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Basic Instrument Flying - Level 3

Attitude Instruments Flying Maneuvers

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The following maneuvers are described elsewhere for full and partial instrument panels and will not be duplicated here:

  1. Straight-and-Level Flight;
  2. Climbing;
  3. Descending;
  4. Turns;
  5. Steep Turns;
  6. Change of Airspeed; and,
  7. Unusual Attitudes and Recoveries.


There are many different configurations from which to enter stall maneuvers; however, for the purpose of this section, stalls will be discussed in reference to the realm of operations most frequently encountered in instrument flight. The entry procedures described are designed for training pilots to recover from induced stalls for training purposes. These maneuvers should be accomplished in VMC at a safe altitude - normally with recovery planned for a minimum of 3000 ft. AGL. See the Aircraft Flight Manual for recommended procedures.


Straight-ahead.- In the approach mode stall, the pilot establishes the aircraft in the configuration suitable for the type of aircraft, i.e., flaps and undercarriage positioned as specified in the aircraft flight manual as appropriate for an approach to landing.

The pilot must maintain altitude by constantly increasing elevator back pressure as the airspeed decreases toward the approach speed. When the approach speed is attained, the pilot should decrease the pitch attitude of the miniature aircraft in the attitude indicator to initiate a descent. When the aircraft is established in a constant-rate, straight-ahead descent at approach speed the pilot should increase the pitch attitude to approximately the second pitch reference line above the horizon (normally 10) to purposely induce a stall in this configuration. The pilot must maintain the selected pitch attitude and remain on the heading from which the maneuver was begun.

The pilot should start recovery when buffeting begins, by simultaneously lowering the miniature aircraft to the horizon (or as required in the AFM) on the attitude indicator and adding maximum allowable power. Maintaining the level flight attitude causes the airspeed to increase. Once the aircraft reaches a safe airspeed, the pilot should increase pitch to initiate a climb at this speed until reaching the altitude from which the maneuver began.

Turning: The pilot executes a turning approach stall in much the same manner as the straight-ahead approach stall (reducing power to the approach setting; maintaining altitude until the airspeed has decreased until the instrument indications have "settled down"). At this time the pilot increases the pitch attitude smoothly to the section pitch reference line above the horizon, and begins a 15 - 20 bank turn in either direction. The pilot maintains the pitch and bank through the use of the attitude indicator until buffeting occurs.

The recovery procedure is the same as for the straight-ahead approach stall except that the wings are to be leveled and the recovery heading is maintained. See the FTM section on Unusual Attitudes and Recoveries.


Straight-ahead: The pilot reduces power to flight idle, or approximately 15 in. Hg manifold pressure, and maintains altitude, using the attitude indicator, vertical speed indicator and altimeter as references. As the airspeed decreases to lift-off speed, the pilot sets a wings-level, straight-ahead climb and increases power at a pitch angle that causes a power-on, straight-ahead stall.

The pilot accomplishes this by adjusting the pitch of the miniature aircraft to the second pitch reference line above the horizon (or as required in the aircraft type). The pilot must also maintain the initial heading until a stall buffet occurs. As the airspeed decreases, the pilot must increase back elevator pressure to hold the pitch attitude selected. Direction and control must be maintained strictly by use of the rudder.

When the buffet occurs the pilot should pitch down to the horizon bar, add maximum allowable power and allow the aircraft to accelerate. The recover altitude should be maintained and the maneuver completed on the same heading as used throughout the stall. After attaining climb airspeed, the pilot should reduce power to the climb setting.

Turning: The turning take-off and departure stall begins in the same manner as the straight-ahead departure stall. The pilot reduces power and maintains altitude. As the airspeed decreases to lift-off speed, the pilot increases the pitch to the second pitch reference line, applies increased power and a makes a 15 to 20 bank in either direction. The pilot maintains this climbing turn attitude on the attitude indicator until a stall buffet occurs. To recover, the pilot lowers the pitch attitude to the horizon bar, levels the wings and maintains the recovery altitude and heading. As the airspeed approaches climb, the pilot should reduce power to the climb setting.

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Updated: March 12, 2004