View Full Version : How do you teach turning?

24th Oct 2009, 21:03
Title says it all.

Exercise 9 - Content and chronology, discuss.

25th Oct 2009, 03:32
As for how I was taught to teach it in the air-

Look out, roll aircraft to desired angle of bank, centralize, coordinate, if it will be a climbing/descending turn then establish the climb or descent first then add the turn.

When levelling out- look out, roll wings level, centralize, coordinate.

Seemed to keep the fed happy to flight tested me and had me teach turns.

25th Oct 2009, 06:58
1. Patter the look out and the roll into the turn and maintenance of turn.

2. Give control to student and get them to maintain.

3. Once they have that sussed tell them to fly S&L.

4. Get the student to initiate turn if they make a real mess of it tell them to fly S&L again and if you think they didn't grasp what they were doing patter it again if they just made a pigs ear of it get them to do it again.

Repeat for opposite direction.

5. Once they can do all 3 bits start getting them to roll out at physical references.

6. When they have that sussed do roll outs on bearings.

Then personally I combine practise with trimming practise putting it out of trim then S&L and pointing somewhere else.
Then depending if they have put the thing into a spiral dive by mistake in which case I would have had a look at it before. If they are not knackard by this point or are nervy I would do spiral dive recovery. If in my opinion they are not up to it I would put it in there student notes and cover it after revision before starting the next airwork lesson. I know most do the lesson in 30-40 mins, I make it last for 1 hour with the additional time used to hammer in the S&L and trimming practise. Pays dividends in the circuit in my opnion.

It might be out of kilter with the official place for spiral dives but it just the place I have found it most useful and the student actually gets the most out of learning Spiral dives recoveries. If you do it to soon they don't grasp whats gone wrong and the whole thing is a fire fighting exercise of actions without knowledge. And I don't like leaving it until steep turns like some do.

25th Oct 2009, 13:28
Good for you ed603em and I presume they also told you to apply enough back pressure to maintain the picture to perform the maintenance of the turn. Instructors call it the Patter.

I took this thread to be a question on Instructors stuff. Which is the break down of a manoeuvre into its components and then teaching it in a manner which is both logical to the student and also builds on previous skills which they have been taught.

25th Oct 2009, 14:11
1. After an 'at the end of the lesson this is what you'll be able to do demo', teach maintenance of the turn first. Concentrating on the L00kout, Attitude, Instruments cycle. Handover to the student and let him/her practise.

2. Then teach the entry.

3. Then let the student practise the entry and maintenance.

4. IHC; WIGYC all I want you to do is to recover to the S&L attitude when I say 'roll out', any questions, YHC. "Roll Out". Shortly after S&L has been regained, take control and teach the student how/where to L00kout after the rollout.

5. Then move on to rolling out on features and finally onto headings.

6. Then demo the whole thing the other way, emphasising the different attitude due to offset seating. Allow the student to practise.

Take the opportunity to include some turns in each direction on the way back to the aerodrome.

Of course the use of rudder etc will be covered, but the question was about the sequence, not the precise content.

25th Oct 2009, 14:25
Demo the entry, maintenance and the exit. Point out in maintenance the desired AoB for normal turn / attitude.

1.Teach- entry. Good pre turn lookout, look straight ahead then commence roll to desired AoB, neutralise controls (not always centralise). Return to wings level and let them have a go.

2.Teach- maintenance. Good lookout esp' in direction of turn, Check attitude, adjust as necessary, check instruments(airspeed etc). Let them have a go.

3.Teach- exit onto a specific heading reference. Lookout, then look straight ahead roll to wings level, anticipate roll out onto feature, lookout when wings are level esp' blind side. Let them have a go at all three obviously starting from wings level.

4.If it happens naturally during the above teach recovery from spiral descent if not I would induce it at this stage.

25th Oct 2009, 14:58
If you teach Entry first, When does the entry End and the maintenance Begin? If Maintenance is taught first, the entry become self evident. The Exit was taught in S & L.

25th Oct 2009, 15:37
BEagle/Whopity what's the advantages of doing all the one direction first up to bearings and then doing the opposite turn?

Runaway Gun
25th Oct 2009, 15:43
It emphasises the different attitude due to offset seating.

Get him used to one attitude first, whilst perfecting Bloggs' mechanical technique, before shocking him with the whole new picture of a turn in the opposite direction.

25th Oct 2009, 16:33
I can see the logic behind that. Thanks

26th Oct 2009, 08:51
I don't know how all of this is done in JAR land, but during my 1500+ hours of instructing "over there", straight and level flight, climbs, descents and turns were all taught in the first few lessons (is ex9 the same as flight #9?) together with the use and effect of controls. With letting the student play around with the controls a bit, a bit of demonstrating a comfortable entry and exit, and focus on keeping the airplane trimmed, it all seemed to work out by itself. Magic, isn't it?

Runaway Gun
26th Oct 2009, 09:13
Maybe magic works with gifted students, however mine tend to be need to be taught what, how and why to do things.

26th Oct 2009, 10:27

They'll always be someone under that wing that one time you don't! Paronoia keeps you alive...!!!

26th Oct 2009, 20:22
I don't know how all of this is done in JAR land, but during my 1500+ hours of instructing "over there", straight and level flight, climbs, descents and turns were all taught in the first few lessons (is ex9 the same as flight #9?) together with the use and effect of controls.

So-called instruction 'over there' was once described to me thus:

12 exercises are taught - the same exercise 12 times.

