Help me get over stall anxiety

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

  1. jpwing

    jpwing Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm not a fan of doing stalls but I do them. Power off stalls are no big deal to me at all, it's the power on stalls that I don't like doing that much. When my BFR came around, I was hesitant and sweating profusely when it came time to do the stalls, so I did them to get my BFR certification and then immediately scheduled more stall practice with my CFI and spin training with another CFI who has a spinnable 172. The extra stall practiced helped a lot and I'm looking forward to the spin training. Practicing them a lot will help. Also, watching videos of stalls of the same type of airplane, both from inside and outside the cockpit, helped me a lot.
     
  2. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    You looked great for where you're at in the training cycle!

    I'll give you a tip on the heading stuff. It'll come naturally too as you go along, but try this...

    For both the headings during cruise and during the stalls...

    Pick a landmark on the horizon. Then just use coordinated control inputs to keep it in that exact spot on the windshield. You'll notice if you do that and reference the DG every so often, it'll magically be within ten degrees easy, and often even five degrees.

    I can tell you like to think about this stuff, so here's why the horizon works better than the DG in visual flight...

    The horizon is really far away. Small movements of something way out there on the horizon is a tiny heading change on the much smaller DG.

    Cool huh?

    Same thing during those stalls. Pick something and aim at it. The DG will then "take care of itself".

    Especially during the power off stall, I like to teach to actually pick something, pretending they're lining up for a landing on (this also then helps later when they actually need to line up on a runway) ... a road, a fence line, anything straight that's a couple miles off the nose. You can also do it with a "point" instead of something long and straight and just visualize a runway out there with the point being the end of the "runway".

    Then all you have to deal with is staying lined up with that landmark. You find out that the earth makes a better DG than the DG!

    That then applies to holding headings on cross countries, etc. Pick a landmark and fly to it, pick another and fly to it, wash rinse repeat. Heh.

    Your instructor didn't see it but you snuck in a little aileron during one of the recoveries. Try to avoid use of ailerons during stall recovery until airspeed is normal again. No worries. He'll notice it if it becomes a habit. ;)

    You look smooth on the recoveries. That's good! Many people horse the airplane around.

    Good questions about the climb speed during the climb by the way -- I see that you've been reading about Vy and there's the in-airplane application happening right there in the video, as you apply the knowledge to what you're seeing and feeling in a real airplane in a cruise climb!

    Looks like a future PIC from here! When's the next lesson?
     
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  3. abqtj

    abqtj Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks for all of that, I really appreciate it. I'll need to rewatch the video (like I haven't a bunch of times already!) to see the aileron input you mentioned.

    I really hate the camera dropped after the two stalls. I really wanted to see what I screwed up on the recovery of one later where I had to ask for help. We discussed it and I know what I did, but I'd like to see it as well.

    Next lesson isn't until Saturday, unfortunately. With the holidays and lots of people off, all the planes were booked up.
     
  4. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I thought it was funny when you both went, "What was THAT?" when it hit your seat and then the floor. Haha.

    Those suction cup mounts can be evil. One dropped my iPad on my left wrist one day. So I ordered one that has two suction cups! Ha.
     
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  5. SToL

    SToL Pre-Flight

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    That my friend is the definition of a spin. In order for an airplane to spin, you must have two things present. 1. A stalled condition, and 2. Uncoordinated flight.

    Without both present simultaneously, you can perform the other all day without any problems, but as soon as you put them together, you've got yourself a spin. No big thing, just takes training and practice to recover.

    Although I'm huge on teaching people all about spins, and how fun they can be, maybe at less than 5 hours it's just a tad bit too soon.

    Just keep practicing your stalls, stay coordinated with rudder and aileron, and soon you'll be feeling much more confident. Then you can move on to the spins.

    PJ
     
  6. SToL

    SToL Pre-Flight

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    If he's (or she's) a real "old school instructor" then the student would never be put into the situation where they felt the need to tell the 'ham fisted' instructor to get his hands off the controls. The instructor would be sitting quietly and calmly with their hands in their laps allowing the student to make all kinds of mistakes and work it out.

    I've seen and heard of way too many instructors flying with their hands on the controls or ridiculously close by the controls. How bad of a pilot are you that you can't move your hand from your lap to the controls in less than a second to save the day? It's a friggin airplane for christ sake. Nothing happens fast.

    Stalling in the pattern is a REAL problem in aviation, and it almost always becomes a spin/stall accident where the occupants usually die. This should not be brushed off lightly to simply, poor piloting. It is also a result of poor instructing.

