When performed in a safe and controlled environment, stalls are a blast! But being caught off guard by an inadvertent stall can be a terrifying and dangerous experience. That’s why stall training is such an important part of the private pilot syllabus. But students are only trained in the methods of stall entry and recovery, and are left unaware as to the most high-risk phases of flight.
Jason Schappert the flight instructor at M0A.com took the time to outline the three points where inadvertent stalls are most common:
- Base to final
- After takeoff on climb out
- In the landing flare
Number one and two may seem obvious, but I find high-risk area number three intriguing. After fourteen years of flying, I’ve never had a good discussion on the landing flare stall. Why is that?
It’s not like this is an uncommon cause for accidents. I recall seeing an airplane with it’s struts physically pushed through the wings after landing. The pilot had over flared, leading to a stall followed by a very hard landing (or perhaps a soft impact).
It’s surprising that landing flare stalls don’t happen more often. This is the time where the pilot’s eyes are completely transitioned outside of the airplane. We have to rely on visual (outside) and tactile cues during those final moments before touchdown, and if the airspeed bleeds away there is little to no warning that something bad is about to happen.
This is precisely why it’s important to know your airplane. When that “stall mush” begins to dominate the flight controls, it’s time to do something about it. If that includes a go-around, then so be it.