Maneuvers & Procedures


Takeoff & Landing:

  • Takeoffs and landings are a straight forward concept but their execution under various conditions can make them complex
  • Depending on wind direction, runway alignment, and any number of other variables, you may be required to execute different types of takeoffs to get safely airborne
  • Takeoffs and Climbs:

    • Takeoffs and climbs transition the pilot and aircraft from the ground to flight environment
    • Not all departures are treated equal however, as the runway or terminal area may require specific considerations
    • Although conditions rarely favor the use of a standard, or Normal Takeoff and Climb, the procedures nonetheless provide the basics from which all other procedures base
    • One such example is with regards to winds, and their variability against a static runway direction
    • Despite some airports having several runways, wind is rarely straight down the runway which gives reason for a Crosswind Takeoff and Climb procedures
    • Shorter, often remote airfields require Short Field Takeoff and Climb procedures to be able to remain within the aircraft's limitations while pushing spacial limitations
    • Unimproved airfields require Soft Field Takeoff and Climb procedures in order to mitigate the ground conditions
  • Approach and Landings:

Airborne Maneuvers:




Airplane Flying Handbook, Effects of Wind During Turns

Ground Reference Maneuvers:

  • Ground reference maneuvers and their related factors are used in developing a high degree of pilot skill
  • Although most of these maneuvers are not performed as such in normal everyday flying, the elements and principles involved in each are applicable to performance of the customary pilot operations
    • They aid the pilot in analyzing the effect of wind and other forces acting on the airplane and in developing a fine control touch, coordination, and the division of attention necessary for accurate and safe maneuvering of the airplane
  • During ground reference maneuvers it is equally important that basic flying technique previously learned be maintained
  • New maneuvers should embody some advance and include the principles of the preceding one in order that continuity be maintained
  • Each new factor introduced should be merely a step-up of one already learned so that orderly, consistent progress can be made
  • Maneuvering by Reference to Ground Objects:
    • Ground track or ground reference maneuvers are performed at a relatively low altitude while applying wind drift correction as needed to follow a predetermined track or path over the ground
    • Ground reference maneuvers should be flown at an altitude of approximately 600 to 1,000' AGL depending on the speed and type of airplane to a large extent
    • Consider the following:
      • The speed with relation to the ground should not be so apparent that events happen too rapidly
      • The radius of the turn and the path of the airplane over the ground should be easily noted and changes planned and effected as circumstances require
      • Drift should be easily discernible, but not tax the student too much in making corrections
      • Objects on the ground should appear in their proportion and size
      • The altitude should be low enough to render any gain or loss apparent to the student, but in no case lower than 500' above the highest obstruction
    • During these maneuvers, both the instructor and the student should be alert for available forced-landing fields
    • The area chosen should be away from communities, livestock, and groups of people to prevent possible annoyance or hazards
  • Due to the altitudes at which these maneuvers are performed, there is little time available to search for a suitable field for landing in the event the need arises
  • Ground Reference Maneuvers:
Airplane Flying Handbook, Effects of Wind During Turns
Airplane Flying Handbook, Effects of Wind During Turns


  • Stalls are the separation of airflow over the wings after the wing reaches the Critical Angle of Attack
    • Critical Angle of Attack: the AoA at which a stall will occur regardless of airspeed, flight attitude or weight
  • Stalls can be recognized through a number of methods:
    • Vision: noting the attitude of the airplane, however, not conducive to recognizing approaching stalls
    • Hearing: RPM loss, more airflow noise around cabin
    • Kinesthesia: sensing in directions or speed of motion which is the most important indicator you have
    • Feel: control pressures and pressures exerted
    • Aircraft Warnings: horns, rudder shakers, stick shakers
  • Recovery:
    • Reduce AoA!
      • This is the only way to start the recovery process and may be done by lowering the nose or increasing power, however in most aircraft, lowering the nose is the only logical step you have
    • Increase airspeed (lift)
    • Maintain coordinated use of controls
  • Types of Stalls:


  • Formation flights are efficient and expeditious ways of moving multiple aircraft in an orderly fashion, typically used by the military
  • Formation can be the most challenging and rewarding experience in aviation, but it is not without its dangers

Trim Procedure:

  • Trimming the aircraft allows for the relief of control pressures to stabilize the aircraft
  • Rudder trim is the most common on general aviation
    • Rudder is trimmed right for power increases and slower airspeeds
    • Rudder is trimmed left for power reductions and higher airspeeds
  • Elevator trim:
    • Elevator is trimmed up for power reductions and slower airspeeds
    • Elevator is trimmed down for power additions and higher airspeeds
  • Aileron:
    • Used as required to level an aircraft
  • Trim Tabs:
    • Servo: trim tab moves opposite of the surface it is trimming
    • Anti-Servo: trim tab moves with the surface it is trimming


  • Flight maneuvers follow a set of procedures in order to demonstrate some aspect of the aircraft's performance
  • Learn more about takeoff and landing performance in the aerodynamics and performance section