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