Commercial Maneuver: Steep Turns

Last week was kind of a bust.. 0/2 on the scheduled flights. One due to weather, the other because of a MIA instructor. I was hoping to do some sort of “photo blog,” but that will have to wait until later this week. I am flying twice this week (hopefully), including today, which is forecast to be 107 degrees.. Ouch!

As I progress through my commercial training I want to share, in detail, some of the maneuvers I’ll be doing. Last week we did Steep Turns, one of  my favorite maneuvers. To complete this maneuver successfully one must accomplish these goals:

  1. Establish the maneuvering speed, or Va
  2. Roll into a coordinated 360° steep turn with at least a 50° bank, followed by a 360° turn in the opposite direction
  3. Maintains the entry altitude ± 100 ft, airspeed ± 10 knots, bank ± 5°, and rolls out from the entry heading ± 10°

This maneuver requires  a lot of back pressure to keep the aircraft from losing altitude, using trim helps a ton to keep the nose up. At 60° bank the forces acting upon the aircraft are 2 Gs, so at 50° the forces are slightly less, but it is still quite noticeable.

Why is the maneuver necessary?  It helps the pilot learn how to control the aircraft near its maximum performance limits while successfully dividing attention between outside reference points and the instruments inside the aircraft. If you are having a bit of trouble envisioning what this looks like from the cockpit, here is a video of one done at 60° bank… and yes, it looks way cooler in real life.

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~ by Marcus on September 28, 2010.

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