Private Pilot Resources - Aviation Blog

I obtained my private pilot license in 2006. This site is dedicated to capturing little gems of knowlege I collected during training. Periodically I add items I find during research so that others might benefit from them. Please review the disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

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Location: San Jose, CA, United States

In 1999 a friend invited me to go flying and I was hooked. I live in the Bay Area about an hour south of San Francisco and fly out of Reid Hillview (KRHV). Please do get in touch and lets go fly!!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Stall horn testing - Preflight

Ok, so I finally got tired of not testing my stall horn during pre-flight. On tab-actuated stall horns such as the one I encountered when I was flying the Piper Archer it sure was an easy task. Turn on master, lift the tab, and hear the horn. Try being thorough though on a Cessna 172 and it's an entirely different story. Theoretically, you're supposed to suck on the opening of a dirty airplane with the wing a head or two higher than you. Sure, that's going to happen...NOT. So as a result it seems to be an accepted practice to just visually inspect the opening for any obstructions. After all, you're not going to fall out of the sky just because the stall horn doesn't work. Or will you. Last week we went out and practiced slow flight. Sure was easy with the stall horn buzzing. Oooops...what if it hadn't worked. It was at this point that it occurred to me that maybe I ought to find a way to check that stall horn on the next pre-flight. A few months earlier I had seen another pilot on my field pull out a strange little home made device. One of the instructors had created it for some of his students, so I decided to have a go at it. Quick run to the hardware store for some flexible plastic tubing (mine is a little too rigid, so select one that is flexible enough). I also picked up a little piece of thick and compact foam that's flexible enough to mold to a surface. I squeezed the tubing into the foam twisting it and cut out a nice little hole with the tubing. A little super glue to attach the foam to the tubing and about 90 cents later you have the perfect stall horn tester. Press the foam to the aircraft leading edge right over the stall horn opening and suck on the tube. Voila! Sure I could have picked up a little pump that the aviation catalogs are selling, but I'm certain those wear out eventually and I, like most pilots, just like things that can't break. No more excuses for not testing the stall horn.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool idea! I had been buying my students the sporty's tester (which holds up,,, 'okay') and just dealing with it as an expense of being an instructor... BUT what a great idea! I'm gonna make a bunch of these. I can't blame students (if they happen to be tall enough) not wanting to put their mouth near that stall horn.

Great contribution!


4:43 AM  

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