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ASEL-Slow Flight,Stall,Spins,Upsets, Basic Instruments (Pvt, Comm’l, ATP) (print friendly)
1 Credit for Basic Flight Topic 2
Activity Number:


Name:  ASEL – Slow Flight, Stalls, Basic Instruments

               – (Pvt, Comm’l, ATP)

Activity Number: A070405-08

Credits: 1 Credit for Basic Flight Topic 2

Revision:  June 2019

Syllabus:  S-BF1-W1.00-080124-02-01

1.  BACKGROUND – Loss of control, particularly while maneuvering, is the most frequent precursor to General Aviation fatal accidents.  This and other WINGS Flight Activities will reinforce in the airman a strong foundation airmanship, proficiency, flight discipline and risk management.

In this WINGS Flight Activity the airman and instructor will discuss, and airman will demonstrate the recommended procedures for the safe operation of an aircraft during the following maneuvers: 

Slow Flight and Stalls.  It is essential that the airman understand how the airplane’s flight controls feel near its aerodynamic buffet or stall-warning, and how to recognize an impending stall by sight, sound, how the airplane feels and looks.  It is important to understand factors and situations that can lead to a stall, and develop proficiency in stall recognition and recovery.

Spins.  A spin is an aggravated stall that typically occurs from a full stall occurring with the airplane in a yawed state and results in the airplane following a downward corkscrew path.  Airman proficiency in avoiding conditions that could lead to an accidental stall/spin situation, and in promptly taking the correct actions to recover to normal flight, is essential. Upon recognition of a spin or approaching spin, the pilot should immediately execute proper and effective spin recovery procedures.  NOTE:  The demonstration phase of this Flight Activity must be executed in an aircraft approved for spins, if not, then the demonstration phase will be a discussion only Activity. 

Unusual Attitudes and Upsets.  These are not intentional flight maneuvers, except in maneuver-based training; therefore, they are often unexpected. Without proper upset recovery training on interpretation and airplane control, the pilot can quickly aggravate an abnormal flight attitude into a potentially fatal Loss of Control accident. This activity is intended to focus education and training on the prevention of upsets, and on recovering from these events if they occur.  Recovery refers to the airman’s actions that return an airplane that is diverging in altitude, airspeed, or attitude to a desired state from a developing or fully developed upset. The airman learns to initiate recovery to a normal flight mode immediately upon recognition of the developing upset condition.

Basic Instrument procedures provides guidance on practical emergency measures to maintain airplane control for a limited period of time in the event a VFR pilot encounters instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). The main goal is not precision instrument flying; rather, it is to help the VFR pilot keep the airplane under adequate control until suitable visual references are regained.  

2.  WINGS FLIGHT ACTIVITY WORKSHEET - This worksheet is designed to assist the flight instructor and the airman in preparing for this WINGS flight activity by focusing on the processes and procedures, specific Airman Certification Standards (ACS) / Airman Practical Test Standards (PTS) benchmarks, goals and learning objectives of the WINGS Activity.  With the introduction of this flight activity worksheet, the FAASTeam is encouraging the use of Learner Centered Assessment based upon the FAA-Industry Training Standards (FITS).  Previous syllabi and curriculum have depended on a grading scale designed to maximize student / airman management and ease of instructor use. Thus the traditional: “excellent, good, fair, poor” or “exceeds standards, meets standards, needs more training” often meet the instructor’s needs but not the student / airman.  Learner Centered Assessment is a way for the instructor and student / airman to determine the student / airman’s level of knowledge and understanding.  While the FAASTeam is encouraging the use of Learner Centered Assessment, traditional grading scales can continue to be used. 

a.  What is the purpose of airman assessment?  Effective student / airman assessment practices should provide accurate, meaningful and consistent communication to the student / airman about what the airman is able to do as a result of their flight experiences.

