Jump to content
Head in the clouds

Avoiding the Base-to-Final Stall/Spin

Recommended Posts

I came across an excellent video that may help some with understanding of the dynamics of the Base-to-Final Stall/Spin scenario, and it offers some ideas and methods that may help to avoid ending up there in the first place, or save the day in those critical moments if someone gets a bit untidy and needs to react correctly in an instant.

 

Some may recall my method for identifying which rudder to press because I often find it hard to be sure in the heat of the moment, which way I'm spinning. I press the rudder which is following the rotation of the earth below - if I'm spinning to the right the earth appears to be going from right to left of the windshield, so I press left rudder and v.v.). In this video the author has another good method, press on the wing that is high to bring it back down again ...

 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good video. I was taught "Opposite Rudder" & it just seems instinctive to me, but whatever floats your boat & works for you is the best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regular practice of the falling leaf works for me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty good coverage., but a fair bit there if you are just getting started. The pilot puts the plane into a spin, not the plane.  Most pilots are $#1T scared of stalls. That's fair enough but till you can recognize them and suitably react you are not a good or safe pilot, so you need plenty of practice and the right technique. The way we are generally taught is not good enough. It's too predictable , It's set-up and makes you think you only stall when the nose attitude is high and that's not true. You can stall when the nose is well below the horizon as when pulling out of a dive, or in a turn. There's one common feature of a stall. . Unless the plane is very tail heavy or trimmed  wrong  you will be applying a lot of back stick, consciously or not. The elevator determines the wing's AoA  (The angle at which the wing meets the RELATIVE airflow). and that causes the stall, when it exceeds about 14 degrees...

      In a balanced steep turn , if you pull the stick back either wing may stall first, usually depending on the riggers angle of incidence, or some slight bias in the planes rigging or power setting. The rudder bias is only correct for one speed and engine power. A change of power needs a change of rudder input, unless the engine thrust line is offset sideways a fair bit.  Pilots of U/L's should be active rudder type pilots and conscious of flying unbalanced/ balanced, at all times, and going into a turn either add power or be prepared to lose height (intentionally) to stop speed bleeding away when it needs to be increased. Nev

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was a good video...I always remember when I first started flying in gliders almost 35 years ago. My instructor said the one thing that has always stuck with me and that is "aileron will kill you...rudder will save you" . I am always thankful for starting flying in gliders as it taught me the use of rudder and how valuable it is. I see so many power pilots who really dont use rudder except for steering on the ground

 

  • Agree 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great Video - in all the years I have been flying I have never entered a spin. Might be time to talk to my local RAA CFI about spin recognition/recovery. The alternative, is to go GA and do that unusual attitude recovery (aerobatic) program.

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

This is a great video from a no bullshit guy that has 20 years of real flying expirennce.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Thruster88 said:

 

This is a great video from a no bullshit guy that has 20 years of real flying expirennce.

 

Yup, couldn't agree more, thanks for reposting it!

Edited by Head in the clouds

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've come across too many pilots who focus on flying a circuit with neat, square turns. I suspect this emphasis has led to a few stall/spins. Many students find it difficult to assimilate the whole package that instructors try to teach and may neglect some aspects of their lessons in favour of others.

Perhaps they should give priority to keeping the ball in the middle.

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Give priority to being situationally aware. No good hitting someone with the ball in the centre. . Never fixate on any ONE thing. You can't concentrate on the ball in the centre during the flare in a x -wind.  The so called "Seat of the Pants" flying implies an awareness of skidding  or flying out of balance.... Feeling what the plane is doing. Ignore only when in IMC and you are not supposed to be THERE...Nev

Edited by facthunter
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My base to final turns are usually always circular. I have never liked the square turns. Probably a hangover from my gliding days. I have found it to be far more accurate to do the round turn as it is easily adjusted for overshoot or undershoot 

 

  • Like 1
  • Agree 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think one of the aspects of converting from GA - RAA that I found most difficult, was the gut (as apposed to intellectual) understanding of how a low inertia aircraft behaves in the circuit particularly on the turn to final.

