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Maneuvering Flight: Hazardous to Your Health?

Any type of flying close to the ground or involving steep turns and aerobatics is considered maneuvering. Find out how to perform maneuvering flight safely.

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Rules to Live ByRules to Live By

SAFETY SPOTLIGHT: Maneuvering Flight

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Keep These Points in Mind:

Remember that the majority of fatal stall/spin accidents occur at low altitudes, from which recovery is unlikely. Prevention is essential.

  • Practice stalls at a safe altitude. If it’s been a while, take an experienced CFI with you.
  • Practice spins only with a qualified instructor who is proficient in spins in the specific aircraft make and model. Use a properly maintained and spin-approved aircraft. In some cases a parachute may be required.
  • Fly at a safe altitude above the ground so that you won’t be surprised by terrain, wires, or towers that might require a quick pull-up leading to a probable stall.
  • Remember that turns, vertical (pull-ups) or horizontal, load the wings and will increase the stall speed, sometimes dramatically.
  • Fly formation or individual photo missions only after you have received appropriate training, have briefed the operation, and are confident of the other pilot’s abilities.
  • Don’t explore the corners of the flight envelope close to the ground.
  • Don’t exceed 30 degrees of bank in the traffic pattern. Use coordinated controls.
  • Don’t follow another aircraft in the pattern too closely. If you cannot maintain a safe distance, go around.
  • Don't buzz or otherwise show off with any aircraft