Ask Captain Dan: Turning or Banking Airplanes – How it Works – Our Resident Pilot Answers Flight Questions.

CFN – Pilot Dan Baz is answering your flying questions here on the Cornwall Free News.

If you have a question about flying you can email Captain Dan or post below.


To make an airplane turn left or right, how many degrees of bank does the pilot normally
roll the airplane ?

Question asked by Ivan



It depends on how much the pilot needs to turn the airplane, or in the pilot language, by how many degrees does he/she need to change the heading of the airplane.

If the heading needs to be changed by just a few degrees, the pilot may only need to roll the airplane about 10 degrees. However, if a large turn is required, the pilot will roll the airplane more, up to a maximum of 30 degrees of bank.

There are displays in the flight deck that show the airplane attitude and heading. Sometimes it appears that an airplane is at a high bank angle, but it actually is only 30 degrees. To roll an airplane left or right on most airplanes the pilot will turn the control wheel to the left or right.


On Airbus airplanes, like A320 or A330 there is no control wheel. Those airplanes have a stick, similar to a joy stick used for video games, beside the pilot’s seat. He moves the stick to the left or right to control the roll movement of the airplane.

A bit more about Captain Dan:

Captain Dan Baz enrolled in Flight School at the age of 16.

He has completed studies in Aircraft Engineering and Master of Business Administration. He has been at the controls of many different types of aircraft, from single engine Cessnas to large intercontinental jets on global routes.

Over the last four decades he has flown thousands of hours up in the blue sky.

Have a question for the Captain ?  Send it to Captain Dan Baz Every week a question from the readers will be selected and answer posted in this column.

Best Western Cornwall

Leave a Reply