Help me get over stall anxiety

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by abqtj, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. abqtj

    abqtj Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2016
    Messages:
    73
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    abqtj
    Very low-time student pilot (<5 hours).

    How can I get it through my head that performing stalls is normal and fine, and everything will work out?

    I haven't done them yet, but my instructor demonstrated a bunch during my lesson yesterday. I know I have to do them and logically I know there's nothing to it, but I have a mental block or something. One he showed me what happens in an uncoordinated stall and that one really didn't do me any favors!

    Any tips, tricks, things to think about that have helped you in the past? Thanks.
     
  2. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    11,834
    Location:
    Behind you!
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    Demoed a bunch of stalls but didn't have you even try one??


    Sounds like your CFI is probably a little scared of them or making them into a bigger deal then they are, and that's rubbing off on your attitude towards them.

    Frankly they are quite fun, stalls, spins, just go up with a experienced CFI in a aircraft certified for them and have fun!
     
  3. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,467
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    GeorgeC
    Do some spins.
     
    RotorDude and Ryanb like this.
  4. ntinkle

    ntinkle Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Abilene, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tink
    What Jim said - they're fun! The thinking is worse than the doing. Nothing you can do that you're instructor can't get you out of. Plenty of altitude.

    Part of the adventure, man! Go have fun.
     
    abqtj likes this.
  5. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Messages:
    12,053
    Location:
    California central coast
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MAKG
    Practice hands off flying in cruise so you can get used to controlling the airplane with your feet, then try a falling leaf stall, where it works just the same.

    Most importantly, discuss with your instructor.
     
    abqtj likes this.
  6. abqtj

    abqtj Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2016
    Messages:
    73
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    abqtj

    No, he wanted me to do them, it was me who chose not to yesterday. He loves them! In his defense, he's been a great CFI and is very patient with me. Everything else I've done so far has been pretty good (I like to think, anyway). Did some foggle time yesterday and it went perfectly (and that was something I was intimidated with before I did it...I'm hoping the same will happen with stalls).
     
  7. Stewartb

    Stewartb En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    3,032
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    stewartb
    Stalls are no big deal. Once you learn that you're in control your anxiety will go away. Learn to recognize what it feels like as you approach the break. That's the point of the exercise. Hopefully you get a chance to do turning stalls, falling leaf stalls, etc as you progress.
     
    N659HB, ntinkle and abqtj like this.
  8. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    11,834
    Location:
    Behind you!
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    In that case, just suck it up and do 15 or so stalls back to back, ain't no thing.

    I'd also do a falling leaf stall.
     
    RotorDude and abqtj like this.
  9. eman1200

    eman1200 Final Approach PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    5,177
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    eman1200
    they are NOT fun! until they're fun. then they're a shtload of fun.

    you'll get past it after you do a few. and think of it this way......everyone on here has done a ton of em, so yeah, it'll work out just fine. and yeah, they're fun.
     
    abqtj likes this.
  10. mscard88

    mscard88 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    8,438
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    It's normal to be apprehensive doing stalls. Hopefully your CFI is going to allow you to perform stalls soon. You need to convey to your CFI your feelings about this. There are ways he/she can help you on this, such as power off falling leaf. Try to realize that if you just let go the plane it will recover itself. And if you aggravate it the worse thing that could happen is a spin, which are easy to recover from. So if you could do some spins I think that would give you confidence performing stalls. You'll get over this hurdle. Good luck!
     
    abqtj likes this.
  11. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    3,927
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dan Thomas
    Best to understand that the airplane will do exactly what you ask it to do. It will stall. It will recover. The whole purpose of stall and spin training is to recognize the various scenarios that lead to them. Then you won't get yourself into those situations.
     
  12. Ryanb

    Ryanb Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,235
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    RyanB
    Practice, practice, practice.

    Schedule spin training @ your flight school. I guarantee you'll feel better afterward.
     
  13. George Mohr

    George Mohr Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2016
    Messages:
    77
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Gmohr
    Intentional stalls for practice and demo purposes are a non-event really. Some people get wary of the feeling of lightness you get as the stall occurs, kind of like going over the top in a mild roller coaster.

    What airplane are you training in? I ask because I did my training in PA-28-161's and on my checkride my examiner demoed something that I would have never tried myself. He got the airplane in an arrival stall configuration.. then just held the yoke full back. The airplane oscillated between one mushy stall break after another, descending at about 1,000 ft/min on average. Only a little rudder was needed to keep the wings level (not aileron!), but other than that it was just a joke. Takes all the scary right out of that maneuver. I've duplicated this many times since in my airplane since, and it puts a smile on my face. Piper built a hell of a safe design. I'm fairly sure all airplanes wouldn't behave in such a docile manner; many might drop a wing and perhaps develop into an incipient spin, so do this only with a CFI until you know what to expect in your type.

