Since stalls are the cause of much concern among student pilots and the non-flying public, we will discuss them here. We mentioned that an airplane must attain flying speed in order to take off. Sufficient airspeed must be maintained in flight to produce enough lift to support the airplane without requiring too large an angle of attack. At a specific angle of attack, called the critical angle of attack, air going over a wing will separate from the wing or "burble" (see figure 1 ), causing the wing to lose its lift (stall). The airspeed at which the wing will not support the airplane without exceeding this critical angle of attack is called the stalling speed. This speed will vary with changes in wing configuration (flap position). Excessive load factors caused by sudden manoeuvres, steep banks, and wind gusts can also cause the aircraft to exceed the critical angle of attack and thus stall at any airspeed and any attitude. Speeds permitting smooth flow of air over the airfoil and control surfaces must be maintained to control the airplane.

Flying an airplane, like other skills that are learned, requires practice to remain proficient. Professional pilots for the major airlines, military pilots, and flight instructors all return to the classroom periodically for updating their skills. Good judgment must be exercised by all pilots to ensure the safe and skilful operation of the airplanes they fly.

fig 1 airfoil approaching and entering a stall

Types Of Stalls

Stalls can be practised both with and without power. Stalls should be practised to familiarize the student with the aircraft’s particular stall characteristics without putting the aircraft into a potentially dangerous condition. A description of some different types of stalls follows:

Departure Stalls (can be classified as power-on stalls) are practised to simulate takeoff and climb-out conditions and configuration. Many stall/spin accidents have occurred during these phases of flight, particularly during overshoots. A causal factor in such accidents has been the pilot’s failure to maintain positive pitch control due to a nose-high trim setting or premature flap retraction. Failure to maintain positive control during short field takeoffs has also contributed towards accidents.

Arrival Stalls (can be classified as power-off stalls or reduced power stalls) are practised to simulate normal approach-to-landing conditions and configuration. Simulations should also be practised at reduced power settings consistent with the approach requirements of the particular training aircraft. Many stall/spin accidents have occurred in situations, such as crossed control turns from base leg to final approach (resulting in a skidding or slipping turn); attempting to recover from a high sink rate on final approach by using only an increased pitch attitude; and improper airspeed control on final approach or in other segments of the traffic pattern.

Accelerated Stalls can occur at higher-than-normal airspeeds due to abrupt and/or excessive control applications. These stalls may occur in steep turns, pull-ups, or other abrupt changes in flight path. For these reasons, accelerated stalls usually are more severe than un-accelerated stalls and are often unexpected.

Stall Recovery

The key factor in recovery from a stall is regaining positive control of the aircraft by reducing the angle of attack. At the first indication of a stall, the wing angle of attack must be decreased to allow the wings to regain lift. Every aircraft in upright flight may require a different amount of forward pressure to regain lift. It should be noted that too much forward pressure could hinder recovery by imposing a negative load on the wing. The next step in recovering from a stall is to smoothly apply maximum allowable power to increase the airspeed and minimize the loss of altitude. As airspeed increases and the recovery is completed, power should be adjusted to return the aeroplane to the desired flight condition. Straight and level flight should then be established with full co-ordinated use of the controls. The airspeed indicator or tachometer, if installed, should never be allowed to reach their high-speed red lines at anytime during a practice stall.

Secondary Stalls

If recovery from a stall is not made properly, a secondary stall or a spin may result. A secondary stall is caused by attempting to hasten the completion of a stall recovery before the aircraft has regained sufficient flying speed. When this stall occurs, the elevator back pressure should again be released just as in a normal stall recovery. When sufficient airspeed has been regained, the aircraft can then be returned to straight-and-level flight.

Cross-Control Stalls

Students are taught to avoid steeply banked turns at low altitude. If you overshoot the extended centreline on a turn from base to final, there is a tendency to “cheat” by applying inside rudder to increase the rate of turn — which requires opposite aileron to maintain the bank angle. The skidding turn tends to make the nose drop requiring back pressure on the control column.

In an extreme case, the result can be a full back control column with full opposite aileron and full inside rudder. The inside wing will stall first resulting in a sudden incipient spin. This is sometimes referred to as an “under the bottom stall”.

A top-rudder stall or “over the top stall” can occur when the aircraft is slipping. The aircraft should roll towards the higher wing at the point of stall.

More on Stalls

Slow Flight

Most any one can skate or ride a bike fast. It is at slow speeds that true skill and control can be demonstrated. The same is true about flying.

Most any Vs1 slow flight can be performed in a ten degree bank. To the left just relax the rudder. To the right add rudder and opposite aileron. If you go beyond the 10-degrees you look forward to a cross-control stall. By adding some power you can make a 30 degree bank. Now the stall spin possibilities are increased. Time for a distraction to be introduced. Slow flight near the stall is called minimum controllable. The power of the rudder in controlling the stall and yaw is best demonstrated in this exercise. The proper rudder application is proven when the stall break is straight ahead without any wing drop. Any application of aileron will be counter productive by further stalling the wing and causing a more abrupt wing drop.

Aircraft Stall Factors

Wilbur Wright used the word 'stall' in 1904 to describe how in a turn Orville allowed the aircraft to pitch up too much and stall. The potential of an aircraft to stall or spin is in its design. A pilot's ability to detect and react to this potential is a criteria of flying skill. When an airplane is flown at an angle that exceeds the critical angle of attack, the airplane will stall. In deliberate training stalls we decrease airspeed and avoid the abusive control inputs that cause unusual attitude stalls. Low speed is not the cause of the stall; the cause is the angle of attack.

The pilot has control of the elevator. Pressures on the elevator determine if the wing will develop an angle of attack sufficient to stall. When the angular difference between where an airplane is pointed and the way it is going exceeds about 11 degrees to the wing's chord line a stall occurs. This is called the critical angle of attack. Exceeding the critical angle of attack of the wing with elevator inputs will cause the airflow to break from the upper wing surface. This break in air flow reduces the coefficient of lift, increases the coefficient of drag and transmits to the pilot a series of aerodynamic, mechanical and physiological cues.

