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Adrian WillisWritten by Adrian Willis on 17th September 2016

The stall turn is a magnificent aerobatic figure.  It looks graceful and elegant when flown well but is actually very challenging to fly perfectly and the further up the aerobatic ladder you go, the more challenging it becomes with ever more difficult embellishments and energy management issues. The vanilla stall turn has a k factor of 17, making it one of the higher scoring figures, consequently if you aim to win at club or Sports level, mastering this figure is essential.

It takes time to master – the vertical lines must be vertical, counteracting the torque of the engine as you slow down and you must insure the airspeed reaches zero before applying full rudder at the top so that the turn is not ‘bridged’, whilst applying control inputs to counteract the gyroscopic effect of the engine in the turn.


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The real secret to success is seeing what is happening and to do this you must look in the right place. Remember that the horizon provides your main reference so you should be devoting your attention to the wing tips so you can see if you are vertical, yawing or rolling. Given practice you will find your entire attention is spent looking and the movement of the controls becomes natural.



Judging Criteria




How to Fly a Stall Turn

The Stall Turn is a figure that needs to be taught by an experienced instructor. It is quite normal in the early phases of learning for the instructor to have to assist in recovering the situation!


Airmanship Points:

For the initial few stall turns a height  of 3,000 to 3,500 feet agl is required so that the instructor can let the student recover if things go astray and yet still have sufficient height to sort things out if the student is unable to.
In addition to all the normal HASSLE checks, make sure cloud base is sufficiently high so that you don’t end up in cloud for the turn!



Aircraft Wing Sight - Vertical Up

Aircraft Wing Sight - Vertically Down



Common Mistakes:



The judging criteria has been taken from CIVA Section 6 part 1 PDF from the CIVA website

If you have any question, please comment below and we will answer it as soon as possible. To book an aerobatic flight, contact Adrian on or call or message him on 07712864413.