How to Overcome Fear of Stalls

How to Overcome Fear of Stalls

As a pilot or preparing to be one you are likely been there before. You’re working on stalls with either an instructor or a student. Testing out a brand new plane’s stall characteristics, or even you’re the instructor. You set up for it and work to initiate the buffet and look down to notice you have a death grip on the controls and are extremely uncomfortable.

Have no fear, you’re undoubtedly not the first nor will you be the last pilot to go through this.

The first Step Overcome Fear of Stalls

Stalls Steps

The first step to counteract this fear is go up with someone you trust/is trustworthy. Go up with someone who feels comfortable with these like another instructor or a test pilot. In fact, I struggled with this throughout CFI training so I went up with my instructor who also flies aerobatics. He was able to show me how hard it can really be to put a Cessna in a spin and instructed me how to do a falling leaf stall which helped TONS. describes this stall in good detail of what that’s and how to execute it. Like I said, go up with someone who can help with this and fly them MULTIPLE times. Make sure you get to a point where it’s consistently just you at the controls without them having to do anything.

Second Step

Stay relaxed and don’t panic. As you’re setting up for it look down and ensure you’ve got a loose grip on the controls and ensure your breathing is controlled. If you start off in panic mode how can you overcome your fear? know that you are in control the entire time, not the plane.

Third Step

Something that helped me overcome my fear as well is watching the instruments. I kept my eyes 75% inside and 25% outside. The reason I did this is to make sure I was coordinated by watching the turn coordinator, wings level until there was a need to initiate a turn, and at a good pitch up (especially on a power-on stall) to bring on the buffet (by good pitch up this means something aggressive enough yet not overly aggressive). What makes most people nervous is looking outside and seeing the nose above the horizon (aka not straight and level), so keep your eyes moving from the instruments back to outside.
The best tip overall though is the good old “practice makes perfect.” thus back to the first point, go practice them multiple times until you feel comfortable. Stalls aren’t a natural maneuver so it’s normal to not like them. they can be dangerous if not executed properly though so just ensure to always take safe measures before going up.


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