Lazy 8's - Comm rating

Vik

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I am doing my initial Comm-ASEL rating.

I am having a very hard time with Lazy 8's and from what I can tell, even the instructors can't do it consistantly to PTS standards.

I've done Lazy 8's about 3 dozen times now, if not more. I've read the description in the FAA Flight Training Handbook, I've watched the chief pilot at my school explain it two dozen times on video.

I've been doing solo practice because both my instructors have told me that I know exactly what to do at each point, 0, 45, 90, 135, 180 and that I just need to keep practicing. My problem is that they are not getting any better and I am getting REALLY frustrated.

Any advice, help, words of wisdom and the like would be greatly appreciated.

Btw, I am doing my commercial in the Cessna 172RG.
 

stardog

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Vik, this is going to sound stupid, but it works. I would suggest that you try this experiment. Take the videos and books and promptly throw them in the trash can for your next lesson. Before trying the Lazy 8, cover up the flight instruments. Seriously. This is a commercial maneuver. You should be looking outside. You can uncover the instruments and dig out the books and videos later, but not right now.

Think about what a Lazy 8 is supposed to look like, and pick two outside reference points: one in front of you and one behind you. Then fly it smoothly (after clearing turns of course) and keep your attention outside. Don't worry about the 45, 90, 135 blah blah degree points. Those are just explained so you get the concepts, but must be discarded to do the maneuver correctly. Just go by your two reference points.

After trying this 2-3 times, I think you'll be amazed at the results. Remember, this is a Laaaazy 8... not a wing-over. You're trying for smoothness and finesse. When I demonstrate them, I say laaaaazy 8 really slowly out loud and it slows the maneuver down to the right tempo.
 
T

TDTURBO

Extremely good advice! Just fly the airplane and imagine drwing the laaaaaazy eight and you'll have them down in no time!
 

bigD

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Vik - I had the same problem when I worked on my commercial. stardog is right on - forget the instruments and just use outside references. I think you'll find that your problem is just that you're 'thinking' too much. Lazy 8's are a lot of fun, and if you relax and just pick a couple of points on the horizon to point the nose at as you fly 'em, you'll be fine.
 

flywest

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My .02 . .

I just took my comm single checkride last week, and my DE passed on some good advice on the lazy 8's: "Slow the maneuver down. When you think you are performing it slow enough, slow down some more." He went on to tell me that each 180 segment should take right around 45 seconds.

Personally, I make sure that I identify and keep my 45, 90, 135, and 180 points to ensure that the maneuver is progressing properly. I certainly second the comments about focusing outside and not on the instruments (except maybe a little peek at the AI occasionaly to verify bank angles).

Have Fun!
Flywest
 

jaybird

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I know each DE is differant, but a couple I have talked to said make sure you're coordinated and have good knowledge of the maneuver. If the maneuver is slightly out of stands. you should be fine. Remember with all the commercial maneuvers, keep your head outside and stay coordinated.

good Luck
 

Timebuilder

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Obviously, we have a lot of pilots here who really understand the lazy eight concept.

It's true. The common mistake is to RUSH the maneuver. If you want to do it right, you just can't do it quickly. Now you have some insights that you can pass on to you own students later. When you have reached a level of satisfaction on this, sit down and write all about it, as if you have been assigned to do it for a magazine. What were the secrets? What were the common errors? What mistakes were made in the way it was taught to you? (keep this last one to yourself, for now...don't point fingers....) Keep a journal to make your instructing life easier, and start getting excited about how much you are going to enjoy doing lazy eights from now on. They really are fun!
 

bobbysamd

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Lazy 8s

Very good comments above.

Lazy 8s are a visual reference maneuver. I used to use a good, long, straight road and/or a checkpoint in the distance, such as a mountain peak, as a visual reference.

I think the reason that people tend to rush the maneuver is because that Lazy 8s seem to fall third in sequence behind steep turns and chandelles during the typical commercial training flight. Steep turns and chandelles are aggressive maneuvers which require a lot of control input. So, at the point you start lazy 8s, you're in that aggressive mode. The maneuver really doesn't require heavy and major control inputs and does NOT require power adjustment. What I would do, therefore, is take a good pause before starting your Lazy 8s so you can get out of "aggressive" mode. Keep your head outside of the cockpit and cover the instruments, as the others suggested.

Don't feel bad. I had plenty of trouble with Lazy 8s, too.

Good luck with your Commercial.
 

MYFpilot

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I agree, the maneuver is done completely visually. The only flight instrument you need at all is the Altimeter or maybe airspeed.

Start by picking a good landmark off your right or left wing. Begin the maneuver with a little smooth and suttle pitch and bank toward that landmark.
(fall through)
bank
pitch
pitch
bank
pitch
pitch
bank
pitch Landmark
pitch
(Start)

Use what ever pitch and bank combination it takes to get the airplane to "fall through" the horizon at the 90 deg point. This is the critical part of the maneuver. The airplane should fall through the horizon ON IT'S OWN, because of the correct pitch and bank attitude. Sort of like a wingover to a lesser degree

Now controll the rollout by slowly and smoothly reducing pitch and bank so the other wing is on your landmark at the alt you started

pitch
bank
bank
pitch
bank
bank
pitch
bank Landmark
bank
(end)

repeat to the other side, and you have yourself a laaaaaaaaaaazy-8
 

MYFpilot

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I agree, the maneuver is done completely visually. The only flight instrument you need at all is the Altimeter or maybe airspeed.

