the good guys make it look “easy” and it is what
is required to be successful at the advanced
level. Thus, it is wise to take the time to cement
a foundation of consistently flying straight lines
back and forth parallel with the runway before
attempting inverted flight.
The forward-stick position that keeps the
plane level when inverted is essentially the
new neutral that other inputs will originate
from. When you’re comfortable enough to
attempt an inverted turn, bank the airplane
while maintaining forward stick pressure. Once
the bank has been established, push harder to
initiate the turn and adjust the amount you’re
pushing to keep the turn level. Finally, roll out
of the turn while maintaining some forward-elevator pressure.
When your plane is established on a parallel line
with its wings perfectly level and with plenty of
airspeed, the most critical aspects of performing
an outside loop are set. All you have to do is push
more elevator, hold it all the way around, and
return to the pre-loop elevator stick position at
the bottom to complete the loop.
If you aren’t too preoccupied, you should
reduce the throttle on the back side of the
loop to 1⁄ 2 or 1⁄ 4 to keep the airspeed from
becoming excessive. Note that many pilots
make the mistake of completely idling the
engine at the top of the loop, which causes the
airplane to start falling out of the loop and/or
stray off heading. Being the slowest point, the
top of the loop is the last place that anyone
should idle the engine. On the other hand, loops
tend to be more round and track straighter if you
wait until after the airplane has gone over the
top of the loop to throttle back.
A typical outside loop will become tighter
or “pinched” on top as the airplane slows due
to gravity, resulting in an egg-shaped loop. If a
clock were inserted into the loop, you would see
that the pinch typically starts around 10:00 or
2:00, depending on the direction that the loop
is entered. These are the key points where you
will need to reduce the elevator and “float” over
the top to keep the loop round. The standard
technique used to routinely perform round
outside loops consists of pushing a fixed amount
of elevator at the start of the loop. At the front
side key point, reduce the elevator input slightly
to “float” over the top, then at the back side key
point, return the elevator to its original position
to match the back side radius to the front side.
A common mistake is releasing too much
Eliminate any confusion about which way to apply the elevator when
inverted by telling yourself that you will always be pushing.
REcovERy pRacticE ExERcisE: pitch up into a slight climb, roll inverted (wings level), push forward elevator for a few moments, then roll upright. Repeat this
exercise two or three times and rolling upright from inverted will become habit.
invERtEd waRmup: pitch up into a slight climb, complete a ½ roll (wings level), start pushing.
pUshing pUshing pUshing
invERtEd Right tuRn
staRt: bank right while
maintaining forward elevator
pressure, neutralize the aileron
(only), and then push harder
to initiate the turn and to keep
the plane from dropping.
tuRn Roll out:
reduce the forward
pressure turning the
airplane, and input left
aileron to level the