This paper considers four alternative sets of actions that a pilot may use to recover an aeroplane from the stall. These actions: those published by the UK CAA and the US FAA, as well as a power delayed sequence and a pitch delayed sequence, were evaluated on 14 single engine piston aeroplane types. In a limited number of types (five in cruise configuration, two in landing configuration) the pitch delayed recovery gave a safe response and least height loss, but in a greater number of types (six and eight in cruise and landing configurations respectively) it resulted in further post-stall uncommanded motion. The other sets of actions all gave a consistent recovery from the stall, but the least height loss in recovery was also consistently the CAA sequence of simultaneous full power and nose-down pitching input, which normally resulted in approximately two thirds the height loss of the FAA’s pitch first then power method, which in turn resulted in about 90% of the height loss of the trialled power delayed recovery. Additionally the CAA recovery gave the least variation in height loss during stall recovery. It was also found that all of the aeroplane types evaluated except for one microlight aeroplane of unusual design, displayed a pitch-up with increased power in the normal (pre-stall) flight regime. Reducing this to separate components it was therefore shown that pitch control is of primary importance and should be used to provide immediate stall recovery. The thrust control can additionally be used as early as possible to minimise height loss, but if the thrust control is used before the pitch control in the stall or post-stall flight regime, there is some risk of subsequent loss of control. Finally, from the discussion on stall recovery methods, questions for Regulatory Authorities are put forward that should address the current practices.
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