Posted by: Brian | January 17, 2010

Slow Flight & Stalls

Well, it’s been about a week since I last went up.  Work is getting busier and busier, which means I have less and less time when class is in session.  I am pretty much relegated to the weekends until roughly mid February.  But, I had a good, long day yesterday.  I started ground schooling at 8 a.m. and finished up just shy of 3 p.m..  I had a flight lesson for about 2 hours after ground school ended, so it was a full day.

Ground school was very interesting.  I was extremely nervous, anxious, [insert adjective here] about ground school, mainly because I didn’t know what to expect.  I assumed that I would be the only ‘newb’ in class and everyone else would have tons of experience.  Not the case.  The experience ranged from nothing to “I soloed 15 years ago, but that was it”.  I fell somewhere in the middle, which was nice.  The instructor is a regular around the Freeway Airport and very knowledgeable when it comes to flying.  But what I really enjoy about him is that he ‘dumbs’ it down and puts it into layman’s terms for those of us who aren’t aeronautical engineers. 🙂  We covered the basics, like the types of pilot training one can receive, to the four forces of flight and the parts of an airplane.

After class, I immediately filed my SFRA flight plan and did my pre-flight check.  For those who say, “The third time’s the charm”, you, my friend, are wrong.  It is not the charm when it comes to my camera.  I had a GREAT angle, all was well, but, as in the past, it stopped as we were about to rotate on takeoff.  I found that my camera has a “Drop Sensor” and “Auto Off” function, both of which I disabled.  No dice.  The good news is, I bought a digital audio recorder which I hooked up to my headset and was able to capture the cockpit audio, which turned out pretty nicely.  I could put up the video I have, but it’s nothing but pre-flight checks.

It was a fairly straight foward day, as we started out with some more Dutch Rolls and then immediately jumped into Clearing Turns, Slow Flight and Stalls (Power Off – Imminent).  I must admit, the feeling of the plane just dropping through the air during a stall is a bit disconcerting.  It ony happens for a split second, but enough to make you pucker.  I wasn’t at all scared or nervous, as I’d seen plenty of other training videos and sort of knew what to expect.  But yes, I still puckered up a little.  I guess it reminds me of going to a baseball game and sitting behind the plastic screen.  When the ball is foul-tipped, and is heading right for your face, you KNOW it’s not going to hit you, but you flinch and duck anyway.  I knew I was safe at 2000′ doing this maneuver, but the pucker factor was still there.  Ok, I don’t know if that was a good analogy, but you get the point.  🙂  Overall, it was a good day.  I need to study as much as possible before next session, as I actually do my first takeoff and landing (very nervous!).  Landing is supposedly the most difficult to ‘master’, but I’ll get it eventually.  Afterall, you do takeoff to land…

Attached is the audio from the lesson.  I edited a lot of the dead space out, and stuck pretty much to the lessons themselves, as well as some of the calls I made to the towers.  After going back and listening, it’s amazing how much of a refresher it was, not even 24 hours later.  Hope you enjoy,

~ Brian

Hours / Total Hours: 1.4 / 5.4



  1. Again and again it is enjoyable and funny to read your essays and listen in!!! Power to you, son!

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