View Full Version : Good 'Stick and Rudder' Instructors

2nd Apr 2016, 21:45
Hi there,
I'm new to the site, so please bear with me!

I've recently started flying (about 20 hours in), but I'm flying a Cessna 152, which I don't believe is allowing me to develop good 'stick and rudder' skills.

What I'm wondering is, do any of you know any really good instructors that you would advise I spend some time with (either in the USA/UK or otherwise) who have a good reputation for teaching good old fashioned 'stick and rudder' skills, after getting my PPL?

I have also heard that flying older aircraft, such as the Piper J3 Cub (and possibly the likes of the stearman, tiger moth, Texan etc if you're made of money) can also teach you good stick and rudder skills, and make you a better pilot overall? What aircraft would you recommend for this?

As you can probably tell, I just want to be the best pilot that I can be!

Any advice at all is appreciated! :)

Thanks in advance for your answers!


3rd Apr 2016, 11:49
One step at a time is best for junior birdmen.

Probably your best bet is to speak to training provider/ flying club in the first instance.
Your C.152 does require "stick & rudder coordination" to keep in balance.
Tail wheels will bring an extra dimension to your skill base.
Post PPL think about aerobatics with competent instructor aka ~ an old hand.

In the meantime learn to trim, and trim well. This is the most important thing you can learn during the PPL training. Everything else will follow.
And of course AIRMANSHIP ( threat & error management initially)

3rd Apr 2016, 12:37
stick and rudders ?
easy, go for gliders then ;) it is the best way (and cheapest) to develop real skills.
now, most of SEP you do not need to use rudder pedals actually.
Last time I taught the lesson about engine effects, lol what a joke, there is no much effect on a SEP.
But in a glider, if you don't use the rudder pedals, you don't turn, simple. :}

3rd Apr 2016, 21:44
I just showed someone adverse yaw in a C150 today, and had them practising "Dutch rolls" (co-ordinated rolling side to side) on their second lesson... A C150/152 does need rudder for co-ordination. It's major problem, like so many other mundane training types, is it will still trundle around at the hands of the poorly skilled who don't use any rudder at all once they're off the ground.

Don't fall for the rubbish spouted by glider types either... Most of them lead turns with rudder and skid all over the sky believing they are sky gods because they are using their feet. Not always the case. In a Champ or Cub, you need rudder with aileron (as per C150/152, only A LOT more noticeable) plus reacting to all the nice effects caused by having a propeller, which gliding will teach you diddly squat about.

I would say it's your instructor probably leading you to not develop such skills, as it's probably totally lost on him/her and they're just watching the Hobbs ticking over thinking about filling their logbook in when they land. In all fairness, a lot of the things you can and can't do in an airplane will be lost on you too, and go right over your head at this stage of the game. If you want to be the best pilot you can be, seek good instruction, and always try and fly like you're on a test and to the best of your ability. Don't settle for letting poor technique and laziness creep into your flying like so many people seem to do. Fly approaches at exact air speeds, land on the centreline of the runway on the point you've determined, maintain altitude when flying level, fly co-ordinated at all times, respect the nose wheel in a tricycle u/c type, always have a plan B and C etc.

A VP-1 at our airfield is about 500 for a share, and less than 15/hour to fly. Even gliding isn't that cheap, when you look at some of the membership prices.

I'd recommend proper instruction on the Cessna you're flying now, then 15-20 hours in a cub or similar with someone who can show you how to make it sing, then practice, practice, practice. Aerobatics (again, taught by someone good) will also add to your skillset tremendously.

Only just read parkfell's input, but pretty much as they say. Learn to set the attitude, and trim to remove control forces once power and attitude are established... Too many fiddle with the trim constantly thinking they are doing the right thing while making matters worse! Fly smooth, but aggressive... Make control inputs smooth, don't fight against turbulence, ride with it, and be aggressive enough to make the aircraft behave how you want it to, when you want it to. Don't be scared of it, as it will only do what you tell it to.

Genghis the Engineer
3rd Apr 2016, 22:24
A Dutch Roll is a natural oscillatory mode, not a flight manoeuvre (it can be deliberately induced, and you do in flight testing for various reasons, but not as a co-ordinated manoeuvre).


