Slow Flight


Understand theory and practical execution of slow flight.


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!

PHAK - Chapter 5

  • Stalls are caused by separation of airflow from the wing brought on by exceeding the critical Angle of Attack (AOA)
    • Stalls can occur at any pitch attitude or airspeed
    • Low speed is not necessary to produce a stall
  • AOA indicators
    • Better situational awareness pertaining to the aerodynamic health of the airfoil
    • Visually indicate the balance between airspeed, altitude, drag and thrust
    • Represent how efficiently the airfoil is operating

AFH - Chapter 4

  • Slow flight
    • AOA is just below the threshold for a stall
    • A small increase in AOA may result in an impending stall
  • Entering slow flight
    • Clear the area
    • Landing configuration
      • Perform landing checklists
    • Slowing to and maneuvering at
      • 5 to 10 knots above stall speed (VS0)
    • Announce slow flight
  • Recovery from slow flight
    • Apply forward control pressure to reduce the AOA
    • Maintain coordinated flight
    • Level the wings
    • Apply power as necessary to return to the desired flightpath.
    • Announce recovery

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 VATSIM  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!
  • The following slow flight characteristics may be modelled to various degree of accuracy
    • Torque
    • Slipstream effect
    • P-factors

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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