“Plane legs”


Pitts racer Aerobatic show, Ohio

Pitts racer Aerobatic show, Ohio

Above:     International Aerobatic Club Chapter 34   Aerobatic Open, June 19-20 2009


To fly a plane, you need to use your legs.       by Paul Smyres

           An instructor once told me his best student had never driven a car, so she had no habits from driving that interfered with learning to fly.   She quickly adjusted to using her feet to steer the aircraft on the ground an to use the rudders properly in the air.    A common mistake of older student pilots is to not use the rudder enough.

One exercise I use is to sit in the aircraft without the engine running, brake set, and close my eyes while I mentally go through maneuvering the plane and practicing with my legs, feeling the connection between my ams and legs as they work the controls.   You can do that on a good home simulator too, practice coordinated maneuvers.

A good flight simulator setup is good for many reasons.   See our other pages about using a flight simulator for training.

Flying an aerobatic taildragger like the Pitts racer in the photo above requires a good mastery of using pedals for taxiing, landing, and of course aerobatic maneuvers.


About the Author

Professional aerial photographer, private pilot