AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 28

SAFETYPILOT

BY BRUCE LANDSBERG
PRESIDENT, AOPA FOUNDATION

Spin cycle

S

tart an argument in any hangar merely by asking if spins should be mandatory for the private pilot certificate. The FAA decided to drop spins

sterilized airspace in which to maneuver vertically is a smart safety precaution. Last fall I had the opportunity to fly with Bill Finnigin, a well-known aerobatic instructor based out of Annapolis, Maryland, in his Pitts S–2C. Bill arranged for an aerobatic area over the Frederick airport for about 45 minutes from 7,500 to 1,500 feet. The Potomac Tracon assigned a squawk and rearranged arrivals into Dulles and Baltimore. This resulted in little inconvenience and a much safer from the flight check in 1949 on the basis that preoperation for all. There was also a VFR notam advisventing spins in the first place was far better than ing of rapidly falling aircraft above the airport. AOPA Foundation learning to spin and recover. The prevention logic We thoroughly briefed the flight, which included President Bruce is that if the aircraft never stalls, it can’t spin. There a laptop video of exactly what I would see, what Landsberg has the aircraft was doing, and how to recover. There has been a decline in spin-related accidents over the more than 6,000 are three phases in spins: entry or incipient, fully years, so the concept seems to have worked—and flight hours. yet, every year a number of pilots stall and spin in at developed, and recovery (or impact, if recovery is low altitude, and the arguments start all over again. unsuccessful). During entry, the aircraft falls off on Should spins be reintroduced to the flight test? My view, a wing and pitches steeply down during the first turn. Once the which is shared by a number of very spin-experienced CFIs, is spin is stabilized, the rotation rate speeds up. The first maneuver was a normal spin. In all my prior trainno. We simply do not have the training infrastructure to support system-wide spin instruction. There is considerable consensus ing I’d never gone more than about three turns or so. That was that more accidents would occur in the spin training than from always just enough to get stabilized, but we averaged about 10 actual inadvertent spins. But should pilots have exposure to to 12 turns on each maneuver, which burned through about spins? In my view, yes. How’s that for a political answer? 4,500 feet of altitude while Bill and I discussed what was hapMy introduction to spins as a primary instructor was brief pening and why (altitude is your friend). Next was a flat spin but met the spirit of the regulations. A few students periodically where power was introduced and the nose rose above normal tested my skills, usually during a power-on stall. The Cessna spin attitude. This can also happen if the center of gravity is too 150s we flew would swap ends rapidly and rotate. Recovery was far aft and the nose does not fall through in the stall. It may be straightforward, but you needed to know the drill—power off, unrecoverable, although in this case it was simply a matter of ailerons neutral, opposite rudder, neutralize or push the eleva- reducing power to idle and once the nose came down, a normal tor forward, recover from the dive, and thank the student for recovery was executed. livening up the lesson. Then proceed to explain why the aircraft To induce an accelerated spin, the stick is held back and had departed controlled flight, how to avoid that, and let’s try moved counter to the spin—something that a panicked pilot again. I also resolved to do a better job briefing and demonstrat- might do by attempting to recover with ailerons. Bad idea! ing that the rudder rules. Stalls and approaches to stalls were, The rotation rate speeded up significantly, but recovery was and should be, thoroughly reviewed. achieved by neutralizing the controls and recovering from the Let’s talk about training infrastructure and why mandatory dive. In recovering from this right-hand spin I came out of the training would be difficult to implement nationwide. Spins, dive in a right turn. My eyes (and Bill) told me that we were being aerobatic maneuvers, have increased risk over normal still turning right, but it took about 10 seconds for my brain flight. There are roughly four parts to managing that risk. We messages to unscramble what my inner ear was erroneously recommend an instructor who has had more than just an intro communicating as level. Full-blown vertigo is nasty stuff and to spins and is proficient in doing them in the make and model not something typically experienced in a simulator. in which you’ll be flying. The International Aerobatic Club has A couple of unusual attitudes finished the ride. Should an excellent instructor training program. The aircraft must be pilots, other than CFIs, have some exposure to spins and other properly certificated and maintained. unusual attitudes? I think so, but under carefully controlled Personally, I prefer an aerobatic machine that’s hard to circumstances. The instructor should let you do most of the break and spins and recovers easily, no matter how ham-fisted flying and be sensitive to individual physiological differences. the pilot. Excellent maintenance is essential. Some of the old Spin training builds confidence and aircraft-handling skills, but warhorses that serve well as primary trainers are not up to my competent stall education will also keep you out of a deadly standard for spin practice. Parachutes, and a way to rapidly exit low-altitude encounter. There are tens of thousands of pilots the aircraft, add extra confidence.Finally, having reasonably out there who have never spun and are flying safely. 28 • FEBRUARY
2012

AOPA PILOT •



AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012

AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012
Contents
President’s Position
Hangar Talk
AOPA Media
AOPA Action
Letters
Waypoints
Proficient Pilot
Safety Pilot
License to Learn
Pilot Counsel
Fly Well
Pilot Briefing
Rally GA: Pay Up
Budget Buy: Classically Quick
Percival Provost: Fine Englishman
Flying Wild in Alaska
On Brand-New Wings
B-Ball to Biplane
2012 Tougher Than a Tornado Sweepstakes: Water Dog
The Bird and the Leprechaun
Avionics: Pilot Friendly
Technique: Wind Warrior
Wx Watch: The Problem with Pireps
Products: Anywhere Map Septa
Never Again
Fly-Outs
Fly by Wire
Pilots
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - President’s Position
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Hangar Talk
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 7
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 8
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 9
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - AOPA Media
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 11
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - AOPA Action
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 13
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 14
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 15
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 16
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 17
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 18
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 19
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Letters
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 21
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 22
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 23
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Waypoints
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 25
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Proficient Pilot
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 27
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Safety Pilot
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 29
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - License to Learn
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 31
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Pilot Counsel
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 33
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Fly Well
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 35
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Pilot Briefing
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 37
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 38
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 39
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 40
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Rally GA: Pay Up
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 42
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 43
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Budget Buy: Classically Quick
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 45
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 46
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 47
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 48
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 49
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 50
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 51
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Percival Provost: Fine Englishman
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 53
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 54
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 55
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 56
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 57
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Flying Wild in Alaska
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 59
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 60
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 61
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 62
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 63
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - On Brand-New Wings
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 65
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 66
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 67
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 68
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 69
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 70
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 71
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - B-Ball to Biplane
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 73
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 74
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 75
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 2012 Tougher Than a Tornado Sweepstakes: Water Dog
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 77
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 78
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 79
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 80
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 81
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - The Bird and the Leprechaun
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 83
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 84
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 85
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 86
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 87
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 88
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Avionics: Pilot Friendly
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 90
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 91
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 92
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Technique: Wind Warrior
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 94
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 95
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 96
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Wx Watch: The Problem with Pireps
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - I1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - I2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 98
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 99
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 100
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Products: Anywhere Map Septa
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 102
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 103
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Never Again
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 105
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 106
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Fly-Outs
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Fly by Wire
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 109
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 110
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 111
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Pilots
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Cover4
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