Coordinated turns

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by C_Parker, May 7, 2019.

  1. C_Parker

    C_Parker Pre-Flight

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    Outside of the pattern, what do you find is most useful for really nailing the "feel" of coordinated turns? I find myself always looking at the turn coordinator, I really want to break that habit.

    Thanks
     
  2. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Experience.

    After awhile you'll be able to feel when you're skidding or slipping in a turn.
     
  3. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route

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    Maybe some Dutch Rolls down the runway at low altitude? -Skip
     
  4. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Pattern Altitude

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    I'm with you, I can't feel it unless I'm doing an intentional slip, then its pretty obvious. One ball width out, I get nothing.
     
  5. Jared V

    Jared V Pre-Flight

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    fly an old tail wheel a bit.
     
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  6. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    I’d submit that modern aircraft are setup such that an easily ‘felt’ slip or skid requires some ham handed stick and rudder work by the pilot.... or maybe just a bit of inattention.

    Due to their wingspan, gliders require substantial control inputs to properly coordinate a turn. And no matter how experienced, glider pilots use a turn and bank indicator (i.e. yaw string) to maintain coordinated flight.

    So perhaps the way to make coordinated turns without constant reference to a T&B indicator is to simply memorize the timing and amount of rudder pressure required to makes a coordinated turn (aka ‘experience’). On most modern aircraft the amount of rudder required is minimal and is all about pressure rather than movement.

    Personally I know that I most often ‘feel’ uncoordinated flight when I make a turn and see that the T&B isn’t lined up. The slip or skid I cause in an effort to instantly bring the the T&B into alignment is what I end up feeling.

    At least that’s what I’m thinking.


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  7. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    I'm a little over 600 hours and still can't feel when I am uncoordinated in a normal turn.
     
  8. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Zima affects your senses.
     
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  9. kaiser

    kaiser Filing Flight Plan

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    Same here- so following for tips. 1 ball is hit or miss whether I feel it. Student pilot here so I want to learn the feel of everything early. It also doesn’t help that I did some car racing and generally ignore a few lateral Gs.
     
  10. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    It's difficult for those of us flying tricycle gear airplanes to feel most lack of coordination because we are sitting on the CG.Our back seat passengers feel it. When I was doing primary training I used to recommend taking a significant other along for a lesson. I'd give them a rolled up newspaper and tell them to whack the pilotbin the head when they felt it.

    The best way to learn it is to learn to see it. Make that right turn with no rudder, and you can see the nose turning away from the direction of turn.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  11. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I’d challenge you to go out and intentionally fly it a ball width out of coordination for a few minutes and then intentionally keep it centered for the same amount of time. I’ll bet it won’t take you long to learn the difference.
     
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  12. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    Landing gear type makes no difference in helping develop a feel for flying coordinated or not. I believe those suggesting flying a conventional gear airplane are confusing getting a pilot's feet active with feeling when the plane is uncoordinated. The pilot sits fairly close to the CG in many of the light airplanes so it can be hard to feel the coordination or when it isn't. Additionally, most of the airplanes used in the training environment these days have very little adverse yaw and in typical maneuvers you could fly the airplane relatively coordinated with your feet flat on the floor.

    Go fly something that has a significant amount of adverse yaw. That will be a good start to get the idea on what it feels and looks like when the plane is uncoordinated. Someone also mentioned dutch rolls - I'd suggest trying some chandelles and lazy 8s too. One direction will give a more pronounced need for proper rudder use than the other will.
     
  13. Deelee

    Deelee Pre-Flight

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    Funny, I was thinking about this subject in a round-about way earlier today. It seems I always feel like I am uncoordinated turning base to final. Maybe it is the slow speed and descent coupled with the turn... something about it always makes me think twice about the bank angle being too steep and then I get thoughts like don't put too much left rudder in (left base, by the way) or you are going to drop the wing and spin in.

