start to shallow the entries of your inverted rolls
as your confidence increases. In its final form,
a pilot pushes just enough forward-elevator
at the start of the roll to keep the plane from
dropping, but this is otherwise undetectable.
He then pulls just enough up-elevator during
the upright portion of the roll to keep it level,
and then completes the roll with the wings
level while at the same returning to the forward
elevator required to maintain level inverted flight.
Half roll from inverted
Since hundreds of precision aerobatic
maneuvers contain a 1⁄ 2 roll from inverted
to upright (Immelmann, half-Cuban, etc.), it
should receive some special mention. The most
common fault when rolling upright from inverted
is neglecting to apply forward-elevator pressure
while initiating the roll. Many pilots will instead
try to keep the plane from dropping with rudder,
resulting in an awkward roll in which there’s
a lot of tail movement often accompanied
by a heading change. A much better result is
achieved when the pilot blends in a little forward
pressure at the start of the roll. Note that the
elevator input at the start of the roll should
be just enough to maintain altitude or hold a
45-degree line. A visible pitch change is not the
object. Again, if in doubt, input less rather than
more. Of course, all these rules can be applied to
the inverted portion of your hesitation and slow
rolls as well.
Advancing pilots often assume that any
difficulties they encounter can only be overcome
by learning more advanced techniques and stick
time. In truth, it’s often just the opposite. The
success of any maneuver, even advanced ones,
hinges on good fundamentals, e.g., parallel lines,
wings level entries, consistent stick positions.
The role of advanced techniques is primarily to
help refine maneuvers that are already pretty
good. If you struggle with any of the techniques
described here, you can immediately turn things
around by refocusing on parallel lines and wings
level entries. In other words, practice can only
make perfect when you’re building on a solid
foundation. Good luck!
Basic inverted roll
Push into a slight climb, neutralize the elevator, and start
rolling (ailerons only).
Neutralize the ailerons ( wings level), and resume
Briefly maintain forward elevator pressure while
initiating the roll. (Avoid holding the push too long
or the plane will be forced into a barrel roll.)
As the plane rolls
briefly bump up-elevator (in-out)
while continuing to
hold in the aileron.
Quickly neutralize the aileron
at the instant the wings are
level, and push as needed.
Push while initiating
If your attempts at applying forward-elevator at the start of the roll result in
over-controlling, think of the elevator as
forward pressure applied to the control
stick, rather than a measurable stick
To maintain a precise line
during the 1⁄ 2 roll, input
slight forward pressure
while applying the
its effect, and consequently perform a barrel
roll resulting in a significant heading change.
A proper elevator bump input should be just
enough to keep the roll level without actually
being seen. If the bump is seen or causes the
airplane to change altitude or heading, it was
either too large, or more likely, held in too long.
As a rule, you will do better to bump less rather
Last, the addition of the bump of up-elevator
halfway through the roll means that you can