George Baczkowski's letter "Disarm the yaw damper" (Flight International, 28 January-3 February) when attempting to recover from out-of-balance conditions makes sense to a point. The point is the need to "put the boot in" if it's called for.

I was taught that the use of ailerons in such a condition is ill-advised. My military instruction and experience flying a formation with heavy transports taught me how to fly in the slipstream close to the aircraft in front of me.

The technique is simple: no ailerons, short but sudden input on the rudder (to lift the dropping wing), generous with power input. Scary the first time, but fun once the technique is acquired.

I have applied the same technique on the McDonnell Douglas DC-9, the Boeing 727 and the Boeing 747-200 and never had a problem, be it in an aircraft wake turbulence or in windshear.

Aileron input triggers the help of the relevant spoilers to augment the wing's response, especially at low speeds and certain flap settings. Mistiming the correction can create scary effects.

The advice I used to give to my co-pilots was "always be aware of the presence of turbulence of any sort; hands and feet on the controls, especially after take-off or approaching to land; and when unfortunately in that situation, pretend to be flying in close formation behind the leader using small rudder inputs and power". You fly the aircraft, don't let the machine fly you.

Orlando Giacich

Weston Super Mare, UK

Source: Flight International