Slow flight


The student should become familiar with the behavior of the aircraft in slow flight, gaining an understanding of the inputs and procedures required for safe aircraft control near stall.


  • introduction
  • aerodynamics
  • maneuver & setup
  • common problem areas


  • model aircraft
  • whiteboard and markers
  • Airplane Flying Handbook
  • standardization manual

Instructor actions

Demonstrate, using the whiteboard and model aircraft, the setup, execution, and recovery for slow flight. As a guided discussion, teach and evaluate the student’s application of the maneuver to real-world situations.

Student actions

Read assignment prior to briefing, and participate in the guided discussion with responses and questions.

Completion Standards

The lesson will be complete when the student shows a working knowledge of slow flight and can explain the maneuver with minimal instructor guidance.

Teaching outline

  • aerodynamics

    • power curve
    • induced drag
    • situations requiring slow flight
  • maneuver execution

    • setup: 1,500 ft agl dual, 2,000 ft agl solo; 15” manifold pressure
    • flaps, gear as specified by instructor
    • reduce airspeed (+10/–0 knots) to just above stall
    • proper power settings and throttle usage
    • level flight (±10° heading; ±100 ft altitude)
    • climbs, turns, descents (±10° bank)
  • coordination

    • important at slow speed
    • torque and other turning tendencies
  • recovery
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