So whether you’re learning to fly, teaching people to fly, or just trying to keep your skills sharp, the question is still the same: should you trim in a steep turn?
First off, trimming your plane is almost always a good idea. It helps relieve your control inputs, keeps your plane going in the direction you want it to, and helps keeps your passengers from using their sick-sacks in flight (you remembered to pack those, right?!).
But steep turns aren’t normal, every day wings-level flying. They’re a specific maneuver intended to help you understand how your plane behaves when your wings aren’t level. And things like attitude control, accelerated stall, overbanking tendency, AOA/load factor, and power requirements are all part of the mix when you’re executing a steep turn.
And hopefully by learning all of those things, you’ll recognize what your plane can, and can’t, do when you get into a situation that could require a lot of bank, like a tight base-to-final turn.
So should you use trim to help yourself on your next steep turn? Before you decide, it helps to understand the most common problems when it comes to steep turns, and then figure out if trim will help you eliminate them.
Problem 1: Over Controlling The Turn
Over controlling is one of the biggest problems in steep turns. If you over control, you’ll be constantly chasing airspeed and altitude, and your flight path will look like a yo-yo…