    The other thing you could do is take a couple glider lessons. Thermaling in a glider is slow flight to the extreme, and it isn't at all uncommon to encounter a stall in turbulent thermals. You learn quickly to recognize and recover, and in general gliders bite harder than trainer airplanes seem to.
     
  14. ntinkle

    ntinkle Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Abilene, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tink
    Falling Leaf Stall
     
  15. George Mohr

    George Mohr Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2016
    Messages:
    77
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Gmohr
    An apt description of it.
     
  16. N659HB

    N659HB Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2013
    Messages:
    554
    Location:
    SC midlands
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Lo-N-Slo
    Once you learn how the plane behaves (and to center the ball!) they are a piece of cake. Just takes practice.
     
  17. Glenn D

    Glenn D Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    So Cal
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Glenn D
    I had the same fear of stalls early on also... I hated doing them, and always pushed away from them. It als make s a difference in what type of aircraft your in... PA-28's are mushy, and not a fast clean brake. my current aircraft is nose heavy, so stalls are really mushy and a non-event unless I have severial hundred lbs in the back. I did some of my training in a Cessna 152, and we did stalls, nowhere the same as in the Piper!... and spins. I still do not like spins...

    But after starting flying again last year after 20 years off, it was again hard to get back into stalls..... now I'm good with them..
     
    jpwing likes this.
  18. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    13,097
    Location:
    west Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dave Taylor
    I think part of it is a mind block, something that happens way before you get to the airplane. You hear about them and the mind is set up for fear.
    Start by realizing that:

    -a stalled condition is more normal & common than a flying condition.
    -way more objects (and attached people) are stalled at any one time than not stalled on this earth.
    -you are stalled right now (unless reading this from an airplane).
    -every single airplane out there enters a stalled condition, at least once, on Every Flight.
     
    denverpilot likes this.
  19. rtk11

    rtk11 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    329
    Location:
    Southern California
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    rtk
    It's normal to fear what you don't know and haven't been trained to control yet. But if y our CFI hasn't mentioned it (and I'm sure he/she has), remaining coordinate is KEY. But you need to have faith that the airplane wants to fly, and that it will continue to fly.

    I don't know if your aircraft has a stall horn or Angle of Attack monitor. But if it does, perhaps you can have your CFI demonstrate slow flight where you're approaching stall and have the horn active, but the plane is still flying. If no horn or AoA monitor, still have the CFI fly the aircraft in slow flight configuration. This way you can feel the angle of the aircraft and get over the anxiety of the higher pitch of the aircraft. Then stall is just raising the nose slightly higher and feeling the buffeting before airflow is broken over the wing. You just have to remind yourself that lowering the nose and using rudder to keep the aircraft coordinated is all that's needed. This will help you overcome the nose high orientation of the aircraft and reduce some of the components in your fear of a stall. What's left is just the buffeting and the stall itself... that just takes practice.
     
  20. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    6,165
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jordan
    Just do a ton of them. I had a student who hated stalls so we just spent the whole lesson doing them and eventually he got used to them.
     
  21. mscard88

    mscard88 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    8,438
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    Beat it into them!

    Grinning Moose.jpg
     
  22. hotprops

    hotprops Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Messages:
    417
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    hotprops
    tell your instructor to get his hands off the f.... yoke and let you fly the aircraft.tell him to just talk you through it. this goes for all or most of your training. or find a old school instructor.
     
  23. mscard88

    mscard88 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    8,438
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    Doesn't quite work that way.
     
  24. hotprops

    hotprops Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Messages:
    417
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    hotprops
    yes it does
     
  25. MadseasoN

    MadseasoN Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Messages:
    502
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MadseasoN
    Anytime you get nervous tell yourself 'remember your training'.
     
  26. mscard88

    mscard88 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    8,438
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    Hmm interesting. I'll rephrase it for you then. It wouldn't work with me if I were the CFI and/or PIC. Then again I have never had a student react like that. If one did that would terminate the lesson and we'd land and discuss.

    You're probably thinking you're paying for it and in charge but you're not. The CFI is.
     
    Kritchlow, SoCal RV Flyer and Ryanb like this.
  27. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Messages:
    12,053
    Location:
    California central coast
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MAKG
    If you said that to me, I would never fly with you again.

    NEVER EVER try to intimidate a pilot out of a safety decision. Perhaps discuss it. Intimidation, or attempts at such, are a serious safety issue.
     
    Radar Contact and Ryanb like this.
  28. ntinkle

    ntinkle Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Abilene, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tink
    I suspect when the comment is run through the reverse-cyber-filter, it comes out more like: Mind if I give it a try and you walk me through mistakes? Just don't let me kill us.

