Power-Off Stalls


  • Stalls do NOT occur without warning
    • While flying along in cruise flight, a stall will not rip the airplane out of the sky and throw it uncontrollably to the ground to a big smoking crater
  • Power-off stalls simulate a stall during the normal approach to landing
  • Should be set up in the landing configuration
  • This stall may occur while descending in an actual or simulated emergency or in any power-off situation when airspeed is not controlled

All procedures here are GENERALIZED for learning.
Fly the maneuver in accordance with the Pilot Operating Handbook (POH)
and/or current Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Stall Avoidance

  • Avoid flying at minimum airspeeds
  • Remain in the normal flight envelope
  • Avoid abrupt maneuvers

C-172S Procedure:

  1. Select an altitude where recovery will occur no lower than 1500' AGL
  2. Perform clearing turns
  3. Reduce power to 1500 RPM, adjusting pitch to maintain altitude
    • Trim as necessary
  4. Extend flaps
  5. Below 110 KIAS = 10°
  6. Below 85 KIAS = 30°
  7. Maintain altitude until reaching 70 KIAS and then establish a descent at 65 KIAS
  8. Descending no lower than 200', simultaneously reduce power to idle and pitch up to Vy attitude (cowling on the horizon)
    • This pitch attitude will be a normal landing attitude
    • Above 5 knots, above stall speed the horn will sound
    • Stall may be performed level or with up to 20° bank angles
  9. At the stall, call out "stalling"
  10. Reduce the AoA to regain control
  11. Add full power
  12. Pitch for Vy
    • Glare shield level with the horizon
  13. Maintain coordination using rudder to prevent spins
  14. Adjust Vy pitch and retract flaps
    • Immediately at positive rate of climb = 20°
    • 60 KIAS = 10°
    • 65 KIAS = 0°
  15. Complete cruise checklist

T-34C Procedure:

  1. Give an instrument, gas, and position report (IGP)
  2. Configuration: Slow cruise
  3. Must recover by 5000' AGL
  4. Complete aerobatic checklist
  5. Codes: n/a
  6. Calls: n/a
  7. Clearing turn: 45° angle of bank
  8. Reduce PCL to 200 ft-lbs and maintain altitude
    • Approaching 100 KIAS, set the 100 KIAS glide attitude
    • Horizon bisecting the windscreen
  9. Once in 100 KIAS descent, smoothly raise nose to position 12-15° above the normal cruise attitude by visually placing the exhaust stacks on the horizon
    • As airspeed diminishes it will be necessary to increase back stick pressure gradually in order to maintain nose attitude
    • Maintain heading with rudder
    • The stall is recognized by airframe buffet and nose pitching down slightly
  10. At the stall, decrease the angle of attack by releasing back stick pressure and allow the nose to fall slightly below the 100 KIAS gliding attitude
    • Stop any rolling tendency with rudder pressure applied opposite to the direction of the roll and as soon as aileron effectively has been regained, smoothly level wings with coordinated rudder and ailerons
    • You are not adding power!
  11. Hold the recovery attitude in balanced flight to permit the airspeed to build up and as it approaches 100 KIAS, raise the nose to resume the 100 KIAS power-off attitude
  12. The maneuver is complete when reestablished in the 100 KIAS glide

Airplane Flying Handbook, Figure 4-5. Power-Off Stall
Figure 1: Airplane Flying Handbook, Power-Off Stall

Common Errors:

  • Failure to adequately clear the area
  • Failure to establish the specified landing gear and flap configuration prior to entry
  • Improper pitch, heading, and bank control during straight ahead stalls
  • Use outside and instrument references
  • Right rudder in nose-high power-on condition; release at break
  • Improper pitch and bank control during turning stalls
  • Rough or uncoordinated control technique
  • Failure to recognize the first indications of a stall
  • Failure to achieve a stall
  • Improper torque correction
  • Poor stall recognition and delayed recovery
  • Excessive altitude loss or excessive airspeed during recovery
  • Secondary stall during recovery

Practical Test Standards:


  • It is important to note that individual aircraft may have stall characteristics unique to them due to bends/twists which develop in the airframe over time depending on their use