Please read the sequence below while the animation loads.

  1. The airplane is in straight and level flight, and the pilot reduces forward speed.
  2. The pilot increases back pressure on the yoke, which increases the angle of attack (from green to yellow on the model). The increase in angle of attack compensates for the reduced airspeed, so lift is constant and the airplane continues to maintain altitude.
  3. The pilot continues to increase back pressure until a critical angle of attack occurs (red on the model). There is now insufficient lift to sustain flight, and the wing "stalls".
  4. The airplane continues forward but starts to descend because of gravity pull and lack of lift. This is referenced by the downward direction of the instantaneous flight path. The pilot incorrectly holds back pressure as the nose drops through the horizon. This is illustrated on the model by the angle of attack remaining in the red area. Proper recovery requires that the angle of attack be reduced immediately.
  5. Note that the pilot is looking forward as the aircraft is descending downward, yielding a moment of confusion for the pilot.
  6. With proper training, an astute pilot recognizes that an excessive angle of attack creates a stall, and then corrects the situation by releasing back pressure on the yoke. The nose will then lower, and the airplane will regain flying speed. The angle of attack returns to green on the model. Ergo; our slogan at AlphaTrainer is, "From Red to Green is our Dream".
    CAUTION! In most actual stalls, the application of more power is an integral part of the stall recovery. Usually, when greater power is applied, less altitude is lost.
  7. The wing and the pilot's view again align with the instantaneous flight path, and the aircraft accelerates in a shallow dive. The pilot then pulls out of the dive and the airplane returns to normal flight.

Note that there were three basic elements of flight, or lack of flight, occurring. These elements are the instantaneous flight path, the angle of attack, and pilot's perceived attitude. The angle of attack and instantaneous flight path may be elusive from what pilot actually views. Only the patented AlphaTrainer offers this dramatic visual revelation.

Copyrighted, Thomas Shefchunas.