Elevator Trim Stalls


  • Elevator trim stalls demonstrate the effects of not maintaining positive airplane control during a go-around/rejected landing
  • 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
  • Elevator trim stalls show what can happen when full power is applied for a go-around and positive control of the airplane is not maintained
  • Shows the importance of smooth power applications, overcoming strong trim forces, and maintaining positive control

All procedures here are GENERALIZED for learning.
Always fly in accordance with Pilot Operating Handbooks (POHs)
and/or current Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Stall Avoidance

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

Elevator Trim Stall Procedure:

  1. Select an altitude where recovery will occur no lower than 1500' AGL
  2. Commence a clearing turn
  3. Reduce power, adjusting pitch (trimming) to maintain altitude
  4. Below VLO, extend the landing gear and verify 3 down and locked
  5. Below VFE, extend the flaps for takeoff or landing configurations
  6. Adjust pitch (trim) to maintain altitude
  7. Advance the propeller control to full forward (high rpm) as required
  8. Maintain altitude until reaching approach speed, and then establish a stabilized descent (trimmed) to simulate a normal approach to landing (3° down)
  9. Descending no lower than 200' from the entry altitude, apply full throttle, allowing the airplane to roll left and the pitch to increase to the Vx pitch attitude
  10. Reduce the angle of attack to regain control effectiveness
  11. Maintain coordinated use of the ailerons and rudder to level the wings
  12. Adjust pitch to the Vy attitude, raise the flaps in increments, to 10 °:
    • Too abrupt of flap retraction will result in a dramatic loss of lift and possibly stall
  13. As airspeed increases, but below VLO raise the landing gear
  14. At or above Vy retract flaps to 0°
  15. As cruise airspeed is attained, set cruise power
    • Re-trim as necessary
  16. Complete the Cruise Flow/Checklist
Airplane Flying Handbook, Figure 4-8. Elevator Trim Stall
Airplane Flying Handbook, Elevator Trim Stall
Airplane Flying Handbook, Figure 4-8. Elevator Trim Stall
Airplane Flying Handbook, Elevator Trim Stall

Elevator Trim 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

Elevator Trim Stall Airman Certification 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
  • Consider practicing maneuvers on a flight simulator to introduce yourself to maneuvers or knock off rust