You spin that Cessna right around, baby

Take a look at this video and read on about this manoeuvre:

What the Cessna is doing is a spin, or a stall aggravated by yaw. A spin is a very dangerous situation to find yourself in and usually happens inadvertently when the plane stalls (which can happen at any airspeed) and the pilot doesn’t control the yaw with the rudder. To enter a spin (and this should be done only with an instructor present and for training purposes only!) the aircraft is stalled and then the rudder is kicked to one side.

Here’s a play by play of what’s happening in the video:

  • 0:19 The plane begins entering the stall by idling the engine and pulling back on the yoke to climb and lose airspeed.
  • 0:24 The plane is stalled and the instructor kicks the rudder to the left.
  • 0:25 – 0:28 The plane is in the incipient stage of the stall (first 360 degrees).
  • 0:28 – 0:36 The plane quickly loses altitude while the pilot is holding the rudder in the opposite direction of the spin.

To recover from a spin you have to:

  1. Keep the ailerons neutral.
  2. Throttle idle.
  3. Full rudder in the opposite direction of the spin.
  4. When the rotation is stopped, push the control column forward to break the stall and neutralize the rudder.
  5. Recover from the dive.

Fascinating! I’ve never seen a spin from the outside, but I did experience a couple from the inside of a Piper Cherokee. I’m not a big fan of roller coasters so they were a bit rough on me (also I forgot the paper bags though luckily I didn’t need one).

[via Pilot Report]