    For some reason it is this base to final turn that gets me recently. Im always uncoordinated. And it really has hurt my landings recently - I tend to come in too fast I think because I am afraid of lower airspeed in this base to final turn. Heck this could be another topic, but the un-coordinated-ness of this turn made me post it here.

    Anybody have anything similar to this happen to them during any phase in their training? I really want to get over this feeling quickly and get my landings back to where they were (fair to good). Any tips for making turns in the pattern especially base to final lower speed turns??

    (edit - should mention I'm flying a c172R and have about 5 solo hours and 30 total hours)
    Thanks all!
     
  14. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Pre-takeoff checklist

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    To avoid uncoordinated turns, try leading the turn with the rudder. To get a better feel for uncoordinated flight, find a plane, usually an old tail-dragger, without aerodynamically balanced ailerons. They will cause significant adverse yaw if you don't use rudder.
     
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  15. C_Parker

    C_Parker Pre-Flight

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    You just nailed my exact concern. The base to final turn has me on edge every single time I come in for landing.

    Last weekend I had a gust cause my low wing to dip on base to final an it scared the holy living hell out of me. I thought I was entering a spin.
     
  16. Lawson Laslo

    Lawson Laslo Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just fly in a ercoupe without pedals
     
  17. jstro

    jstro Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I focus on what I'm feeling in my seat. If my right side is feeling more pressure, then I need more right rudder. I fly something that does produce a decent amount of adverse yaw.
     
  18. Deelee

    Deelee Pre-Flight

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    Glad I'm not the only one. I think I will get my CFI to work on this specifically with me this weekend if I can't get my cross country in (weather doesn't look great for that). Anybody have any tips for these slower turns in the pattern?
     
  19. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC En-Route PoA Supporter

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    :yeahthat:

    Get spin training.
     
  20. sarangan

    sarangan Line Up and Wait

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    While doing power-on stalls recently, I instinctively pushed more right rudder than what it took to center the ball. The instructor I was flying with commented that I should pay more attention to the ball. While he was correct, what was more interesting is that the inclinometer was not correct. My instinct was to keep the airplane level, not follow the ball. The airplane would actually break the stall with a left wing drop if the ball was centered. This was a huge confidence boost for me because I was returning to flying after 10 years, and I was happy to know that my seat of the pants feel was still working.
     
  21. C_Parker

    C_Parker Pre-Flight

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    Spin training doesn't do any good at 700 AGL.
     
  22. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    It does when you understand the ingredients that must be present to enter a spin. Under normal conditions none should be present in the situation you described. In fact, I’d bet you weren’t even close to entering one.
     
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  23. 1RTK1

    1RTK1 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Agreed, look at the nose, you will know
     
  24. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    A wing dip from a little gust of wind isn't going to put you into a stall. Let me guess, you had an instructor that said, "never exceed 15 degrees of bank in the pattern."
     
  25. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    Yes, this.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
  26. Hildy

    Hildy Filing Flight Plan

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    Yes! I went through exactly this same phase, though for me it happened at a few more hours of experience. I think that means you're learning faster than I did.

    I suspect that the cause of this sensation is simply that as we get more comfortable with landings in general, we start having time to actually notice things more. It's not that landings are suddenly going differently. It's just that we're noticing sights and sensations which were always happening but which we weren't able to notice before.

    I talked to an instructor about it, and the advice I got was very simple. This instructor was even more focused than most on the strategy of flying a perfect pattern and stabilized approach every time, so I should have seen it coming. He said to just fly the pattern like he had taught me, the same way every time. Take that quick, one millisecond glance at the airspeed indicator to ensure that you're on the airspeed you're supposed to use for that stage of the pattern. Take another millisecond glance at the ball to make sure you're coordinated. If you're not, then fix it.

