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Airplane Flying Handbook
Ground Reference Maneuvers
Eights On Pylons (Pylon Eights)

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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



Upon reaching that point, a turn is started in the opposite
direction by lowering the upwind wing to again place
the pilot's line of sight reference on the pylon. The turn
is then continued just as in the turn around the first
pylon but in the opposite direction.

With prompt correction, and a very fine control
touch, it should be possible to hold the projection of
the reference line directly on the pylon even in a stiff
wind. Corrections for temporary variations, such as
those caused by gusts or inattention, may be made by
shallowing the bank to fly relatively straight to bring
forward a lagging wing, or by steepening the bank
temporarily to turn back a wing which has crept
ahead. With practice, these corrections will become
so slight as to be barely noticeable. These variations
are apparent from the movement of the wingtips long
before they are discernable on the altimeter.

Pylon eights are performed at bank angles ranging
from shallow to steep. [Figure 6-14] The student
should understand that the bank chosen will not alter
the pivotal altitude. As proficiency is gained, the
instructor should increase the complexity of the
maneuver by directing the student to enter at a distance
from the pylon that will result in a specific bank angle
at the steepest point in the pylon turn.

The most common error in attempting to hold a pylon
is incorrect use of the rudder. When the projection of
the reference line moves forward with respect to the
pylon, many pilots will tend to press the inside rudder
to yaw the wing backward. When the reference line
moves behind the pylon, they will press the outside
rudder to yaw the wing forward. The rudder is to be
used only as a coordination control.

Other common errors in the performance of eights on pylons
(pylon eights) are:
• Failure to adequately clear the area.
• Skidding or slipping in turns (whether trying to
hold the pylon with rudder or not).
• Excessive gain or loss of altitude.
• Over concentration on the pylon and failure to
observe traffic.
• Poor choice of pylons.
• Not entering the pylon turns into the wind.
• Failure to assume a heading when flying
between pylons that will compensate sufficiently
for drift.
• Failure to time the bank so that the turn entry is
completed with the pylon in position.
• Abrupt control usage.
• Inability to select pivotal altitude.

Bank angle vs. pivotal altitude.
Figure 6-14. Bank angle vs. pivotal altitude.