AEROBATICS, STALLS AND SPINS

   
     The  number one cause of accidents in aircraft of any type today is still the same one that caused the very first shortly after the Wright Brothers
made their first historical powered flight! One hundred years later and we still have accidents from not being able to apply the proper controls at the
right time to safely fly an aircraft. What a shame!

     You do not have to be one of those Pilots in the NTSB accident record books! You can be a knowledgeable, skilled, and a safe Pilot regardless of
your type Pilot Certificate or experience level. You will get the experience if you fly long enough but you must have the basic knowledge and skill of
proper aircraft control first to enjoy and survive a career of flying. It is the paramount foundation you must have right from the beginning. If you don't
have it, you probably won't get it on your own but its never too late to get it and now is the time!

     No matter what kind of airplane you fly, from ultra lights to heavy jets, low time or high time Pilot, do you have it? Be honest with yourself and
get in an airplane and give yourself a check ride and see how smooth you can be, how precise you can be. Do you use the rudder for something
besides a "Toe Rest"? Did you land on center line without crab or drift at touch down? Do you have apprehensions about Stalls / Spins / Crosswind's
/ Turbulence? Are you one of those Pilots that lands fast, flat and have to use moderate to heavy braking to get stopped? If you found yourself
inverted and you couldn't see the blue sky part of the horizon could you recover? Do you grip the wheel or stick with your fist or do you have a light
sensitive touch with your finger tips? Do you use the TRIM every time you make a power and or pitch change? Be honest with yourself, brutally
honest!

     Picture yourself in this situation. You are fly into an airport with transport size airplanes (King Air 200, Lear Jet, Citation, Boeing 737) in your
Bonanza, 172 or maybe your LSA type airplane and as careful and aware of wake turbulence as you can be you watch the 737 touch down one mile in
front of you and just a little later about 300 feet AGL your airplane violently shakes, rolls quickly to the right, you put in full aileron but the roll
continues until the airplane is completely inverted and now the nose is dropping so low you can't see the horizon! What are your chances? Do you
think this can't happen? Would you like to be skilled and confident enough to have prevented the nose from dropping so low that all you could see
was the ground in the wind screen and been able to hold it up until you righted the airplane again?

     Give it some thought and then read on about how to get it and have fun doing it!

                                                                                        STALLS & SPINS

     There is no airplane that will not stall or spin in spite of some Manufactures or Pilots claims! If it has wings it can stall and or spin. If the airfoil
reaches its
Critical Angle of Attack then it can Stall and if one wing does that and the other does not, then you have the ability for Auto
Rotation
and Yaw Coupling which can enable the airplane to spin. You can control Angle of Attack with the Elevator and prevent Auto
Rotation
and Yaw Coupling with the Rudder. It is that simple, no mystery. No angle of attack, no stall, control the direction of the nose with
rudder and no
Auto Rotation or Yaw Coupling (In a properly designed airplane!) No matter what attitude, speed, power setting, inverted or upright!
The airplane does not have to have both wings stalled first for
Auto Rotation to take place. Auto rotation and Yaw Coupling can be initiated with
rudder alone as long as there is angle of attack on the wing and that is what a snap roll is!
A full stall is not needed to Spin or Snap Roll.

     The Stall / Spin Accident sadly is still the number one killer in airplanes today and it is so easy to avoid with proper training and not very
much expense as compared to all the other expenses involved in flying.  So why not learn to recognise the onset of a
Stall / Spin and learn to control
the angle of attack and direction of the nose of the airplane so you can prevent, execute  or recover from a stall or spin with confidence, have no fear
or apprehension of either and be much safer than the average pilot. I like to use the phrase,
"Spin proof yourself". It is so easy to learn in the
Decathlon or Pitts.

     If you are going to fly aerobatics then you need SPIN training. All types of spins, POWER OFF UPRIGHT & INVERTED, ACCELERATED UPRIGHT
AND INVERTED, POWER ON FLAT UPRIGHT AND INVERTED AND THE CROSSOVER SPIN. Not all aerobatic aeroplanes will FLAT SPIN if loaded
properly but just about any airplane is capable of upright, inverted and accelerated spins. I feel the accelerated spin and the crossover spin is the
most likely to confuse and disorientate a pilot who finds them self in an inadvertent spin and the control inputs they think are correct does not stop
the spin but makes it worse which can lead to real panic and unsuccessful recovery. Many a tell has been told of someone that got into a spin and
everything they tried did not work until they just let go of all the controls and then as if by magic it stopped spinning and they recovered from the
dive! Don't count on that being your luck. After your first Accelerated Spin or Crossover Spin lesson you will see why that is possible.

             
 Note: Turning loose of the controls to recover from a Spin or Stall is not a proper or reliable method of recovery at all.

     Take a basic spin course (about 1 hour ground and 1 hour flight time) Upright and accelerated upright spins and gain the knowledge and skill to
recognize, prevent and recover from a stall or spin with confidence.

     If you take pride in your airman ship seriously or intend to do aerobatics without a competent Aerobatic Instructor on board and want to increase
your knowledge, skill, confidence and most importantly your safety by "Spin proofing yourself", take an Advanced Spin and Upset / Emergency
Maneuver Recovery course where you will learn every type of spin, the recognition, entry and recovery. About 3 hours flying and ground time.

