How Should Pilots Use Trim During Flight?

When discussing trim in the context of aviation, one is referring to the process of holding airspeed through the use of the trim tab and cockpit controls. When trimming for a certain speed and releasing the yoke, the aircraft can maintain the given speed regardless of current power settings. By adjusting power during a trim, the aircraft will begin to pitch upward or downward in order to maintain the trimmed speed. As such, trimming can be conducted during climbs, descents, cruising, final approaches, and other processes to hold airspeed.

Due to the broader use of trimming, there is no particular time in which it needs to be done. As a result, it will often be up to the pilot themselves, and flight instructors may vary in how they teach such concepts in terms of proper times for execution. When traveling in cruise, for example, the aircraft will typically maintain a straight and level approach as workloads are reduced. To maintain such a heading, one may only need to play with their elevator. For trimming up or down, the controls should be held lightly and small adjustments can be made until there is no need for much pressure on the yoke. If you have successfully reached a perfect trim, you should be able to fully remove your hand from the yoke without having any pitching. It is important to note that trimming during cruise will often be affected by different speed and power settings.

The procedure of trimming during climbs and descents is similar to cruise flight, requiring the pilot to make small adjustments in order to maintain a certain airspeed. While climbing, the aircraft may be pitched for the given airspeed, and the pilot may then lightly hold controls while trimming up or down. Once little to no pressure is needed on the yoke, the pilot may cease their trim changes. Through such procedures, pilots may find that they are able to execute climbs and descents much easier. Whenever one is conducting such procedures, they should always keep their eyes outside of the cockpit.

While trimming can often be used for climbing, descending, and cruise flight, using it during a steep turn is often debated. In some instances, pilots may ignore the trim wheel and maintain their altitude with the yoke or stick. This is because heavier control forces can make it hard to over-control the aircraft while executing the turn, thus forgoing trimming can allow for more stable flight. For others, trimming can actually provide a feeling of more control as less back pressure is required for the yoke. During the steep turn, the pilot will just conduct one or two downward movements of the trim wheel if so desired.

The last instance in which trimming is used is during the final approach. During such procedures, pilots will need to conduct an elevator trim stall, thus they should ensure that they know how to properly conduct them. As a result, it is often not recommended to trim during the final approach unless the pilot has ample experience to pull it off safely. To conduct such procedures, however, the pilot will pitch for their final approach speed, holding the controls lightly as they trim up or down. Like other forms of trimming, small changes should be made until little to no pressure is needed on the yoke.

As stated before, trimming is something that all pilots may differ on in terms of opinion and execution, and thus it is up to one’s self for how they carry out such procedures, if at all. If you are conducting maintenance for your aircraft and find that you require various items for repair or replacement, look no further than ASAP Fulfillment. As a premier purchasing platform for all aviation needs, we are your source for tooling, spare parts, PMA components, and so much more. If there are particular items that you are interested in, fill out and submit an RFQ form through our website and a dedicated account manager will reach out to you in just 15 minutes or less to provide a quote for your comparisons.


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