• A 360° circle in the vertical plane
  • The elevator/stabilator is the primary control, but the ailerons and rudder will coordinate it
  • Increasing back-stick is required due to decreasing airspeed
  • During a loop, the aircraft is rotated at a constant rate of pitch about its lateral axis
  • Elevator is the principle control surface utilized
  • Rudder maintains directional control
  • Aileron keeps the wings parallel with the horizon
  • The nose pitch rate should be constant, but aft stick force required to obtain this will vary with airspeed and "G" loading
  • Inside Loop:
    • A positive pitching movement is used at all points in the loop to draw the circle, so that the aeroplane canopy is pointing inwards
  • Outside Loop:
    • A negative pitching movement is used to all points in the loop to draw a circle, so that the aeroplane canopy is pointing outwards
    • Both the inside and outside loops are sometimes casually referred to as a 'loop the loop'

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. Climb/Descend to 12,000'
    • Requires 7,000' to complete
  2. Complete the stall/aerobatic checklist
  3. Perform a clearing turn
  4. Begin the maneuver at 380 KIAS, on altitude and on a reference heading, prominent terrain feature or section line
  5. Advance the power to approximately 96% RPM and expeditiously initiate a smooth 4.0-G pull to achieve 4.0-Gs in about 2 seconds
  6. Increase back pressure to maintain 4.0-G as airspeed decreases
  7. Maintain wings level
  8. Continue to maintain the 4.0-G pull, until reaching optimum AoA (17 units) then maintain over the top; the airspeed should be about 150 KIAS over the top
  9. Pull the nose through the horizon, keeping the wings level and maintaining optimum AoA to stay on the heading reference
  10. As the aircraft accelerates on the backside of the loop, increase back-stick pressure to maintain optimum AoA until reaching 4.0-G
    • Use a checkpoint of 330 knots at 30° nose low to finish the maneuver with enough energy to continue a squirrel cage, if you have not reached that point, stay there and wait for it
  11. Complete the loop at 380 KIAS at initial altitude and lined up on the reference heading


  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
    • During the last 90° of turn, lower the nose slightly and accelerate to 200 KIAS
    • 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
  6. Recheck the wings level and clear the airspace above you
    • ICS: "Entry altitude is..."
  7. PULL: Commence the AGSM and immediately start a smooth straight pull up accelerating to 3.5-G to 4.0-Gs within a few seconds
  8. LEVEL: Recheck the wings level as the nose passes through the horizon
  9. Adjust stick pressure as necessary to keep the nose moving at a constant rate (PULL-RELAX)
  10. BALL: Increase right rudder pressure as airspeed decreases
  11. CHECK: Shortly after passing the vertical position, tilt your head back and visually locate the opposite horizon
    • Correct with aileron, as necessary, to maintain the wings parallel to the horizon
    • 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 be required at the top to maintain balanced flight
  12. Allow the nose to fall through the opposite horizon (RELAX-PULL)
  13. Adjust the amount of aft stick pressure to maintain a constant pitch rate
  14. Continue to relax right rudder pressure, as the airspeed increases in the dive
  15. The recovery will again require approximately 3.5 to 4.0-G, so remember to resume the AGSM
  16. Quickly scan the altimeter during recovery in order to return to straight and level flight at approximately the same altitude, airspeed, and heading from which the maneuver was initiated

Common Errors:

  • Recovery is above the start altitude and below entry speed (due to high performance aircraft turning ability)
  • Not easing the stick forward to intercept AoA and hence having poor alpha control over the top (excessive alpha), not assessing wings level in the inverted position, and not increasing back-stick enough to intercept appropriate G again on the back side resulting in a fast, low recovery
  • Going slow on the top is the result of not maintaining a 4.0-G pull and optimum AoA