One of the hardest things to learn when you see a stall starting on a straight-ahead landing is that you should push on the elevator stick. This is difficult because all your instincts tell you to pull up! But to save the plane, you need a lower angle of attack, and you can get that only with some down-elevator. This takes a lot of practice, which is most safely obtained by practicing stalls and stall recovery high up in the air. Get to know what a stall-about-to-happen looks like and just how much elevator has to be applied to kill the stall before the stall kills the model. I have seen many fliers crash by unintentionally doing a snap roll when they turned onto final for landing. They are trying to go slowly, so they have input a lot of up-elevator, and then they use the rudder to make that last turn. But that’s exactly what you are taught to do to start a snap roll! Suddenly, and without enough altitude to recover, the plane does a snap roll into the ground. I ruined a few models that way myself before I learned the key facts about stalls:
• On a conventional plane, stalls are always caused by the overuse of the elevator and can happen at any speed.
• The use of rudder or aileron while holding up-elevator can cause one wing to stall, and the plane may start a snap roll.
• The times when you may be holding too much up-elevator without realizing that you are doing so are when landing, when making sharp turns and when pulling up at high speed. These are the times when stalls usually get pilots into trouble.
BY JEF RASKIN