Fly the Shark’s Tooth

Fly the Shark’s Tooth

The basic shark’s tooth consists of a vertical climb followed by a 45-degree segment that traces the outline of a shark’s tooth. To perform it, fly straight and level, add full power, and do a small loop to a vertical upline before the plane reaches the center of the field. Continue to fly vertically for at least 100 feet, and then push over to a 45-degree downline. Just before the plane reaches its initial starting altitude, recover to straight and level flight.

Fly the Shark's Tooth

  1. Enter straight and level, full power
  2. Pull  loop to vertical climb
  3. Vertical upline
  4. Push 135 deg.
  5. 45-deg. downline
  6. 45-deg. downline
  7. Pull 45 deg.
  8. Exit straight and level

After you’ve flown the maneuver a few times, it’s time to improve your technique. Make sure that the plane’s wings are level before the pull to the vertical. If the plane is in even a slight bank, the vertical upline will be off. Work on making all of the corner radiuses the same for all of the segments. Also work on establishing a true, 45-degree downline; 45 degrees is steeper than most people think. Last, practice centering the maneuver so that you cross the midpoint of the field halfway through the 45-degree segment.

To spice up the shark’s tooth, add maneuvers during the 45-degree dive. After you’ve pushed over the top, try a snap roll just before the plane reaches the center of the field. Rolls and point rolls can be performed on the vertical upline and during the 45-degree segment. For an advanced variation, fly past yourself, pull to vertical and pull 135 degrees to an inverted 45-degree downline; then perform two points of a four-point roll, and exit upright. Variations on the shark’s tooth that have challenging midpoint maneuvers will keep things interesting for a long time.

Updated: August 14, 2015 — 10:54 AM
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