I just had my first flight lesson the other day and I had some issues with using the rudder pedals and toe brakes for taxiing. For example, how do you steer and brake at the same time when making turns? I also sometimes inadvertently press the toes brakes when trying to steer the plane. Is there any advice that you can give me to help me coordinate steering with toe brakes? I find that steering the plane on the ground with the rudder pedals is quite foreign to me, I have never had to use this level of foot coordination before.

I am flying a Piper Cherokee with steerable nose wheel and toe brakes. Also does anyone else have this problem or is it just me?

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    $\begingroup$ You will get used to it. If you aren't planning on using the brakes, move your feet down so your toes are near the bottom of the pedals. Make sure you don't have excessive speed (brake before turning, make sure you don't get any faster than a quick-walk speed). $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    May 7, 2018 at 18:52
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    $\begingroup$ Since you're on day 1 of your training, here's a tip: the answer to the question "does anyone else have this problem?" is always "yes, lots of people" :-) $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    May 7, 2018 at 19:11

2 Answers 2


Unless you have extra long feet, keeping your heels on the floor of the plane is usually sufficient to keep them off the toe brakes. Or pull your legs back a little and press with the balls of your feet near the middle of the pedal and not the top. You'll get the hang of it pretty quick.

Learning to relax helps also, otherwise you'll fly with your legs all tensed up and just have the rudder pedals all mashed down all the time. Very tiring.

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    $\begingroup$ You really don't want to have your toes on the brakes as you land! $\endgroup$ May 7, 2018 at 21:53

Heels to the floor all the time, relaxed. Tips of the rudder pedals used only when needed. Do NOT ride the rudder pedals with your feet. Had a student who put his whole feet on the rudder pedals and nearly landed with the brakes engaged. Not pretty. I've head many a new student say the hardest part of flying was taxiing the "damn thing". Like any control, practice will answer your question. The best advice I can give is contained in the first two sentences above. Good luck with your training.


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