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Instructor » Fixed Wing Patter » Straight & Level

Straight & Level

INSTRUCTOR (student to follow through)

Select Ref Pt, Select Ref Alt


Here we are established in straight & level in the cruise configuration.

Note where the nose is in relation to the horizon, with this attitude we will maintain our altitude.

Our wings are level we are maintaining constant direction.

The ball is centralised, we are in balance.

We have 2300 rpm set.

The aircraft is trimmed for ‘Hands Free’

We are maintaining 95(eg) knots.


Scan Technique – helps us to maintain straight & level

L          Lookout, ref pt, traffic

A         Attitude, horizon 1/3 of windscreen

I           Instruments, 10% of the time, and only one at a time


Let Student Fly and help them by talking through LAI

Now we will look at how we maintain this, the first thing we are going to look at is maintaining our altitude. 

If students deviate from S+L talk them through how to fix it by the techniques below.


A Altitude

For a small adjustment (<50ft)        Low: Raise nose with elevators

                                                            High: Lower nose with elevators

For a large adjustment (>50ft)        Low: Raise nose & increase power to full

                                                            High: Lower nose & decrease power to 2100rpm


D Direction

To keep aircraft straight on our ref pt our wings must be level.  

If we lose our ref pt we regain it by using aileron & rudder in the direction required.


B Balance

We must keep the ball centralised.  

Step on the ball.  

If it is out to the left, squeeze on the left rudder. 

If we are markedly out of balance, you’ll hear a different prop noise.

Note: don’t teach them the newmonic ADB that’s just for your memory.



STUDENT – Change ref pt?



Straight & level at a low airspeed                                     Note:  Nose attitude

Straight & level in the bad weather configuration         Note:  Nose attitude