Training Tip – Steep Turns
Flying Steep Turns for Private Pilot License.
Steep turns consist of two 360° turns, one on each direction using a bank angle of 45°. The objective of the steep turn is to develop a pilot’s skill in flight control smoothness and coordination, an awareness of the airplane’s orientation to outside references, division of attention between flight control application, and the constant need to scan for hazards.
Because of the higher load factors, performing steep turns should be done at an airspeed that does not exceed the airplane’s design maneuvering speed (Va) or the manufacturer’s recommended speed.
Maximum Turning Performance is When Both a Fast Rate of Turn and Minimum Radius of Turn is Achieved.
Airspeed and angle of bank are two factors that affect rate of turn and turning radius. Each airplane’s structural and aerodynamic design determines its turning performance.
Before starting any practice maneuver, the pilot must ensure that the area is clear of air traffic and other hazards. Further, the pilot should choose a distant references such as a mountain peak or road to determine when to begin rollout from the turn.
After establishing the manufacturer’s recommended entry speed or the design maneuvering speed, the airplane should be smoothly rolled into the desired bank angle of 45°. As the bank angle is being established, generally prior to 30° of bank, elevator back pressure should be smoothly applied to increase the angle of attack (AOA).
Altitude is Maintained by By Adding Power and Trim.
After the pilot has reached the correct bank angle, a considerable amount of force is required on the elevator control to keep the airplane in level flight and maintain altitude. Pilots should keep in mind that as the AOA increases, so does drag. Consequently, power must be added to maintain altitude and airspeed. In addition, the pilot should trim the airplane reduce the control forces.