by Jonathan M. Stern
Unlike an automobile, the wheel brakes of most airplanes are individually controllable by pressing on the tops of the rudder pedals. The top of the left rudder pedal applies the left brake and the top of the right rudder pedal applies the right brake.
With such a system, brakes can slow and stop the airplane, hold it in a stationary position while the engine power is advanced (as is required for a pre-flight engine runup), and to assist in making turns. Differential braking tightens a turn. The nose wheel does not have a brake. The Cessna 182RG, like most single-engine airplanes, uses a single disc on each main wheel hydraulically actuated by application of pressure on the top of the corresponding rudder pedal.
The brakes may also be set for parking by pressing the tops of the rudder pedals and pulling and turning a handle mounted underneath the instrument panel.
With Flight Simulator, the brakes may be applied by pressing the period key. To set the parking brake, hold down the Ctrl key and press the period key. One press on the period key releases the parking brakes. Differential braking may be effected by pressing the F11 key for left brake and the F12 key for right brake.