To: (Separate email addresses with commas)
From: (Your email address)
Learning to fly steep turns?
Pick an altitude that assures a recovery altitude of no less than 1,000' AGL.
Before practicing any maneuver, perform either one 180 degree or two 90 degree clearing turns and scan for traffic and obstacles.
Steep turns have high load factors. Make sure you choose an airspeed that's within maneuvering speed (Va) of your aircraft.
Choose a heading that you can use to keep track of your progress through the maneuver. Good entry headings are aligned with roads or other prominent landmarks, and are primary headings of North, East, South or West.
If you're training to be a private pilot, use 45 degrees of bank. If you're training for your commercial, use 50.
When you're in a turn, your vertical component of lift decreases. In order to maintain your entry altitude, you need to apply back pressure. Look out the wind screen, and find where the horizon intersects your panel. Maintain that picture, and you'll hold your turn perfectly. Using trim can help manage control pressure too.
Since your total lift increases with back pressure, induced drag increases too. With increased drag, you need to add power to maintain your entry airspeed.
During the recovery, you need to roll out on your entry heading. As you do this, reduce power and release back pressure on the controls so you don't balloon your altitude.
A rule of thumb for a rollout heading is to take half of the bank angle and apply that to the entry heading. For example, if your rollout heading is 180 degrees, and you're flying a 50 degree bank angle, you should lead your rollout by 25 degrees. Start your rollout at 205 degrees if you're banking to the left, or 155 if you're banking to the right.
Corey is a commercial aviation student and commercial pilot with multi-engine and instrument ratings who attends the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota. He has been flying since his junior year of high school and has since started his flight instructing training. You can reach him at email@example.com.