    Practicing stalls, and spins can and does help to recognize them prior to happening, but what's equally important, or dare I say, even more important, and which unfortunately we don't seem to put as much emphasis on, is verifying that the student truly has a mental understanding of the causes and process of the stall or spin situation. Simply demonstrating through muscle memory response doesn't not signify a mental understanding of the process.

    PJ
     
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  7. brianrtw

    brianrtw Filing Flight Plan

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    Don't sweat it! I am training just like you and have about 18 hours. At 5 hours I definitely had stall anxiety - I still have it a bit but it's definitely less and it's manageable. At 5 hours you're still just learning the feel of the airplane. I think I was just focused just on not wanting to do something terrible that makes us fall to the ground screaming. I don't have many hours more than you but can say that as I accumulated a few more hours I got much more comfortable with the airplane. Few more hours and you will feel more comfortable in the air, will start to learn limits of the airplane and stall training will become less scary.

    Another thing, don't look at too many scary stall/crash investigation videos on Youtube - or at least don't let it go to your head. They're educational, but they tended to spook me a bit more than I probably should be at this point in my training.
     
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  8. WannFly

    WannFly Pre-takeoff checklist

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    i think I have my power off stall training coming up this Thursday and .... well lets just say I am debating about wearing a diaper or not :p
     
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  9. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    LOL. Just remember that every* PIC out there survived stall training.

    * There's a few total idiots in the accident records but they're almost statistically insignificant or at least form the low end of the bell curve so the rest of us can look much much better. And everything has *some* idiots, just watch people driving...

    P.S. That had to be the quote of the week for me. Someone remarked: "Man it's great there's so many failures out there, they make my career accomplishments look like I'm a genius! And I'm not!"
     
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  10. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route

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    Start with small benign stalls and work your way up to spins. Takes hours.

    One thing about stalls. People say "it drops a wing" or "it doesnt drop a wing" when it stalls. Any plane will drop a wing if its uncoordinated. It depends on what you do with the rudder pedals. Keep the ball centered or just counter any wing drop with opposite rudder and the nose will drop straight. Left rudder, drop left. Right rudder, drop right.
     
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  11. MetalCloud

    MetalCloud Pre-takeoff checklist

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    They were so weird for me too. And I have to admit, I completed an IPC recently and was again a little antsy for some reason. They do get better, but that is not a bad feeling... then you'll know it if it happens on short final and you'll be prepared. Or you'll watch the hell out of your airspeed to make sure it doesn't happen
     
  12. WannFly

    WannFly Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yah I am hoping to ensure it never happens, but I am pretty sure it happens to all pilots? Or are there pilots who never inadvertently stalled? Nevertheless, prepping for it will definitely help... diaper timr

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
  13. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

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    I don't think inadvertent stalls happen to all pilots, especially on short final. The main point is to accustom you to how the airplane behaves near the stall. Also, that an airplane will stall even when going fast. You won't need a diaper. You will have plenty of altitude, and remember the airplane wants to fly if you will let it :).
     
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  14. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer Cleared for Takeoff

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    Just be quick with the rudder inputs to keep wings level...one of the key things you want to ingrain. Simultaneously push the stick forward (or at least relax back pressure), step on the ball and floor it!! :D

    The two times it's permissible to "advertently" stall is when you're practicing them and when you're a couple feet off the deck in the flare.
     
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  15. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Hmmm. I don't know if there's any statistics on how many people have inadvertently stalled airplanes, plus who'd admit it? :)

    But I'll admit I've come close in moderate turbulence in the mountains. Not in the pattern and not down low. But at high altitude and being being bounced around hard, I've had the stall horn come on and stay on longer than I wanted it to. Mechanical mountain turbulence is a pain in the butt sometimes. Full power or give up some altitude for airspeed, and see if you're still going to make it over the next ridgeline or if you need to bail and take your planned "out".

    And *everyone* has plopped a landing on from running out of airspeed while still three feet in the air. Haha. Stall or not, it's airspeed mismanagement and we have all done it. At three feet it's usually not fatal. :)

    You're training to recognize what it sounds, feels, smells, and looks like -- and to make the responses automatic. So you have to go deliberately do them. No big deal.

    Rudder for level flight, reduce angle of attack, prop to high RPM, full power, reduce flaps in stages if deployed to a position where they create more drag than lift, retract landing gear if positive rate of climb is established and confirmed... with some of those items reserved for when you fly something complex... all pretty much the same in most airplanes. (If it's a glider or an airliner, retracting the speed brakes will probably also be in that list if they're deployed! Grin...)

    You're shooing for a day when it's all done by your hands and feet nearly automatically and smoothly without thinking too hard about it.

