Power-On 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
  • Helps recognize the indications of an imminent or full stall during power-on situations with the landing gear down and to make prompt, positive, and effective recoveries with a minimum loss of altitude
  • Power-on stalls simulate a stall from normal takeoff and departure

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)

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. At Vr (55 KIAS), set full power and slowly increase pitch up to approx. 18° in straight flight or in turns with up to 20° bank
    • Bring the rudder pedals to the horizon
  5. At the stall, call out, "stalling," and reduce the angle of attack to regain control effectiveness
  6. Add full power to regain airspeed
  7. Pitch up to a Vx attitude
    • Bring the horizon through the top 4th of the panel
  8. Maintain coordinated use of the ailerons and rudder to level the wings and prevent entering into a spin
  9. Adjust pitch to Vy attitude and minimize altitude loss
  10. Complete cruise checklist

Airplane Flying Handbook, Figure 4-6. Power On Stall
Figure 1: Airplane Flying Handbook, Power On Stall

Stall Avoidance

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

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