 

When your speed "over the fence"  is about 40 knots and your aircraft is about 300 kg you have to pay attention to airspeed on that last turn. So easy to stall in the turn. I try to make my base leg no lower than 60 knots, use minimal aileron and lower the nose (can always bleed off any undesirable air speed).

 

Something I have to be very aware of  I usually fly alone, so when I have a passenger it makes a big big difference to how my little beauty handles in the landing phase. I must confess. despite trying to allow for the extra weight, my landings with passengers are not always a thing of grace & beauty. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Kyle Communications said:

My base to final turns are usually always circular. I have never liked the square turns. Probably a hangover from my gliding days. I have found it to be far more accurate to do the round turn as it is easily adjusted for overshoot or undershoot 

 

Agreed. With my aircraft, 1000 foot circuits are way smaller than when I was flying GA Cessnas & Pipers so my turn on to base is a descending wide 180 degree turn to line up on final at 4-500 feet with power back to idle on a light wind day so basically a glide approach. High wind day, same approach but may need a bit of power if my circuit is not tightened up quite enough. Usually though I have excess height so a sideslip sorts that out.

  • Agree 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Jets use the circular pattern usually but probably training in U/L's the squared off pattern is easier to learn where you don't take flap and gear  while in a turn. Early on you keep it simple, and do one thing at a time. Extending flap on some aircraft  requires a corresponding  significant nose down pitch or added power or the speed may wash off surprisingly fast.. Turns need extra speed to have the same % margin of stall reserve. Practicing figure 8's adding and reducing power as you enter and leave the turn is the way to get this right. The plane won't fly itself through a turn. YOU must know and achieve the right technique, or you risk being a statistic when you put yourself under a bit of pressure. Practice entering medium gliding turns till you get it neat . Also 180 degree gliding reversals with positive speed control. It should be second nature.  ADD Bank, add power or lower the nose. and consider traffic when turning always.  Nev

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Kyle Communications said:

My base to final turns are usually always circular. I have never liked the square turns...

 

 

Me too Mark. Why not a neat semicircle from downwind to final? The only valid reason I've heard was that during a slow, constant turn, another aircraft might be obscured by a window post or strut; "square" turns avoids this.

Edited by Old Koreelah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/29/2018 at 10:55 AM, Kyle Communications said:

My base to final turns are usually always circular. I have never liked the square turns. Probably a hangover from my gliding days. I have found it to be far more accurate to do the round turn as it is easily adjusted for overshoot or undershoot 

 

And easier to see where you ate in relation to the runway when you have a high instrument board and a nose high landing attitude.

 

kaz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I see it, the angular/squared off circuit pattern, is a method for instilling  a disciplined/by the numbers approach to landing.

 

Personally I like the challenge of doing it this way - the environment is always changing, ( aircraft load, pressure altitude, wind,, perspective, terrain, even runway width) so there is no such thing as a perfect landing every time no matter how good/experienced the pilot is.

 

A wee bit contradictory - the only time I am inclined to do a curved approach is when I am nonpracticing an engine out - I nearly always have to "slip" to bleed of excess hight.

 

Other factors for consideration/debate:

  • The aircraft waiting to line up - a curved approach gives the waiting pilot less opportunity to see/pick up an aircraft on final.
  • When does the curvy pilot make his/her call "on final"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Let me assure you that in practice these problems are not an issue. with the Racecourse Pattern  I also stress that with initial training taking flap while  entering or in a turn while bleeding speed back to target speed is a bit more complex than taking flap on downwind  prior to turning or on final in a straight line. A stable approach must ideally be achieved at some point( Height) related to the type of aircraft, and type of operation.  One adverse aspect is "sighting" another plane  which is on a straight in approach when you are in a constant turn. Most of this procedure is done at Primary airports where separation is applied by the controller but visual  still plays a part even there. Nev

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×