    People are always Clint Eastwood on the internet.
     
    Let'sgoflying! and George Mohr like this.
  29. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,948
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    somorris
    Hi abqtj.

    You are getting good advice here, but is likely coming from pilots who are not apprehensive about stalls. Based on what I have read, there are a LOT of experienced pilots who don't fit into this category and are terrified of stalls. A lot of landing accidents happen because the pilot is afraid of stalling and flies too fast. What I am trying to say is that you should not feel like the Lone Ranger if you are nervous about stalling. But, as many of the guys have already said, just doing them is the best way to get over that. It sounds like you have already voiced your concern to your CFI, so just go up with him again and practice a few.
     
    abqtj likes this.
  30. Ryanb

    Ryanb Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,235
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    RyanB
    Except the phrase wasn't even close to being that congenial.
    Most CFI's wouldn't tolerate a student with a mental like that. You'd be walking away like a skinned rat with his tail between his legs. Contrary to your thinking, flight instruction does NOT work that way.
     
  31. Zeldman

    Zeldman En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    3,523
    Location:
    NM or AK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Billy
    I still don't like stalls. 10K hours.

    I used to race cars and I never practiced crashing.

    And I know, I am not learning how to stall the plane, but learning to recognize how not to get into a stall and recover if it happens.
     
    Glen R and SoCal RV Flyer like this.
  32. ntinkle

    ntinkle Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Abilene, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tink
    Honestly - I don't know how useful the practice is. You're not likely to stall at altitude unless you're iced up; then you have bigger problems. If you stall, it's likely something like base-to-final, and practice isn't going to save you from a stall in the pattern.

    But I still enjoy doing them from time to time. And my 10 year old loves them!
     
  33. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    11,834
    Location:
    Behind you!
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    Lolz, if he's a real "old school instructor" you're likley to get the taste slapped out of your mouth, most CFIs like me would just say my aircraft, terminate the flight and fire the student, the only instructors who are meek enough to say "ok" you wouldn't want to fly with, and are the ones likley to get themselves and their students killed.



    Stalling in the pattern is ether absolute slop flying or just a CFI OWT, if you're flying it like me, high and tights, you more or less always have a nose down attitude anyway.

    As for practicing stalls, for me it's being very familiar with the backside of my power curve and exactly when she'll stop flying, mostly used for backcountry ops.
     
  34. eman1200

    eman1200 Final Approach PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    5,177
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    eman1200
    Did u practice drifting?*

    I don't know if that's a thing, 'practicing' them. I know sometimes it's done, but isn't that kinda sorta getting used to 'just before the crash' kinda sorta thing so u get proficient at it and actually avoid the crash? Kinda sorta? No? Ok wtf do I know.
     
  35. ntinkle

    ntinkle Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Abilene, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tink
    Now slow flight practice is a very useful thing - especially with short field targets in mind.
     
  36. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2016
    Messages:
    856
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    SoCal RV Flyer
    Stall/spin accidents in the pattern do baffle me a little. It would seem to take a huge amount of distraction/lack of SA to have the airspeed get so low and angle of attack so high. The big thing about stall practice is to ingrain the instantaneous response of lowering the nose, adding power and working the rudder to keep the wings level, so it's merely a stall that takes 150 feet to recover instead of a spin that puts you into the ground.
     
  37. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Messages:
    12,053
    Location:
    California central coast
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MAKG
    I could see huge distractions in the pattern. Ever have a near miss?

    Most recently, I had departing traffic turn crosswind right at me as I was entering right downwind, per Tower's instructions. I intentionally dodged with a descent, full power, and hard left turn, to get the airspeed up (to Vno -- the point was to get out of there). I could see a student not doing that....
     
  38. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2016
    Messages:
    856
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    SoCal RV Flyer
    Yeah, but it didn't stop me from flying the plane. You did well in your situation...saw and avoided. :eek:

    As for spin avoidance, I think there's a huge chasm between knowing the theory of what to do, and instinctively doing it. Therein lies the value of practice.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
  39. Ryanb

    Ryanb Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,235
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    RyanB
    Baffles me as well. The base to final overshoot seems to be the most common scenario. Misjudging a tailwind on base, which pushes you through final and it gets over corrected with too much aft elevator and rudder. Standard rate turns and coordinated flight is key.
     
  40. N659HB

    N659HB Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2013
    Messages:
    554
    Location:
    SC midlands
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Lo-N-Slo
    It's usually an accelerated stall that kills on final, is it not? You overshoot the centerline, then try to tighten it up, then add top rudder, etc. for the classic base-to-final spin. You have to be uncoordinated to spin, so I heartily agree about working the rudder! When my old girl is airworthy again it will be time to practice accelerated stalls, which are a non-event if one is flying coordinated.