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How to practice Stalls

Practicing Stalls

How to properly practice stalls in the real airplane.  Hopefully after watching the video above you will have a better understanding of the process of actually stalling the airplane, and realize it really is a gentle and safe maneuver to practice with your CFI.


  • Choose a safe altitude (recommended that you be able to recover by at least 1,500′ agl dual and 2,000′ agl solo)
  • Perform Clearing Turns (before practicing stalls or any other maneuver)
  • Use rudder to keep the ball centered and overcome any Adverse Yaw or Left Turning Tendency from the Engine/Propeller
  • Only use your ailerons when the airplane is “flying” (don’t use ailerons when the wing is stalled)
  • Just releasing the backpressure you have on the yoke or stick is usually enough to “break” the stall and lower the AOA enough to get the airplane flying again.
  • Try to hold a steady heading throughout the maneuver and lose as little altitude as possible
  • Practice the “Flow” of motions (adding power, retracting flaps, etc) on the ground with the engine off with your CFI before going flying (it’s a much less noisy and stressful environment down here).
  • Your CFI has trained to perform much more aggressive stalls and maneuvers than you will be doing during your training.  Don’t sweat it and have fun!

Other things to think about….

It is VERY important to understand as a pilot that pulling back on the controls is not the way to make your airplane go up!  All too often pilots have been in a scenario where they needed to get away from the ground and incorrectly pulled back on the controls so much that they stalled the airplane, and instead went straight down.  The video below is an example of operating well on the back side of the power curve, where the slower the airplane goes the more drag is induced.  While this is not a common maneuver or even one I would advise you to go out and practice on your own.  This is a maneuver that you should be able to understand and apply under the right circumstances (such as being too high to land in the only open field around immediately following a power failure and having no other way to get down).  Most importantly is that you see an actual application here of increasing drag on an airplane by slowing it down, and understand that had the airplane actually flown faster (at best glide speed which we will talk more about later in the course) then it would have landed much farther down the runway or overshot the runway altogether.

Other Power on and Power Off Examples: