Use Stability to Avoid a Stall and Control Pesky Yaw

I wish you a very Merry Christmas from south Florida. My Christmas wish for all pilots is to “fly high, have fun, don’t stall and control yaw. Fly high because altitude is your friend, and have fun because why else would you want to fly an airplane. Don’t stall and control yaw is my subject for this last Hangar Talk of 2017.
I wish you a very Merry Christmas from south Florida. My Christmas wish for all pilots is to “fly high, have fun, don’t stall and control yaw. Fly high because altitude is your friend, and have fun because why else would you want to fly an airplane. Don’t stall and control yaw is my subject for this last Hangar Talk of 2017.
I adhere to and promote the proposition that airmanship is mastery of two fundamentals – Do not stall and control yaw. “Don’t stall and control yaw” literally means to avoid excessive deflection of the elevator and use the rudder to control rotation on the airplane’s vertical axis. A corollary to the proposition “don’t stall” is allow the inherent stability of a properly trimmed airplane to maintain a correct angle of attack. A feather light touch on the control stick will produce control “feed-back” as you apply and release stick pressure – do not yank, jerk, push or pull on the elevator control. The airplane knows angle of attack – best you get your hands out of the way and allow the airplane to fly your selected attitude.

Compared to stall and angle of attack, controlling yaw is a more interesting and challenging proposition. Airplanes are inherently stable in pitch and roll – the airplane will seek to recover from changes in pitch and roll. Yaw on the other hand results from forces generated by pitch and roll, and generally, the airplane does not counteract that movement. The pilot must take action (apply rudder pressure) to counteract yawing moments.
• Pull and the nose moves right; push and the nose moves left – requires left and right rudder respectively to control gyroscopic yaw.
• Climbing, the nose moves left; descending, the nose moves right – requires right and left rudder respectively to control p-factor yaw.
• Using the ailerons generates adverse yaw. Use right rudder rolling right and left rudder rolling left.

Ailerons and rudder are described as “linked”. Movement on one axis initiates rotation on the other. You can use this relationship to master your airmanship. You know you can fly an airplane without using the rudder – far too many pilots do just that; but have you practiced flying without the ailerons, using only the rudder? Set power and trim for desired altitude and airspeed, then remove your hands from the stick (yoke). The airplane will maintain airspeed and you will use only foot pressure on the rudder to keep the wings level while maintaining heading, and to make turns to a new heading. With a little practice, you should be able to fly a ground reference rectangle and even a landing pattern without placing your hands on the stick (yoke).

So now you can fly without using rudder, or without using ailerons. Imagine what a “great stick” you could be using both together!

Click here to see this month’s featured video:
Adverse Yaw – a Stick and Rudder Fundamental