Becoming a Private Pilot/Slow Flight

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A common curve of lift for general aviation aircraft.

Maneuvering[edit]

Power Off Stalls[edit]

Practicing power off stalls teaches the student to recognize and avoid stall situations that might be encountered during engine failure. If a stall should occur, the student learns how to recover quickly.

Stalls occur when the airflow over the wing is at an excessive Angle of Attack (AOA). An excessive angle-of -attack disrupts the smooth flow of air over the wings. As the angle of attack, relative to the direction of movement, increases, air begins to separate from the rear of the wing and begins to swirl causing increases drag. As the AOA increases, the flow disruption creeps towards the front of the wing until the drag caused by the airflow disruption exceeds the lift. At this point, the aircraft begins to drop until the flow of air is corrected by reducing the angle of attack. Since the aircraft is now headed towards the ground, the angle of attack is reduced by pushing the stick forward and pointing the nose of the aircraft towards the ground. Since this is a power off stall, recover will take longer than a power on stall because all of your increased airspeed is generated by the effect of gravity.

Typically, stall practice is performed at high altitudes so the student will feel comfortable and have plenty of time to recover. A power off stall is most likely to occur during landing approach, so it is a vital skill to master. It is also very easy for most students to learn.

Power On Stalls[edit]

Practicing power-on stalls teaches the student to recognize and avoid stall situations, an how to properly recover should the stall occur during take off phase of the flight while full power is applied.


Since this is a power on stall, recovery is quick and easy because you have the assistance of the engine. You simply push forward on the stick to reduce the angle of attack, and increase the power to maximum.

A power-on stall is most likely to be encountered during take-off. Due to the low altitude, it is vital that you recover quickly.

Typically, stall practice is performed at high altitudes so the student will feel comfortable and have plenty of time to recover. A power on stall is most likely to occur during takeoff, so it is a vital skill to master. It is also very easy for most students to learn.

Spins[edit]

File:ASIWarp.gif

Practicing spins teaches the student to recognize and avoid spin situations that might be encountered during takeoff or normal flight. In a spin, the nose of the aircraft is pointed towards the ground and rotating. The longer the aircraft is in a spin, the faster it rotates and the airspeed continues to increase. If a spin should occur, the student learns how to recover quickly.


Typically, spin practice is performed at high altitudes [1000m or 3500' is the minimum] so the student will feel comfortable and have plenty of time to recover. A spin is most likely to occur during the early part of the takeoff, so recognizing a spin situation and avoiding it is a vital skill to master. Preventing a spin is as easy as reducing pressure on the pedal and pushing forward on the stick.

To recover from an actual spin, the pilot reduces the throttle to idle (to reduce acceleration), Ailerons are placed in the straight and level position (you want them neutral to avoid aggravating the spin...), and presses the opposite rudder all the way to the floor (to counter the rotation). Once the spin is broken (this happens quickly), the pilot pushes forward on the yoke/stick to unstall the aircraft. A spin is caused by a stall, so you want to get back into the flight regime as soon as you stop rotating. The common instinct and a recipe for death is to "pull back on the stick", which will put you right back into a stall, and then into another spin and increases power until the aircraft resumes level flight.

In modern planes, Spins are not difficult to recover from, but many students find them to be quite a scary experience at first. As you build confidence though, the nervousness will fade.

Getting More Complex[edit]

Ground Reference Maneuvers[edit]

Ground Reference Maneuvers are just that. Maneuvers where the pilot is mainly looking at a reference point or intersection on the ground to keep the position and path of the airplane lined up with the point or intersection on the ground. The goals of these maneuvers is to learn to keep the airplane at the same airspeed and altitude during the entire maneuver. These maneuvers are best practiced in remote areas and at 1000 feet above ground level (AGL) which is the same as the pattern altitude at most airports. Variations of these maneuvers are sometimes called for while flying in the pattern around an airport in preparation for landing. This is the main reason for practicing these maneuvers away from an airport.

S-Turns[edit]
Turns Arround A Point[edit]

Navigation[edit]

Navigating in an airplane, is a tough thing. There are many different ways of navigating. More known than others. One of the easiest ways of navigating in the air - is visual navigation. An example to this, is trying to follow a highway, seen from above - found on a map, for instance.

There are also more difficult ways to navigate (note that visual navigation was the only easy one that's mentioned). As an example, we have VOR and NDB. Both of these (as most navigation aids) sends out radio beams, what the instruments in the airplane gathers together, and shows it in an easy way for the pilots to understand, via the instruments. The NDB works the easiest, though. It's simply shown as an arrow, pointing towards the radio-beacon on a compass. VOR works a little bit more complicated, though it is just as easy when you get into it. It works somehow like lining up to a certain bearing. No matter what angle you come from, you have to decide what bearing you want after flying trough the beacon. The instruments will help you line up on that course. Very poorly explained, but that's how it works.

Then again, if we move into the commercial world (not what you are supposed to learn, really - but just mentioned for you to try to understand all the different varieties of navigation), we have the most common thing, on high-tech airliners, something called FMS (Flight Management System) or the more known word FMC (Flight Management Computer) which is the same thing. It simply works as a "computer" you type in waypoints and navigational aids into, as well as altitudes and speeds (on the more complicated models only), and it will guide the airplane to it. Also, if we look back 10 years, before the FMC was in use (or in full use), there was something called INS or Inertial Navigation System. It works almost like the FMC, but instead of typing in the names of the identifiers and all the other additions; one could ONLY add coordinates on the INS. It was a very complex navigation aid of its time, but today it's out to date, and in many countries around the world, it's now forbidden to fly with a INS - as they easily drifted off course.

Pilotage[edit]
Dead Recon[edit]
Diversion[edit]
Lost Procedures[edit]