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To assist the first time student - a brief description of the main flying controls


These are the movable surfaces situated at the outer trailing edges of the wings

Moving the control column left moves the ailerons, causing the aircraft to roll to the left, and vice versa.

The ailerons move in opposite directions to one another.


This is the moveable part of the horizontal tailplane which, when the control column is moved forward, causes the nose of the aircraft to pitch down.

Conversely, when the column is moved backward, the nose of the aircraft pitches up.

The elevator controls 'pitch'.


This is the control surface on the vertical fin, and is operated by use of the rudder pedals.

In flight, press the left pedal and the nose of the aircraft moves to the left; press the right pedal and the nose of the aircraft moves to the right.

This movement of the nose position in flight is known as 'yaw'.

On the ground the rudder pedals operate the nose wheel steering.


The flaps may be used both on take off and landing. They are on the inner trailing edge of the wing.

They are used to:

Increase lift – for example on a short runway,

To reduce stall speed – for example, on landing a slower approach speed is possible (because of the lower stall speed) using flaps.

They also provide a braking effect.

The Aircraft Controls