Tips on how to properly taxi.....


New Member
Well, I am on my 3rd training flight, although I am already practicing manuvers from lesson instructor says I am way ahead of the game

One thing I am still having trouble doing though. I cannot seem to properly taxi the Cessna down the centerline of the taxiway. Once second it seems I am trying hard to keep it center, then before I know it I am going too fast....then its too much left rudder, then too much right rudder!!

I dont know if I am not placing my feet on the pedals properly, or what the problem is. But taxing is just not clicking with me...when everyother phase of flight training is coming as naturally as riding a bike. Could you guys give me some good tips on how to properly taxi around without the Cessna swerving around the taxiway? Keep in mind I fly out of Addison airport in Texas, which has very heavy traffic, and is fairly large. Thanks in advance!
hi, I would reccomend trying to use a lower power setting during taxi. It makes good sense to go slower when you first start out. This will also teach you not to ride the brakes. Most CFI's I've flown with do not like to see me reduce the throttle below 1000 RPM during taxi, but sometimes I'd rather send it into the 700-800 rpm range when my only two other options are to taxi like a southwest driver or burn up the brakes.

Taxiing at a slower airspeed will make things easier to control. Also, try to position the flight controls in the correct postions to compensate for tailwinds and crosswinds. Constnatly make tiny corrections with the rudder peddles. As soon as you feel the airplane turning give the opposite rudder peddle a little nudge. Sometimes it may feel like you're riding a bicycle but you have to do whatever it takes to keep yourself on center line.
You are not alone. When I first started training I thought one of the more difficult tasks was taxing. It took more than a few flights for me to get the hang of it.

I found that placing one hand (no strong winds), on the dash and the other on the throttle, made me stop trying to turn on the ground with the yoke. My instructor explained to me that you find the center or neutral spot on the rudder pedals and kind of doing a little "dance" on them, keeping the nose wheel on centerline. Now,in a single, I really don't think about it anymore. Multi engines have presented me with more nuisances in trying to keep the nose wheel on centerline.

Once and a while, move your head to the center, kind of like trying to get the full stereo affect of your cd player, and see if you are on centerline.

Don't get frustrated, it's like smooth landings, you just have to work at it.
One of my instructors once told me to imagine your right leg lined up with the centerline.
Yeah like Joe said

Thats what they teach you in drivers ed to to keep your car in the middle of the lane. If anyone remembers that far back or care to

If its like the cessna my dad rents, the rudder pedals dont do much. You have to turn the plane mostly with differential braking.
Thanks for the help guys! I actually took your advice, and taxied today at a low RPM, going very slow down the taxiway. Sure enough, I found myself keeping the airplane centered,not perfect but close enough! I also preformed my first unassisted takeoff, and kept the airplane centered down the runway aswell! Next lesson: Steep turns!

If there ever was a doubt about what I wanted to do with my life, it has been shattered now that I have begun my training. I absolutley LOVE this stuff!

CU in the air.....
Boy that's a great tip.

I've been having trouble with this myself.

I've tried the whole leaning thing, but it just doesn't work for me.

But I'd never heard the right leg thing.

The advice my instructor gave me about taxing cannot be repeated in a family forum verbatim. Paraphrased, he said to line up the centerline with the middle of your body. The rest of it will have to remain unsaid.
I've heard that before too. Unfortunately, that does not put you on the centerline, unless your flying an aircraft with a tandem seating configuration. That technique seems to come mostly from the old timers who've done a lot of instructing in tailwheel aircraft (although, in some of them you're constantly s-turning so you can see). Putting the centerline just inside of your right leg (if you're in the left seat), or vice versa for right seat, works much better.
Paraphrased, he said to line up the centerline with the middle of your body.

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I don't think that would work, unless you are rather unusually shaped
In the cessna's ive flown, you have to use the brakes at a low speed until you build up some inertia... then you can tranfer to the rudders... my instructor always told me to keep the centerline between my feet... that made it seem a lot more clear.... I know this is not completely centered, but i think being straight and one foot to the right of the line is better than being all over the taxiway....
My instructor took me over to Quad city and had me bounce the nose wheel over the recessed centerline lighting. Hit 13 of 21 lights.
Mainly because of a corner.


At my flight school, the rule of thumb was to not taxi faster than walking speed.

I had trouble too initially, after you do it for a little while, you'll get teh hang of it.