In which I learn about more types of stalls, fight the Jabiru to make it stall at all and experience a wing-drop.
Today’s mission was advanced stalling.
I preflighted 4929, we jumped in, I taxiied us to 18 and did the takeoff from 18R.
We climbed straight up then around to the left to head towards the north of the field, up to 4000ft. By 3000ft I had it nicely settled in the climb so took my hand off the throttle and just rested my elbow on the door…I rather felt that things were going too well, just sitting there flying with one hand all casually!
We levelled off at 4000ft and J took control to demonstrate the first type of stall. First we were going to revise the type of stalls we’d done previously, power off stalls in clean configuration (flapless). We went over the HASELL checklist – Height, Airframe, Security, Location, Lookout – then did a clearing turn. He demonstrated one stall then I took over to try a few. It’s pretty hard to get the Jab to stall at all and when it does it’s pretty benign. I commented on that to J and he was like “Yeah, the stalls in the Jab are, excuse the expression, pretty girly” 😛
We then moved onto to stalls with flap. The addition of flap means that the stall speed will be lower but the airspeed will decay faster. Additionally, the nose attitude will be lower because of flaps. The recovery from this kind of stall is the same as for a stall in clean configuration except once you’ve established a positive rate of climb you need to raise the flaps.
The next stall we worked on was a power-on stall in clean cofiguration. In this situation, the power is reduced to about 2000rpm and as you reduce the power you raise the nose. The stall speed will be higher because of the power, but the speed decay will be slower. The nose attitude will also be lower than in the power-off configuration.
J took control here and managed to convince the Jab to do a wing drop. This is where one wing stalls before the other so one wing drops because one wing is producing more lift than the other. When the wing drops, the nose yaws down, the aircraft rolls and you start heading down towards the ground. To correct it you immediately ease off the backpressure to unstall the wings, add a bit of top rudder to keep the aircraft in balance and then use a slight bit of aileron to roll the wings back level. When putting the aircraft into the stall, particularly the power-on flapped stall where it’s most unstable, the books suggest keeping the wings level with rudder. J advised against this and said that is essentially putting the controls into a pro-spin configuration, it’s better to use a small amount of aileron to keep the wings level. The wing drop was FUN, you put it into a stall then it suddenly yaws and rolls down to one side – it actually feels like something happens unlike a Jab stall. This is more like what would happen in a proper stall rather than the wimpy (I refuse to say ‘girly’) Jab stall. If you don’t unstall the wings after a wing drop then the aircraft can roll inverted, which (unfortunately) we weren’t allowed to do today! I tried a few times to get the aircraft to do a wing drop but didn’t have much luck.
The final type of stall we worked on was a power-on flapped stall. In this situation, the stall speed would be lower because of the flaps but higher because of the power, so they basically cancel each other out. Also, the nose attitude will be lower because of the flaps but higher because of the power so they cancel each other as well.
We basically spent the mission doing a few of each type of stall. Each time I really had to fight to get the plane to stall at all. Even when the stall warning was going, the Jab was barely stalled and recovery wasn’t particularly difficult.
One issue I was having near the end of the mission was letting the plane climb when entering the stall. I need to work on keeping the plane flying straight without climbing when entering the stall.
We headed back to the field and joined the circuit on crosswind. It was a bit more bumpy at circuit altitude and I had some problems trying to hold the altitude. I did a flapless landing on 18L but had a bit of trouble trying to correct for the wind which was causing us to drift to the side of the runway. Overall the landing wasn’t too bad but not one of my best.
Next mission the plan is to do some more stalls and revise steep turns. After that we’ll start working on forced landings. Things seem to be moving faster now I’m out of circuits, I need to get on and learn my BAK so I can sit the test!