Primary Airplane Flight Controls

There are four primary flight controls with an aircraft as follows:

Elevator -located at the back of the horizontal stabilizer on the tail which controls the horizontal movement. These are controlled by moving the yoke (control wheel) forward (pushing away) or backwards (pulling towards). This is used to control the aircraft nose up or down AKA pitch or pitching.

Rudder -located on the vertical stabilizer on the tail which controls the vertical movement.

The rudder controls the left and right movement of the nose also known as “yaw”. This is controlled by the floor pedals. Right pedal makes aircraft nose move to the right and left pedal makes aircraft nose move to the left.

The rudder pedals control the brakes for taxiing and each pedal corresponds the that brake in the landing gear. Push both pedals to stop or slow the aircraft when taxiing or on the ground.

Ailerons – these are located on the back of the wing at the wingtip. These are used to “bank” the aircraft left or right. Moving the yoke to the left makes the left aileron go up and the right aileron go down.

By moving the left aileron up and the right down, a downward force is applied to the left wing and an upwards force is applied to the right wing which “rolls” the aircraft to the left. The reverse is true for moving the car to the right which moves the right aileron up, in which case the aircraft will bank right.

Ailerons are what turns the aircraft through changing the lift of the aircraft.

Throttle – The throttle is responsible for increasing or decreasing power to the engine which the power is referred to in RPM (revolutions per minute) just as an automobile. There is a cable attached to the engine which controls the power.

Pushing the throttle in increases power and pulling the throttle out decreases power.

You use more power when gaining speed, climbing and reducing descent rate.

Less power when slowing the airplane, descending and reducing climb rate.