Stall warners give a ten-knot warning of impending stalls as normally performed. The accidental inadvertent stalls that I have encountered occurred simultaneously with the sound of the horn. The same plane could stall at 40 knots when weighing 1600 pounds an at 30 knots weighing 1300 pounds. Of course, weight is always a factor in that a 20% weight increase will give 10% higher stall speeds. while a corresponding 20% reduction in weight will give a 10% lower stall speed. . The real objective is not so much performance as recognition by sight, sound, and feel.

The critical constant in stall speeds is weight. Book  (POH) figures are based on gross weights. This provides most flight operations with a built in safety margin. This safety margin may be over-ridden by knowing that your actual weight is a certain percentage less than the gross. You can reduce your approach speed by a percentage that is half the percentage of lower weight difference. Some aircraft have critical approach airspeeds that do not follow the rule because of control and ability to go-around considerations.

When stalling speeds are determined for aircraft they are set at the most critical CG condition. Thus the speeds are set in the manual for "indicated" speeds with a forward CG position. This gives the highest stalling speed. Since training aircraft are seldom flown at the most forward CG the usual stall speed will be lower. This accounts for the book differences you should have noted. The way an aircraft behaves entering, during, and recovering from a stall is used to determine its stall characteristic. These characteristics are determined at the aft CG when stall speed is at its slowest.

Desirable Stalls

A "stall" occurs as a result of one of two events:

1. The wings can not support the load of the weight being carried.
2. The horizontal tail can not provide the pitching authority needed to support the wing loading (tail stall)
3. 1 and 2 have to do with an aircraft that has exceeded its critical angle of attack.

The normal stall is when the wing stalls. When the tail stalls it is called a tail-stall. The tail stalls are very abrupt and the nose pitches down near the vertical. This stall increases the effective AOA of the tail. The stall can tuck the aircraft inverted with negative G-forces. The most desirable stall occurs when the wing root stalls first and moves outward to the wing tip. This desirable stall can be built into the wing by twisting the wing, adding slots to the wing tip, putting stall/spoiler strips to the leading edge of the root.  The noise you first hear is the vibration of erratic air hitting the tail surfaces. 

Every aircraft type and even aircraft of the same type will have stalling characteristics affected by weight distribution, wing loading, its critical angle of attack, control movement, configuration, and power. Higher powered aircraft can often be flown out of the stall by the addition of power. The purpose of such a stall recovery is to minimize any loss of altitude. This is a more aggressive stall recovery than the usual lower the nose technique.

Stall characteristics are often 'discovered' after the aircraft has gone into production. The manufacturer-government license agreement requires that all production aircraft adhere to original construction so some modifications are incorporated. The most expensive fix is construction of a leading edge slot. A 'cuff' or drooped leading edge may be used, a series of protrusions on the upper wing surface may be used to direct air flow even to the extent of being full chord 'fences' to prevent span-wise flow. The addition of a small triangular strip on the leading edge of the wing can cause the airflow over the surface to break and burble sooner than otherwise. This, rather common, method, is the least expensive fix of all. The design should be such that the stall occurs progressively from root to tip. The tips have a lower angle of attack than the root. Recovery of a stall begins at the tips and proceeds to the root. This design allow ailerons to remain effective for longer periods.  This is a defence against the rudder-shy pilot who reacts with aileron for a wing drop rather than rudder..

Government stall tests are not made with slips or skids. While the old saw of slips being good and skids being bad may be true, it is only partially true. A stall that occurs in a slip or skid may occur at a higher speed than expected. Any deflection of the ailerons will increase the stall onset. Any aggravation of the stall by increasing the back pressure may result in sudden attitude changes due to turning and unequal wing speed. The attitudes resulting may be a combining of yaw, roll, and spin entry.

As the stall approaches the ailerons become ineffective first. Elevators follow when the airflow from the wing becomes turbulent. This turbulence is your natural stall warning. As the stall approaches, students tend to under react with the required rudder pressure to keep the wing speeds balanced. A more aggressive application of rudder in the beginning is more desirable.

When the stall occurs that will kill you it won't be at 2500 feet AGL….It won't be done intentionally and you won't expect it. It'll happen on short final, right after takeoff or on the go around from a short strip  You'll be distracted (which is why you've allowed this to develop) and will need to make an immediate and proper corrective action. The only way to develop that reflex is with practice but not a low altitudes.

Trim in the Stall

Trim is not normally used to relieve pressure during the actual performance of training stalls. However the new PTS (Practical Test Standards) now calls for stalls to be made in a trimmed condition with distractions. A no power recovery should occasionally be called for. Any flaps more than 20 degrees should be taken off at once. Less than 20 degrees of flaps should come off when climb speed is attained. The apparent attitude of stalled aircraft with flaps is quite flat. Holding pitch attitude of the aircraft correctly while removing flaps is a must. No loss of altitude should occur while removing flaps. A secondary stall during recovery is indicative of failure.

Wings in the Stall

The manner in which the stall cues are transmitted is dependent upon wing shape, twist (washin/washout) and installed features such as strips, slots or flaps. Together these cues provide the pilot a warning of the stall onset. With washout the wing is mounted in a jig and twisted to lower the angle of incidence at the wing tip while being built.. Impact air on the bottom of the wing still provides some residual lift but not enough to keep the airplane flying.

Ailerons in the stall will only aggravate it. Ailerons change to chord line of the wing to create lift and movement along the roll axis. When the aileron is stalled, their movement causes roll that is contrary to what you either want or expect. Once the recovery is initiated with forward yoke and rudder the use of ailerons may or may not be helpful depending on the aircraft. This difference is aileron effectiveness is related to the washin/washout or twist given to the wing progressively toward the tips. Tips stall last and recover first in most modern aircraft due to a decreased angle of incidence. Aircraft design determines the aircraft stall characteristics.