                                                  EMERGENCY MANEUVER / SPIN RECOVERY METHODS

     The "M-B" (Hands Off) method is an "Emergency Spin recovery procedure". Not appropriate for Emergency Maneuver Recovery. The elevator and
ailerons are not held firmly and could damage them or aggravate / prevent a recovery from an usual attitude or botched maneuver.

     The "Controls to neutral" method is an "Emergency Maneuver Recovery Method" which will work well for spins of any type and is excellent for
any situation where the Pilot is not sure of what is going on, what has happened, disorientated, confused or just does not know what to do to stop
what is going on with the airplane.

     In the airplanes that these two methods will work for Spin Recovery they will always work if and only if they are executed PROPERLY.

M-B method (Hands off) : As described in the book by Gene Biggs and per Eric Mueller's instructions:
1. POWER OFF
2. RELEASE THE STICK
3. APPLY RUDDER THAT IS OPPOSITE OF THE NOSE
ROTATION DIRECTION.
4. RECOVER FROM DIVE AFTER ROTATION STOPS

For the "Controls to Neutral Method" which is:
1. POWER OFF
2. CONTROLS TO NEUTRAL
3. WAIT FOR STABLE UPRIGHT FLIGHT
4. RECOVER TO STRAIGHT & LEVEL

PROS & CONS
B-M METHOD:
1. Pilot must turn loose the stick or wheel. Many pilots are reluctant to do
that.
2. Must correctly determine which way the nose is rotating. Can be
confusing if inverted and not looking directly over the nose.
3. It is a reliable SPIN recovery method only.

CONTROLS TO NEUTRAL METHOD
1. Recovery from Spin can require more rotations before stopping.
2. Pilot does not have to determine direction of Spin or type.
3. Can be used for any unusual attitude recovery VMC or IMC!
4. Where is controls to neutral? Where are they in level flight cruise?
5. Allows the airplane to move forward and generate airflow across the
airplane and flight controls without adversely influencing motion
about any axis therefor wrong control input which would aggravate recovery is not a problem.
6. Look at the profile of your flight controls when they are in neutral
versus deflected and you will see that the total exposed area is larger
than when they are deflected and in line with the direction the airplane
inherently wants to move while in the air. This causes the airplane to
move forward and resist rotation about any axis. That is why this
method can be used for recovery from anything while airborne.

PROS & CONS OF CONTROLS TO NEUTRAL METHOD
1.Maybe take additional rotation to stop spin. Be patient!

Sorry, won't help you with your "Ground Loops."

Why not learn both methods, practice both and use the one you are comfortable and get the best results with. Neither method is a standard Spin
recovery method to be used for normal recovery.

Please take some good Spin Training from a Professional Aerobatic / Spin Instructor if you are going to fly an airplane that is capable of the type
Spins most Aerobatic airplanes are capable of doing.

You should be able to RECOGNIZE AND PREVENT THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SPIN, DETERMINE TYPE, DIRECTION AND PROPER RECOVERY
CONTROL USE FOR EVERY TYPE SPIN if you are going to fly these type airplanes.

Good training is much more reliable than guess work, the cheapest part of owning and operating an airplane, a whole lot easier to learn and pay for
than with your life or for repairing your airplane!

FLY SAFE AND SMOOTH;)

                                                                                  AEROBATICS

     First of all, aerobatics are fun! Sport aerobatics are very safe with proper training and proper equipment. What a thrill it is to be able to fly an
aerobatic airplane around all three of its axis and to perform all kinds of challenging maneuvers such as the Loop, Cuban Eight, Rolls of various
types, Hammerheads (Ever brought an airplane to a complete stop in the air?) to name a few. It is freedom at it's best! Exciting, thrilling, fulfilling,
educating and some even say it is the most fun you can have with your...........! Well maybe close! It is not daring and do, or stunts. Its flying an
aeroplane in three dimension, with few restraints. Aerobatics can be learned for Sport, Competition, or Exhibition but I think the ultimate reason is
for a higher level of Pilot skill and safety plus
FUN!

     Are they necessary to be a safe Pilot? Here is a funny story that might answer that question. There were two Business men that owned
Corporate Jets sitting on the back porch of the Club House one evening having a drink after their round of golf. There was a fellow flying a Pitts not
too far from the golf course doing Aerobatics that attracted their attention. They watched for a while and then one of them made the statement, "I
wouldn't want to fly with a Pilot that flies like that".  A few moments went by and the other CEO said, "You know, I don't think I would want to fly
with a Pilot that couldn't fly like that!"  

     You will be a safer Pilot if you can perform the basic aerobatic maneuvers
smoothly. Note that I said, "smoothly". Why smoothly? If you can do
them smoothly you will have to have the knowledge and skill to perform them correctly while relaxed and with confidence. Should the need ever
arise to call upon your aerobatic skill in a hurry your reaction will be more instinctive. Whatever  your reason for doing aerobatics they should be
performed smoothly because it will put less stress on the airplane, increase it's performance and minimize over controlling which leads to a whole
host of problems and takes away some performance capability from the airplane.

                                                                    
                                                                    

                                                                                        
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Articles by Johnny White