Yaw Damper 101

Let’s talk Yaw Dampers. I sort of understand it’s purpose, i.e. “reducing the risk of Dutch Rolls”.

On an aircraft with such a feature, how can I go about practically simulating the difference between having YD on vs off, just so I can see for myself the importance of this feature? I guess more importantly, is this effect even modelled in these planes?


In many planes they are modelled, usually, the ones that are equipped with it, have an option to turn it on/off. Not every plane has a yaw damper tho…

Sorry, I realize I wasn’t clear in what I was asking.

Restating: how do I fly the plane to experiment with the effects of YD “on” and YD “off”? Can I actually recreate a Dutch Roll with YD off, then turn it on and then see the correction?

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I too am curious to know the answer to this question. I love flying the CRJ and am currently trying to learn its systems.


Basically with YD on you don’t need use the pedals to turn, YD will do this automatically.
A good plane for get the feeling is the C208. Amazing and you can feel perfectly!
Cheers mate


Yes. You can. If you try to do a slip, or skid the yaw damper is supposed to eliminate or prevent them from happening. Try a slip with the YD on and off. Slips can be useful. Skids you should never do as you have a higher chance of stall. In a slip, if your higher wing stalls, you’ll just end up level. Its harder to recover at slow speeds, and your low wing stalls with a skid because the fuselage is blocking airflow over that lower wing.

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i believe the yaw damper is supposed to also adjust the rudder trim (it did in XP12). however i’ve yet to see this action happen in any plane in MSFS. does anyone know if this is the case?

Personally I’ve never seen a YD system change rudder trim.

In something like the GFC700 it should - it’s a part of the autoflight systems and should, when engaged, allow that system to use actuators to change flight control surfaces - usually the secondary (ie trim) surfaces. And for a yaw damper that should be the rudder trim.

However, just because there is a button to press and a light that comes on it does not necessarily mean it does much of anything! It will depend on the aircraft model. Lots don’t even experience adverse yaw (transient skid).

How to check? Look at your slip skid indicator. If you roll in level flight without the YD on do you see a slip (ball moving in thre direction of the turn) or a skid (ball moving away). It can sometimes be easier to see the skid of over corrected adverse yaw by looking at what the nose of the aircraft does in reference to a landmark.

Then do the same with the YD on. Is the behaviour the same? Perhaps there is no slip or skid to eliminate (potentially an indicator of a poorly modelled aircraft). If the aircraft stays balanced, then it’s working.

But what about the rudder trim? You can check by looking at the gauge, or going into external mode and use the HUD view. Or you can use the excellent ’ input viewer’ freeware to see what precise units of rudder trim are in and are they changing with the YD on? If the YD is effective, but no trim changes are seen then it might be that the dev has used another ‘under the hood’ method to model the effect of the YD.

And there are other tricks aircraft designers might use - the PC-6 for example has a mechanical linkage between the aileron and rudder that will deflect the rudder in coordination with the ailerons to help counter adverse yaw.

yeah exactly thats why I was questioning the MSFS implementation of YD, as I’ve had it on and off but still haven’t noticed a difference in regards to yaw slip side to side, including turns and crosswind. so was just curious how well its implemented in MSFS (if at all)