    What I found, and what I suspect you'll find, is that most of the time I really was flying coordinated and with the correct airspeed. At least, if I was uncoordinated it was only half a ball width or something, and easily corrected. The overwhelming feeling of uncoordination and increased sink rate, then, was an illusion, and when I increased airspeed or power in response to that illusion, I messed up my approach, just like you are doing. The cure was to take a couple extra glances at the airspeed and the ball, using them as a crutch or a safety blanket to ensure that I really was in a safe flying attitude, and just ignore the illusions. I would always feel like I was going to end up short of the runway, but if I just stuck to the prescribed landing profile, I always ended up in the touchdown zone in the end. If not, there's always the option of a go-around later.

    I did, eventually, figure out the exact cause of the illusion. As you already know, we have to adjust the bank angle to deal with a tailwind or a headwind on base. With a tailwind component on base, we have to steepen up that bank angle a little bit so the plane's nose is aligned properly when that tailwind pushes us onto the extended runway center line. I knew that intellectually, and I was sort of mechanically making those adjustments without really "seeing" what was happening. Once I got comfortable enough with approaches to actually notice what was going on around me, I started to really "see" how the ground was moving in relation to my plane, and when you have a decent tailwind component on base, what you see as you turn base to final looks exactly like a skid. Relative to the ground, what you're doing actually is a skid, but realtive to the air, you are completely coordinated. With a headwind component on base, it's a slip or "understeer" situation relative to the ground, even when you're perfectly coordinated relative to the moving air.

    When I finally started actually seeing how the ground was moving relative to the plane, instead of just adjusting my bank angle mechanically based on what the wind sock said, I suddenly started having that visual illusion that I was in a slip or a skid when I really wasn't. Then, when I reacted in response to that illusion, I would mess up my approach.

    I'm not a flight instructor. I really don't know for sure that what you're experiencing is exactly the same as what I was experiencing. It seems to fit, though. In any case, if you don't feel confident that you can "feel" slips or skids properly, then a glance at that ball every once in awhile is the only way you can ensure you're coordinated. That's how you'll learn to feel the slips and skids, by paying attention to what you feel and looking to the ball to get some feedback on what's really happening. Remember, you have to stall the plane to get into a spin. So, when you start to worry about the spin, ask yourself if you're really experiencing any warning signs of a stall first. If the cause of your problems really is the same as what caused mine, then I should congratulate you. Like I said, for me the cause of the illusion was that I was finally getting good enough to notice things I hadn't really noticed before, and that represented one of those steps up to "the next level" once I learned to deal with it.
     
  27. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Go up and make this “base to final” turn at altitude...then make it a few knots slower each time, until you actually DO stall. Notice how clearly the airplane indicates the impending stall, and notice that none of those indications are present at the proper speed.

    Do steep turns with the stall horn sounding at least 50% of the time.
     
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  28. C_Parker

    C_Parker Pre-Flight

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    You make a good point, unfortunately I don't have any local spin training resources. I'd like to find a CFI who can train me on upset recovery and basic aerobatics in a citabria or something.

    I agree, it wasn't that I consciously though I was entering a spin, it was just a moment of panic from the sensation.
    Actually no, my CFI is more than willing to fly aggressively. I think the problem is I've read TOO much about spins and have created a lot of tension in myself.
    This is an excellent idea. I'm about 100 hours into a PPL, I've had it for about 6 months. I was planning on spending some time with my CFI this summer to continue to work on my skills.

    Thanks everyone
     
  29. Deelee

    Deelee Pre-Flight

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    Love the idea of practicing the base to final at altitude. I think in my head I know I'm not about to spin... academically, I know that the aircraft has to be fully stalled to spin and I am not near stalling... @Hildy, thanks! I think your words were the therapy I needed. I have been making good approaches and landings in the pattern and I think maybe I started to overanalyze or overthink things. I'm going up this weekend and it isn't going to be the cross-country I had planned so I'm going to do pattern work. With my CFI. But I'm going to ask that she not say anything (unless I really mess up) and just act as a bit of a sounding board and observer.

    Thanks, all. By the way, this forum is great. Tons of great advice from a practical perspective.