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Stall Recovery: 6 Common Mistakes Made By Pilots

This story was made in partnership with AOPA. Ready to join the largest aviation community in the world? Sign up and become an AOPA Member today.

Whether you're practicing stalls or find yourself in an unintentional one...

1) Using Your Ailerons

Let's say you're in a right-banking turn, and you begin to stall. You roll the ailerons left to "help" yourself stay wings-level. But you actually make things much worse.

That's because as you deflect your ailerons, you change the angle-of-attack (AOA) on each of your wingtips. Your left wing is now flying at a lower AOA, and your right wing is flying at a higher AOA. If you add enough aileron deflection, you can push the right wing over the critical AOA, abruptly stalling the entire wing, and causing your airplane to suddenly roll to the right


2) Too Much Back-Pressure

During recovery, adding too much back-pressure could result in a secondary stall. It happens when your angle of attack is too great, and your plane isn't ready for stall recovery. Slightly lower the nose and continue adding power before resuming your stall recovery.


3) Excessive Loss Of Altitude

Just because you've entered a stall does not mean you need to point the nose straight down. Reducing the angle of attack is the only way to "fix" the stall, but that doesn't mean you should be losing hundreds or even thousands of feet! Methodically release back-pressure, and allow the airplane to gain energy before initiating a climb. When you're close to the ground, you won't have spare altitude to give away!


4) Heading Deviations

Do your best to maintain heading with the rudder pedals. Keep your nose aligned straight forward and during recovery, remember you'll need a lot of right rudder to counter the left-turning tendencies of the airplane at high power.


5) Dramatic Power Changes

Smoothly apply full power during a stall recovery. Don't jam the throttle forward too fast.

Swayne Martin

6) Uncoordinated Flight Before, During, And After Recovery

Throughout a stall, you should do your best to maintain coordinated flight. If you notice the ball swinging dramatically to the side, use the rudder pedals to make corrections. An uncoordinated stall can lead to a spin.


What other advice do you have? Share in the comments below.

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