Monday, August 17, 2015

Flying Lesson #4 - Got Stall?

Today's lesson was all about slow flight.

I decided to take a long lunch and get in a flying lesson.

I checked out the aircraft, did the pre-flight and was happy to find all systems go with full fuel tanks. Someone had left the plane with the control lock off and the avionics switch on, but the master switch was off so it was someone being sloppy. N77345 started right up with no problems.

My taxiing was a lot better than my last lesson, as was my takeoff, and I did all the radio work. Progress!

We then headed over to the practice area and climbed to 3,500 feet.

Then we learned the ABCs of practice maneuvers:

A- Airspace - Do clearing turns to make sure there's no airplane likely to give you grief, make sure you've got sufficient altitude for the maneuver and there's no obstacles around.

B - Best available landing area - if something goes bad, have a place to land already picked out and ready to go.

C- Configuration - get the plane into the right configuration for whatever maneuver you're going to do, check seat-belts, fuel selector, mixture and carb heat.

After some clearing turns, Sean first demonstrated slow flight in both the clean and dirty (meaning flaps out) configurations.

I then gave it a go and did it pretty well. Clearing turns are easy and not a problem to do and then getting into slow flight and pitching and throttling the aircraft back to real slow was pretty neat.

Its a fun feeling to be up there with the stall horn blaring and the plane on an edge of a stall. The ailerons are barely responsive at that speed and it takes a lot of control back pressure to keep the nose up, and more to get the plane to turn, mainly with the rudder.

Then we moved on to power off stalls.

Those were fun, especially the drop at the end of each when the stall broke.

He also demonstrated stalls during turns to simulate what can happen when you screw up turning base to final when you're landing and try to put in a tight banking turn to get lined up on the runway. Think real fast and impressive altitude drop. Note to self: Do not screw up turning base to final.

Then I got to try stalling the aircraft myself.

It took a lot of back pressure to keep the nose up and make the plane stall, and a fair bit of rudder to keep it on course.

Mixture rich, carb heat on, Power out, flaps down, pitch up and hold it and listen to the stall horn blare.

When it did stall, it had a buffet and then made a nice clean break and I then did the recovery by dropping the nose, then applying full power and getting back to level flight and then a climb to recover altitude that was lost in the stall.

I was tending to point the nose too far down during recovery, which, if the stall happened when I was too low would not be good. We worked on it until I got used to just lowering the nose enough to break the stall and get an appropriate angle of attack going, then adding in power and recovering.

After that I got to fly us back to the airport and we had fun with some other traffic that was also coming in at the same time we were. I then taxied us back after landing and that taxi went pretty well too.

That's 1.5 more hours of flight time, or 1.4 hours of flying and .1 of the aircraft stalled and not flying, depending on how you look at these things.


juvat said...

It's a wise man that learns from other people's experience.

Stall + Yaw = Spin. (Ask me how I know.) Another word for Yaw is Rudder.

Too much of any control in a stall is bad.

That having been said, glad you enjoyed yourself. That's the most important part of flying.

Murphy's Law said...

Did the Hobbs meter stop during that .1 of stall time? If not, you were "flying" and have to write the check for it.

OldAFSarge said...

Officially, I am jealous.

How do I sneak flying lessons past the wife?

Not possible, so I live vicariously through my family and friends who fly.

Love these stories Aaron!

Keads said...

Keep 'em coming!

Aaron said...

juvat: Yes, I've now been briefed on spins and how to avoid them, and I'm going to keep working to improve my stall recoveries.

ML: Sadly the Hobbs kept on turning, I'm trying to figure out how to unwind it mid-air.

OldAFSarge - Whatever you do, don't sneak. Generally laying out how much fun and how useful it will be to take the family places by air helps...

Keads- I will!