A stall progression, if the same on both wings, will result in a straight ahead nose drop with no rotation about the roll axis. Not all stalls are symmetrical and the pilot will experience an abrupt drop of one wing or the other. The instinctive reaction to this by the inexperienced will be a reaction to lift the fallen wing by using the aileron. WRONG! Only the rudder can effectively stop the rolling of the aircraft. The falling wing can be decisively raised only with opposite rudder. This rudder causes the falling wing to increase in speed by moving forward. You may still be stalled but the rotation was caused by a non-symmetrical stall. Rudder can make the stall symmetrical without the rolling.

When the angle of attack reaches a certain point the drag is so great that full power will be inadequate to maintain altitude. At this point you are flying 'behind the power curve'. In this condition your only recourse is to sacrifice altitude by lowering the nose. Without sufficient altitude to allow the aircraft to resume un-stalled flight, this is not a viable option. This is the flight situation that arrives in entry to a full-power-on stall. With power full and stalled any misuse of the rudder or ailerons will precipitate a relatively quick spin entry.

Rudder in the stall

A spin can be prevented even when aggravated by the ailerons if the pilot maintains directional control through use of the rudder. A spin can only occur with the addition of yaw in the stall. The rudder can and should be used to prevent any yaw in the stall and the recovery procedure. The correct use of rudder in stalls is essential. The rudder controls the yaw which means it can keep the speed of each wing the same or cause one to be ahead (faster) than the other. The slower wing will stall first and drop. Any effort to raise the wing with aileron will add drag and deepen the wing's stall.

The rudder is the last control to lose effectiveness. Even in the stall if there is some forward momentum there is some degree of effectiveness. In a stall entry you first lose aileron control, then elevator and lastly rudder. On recovery, you gain rudder control first then elevator and lastly aileron. As the most effective control during slow speed manoeuvres rudder, correctly applied, can compensate for the lost effectiveness of the ailerons. The rudder can be used to keep the wings level to the relative wind. Such level wings causes the stall break to be without a wing dropping. Keeping the ball of the inclinometer in the centre gives assurance that the tail is following the nose. This is coordinated flight. If the heading indicator is held steady with a very gradual application of right rudder, little or no aileron movement will be required to keep wings level.

PTS Stalls

PTS wants 20-degree banks for power-on stalls and up to 30 degrees for power-off stalls. The stall recovery puts the nose on or very slightly below the horizon. The pilot applies full power and corrects for any stall-induced roll with the rudder.

Clearing Turns

There are certain aspects of training stalls that are the same for all of them. Every stall should (must) be preceded by 90 degree clearing turns left and right. (The clearing turns should be as precise as to amount of turn, angle of bank, altitude, and heading as though they were part of the stall process.) The well performed practice stall will result in an initial loss of 100'. The actual stall may be called as incipient, partial, full, or aggravated. The longer a stall is aggravated or held, the more airspeed decreases. This means either more power or altitude will be required during recovery. The recovery is always with full power, no flaps, in a climb, and at best rate of climb speed (65 kts). An old FAA recommendation was that 300' be gained during recovery but the time required is not practical in many cases. Trim for any climb.

Where to Practice

One major problem of instruction is where to go to safely practice stalls. Since you will be flying in all directions during this period you want to be within 3000' of the earth's surface. Avoid flight at altitudes where the hemispheric rule applies. You try to find an area clear of an active fly way between airports and preferably clear of any airways or vectoring routes. I have found it best to operate over mountain ridges and plateaus which allow legal operations at such altitudes as 4300' or 3800'. This gives some additional glide range to the lowlands. Avoid any operations at even thousands of feet as well as those at the 500s' since you will be exposed to either IFR or VFR transient aircraft. I

Not so Real Stalls

It is nearly impossible to create a 'practice' stall that has all the qualities of an unintentional stall.
However, the recovery from both the intentional and unintentional stall will be the same. Efforts to create the accidental or unintentional stall may be so emotionally traumatic that the mere mention of a stall causes an anxiety attack. The mental and emotional attitude of the student toward a stall and the recovery is perhaps more important that the actual performance.

The deliberate stall is an integral part of a normal landing. The student should be talked through a landing to understand how the aerodynamics of a stall with all of its control feel and sinking sensations makes the landing possible.

Power is not needed either to perform or recover from a stall. (Use a paper airplane to demonstrate) The use of power in the stall will make for a higher angle of attack and power in the recovery will reduce the loss of altitude. The essential of any stall recovery is to be decisive, deliberate and timely in the recovery.

As such, the procedural "stall" we learn, practice, and mimic for the examiner bears little-to-no resemblance whatsoever to real-life inadvertent stall/spin scenarios--the stuff we as pilots must be on guard for and be prepared to deal with. In fact, one Princeton University study revealed the following about stall-only (no spins!) fatal accidents:

60 percent of the cases, turning flight preceded the fatal stall accident.
Turning and/or climbing flight preceded 85 percent of the fatal stall accidents.
Only 15 percent of fatal stall accidents involved neither turning nor climbing prior.

Stall Avoidance Practice at Slow Airspeeds (PTS)

1. Hold heading and altitude while reducing power and trimming.
2. Hold heading and altitude with stall warner on.
3. Demonstrate elevator trim from neutral to full up.
4. Note left turning tendency and rudder effectiveness.
5. Demonstrate required right rudder.
6. Demonstrate rudder effect by releasing/applying.
7. Make right/left turns without rudder to show yaw.
8. Practice slow flight climbs, descents, turns.
9. Demonstrate flap extension/retraction at slow speeds to avoid stall.
10. Distractions
11. Check altitude loss. Note airspeed loss in transition.

Stall Recognition

The stall is because of the angle of attack not the airspeed or attitude.
a. Mushy controls
b. Change in pitch of exterior air flow
c. Buffet, vibration, pitching, sounds
d. Stall warning
e. Body sensing

Natural Stall Warning

Some older aircraft do not have stall-warners. The natural stall warning is a first sensing of buffeting on the horizontal tail surfaces. The usual stall-warners alerts you up to 10 knots before the stall. The new FAR 23.207 requires prior warning but at no stated point.