(I did not just edit that page - although contributed to it a few years ago. I do however think that it is correct.)


4th Apr 2016, 07:48
...and I was so close to using parentheses for the pedants. "Dutch rolls" is ALSO (as technically incorrect as it may be) the name given to rolling left and right, keeping the longitudinal axis in-line, as a handling maneouver by many instructors, especially in the US. Shame it has the same name as an aerodynamic phenomenon, but that's life. Think of a better term if you can?

4th Apr 2016, 09:05
Flew with an instructor in a C152 a few years back who was obsessed with 'stick & rudder' skills nearly to the exclusion of all else (he had an aversion to anything 'modern'). All I can say is that I felt decidedly sick afterwards so be careful what you wish for.

As you appear to be part way through your PPL, don't get overly worried about it. You will (or should) have Power-Attitude-Trim drummed into and that is the key to good accurate flying (in conjunction with the balance ball) no matter what you fly.

That you are thinking post PPL is a good sign - it is really only a licence to learn and many let their standards drop or stop flying completely after getting their PPL.

Concentrate on flying as accurately as you can and once you get your PPL and have built up some experience try a few other types. Older types, as you say, can improve your handling. There are also aeros, tail dragger, IRR courses to look at and all will help.

4th Apr 2016, 09:40
Im on Airbus, ask me or any others pilots if we use rudder pedal :}
ok im kidding a bit...
youngflier, if you want to be airline pilot, don't worry too much lol (though it's important during engine failure if you're not under AP)
The important is to know it, nuff said

Genghis the Engineer
4th Apr 2016, 09:55
...and I was so close to using parentheses for the pedants. "Dutch rolls" is ALSO (as technically incorrect as it may be) the name given to rolling left and right, keeping the longitudinal axis in-line, as a handling maneouver by many instructors, especially in the US. Shame it has the same name as an aerodynamic phenomenon, but that's life. Think of a better term if you can?
The Wikipedia article has several names but why not just "co-ordinated rolling reversals ", which seems to be what you are describing.


4th Apr 2016, 10:04
Genghis - I think Dutch Roll was what my 152 instructor was trying to induce......

4th Apr 2016, 10:29
The best way to help hone stick and rudder skills is to get an instructor who can actually fly and handle a tail wheel aircraft. I.E., conventional U/G. Very rare today I am aware.

I would suggest a Piper Cub or better still a Cessna 180/185. When you are competent in such a machine, those skills will benefit you in the future. Even up to and including heavy aircraft, "near the ground". I can still be sure, after a flight with a pilot, if they have operated a conventional U/G aircraft in the past. These skills are sadly lacking today.

A few hours in a glider wont go amiss either as that will assist in the illustration of adverse yaw and the above..

Genghis the Engineer
4th Apr 2016, 15:22
You'd be much more likely to find a Cub in use in a flying school.

It is certainly an aeroplane which would generate a good stick and rudder pilot - but probably a poor systems management one: a set of skills they're likely to have to learn later if they start flying something like a PA28 or C172.


17th Apr 2016, 20:21
Good stick and rudder, you mean compensating for a crappy designed aeroplane, because in the good old days, that is what you are doing.
Not that I have flown a Sopwith.

Try doing lots of crosswind landings and get the instructor to put you to one side of the runway on short final, then learn to re-position onto the centreline.
You will quickly learn what the controls are for and how effective they are.

I bet 90% of instructor couldn't put an aircraft say 50 feet right of the threshold at 50 feet and then position back onto the centreline.

18th Apr 2016, 07:58
...and YOU try all that in a conventional UC/Tail wheel aircraft, with a good x/wind.

Not just slamming it on the ground and have the self straightening tendencies of the nose wheel type aircraft. Try landing it properly, with minimal runway drift angle.

The thread starter stated stick and RUDDER skills. A tail wheel equipped A/C will certainly hone rudder skills also.

7th May 2016, 15:37
Thank you all very much for your replies, they are very much appreciated!
Although I want to be an airline pilot, I want to fly older, small stuff in my spare time, so I believe it would be good to get the stick and rudder side sorted!
Thanks again

7th May 2016, 16:10
most of SEP you do not need to use rudder pedals actually.

Total rubbish!