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What Are Spins Like?  
User currently offlineOlympic A-340 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 780 posts, RR: 9
Posted (13 years 7 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1500 times:

I have initiated my flight training, and I love it...however, the only item of training I am really concerned/anxious about is spinning. Could someone tell me what they feel like etc?
Thanx in advance

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineJetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (13 years 7 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1499 times:

Unfortunately, you probably won't have to worry about spin training - they aren't required for any license except the CFI. However, if your instructor is worth his salt he'll figure out a way to get you the training - entries and recoveries in both directions. Trust me on this, it's worthwhile training even if you have to pay extra to get it. As far as what to expect, it's probably better to leave it to your CFI to explain the whole process to you. It's nothing to get worked up over and all of my students have enjoyed that part of their training. Just one thing though, please make sure your instructor has some experience. Spin training is not the time to use a 250 hour CFI who has only done 4 spins in his entire life.

User currently offlineCody From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1962 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (13 years 7 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1491 times:

I was worried the first time I did them too. It was in a Cessna 150 and the instructor kept saying to me "now as soon as you feel the buffeting of the stall, kick in full rudder and hang on." So we set up for a power-off stall and it started buffeting and he said "kick in the rudder!" I said, "I don't want to." So he did it. It wasn't too bad. Imagine being in a typical nose-high attitude and then all the sudden the wing drops and you sort of snap over upside down and out of the front window you see the ground spinning in slow motion. So..........power off, neutralize the ailerons, and apply opposite rudder. Like magic it stops. Of course don't forget to apply nose down pressure to break the stall itself. All in all it really isn't bad. It takes some getting used to. Here's a little story. I was taking a student up for his intro. flight several years ago. This kid was a pro from the get-go. It's his first lesson and he could taxi on the centerline without my help. He ran all the checklists, did all the radio work, did the take-off, climb-out, and demonstrated slow-flight better than I could. And it's his first lesson....he was sharp as a tack. So then I tell him, "show me a power-off stall." He set the aircraft up, did the safety checks, clearing turns (don't forget to do them when doing your spins) and I was so amazed at his progress that I started staring out the window at something. The next thing I knew we were upside down and the earth was spinning out my windshield. It's funny but my initial reaction was, "this is fun.........why don't I do this more often?" After about the second turn I decided it was time to recover. So we did and the rest of the trip was uneventful. I learned two lessons that day. The first was always pay attention to your students no matter how good they are. The second was spins aren't really that big of a deal as long as you are prepared. I hope this helps somewhat. Are you working on getting a CFI? Because if you aren't I don't see why you have to do them.

User currently offlineFlyer732 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1395 posts, RR: 20
Reply 3, posted (13 years 7 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1489 times:

I was a bit concerned when my CFI told me he wanted to show me them, and it took a while for me to build up enough courage to go through with it. But in the end it was worth it. Just grab hold of your seat and hold on  Smile


User currently offlineOlympic A-340 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 780 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (13 years 7 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1486 times:

Do you feel lots of G-force?

User currently offlineCody From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1962 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (13 years 7 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1481 times:

Do you feel lot's of G-force? I don't remember feeling G-forces at all. I think the biggest thing was being upside down for a second and then seeing the earth coming toward me. What type of aircraft are you using?

User currently offlineOlympic A-340 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 780 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (13 years 7 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1475 times:

I am flying the Cessna 172 Skyhawk

User currently offlineDash 80 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 309 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (13 years 7 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1462 times:

There's no roller coaster in the world that compares to spins. One minute blue is up and green is down, and the next your looking up at the ground. A friend of mine who is a CFI took me and we did 5 in a 172. By the time we were done, my stomach was in my feet. It was the coolest experience of my life. It was also very educational. Now if I ever enter a spin (let's hope it never happens) I will know what to do, which in a 172 is basically nothing.