Whereas in €uroland, a structured approach is used with specific lesson objectives. And students never 'play around with the controls a bit', they are taught to fly in a disciplined manner.

Cows getting bigger
26th Oct 2009, 20:55
I don't offer an alternative, but I often think that Ex9 sits uncomfortably after 4, 6, 7 & 8.:bored: My point is that, by the time you have squared away S&L, climbing, descending and all the other gubbins, many students have already had exposure to turning - In reality, they have some idea what is required. Of course, 9(ii) should pull everything together but I do find that elements of 9 appear earlier in the whole process. My only constructive point is that these first exercises should have the continuity of a single instructor so that any 'melding' can be captured.

PS. Bank, balance, back-pressure. With sharp students I do the whole lot in one. With the vast majority of students I break it down into entry, maintenance and 'rolling-out' (somewhat different order to Beagle but we all have a good reason for a bit of variance). I always start with right turns and, as Beagle says, get the student to be comfortable with those before doing left turns (more disconcerting for the nervous type).

Big Pistons Forever
26th Oct 2009, 23:45
I make a particular point of not discussing the AI untill all the presolo exercises are mastered. Students should learn to recognize the bank angle and the aircraft attitude by what they see looking out the windshield. I have found too many students from other instructors were going head down at the same time they were rolling into the turn. This is particularly bad with ab initio students who have been polluted by MS Flight Simulator. I always cover the AI if I find the student flying the instruments instead of the horizon.

hugh flung_dung
27th Oct 2009, 15:30
BEagle has it in post #6 :ok:.

A question to those who say teach the entry first - how does the poor bod know what attitude to set/hold in the entry if they haven't previously memorised it? teaching maintenance first is clearly a more logical teaching sequence.


Pugilistic Animus
27th Oct 2009, 16:11
I also like to explain on the ground the right hand rule for vectors so that they don't get into a muddle over torque:ok:

basically nose up--right:)

I dare not say more:ouch:

Big Pistons Forever
28th Oct 2009, 01:52
RE post 6

I bring the rudder in at the very start. Every time the ailerons are deflected the rudder should be used. You have to develop good habits right away because modern trainers will let you get away with poor or non existance yaw control.

28th Oct 2009, 09:44
Even though teaching in US, I have my JAA FI and try to implement the structured approach on my students..... I know I know, I do step away a tad from the syllabus but I try to be flexible, and the end result is better. Team leader agrees, all fine!

And for the original question, how to teach level turns;

Firstly, let the students maintain a level turn I put them in, emphasizing the "visual picture" by using dashboard, cowling, horizon... give them small hints what I use.

Secondly, teach entry

1. Look Out!!
2. Aileron
3. Rudder
4. Back-pressure
5. Opposite aileron
6. Relieve some rudder (not very noticeable in C172)

Thirdly, exit of turn

2. Aileron
2. Rudder
3. Yoke slightly forward (..or remove back-pressure)
4. Centralize

...with instruments more or less covered up, quite early in their training. I fly with too many FS nerds!!

28th Oct 2009, 10:30
I was taught what 172_driver describes, but have come to realise that aileron and backpressure goes together in a synchronized movement, i.e. not aileron first and back pressure when correct bank angle is achieved.

A smoth increase from no back pressure to the nessecary back pressure during roll gives you a nice and smoth turn. Use the same smoth back pressure release movement when you roll out of the turn.

The thing I try to point out is that it's not a step1, step 2, step 3 etc.

And yes, I'm not an instructor, just a 60 hours post-ppl that learned this after my skills test :rolleyes:

28th Oct 2009, 17:23
I agree, it's a simultaneous process. However, for a first time student you have to give them something concrete to work with. When they practice they are going to realise how to do all the steps in a smooth flow...

Chuck Ellsworth
28th Oct 2009, 21:36
To come out of the turn I was under the impression that you lead with rudder as the rudder is used to prevent or control yaw.

Am I doing it wrong?

28th Oct 2009, 22:01
Rudder is used in conjunction with aileron to prevent adverse yaw. Thus, when deflecting the aileron you have to deflect the rudder to stay coordinated.

To me, it sounds like your roll-out is uncoordinated. I don't know your level of experience though, perhaps higher than mine.

Chuck Ellsworth
29th Oct 2009, 02:23
As to the use of rudder when coming out of a turn it will vary from one airplane to another for instance if you attempt to come out of a turn in say a PBY by leading with aileron as in this description.

Thirdly, exit of turn

2. Aileron
2. Rudder
3. Yoke slightly forward (..or remove back-pressure)
4. Centralize

The airplane will yaw in the opposite direction of deflection of the aileron, however in an Airbus you do not use rudder period.

I can't remember exactly how a 172 responds to the use of the controls but as I recall leading with rudder was the best way to stop yaw......but for sure it has been a long time since I flew one. :)

One more comment, the angle of bank and how quickly you wish to stop the turn will make a big difference in how aggressively you apply rudder even in a 172.

Chuck Ellsworth
29th Oct 2009, 02:41
I seldom post on this forum, however I thought I would share my thoughts on this.

Flying Instructors & Examiners (14 Viewing)

A place for instructors to communicate with one another because some of them get a bit tired of the attitude that instructing is the lowest form of aviation, as seems to prevail on some of the other forums!

You should never feel inferior as a flight instructor as it is the highest calling a pilot can aspire to. :ok:

29th Oct 2009, 08:04
I suggest that the term "rudder" should be used with the term "balance". If the aircraft is balanced the ball will be in the centre. Balanced flight is what you are trying to achieve in the turn and in most flight situations.