Generic Stall Recovery

At recognition reduce angle of attack. The quickness of the yoke movement should correspond with the abruptness of the stall. Apply smooth power and establish straight and level or climb as required. A pilot must make significantly incorrect control input during the stall to create an incipient spin. Instinctive reactions are invariably, if not wrong, too much control application. Stall and spin recoveries are intellectual; not instinctive.

Secondary Stall

A secondary stall is a 'failure' during any flight test.
The secondary stall occurs when, during the recovery of an initial stall, the pilot over-controls the recovery. At the slow speeds involved there is greatly reduced stick forces. It all too easy to apply enough back pressure to make the secondary stall both abrupt and violent.

Stalls Down Low

There is something about ground proximity and low altitude turns that cause reactions leading to stalls. It could be that more attention is being paid to the ground than to flying. Many of the factors that are likely to increase stall speeds exist close to the ground. Turbulence, increased bank angle, lack of coordination, and low speeds are most likely.

The quality of the turn for a given angle of bank can make the turning stall either break ahead or create an abrupt wing break which if reacted to by aileron will only make things worse. The un-stalled wing aggravates the drop by providing ever more lift. The nose will drop while following the dropping wing. The ground makes the pilot reluctant to lower the nose, even though this is the only possible solution. If power is increased at the turn entry, the increase in speed may be used to offset drag created by the turn. Power applied while in the turn is already too late. Stall speeds increase as the square root of the load factor. A 30-degree bank results in only .15 G increase in load factor. Banks beyond 30-degree can result in dramatic load factor increases as can turbulence. An aircraft at low speed will stall at a relatively small angle of bank. When stalls occur down low there is usually insufficient altitude for recovery regardless of proficiency.

Deep Stall

A deep stall can occur when the aircraft is in a very high angle-of-attack and high drag configuration as in minimum controllable. Airplanes, by design, will enter this undesirable mode only when loaded outside weight and centre-of-gravity limits. Recovery from a deep stall may be possible only by changing the C. G. of the aircraft. Don't do stalls if you don't know the status of your C. G.

The deep stall occurs when the rearward centre of gravity makes it so that the nose cannot be lowered with full elevator deflection. The stall angle of attack is exceeded by a margin well beyond the normal angle. The pitch-up is rapid and uncontrollable. The effectiveness of the horizontal stabilizer and elevator is dependent on the flow of the relative wind over these tail surfaces. The airflow over the tail surfaces is greatly reduced at slow speeds and high angles of attack. The nose will remain high with a very high rate of descent until the tail surfaces stall or until effectiveness can be restored. The use of full flaps can precipitate this condition in wind-shear conditions. T-tail aircraft are more prone, simply because there is no prop-wash to augment any relative wind needed to load the tail surfaces.

Stall Recoveries

The better the stall recovery the less altitude lost provided a secondary stall does not occur. Excess forward elevator in recovery often leads to an excessive counter and the secondary stall. Any misuse of the aileron can give a sideslip leading to a spin. The inclinometer ball is the leading indicator of unbalanced flight. The lead sentence of this item is correct only if the stall is not prelude to a spin.

The amount of forward elevator must be referenced with the abruptness of the stall and the degree of pitch up acquired. The recovery initiated by the elevators must be correlated with the power/speed increases. Any turning motion should be corrected after speed has increased. Any bank should be controlled with the rudder only. Especially at high angles of attack. Spins result from improper stall recoveries and uncoordinated stalls. Power is not used if an incipient spin entry occurs.

When the root of the wing is stalled the disrupted flow of air over the wing affects the horizontal tail progressively as the stall progresses toward the wing tip. You will feel the vibration in the tail surfaces. Under the new PTS this is the time to initiate your recovery.

Power-Off Stall


Clearing turns. Carb heat and power smoothly off. Hold heading and altitude with yoke and rudder while aircraft decelerates. It is important that the yoke be pulled smoothly and logarithmically back and UP. (The unexpected sound of the stall warner often interrupts the students use of the yoke. It should not.)
A technique for keeping the wings level is to maintain a constant heading on the heading indicator. Use the rudder. The first sign of stall is a slight tremor along the wing. This is the incipient stall. By bringing the yoke back and up still more a more violent tremor will we felt. This is the partial stall where the erratic airflow over the wings reaches back to vibrate off the tail planes. The tremor followed by a shudder, pitch and roll and nose or wing drop is a full stall. If the yoke is held back even through the nose or wing drop this is the aggravated stall. A spin will usually follow if rudder is applied so as to lose directional control.

There are several common faults associated with the power off stall. Most students have been influenced by certain texts into scaring themselves doing the stall. They pull back too quickly and push forward abruptly. If the yoke is brought back The violence of stall recovery is proportional to the abruptness of the stall. The more gentle the stall entry attained by holding altitude and attitude the more gentle will be the stall.


Recovery is initiated by lowering the nose to or slightly below the horizon, applying full power, leveling the wings as required, removing any flaps and initiating a climb. Properly performed power off stalls should be recovered with a loss of about 100' before a positive climb rate is achieved.


A gentle entry to the stall can be followed by a smooth gentle recovery. Where the wing begins its stall at the wing root the turbulence makes it possible to feel the turbulence vibration as it affects the horizontal tail surfaces. Some students sense this as the stall, whereas it is an incipient phase likely to be followed by the tip stall. The abrupt wing drop occurs with a tip stall where rudder is not applied to cause both tips to stall at the same time. It ideal stall break is straight ahead. It can only be achieved when the rudder is properly used.

A variation of the power off stall is sometimes called a 'characteristic stall'. In this instance the stall is performed with the power off but the recovery is also accomplished with power off. This is the stall situation that would occur where an engine failure exists and the pilot tries to stretch the glide.

