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PPL air exerise with most potential risk for flight instructors??

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General Aviation, Private Pilot

When teaching a new student what PPL air exercise has the most potential for danger or biggest risk for the instructor? And is there any way to mitigate these risks? 

I am thinking a stall, because of the initial unframiliarity with the concept and high angle of attack. Also I think this is one where new students tend to panic a bit more than others which can lead to poor decision making. When teaching stalls it's very important to also provide the student with a solid understanding of how a stall occurs and proper recovery.. Many dangers can arise from not only handling skills but also lack of knowledge of the fundamentals of a stall..


I am also leaning towards a spin for similar reasons. Personally I felt more comfortable learning to recover from a spin than the various stalls. But that may have been because it was later in my training.

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2 Answers

  1. Best Answer

    Kris Kortokrax on Apr 05, 2017

    Stalls and spins are (or should be) conducted at an altitude that allows you time to recover. You can’t collide with the air.

    It is the maneuvers that happen close to the ground that give the greatest potential for risk. Like overrotating on a short field takeoff or crosswind landings where the airplane is not lined up with the runway or is drifting.

    Inadvertent application of brakes during takeoff or landing can be a big problem. As an instructor, you can’t release the brakes once the student has applied them.

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  2. Mark Kolber on Apr 06, 2017

    I tend to agree with Kris on this. It’s tempting to think of stalls, especially in terms of the student freezing on the controls in an unintended spin. And yes, that would be a horrible result.

    But a “risk” calculation has two components, only one of which is degree of harm. The other likelihood of occurring. Yes, being hit by a truck while playing in your driveway is devastating (and it happened just a few months ago not too far from me) but how likely is it to happen?

    Low level maneuvering flights and, especially takeoff and landing accidents are far more likely to happen. The injuries may or may not be serious but they are more likely to happen and the CFI has far less time to react.

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