by Jonathan M. Stern
Before initiating any practice maneuver, you must ensure that the area around and below you is clear of other traffic. You do this by making clearing turns. Clearing turns consist of two separate 90° turns in the same or opposite directions. Follow these steps:
- Visually check that the area in the direction of your first turn is clear.
- As you commence the turn, apply carburetor heat if a power reduction will be accomplished in the maneuver, and visually ensure that the entire area is clear.
- As you commence the second clearing turn, adjust power as necessary for the maneuver you will be practicing and visually clear the remainder of the area.
Slow flight, or flight at minimum controllable airspeed, is practiced so that the new pilot gains a feel for, and a recognition of, this very important, yet potentially dangerous, aspect of flight. In every takeoff and every landing, slow flight is used. Yet, by definition, flight at minimum controllable airspeed means that an increase in angle of attack, a decrease in speed, or an increase in bank angle could lead to a stall.
Use the following procedures to practice entry into slow flight:
- Throttle—reduce as necessary to achieve target speed; use 55 knots.
- Pitch Attitude—increase as necessary to maintain altitude.
- Flaps—extend fully.
- Power—as necessary to maintain 55 knots.
- Bank—make shallow turns (no more than 10° bank) left and right to gain a feel for turning slow flight.
Use the following procedures to practice recovery from slow flight:
- Throttle—increase power.
- Flaps—retract intermittently.
- Pitch—adjust to maintain level flight.
Take off from Meigs Field and climb to 4,500 feet MSL, while heading approximately 220° toward Midway Airport. When over Midway Airport at 4,500 feet, save your situation with the name Airwork. We'll use this again for other maneuvers. After conducting a set of clearing turns, practice slow flight (see Figure 4.5).
Figure 4.5. In slow flight, the pitch attitude is higher than normal. Notice the high power setting required to maintain only 55 knots.