Cows getting bigger
29th Oct 2009, 08:23
I find that the balance ball brings its own particular problem. From the outset I've been told we should actively discourage use of instruments in the formative stages (I know the FAA way is different, but just hear me out please). However, it is very difficult for a student to recognise when an aircraft is out of balance without reference to the ball. How/when do other instructors introduce the balance ball? Do you use it to confirm something (ie set what you feel to be right and then check) or as more of an active instrument? Also, how would you introduce use of the balance ball when entering/leaving a turn? I'm not sure I would want to do it this way. I find I spend a lot of time teaching coordination during Ex4 where I'm trying to get the student to apply the correct amount of rudder against aileron (I demonstrate adverse yaw by 'weaving' the aircraft and then major on how to counter this with rudder). The aim must be for the pilot to sub-consciously apply rudder whenever he applies aileron.

Chuck - in the 172 the amount of rudder used depends on the direction of turn.

29th Oct 2009, 09:54
Everything (except slipping and spin entry) is done in balance. Keeping the aircraft in balance is a requirement from exercise 4.




Please note that "Instrument" is singular. That part of the scan is not designed to be a full pannel scan but a brief check on 1 instrument and then while looking out again, decide if what was seen is corect or requires something to be done.

Taking a 0.2 second glance at the ball is not going to cause a major issue.

I teach how to maintain the turn and then teach the entry and exit.

The entry is simply;

"From straight and level flight select the turning attitude while keeping the aircraft in balance and altitude constant"

The exit is simply;

"From level turning flight select the straight and level attitude while keeping the aircraft in balance and altitude constant"

I would not subscribe to trying to tell the student in the air that ;

Rudder must be applied now because of adverse yaw.

Rudder must be applied now due to a change in power.

Rudder must be applied now due to a change in airspeed.

Far simpler to get it straight from the start - in all cases;

Rudder must be applied to maintain balanced flight. i.e. keep the ball in the middle. Who cares why it is not in the middle just kick it back in there or better still never let it out of the cage!!

Initially teaching the outside view, control pressures and then refining the accuracy with a glance at the ball / altimeter.

Chuck Ellsworth
29th Oct 2009, 16:32
The use of rudder in turns can be quite different in a specific airplane if you convert the machine from wheels to floats.

I fly a Husky A1B which had control harmony much like the Pitts Special ( which was what prompted me to choose the Husky over the Super Cub ) until we installed Whipline amphibious floats.

Unless I use rudder during the entry and exit of a turn the ball will be way out of center and stay there.

Why would that be?

Big Pistons Forever
29th Oct 2009, 17:32
Control of Yaw is IMO consistantly the weakest part of flying skills in the PPL's I have flown with. This is because unlike classic trainers (cub,champ,C140 etc) you can get away with flying modern trainers with your feet flat on the floor as much of the Yaw inducing factors have been designed out of the airplane. With respect to teaching turns in a C 172 or Pa 28, the adverse yaw is subtle enough it is not reasonable to have a student be able to detect and correct for it by visual indications and seat of the pants feel. Therfore you have to use the ball as an aid for the student. Eventually the student will automatically apply the appropriate rudder, and be come less dependent on using the ball to correct yaw. But I strongly believe this must be taught right from the beginning. An emphasis on maintaining coordinated flight that is established from the very first flight will build life long good habits.

Runaway Gun
29th Oct 2009, 18:36
Why would that be Chuck? Partly because of all the increased surface area in front of the CG, becoming affected by the slipstream, and your poor little rudder not being powerful enough to fight in a slip situation...

Chuck Ellsworth
29th Oct 2009, 21:33
Why would that be Chuck? Partly because of all the increased surface area in front of the CG, becoming affected by the slipstream, and your poor little rudder not being powerful enough to fight in a slip situation...

I thought it was because there is not enough side fuselage area and vertical fin area to counteract the added side area of the floats ahead of the vertical axis.

Thus the primary or most effective control surface to control adverse yaw would be?

When I first received my instructors rating over fifty years ago we were taught that attitudes and movements and effect of controls was the most important lesson in flight training and unless the student fully understood the subject and could demonstrate same we were not to move on to the next lesson.

Judging by what I observe flying with pilots now this seems to be ignored by far to many instructors.

Runaway Gun
31st Oct 2009, 10:01
That's what I was trying to say Chuck, I agree with you.

Chuck Ellsworth
1st Nov 2009, 16:12
I see this discussion is still ongoing so I thought that it may be beneficial to examine it a little bit closer.

When referring to situational awareness with regard to the airplanes attitude and mentioning the word parallax how do you relate this picture in mountainous regions with the quickly changing surface horizon?

Chuck Ellsworth
2nd Nov 2009, 00:33
With nothing better to do at the moment I thought I would share some of the patter we were taught in the fifties for attitudes and movements.

To demonstrate how to produce desirable yaw we did it this way and the patter was as follows.

From straight and level flight we banked the airplane to approximately 30 degrees of bank and checked the bank angle with aileron and neutral rudder, as the bank angle stopped we had the student note that the nose moved toward the down wing, that movement they saw was called yaw and in that instance was produced by aileron.

Then back to wings level in level flight and once again we demonstrated yaw by rolling the airplane into a 30 degree bank and checking the bank angle but this time we used opposite rudder to stop the yaw and explained that rudder can prevent yaw.

Back to straight and level flight and have the student pick out an object ahead of the airplane and this time we demonstrated that the rudder can not only prevent yaw but it can also produce yaw.

