Lesson 9. Power and Flap Stalls, 9am Sunday 29 August 2004

Another nice day. A bit of cloud around, could see Mt Ruapehu (a mountain which is approximately 250km south of Hamilton) clearly. Got a bit mixed up during the pre-takeoff checks but we sorted it out. Also learning to taxi and communicate to tower is a bit of a challenge but I am working on it. Another first, Roger upon clearing our departure with Hamilton then switched channels and asked for clearance from Christchurch Information for clearance to proceed above 2500 feet over Temple View for 30 minutes. They replied they had us on radar and we were cleared below 3000 for 30 minutes, more than enough for us to practise our stalls. First up, I did two basic stalls by myself. I still have a problem keeping the nose up during the entry to the stall and the plane sinks (not good – I have to keep height loss to a minimum or I will fail the PPL Checkride – but Roger said there is plenty of time to practise later). Also I need to open the throttle in quicker. Other than that Roger was pretty happy with my performance. Then it was Rogers turn to fly a power on stall. This was like the basic stall except everything happens slower, as far as getting the aircraft into the stall in concerned. It took ages for the plane to slow and then we had to put the nose up quite high just to make it stall. Once in the stall things happen a lot quicker than the basic stall, but essentially the recovery is the same. I asked him to do a second one and then it was my turn to do a couple. The first one was good, the second wasn’t as good but OK, then Roger did the flap stall. This is almost the opposite of the power on stall in that you approach the stall speed quickly and the nose attitude is a lot lower. Things still happen quickly on recovery though, except now you have to worry about adding and subtracting flap (at the right time by the right amount). I did a couple of those sort of OK and then it was time for the mixture of the two. What was interesting was that the experience was a mixture of the two. The plane slows faster than a flapless stall but not as fast because the engine is not idling. The nose attitude was pretty much similar to the basic stall, just above the horizon. All of this stalling stuff sounds kind of scary but I now see why you need to know it. The essential feature of a safe landing is to get the aircraft onto the ground at the slowest possible speed. So what that implies is a stall just above (about 2 feet) the runway, the sink rate will cause the plane to settle onto the ground on its main gear and the next thing you know you are down.

The wind in the meantime had picked up over the airport and it caught us by surprise when we came in to land. We were quite high on final so Roger took the controls and dived us down to a more decent altitude to effect the landing, which went well. Then it was dumb moment for the day, totally forgetting the shutdown sequence. Nice one Euan. From this point on its all stepped up a gear and we will be introduced to the circuit, from which we will not escape until I can do it all alone... by myself... That is, SOLO!!