Power-On Stall (Partial power)

For propeller-driven aircraft it makes a difference; with power off stalling speed is somewhat below the power-on stalling speed, because with power on the speed of the air just behind the propeller is above the IAS. So for a given angle of attack there is a somewhat greater lift with power on.


Clearing turns, CH, power 1500, hold heading and altitude while slowing to 60-kts. Power 2000 rpm or full, hold heading with rudder as plane climbs and slows. Increase back and up pressure until stall, relax pressure and allow nose to fall to or slightly below horizon. Full power and climb at 65-kts. With power at 1300 RPM this stall is used in making full flaps soft field landing.


Recovery is made by lowering the nose to or slightly below the horizon and at the same time applying full power and rudder to maintain heading. Level the wings and initiate a Vy climb.

Density Altitude Recovery:

Lowering the nose to or slightly below the horizon makes the recovery and power is NOT changed while an effort is made to climb. This demonstrates the very real problem of a departure stall made at altitude where additional power may not be available.

Departure Stall

First you must know what you are trying to simulate. Visualize a situation where you have just reached rotation speed when a stopped gasoline truck pulls on to the runway about 500 feet a head of you. Without thinking, you will pull back on the yoke and turn to go over and avoid the truck.

Preliminary exercise is to go into slow flight. Look down the leading edge of the left wing and hit the right rudder. You will see the leading edge speed up. Relax the rudder and it will fall back. One wing, the slowest wing, will stall first any time the wings are not 'flying' at the same speed. Now you know why the wing drops and how to stop it.

An additional exercise is to slow to 60 knots with power at ~1900 rpm. Very slowly raise the nose to the stall. Hold heading with rudder. make recovery only by lowering the nose to or very slightly below the horizon. Do not change power as with normal recovery. Leave the power alone and do a series of stalls one after the other. You should be able to enter the stalls and make the recovery within 100 feet of altitude. If a wing drops, raise it with rudder not yoke.

In this particular stall a series of them can be made within a 100' altitude range just be making a smooth recovery and then slowly enter the stall again. Leave the power alone. Doing several of these will make you more aware of the variable rudder force changes required to get a smooth stall break without wing drop. A rudder exercise can be performed while doing this stall. You can perform an oscillation stall by 'walking" the rudder to bring up any wing that drops. How far into the stall you are will determine the amount of rudder input required. In the introduction to this the student should be shown that application of right rudder causes the left wing to move forward. The trailing wing will always stall first. Ailerons should be neutral.

When you have solved the rudder problem you can go to banks. Banks should not exceed 20 degrees regardless of power. The step by step additions of power in 200 rpm increments should proceed as before until you get to full power. The geometry of your arm and hand on the yoke in all stalls is important. You should be able to pull and LIFT the yoke with only two fingers. This will help you avoid increasing any bank beyond 20 degrees. If you are flying and using a full grip on the yoke...stop it now.


First step is to slow the aircraft down at altitude. there would be nothing wrong to getting down to 55 knots or even 50 knots. The slower you go the less the nose will pitch up. Since rudder seems to be a problem you should practice with less than full power more than a few times. Begin with only 2000 rpm until you get the rudder so that you break straight ahead. Do the first series straight ahead with no turns. the higher the nose and power the more rudder. Keep the heading indicator still with the rudder and your wings will be level. Try some of these under the hood.


Clearing turns, CH, power 1500, hold heading and altitude while slowing to 60 kts. Power 2000 rpm or full, enter 20 degree bank as plane climbs and slows. Increase back pressure until stall. If done properly nose will fall forward. Wing drop or yaw indicates improper use of rudder. At stall lower nose to or slightly below horizon, level wings while applying power, raise nose, climb at 65-kts. This stall is best avoided by maintaining correct climb speed and never banking over 30 degrees in the pattern.

Approach Stall

This stall is best avoided by maintaining approach speed and limiting banks to 30 degrees. Failure to maintain ground-track in reference to runway and wind effect is a common cause leading to this stall situation.


Clearing turns, CH, power 1500, at white arc put in full flaps while holding heading, altitude and maintaining airspeed at 60-kts. If done correctly full flaps and 60-kts occur simultaneously. Enter 20 degree bank and hold altitude until stall.


If nose properly falls forward, apply full power and raise flaps 20 degrees. Initiate climb at 65 kts and bring up rest of flaps. The yoke pressures change continuously from forward to back as the flaps are removed. Wing drop is indicative of improper rudder pressure.

Accelerated Stall

There is an airspeed at which a wing will stall at 1 g in level flight. This is calculated at gross weight using an airspeed selected by the manufacturer. You will find this at the bottom of the green arc on the ASI (Vs1) . With gear and flaps the bottom of the white arc is Vso. The accelerated stall is a stall that occurs at a wing loading over 1 g.

There is a portion of any airplane's flight envelope where the addition of a load factor above 1 g will produce a stall at a higher airspeed than Vs1 and not hurt the airplane. You will find this portion of the flight envelope between Vs1 and Va, which is the manoeuvring speed for that airplane. Within this area we can define the accelerated stall. Not above Va, because above Va, structural damage to the airplane has occurred before the accelerated stall has occurred.

The one common denominator in all stalls is the critical angle of attack. Every stall is a function of angle of attack and not airspeed or load factor, even though these factors are present in the accelerated stall. You can stall an airplane at various airspeeds and load factors, but at only one angle of attack. Angle of attack is the key to understanding stall, especially the accelerated stall.

This stall is unique in that the ailerons are used for the recovery. It is called accelerated because the stall occurs at relatively high speeds while the aircraft is subject to greater than normal G-forces. The factor that causes this is the high wing loading due to a steep bank. Any steep bank with abrupt yoke pressure to hold altitude can lead to this stall.


