Chapter 4—Slow Flight, Stalls, and Spins

Table of Contents
Slow Flight
    Flight at Less than Cruise Airspeeds
    Flight at Minimum Controllable Airspeed
    Recognition of Stalls
    Fundamentals of Stall Recovery
    Use of Ailerons/Rudder in Stall Recovery
    Stall Characteristics
    Approaches to Stalls (Imminent Stalls)—Power-On or Power-Off
    Full Stalls Power-Off
    Full Stalls Power-On
    Secondary Stall
    Accelerated Stalls
    Cross-Control Stall
    Elevator Trim Stall
    Spin Procedures
        Entry Phase
        Incipient Phase
        Developed Phase
        Recovery Phase
Intentional Spins
    Weight and Balance Requirements


Because of engineering design variations, the stall characteristics for all airplanes cannot be specifically described; however, the similarities found in small general aviation training-type airplanes are noteworthy enough to be considered. It will be noted that the power-on and power-off stall warning indications will be different. The power-off stall will have less noticeable clues (buffeting, shaking) than the power-on stall. In the power-off stall, the predominant clue can be the elevator control position (full up- elevator against the stops) and a high descent rate. When performing the power-on stall, the buffeting will likely be the predominant clue that provides a positive indication of the stall. For the purpose of airplane certification, the stall warning may be furnished either through the inherent aerodynamic qualities of the airplane, or by a stall warning device that will give a clear distinguishable indication of the stall. Most airplanes are equipped with a stall warning device.

The factors that affect the stalling characteristics of the airplane are balance, bank, pitch attitude, coordination, drag, and power. The pilot should learn the effect of the stall characteristics of the airplane being flown and the proper correction. It should be reemphasized that a stall can occur at any airspeed, in any attitude, or at any power setting, depending on the total number of factors affecting the particular airplane.

Anumber of factors may be induced as the result of other factors. For example, when the airplane is in a nose-high turning attitude, the angle of bank has a tendency to increase. This occurs because with the airspeed decreasing, the airplane begins flying in a smaller and smaller arc. Since the outer wing is moving in a larger radius and traveling faster than the inner wing, it has more lift and causes an overbanking tendency. At the same time, because of the decreasing airspeed and lift on both wings, the pitch attitude tends to lower. In addition, since the airspeed is decreasing while the power setting remains constant, the effect of torque becomes more prominent, causing the airplane to yaw.

During the practice of power-on turning stalls, to compensate for these factors and to maintain a constant flight attitude until the stall occurs, aileron pressure must be continually adjusted to keep the bank attitude constant. At the same time, back-elevator pressure must be continually increased to maintain the pitch attitude, as well as right rudder pressure increased to keep the ball centered and to prevent adverse yaw from changing the turn rate. If the bank is allowed to become too steep, the vertical component of lift decreases and makes it even more difficult to maintain a constant pitch attitude.

Whenever practicing turning stalls, a constant pitch and bank attitude should be maintained until the stall occurs. Whatever control pressures are necessary should be applied even though the controls appear to be crossed (aileron pressure in one direction, rudder pressure in the opposite direction). During the entry to a power-on turning stall to the right, in particular, the controls will be crossed to some extent. This is due to right rudder pressure being used to overcome torque and left aileron pressure being used to prevent the bank from increasing.

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Copyright 2012
PED Publication