It seems like that ever since American Airlines 587 they have been strict on using the rudders, so when it would be nesscary to use the rudders, besides in taxing and crosswinds


Never, I suppose.

The rudder of course isn’t actually of any use when an aircraft is only taxiing.As you said, It is of use on crosswinds, for obvious reasons. It certainly isn’t used in cruise.

That’s not entirely true smaller aircraft are constantly using the rudder and I only know that because the 172 in real life you are constantly using the rudder to yaw in and out of turns. And of course to line up on the centerline in cross wind conditions


I didn’t take smaller aircraft into consideration, I was talking more about airliners e.t.c Thanks for the new info Brandon :) ;)

So technically there used as a last resort

I suggest before you ansewer you check the book. The books are: “The Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge” & the “Pilots Handbook”. Both available Free from Fly free but safe, Professional Reading is the Hallmark of a True Aviator or Controller. Max Sends

(THE CORRECT ANSWER IS IN THE “BOOK”. By guess and by God don’t get lt)


I have ab FAA flying handbook that i havent read yet

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This summer I took an aerial seaplane tour with a Southwest pilot in a Cessna 182 over Lake Champlain. Since I suppose he thought I had enough of an understanding of flying a plane? He handed to controls to me. One of things he said was that in order to turn, the yoke is not enough and you need to apply a fair amount of pressure to the rudder.

Also after reading an article written by Airline Reporter author, Bernie Leighton, he made mention that the Antonov An-2 is “hard” to control/takes lots of effort because the pilot seemingly doesn’t have any aircraft systems helping him with the yolk (Relies on his strength of moving the yoke to push the correct levers to move the ailerons), I would guess that a rudder is used to help with tighter turns.

Now when flying a commercial airliner, it is incredibly stupid to switch the rudder back and forth from extreme to alternate extreme, especially while encountering wake turbulence. Using the rudder for smaller operations/tweaks is fine. Stress on the machinery and materials can exceed safety requirements and even though the fail point of the part may actually exceed the requirements by quite a bit as seen with AAs A300-600, that doesn’t mean the rudder is impenetrable.

I know that when banking a radio controlled plane you need to apply opposite rudder if you want to keep the plane level during the turn :)

With the commerical airline 2 things

  1. Wake turbulence barley knock 10 degrees of role, and nowadays planes can stablize it self from wake turbulence
  2. The reason why he dis was part of his training

AA pilots were told to overcorrect when encountering wake turbulence so the copilot (Or pilot?) stepped onto the rudder too hard and then started the fatal right-left-right-left, etc. action with the rudder.

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Excessive yaw can also be conteract by spoliers


For small aircraft like Cessnas you put a bit of rudder in when inflight to coordiunate the turn. You will probably remember looking at turn bank indicator when you were flying the 182. There is a bit of explanation here:

For a large jet there is no rudder use for turns. The only situations I can think of for using a rudder inflight are for crosswind landings (this is only one technique though) and when you have an engine failure to counteract the asymmetric thrust. In the second situation once you have got everything stabilised you generally use the rudder trim wheel on the pedestal to trim the rudder so you don’t have to continue the rest of the flight constantly pushing down on the pedals.

On the ground larger planes tend to have a tiller for steering and this moves the nosewheel a lot further than steering using the rudder pedals would. You would therefore steer with the tiller until on the runway, and after that use the rudder pedals during the takeoff roll to make minor adjustments to keep on the centreline. Small planes like Cessnas don’t have a tiller so you just use the rudder pedals for nosewheel steering - although the rudder itself is moving it clearly is having a very minimal steering effect at taxi speeds.

Now i wonder now if american 191 could have used there rudder to overcome the exessove bank due to the stall and slats

Some small turbines and almost all large jet aircraft have yaw dampers that are activated in flight (with the exception of take-off and landing). The yaw damper eliminates the need for the pilot to apply constant rudder pressure. This also provides great comfort for the passengers. :)

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Assisted Rudder

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