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Check Ride Vote: Rough Power-Off Stall

Cessna 172 generalantilles

Nearly every student feels nervous practicing their first power-off stall. And, if a wing drops, it's common to try to raise the wing using the ailerons - which often makes the situation worse.

Take a look at this check ride scenario - where ailerons complicate a power-off stall recovery. And check back tomorrow to find out why ailerons can make a stalled wing drop even more.

Private Pilot Check Ride - Power Off Stall

You're giving a private pilot check ride in a Cessna 172 and the student has been doing well. You've just finished evaluating slow flight, where the student easily maintained standards.

You ask him to set up for a power-off stall. The student clears the area, adds full flaps and enters a stable 400 FPM power-off descent at approach speed.

The student adds back pressure, slowing the aircraft towards a stall. It's a warm day and ground heating is causing some light turbulence. The student seems a bit heavy on the rudder, though the ball stays mostly centered in the turn coordinator as you approach the stall.

As the aircraft begins to buffet, the right wing starts to drop. The student abruptly corrects by turning the yoke left, and the right wing drops aggressively. Your student adds left rudder, lowers the nose, applies full power, and partially retracts the flaps - stopping the descent. After the aircraft accelerates to VY, he retracts the flaps fully and levels off at the entry altitude.

During the stall, the student lost 150 feet. His heading drifted 15 degrees as the wing dropped, but he regained his original heading during the recovery. He's clearly uncomfortable - you can tell he's not satisfied with the maneuver.

The Private Pilot PTS Requirements

The Private Pilot PTS states that to pass, a student should:

  • Maintain a specified heading, +/- 10 degrees, if in straight flight; maintain a specified angle of bank not to exceed 20 degrees, +/- 10 degrees; if in turning flight, while inducing the stall.
  • Recognize and recover promptly after a fully developed stall occurs.
  • Retract the flaps to the recommended setting; retract the landing gear, if retractable, after a positive rate of climb is established.
  • Accelerate to VX or VY speed before the final flap retraction; return to the altitude, heading, and airspeed specified by the examiner.

What Do You Think - Should The Student Pass Or Fail?

Remember to check back tomorrow when we'll discuss why ailerons can cause a wing to drop during a stall.

  1. Vote - Pass
    Unchecked Checked


  2. Vote - Fail
    Unchecked Checked


View The Results

Check Ride Vote: Rough Power-Off Stall

Thanks! What Do Your Friends Think?

Please share - what would your friends do? And, check back tomorrow to find out why correcting with ailerons during a stall can cause your wing to drop.

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