Topic

Forward Slips and Side Slips

Topic Progress:

Boy, that’s a slippery subject!

Actually, not really.  Forward slips and side slips are relatively easy maneuvers to practice and learn, and while they may feel uncomfortable at first, after some getting used to with your instructor and practicing these at a safe and high altitude, you’ll become familiar and comfortable with what the proper control inputs are and just exactly how aggressive you can be with them!

An easy way to remember the difference between the two is:

Side Slips: used for slipping sideways through the air during a crosswind landing

Forward Slips: used to lose altitude quickly and take you forward towards the runway (presumably, or whatever else you are trying to lose altitude to get down to).

Forward slips and side slips also have a lot in common.  They both:

  • are cross controlled maneuvers
  • need to be accomplished with adequate airspeed and caution used NOT to exceed critical AOA and stall
  • cause more parasitic drag to be felt by the airplane
  • will cause an increased rate of loss of altitude, unless you add power
  • make your passengers and you feel a little funny (as your passengers and their stomachs get the feeling of being pushed to the side)
  • should be practiced first at high and safe altitudes
  • should be entered slowly
  • are essential maneuvers for pilots to understand and master regardless of what aircraft you are flying