Flight training

Incipient Stall lesson

(See what I did there?)

My next lesson is due to be on slow flight and stalls. Now I know that these are safe and a necessary part of flight training but the whole concept worries me somewhat. I have 3.7hours of training under the belt so far which is essentially 3 lessons. My instructor says she is very happy with my progress and wants to get all the high work done to get me into the circuit.

I bought the (Excellent) Air Pilot Manual book 1 “Flying training” which used to be edited by Trevor Thom but has now been taken over by others. It has great explanations of the airwork required for the various exercises and I’ve been reading up on the slow flight and stall exercises. And I don’t believe I am comfortable enough with the airplane at the moment to do that exercise – there are lots of warnings about entering the stall regime in level flight and being very precise with speeds, attitude and power. And I don’t think I’m quite there yet.

Also, by the time I fly that lesson it will be 13days since I last flew. So the whole thing makes me a little nervy. I’ve decided to book another lesson which is not as goal directed prior to the stall lesson – just so I can get more comfortable with the plane and the basic maneuvers.

Does this make me chicken? Maybe. But I don’t really care. I’d rather be comfortable behind the controls and ahead of the aeroplane than behind the plane and uncomfortable.. And in the back of my mind always lies the knowledge that a spin (although it is apparently almost impossible to spin the Cirrus) in this plane is only recoverable by using the CAPS. I don’t want to have to pull the CAPS.


2 replies on “Incipient Stall lesson”

Nope, you are not a chicken. I am a control freak with trust issues, so as you can imagine flight lessons were an interesting challenge for me. The day of stalls and slow flight was definitely an unnerving one. But I had a great CFI. Right as we were to do the first stall, he turned to me and said, “I’m a married man with two kids… I plan to go home to my family tonight.” That statement established two things with me – 1. He’s someone with something to lose and so wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t safe, and 2. Trust.

Believe it or not, I actually LOVE doing stalls now! Once you learn to trust the plane and that it’s actually designed to stay in the air, not plummet to the ground, you’ll relax a lot more. With sufficient altitude, you can actually stall the plane, do NOTHING AT ALL to recover it and guess what will happen? It will recover itself. Eventually you have to take the controls, otherwise it will keep going in stall/recovery/stall/recovery mode until it hits the ground, but, the point is – the plane is designed to fly.

Also, you are in a Cirrus. Worst case, pull the chute πŸ˜‰ A good friend of mine made some hilarious Cirrus videos you should check out on youtube one day… start with “How to Preflight a Cirrus (A Satire).”

You got this! Your worst enemy in the sky is in your head.

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