Addition of Flaps in a Turn...

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
Someone told me today he read that if you extend flaps in a turn, an asymmetrical flap extenstion could result. I've never ever heard this before, and aerodynamically, it doesn't really make any sense (to me anyways). Sure, there's some difference in airflow over the outside wing (further distance to travel in same amount of time as inside wing) as opposed to the inside wing, but thats pretty slight. I highly doubt the flaps are far enough apart (on a light airplane anyways) to have much different amounts of airflow. Surely it can't be enough to cause assymetrical flap extension, can it? Anyone else ever heard this before? My best guess would be he was reading something about larger, faster aircraft. I suppose it would be a little more of a factor in those because of the increased distance between the flaps. Anyone?
 

rausda27

Well-Known Member
I extend flaps all the time in a turn, downwind to base and base to final...never had any problems and I cannot imagine any reason why asymmetrical extension might occur.
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
So do I. He hasn't even soloed yet, and couldn't remember where he read it. I was just curious if anyone else has ever been told that, or if he just has something confused.
 

CapnJim

Well-Known Member
Perhaps his CFI told him that to scare him in to not forgetting to put in flaps on base? Just a theory-- I've heard CFIs say all kinds of crap.
 

MDPilot

Well-Known Member
I think what was meant was that, in straight and level flight, asymmetric flap deployment is easily recognized since aileron input would be required to stay level. In a turn, recognition of asymmetric flaps may be delayed since you are probably using the ailerons to steepen or shallow the turn, and may not feel the asymmetric flaps until a much larger differential occurs (and if the asymmetry is rolling you into the turn, you may not be able to regain control in time.) This results in some instructors advice to never deploy flaps while turning.
 

sbav8r

New Member
I was taught the same thing. The reason was as MDPilot said. If a assymetrical extension was to occur, for any reason not related to being in a turn, you would rather be straight and level rather than in a turn that could role you over. Besides, it makes for a nice square pattern and technique for new students. I throw in flaps in the turn all the time now, but back then it was probably for the best.
 

say_speed

New Member
I think the only reason is that if you extend flaps in a turn, AND there is an asymmetrical flaps extension (only the surface on the outside wing lowers), you could easily overbank the aircraft; and at low speed and low altitude, not a good thing...
 

flying_ME

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
... My best guess would be he was reading something about larger, faster aircraft. I suppose it would be a little more of a factor in those because of the increased distance between the flaps. Anyone?

[/ QUOTE ]

Well I can't add anything too technical here (still saving $ for private), but 3-4 wks ago I was in a sitting behind the wing in a 737 on approach to PHL in the clouds. What struck me was that during some of the turns, they would add flaps. I thought this would be kind of destabilizing, but there was no noticable change in bank or pitch (at least to my calibrated stomach).

My questions: if you add flaps in a turn is very noticable (requiring a lot of correction)? In commercial aircraft, when flying an approach thru the clouds with lots of turns, do you have to let the autopilot do the flying or is it pilot's choice? If you are hand-flying, would you want to add flaps mid-turn?
 

say_speed

New Member
My questions: if you add flaps in a turn is very noticable (requiring a lot of correction)? In commercial aircraft, when flying an approach thru the clouds with lots of turns, do you have to let the autopilot do the flying or is it pilot's choice? If you are hand-flying, would you want to add flaps mid-turn?

[/ QUOTE ]

When flying commercial airlines, it is up to the pilot to manually do the approach, or let the autopilot deal with it. In IMC, in a busy airspace, you might be better off watching what the A/P is doing... If you are handflying, the other pilot is very busy, distracting the cockpit crew from normal situational awareness. Handflying is allways a good pratice, in VMC, keep the IMC handflying for when you don't have a choice... The A/P is a much better pilot than I am, and when shooting an approach down to mins, the pax are much happier if I keep my hands off the yoke!
As far as adding flaps in a turn, off course you can do that, just know what the pitch reaction of your airplane will be when you lower the flaps; and if you keep a std rate of turn, or 30 degrees bank, you will not see any differences from a straight flight.
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
You'll find out just what the plane does when you extend flaps, and you'll be anticipating it before ya know it
. It's not the change of configuration that's the problem... it's the remote possibility of having one flap come down and the other stay up that could be a handful...
 

stultus

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
Someone told me today he read that if you extend flaps in a turn, an asymmetrical flap extenstion could result.

[/ QUOTE ]

My instructor has always taught me (well not really taught, more like conditioned with hand slapping) not to extend flaps in a turn.

In the Jeppesen "Manuevers Manual" that my instructor had me use, it specifically states in the section on landing (or patterns) that flaps should not be extended in a turn, not because that could cause asymmetrical extention, but because there might be something mechanically wrong and asymmetrical extention could occur and you don't want that to happen in a turn.

I went up with an instructor from Flight Safety and I noticed he did extend flaps while turning base. I asked him about it and he said that it's and old wive's tale that you shouldn't, there's no reason not to.

Since I've heard from two sources that it is potentially unsafe and there isn't really any benefit to extending them in a turn, I won't.
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
I asked him about it and he said that it's and old wive's tale that you shouldn't, there's no reason not to.


[/ QUOTE ]

Thats my theory on it. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't blowing off something that could potentially be unsafe.
 

Josh

Well-Known Member
I learned from the Jepp books too.

And the way they say it makes sense.

When you are already going slower, nearing stall speeds (especially while banking and slower speeds) why push it. One flap stays up, you are in a 20degree bank, at 70-80kts in a 172. There is a lot going on during landing, and missing that little additional roll created because one flap didn't extend, or just not all the way, is a good way to create a stall/spin nice and low where it'll be very hard to recover.

Commercially, larger planes, shallower turns, sure it may not change much if there is a slight problem. But coming in slow in a nice light little SE plane is just asking for it I think.

What is the reason for wanting to extend flaps in a turn? Why not before or after the turn? Remember, one flap down, and the other not, will act somewhat like ailerons. Not exactly, since the other side with not be up creating a loss of lift, but you get the idea.

That's my 3.452 cents.

Josh
 

GregCollins2

Well-Known Member
It is NOT an old wives tale. We had a C-172 with an asymetric flap extension here at TRI. It occured in straight and level flight and did not result in an accident. the cables from the flap motor to one of the flaps jammed in a pulley. Yes it's rare but it can happen. I don't believe Flight Safety teaches pilots that it's an old wives tale.
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
Extending flaps in a turn has no more chance of causing an asymmetrical flap than in level flight. That's not the danger.

The danger is, suppose you happen to get an asymmetrical flap while in a turn, and it's the high wing?

You could get flipped over on your back in a hurry! The roll rate is slow enough to handle in level flight, but may not be if you are already in a roll rate aggravated situation, like a turn from base to final.

Most of my instructor captains insisted on no flap extensions in turns. They made a federal case about it most of the time, too!
 

seagull

Well-Known Member
In the airline world we don't worry about flaps in the turn or not, just as we don't worry about "turning into the dead engine" with an engine out on one side. Never heard of any carrier teaching not to add flaps in a turn, and that certainly did not come up as a factor when I was on the Commercial Aviation Safety (CAST) Team Loss of Control study group, or on the Joint Implementation Measurement Data Analysis Team (JIMDAT) sub working group, also connected with CAST. If adding flaps in a turn was a player in any accidents or incidents or events, I guarantee I would have heard of it during the 2 years I spent on these committees.
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
I don't know what Airline world you are in.

Every carrier I flew with preached against adding flaps in turns.

They are in chronological order:

American Eagle
CCAir
Mesa
Air Midwest
Mesa Again
Midway
 
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