Skid. A skid occurs when the aircraft slides sideways away from the center of a turn. It is
caused by too much rudder pressure in relation to the angle of bank used. In other words, if you
try to force the aircraft to turn faster without increasing its degree of bank, the aircraft will skid
sideways away from its radius of turn. In a turn, the rudder must follow the flight path of the
aircraft. If excessive pressure is maintained on the rudder after the turn is established, a skid will
A skid may also occur when you are flying in a level flight attitude if the nose of the aircraft is
permitted to move sideways along the horizon when the wings are level. This condition would
occur when excessive rudder pressures are applied or when the aircraft is improperly trimmed.
A skidded turn can develop into a dangerous situation when in close proximity to the ground.
Essentially, what occurs is the wing on the inside of a turn is moving slower than the outside
wing. Since the slower wing develops less lift during a skid, this compounds the reduction in
lift, eventually developing into a stall of one wing. The result: unintentional inverted flight!
Figure 4-7 shows both conditions.
Skidded turn to the left
Coordinated turn to the left
Figure 4-7 Skidded vs Coordinated Turn
Slip. A slip occurs when the aircraft slides sideways towards the center of the turn. It is
caused by an insufficient amount of rudder in relation to the amount of aileron and the angle of
bank used. If you roll into a turn without using coordinated rudder and aileron, or if you hold
rudder against the turn after it has been established, the aircraft will slide sideways towards its
center of turn. A slip may also occur in straight and level flight if one wing is allowed to drag;
that is, flying with one wing low, while holding the nose of the aircraft straight by the use of the
rudder pressure. In this case, the aircraft slips downward towards the earth's surface and loses
altitude. An intentional slip is not a dangerous maneuver. The slip is an acceptable method to
safely dissipate excess altitude under certain conditions discussed later in this manual. Any
inadvertent tendency to fly in an out-of-balanced flight (either a slip or skid) is NOT an
The flight paths for a coordinated turn and a slipping turn are depicted in Figure 4-8. During a
turn, balanced flight is maintained by causing the aircraft to move in a curve at a rate which is in
direct proportion to the degree of bank. The angle of bank is established by the coordinated
application of ailerons and rudder. The amount of rudder required to establish a turn is
FUNDAMENTAL FLIGHT CONCEPTS