April 2000 Issue

Cheating the Turn

Incorrectly gauging the base-to-final turn can turn small technique flaws into fatal mistakes

A fairly new private pilot recently mentioned that he’s read about stalls occurring while turning from base to final but doesn’t remember hearing much discussion about it during his private pilot training.

The pilot had done all the approach-to-stall, stall recognition and stall recovery training required to perform the tasks required by his certificate. However, he had no idea why he was doing them – other than to pass the checkride – nor how he might apply this training in the real world.

The central concept never presented to him is that the main reason for stall training, including the spin discussions (which replace the mandatory spin training of the old hairy-chested days), is...

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