Steep turns


Develop the student's knowledge of the aerodynamics, setup, and execution of steep turns to improve aircraft control and finesse.


  • introduce the maneuver
  • aerodynamics
  • setup & execution


  • model aircraft
  • whiteboard and markers
  • Airplane Flying Handbook
  • UND standardization manual

Instructor actions

In a guided discussion, explain the aerodynamics, procedures, and execution for steep turns, using whiteboard illustrations and a model aircraft.

Student actions

Read appropriate chapter and complete homework assignment prior to the briefing. Participate in the guided discussion.

Completion Standards

The student should be able to explain the aerodynamics, procedures, and execution for steep turns.

Teaching outline

  • aerodynamics
  • relationship between load factor and stall speed
  • maneuvering speed
  • increase in total lift (and therefore induced drag)
  • torque effect, especially rollout
  • overbanking tendency


  • setup: 1,500 ft dual, 2,000 ft solo

    • boost off, gas fullest, gear up, mix rich, prop 2400
    • outside reference on a cardinal reference
    • entry airspeed not more than VA (110 Arrow)
  • roll quickly into bank (45° ±10° p, 50° ±5° c)

    • verify against attitude indicator
    • set sight picture against horizon
    • bank should not exceed 60° (why?)
    • backpressure to maintain altitude added at 30°
    • opposite aileron required to counter overbanking tendency
    • coordination
    • power increase to hold altitude and airspeed
    • small pitch corrections, keeping the attitude indicator just above the horizon
  • divide attention, checking inside regularly for airspeed (± 10 c) and altitude (±100 ft)

    • higher load factor - avoidance of accelerated stalls
  • turn through 360° using outside reference
  • begin roll out approximately 25° before reference heading (± 10°)

    • power reduction
    • commercial, roll into identical steep turn opposite direction, avoiding altitude gain
© 2022 Eric Gideon  •  archive