Power-Off Stall


Understand theory and practical execution of power-off stalls.


This is the required reading for this lesson. Numbers in [brackets] indicate the starting and ending page in the referenced reading material. Read all the pages and sections referenced.


The notes below highlight the important parts in the referenced material. Reading the notes without having read the actual referenced material is generally not sufficient to pass the written exam!

AFH - Chapter 4

  • Stalls
    • Occur when smooth airflow over the airplane's wings is disrupted, resulting in loss of lift.
      • The Angle of Attack (AOA) - the angle between the chord line of the wing and the relative wind - exceeds the wing's critical AOA.
    • It is possible to exceed the critical AOA at any airspeed, at any attitude, and at any power setting.
  • Make sure the area is safe when practicing stalls
    • Clearing turns
    • Area is safe - Announce verbally
    • No lower than 3000 AGL
    • Over unpopulated area
  • Recognition
    • Aural alert
    • Lights
    • Stick shaker
    • Sensory clues
      • Feel - Control pressure changes
      • Vision - Change in pitch
      • Hearing - Change in sound of airflow
      • Kinesthesia - Changes in direction or speed
  • Entry - Power Off
    • Normal landing approach
      • Throttle idle
      • Full flaps
    • Smoothly rise nose to induce stall
      • Maintain pitch attitude until stall occurs
  • Recovery
    • Pitch nose-down - Apply until stall indicators eliminated
      • Trim nose-down as needed
    • Bank - Wings level
      • Maintain initial heading ±20°
    • Thrust/Power - As needed
      • Establish a climb to initial altitude at Vy
    • Flaps - Retract
  • Secondary stalls
    • Occur after recovery from initial stall
    • Caused by
      • Too abrupt control inputs
      • Trying to return desired flightpath too quickly
    • Perform same recovery as for initial stall
  • Spins
    • Aggravated stall
    • Full stall occurring when airplane is in a yawed state
      • Aircraft descending due to gravity, rolling, yawing, and pitching in a spiral path.
    • When practicing stalls
      • Maintaining directional control
      • Do not allowing the nose to yaw before stall recovery is initiated
      • Apply the correct amount of rudder to keep the nose from yawing and the wings from banking.

Sim Pilot Notes

These notes highlight the differences between simulator and real-world flying. These differences are most often due to simulator limitations or specific VASTIM rules.

AFH - Chapter 4

  • Before conducting any performance or upset recovery maneuvers in the sim, the pilot still needs to make sure that the area is clear
    • If possible turn on aircraft labels to easily identify nearby traffic
    • A safety check is generally not required as seat belts and loose items are not an issue
  • Your sim may lack a visual indication of a stall
    • Make sure your sounds isn't muted!
  • Lack of feel
    • Need to rely on visual clues in the sim
  • Stall characteristics can vary between sims and models

Tomas Hansson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Chief Flight Instructor, VATSTAR
DISCLAIMER: all information contained herein is for flight simulation purposes only.
March 2021

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