Originally Posted by Tom K.
I'm thinking they're just too slow to begin with. They are traveling downwind, and therefore your ground speed is greater than your airspeed creating the illusion you are travelling faster (when you're not). Then you bank the wings. This means the "lift" is now being directed to a side and not "up". Now you pull back without adding adequate power (from what I've seen, this happens mostly when somebody is trying to land, so they don't have power on like they should), this decreases the airspeed more, as well as increasing the angle of attack. At some point, a wing stalls because the mix of no power, banked wings, and reduced airspeed forms a threesome of
and it snaps over into the ground/trees/pond/fence/goal post/etc.
P.S. I've been flying for a few years (since '08) and for a while I've been able to "judge" my airspeed with how mushy and responsive the controls are and avoid stalls and snaps while turning and flying. I suppose having a 3D background helps.
You make some good points here. The phenomenon occurs near the ground, when we are thinking about landing, and we are over-controlling the plane because there is limited room to land. At that point we are less than one mistake high, and the winds are usually more turbulent near the ground.
I know that feeling where the controls feel mushy and the plane is starting to look like a lead weight. If it is close to the ground, it is already too late by the time I notice it. I can see how 3D experience would be a benefit, because it allows you to push that stall envelope and still have the power to defy gravity.