Safety Publications/Articles

Chandelles In 60 Minutes

An Easy Way To Learn

Do you have any students who are a little slow when it comes to learning how to do good chandelles? There are tricks to all trades, and here is one that might help you speed up performance for chandelles.

First understand that any complex maneuver must be broken down into simpler elements. Do each part in sequence, and then combine the parts into the whole.

Step one: Have your student fly a 360-degree turn with a very shallow bank. Start with 10 degrees. Vary altitude around the turn very slightly, always returning to level. Vary the bank slightly, say increasing by 10 degrees, then decreasing by 10 degrees. The purpose of this exercise is to tune up bank and altitude control. You will be surprised by how much improvement you will witness in the way your student flies straight and level and performs turns. Coordination improves sharply. Don't knock it; try it.

Step two: Have your student fly a 180-degree turn. Begin by gradually increasing the bank for the first 90 degrees of the turn without exceeding a 30-degree bank. Then gradually decrease the bank for the second 90 degrees of the turn. Maintain a constant altitude at first. You'll probably need to repeat this exercise at least three times to give the student a chance to master the skill.

This isn't a chandelle, but it is leading up to one. This maneuver is aimed at learning airplane control and improving coordination. It will amaze you how quickly coordination will improve with so simple a maneuver.

It's a good idea to stop the training at this point. You have probably put in a half-hour or so, and you don't want to cover too much new information too quickly.

Step three: Lift the nose during the first 90 degrees of a 180-degree turn while increasing the bank angle up to a maximum of 30 degrees. Lift the nose just a little - it doesn't really matter how much. You will learn later how much to lift the pitch. The objective here is to master bank control. At the 90-degree point, begin to shallow the bank and maintain the same pitch until you have made a 180-degree turn, finishing in level flight. This is the chandelle format except for altitude control. Have your student practice step three until he or she has the format down pat.

Step four: Now you can begin to raise the pitch during the turn so that when you complete the 180-degree turn, the speed will be five knots above the flaps-up stall speed. Hold the heading for a moment, then lower the nose to level flight. This, now, is a chandelle. Your student should practice until he or she can complete the maneuver smoothly.

This procedure goes through the chandelle a simple step at a time which is much easier than trying to learn the maneuver all at once. You can accomplish all of the steps in about 60 minutes, but that time should be divided into two or three separate training periods. How long you spend on this maneuver is less important than taking the steps in sequence. The objective is to learn each step separately and then put them together.

The chandelle, which is required for the commercial and flight instructor practical tests, is a splendid training maneuver. It develops good coordination and improves skill in flight coordination for all maneuvers.

By Ken Medley

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