Posts Tagged ‘Power off stalls’
SIU’s transition course (AF199) is for incoming students with private pilot certificates. Although some students feel it is a waste of time, it really isn’t. 199 was just the course I needed to get back into the swing of things. It has been over two years since I had reviewed some of the topics we covered during the course (I earned my certificate two years ago on my 17th birthday). Things like the types of hypoxia and types of drag were topics that had (nearly) completely evacuated my cranium. Essentially, the transition course is designed to be an accelerated private pilot course. Don’t let that scare you, however. If you’ve retained most of the knowledge from your primary training, AF199 will be a breeze for you; one giant review with a couple new tricks sprinkled throughout the course.
Along with a comprehensive review of previously learned knowledge comes an extremely productive flight curriculum. In this specific course, students get 14 hours of instruction to help them transition into the SIU environment. Let me tell you, all 14 hours were worth it. This course helped me get accustomed to flying at an airport with an air traffic control tower, something that my home airport did not have. It also introduced me to SIU’s specific procedures that I had not practiced in my training. Things like using carburetor heat at mid-field downwind, using the landing light from takeoff through climb, and descending 100 feet before executing a power-off stall were unfamiliar to me. Thanks to SIU’s transition course, I am up to the flight program’s standards and ready to continue my training. More on that 100 foot descent though….
When I did the training for my private pilot’s certificate, I was taught to do my power-off stalls by slowing down the airplane, putting in my flaps, then pulling up slowly until the airplane stalls. SIU, however, does it slightly different. Before pulling up, the training procedures call for a 100 foot descent at 65 knots. Up until a few weeks ago I was thinking why on earth would I descend while practicing a stall. After my instructor explained the reason to me, it all made sense. Think of the bigger picture; why does the practical test standards require pilots to practice stalls in the first place. We practice stalls to simulate the effects of getting too slow. In which phases of flight is our airspeed the lowest? You guessed it: takeoffs and landings. Pilots practice power-on stalls to simulate being to slow in a climb (where we use full power) and power-off stalls to simulate our approach to landing. Now does the 100 foot descent make sense? Adding 100 foot descent at 65 knots (the speed at which the final leg is to be flown in a Cessna 172 per the procedures) makes the situation more realistic. All it does is replicate flying the final leg of landing. Next time I’m too slow on final (hopefully never), I will be better prepared to recover thanks to the 100 foot descent.