Make clearing turns at cruise. Enter a 45 degree steep bank at level altitude and cruise speed. Hold that altitude and bank while applying carburettor head and smoothly-gradually reduce power to OFF. Increase back pressure to prevent ANY loss of altitude. If the back pressure is abruptly applied any stall will be rapid and severe. If VSI goes down you will go down shortly thereafter. It this happens, start procedure over again. Yoke must come full back and up to get stall. The resulting centrifugal forces will increase the wing loading. The plane will stall at a higher speed because of the excessive manoeuvring loads. Any descent will void entire procedure. Practice at altitude and keep your turns coordinated

If you have the yoke all the way back and the power is off, you have done as much as you can to make it stall. Try doing the manoeuvre a bit faster and you may get the break you are looking for. This stall is unique in that the ailerons remain effective so it can be quickly broken just be levelling the wings.


Since stall occurs at a higher speed, ailerons will still be effective and recovery may be initiated by levelling wings and using rudder. The accidental entry can occur from any steep bank done with abrupt yoke pressure while endeavouring to hold altitude. This is the only stall that does not require the nose to be lowered and in which the ailerons remain effective. Failure to initiate stall recovery can result in a power-on spin. Uncoordinated rudder will give a spin entry. (see spins)

This is the stall that is apt to occur when you are turning base to final and you have over-shot the runway. You increase the bank angle and pull back on the yoke to hold the nose up. The g-load increases and you do not have altitude to recover if a spin results. The difference here has to do with the use of rudder and existence of yaw. Uncoordinated you get the spin entry, coordinated you get an accelerated stall.

Accelerated Stall Situations

To unload the wing you "step on the blue" along with forward yoke to break the stall and lower the load factor. Then use top rudder to initiate the recovery. Very often in an unusual attitude, the pilot will pull back on the yoke. The unusual attitude requires that the angle of attack be lowered and the stall broken. It is the instinctive response to the unusual attitude that makes breaking the stall difficult to achieve. Attempting to level the wings with the ailerons will produce extreme attitude changes unless the stall is broken first.

If the aircraft is trimmed for an approach speed, a spiral dive derived from an unusual attitude may increase the speed so that levelling the wings will tear the aircraft apart. Excessive load must be reduced by pushing forward on the yoke.

Cross Control Turn Base to Final Stall

The cross-control stall occurs when the pilot reacts to a high ground speed due to a tailwind as indicative of a need to reduce airspeed while on base. This sensed need for speed reduction occurs just after the pilot notices a turn is required. Then the pilot realizes that the turn cannot be completed in a normal bank so more rudder is used to speed up the turn. This then requires 'up' elevator to keep the nose from dropping.. This slows the aircraft even more and the lower wing stalls and tucks under and straight down. With less than a few hundred feet of altitude, no recovery is possible.

This entire cross-control scenario can be avoided by planning to fly any downwind leg that is being blown into the runway at twice the distance away from the runway as a normal downwind. The benefit compounds by giving a longer base leg with more time to plan and make the turn to final. It is too bad, even sad, that the FAA landing booklets only address the problem in their presentation diagrams. What is needed is a few solutions diagrams that show how the situation can be avoided.

Things that can help deflect the situation:

Diagram the ATIS or AWOS to show both the runway and the wind velocity/direction vector. This will dramatically show when the need for a wider downwind leg is required.

At a controlled airport you have the option to request a pattern that gives a headwind rather than a tailwind on base.  The aggravated cross-control stall uses full right aileron and full left rudder will be totally uncoordinated. The use of full power into this stall will cause the aircraft to snap over instantly. Aircraft will go inverted if the stall is not broken immediately.

The deadliest stall is the cross-control stall that occurs in the landing pattern during a turn from base to final. The precipitating factor in the stall is in a tailwind on the base leg. The pilot may have failed to adequately correct for the crosswind on the downwind leg. The aircraft has drifted into the runway. This makes the base leg not only short but relatively fast. The speed both real and by illusion may cause the pilot to overrun the final approach course, raise the nose to reduce the speed, make a steeper than normal bank, or worse add top rudder to get the nose around more quickly. The slightest inattention or distraction will not catch the resultant nose drop, stall, and the snap roll toward the low wing will be an unrecoverable spin entry due to lack of altitude. Although the recovery may be impossible, the prevention lies in awareness as to how crosswinds tend to reduce the base leg. With the awareness comes flying a pattern flight path that will give a longer leg which, even at a higher speed, will allow a planned normal turn to the final approach course. 


#1 Usually results from a skidding turn to final where the pilot overshoots of final makes a steeper bank, uses too little rudder, nose goes down, and sink rate increases. The pilot tries to raise the nose with elevator. You have an accelerated stall, spin, and crash. This stall/spin is major fatality problem because it occurs too low to make a spin recovery possible.


The skidding turn, ball to the outside of the turn, is the opening for a spin. NEVER use the rudder to increase the turn rate. The uncoordinated turn is region where this stall and spin accident occurs. In crosswinds that are blowing you into the runway double your perception of the usual distance away from the runway.


#2 Aircraft is close to ground so pilot is reluctant to lower wing into bank. Instead tries to execute turn using excessive rudder. Excess rudder causes plane to bank into the turn and the nose to pitch down. Pilot applies opposite aileron to raise wing and nose up elevator. Attempting to raise a 'dropped' wing by applying opposite aileron increases the effective angle of attack and will induce or aggravate a stall. Inside wing will drop and roll aircraft inverted after accelerated stall.


Fly the correct altitude, pattern size and airspeed for the wind conditions and you will not have a problem.

Unrecoverable stall


The base turn in a following crosswind creates a problem with holding airspeed. This turn makes the existing crosswind into a tailwind and the pilot's peripheral vision will detect an increase in ground speed. If the turn makes the existing crosswind into a headwind the eye will detect a decrease in ground speed. This conscious or unconscious perception of speed may and often does cause the pilot to make unintentional changes in the airspeed. A constant airspeed is essential for all landings.

