Half-Cuban Eight


  • The Half-Cuban Eight is a reversal of direction in the vertical plane and can be used as a standard weapons delivery maneuver
  • Combines the first 210° of a loop, a half roll to the upright position, and a 45° diving pull out of level flight on the original altitude and reciprocal heading
  • Provides a quick means of reversing the direction of flight while preserving the original altitude and airspeed
  • Select a long, well defined section line that extends behind you as well as in front
  • Enter the maneuver as you would a loop, but instead of completing the loop, roll the aircraft to wings level when you are 45° nose down inverted
    • A black 45 display on the ADI designates nose down
  • There is another half of this maneuver to make a Full-Cuban Eight:
    • Pull up to 60° nose up, roll inverted, and wait until you see 280 KCAS
    • Smoothly introduce back-stick to intercept 12° AoA and finish the maneuver as per the back side of a normal loop
    • If you end up a little low of the start altitude, use this new altitude as the target altitude for finishing the second half

All procedures here are GENERALIZED for learning.
Fly the maneuver in accordance with the Pilot Operating Handbook (POH)
and/or current Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Stall/Aerobatic Checklist:

  • Cockpit: Clear of lose objects
  • Seat Belts: Locked and tight
  • Autoignition/Fuel Pump: On
  • Engine Instruments: Checked
  • Report: Stall/aerobatic checklist complete

Additional Considerations:

  • Ensure pockets are zipped and the map-case is secured to prevent loose items from going airborne


  1. Complete the stall/aerobatic checklist
  2. Perform a clearing turn
  3. Begin at 380 KCAS on altitude, and lined up on a prominent terrain feature or section line
  4. Advance the power to 96% RPM and expeditiously initiate a smooth wings level pull up to 4-Gs
  5. Increase back stick pressure to maintain a 4-G pull, until reaching optimum AoA (17 units), and maintain optimum AoA over the top
  6. Going over the top, verify wings level and ~150 KIAS at optimum AoA
  7. Bring the nose through the horizon, while still inverted with wings level and aligned on the reference terrain feature
  8. Stop the nose movement at 45° nose down and roll upright
  9. Maintain wings level and continue the dive to accelerate to recover at 380 KIAS going the opposite direction


  1. Give an instrument, gas, and position report (IGP)
  2. CONFIGURATION: aerobatic cruise
  3. Complete the stall/aerobatic checklist
  4. CODES: 4700
  5. Perform a clearing turn
  6. During the last 90° of turn, lower the nose slightly and accelerate to 200 KIAS
  7. Roll out of the clearing turn on or parallel to a section line with 200 KIAS
    • Anticipate the section line to roll out on it vs. searching after your clearing turn
    • The increased airspeed will require a slight amount of left rudder to maintain balanced flight
  8. Recheck the wings level and clear the airspace above you
    • ICS: "Entry altitude is..."
  9. PULL: Commence the AGSM and immediately start a smooth straight pull-up, accelerating to 3.5Gs within 2 or 3 seconds (Pull-Relax)
  10. LEVEL: Recheck the wings level as the nose passes through the horizon
    • Adjust stick pressure as necessary to keep the nose moving at a constant rate
  11. BALL: Increase right rudder pressure as airspeed decreases
  12. CHECK: Shortly after passing the vertical position, tilt your head back and visually locate the opposite horizon
    • Correct with aileron as necessary to maintain wings parallel to the horizon
  13. Check the nose in relation to the section line and correct directional deviations, as necessary, by adjusting the rudder input
    • The greatest amount of right rudder input will, therefore, be required at this point, in order to maintain balanced flight
  14. Maintain positive G-loading and wings parallel to the horizon
  15. Allow the nose to fall through the opposite horizon, adjust the amount of aft stick pressure to maintain a constant pitch rate
    • As the nose approaches a point 30° below the opposite horizon, slow the nose movement by releasing back stick pressure and commence a half aileron roll to the erect position
    • During the roll, it will take slight forward stick pressure as the aircraft passes wings vertical to hold the heading and allow the nose to continue pitching downward to a position 45° below the horizon
  16. Commence a smooth pullout to straight and level balanced flight 600-700 feet prior to the original entry altitude

Common Errors:

  • Rolling the aircraft upright too early and end up high and slow