Updated: Dec 8, 2020

Chandelles Lesson by wifiCFI


To determine that the applicant exhibits satisfactory knowledge, risk management, and skills associated with chandelles.


The applicant demonstrates understanding of: 

Purpose of chandelles.

Aerodynamics associated with chandelles, to include:

Coordinated and uncoordinated flight

Overbanking tendencies

Maneuvering speed, including impact of weight changes 

Accelerated stalls

Positioning of flaps and gear for maximum performance climb. 

Proper pitch control required for continually decreasing airspeed. 

Risk Management

The applicant demonstrates the ability to identify, assess and mitigate risks, encompassing: 

Failure to divide attention between airplane control and orientation. 

Collision hazards, to include aircraft, terrain, obstacles, and wires. 

Low altitude maneuvering/stall/spin. 

Distractions, loss of situational awareness, and/or improper task management. 

Failure to maintain coordinated flight. 

Failure to manage energy. 

Rate and radius of turn with confined area operations. 

Chandelles (AFH C9)

A chandelle is a maximum performance, 180° climbing turn that begins from approximately straight-and-level flight and concludes with the airplane in a wings-level, nose-high attitude just above stall speed.

The goal is to gain the most altitude possible for a given bank angle and power setting; however, the standard used to judge the maneuver is not the amount of altitude gained, but by the pilot’s proficiency as it pertains to maximizing climb performance for the power and bank selected, as well as the skill demonstrated.

A chandelle is best described in two specific phases: 

The first 90° of turn and the second 90° of turn. 

The first 90° of turn is described as constant bank and changing pitch; and the second 90° as constant pitch and changing bank. 

During the first 90°, the pilot will set the bank angle, increase power and pitch at a rate so that maximum pitch-up is set at the completion of the first 90°.

Starting at the 90° point, the pilot begins a slow and coordinated constant rate rollout so as to have the wings level when the airplane is at the 180° point while maintaining the constant pitch attitude set in the first 90°. 

Flying the Maneuver 

Prior to starting the chandelle, the flaps and landing gear (if retractable) should be in the UP position. 

The chandelle is initiated by properly clearing the airspace for air traffic and hazards. 

The maneuver should be entered from straight and level flight.

After the appropriate entry airspeed has been established, the chandelle is started by smoothly entering a coordinated turn to the desired angle of bank; once the bank angle is established, which is generally 30°, a climbing turn should be started by smoothly applying elevator back pressure at a constant rate while simultaneously increasing engine power to the recommended setting. 

In airplanes with a fixed-pitch propeller, the throttle should be set so as to not exceed rotations per minute (rpm) limitations; in airplanes with constant-speed propellers, power may be set at the normal cruise or climb setting as appropriate.


Since the airspeed is constantly decreasing throughout the chandelle, the effects of left turning tendencies, such as P-factor, becomes more apparent. 

As airspeed decreases, right-rudder pressure is progressively increased to ensure that the airplane remains in coordinated flight. 

The pilot should maintain coordinated flight by sensing slipping or skidding pressures applied to the controls and by quick glances to the ball in the turn-and-slip or turn coordinator. 

At the 90° point, the pilot should begin to smoothly roll out of the bank at a constant rate while maintaining the pitch attitude set in the first 90°. 

While the angle of bank is fixed during the first 90°, recall that as airspeed decreases, the overbanking tendency increases. 

As a result, proper use of the ailerons allows the bank to remain at a fixed angle until rollout is begun at the start of the final 90°. 

As the rollout continues, the vertical component of lift increases; therefore, a slight release of elevator back pressure is required to keep the pitch attitude from increasing.

At the completion of 180° of turn, the wings should be leveled to the horizon, the airspeed should be just above stall speed, and the airplane’s pitch high attitude should be held momentarily.

Once demonstrated that the airplane is in controlled flight, the pitch attitude may be reduced and the airplane returned to straight-and-level cruise flight.

Common Errors

Not clearing the area 

Initial bank is too shallow resulting in a stall 

Initial bank is too steep resulting in failure to gain maximum performance 

Allowing the bank angle to increase after initial establishment 

Not starting the recovery at the 90° point in the turn 

Allowing the pitch attitude to increase as the bank is rolled out during the second 90° of turn 

Leveling the wings prior to the 180° point being reached 

Pitch attitude is low on recovery resulting in airspeed well above stall speed 

Application of flight control pressures is not smooth 

Poor flight control coordination 

Stalling at any point during the maneuver 

Execution of a steep turn instead of a climbing maneuver 

Not scanning for other traffic during the maneuver 

Performing by reference to the flight instrument rather than visual references

Commercial Pilot ACS Standards

Clear the area. 

Select an altitude that will allow the maneuver to be performed no lower than 1,500 feet above ground level (AGL). 

Establish the appropriate entry configuration, power, and airspeed. 

Establish the angle of bank at approximately 30°. 

Simultaneously apply power and pitch to maintain a smooth, coordinated climbing turn, in either direction, to the 90° point, with a constant bank and continually decreasing airspeed. 

Begin a coordinated constant rate rollout from the 90° point to the 180° point maintaining power and a constant pitch attitude. 

Complete rollout at the 180° point, ±10° just above a stall airspeed, and maintaining that airspeed momentarily avoiding a stall. 

Resume a straight-and-level flight with minimum loss of altitude.

FAA Sources Used for This Lesson

Commercial Pilot Airmen Certification Standards

Airplane Flying Handbook (AFH) Chapter 9

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