Holding the wings level with aileron we then demonstrated how the rudder will yaw the airplane back and fourth..therefore rudder will both produce and prevent yaw.

I find that a great percentage of pilots really do not fully understand the effects of controls with regard to attitudes and movements..especially rudder.

2nd Nov 2009, 01:36
Chuck that pretty much how we are still taught how to teach it over the pond.

My experience in the US was

"this is a turn, you have control try one"
"i have control, not quite right i will show you again hurdey gurdy"
"you have control, well done, now try one the other way"
"well done, now i will show you one while we are climbing"

And people wonder how some get to go solo in 4-5 hours.
And it was an Emberly Riddle trained Instructor.

200 hours later on my Instructors course I learned how to fly properly.

Chuck Ellsworth
2nd Nov 2009, 02:10
Can someone explain to me why the private pilot license was taught in thirty hours in the 1950's and on tail wheel airplanes and today the average is around 75 to 100 hours on very basic simple to fly nose wheel trainers?

Maybe I was poorly trained?

Chuck Ellsworth
2nd Nov 2009, 18:56
There are many airplanes that have no artificial horizons and are flown in mountainous areas.

Therefore we must go back to basic training to determine how one maintains a constant angle of bank and altitude turn in that environment.

For sure the answer does not lie in using an artificial horizon.

Are you an instructor ?

I am asking so as not to get into an unnecessary argument as it serves no useful purpose.

Cows getting bigger
2nd Nov 2009, 19:04
Not that I have ever been in such a circumstance, I would offer that engine RPM (and therefore airspeed) is key in such a scenario.

2nd Nov 2009, 19:06
Chuck when you learned what was the normal level of experience of the instructors?

2nd Nov 2009, 20:46
There are many airplanes that have no artificial horizons and are flown in mountainous areas.

Therefore we must go back to basic training to determine how one maintains a constant angle of bank and altitude turn in that environment.

I found Chuck's question an interesting one, because I can't work out the answer.

I've instructed turning on gliders, but only in the flatlands. There, the horizon is pretty uniform.

I've flown in hilly areas, and there I fly the turn by feel, with regular checking on the ASI to ensure that I've not been fooled by the horizon playing fairground tricks on me. The closer to the hill, the more I check.

I'm not sure how to translate this into teaching - maybe in a powered a/c with a shallow angle of bank, monitoring the ASI would do the trick? But in a glider at, say, 30 degrees of bank @ 50 kt turning 360 degrees twice per minute, I'm not sure that would do it for a student. No A/H, and although the yaw string is better than the ball for slip it tells you nothing about angle of bank or attitude.

My guess would be to teach the turn, prompting as required, until the student gets the feel for steady angle of bank and airspeed (probably judged by airflow noise in a glider), and then teach monitoring the ASI for checking purposes.

Chuck's answer would be interesting.

[BTW, I don't currently instruct, and only used to instruct at the introductory flight level, in case anyone takes this post as an indictment of UK glider instructor training.]

3rd Nov 2009, 04:59
Can someone explain to me why the private pilot license was taught in thirty hours in the 1950's and on tail wheel airplanes and today the average is around 75 to 100 hours on very basic simple to fly nose wheel trainers?

Maybe I was poorly trained?

Probably not...

Instructor's level of experience is not much more than the student's. I think the aviators of your time were highly skilled if you compare.

mad_jock has a valid point. When I did my CFI their was lots of emphasize put on fancy maneuvers like Rectangular Course Patterns, S-turns, Turns Around a Point (for Private) but not much on basic flying skills. Simply I believe the instructors are not taught how to teach basic straight & level, turns, climb/descent .... Moreover, in the Private syllabus (e.g. Jeppesen) Slow Flight, Steep turns, Stalls (Secondary, Accelerated, Cross-Control, Elevator Trim) and Simulated Emergency Approach & Landing is introduced at flight 3 and 4. Probably the most useless syllabus ever created!!!!!!! The syllabus we use in a Part 141 approved course is a little more generous, but still at flight 5 our students are supposed to fly at MCA within 100 ft. Recipe for disaster!!

The way I was taught, IIRC: Flight 1. Effect of controls 2. Straight & Level 3. Climb/Descent 4. Turns 5. Climbing/Descending Turns ..... I wasn't doing any accelerated stalls at 60 deg. AoB at least.

3rd Nov 2009, 10:23
we had the student note that the nose moved toward the down wing, that movement they saw was called yaw and in that instance was produced by aileron.

That yaw is the secondary effect of roll. It happens because at 30 degrees angle of bank the aircraft will slip and the resultant change in the direction of the relative airflow on the fin/rudder causes Yaw.

If you were flying an aircraft which was simply a wing and rolled the aircraft with the ailerons (elevons!!) to 30 degrees AOB and the C of G was exactly central etc then the aircraft would again slip but there would be no yaw because there would be no fin/rudder and no keel surface aft of the C of G etc.

Can someone explain to me why the private pilot license was taught in thirty hours in the 1950's and on tail wheel airplanes and today the average is around 75 to 100 hours on very basic simple to fly nose wheel trainers?

In the UK is it still possible to obtain a licence with as little as 15 hours training.

The answer to your question however lies more in the situation of society ( and insurance companies as well as authorities) being more risk adverse and no longer accepting the loss rate / accident rate / injury rate that was associated with aviation in the 1950's. Not to mention the fact that we have learned from our mistakes!!.

