LOS ANGELES, CA – Does the stall warning horn make you nervous? Are you comfortable stalling the plane while it’s turning? Do you land your tricycle gear plane on all three wheels? The good news is you can blame your flight instructor, the bad news is that instructor is still making shitty pilots like you.
Here’s a few more questions that will make you feel inadequate: Can you establish the pitch for takeoff and climb by only looking outside when visual meteorological conditions (VMC) exist? How often – if ever – do you look at the wingtips and the horizon? Can you fly around the pattern with all the instruments covered on a VFR flight? Yes, that last sentence says, “all the instruments“.
Were you taught the falling leaf maneuver? This is a technique to teach students about full stalls and how to be comfortable controlling the airplane when it is stalled. If what you are about to read is news to you then you had a shitty flight instructor. To do a falling leaf the yoke or stick must be held full aft so the airplane stays in the stalled condition and you use the rudder pedals to keep the airplane flying straight and minimize side to side banking while the pitch is changing in the stall.
We all know that maneuvering speed (Va) is a limitation that full deflection of any flight control surface should not be executed because of the risk of damage to the aircraft structure from overloading it with G-forces. I bet you were taught that in turbulence you should slow down to Va; however, were you taught to also pay attention to any particular minimum speed especially while maneuvering? What’s more important; not stalling and possibly spinning into the ground because you let the plane get to slow; or, losing some altitude while flying safely?
While your flight school is likely shut down now due to the Covid-19 pandemic and stay at home orders, think about the questions you are going to ask your instructor next time you see them. If you are already a shitty licensed pilot go find an instructor who doesn’t suck to reteach the things you still need to learn.