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4 Answers

Steep Spiral

Asked by: 677 views , , ,
Commercial Pilot

i just had a few questions about the steep spiral on the commercial test. The examiner wants the bank to be steep like 45-55 degrees and whenever I try and achieve that kind of bank I just turn right over the point and then lose it (low wing plane) until I can maybe see it later in the turn... are there any suggestions on how to best enter this maneuver to always keep the point in view and off of my wing? I can do it easily if I use less bank but they want a steeper bank. Maybe I should be farther away? I'm about 1/4 mile away now. Any suggestions?

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4 Answers



  1. R. Anderson on Jun 20, 2017

    From the FAA “Airplane Flying Handbook,” page 9-4.

    “The gliding spiral should be a turn
    of constant radius while maintaining the airplane’s position
    to the reference. This can only be accomplished by proper
    correction for wind drift by steepening the bank on downwind
    headings and shallowing the bank on upwind headings, just
    as in the maneuver, turns around a point.”

    So, based on your question, you may not be considering the wind. Similar to “turns about a point,” which you probably did during your Private Pilot training, make certain that your bank angle is steepest downwind and shallows out turning into the wind. Also, ensure that you are maintaining a constant airspeed during the maneuver.

    Hope this helps.

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  2. priceisright on Jun 20, 2017

    I can do the maneuver just fine but I cant do it with bank over 45 degrees which is what the examiner wants.

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  3. R. Anderson on Jun 20, 2017

    I would just keep practicing, it can be done. The Airman Certification Standards (old PTS) just says max bank should not exceed 60 degrees. However, I would expect an examiner would want at least 45 – 55 degrees at the maximum point in the maneuver (downwind)

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  4. Best Answer


    HardLandings on Jun 23, 2017

    I recently had to do a lot of steep spirals, and a lot of the CFIs out there are teaching them really tame, 30 degress max bank. Sounds to me like you probably have the point whenever you are facing it, but you lose it when it is behind you (under the seats, as it were). If this is the issue, then try doing the maneuver almost directly over the point, instead of from a quarter mile away and see what that gets you. Slowly move away from the point if you need to.

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