To: (Separate email addresses with commas)
From: (Your email address)
Message: (Optional)



6 Maneuvers You Should Practice On Your Next Flight

This story was made in partnership with ATP Flight School. Check out the full series here. Ready to become a pilot? Get started with ATP here.

When you're training for a new certificate or rating, you practice. A lot. But after you pass your checkride, how often do you practice maneuvers and procedures? The reality for most pilots is "rarely". Raw stick-and-rudder skills fade over time without practice, so try incorporating these maneuvers into your next flight.

1) Go-Around

It's the easiest way to save a balked approach and landing: the go-around. Thousands of aviation accidents could have been avoided by performing a simple go-around procedure. But it's probably not something you've done recently.

Click here to learn everything you need to know about flying go-arounds.


2) Steep Turns

When was the last time you practiced steep turns? Try some full steep turns and do your best to maintain +/- 50 feet.

Click here to learn everything you need to know about the aerodynamics of steep turns.


3) Stalls (Power-On And Power-Off)

You probably haven't practiced stall recoveries in a long time. Give yourself a few thousand feet of altitude and clear airspace. Practice them in both the takeoff/departure configuration and in a landing configuration.

Click here to learn why you should never use ailerons in a stall.


4) Crosswind Landing

When's the last time you practiced crosswind landings? What's your personal limit for crosswind? And do you remember how to calculate your crosswind component in your head? (30 degrees off the runway is approximately 50% the wind velocity, 45 degrees is about 75% the velocity, and 60 degrees is almost 100% the wind velocity).

So what's the solution? It's pretty simple: practice. The next time the winds kick up, head out and practice some patterns. Start with landings. Consistently great landings can be hard to come by if you haven't practiced, and it takes work to knock the rust off.

Click here to learn everything you need to know about nailing perfect crosswind landings.


5) Practice An Emergency Procedure

When pilots are surprised and unprepared for emergencies, they typically don't perform well. And the increased reliability of GA aircraft may actually be making the situation worse. Pilots have an expectation that things rarely go wrong in the cockpit, and when they do, it adds increased stress to what is already an emergency situation.

The more often you practice and prepare for emergencies, typically, the better you'll perform. Start by practicing on the ground. Know how your aircraft systems work, and review the checklists you'll use when things go wrong. Then, practice in the plane. You don't even have to be airborne to get started with this. Practice the checklist flows, and what you'll do with your plane once your checklists are complete.

Your engine just failed after takeoff. Should you return to the runway? Click here to find out.


6) Power-Off 180

Performing a power-off 180 is just what it sounds like. Abeam an aiming point on downwind, engine power is cut to idle (at or below 1000 feet AGL per ACS standards), and you maneuver to land as close to that preselected point as possible. Most pilots pitch for best glide speed, at least initially, to improve chances of making the runway point.

Click here to learn everything you need to know about flying power-off 180 landings.


What do you do to avoid getting rusty with seldom-flown maneuvers? Tell us in the comments below.

Thinking about becoming a pilot? Get started with ATP Flight School, and find out how to start your aviation career here.

Images Courtesy:

Recommended Stories

Latest Stories

    Load More
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email