    Which just takes practice and repetition to burn it into your soul. Ha. :) Stall, recover. Stall, recover.

    No diaper needed. Just proper and smooth technique. You got this.
     
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  16. WannFly

    WannFly Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks all, I will report back how it goes tomorrow. Cherry on top...it's supposed to be 15-20 MPh wind tomorrow

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
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  17. brianrtw

    brianrtw Filing Flight Plan

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    You'll be fine. Tons of pilots trained over the years and this is all part-and-parcel of training. The CFI isn't going to have you do something that's dangerous.

    Funny, sometimes during my training I'd have "spooky" days where I would just not feel right in the cockpit... I'd be scared. Then the next time I go up I'd have a "heck yeah, I'm Maverick!" day where I wouldn't be spooked at all. Of course I'd perform better on the days I wasn't scared.

    Now with only 18 hours I haven't had a spooky day in a while... so I think this is all natural to be scared of something like this. Don't sweat it, it's natural to be a bit spooked, and know that as you get more comfortable in the cockpit you'll get less scared.
     
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  18. Bobcat1

    Bobcat1 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Do a whole bunch of 'em until you feel comfortable.
     
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  19. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Don't feel bad.... just did my BFR the other day and stalls was one of the maneuvers we had to do a few of.... And I have been at this a few years....

    You'll get it... keep up the work
     
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  20. WannFly

    WannFly Pre-takeoff checklist

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    -10 temp, -33 windchill and 20 kts gusting to 25-30 ... put a damper on my much awaited stall training.... supposed to be -45 windchill tomorrow am. I ain't gonna go to work....

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
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  21. blueskyMD

    blueskyMD Pre-Flight

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    You mentioned uncoordinated stalls. Did you spin the aircraft ? At this stage in training a spin would be uncomfortable. Also try climbing higher before trying stall. When you push the nose down during the recovery the ground will not be coming close and that may help with anxiety
     
  22. LongRoadBob

    LongRoadBob Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don't know much, new student, but for me the driving equivalent of stalls I'd say was more ice driving practice. I didn't get to do this, but when I moved to Norway, all new drivers have to take an ice course (in summer it is oil on the Tarmac) to learn in a big open area how to handle a skid on ice. It's not on a road though you can imagine a road or mark a "road" but they use a big open area.

    Kinda like stalls at altitude?
     
  23. LongRoadBob

    LongRoadBob Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just wanted to say special thanks for that. Wow...no high tech, just a model plane, a pen, and his excellent explanation. I'm also a new, low time student, but not only did I get all he was saying (though as you say, going to be rewatching to make sure it sticks) I learned that a pen is a great way to see relative wind, AOA (and center of lift) and what happens in certain maneuvers. One of the first things I did was buy and build a model of a Cessna when I started ground school and flying with instructor, but dumb me, I just tried to imagine relative wind, but the pen is much easier.
    Anyway, thanks for sharing that. Trying to see if he has made any other videos.
     
  24. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well, it serves a similar purpose, but aside from that, they are rather different. Important lessons are that the rudder still works when stalled, and can be used to correct a dipping wing. Ailerons work backwards. And the stall won't end until the AoA (not the pitch angle) goes down.
     
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  25. eman1200

    eman1200 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    well, you're welcome, I think. it has been made clear that my contributions are not welcome here, so looks like I'll be banning myself. it's been a fun run y'all.
     
  26. NOLA Pilot

    NOLA Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I was scared to stall the plane at first, but after a few I really liked it. After about 5 I pulled back so hard my CFI said " wow your really trying to sall this thing. It's going to happen fast" That was the time that I realized why you need to stay coordinated... Was still fun!
     
  27. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    We could only dream of requiring that much training of drivers here in the States. Wish we did it. A driver's license here, is a joke.

    Funny. My CFI DPE watched me using a finger for about a full minute and then stopped me and said... "pick up that pen right there... it's going to be a whole lot easier with that..." LOL.

    Ahhh crap. Seriously?
     
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  28. LongRoadBob

    LongRoadBob Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I haven't been here that long but I hope you reconsider. I wasn't aware of any flak you are getting. I just really appreciate all the help, and that video was perfect for me, right information at the right time when I can benefit much from it. His explanation and demonstration were like "coordinated teaching" :) where it put the dangers and the cause and effect in exactly the way I best learn. Also, again, learned a better technique for thinking about relative wind, AOA using a model and pen...I'm very happy you posted.

    I wish he'd make more videos. His demo was better for me than many animated, or real life videos.

    So, definitely thanks from me.