The base leg perception of ground speed and maintenance of a single indicated air speed (IAS) is essential for making the turn to final. If wind, illusion, or inattention positions your plane too close to the runway on downwind your base leg will be short. This most often occurs at night and at small unfamiliar fields. Students will turn too early with the headwind and too late with the tailwind. Being too late means that the student has overshot alignment with the runway. The result is that procedures become hurried and airspeed un-stabilized. Both these problems are made worse if the downwind leg is flown to give a short base leg. The dangerous part of this is that the pilot may have slowed below the proper airspeed. Normal reaction to overshooting is to make the turn steeper to regain alignment. The combination of slow and steep is the introduction of a stall spin accident. Abort the approach and GO-AROUND. Never exceed a 30 degree bank in the pattern and use sound as indicative of airspeed changes.

A high proportion of accidents seem to result from these improperly performed turns at low altitudes. Low airspeeds combined with steep turns result in stress and instinctive reactions. I would think that the mere factor of ground presence causes excessive distraction. The making of turns at low altitudes is not a common general aviation procedure. The distraction of rapidly moving ground at unfamiliar angles is unavoidable. There are illusions which result in inappropriate control application. The nose will always drop toward the low wing.

The pilot who normally flies solo or at less than gross weights must be prepared for higher stall speeds and load factors when fully loaded. As a reminder a 20% increase in weight will give a 10% increase in stall speed. The combination of all factors result in an unexpected stall followed by a spin entry. The usually safe 30 degree bank can give a 50% higher stall speed if it is performed in moderate turbulence. Most of our low level turns in training are performed at much less than gross weights. Once out of training our aircraft weights get much closer to gross.

Now we have set the scenario for a stall spin accident that beings at low altitude. Wings tend to stall always at the same angle of attack. We can increase the load factor by making a steeper bank. Being at gross weight frames the picture. Gross weight, higher load factor and at the stall angle of attack. Now comes the surprise. Add just one good shot of turbulence. The stall onset arrives and it happens at a much higher airspeed. The pilot has never stalled at such a high speed before. The pilot feels deceived by his plane and instruction in the final moments. It was not supposed to happen this way.

Trimmed Go-Around Stall

The elevator trim stall is illustrative of what can happen when full power is applied for a go-around with full nose-up trim. Full power application under such conditions can cause abrupt pitch up such that any rudder use may provide a spin entry, surprise and over-power the pilot's ability to hold the yoke forward. Can be prevented if sufficient control force is applied to prevent pitch up before clean up. A pilot who does not keep track of his trim can get into stall trouble. Sudden application of power with pilot not expecting need for extra right rudder application due to P-factor .


Landing approach configuration trimmed for speed. Partial power with little elevator or rudder pressure +distraction. The stall is initiated with partial power partial to full flaps and trimmed for approach speed. When full power is applied the nose will pitch high and to the left.


If the pilot does not counter the forces and remove the trim he can be physically overcome. In an actual go-around situation the altitude loss required could be below ground level. (understatement) At stall, recover to normal climb. Stress attitude, control pressures, and trim during go round.


While in full flap stall with full flap attempted climb. likely secondary stall. Full flap stall with rapid removal of flaps to produce secondary stall. Accidents occur most often by failure to initiate go-around before ground obstacles become a factor.

To simulate an accidental stall the instructor must get the student totally focused on an unrelated factor. The easiest factor is altitude. Demand that throughout the following manoeuvre that the altitude must not be allowed to vary. Heading may be used alone or in conjunction with altitude as the concentration factor. Eliminate an essential element from being able to hold altitude (power) or heading (rudder). The clock can be used as a focus item as by having the student call out the number of seconds every seven seconds or even every four seconds. What we are doing is setting up a mental set that eliminates flying the aircraft as a factor. Now we can get the accidental stall.

Regardless of the stall type being performed, it is vital that the rudder be used during entry and recovery. In the absence of yaw a spin will not occur.

Engine Failure at Altitude Stall


As always, clearing turns. Carburettor heat and power to idle. Retain altitude and turn immediately toward possible landing area. Trim for best glide speed. If in doubt trim all the way back. Use your checklist. Make your field selection early and stay with your choice.

Changing your mind should be only as a last resort. If you have some power available you can approach at a lower touch down speed. Flaps only when field is certain. You and the aircraft can bear horizontal impact better than vertical impact. An impact below 45 knots is both survivable and likely non-injury.

Takeoff Engine Failure Stall

The standard emergency for engine failure on takeoff is to land ahead into the wind. Make no more than 30 degrees of heading change to locate the best landing place. An emergency landing into a 10 kt wind at a full flap stall speed of 35 kts gives you a survivable ground contact speed of 25 kts. However, there is another option possible if sufficient altitude has been gained before failure. (A good reason to always takeoff and climb at best rate, Vy) To determine this altitude it is necessary to practice at altitude.


At altitude initiate climb at best angle of climb (Vx) on a North heading, pull power and hold pitch attitude to simulate engine failure. Repeat exercise but lower nose to get best glide speed. Have the student execute a right turn in a 30 degree bank to 240 degrees. Note the altitude loss. Do the same 240 degree turn to the left. Note the altitude loss. Now do both turns with 45 to 60 degree banks. and note altitude lost. Add 50% to the altitudes as a fudge factor for actual use. From these turns you should decide that the steep turn loses the least altitude. Having determined this we now can add some factors for returning to a runway. If there is any crosswind always make the turn into the wind since it will bring you back to the runway. If there are parallel runways turn to the parallel since only 180 degrees of turn will be needed. Crossing runways may even need less turn.  Consider a crossing taxiway.

If the tailwind is 10 kts it will double the required runway for landing. If takeoff is into relatively strong head wind the ground speed of the turn will increase dramatically. The increased ground speed decreases the time available to complete the turn. Turn errors multiply if the pilot slows the aircraft in an effort to slow the ground speed.


Instinctive and most likely fatally incorrect effort is to turn back. Lower nose to best glide attitude. Landing attitude under control assures survivable ground contact. This is the best 'every time' solution until you have determined your personal 'turn back' limits with a fudge factor.