The effect of high(er) terrain is covered during the operation at linimum level part of the PPL course because at 500ft MSD, even quite small hills disrupt the true horizontal.

It is not just terrain that causes problems. Over flat terrain the horizon is clear, flat and true and some 75nm away at 5000ft ASFC.

If the visibility is 9600m the visible surface ends some 4nm ahead of the aircraft when on the surface and less than this at 5000ft.

Take a student up into the clear sky over a 8/8 stratus overcast. Note well the attitude for S+L then take them back down into the 5k below and ask them to select the exact same attitude and see what happens. The aircraft now descends because they have put their "horizon" (the limit of visibility) on the same spot. This is an issue when operating in reduced visibiity as the pilot will often tend towards descending by following a false horizon.

This makes the altimeter scan quite important so ensure that the desired altitude is being maintained.

It also makes the basic technique for selecting an attitude come into focus;

Select - select the attitude

Hold - hold the attitude steady

Adjust - if the aircraft is not doing what is desired then Select a better attitude and repeat the process.

The same applies in a turn a quick glance at the altimeter and then back outside tells the pilot if the aircraft is maintaining altitude.

Having said all that for turning in a valley a few things should be remembered;

1. A climbing or descending turn will use up less horizontal ground space than a level turn.

2. As in other cases, a partially full water bottle provides a horizon reference when straight and level and in balance. Use the bottle to determine some reference features on the opposite side that are at the same level.

3. Strat the turn on the downwind side of the valley and turn into wind. This also decreases the size of the turn.

In other words - get onto the downwind side of the valley. Select a few features for reference on the other side and start the turn. If you start descending then this helps so long as a safe level above the hard bits is being acheived.



The difference is simply a teaching method.

one is more trial and error than the other.

trial and error in a controlled environment can work. However, it requires a very attentive instructor and can have problems with "primacy" i.e. the students first method that achieves the aim is very hard to change becuase their brain associates that method with the successful outcome even if it is worng in your eyes.

The european system lends itself to a building block teaching style where early exercises are short and relatively simple and the length / complexity of exercises increases with experience. Early diagnosis of learning rate and progress as well as bringing a very disciplined approach to flying. (don't confuse disciplined with lack of fun!!).

The US system uses a less disciplined approach which can work with the right students but has problems in that the student can become overloaded as well as making determination of progress difficult except at ket stage points.

Thus the origin of the European system in the military with it's associated chop points compared to the US civil system where the student is more left to spend their cash for as they choose as long as they are having a good time even if they never make progress.

Chuck Ellsworth
3rd Nov 2009, 14:45
I probably shouldn't stray from the turn discussion but DFC's comments regarding the teaching methods in Europe compels me to ask a question that truly puzzles me.

If the teaching methods are so refined in Europe why do so many training aircraft damage the nose wheels and firewalls due to landing on the nose wheel first?:E

3rd Nov 2009, 16:07
All the nose wheel incidents I have personal knowledge of were all with Instructors on board of less than 500 hours total experience.

Some of the explanations of what happened were hilarious. Most of them showing that the instructor didn't have enough spare capacity to see situations develop never mind react to the student doing something unplanned and outside the box of the instructors experience.

I would love to see the breakdowns of nose gear incidents by school and instructor experience. Willing to bet 50 quid towards Help for Hero's that the schools with ex mill QFI CFI's who run thier schools with a toe up the arse of instructors who don't teach the correct way have a lower than average (if any) incidents.

4th Nov 2009, 03:17

Thank you for a very informative post. I agree with the way you put it. Today I had a few students, practicing glide, slip and MCA on there fifth flight with a completion standard of "Altitude +/- 100 ft, Airspeed +/- 5 kts and Heading +/- 10 deg". I felt horrible having to do this!!! They are not comfortable with basic climb/descent, turns, climbing/descending turns (incl. rudder handling, trim and attitude flying) yet. Very hard to determine there progress under such circumstances. Oh well...

Chuck Ellsworth
9th Nov 2009, 15:25
Hope this helps.

Actually it is confusing me more as I thought we were discussing how to turn an airplane using outside reference aided by verification of some instruments.

When turning an airplane in conditions where the outside reference does not have a normal horizon I have always relied on the indications of the altimeter as a conformation that I am maintaining level flight in the turn. ( maintaining a given altitude. )

I have not mastered the skill of being able to determine attitude by " feedback from the ailerons ".

Maybe I need to improve my stick and rudder skills?:)

10th Nov 2009, 21:27
I've looked back at my earlier post and realise that I misread Chuck's "altitude" as "attitude".

Isn't the real problem with training in hilly areas the problem of teaching how to maintain a constant attitude? If the nose is constantly moving up and down in relation to the (notional) horizon, maintaining altitude is very much a scondary consideration it seems to me.

My assumption (without personal experience) would be that, by reference to visual indicators outside the cockpit:

a. Maintaining angle of bank is a lesser difficulty even with a hilly horizon, but

b. Maintaining constant attitude must be really difficult for a student.

If I'm correct, how is maintaining attitude taught in those circumstances?

An experienced pilot will maintain attitude by the feel of back pressure on the controls, monitored by regular reference to the ASI. Are students taught the same way?

It seems to me that altitude must be a secondary consideration until the student has got these two nailed. Losing altitude could be caused by failure to add enough power (if bank and attitude are maintained constant), or by allowing the nose to drop which could be caused by insufficient back pressure on the controls (steady bank), or increasing bank (steady back pressure), or a combination of both.

What's the trick to teaching turning in the hills?