b.  Why is the FAASTeam working to improve our assessment practices? The intent of the Learner-Centered Assessment initiative is to provide accurate, meaningful and consistent communication to airmen about airman learning. Additionally, our intention is to engage in best practices, which are supported by years of educational research. This research has shown that when Leaner-Centered Assessing is done with fidelity, it is one of the highest leverage strategies for improving airman achievement.   Effective student / airman assessment practices should provide accurate, meaningful and consistent communication to the student / airman about what the airman is able to do as a result of their flight experiences.

c.  What is Learner Centered Assessment?  Learner-Centered Assessment is a model reflective of standards-based assessment, which aligns feedback on proficiency levels to established Airman Certification Standards (ACS) or Airman Practical Test Standards (PTS) benchmarks. The assessment will be conducted independently by the student / airman and the instructor, then compared during the post flight critique.  In this model, student / airman and instructors are held accountable for the essential learning defined in the ACS / PTS benchmarks.  This work proposes a method for assessing student / airman performance that provides feedback to student / airman based on ACS / PTS standards of learning dictated by clearly delineated outcomes.  By means of this methodology, student / airman are equipped with increased levels of information obtained from assessments, both formative and summative.  As the assessment is progressive, students / airman and instructors alike can more accurately diagnose strengths and weaknesses in learning down to the root level of the concept(s).  Since this WINGS flight activity is learner centered, the success of the activity is measured in the desired student / airman outcomes for the Flight Maneuvers (FM) Tasks Grade and the Single Pilot Resource Management Grade (SRM) described and located at the bottom of the Flight Activity Worksheet.

d.  What is different as a result of the implementation the Learner-Centered Assessment model?

  • Demonstrated mastery of the established ACS / PTS benchmarks.
  • Accurately reflect the students / airman reflection of ACS / PTS benchmark mastery.
  • Give very clear expectations (airmen know where they are and where they need to go).
  • Allow for more individualized learning (no penalty for fast or slow learning).
  • Allow the student / airman to keep working on a skill until they get it (get help and schedule a retake).
  • Allows every student / airman to be an expert at a certain skill (no more “I’ve always been a C student.”).
  • Moves the focus away from grades and towards learning.

e.  How will this change in student / airman assessment philosophy impact the airman?  Student / airman will understand what they are expected to learn, and they will receive regular feedback on the progress of their learning in regard to the established ACS / PTS benchmarks. In the Learner-Centered Assessment model the instructor determines what needs to be taught in regard to the ACS /PTS benchmarks, instructs, assesses informally, reinstructs, and re-assesses informally until there is evidence that the airman is prepared to be formally assessed.

WINGS Flight Activity # A070405-08  Worksheet

ASEL – Slow Flight, Stalls, Basic Instruments  

(click on the above link for the Worksheet)

3.  OBJECTIVE – To develop, review, or improve the airman’s knowledge, airmanship, and understanding the importance of performing intentional stalls to familiarize the airman with the conditions that produce stalls; to assist in recognizing an approaching stall by sight, sound, and feel, and to develop the habit of taking prompt preventive or corrective action.  The practice of stall recovery and the development of awareness of imminent stalls are of primary importance in pilot training, and the importance of thorough knowledge and faultless technique and judgment cannot be overemphasized.

Additionally, the pilot will practice unusual attitudes and upset training in order to develop the crucial skills to prevent Loss of Control (LOC) during slow flight, stalls, spins, unusual attitudes, and to recover promptly and correctly to controlled level flight.  In Upset training the focus is more on prevention— understanding what can lead to an upset so a pilot does not find himself or herself in such a situation. If an upset does occur, however, upset training also reinforces proper recovery techniques.

This flight activity also includes flight by reference to instruments to develop, review, or improve the airman’s knowledge, airmanship and developing the skills and abilities to maintain positive control of the airplane while maneuvering the airplane for a limited period by reference to flight instrument while following ATC instructions.


