Stalls, Incipient Spins, and Inverted Flight

I just posted a couple of videos on YouTube that show a typical first flight for one of my stall/spin/upset students and an introduction to inverted flight and recovery from inverted flight.

The pilots on these flights are typical GA flyers. Neither had previous experience with spins, aerobatics, or unusual attitudes beyond those practiced in private pilot training. They usually fly Cessnas and Pipers.

Their initial reactions are typical. They both find the experience initially disorienting, even though we’ve completed an extensive ground briefing that includes videos like these.

Like most folks I’ve flown with, they react slowly and hesitantly because they’re in new situations. I was no different when I began flying aerobatics.

That’s why I focus on a variety of stalls and incipient spins and build up to developed spins–and why I include basic aerobatics in the syllabus.

That progression gives folks opportunities to experience a wide range of unusual attitudes, become accustomed to Gs (we try to keep loads within the normal category limits), visualize the lift vector, and reinforce the idea that angle of attack, not pitch attitude relative to the horizon, is the critical concept.

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