Stalls Spins and Upsets for TOW

This instructor discussion was taken from our online course — Airmanship 2.0

Stalls, Spins, and Upsets


Because spins aren’t required for private pilot training, most pilots have never experienced one. Examine the importance of actual spin, upset, or aerobatic training. Consider its utility even if you only experience it once.

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ryanRyan Koch is your moderator for this program. Ryan is responsible for the design and development of our online training courses at PilotWorkshops and is an active flight instructor. In the Airmanship 2.0 program, he led a series of spirited discussions with an all-star cast of instructors — you can read their bios below. This audio segment was taken from Airmanship 2.0.

Catherine Cavagnaro

Catherine Cavagnaro learned from one of aviation’s great instructors: Bill Kershner. He was famous for aerobatics, and Catherine is as well. At Ace Aerobatic School she uses a Cessna 152 Aerobat and an acrobatic Bonanza to help pilots understand their airplanes, explore unusual attitudes, learn how to get out of sticky situations and, best of all, avoid them from the start.

Catherine writes the monthly Flying Smart column for AOPA Pilot Magazine and serves as a DPE in Tennessee. She enjoys sharing aviation applications with her students at Sewanee: University of the South where she is the Gaston Swindell Bruton Professor of Mathematics as well as chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department.

Catherine was the 2020 FAA Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year and the 2018 FAA Safety Representative of the Year. In 2018, she was inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame, and in 2022 she was inducted into the National Flight Instructor Hall of Fame.

Dave Hirschman

Dave Hirschman brings a unique perspective to flight instruction while wearing several aviation hats. As an instructor, he specializes in aerobatic flight and tailwheel aircraft, with more than 2000 hours of aerobatic dual instruction given in the Decathlon, Pitts S-2B, Extra 300L, Stearman, WACO, T-6, and others. That’s in addition to another 1000+ hours giving instruction as diverse as instrument flight to flying on floats. 

As a corporate pilot, he’s single-pilot type rated in Cessna Citations. He’s also been a ferry pilot, crop duster, airshow pilot, and flown warbirds with more than 9000 hours in single and multi-engine land and seaplanes.

Dave started in journalism, with a Masters Degree from the University of Michigan and is author of the book “Hijacked: The True Story of the Heroes of Flight 705.” The journalism degree positioned him well to become an Editor at Large for AOPA, where he has a “dream job” of flying all sorts of piston singles in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Mexico, and the Bahamas.

He’s performed air-to-air photo missions all over the world. This includes flying the photo plane below an Eclipse Jet trying to capture an actual solar eclipse happening in the background—a one-time shot with no do-overs that was, by definition, flying while squinting at the sun. No pressure.

Wally Moran

Wally Moran has been a flight instructor since he was a senior in high school, some 60+ years ago. His 39-year career with Trans World Airlines started with the iconic “Connie” and continued through most of the airliners of the era. He was an instructor and FAA check airman on the Boeing 747, as well as TWA’s Chief Pilot.

He’s been immersed in general aviation over those years as a pilot, flight instructor and FAA Designated Pilot Examiner. He has given more than 4500 hours of GA flight instruction and administered over 2300 FAA flight tests. He is also an active glider pilot, instructor, and DPE for gliders with over 1400 glider hours. Perhaps this is why he doesn’t think his deadstick landings in powered airplanes count as emergencies.

Wally has twice been recognized as FAASTeam Representative of the year. In 2017 he was inducted into the National Flight Instructor Hall of Fame. 

Doug Stewart

Doug Stewart is one of the most experienced flight instructors working today, with over 13,000 hours of dual instruction given in everything from J3 Cubs to single-engine turboprops and twins. That’s out of over 16,000 hours total logged. Doug is known for taking clients on multi-day IFR trips around the country in all sorts of weather and through almost every kind of airspace. That’s in addition to flying his own Cessna Cardinal and Piper Super Cruiser.

He’s a 12-time Master Certificated Flight Instructor, Gold Seal Instructor, and Designated Pilot Examiner. He was the National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year in 2004, and is one of the founders of the Society of Aviation Flight Educators (SAFE). He’s a member of the FAA Joint Safety Committee and contributed to the Airman Certification Standards. He’s been doing FAA safety seminars since before there even was a FAASTeam.

Doug was a professional touring musician before he started flying for a living, proving that he puts following one’s passion above any likelihood of achieving financial reward.