Part II — The Ground and Air Instruction Syllabus — Exercise 13 — Spinning


To teach:

(1)  The recognition and avoidance of the conditions which could lead to a spin.

(2)  The spin entry.

(3)  The correct recovery action to be taken.


As required.

Essential Background Knowledge

(1)  Point out the safety precautions — cockpit checks, minimum altitude, suitable area, look-out, etc.

(2)  Explain:

  1. Incipient stage:
  1. basic theory and description;
  2. causes, prevention, and autorotation;
  3. practice spin entry techniques;
  4. the entry into the incipient stage and when the incipient stage changes to the fully developed stage;
  5. recovery action;
  6. effect of varying amount of thrust — use in early stages to conserve altitude — similarity to stall recovery — detrimental effect as development continues;
  7. instrument indications.

B. Fully Developed Stage:

  1. basic theory and description;
  2. spin entries — causes and prevention of the fully developed spin — uncorrected incipient stage;
  3. full development of autorotation — the transition into and from the incipient stage;
  4. recovery action — normal and emergency techniques — necessity of using techniques outlined in Pilot Operating Handbook;
  5. effect of thrust — spin characteristics — loss of altitude;
  6. instrument indications;
  7. the spin characteristics of light aircraft in current use;
  8. disorientation during the spin and recovery, and its inherent dangers;
  9. dangers of improper loading — effect of spin recovery with various C of G positions.

(3)  Question student on the exercise and clarify as necessary.

Advice to Instructors

(1)  IT IS ESSENTIAL that the aircraft used for the spin exercise is certified for this manoeuvre and is properly loaded. Non-compliance with this requirement has caused fatalities. The Type Certificate, Pilot Operating Handbook, or cockpit placards should be consulted to determine under what conditions, if any, spin practice may be undertaken in a particular aircraft.

(2)  The transition stage between a stall and the incipient stage can be defined as the period between the stall and the commencement of autorotation. If the manufacturer does not provide a recovery technique to "pick-up" a wing drop at the stall, recover as from an aggravated stall. The student's ability to recover from all phases of the incipient stage correctly is one of the most important requirements on the Private Pilot Course The instructor must ensure a satisfactory standard has been achieved on this exercise.

(3)  The stall/spin accident has led to many fatalities. Recognition of the symptoms of the approaching stall and spin should be impressed upon the student and it should be emphasized that it is not necessary to have an excessively nose high attitude to enter a stall/spin. Insist on correct recovery action.

(4)  All practice spin recoveries should be completed no less that 2,000 feet above ground, or at a height recommended by the Manufacturer, whichever is the greater.

(5)  Emergency spin recovery techniques should be discussed fully. The use of power, elevators and other means of effecting a spin recovery should be discussed.

(6)  The proper handling of flaps and power in the event of an unintentional spin entry should be carefully explained to the student.

(7)  Emphasize that on practice stall/spin entries, the nose of the aircraft should not be raised above the horizon any more than necessary to produce the stall/spin. On recovery from the transition stage and the initial phase of the incipient stage, the nose should be lowered only sufficiently below the horizon to unstall the wings and effect recovery.

(8)  Unless the aircraft is equipped with gyro instruments capable of being caged, or with instruments designed to withstand the effects of the sudden attitude changes in a spin, instrument damage may result if the aircraft is used to demonstrate or practise this exercise.

Instructor and Student Practice

(1)  Spin Recovery:

  1. Complete safety precautions — cockpit checks, minimum altitude, suitable area, look-out;
  2. From slow flight at the point of stall induce a spin. Allow yaw to continue while aircraft is stalled;
  3. Demonstrate recovery action:
  1. from the transition stage and the initial phase of the incipient stage — recover as from an aggravated stall;
  2. if the spin entry is allowed to proceed beyond this point:
  1. follow the recovery technique recommended in the Pilot Operating Handbook for that particular model and year of aircraft, or
  2. in the case where there is no published recovery action:
  • power to idle, neutralize ailerons;
  • apply and hold full opposite rudder;
  • move control column positively forward and hold these control inputs until rotation stops;
  • centralize rudder and level wings;
  • ease out of the ensuing dive with minimum reasonable loss of altitude.
  • apply power as necessary to return to normal flight.

NOTE:  If an aircraft enters a spin with the flaps extended, they should be retracted at the first opportunity after initial recovery action has been taken.

D. Student practice.

(2)  Spin entries should be demonstrated from:

  1. A power-off descent;
  2. Climbing manoeuvres;
  3. A low speed descending turn when rudder is used incorrectly to increase rate of turn;
  4. A steep climbing turn;
  5. High "G" flight conditions (simulated at low speed).

(3)  Demonstrate spin entries with power on — (close throttle on entry).

(4)  Instrument indications.

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