Let’s go Fly!
Flying the Traffic Pattern:
An airfield traffic pattern is a standard path followed by aircraft when taking off or landing, while maintaining visual contact with the airfield. At an airport, the pattern (or circuit) is a standard path for coordinating air traffic.
It differs from “straight-in approaches” and “direct climb-outs” in that aircraft using a traffic pattern remain close to the airport.
The use of a pattern at airfields is for air safety. By using a consistent flight pattern pilots will know from where to expect other air traffic, and be able to see it and avoid it. Pilots flying under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) may not be separated by air traffic control, so this consistent predictable pattern is a vital way to keep things orderly.
Take Off / Ascent:
Takeoff is the phase of flight in which an aircraft goes from the ground to flying in the air. For aircraft that take off horizontally, this usually involves starting with a transition from moving along the ground on a runway, gradually increasing speed and eventually transitioning the weight of the aircraft from the wheels to the wings..
The primary cockpit flight controls include a control yoke which governs the aircraft’s roll and pitch by moving the ailerons when turned or deflected left and right, and moves the elevators when moved backwards or forwards rudder pedals to control yaw, which move the rudder; left foot forward will move the rudder left for instance, throttle controls to control engine speed or thrust for powered aircraft.
Straight and level flight:
Straight and level flight is just what the name implies – flight in which a constant heading and altitude are maintained. It is accomplished by making immediate corrections for deviations in direction and altitude from unintentional slight turns, descents, and climbs. The pitch attitude for level flight (constant altitude) is usually obtained by selecting some portion of the airplane’s nose as a reference point, and then keeping that point in a fixed position relative to the horizon. That position should be cross checked occasionally against the altimeter to determine whether or not the pitch attitude is correct. If altitude is being gained or lost, the pitch attitude should be readjusted in relation to the horizon and then the altimeter rechecked to determine if altitude is now being maintained. The application of forward or back elevator pressure is used to control this attitude.
Turns and Level Turns:
Just as with straight-and-level flight, turns should be made by using outside visual references, and then monitoring the flight instruments as a backup. A turn is made by banding the wings in the direction of the desired turn. Typically, a specific angle of bank is selected and maintained by the pilot during a level turn. Turns require coordination of all basic flight controls: ailerons, rudder, elevator, trim, and power.
Ailerons bank the wings and determine the rate of turn (rate of turn is how many degrees the nose moves in a given amount of time), elevator moves the nose up (or down) to maintain the relation on the horizon, rudder offsets any yaw that is developed, trim is used to relieve control pressure, and power is used to provide extra thrust to maintain airspeed, or tighten the turn.
When changing from a shallow bank to a moderate bank, the lift of the outside wing is greater than that of the inside wing. However, in this situation the force created exactly balances the force of the inherent lateral stability of the airplane, so that at a given speed, no aileron pressure is required to maintain that bank. However, as the radius decreases further when the bank progresses from a moderate bank to a steep bank, the lift differential overbalances the lateral stability, and counteractive (opposite) pressure on the ailerons is necessary to keep the bank from steepening
A final approach (also called final leg and final approach leg) is the last leg in an aircraft’s approach to landing, when the aircraft is lined up with the runway and descending for landing. In aviation radio terminology, it is often shortened to “final”. In a standard airport landing pattern, which is usually used under visual meteorological conditions (VMC), aircraft turn from base leg to final within one-half to two miles of the airport. .
Slow flight is a portion of an airplane’s performance envelope above the speed at which the plane will stall, but below the aircraft’s endurance speed.
At such low speeds, aircraft flight control surfaces begin to lose their effectiveness.
Slip to Landing:
A slip is an aerodynamic state where an aircraft is moving somewhat sideways as well as forward relative to the oncoming airflow. In other words, for a conventional aircraft, the nose will not be pointing directly into the relative wind (in the side-to-side sense). A slip is also a piloting maneuver where the pilot deliberately puts the aircraft into a slip.
A pilot may enter a slip deliberately by using opposite rudder and aileron inputs, most commonly in a landing approach at low power. Without a slip it is difficult to increase the steepness of the glide without adding significant speed. This excess speed can cause the aircraft to fly in ground effect for an extended period, perhaps running out of runway. In a slip much more drag is created, allowing the pilot to dissipate altitude without increasing airspeed, increasing the angle of descent
The objective of the maneuver is to develop the smoothness, coordination, division of attention, and control techniques necessary for the execution of maximum performance turns when the airplane is near its performance limits.
Radio communications are a critical link in the ATC system. The link can be a strong bond between pilot and controller or it can be broken with surprising speed and disastrous results. Here are basic procedures for new pilots.
Power On Stalls:
Power on stall recoveries are practiced from straight climbs simulate an accidental stall occurring during takeoffs and departure climbs. Therefore, airplanes equipped with flaps and/or retractable landing gear normally should be in the takeoff configuration.
Power Off Stalls:
The practice of power off stalls is usually performed with normal landing approach conditions in simulation of an accidental stall occurring during landing approaches. Airplanes equipped with flaps and/or retractable landing gear should, therefore, be in the landing configuration.
Engine Out Emergency:
What steps should be taken in the event that you lose your engine during flight.
Instruction in the Stearman:
Jump in the Cockpit with me while I show you a Pattern in th PT-17 Stearman. I Take off on the Asphalt and land on the Grass Runway at Gainesville. The Top Instrument on the left is the Airspeed indicator, the Instrument below that is the Altimeter, and the Tachometer is the Bottom Right.
A well done WW2 era United States Navy training film on the basics of flight in the Stearman N2S biplane trainer aircraft. Noted movie actor Robert Taylor stars as a flight instructor, a role he actually fulfilled in real life during the war years. There is also considerable humor included in the form of a ham- handed, bone-head cadet who consistently fouls up. This is the the flying cadet’s introduction to flight training.
Primary Flight Training Part 1:
A US Navy training film for the cadet just beginning primary flight training. Many fledgling pilots had never even been in an aircraft before so the approach was purposely very basic.
Primary Flight Training Part 2:
A WW2 era US Navy training film on flight controls and their use on the Stearman N2S primary training aircraft.