The present work analyzes the three-dimensional unsteady flow structure of a low-speed low-pressure ratio axial fan stage operating at stall conditions. Unsteady numerical simulations were conducted with the elsA software, which solves the unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (URANS) equations on a full-annulus calculation domain for the rotor and the stator. The analyses will focus on a near stall operating point, the stall inception mechanisms, and the final rotating stall pattern. Numerical simulations are confronted with experimental measurements from high-frequency Kulite transducers mounted on the casing near the rotor blades and the stator blades. The results show that boundary layer separation occurs on the stator blade close to the hub region at near stall conditions. The reverse flow interacts with the main flow to form a vortex shedding phenomenon. The frequency is not clocked with the blade passage frequency, requiring unsteady full-annulus methodology even for a stable operating point. It is also shown that the final state of the rotating stall region is composed of a single part-span cell that occupies three-quarters of the circumference and rotates at of the shaft speed. This pattern agrees with the experimental measurements in terms of both the number of cells and the rotational speed. Finally, the paper demonstrates that without inlet distortion, the mechanism of the onset of the rotating stall is incorrectly predicted by the simulation. However, when a total pressure inlet distortion is applied, the computational fluid dynamics produces the same inception mechanism that is observed experimentally.