February 2008 Issue

Aircraft Turn Dynamics

Turning is one of the four fundamentals learned early in our flight training, but the accident record says we all need a refresher.

According to the AOPA Air Safety Foundationís 2007 Nall Report, you have a 57.4 percent chance of dying if you lose control while maneuvering an airplane, up from 50.5 percent in the reportís 2005 edition. Maneuvering describes a host of flight operations including aggressive turns from base to final, confined-area course reversals and retreats to the runway following an engine failure. In other words, turns. Why canít Johnny turn safely? One reason might be losing understanding of and appreciation for the dynamics of a turn, regardless of bank angle, airspeed or pitch. Letís take a look

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