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Scared of power on stalls and a progress check coming up – ideas for overcoming fear?

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General Aviation, Student Pilot


I'm a student pilot and  I have a progress check coming up before I can begin  solo flights. There's only one problem- I have to demonstrate power-on stalls, and I'm terrified of doing them.

During one of my early lessons, I was practicing a power on stall with my instructor and accidentally entered a spin. Ever since, I've been terrified when practicing power-on stalls and usually only actually enter the stall when my instructor is helping. I doubt I'll be able to pass my progress review without demonstrating power on stalls, but don't know how to overcome my fear of them. Does anyone know of any deliberate training or practice They would recommend? Thanks.

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3 Answers

  1. EAD on Oct 06, 2016

    Find a spin-certified aircraft and get some spin training, both entry and recovery. I was afraid of stalls in my primary training too, especially power-on, until I experienced spins demonstrated by my instructor.

    After that, stalls and spins were no longer a fear of mine.

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  2. Russ Roslewski on Oct 07, 2016

    When introducing power-on stalls in some airplanes (even a 172SP), I gradually bring power into the equation. So, the first power-on stall may only be at, say 2000 rpm. Then the next one will be with more power, the next with more, etc., until we’re at full power (again, airplane dependent). Power-on stalls make many students uncomfortable, especially in airplanes like 180-hp 172s, which seem to get that nose way, way up there.

    So I break them in gradually. Also the point at which recovery is initiated is gradually pushed back from stall horn, to buffet, to full break.

    This allows the student to get the feel of the airplane in this environment and learn how to control it and recover from it in a more gradual way, and usually helps with the uncomfortableness.

    If your CFI didn’t progress along a similar method, ask him or her to do so on your next flight. I think it will help a lot. Also, EAD’s answer regarding spin training is a good one too.

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  3. Grenzer on Oct 09, 2016

    Thanks for the replies. We’re going to go into stalls gradually, and I’m going to take a spin awareness class in a Super Decathlon soon to get some practice with spins.
    Thanks again!

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