More Right Rudder, But Quietly Please


More Right Rudder, But Quietly Please ~Guest Blogger Randall Williams, CFII/MEI

In an airplane training situation, more right rudder usually fixes things. But on my first lesson, I learned that HOW I tell a student to do that matters a whole lot.

I’m embarrassed about it, I have to admit. It was my fault. I’d been working with my first student for a dozen hours, and his landings still needed help. They were uncoordinated with excess speed, and as he bled the speed off and pulled the nose up, the airplane would yaw to the left invariably causing me to command “more right rudder” pretty frequently.

What I learned that day is that how you say it matters just as much as what you say. After multiple times of trying to get him to stay on the centerline, I barked pretty loudly. If it wasn’t a yell, it was probably pretty close.

He stamped on that right rudder hard, and as the wheels touched the ground, you can guess what happened. We went for a ride off the edge of the runway.

Nothing was broken, no runway lights damaged, no prop strike. I cleared up any concern that we were joy riding for fun in a later conversation with the airport manager.

What I learned that day was that like in an orchestra, the musicians are watching the conductor closely for cues. If we are agitated, our flight students usually respond in kind.


Randall Williams NOTAMSRandall Williams, CFII/MEI
NAFI# 222907






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