Jim Alsip, Master Instructor Emeritus, has sought to unveil the mystic of stick and rudder skills to those pilots who quest to master them. Using instructional key points, Jim explores and reveals the fundamentals of airmanship, the skill set of using stick and rudder to safely direct an airplane through a plethora of maneuvers throughout the entire flight envelop.
The term stick and rudder is a classical term, a valued yet unattained skill for many pilots. Pilots know the importance of good stick and rudder skills, yet for many pilots mastery of that skill set has been allusive. A pilot’s quest for good stick and rudder skills is challenging because the skills are not being taught in pilot school; additionally modern airplanes and trends in commercial aviation don’t demand that pilots master the traditional stick and rudder skills, airmanship.
Jim is retired from giving in person flight instruction; however, his valuable and important flight instruction is still available for pilots seeking to master airmanship. In a series of three books, Alsip has written definitive guides to achieving those allusive stick and rudder skills.
Two of the books are extensions of the actual training syllabus developed over years of providing ground school and flight instruction.
· Flying the Tailwheel Airplane, is a must read for pilots seeking a tailwheel endorsement.
· Artistry of the Great Stick will turn pilots into flyers. This book is a guide to stick and rudder and managing emergency maneuvers.
The third book offers a collection of essays written and published as Hangar Talk, a feature of this web site and Jim's monthly newsletter.
· A Pilot’s Guide to Airmanship and Aerodynamics will help pilots discover the fundamentals of airmanship and aerodynamics, the principles that are absolute to flying an airplane. Reading this guide, you will learn about the magical relationship that makes you an accomplished airman, a superb pilot, a great stick.
Jim advocates only two fundamental skills to master for becoming a great stick: don’t stall and control yaw. In this fundamental video, Jim speaks to the former. You know about adverse yaw, but do you know what it looks like? Have you seen it? If you cannot recognize yaw, it is hard to control adverse yaw. Using the sight picture to recognize yaw and control attitude is fundamental.
The focus of spin training frequently develops the concepts of multiple rotations, spin development and auto-rotation. These are important concepts for test pilots, aerobatic pilots and military pilots. Intense spin training is important for those pilots.
Jim does not believe those advanced concepts are applicable to most pilots as a practical matter. Instead, Jim promotes stall/spin recognition. Single turn spins are fun and pilots should not fear spins, it is just another maneuver that airplane do; however, in the context of loss of control accidents the number of rotations is not the issue. The pilot has a fraction of a second to recognize and respond to spin entry if he wants to avoid loss of control and a fatal outcome.
This video is a clip from a spin lesson in progress. The key points are to recognize spin entry, recover from the spin (note airplane will be inverted) and then recover the inverted attitude to upright with wings level. Watch as all that happens with less than 500 foot loss of altitude.