  • Preflight – a discussion between the airman and instructor must take place that covers the type of aircraft used for this flight activity to include, but not limited to, aircraft performance expectations using the manufacturer’s recommended procedures, including airplane configuration and airspeeds, emergency procedures, and other information relevant to the performance of slow flight; minimum controllable airspeed; and stall / spin recognition, characteristics and recovery; and flight by reference to instruments using the FAA-approved Airplane Flight Manual and/or Pilot’s Operating Handbook (AFM/POH) for that aircraft..  The airman must understand the recommended operating procedures, performance capabilities and approved limitations of the aircraft being used for the flight activity. The discussion will include collision avoidance, traffic pattern procedures; procedures and key elements for clearing the practice area, the performance of slow flight; minimum controllable airspeed; stall / spin recognition, characteristics and recovery; flight by reference to instruments and the scenario for the flight.  The airman and instructor will brief aircraft status, flight/practice area as applicable, that the airman is PIC unless otherwise agreed, the transfer of controls, emergency procedures, and risk management. 
  • Flight must include selected tasks from the Slow Flight and Stalls and Flight by Reference to Instruments Areas of Operation as described in the Airman Certification Standard (ACS) listed below in the topic(s) determined to be the primary accident causal factor for a particular category and class of aircraft.  While Slow Flight and Stalls and Flight by Reference to Instruments are the primary Areas of Operation, other Areas of Operations such as Preflight Preparations, Airport Operations, etc., are also a significant part of this Activity.
  • Post Flight Review the elements of the flight scenario and the scenario outcome, compare the airman’s performance to the completion standards - independently the airman and instructor will evaluate the tasks in the scenario and discuss and compare each of your opinions of the results of the tasks and the activity in relation to the Flight Activity Worksheet. Make recommendations for further training as required, and validate WINGS Basic Flight Activity upon satisfactory completion.


  • While this WINGS Flight Activity targets specifically the ACS Slow Flight and Stalls and Basic Instrument Maneuvers Areas of Operation, the Airman should satisfactorily demonstrate all pertinent parts of the ACS in their Preflight, Flight, and Post Flight activities consistent with their certificate or rating.
  • FOR WINGS CREDIT: Successful completion of this WINGS Activity will ensure the airman possesses the knowledge, ability to manage risks, and skills consistent in the performance of Slow Flight and Stalls and Basic Instrument Maneuvers to the ACS completion standards using both outside visual references and cross checked with the flight instruments for the privileges of the certificate or rating being exercised in order to act as Pilot-in- command (PIC). 


NOTE:  Use of Flight Simulator Training Devices - Generic Statement for All Certificates and Ratings

Airmen may use an FAA-qualified and approved flight simulator or flight training device to complete certain flight task requirements when authorized by the applicable Airman Certification Standards (ACS) or Practical Test Standards (PTS). 

14 CFR part 61, section 61.4, Qualification and approval of flight simulators and flight training devices, states in paragraph (a) that each full flight simulator (FFS) and flight training device (FTD) used for training, and for which an airman is to receive credit to satisfy any training, testing, or checking requirement under this chapter, must be qualified and approved by the Administrator.

 Advisory Circular (AC) 61-136A, FAA Approval of Aviation Training Devices and Their Use for Training and Experience, provides information and guidance for the required function, performance, and effective use of ATDs for pilot training and aeronautical experience (including instrument currency). 

It is recommended that applicants who intend to take credit for time in a BATD or an AATD towards the aeronautical experience requirements for the private pilot certificate obtain a copy of the LOA for each device used so they have a record for how much credit may be taken.


  • For this Activity, Bold Areas of Operations in the following ACS

 are required Demonstration for WINGS Credit










  • Maneuvering During Slow Flight
  • Power-Off Stalls
  • Power-On Stalls
  • Spin Awareness


  • Straight-and-Level Flight
  • Constant Airspeed Climbs
  • Constant Airspeed Descents
  • Turns to Headings
  • Recovery from Unusual Flight Attitudes
  • Radio Communications, Navigation Systems/Facilities, and Radar Services



  • One Engine Inoperative (Simulated) (solely by Reference to Instruments) During Straight-and-Level Flight and Turns (AMEL, AMES)
  • Instrument Approach and Landing with an Inoperative Engine (Simulated) (solely by Reference to Instruments) (AMEL, AMES)




End of Document

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