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Airplane Flying Handbook
Basic Flight Maneuvers
Straight and Level Flight

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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



Changing the direction of the wing's lift toward one
side or the other causes the airplane to be pulled in that
direction. [Figure 3-6] Applying coordinated aileron
and rudder to bank the airplane in the direction of the
desired turn does this.

Change in lift causes airplane to turn.
Figure 3-6. Change in lift causes airplane to turn.

When an airplane is flying straight and level, the total lift
is acting perpendicular to the wings and to the Earth. As
the airplane is banked into a turn, the lift then becomes
the resultant of two components. One, the vertical lift
component, continues to act perpendicular to the Earth
and opposes gravity. Second, the horizontal lift component
(centripetal) acts parallel to the Earth's surface and
opposes inertia (apparent centrifugal force). These two
lift components act at right angles to each other, causing
the resultant total lifting force to act perpendicular to the
banked wing of the airplane. It is the horizontal lift component
that actually turns the airplaneā€”not the rudder.
When applying aileron to bank the airplane, the lowered
aileron (on the rising wing) produces a greater drag than
the raised aileron (on the lowering wing). [Figure 3-7]
This increased aileron yaws the airplane toward the rising
wing, or opposite to the direction of turn. To counteract
this adverse yawing moment, rudder pressure must be
applied simultaneously with aileron in the desired
direction of turn. This action is required to produce a
coordinated turn.

After the bank has been established in a medium
banked turn, all pressure applied to the aileron may be
relaxed. The airplane will remain at the selected bank
with no further tendency to yaw since there is no

Forces during a turn.
Figure 3-7. Forces during a turn.

longer a deflection of the ailerons. As a result, pressure
may also be relaxed on the rudder pedals, and the
rudder allowed to streamline itself with the direction
of the slipstream. Rudder pressure maintained after the
turn is established will cause the airplane to skid to the
outside of the turn. If a definite effort is made to center
the rudder rather than let it streamline itself to the turn,
it is probable that some opposite rudder pressure will
be exerted inadvertently. This will force the airplane to
yaw opposite its turning path, causing the airplane to
slip to the inside of the turn. The ball in the turn and slip
indicator will be displaced off-center whenever
the airplane is skidding or slipping sideways. [Figure
3-8] In proper coordinated flight, there is no skidding
or slipping. An essential basic airmanship skill is the
ability of the pilot to sense or "feel" any uncoordinated
condition (slip or skid) without referring to instrument
reference. During this stage of training, the flight
instructor should stress the development of this ability
and insist on its use to attain perfect coordination in all
subsequent training.

In all constant altitude, constant airspeed turns, it is
necessary to increase the angle of attack of the wing
when rolling into the turn by applying up elevator.
This is required because part of the vertical lift has
been diverted to horizontal lift. Thus, the total lift must
be increased to compensate for this loss.

To stop the turn, the wings are returned to level flight
by the coordinated use of the ailerons and rudder
applied in the opposite direction. To understand the
relationship between airspeed, bank, and radius of
turn, it should be noted that the rate of turn at any
given true airspeed depends on the horizontal lift component.
The horizontal lift component varies in proportion
to the amount of bank. Therefore, the rate of
turn at a given true airspeed increases as the angle of
bank is increased. On the other hand, when a turn is
made at a higher true airspeed at a given bank angle,
the inertia is greater and the horizontal lift component
required for the turn is greater, causing the turning rate
to become slower. Therefore, at a given angle of bank, a higher
true airspeed will make the radius of turn larger because the
airplane will be turning at a slower rate.