Steep Turns


They can get you out of trouble when you unexpectedly have to avoid something but they are fun too. It is important to get them right, because a steep turn can also get you into a spin which is hard to recover.

So when is a steep turn good? We all know we must ‘keep the ball in the center’ and to do this we’ll have to apply enough rudder during the turn. The result is that when you turn it won’t feel like you’re sliding out of the plane which means there is no lateral G-force.

You can click on the pictures to zoom in.

Now let’s look at the data. In the example we show first a ‘good’ steep turn followed by a ‘slipping’ steep turn. During the good turn there is no lateral force on the G sensors but during the slipping turn there is a change of 0.1G (red traces)*. So from the data it is pretty obvious why you feel like sliding out of the plane when performing a slipping turn.

For clarity the graphs only shows a couple of traces but off course looking at all logged data will tell you much more about the quality of the steep turn. You can see if your entry speed was high enough and look at the altitude to see if you haven’t lost too much height during the turn. You can check if your entry and exit heading are the same (not exactly in this example). And the gyro traces will show if you managed to keep your attitude constant.

* When analysing data, look at how much the traces change rather than at the actual values. The values are depending on the calibration of the sensors and might not be completely accurate. However, the rate of change or the percentage change will always be valid.

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