Chuck Ellsworth
10th Nov 2009, 21:53
Lets pick this apart one bit at a time.

First off using " Feel " of pressure on the controls is a very poor indicator to maintain a constant altitude during a turn, assuming your intent is to maintain a constant altitude during the turn.

What I do before I roll the airplane to the angle of bank I plan on using is look at the picture out the windshield to see what it looks like in level flight by referencing the terrain I am looking at, I check the altimeter as I roll the airplane to the bank angle I want and monitor the altimeter as my primary instrument for level flight during the turn.

Using the airspeed indicator as the primary instrument will result in a roller coaster pattern of altitude control in the turn due to airspeed indicator lag which will result in constant pitch changes caused by chasing the air speed indicator needle.

Brian Abraham
11th Nov 2009, 04:43
It is possible to sense the angle of bank of your aircraft by the feedback from the ailerons
A very worrying statement, particularly coming from an instructor if you don't mind me saying so.
Maybe I need to improve my stick and rudder skills
You have the skills in spades Chuck, what I see is you begging for a pole of something tailwheel and radial powered for the sake of currency/proficiency. ;)

11th Nov 2009, 05:13
Roll 90 degrees and pull to the buffet? ... or am i missing something ;)

11th Nov 2009, 07:20
Show the 30 degree bank.

Then teach how to maintain the 30 degree bank.

Lookout, Attitude, Instruments (Altimeter, Ball)

Thereafter ask them to stop the turn.

Then teach how to enter.


11th Nov 2009, 09:28
Show the 30 degree bank.

Then teach how to maintain the 30 degree bank.

Every procedure in the world is based on rate 1 or 25 derees bank whichever requires the less bank.

If dealing with CPL and IR students 30 degrees as a maximum is standard SOP with commercial operators (for a good reason).

The traget AOB for initial medium turns should be 25 degrees when a suitable margin above the stall exists and 15 degrees when less margin is available eg while at climbing or gliding or approach speed. This concept translates into all future aspects of flying that the student may do. i.e. remember - Primacy!

The rationalle between AOB and stall margin can be well demonstrated during the stalling / spin avoidance exercises.

This basic exercise can then be further expanded in a later post solo exercise by explaining the rate 1 turn and the relationship between AOB and speed to acheive rate 1 which leads into turns using the magnetic compass / timed turns.

If 30 degrees is the traget AOB then most PPLs and CPL students will vary from say 25 - 35 with sometimes 20 to 40 being seen at times (based on visual attitude flying). 45 is a steep turn under JAR-FCL.

At the appropriate stage, turns at 45 degrees AOB can be covered and after that point, the student should be capable of turning at any AOB up to 45 degrees while also demonstrating the use of a suitable margin above the stall plus passenger comfort aspects as appropriate.

Remember that 15 degrees AOB is rate 1 at 80Kt and 25 degrees is rate 1 at 180. Most basic trainers climb at 80 Kt or thereabout so 15 degree bank is not far from rate 1. At 100 Kt rate 1 is 17 degrees. So using 25 degrees in a basic trainer is turning quite a bit above rate 1.

Dudley Henriques
12th Nov 2009, 01:42
As an aerobatic instructor you become VERY tuned in to control pressures and coordination, and this transfers back all the way to primary basics.
My opinion on teaching turning is to introduce it early as a visual reference maneuver and keep the student outside the cockpit. There's plenty of time to get into instruments as you progress past the basic coordination involved with turns, and visual cues are best introduced initially to help the student recognize proper turn entry and exit coordination.
Medium turns using medium bank are the optimum tool to use in introducing turns as the aircraft is more stable in that range with little underbank and overbank.
Use the HORIZON as the T&B indicator and NOT the T&B indicator on the panel. The nose of the aircraft will instantly show the student the quality of the turn entry and exit from the turn, as adverse yaw is instantly visually apparent using this visual cue.
Let the student experiment with aileron and rudder as they watch the nose, after you have explained that for the entry to be coordinated, the nose will be pinned on the horizon during the roll into the turn. Demonstrate a PINNED entry to a medium turn as you keep the student's eyes solidly on the nose of the aircraft. Demonstrate both excessive rudder and inadequate rudder for the aileron you are using both entering and exiting the turn and allow the student to see the resulting slew of the nose on the horizon resulting from lack of proper coordination. Demonstrate the need for increased angle of attack to manage the split lift vectors you discussed with the student BEFORE YOU TOOK OFF!
Let the student do most of the flying. NEVER take over the controls a second longer than absolutely necessary to demonstrate technique. Also keep the 'Theory discussion" limited while in flight. Do the theory on the ground before flying dual with the student, then discuss it again after the flight. What's key is letting the student fly the airplane while you correct and guide.
This is important! Use medium turns to introduce the student to turn. It's in medium banked turn where the student can handle the learning curve for control pressure and coordination most easily.
Once comfortable with medium turns and the student's using the nose on the horizon as the visual cue and handling the medium turn well, THEN introduce shallow banked turns and steep turns with the underbank, overbank, and increased back pressure these turns require.
Hope this helps a bit.
Dudley Henriques

Chuck Ellsworth
12th Nov 2009, 02:23
Hey Dudley....:ok::ok: :D

Dudley Henriques
12th Nov 2009, 02:34
Hi Chuck; howgozit? Looks like a great forum with good people.

Chuck Ellsworth
12th Nov 2009, 03:01
Hi Dudley, yes this forum is generally very good, of course every once in a while there will be a flare up when one of us either miss reads someones post or replies in a manner that irritates someone. But generally the group are sane. :E

I see we are around the same age and both retired.