Start by picking a good landmark off your right or left wing. Begin the maneuver with a little smooth and suttle pitch and bank toward that landmark.
.....................(fall through)
..................bank
..............pitch
..............pitch
...........bank
.......pitch
.......pitch
....bank
pitch
pitch____________________________________Landmark
(Start)

Use what ever pitch and bank combination it takes to get the airplane to "fall through" the horizon at the 90 deg point. This is the critical part of the maneuver. The airplane should fall through the horizon ON IT'S OWN, because of the correct pitch and bank attitude. Sort of like a wingover to a lesser degree

Now controll the rollout by slowly and smoothly reducing pitch and bank so the other wing is on your landmark at the alt you started

pitch
....bank
....bank
.......pitch
...........bank
...........bank
..............pitch
..................bank
..................bank___________________Landmark
(end, 1'st 180)

repeat to the other side, and you have yourself a laaaaaaaaaaazy-8
 

ksu_aviator

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This is all you need to know

To enter the manuever, start out straight and level, in perfect trim, and at a specified airspeed. Begin by banking only 2 deg and then adding back pressure to the controls. Do not grip the controls, doing so will cause you to over control, two fingers will be all you need. Continue applying back pressure until the airplane is about 12 deg pitch up (changes slightly with each airplane type). Amazingly, by doing this the airplane will have turned 45 deg and banked to about 15 deg.

Continue adding back pressure as the airplanes nose begins to dive, again amazingly as you do this the airplane will roll into a 30 deg bank at about the 90 deg point, and with some practice and timing you'll be nose level too.

As the airplane's nose passes through the horizon at the 90 deg point, begin very gradually pushing forward on the control column and ad just a touch of roll out. Your goal is to pitch about 12 deg down. If your pitch is too shallow you will come out of the manuever high or slow and if your pitch is too steep you'll come out of the maneuver too low or fast.

The time between the 135 deg point and the 180 deg point is the longest. Be "Lazy" and don't roll out too fast, that is the most common error in this whole maneuver.

Repeat the process for the opposite direction. A left turn will require less rudder than a right turn. And finally, remember its not possible to do this maneuver and have the exact same airspeed at the exact same altitude without adding power. That would be perpetual motion. But the FAA requires the manuever be performed on the checkride without adjusting the power. Apparently they don't know about physics.
 

JerryP

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I couldn't help but notice that with all the good advise on laaaaazy 8s, no one offered their opinion on what a lazy 8 has to do with flying passengers for hire. Why is this maneuver in the PTS for commercial in the first place? Is this another case of the FAA being years behind the leading edge? Where did this maneuver originate anyway?

While we're on the subject, I've been taught to keep descent rates to <500 FPM and to plan the descent accordingly. The reason I got from a CFI is that it's easier on the passengers. Now, with that in mind, where do 55° banks fit in? It's not being easy on passengers for sure.

I was the guy in calculus class asking "When will I ever use this?"
 

ShawnC

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This is direct out of the Airplane Flying Handbook: "The objective of the lazy eight is to develop the pilot's feel for varying control forces, and the ability to plan and remain oriented while maneuvering the airplane with postive, accurate control." Page 6-18.

I had a similar problem with the ground reference maneruvers during private training. That is until my instructor forbad me from looking in the airplane (in fact the next lesson I had no instrument panel, until right before landing). After that well everything was much better even on some of the horribly windy days.
 

bobbysamd

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One more point....

I remember to this day how my instructor told me that at the 90-degree point that you let the nose "slice through" the horizon. Very descriptive. Keep it in mind. Keep your head out of the cockpit, too, and that together with everyone's advice should solve your problems.

I appreciate the comment about why the maximum performance maneuvers must be done for the Commercial SE. They indeed develop your aircraft control to a fine touch. You need a fine control touch to fly advanced aircraft. The commercial maneuvers, the standards to which they must be executed, and your instrument training, will develop that touch.

Think of it this way. If you've ever played musical instruments or took music lessons, think about all the stupid scales and exercises you had to learn before your teacher would let you play a song. The purpose of the exercises was to develop your ability and dexterity to play the keys of the piano or valves on the trumpet or whatever. After you developed the necessary dexterity, playing a song was cake.
 
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Timebuilder

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JerryP said:
I couldn't help but notice that with all the good advise on laaaaazy 8s, no one offered their opinion on what a lazy 8 has to do with flying passengers for hire. Why is this maneuver in the PTS for commercial in the first place? Is this another case of the FAA being years behind the leading edge? Where did this maneuver originate anyway?

While we're on the subject, I've been taught to keep descent rates to <500 FPM and to plan the descent accordingly. The reason I got from a CFI is that it's easier on the passengers. Now, with that in mind, where do 55° banks fit in? It's not being easy on passengers for sure.

I was the guy in calculus class asking "When will I ever use this?"
It's funny you mention this Jerry, because I was thinking about this since I first saw this thread today.

The FAA had to find something by which a pilot can safely demonstrate his mastery of the aircraft for the initial recognition of his ability to fly for hire. A certain amount of instruction, money, and practice is necessary for the jump from private to commercial, and demonstates a commitment as well as a level of skill. Maybe this helps to keep the "posers" out of commercial flying.
 
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