Putting Fear In It’s Place ~ Letting Go of My Fear of Stalls

2014-12-02 15.19.27My last flying lesson last week was pretty scary, and really for no real legitimate reason other than I let myself get scared. Nothing remotely close to bad happened. It sounds dumb to even talk about, but practicing the stall maneuver really freaks me out, probably because it feels like the plane is going to fall 5,000 feet out of the sky and I am going to plunge to my death in someone’s backyard out in Valley Center. But I am realizing that if I’m going to be a pilot, stall maneuvers are just something I’ve got to get used to and comfortable with. In other words, confronting my fears is a very necessary step in achieving success.

Saturday morning, I will be back to Pinnacle Aviation and CRQ for another flight lesson and this time, I’m going to be ready. I’m going to know what to do, and I am NOT going to panic or throw up or yell at my instructor. I will have my 8 steps to stall recovery memorized and I will be ready to execute like a champ. Here’s what I’m working on memorizing this week:

Power Off Stall Recovery – 8 steps

  1. Upon stall – pitch the aircraft to the horizon
  2. Push throttle in for FULL POWER
  3. Level the wings with the rudder only
  4. RETRACT Wing flaps to 20 degrees
  5. Maintain a positive rate of CLIMB
  6. Pitch aircraft for a climb speed of 79 KIAS
  7. Retract FLAPS to 0 degrees in 10-degree increments
  8. LEVEL OFF at entry altitude and set cruise power

There is a Zig Ziglar quote I like and it goes like this: “Far too many people have no idea what they can do because all they’ve been told is what they can’t do.” Sometimes, I think we have no idea what we can do because we let ourselves believe we can’t do something. Or, we don’t let ourselves think we can do something because we are afraid. Afraid of what? Afraid of lots of things, including failure, the number one fear! Failure can mean many things to many people, but in the case of flying maneuvers, failure is also accompanied with death. I will not fail. I will know what to do, and I won’t let myself get scared.

Stay tuned for a flight recap on Saturday – hopefully with a happy report of well-executed stall maneuvers and recovery!

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