Well-Known Member
Ok so im doing full flap landings now and it got me to wondering. Is it a good idea to add flaps while you are in a turn or flying straight? then i got to thinking well if you are in a turn and only one flap comes down it could cause you to roll over.

Does anyone know if the flaps are connected so that if one goes down they both go down? Can one get stuck somehow and not come down while the other does go down?

Ask two pilots this question and you'll get four answers.

The easy side ofthe question is no. In terms of the connection between the flaps. If one deploys you get what's called an asymmetrical deployment (fancy word for one of em is stuck/broken). It can cause the aircraft to roll.

The question of whether or not its ok to put flaps in a turn is one thats constantly debated.
interesting... thanks guys... i know left aileron goes down, right aileron goes up so i was figuring maybe one flap goes down both do. or one stays both stay.

Two pilots, four questions is a very good answer.

Personally, throw them out whenever, but I think in some of the Navy NATOPS guides, they were disuaded from configuration changes in turns ** I think **

I haven't seen any guidance in any manual I have that speaks against configuration changes during turns.

But it may be different depending on airline, operator or equipment type.
I was taught and teach all my students (cheerokee,arrow, seminole, seneca) to put the flaps in during the turns. If an asymmetrical deployment occurs and it starts to roll just take them right out. I think people make too big of an issue out of this, bank angle should be fairly small (no more than 30 degrees) and I have never heard of any pipers crashing or even having an asymmetrical deployment. Not that I have done much research....
I usually always put in 10 degrees when turning downwind to base (First 10 abeam, land w/ 20). The additional lift that occurs during flap retraction sort of balances out the decrease in the vertical lift component in a turn (part of the vector becomes horizontal in a turn). In other words you don't balloon up as much compared to putting flaps down while flying straight.
i have kinda decided that that i will put in my flaps when im flying straight. 10degrees abeam 20 in the middle of the base and then 30 as i come out of the turn for final. I just think its easier to deal with in the pattern as i like to scan/look for traffic/etc during turns.

I guess the main thing when i started this post is that I was just wondering if they were actually connected so that they are always in the same position?

It seems that one lowering without the other is something that no one has ever really heard of so it got me wondering if it is even possible for them to be configured differently?

anyone ever seen flaps taken apart in a maintainence hangar?

One thing you can do is that when you lower the flaps, don't move your hand off the knob until you are able to verify that the flaps are down by glancing at the flap position indicator. If the roll starts you'll already have your hand on the knob, and you'll also be in the habit of checking during touch and gos and landings.

I think it's a good idea to avoid flaps in the turns if possible; it's not that hard to just put 'em in when flying straight and level, why add something else when you're maneuvering close to the ground? That said, if every once in a while it looks like some flaps would help, then go for it.

The only flap problem I've had so far is a complete failure; no asymmetrical deployment, but no symmetrical deployment either.. Another thing to remember is that no matter what, anything can break, connected or not...
The airlines I flew for were pretty down on flaps in turns. I had several check airman stress it with me.

I teach flaps in wings level flight only.
I was taught (during the PPL) to extend flaps during straight-and-level. BUT, I have extended them in turns to base and final before (more on turns from downwind to base) and have had no problem.

I mostly aiim for S/L flight though.
I was taught to extend them in turns, and I usually do. I also don't think its that big of a deal, and I don't demand that my students do it one way or the other.
I put my half flaps in on my downwind to base turn and full flaps in my base to final turn.

The chance that a) I'll have an asymmetrical deployment is rare to begin with and b) if it does happen it's a 50/50 chance the broken flap will aggravate/accelerate the turn. In other words I have just as much chance that the broken flap will cause a rolling moment that rolls the aircraft in the opposite direction of the turn as I do the broken flap increasing the roll of the turn.

But a lot of folks have a problem with adding flaps in the turn. Do what you feel comfortable with or what your boss tells you.
I do the same as Pilot602. I thoroughly check the flaps before I head out so that gives me a little more comfort (although anything can happen).

In other words I have just as much chance that the broken flap will cause a rolling moment that rolls the aircraft in the opposite direction of the turn as I do the broken flap increasing the roll of the turn.

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Well said, brother!!!
Dad's plane has the old 40 degree flap setting, which is interesting. But not as interesting as the 60 degree flaps of the old Cessna L-19/O-1. Talk about short-field.
I was told that it's best to do it when you're flying straight because if you get a nonsymetrical deployment, it's a lot easier to handle when you're flying straight than when you're say, turning base.
My $.02

Put them out whenever you want. What's the problem with putting them out in a turn? You think the force on the outside flap is that much greater than the force on the inside flap? Enough for an asymetrical deployment???

In a light single/twin there is probably 10 feet separating the left and right flap.

Additionally (can an A&P correct me if I'm wrong), there is a switch which will stop flap deployment (if electric) if there is asymetrical deployment of flaps.