...where the rubber hits the runway...
User currently offlineType-rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (13 years 7 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1455 times:

Spins are not the violent maneuvers shown in old Hollywood movies, when it comes down to it, it's just like a dog chasing it's tail. One wing is stalled and the other is nearly stalled and they are chasing each other.
Note that during a spin, the airspeed is just about stall speed, you are not speeding down towards earth, but more gradually going down. Hence, no violent G Forces. On my Commercial Check Ride I had a REALLY old timer for my examiner. After the checkride, he asked me if I wanted to do some more flying with him right there. I said "Sure", well we went up in this 150 Aerobat and he gave a great demo of spins and spin recovery. He also demonstrated how if you inadvertently get into a spin (and you are up at altitude) just let go of everything and the aircraft will stop spinning and then you have a dive which the aircraft will pull out of very gradually on it's own. This is called Static Stability.
I also learned about watching good students closely myself. I was giving this student his final ride with me before I signed him off to take the Commercial Check Ride. He was a great student, consiencious of his surroundings and always respected the aircraft. I even got him through his Private ticket, so I was very relaxed as we flew from the practice area back to the airport. I had my seat pushed back so I could spread out and relax and just enjoy the flight. We were on downwind getting ready to turn to base leg and when he did this: he yanked the elevators full up and then rolled in about 60 degrees of bank! Having my seat too far back I couldn't reach the control column to apply forward pressure! I had a nice stall spin incident running through my mind. You could just hear the stall warning screaming away! SO I used knee action to get the nose down and I imagine the screaming I was doing at him got him to level the aircraft out. We only lost about 100' of altitude, but from then on I never got too relaxed with any student. To tell you the truth, I wanted to beat the crap out of the guy after we landed.
I asked him why he did that and his reply was "to see what your reaction would be!" Needless to say I did NOT sign him off, instead referred him to our Chief Pilot for that.

User currently offline9y-isa From Trinidad and Tobago, joined May 2001, 222 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (13 years 7 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1443 times:

if you are training in Canada, you will have to do a spin in your private pilot lesson plans. The instructor will demonstrate one with the recovery and you will have to do at least one spin and recovery. If you like it you can do more. But for the commercial flight test, you have to complete a spin, as compared to getting a spiral on your private flight test.
The first time you do a spin, you will freak out, esp if you are not into roller coasters or any activities like that. There is a slight bit of G-force as you recover, but it's good to learn it. After a couple times, even if you don't particularly like them (like me) you begin to tolerate it. If you are doing your commercial ride up here, you better mentally prepare yourself for the spin.

User currently offlineBackfire From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (13 years 7 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1433 times:

Just remember the golden rule of spins: Don't panic and take two or three seconds to check exactly which way you're spinning. It's that little check which will save your life.

User currently offlineJetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (13 years 7 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1424 times:

Cody asked a very good question – “Are you working on getting a CFI? Because if you aren't I don't see why you have to do them.” To answer the question “Why?” let me give you a little background information.

Many years ago, it was a requirement for student pilots to have some spin training. Back then, stall/spins were the leading cause of "early death" in the pilot community. The FAA recognized that, in most cases, if an aircraft is capable of stalling it is also capable of spinning ergo, they required spin training.

Later on the enlightened FAA decided that if they just ignored the problem it would go away. Hence the requirement for spin training was removed. Results - stall/spins continued to be the #1 cause of "early death" in the pilot community.

The FAA then decided that perhaps they had over done it and reinstated the requirement for spin training - for CFI applicants only. The problem with the current FAA approach ("Just don't stall and you can't spin.") is that it's simply not working and never has. Stall/spin accidents remain up near the top, if not at the top, of the pilot killer list

Personally, I feel that if an airplane is capable of spinning, then the student had dang well better be trained and proficient in spin entries and "textbook" recoveries (both directions) - regardless of what the FAA requires prior to solo. (And not in an airplane that only requires you to relax pressure on the controls to recover. Believe me, there are many popular airplanes out there that require "aggressive" spin recovery techniques.) Better to have the student's first spin experience with a CFI at his side than hanging from the straps at pattern altitude, watching the world starting to spin around him with his wife sitting beside him and wondering what the hell is happening?

The problem is that most pilots raised on a diet of Cessna 150/152/172 and Piper Cherokee trainers really have no idea what a real spin feels like. For all intents and purposes, these aircraft have had the "spin" designed right out of them. It's all a pilot can do to get them to spin in the first place - they have a tendency to enter into a spiral. (Which can be a much more dangerous situation if the recovery is not done properly.) Additionally, when you do get them to spin, their spin recovery is usually simply a matter of releasing the controls. Is this really a good characteristic in a trainer? Personally, I don't really think so. Some aircraft, like the Piper Tomahawk, require the use of the "textbook" spin recovery. It is not a particularly pleasant ride and the students learn a valuable lesson about sloppiness and airmanship. I believe that it is a lesson worth learning for a student pilot.

That being the case, I feel that, more than ever, there is a pressing need to incorporate spin recovery training into every pilot's training syllabus. (If I were king, I would also require tail dragger training and glider training; but alas, me thinks these are posts on another thread...)


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