In the article on former test pilot LeVier, there are a couple of statements I feel compelled to challenge. One is that “under current FAA regulations, pilots are taught to avoid emergencies, but they are not required to learn how to stabilize an aircraft that is out of control.” This is apparently a reference to the fact that the Federal Aviation Administration does not require “spin training,” which is a different matter. Student pilots, whether for private, instrument or commercial ratings, are constantly being given “unusual attitude recovery” training.
We who fly are forever aware of the vagaries of weather, turbulence and mechanical malfunction (however rare). This unusual attitude recovery training specifically requires us to learn how to stabilize an out-of-control aircraft. The story also said that while pilots “are taught to recognize the onset of a stall, they do not learn techniques to recover from a full stall.”
Absolutely incorrect. The FAA specifically requires full-stall training in three regimes: power on, power off and accelerated stalls. The idea is to teach a pilot how to avoid going into a spin, which can occur if the aircraft is significantly mishandled during stall recovery. I agree with LeVier that spin training should be required, and any pilot worth his salt (and any instructor) includes it in training.
WAYMAN C. DUNLAP
Pacific Flyer Aviation News
Editor’s Note: LeVier feels that existing stall training provides for recovery far too early in a stall to teach students how to cope with an emergency situation. Similarly, he contends, most spin training is rudimentary and does not expose student pilots to the violent gravitational forces of an actual emergency.