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5kts over stall - can it be done in a CT?

Ed Cesnalis

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As a CTSW pilot I have learned that I do not know where stall speed is, or on take off I do not know where flying speed is either.


Most of my take-offs are done at 9,000'DA at different TOWs and different conditions. I don't know when I can begin flying but Woodstock always knows the precise speed. At 30 kts or whenever I start getting some feedback from my nose-wheel I apply a small amount of back pressure and hold it. When that magic speed is reached where lift overcomes weight I begin to fly and my nose gear takes little abuse. Too much work to calculate so, like most of you I just ask my ct when its ready and let her fly.


Landing has the same problem, only Woodstock knows at what landing speed she will stall given the current weight and conditions. Before I ask I get close enough and slow enough. I ask by testing, slowly pulling the stick back, seeing how far I can get while still in the air. In this process I will reach my stall speed and touchdown with minimum energy to deal with in case of a mishap.


I have 2 ASI in my CTSW and they sometimes read the same speed, usually not. There is a lot of error, no way to be precise. My POH gives stall speeds in CAS but I only have IAS so I have no way to be precise again. Last there is the calculating, I'm burning fuel continually so my stall speed continues to lower as I fly. With continually lowering stall speed combined with no way to precisely measure speed, combined with the need to look outside I don't know how I could do landings at 5kts above stall but I can routinely do them at stall, which is the safer target anyway.


I wouldn't want to have a stall+5 mentality because of the lack of precision and resulting false sense of security.

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