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Recovering from stalls?

#1
I am still very new to RC flying, but I was gifted a couple of planes and wanted to get them in the air. I have actually only flown (and crashed) once with a Dynam Waco, which was set-up poorly and was tail heavy. This resulted in very rough and sporadic flying, and a crash due to what I believe was a tip stall. Since the crash, I have been hesitant to fly again for fear of stalling (and lack of experience of course). I have done some reading and research so I understand a lot more about stalls now. I have also practiced flying a lot on some free sims, so I am more comfortable and confident that I can manage the controls of basic flight. When it comes to stalls, I know the best advice for avoiding stalls is to avoid low speeds (especially when turning) but I was wondering if any experienced flyers could explain how to recover from the different types of stalls.
 

Aireal Anarchist

Well-known member
#2
I recover from stalls, failed acrobatic attempts, disorientation all the same way.

chop the throttle.......let the plane begin to drop to a nose down attitude.....as it picks up enough air speed from falling to fly I pull back on the elevator as it levels out I ease on the throttle......I now know the plane is right side up and which direction it is flying

works for me
 
#3
I recover from stalls, failed acrobatic attempts, disorientation all the same way.

chop the throttle.......let the plane begin to drop to a nose down attitude.....as it picks up enough air speed from falling to fly I pull back on the elevator as it levels out I ease on the throttle......I now know the plane is right side up and which direction it is flying

works for me
By chop the throttle do you mean increase or decrease throttle?

Also, what can you do if the plane drops a wing (tip stall) and goes into a death spiral? I've heard that during stalls the ailerons essentially become useless so you should use the rudder to control the plane.
 

The Hangar

Well-known member
Mentor
#4
By chop the throttle do you mean increase or decrease throttle?

Also, what can you do if the plane drops a wing (tip stall) and goes into a death spiral? I've heard that during stalls the ailerons essentially become useless so you should use the rudder to control the plane.
Chop the throttle means decrease it to 0. With the spiral of death you lose all aileron and have to kick in full rudder to pull out of it. I have one plane that has super ugly stalls. I took it way up to see how it stalled and it just goes right into the spiral of death. Using my rudder pulled me out of it, but I lost a lot of altitude.
 

Vimana89

Well-known member
#8
I'm no expert, and may have dealt more with different type of stalls than usually happen with more conventional type planes. I've never cut throttle to get out of a stall before. I've gotten out of stalls by the opposite method, which is rapidly accelerating the throttle and powering out of the stall. This worked well with a recent forward swept low wing prototype that would start stalling out at low speeds when turning too drastically without enough throttle input.
 

AkimboGlueGuns

Biplane Guy
Mentor
#9
Are there any other types of stalls? Any more tips for a better flying experience?
Aerodynamically speaking a stall is a stall. A tip stall just happens when one wing stalls before the other and causes the wing to drop, which can lead to a spin. The best thing to do in a stall is decrease angle of attack by shoving the nose over. Once you're in the stall your ailerons will only make it worse since they are changing the effective angle of attack of the wing. To recover from a spin, throttle idle, nose down, and rudder full opposite to the direction of the spin until rotation stops, then increase power and pull up. There are different phases of flight where stalls can happen, like high bank angles, but the solution is always to get the plane coordinated (ie, not spinning) and then lower the AOA by lowering the nose. Power can help in stall recoveries, but will almost always make a spin worse. Balance is definitely the culprit in your Waco crash, as tail heavy aircraft make deep stall conditions where recovery is prolonged especially pronounced. With the CG in the proper location, stall recovery should be as simple as lowering the nose and increasing power.
 

Merv

Well-known member
#10
I agree with @Vimana89, I don’t cut the throttle in a stall.

A tip stall is caused by a wing losing lift, due to low airspeed. The key to get out of a stall, increase airspeed over the wing. As the nose drops, release the sticks & let the controls return to neutral, airspeed will increase and the control surfaces will regain authority. When the controls are returned to neutral, the spin will stop, without any input. When the spin stops, gently pull back on the elevator, add throttle and return to level flight. This all happens quickly, within 2-3 seconds of releasing the sticks. Holding the controls will keep the plane from gaining sufficient airspeed and continue the spin. By holding the controls, you can spin the plane all the way to the ground.

If a stall happens 100 feet or more in the air, it’s not a problem. You have plenty of time and space to recover, it can even be fun. If the stall happens 10 feet off the ground, you’re going to crash. If it happens 2-3 feet off the ground, its a rough landing.

There is a relationship between CG & tip stall. With a CG around 25%, the plane will be stable. It’s more difficult to cause a tip stall and easier to recover from. As the CG moves aft, stalls will happen easier, with less throw. Stalls will become more difficult to recover from, as the nose drop will become more anemic. If the CG allowed the plane to drop tail first, there would be no recovery. To set my CG, I find the place where stalls are easy to cause and yet are controllable, you can recover from them. This usually happens with a CG around 30%. I like to cut the throttle and give full deflection to cause a wing stall, watch the plane spin, release the sticks, add throttle and recover.