Engine Failure on Final Stall

There is always an instinctive effort to maintain 'correct' relationship of runway to nose of aircraft. Desire to keep from losing altitude.


Simulate power loss on final in full flap landing configuration. Student is to avoid losing over 100 feet in next 20 seconds while calling out every five seconds on clock. Using elevators to keep from losing altitude for 20-30 seconds. Stretching glide fails as ever increasing pitch results in stall as aircraft runs out of airspeed and altitude at the same time.


Bring up all flaps to extend glide. Maintain glide speed. No heading changes beyond 30 degrees. Accept altitude loss while bringing up flaps. Fly in ground effect. Trim.

The correct procedure for this can be easily practiced. On short final at about 400', simulate the loss of power, have the student immediately remove all flaps while maintaining approach speed. Accept the immediate loss of altitude as it is traded off for up to 1/2 mile of glide range. Try it.

Landing Flare Stall

There are pilots who use trim is make the flare to landing. This is a trim practice not uncommon among Piper pilots. Piper's become quite heavy in the flare and pilots often use trim to ease the load. An aircraft trimmed in this manner during a go-around can give an extreme nose-high pitch attitude and a stall or spin. This is especially true in higher powered aircraft. This should be simulated only at altitude. It is, also, an excellent demonstration that the application of only power causes a decrease in airspeed

When level but at a pitch attitude beyond the stall angle of attack, any movement along the roll axis will make the rising (outboard) wing to decrease its angle of attack while the descending (inboard) wing will increase its angle of attack. The rolling and turning of the aircraft is caused by the differing lift and drag of the two wings. Encountering a cross wind when trimmed for short field approach while not applying enough forward yoke pressure to maintain airspeed during the 1/2 Dutch roll cross control descent.


Enter into fully trimmed slow flight both with and without flaps. Demand that your student immediately slow an additional 10 kts due to imaginary intruding traffic. Or, have student do this while getting a pencil from between his feet. Distract, give problems which will cause student to enter stall situation.


Initiate go-around immediately. Lower nose and get into ground effect while applying full power. If the nose-wheel hits continue the go-around and avoid moving the yoke from level flight position. (See nose-wheel landings)

Premature Flap Retraction Stall


Initiated at altitude from full flaps descent and level off to below full flap stall speed. Apply full power and make most rapid retraction of flaps. Results in full/partial stall. In a steep climb.  The use of right aileron and no rudder to keep the flight path straight will cause a spin entry. The left wing will drop and roll, the power will give yaw and a left spin is entered without the use of rudder.


Milk flaps at least half of flaps off on any go-around until Vx is reached and climb initiated.

Go-Around in a Right Crosswind Stall


Simulate slipping approach to the right with proper airspeed and trim. Right aileron and left rudder. Full power go-around and set pitch without neutralizing rudder.


Don't leave level attitude in go-around until control and airspeed are obtained.

Slow Flight in Pattern Stall

Attention diverted from flying to traffic. This may result in loss of altitude on downwind and a corresponding low-altitude base leg turn.


In simulated traffic pattern at altitude, reduce power and increase pitch. Continue to slow down and increase pitch then create diversion of attention to prevent notice of near stall condition.


Lower nose, trade altitude for speed if necessary. Full power. Clean up and go-around.

Short Field Takeoff Stall

The short field takeoff requires that the pilot set the pitch attitude so that the POH Vx speed will allow the aircraft to perform at its maximum level for obstacle clearance. Pilot control must be positive, precise, and coordinated.


Premature rotation before Vx with inadequate rudder control. Insufficient rudder often cause aileron use to create a slipping turn to the right. From right turn stall/spin caused by excessive right aileron. At stall spin is very abrupt, "over the top", and to the left. From left turn 'P-factor" gives nearly correct coordination and spin entry is slower.


Abrupt lowering of the nose to trade any altitude for airspeed. Full power. Get into ground-effect. Get speed before climbing. Abort if space permits.

Falling Leaf Stall

You can do a falling leaf stall by doing a straight-ahead power-on stall and hold the nose straight by using the rudder to prevent wing-drop. This is a great rudder exercise and confidence builder.

Stall Review

If a pilot can avoid those distractions caused by not keeping ahead of the airplane he has eliminated most of the precipitating causes of accidental stalls. Once out of those woods, however, you must watch for a alligators hiding in the grass. Those little surprises that always occur at the most inappropriate moments. These distractions will affect your aircraft control over speed, altitude, and heading. Any distraction be it malfunction, traffic, or radio that reduces basic aircraft control is a probable cause for an accidental stall. An abrupt full stall can put your nose straight down. Even then, your trained reflex should make you put the yoke forward to break the stall. Panic reactions in crises situations are more likely to kill you than trained reflex.

Stall spin accidents are still occurring at a rate of one-per-day as they have for many years. The cause is usually a distraction, followed by lack of recognition which is followed by delayed recovery. Delayed recovery is usually due to instinctive rather than trained reactions to seeing the ground over the nose. Instincts will inhibit recovery action. The hazards of unintentional stalls can be avoided by:

1. Avoidance of low and slow flight.
2. Limiting pattern banks to 30-degrees
3. Keeping some power on until just before touchdown.
4. Keeping your hand on the throttle
5. Using carburettor heat prior to power reduction.
6. Avoiding a pitch attitude that covers the horizon.
7. Don't look backwards to see the ground.
8. Always fly with a trimmed airplane.
8.5 When distracted, you should be able to fly the plane with rudder alone, no hands.
9. Don't carry on conversations during critical flight manoeuvres.
10. Let discrepancies wait for resolution on the ground.

Stall Strip

Stall strips are put on the leading edge of an aircraft wing is designed and placed to prevent an abrupt wing-tip stall, but instead to allow any stall to move gradually out from the fuselage to the wing tip.  The stall strip's purpose is to cause a stall before any part of the outboard part of the wing stalls.  This means a decreased abruptness of any wing drop.