STALL TRAIN­ING

Flying - - INBOX -

In the June is­sue, John Zim­mer­man’s ar­ti­cle on stalls was right on [“Stalls Aren’t a Ma­neu­ver, They’re an Emer­gency”]. Sure, the first time you cut the power and pull back to ex­pe­ri­ence a stall it is ed­u­ca­tional, but I like the idea of in­still­ing in the mind to avoid stalls. When I went through my train­ing, I re­mem­ber be­ing ex­tremely fo­cused on air­speed so that I wouldn’t get into that sit­u­a­tion. John’s last para­graph summed it up. Stalls are to be avoided like VFR into IMC and run­ning out of fuel. Great job!

Roy Roc­capri­ore via email

John Zim­mer­man un­der­cuts his own rather bizarre and wrong­headed ar­gu­ment with his snarky, “You’ll no­tice we don’t prac­tice [run­ning out of fuel] dur­ing pri­mary train­ing.” Re­spond­ing to sim­u­lated en­gine fail­ure, all the way to a dead-stick land­ing, has been part of pri­mary train­ing, and flight test­ing, for longer than my half cen­tury in avi­a­tion.

The idea that teach­ing stalls is dan­ger­ous be­cause some pi­lots still stall is just fool­ish, es­pe­cially since, as Zim­mer­man con­cedes, most loss-of-con­trol ac­ci­dents are the re­sult of bad plan­ning, not poor air­man­ship. It is likely that the vast ma­jor­ity of pi­lots who do not have stall-re­lated ac­ci­dents ben­e­fited from un­der­stand­ing what a stall is, what it feels like, how to re­cover and how much al­ti­tude that re­quires.

Does Zim­mer­man be­lieve we should do away with en­gine-fail­ure train­ing to elim­i­nate fuel ex­haus­tion? Ban un­der-the-hood in­stru­ment train­ing to pre­vent VFR into IMC? For­bid all aer­o­batic in­struc­tion? Teach­ing air­man­ship and air­craft mas­tery is great, but it re­quires know­ing the edges of the en­ve­lope — and what lies be­yond.

Stephen D. Leonard via email

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