If you want to make you plane stall proof, set your CG at 25% and reduce your throws.
 
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Bricks

Well-known member
#11
I will almots always power up full throttle ( if to close to the ground to recover I will cut throttle ) to get air flowing back over the wing and control surfaces, if you are too close to the ground no matter what you do you are going to be toast. Best way to keep it from happening is do not fly too slow add power in turns. Sad but this is where you see many warbirds crash on landings, trying to slow the plane down for landing instead of keeping up air speed and landing faster. What adds to this scenario is trying to use ailerons when landing instead of rudder for direction corrections which helps keep the wings flat.,
 

TDL

Active member
#12
Just my experience, getting out of stall is much easier on an electric powered planes, since there is no lagging in throttle response and most of the electric planes are over powered. Therefore nowadays I just go full throttle, The more airflow over the wing, the better chance I get the control back. I only experienced death spiral once on a 55” balsa Cub J3, which is as heavy as a brick that I could not power it out of trouble.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#13
Firstly stalls at low altitude are unrecoverable as there is not enough room to regain flying control.

Practice your stalls often and at height for your own safety. Each model has it own stall personality.

If stalled the plane is travelling too slow to fly controllably and so you need to gain speed. To that aim it is important to push the nose down FIRST! With the motor running use the elevator to get the nose down and then at higher speed correct any roll or turn.

With a stall induced wing drop and roll the use of throttle and elevator can slow the fall whilst speed in increased.

I get to buddy box with students and I am expected to recover from all manner of stalls and orientation caused loss of control situations. I keep my fingers on both the throttle and elevator at all times, (especially at low altitudes where a second can make a lot of difference). I save more than 90% of model involved, (and had to repair the remainder).

Just what works for me!

Have fun!
 

Cobra1365

Active member
#14
I’ll add my $.02 here as well.

First CG. A good ballpark is to measure the chord of the wing where it meets the fuselage. Your CG should be approx 1/3 of that measurement back from the leading edge (again, at wing root). This is for straight wings. Swept/delta wings are a “whole nutha ball game!”
Second stalls. Stalls can happen at any speed and any attitude. If the angle of attack is too great for a given speed, the wing will stall. Likewise, if the airspeed is insufficient for a given angle of attack, it will stall. So, just increasing airspeed will not always correct a stall. You need to get the nose over too (That doesn’t always mean nose down!).
Third, Tip Stall. I see that term a lot. It simply means the end of the wing stalls first resulting in loss of airflow over the aileron. If an airplane falls off on a wing when it stalls, it does not always mean it tip stalled..see four.
Fourth, spin. A spin is caused by stall and yaw. So, the idea of using aileron to level the wing on approach if you enter a stall can have detrimental effects! Yes, on warbirds, use aileron to keep wings level and add in enough rudder to make the turn. But, don’t get slow!
Fifth, torque roll. A lot of people claim the airplane ”tip stalled” on takeoff because it rolled left. Reality is they threw power to it and when it started to veer left, they forced it into the air before it was ready to fly.
Sixth, recovery. For almost any stall. Lower the nose (Again, this could just mean level), neutralize controls and smoothly apply power...simultaneously. For spin recovery, idle power, neutral controls. If it doesn’t fly out, add opposite rudder to direction of spin until rotation stops. Recover from dive.

Approach stalls are your worst enemy. Low altitude means little to no room to react. So, manage your airspeed. Know how your airplane acts in a stall. Take it to altitude and with wings level, reduce power. Practice them!

There are also “accelerated stalls”. Nothing to do with power, everything to do with bank angle and pitch. Put the airplane into a steep turn and yank back on it and you will stall the wing. It is “accelerated” because you’re forcing it to stall sooner than it normally would by decreasing lift while simultaneously increasing angle of attack. An accelerated stall doesn’t always need to be aggressively pitched into either. It is what is usually happen8ng when people stall in the final turn. Bank angle dumps lift, power is coming back and the pilot instinctively increases up elevator as he/she sees the airplane descend sooner than expected...result...accelerated stall. Here is where many yell “Tip Stall!”

Sorry, kinda lengthy. Moral of the story. Any wing will stall if you make it stop flying! Manage your energy and be smooth on controls. Oh and check your CG!
 
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Cobra1365

Active member
#16
Your CG remark does not take into account a swept wing so techecally is not correct, on a straight wing it is..
You are correct. But, given the OP said he was new to the hobby, A) I assumed he was not dealing with a swept wing and B) I did not want to get into defining/ finding Mean Aerodynamic Chord (MAC) and determining what %MAC the appropriate CG is.
I will edit accordingly though.