I retired when I turned 70 because I just couldn't deal with all the B.S. that has slowly crept into aviation, now I am bored and am going to go back to work for something to do.

I am building a PA 11 Cub clone to do off airport training with young pilots who want to get into bush flying.

Before I die I want to close the circle so to speak because my first flying job was on a Cub crop spraying in Southern Ontario. :)

I also was in the war bird business at the close of my career so we have a lot in common. :ok:

Dudley Henriques
12th Nov 2009, 03:15
Nice to "meet you". You're right, I think we share some common background.
I've been involved in flight safety most of my career, mostly aerobatics and prop fighters as well as primary instruction.
The Cub thing sounds like a great plan. I learned to fly in J3's and PA11's. They're a lot of fun for sure.

13th Nov 2009, 07:34
DFC, yet again you're obsessed with numbers. NO student learning to fly is going to understand 'procedures based on 25 deg bank or rate 1, whichever requires the less bank' when first learning medium turns.

30 deg is used, because it's easy to use as the quick cross-check to validate that the visual attitude is correct - there's a mark on the artificial horizon. Same technique is later used for 45 deg steep turns. Same at 60 deg or greater; the only change in technique being that to arrest a descent must include relaxation of bank rather than increasing backpressure on the control column.

Teach people to fly aeroplanes - don't condemn them to the drudgery of airliner flying until they can fly light aeroplanes correctly and with confidence. Athough if they're doing the MPL course, they're probably like those veal calves that never see the light of day - and are stuck with playing 747s in Cherokee......:hmm:

13th Nov 2009, 20:17
You can sense the angle of bank of an aircraft from the ailerons and the feedback you get increases with increased lateral stability

You need to kick that into touch now. Its called flying by the seat of your pants with no reference instrument or visual.

It has killed before and will kill again many a time. Any instrument instructor worth there salt can put you into an unusual attitude and you won't have a clue which direction you are turning (actually that's a lie it will be the opposite one than you think).

13th Nov 2009, 20:43
You can sense the angle of bank of an aircraft from the ailerons and the feedback you get increases with increased lateral stabilityI can't.
I can feel 'g' forces and hear the engine note change with increase in airspeed. But that doesn't tell me if or how much I am turning.:ugh::ugh:

I think you need to reconsider what you are saying, especially if you tell your students what you have said here.

Chuck Ellsworth
13th Nov 2009, 22:18
O.K. gang lets look at this in its most simple context.

You as the instructor should know what a shallow angle of bank looks like.

You as an instructor should know what a medium angle of bank looks like.

You as an instructor should know what a steep angle of bank looks like.

The very first lesson you teach is attitudes and movements, do not move to the next lesson until the student understands attitudes and movements.

These are taught by demonstrating what it looks like outside the airplane you must make sure the student fully understands and can demonstrate the attitudes and movements and more important understands the effect of controls to produce and control attitudes and movements.

From there on it is far easier to teach them the rest of the lessons.

Flying an airplane is a medium skills and thought process activity and well within the average persons ability to master.

However being able to teach same is a tad more demanding and is not a skill all pilots can become excellent at.

Maybe I will get real ambitious and explain how I teach various airplane handling issues....like tail wheel for instance.

Assuming anyone is interested of course.:)

Big Pistons Forever
14th Nov 2009, 00:48
If I may add to Chucks comments

Quote You as the instructor should know what a shallow angle of bank looks like.

You as an instructor should know what a medium angle of bank looks like.

You as an instructor should know what a steep angle of bank looks like Unquote

You as the instructor must know the above solely by reference to the natural horizon. In other words if you cannot role into a shallow, medium and steep turns, holding the correct bank angle and a pitch attitude which will maintain level flight by looking out of the windshield than you should not be instructing IMHO.

Chuck Ellsworth
14th Nov 2009, 00:57

What I can not figure out is why we even have to be discussing such basic issues, how in hell do instructors even get the license if they do not understand the basics and are unable to teach same?????


14th Nov 2009, 07:15
Quite so - what on earth are they teaching at flight instructor schools these days?

With the downturn in the airline industry, more people are trying to scrape hours by becoming instructors whilst 'hours building'. Some unscrupulous schools are churning out more and more instructors to meet a demand which simply doesn't exist. They're quite happy to train the instructor - but whether there will be any work for the novice FI is a different matter. What do they tell their instructor-students about the state of the industry?

Which other industry uses wet-behind-the-ears inexperienced people to teach the core skills required in that industry? Can you imagine a newly-qualified doctor getting an instant job in a teaching hospital?

Still, it's highly likely that, in a few years, PPL holders in €uroland will be permitted to receive remuneration for flight instruction. Which means that flying clubs will be able to employ experienced PPL holders, rather than airline wannabees with no real world experience.

14th Nov 2009, 08:14
Maybe I will get real ambitious and explain how I teach various airplane handling issues....like tail wheel for instance.

I for one would really appreciate it if you could find the time.

I have learned numerous things via Pprunes collective experience, and am always willing to learn more.

Chuck Ellsworth
14th Nov 2009, 23:48
Mad Jock when checking out licensed pilots who have not flown tail wheel airplanes before I first teach them to handle it on the ground before we fly the thing.

In this order.

( 1) Normal taxiing.

( 2 ) Loss of directional control during taxiing by use of brake to start a ground loop at a speed that is safe. ( In an area with plenty of manouvering room such as a paved apron. )

( 3 ) High speed runs down the runway with the tail in the air.

