How come my plane turns to the left


Whenever I'm flying my plane always tilts slightly to the left and it's very annoying. How do I get it to fly straight?

7 Responses

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

If you're flying a single engine prop, you'll get what is called P-factor. The torque created by the prop with roll and yaw your aircraft to the left. P-factor has greater effect at low speeds.

Pro Member Trainee
The_Finman Trainee

Anonymous wrote:

Whenever I'm flying my plane always tilts slightly to the left and it's very annoying. How do I get it to fly straight?

I am going to assume some things.

First, I suspect you are flying a single engine during this...yes?

Understanding Propeller Torque and P-Factor


This is an attempt to answer the frequent question "Why is my aircraft turning left all the time?"

This occurs only in aircraft with propellers at the front of the aircraft. Several distinct phenomena cause the effect, all causing the aircraft to turn in the same direction. They are:

Propeller Torque Effect

Torque effect is the influence of engine torque on aircraft movement and control. It is generally exhibited as a left turning tendency in piston single engine propeller driven aircraft.

According to Newton's law, "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction," such that the propeller, if turning clockwise (when viewed from the cockpit), imparts a tendency for the aircraft to rotate counterclockwise. Since most single engine aircraft have propellers rotating clockwise, they rotate to the left, pushing the left wing down.
Typically, the pilot is expected to counter this force through the control inputs. To counter the aircraft roll left, the pilot applies right aileron.

It is important to understand that torque is a movement about the roll axis. Aileron controls roll. Prop torque is not countered by moving the rudder or by setting rudder trim. It is countered by moving or trimming the aileron.

This correction induces adverse yaw, which is corrected by moving or trimming the rudder (right rudder).

On aircraft with contrarotating propellers (propellers that rotate in opposite directions) the torque from the two propellers cancel each other out, so that no compensation is needed.

Further Reading: Propeller Torque Factor

P-factor is the term for asymmetric propeller loading, causes the airplane to yaw to the left when at high angles of attack.

The descending right side of the propeller (as seen from the rear) has a higher angle of attack than the upward-moving blade on the left side and provides more thrust. This occurs only when the propeller is not meeting the oncoming airflow head-on, for example when an aircraft is moving down the runway at a nose-high attitude (i.e. at a high angle of attack), as is the case with tail-draggers. Aircraft with tricycle landing gear maintain a level attitude on the takeoff run, so there is little P-factor during takeoff. In all cases, though, the effect is weaker than prop wash.

The "left turning tendency"or "Propeller Torque Effect" is usually encountered in the most pronounced state in single engine aircraft during takeoff, and is compensated in real flying by applying increasing amounts of right rudder as your airspeed increases down the runway.

In FSX, you can turn off the P-Factor & Torque by choosing "Settings" then "Realism" and then turning them off, or reducing their effect.

Hoever, FSX can be quite quirky when it come to reality. As stated above the "left turning tendency" is usually encountered in single engine prop aircraft. If you are encountering left turning tendencies using multi-engine or jet configurations...I still suggest turning off the P-Factor & Torque settings found under "Realism" first. My next recommendation if you are still encountering the problem, is to recalibrate whatever flight controls you are using (joystick, yoke, Etc.).

Hope that helps.

Pro Member Captain
bawls327 Captain

I had the same thing happen to me but it turned to the right. Whenver I would adjust it then it would go back to the right. What I didnt realize is that my joystick can turn to the left or right for the rudder and I was using keyboard. So I switched to my joystick and for some odd reason it worked and I have never had the problem.

Pro Member Trainee
Mark Hyder (markhyder) Trainee

I done this and press 5 reset the rudder.


I saw this too, very slight tilt to the left, even after leveling out, reducing some power, etc. The thing is, I checked many times the realism setting and I kept them on easy, all the way to the left, so basically disabled. Recalibrated the joystick, checked/unchecked auto rudder, still no difference.

Any new ideas regarding this?

Capn Tan Guest

When at full power or no power, take off, climb, and landing the plane wants to turn left. Xplane 10 is turning left at cruise. I have a Carenado Centurion C210. It is a good way to keep current on a complicated plane but this is beyond realism. all trim and settings are fine as is calibration. It has rudder trim but that pulls the ball way off center and still it turns left. If you were at 7500 feet all day you would be stressed beyond sleeping when you finally got to bed. It is kinda fun but realism is not like this. By the way, will someone tell people if you need extra clicks so badly you use CAPTCHA, get a real job.

All times are GMT Page 1 of 1

Related Questions