Part II — The Ground and Air Instruction Syllabus — Exercise 14 — Spiral Dives


To teach:

(1)  The recognition of the conditions which could lead to a spiral dive.

(2)  The recognition of the spiral dive.

(3)  The correct recovery action.


As required.

Essential Background Knowledge

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

(2)  Explain:

  1. Basic theory and description of spiral dive;
  2. Causes and prevention;
  3. Correct recovery action — use of throttle and ailerons;
  4. Points to be aware of while recovering — excessive speed, "G" loading;
  5. Instrument indications.

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

Advice to Instructors

(1)  A spiral dive can be defined as "a steep descending turn with the aircraft in an excessively nose-down attitude and with the airspeed increasing rapidly".

(2)  Aircraft speed limitations can be rapidly exceeded in a spiral dive. Care must be taken to ensure that students fully understand the associated dangers and how to carry out effective recovery action.

(3)  The student must become familiar with the symptoms of the spiral dive, and its difference from the spin.

Instructor and Student Practice

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

(2)  Demonstrate how spirals can occur:

  1. By allowing the attitude of the nose to become too low due to excessive bank while in a steep turn;
  2. From an incomplete or poorly executed spin entry or recovery.

(3)  Point out how spirals tighten if an attempt is made to raise the nose and note rapid loss of height and rapid increase in airspeed.

(4)  Demonstrate recovery:

  1. Close the throttle;
  2. Level the wings — co-ordinated control;
  3. Ease out of the dive.

(5)  Instrument indications.

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