the airplane's attitude with reference
to the natural horizon. [Figure 3-1] Attitude is the
angular difference measured between an airplane's
axis and the line of the Earth's horizon. Pitch attitude
is the angle formed by the longitudinal axis, and bank
attitude is the angle formed by the lateral axis.
Rotation about the airplane's vertical axis (yaw) is
termed an attitude relative to the airplane's flightpath,
but not relative to the natural horizon.