MASTER THE LOOP
DRIFT DURING LOOP
As the airplane decelerates, it becomes
necessary to smoothly apply and hold rudder
into or against the crosswind to prevent
A good crosswind correction
keeps the airplane “as a whole”
tracking vertical during a loop
(irrespective of the fuselage).
vator input to a fixed position that is just
enough to keep the loop from pinching.
When the float is performed correctly, the
loop remains round with no visible sign of
when the elevator adjustments were made.
When the loop is visibly out of round, it’s
usually due to trying to manage the float by
watching the airplane instead of paying
attention to the control inputs.
At this point, you may see your loops
tighten or “hook” at the bottom due to the
increasing effectiveness of the elevator as
the airplane picks up speed coming down.
Hooking the bottom of the loop is especially common when looping into the wind
and usually becomes noticeable during the
last 1⁄ 8 of the loop. To keep the bottom of
the loop round, reduce the elevator input
slightly at the key point when the fuselage
is approximately 45 degrees before level.
ADVANCED RUDDER CROSSWIND
Excluding pilot error, crosswinds cause the
majority of the deviations that aerobatic
pilots have to correct. For example, when a
loop is performed in a crosswind, the airplane will drift sideways with the wind
during the slower portion of the loop (
figure 5). A loop that is entered flying parallel
with the runway will finish downwind and
no longer track parallel, therefore requiring
additional corrections to get back on track
before another maneuver can be
attempted. Learning to anticipate and
apply rudder into the wind to prevent wind
drift during loops will significantly reduce
the need for corrections afterward (figure
6). Consequently, not only will your flying
become easier overall, but there will be
more time to think between maneuvers.
You must be proficient at the basic loop
sequence before introducing the rudder or
else the rudder will take attention away
from the all-important right stick and cause
your loops to become inconsistent.
Remember, rudder is a refinement added to
what are already pretty good loops. If you
start botching your loops, temporarily leave
the rudder out and focus on the basics.