( 4 ) High speed runs down the runway with the tail in the air S turning from one side of the center line to the other.

When the student has mastered these tasks including using the throttle I then take them flying.

The flying exercises are.

( 1 ) Normal take off and three point landings.

( 2 ) Normal take off and wheel landings.

( 3 ) X/wind landings both three point and wheel landings with the main focus on wheel landings.

I also find it very important to teach them how to flare and touch down by verbally calling the height above ground starting at fifty feet.

50 feet

40 feet

30 feet

25 feet

20 feet

15 feet

10 feet

9 /8 / 7/ 6/ 5/ 4/ 3 /2 /1 / 0.

I try and keep things simple and concentrate on the issues that produce confident, competent pilots.

Generally I can go home after teaching them how to actually fly the airplane knowing they were well indoctrinated in all the alphabet soup stuff by the system long before I got them. :E

Therefore by focusing on how to actually fly the airplane I feel I have made real pilots out of them.:E


It is frightening how many licensed pilots really do not know how high they are off the runway from fifty feet down, by verbally calling their height and a ensuring they are looking in the correct place to judge height both before the flare and after the flare they learn what the picture should look like as they close with the runway. Once they get this burnt into their brain landings are far easier and more controlled...rather than the arrivals most of them were satisfied with..

15th Nov 2009, 07:10
Thanks for that Chuck.

Your quite correct with the height call outs.

Never mind students a couple of FO's I was wondering for a bit why they always did a carrier landing's in certain airframes. Then realised that the airframes they more often than not got a half decent one on, were the ones that call the heights to them.

Dudley Henriques
15th Nov 2009, 12:56
I used a similar approach to tailwheel checkouts. When using the T6 with a check flight going into the Mustang I developed a little trick that paid high dividends when applied to other much lighter tail wheel birds.
I'd make the initial takeoffs on an unused runway and have the student taxi out and assume a takeoff position. Then I'd just let them sit there and watch as I directed their attention to the two sides of the lower windshield and how the runway looks when in this position.

Those two triangular visual cues are extremely important to get used to as they represent the touchdown and rollout cue with both sides equidistant and in balance.
When flying the Mustang, this vue is critical. I found it extremely helpful on down to a J3 Cub :-))
Dudley Henriques

Chuck Ellsworth
15th Nov 2009, 12:56
Jock, I also video the landings and de-brief on a TV or Lap Top screen to better allow the student to learn how the picture should look and where to look and what to look for.

When there was a problem with a given approach and landing all I need do is freeze the video and ask the student to use the laser pointer I give them to put the red dot on the area they were looking at at that time...then if they were looking in the wrong place I show them where they should be looking by placing the dot in the correct place in the picture.

The students always remember where they were looking for the simple reason they were there only a short time before.

That method of de-briefing is very effective.

By the way I also charge a rate that allows me to justify teaching, and only charge for flight time the pre briefing and post briefings are treated as quality time sharing. :ok:

15th Nov 2009, 14:23
Unfortunately I am back flying TP's again with no flight schools about.

The school that I used to help out in a couple of months ago were looking into getting a camera mount for student debriefs.

Initially it was for trial flights to take a video home with them but the training debrief possibility's are cracking.

Chuck Ellsworth
15th Nov 2009, 14:50
Yes Jock using videos as training aids is truly the way to make the training session an easier task, it is hard to beat a video of what it is you are trying to relate to.

Look at the porn industry, videos have made it one of the most successful ventures in society because it allows one to relate to the activity.:E

15th Nov 2009, 16:52
I'd make the initial takeoffs on an unused runway and have the student taxi out and assume a takeoff position. Then I'd just let them sit there and watch as I directed their attention to the two sides of the lower windshield and how the runway looks when in this position.

Yup, good one. Two more things I do, (not that this has a lot to do with turning)

I demonstrate the round out and hold-off while feeding in power to remain level at the round out height, then climb a couple of feet, go back down, up again, and so on until we run out of runway, while the student calls out what is happening. It gives them a lot longer to see what is happening. Next approach is theirs, and usually they manage a decent round out and hold off at once. I do cheat by approaching rather fast, and I don't hide this from them, I explain before flight that it is to enable them to take a longer look at the round out and hold off. This works with gliders as well, just keep the airbrakes closed, but obviously you need to leave enough runway for a landing .

The other thing that is useful is to have them climb up and down a stepladder while they change from near vision to close in, to give them a feel for where they should be looking to judge height. Very cost effective as long as they don't fall off :)

I have been known to get the student to film an approach, (mine) but I'm not happy about working a handheld camera while teaching a landing and I really don't see any way of fitting a camera mount to our school trainer, we work quite close enough to the legal weight limit as it is (3 axis microlight - does that debar me from posting here ? ;) )

only charge for flight time the pre briefing and post briefings are treated as quality time sharing.

We do that as well at our club, but at the risk of getting flamed, I will admit that all our instructors are part time unpaid. The student pays a little more for dual, which covers stuff like teaching materials, instructor mileage, and so on. We have a mixed field, two robin DR 400, an alliance two seat glider, and a skyranger microlight, as well as single seat gliders, and private gliders, microlights, and light aircraft, all off a grass strip 80 metres by 740 metres, no ATC, radio not required but encouraged. The french aero club culture is still alive and well, the only person who gets paid is the supervising engineer. Instructors, tug pilots and office staff are all club members working for the mutual benefit of all club members. Oh yes, we take turns at duty pilot and cleaner!