Exercise 11 – Spinning

Exercise 11 – Spinning



  • Enhanced HASELL checks 
  • Rapid rotation 
  • Low IAS 
  • High ROD 


Deliberate Entry 

  • Enhanced HASELL 
  • Throttle Closed 
  • Maintain S&L 
  • At recommended IAS – CC full aft, FULL rudder


  • Centralise all controls 
  • As soon as rotation stops: roll wings level to nearest horizon, pitch to level, power A/R
  • If the aeroplane does not recover, take full spin recovery action

Entry from Maneuver

  • From low speed turns, level and climbing



  • As for incipient spins


  • Maintain FULL pro-spin controls


  • Recovery checks: throttle closed, check spin direction (TI/TC) 
  • Recover as per POH 
  • Level wings – nearest horizon
  • Climb away, full power



  • Spinning is taught as a part of Upset Recovery Training (UPRT). Since students will fly only a few sorties in the aircraft (none of them solo) there is no requirement for them to become familiar with the checks and they will not be issued with aircraft checklists.
  • Spinning involves much higher rates of maneuver than most students have experienced before, so is the most frequent cause of air sickness during training. Discontinue the lesson if any signs of air sickness appear. Moreover, they may be particularly apprehensive before spinning so you must be confident of your own abilities when spinning and instil a proper sense of confidence into your student. 
  • Like stalling, there are two aspects to the lesson: recognition of, and recovery from a spin and spin avoidance. So for avoidance, your student must be able to recognize the conditions which may lead to an unintentional spin in time to take preventative action. 
  • Monitor your student very closely during all spinning exercises and follow through at all times so that you can take control and recover IMMEDIATELY if your student makes any critical error that might lead to abnormal spin characteristics or a delayed recovery. 


  • Preparatory Instruction
  1. Regulations and height restrictions 
  2. Causes, stages and characteristics of the spin 
  3. Recovery action 
  4. Engine handling 
  5. Inverted spinning (not demonstrated or practiced)
  6. Show your student the central position of the control column and allow him to practice achieving it on the ground at the start of the power check on each sortie on which incipient spinning or unusual attitudes are planned. 
  7. Physiology


  1. Mass and balance must be checked before every spinning flight to ensure the aeroplane is within limits for spinning. (Stress also that if any students are contemplating spinning after the Course, they must also confirm that the aeroplane is, indeed, cleared for spinning). 
  2. Emphasise the importance of completing the enhanced HASELL checks before spinning.
  3. To avoid the chance of misunderstanding during recovery when the student has control, use the words “Recover now'” to tell the student when to recover. Brief your student to acknowledge with “Recovering now” when he starts the recovery and that if he doesn’t acknowledge you will take control. 
  4. Emphasize that the spin entry procedures and the recovery drills specified in the POH/Flight Manual MUST be used. 


  • Ensure that your student understands that a spin results from a stall (regardless of attitude or airspeed), accompanied by yaw or roll: the aeroplane will be rotating and the IAS will be low. On the other hand, in a spiral dive the aeroplane is also rotating but the IAS is high (and usually increasing). Make sure your student appreciates the difference.

The First Spin

  • This should be a pure demonstration and consist of not more than three turns, to show that the sensations are not as bad as many scare stories suggest and that recovery is straightforward. Point out, briefly, the salient characteristics of the spin: high rate of rotation, low IAS and high ROD.

Recovery at the Incipient Stage

  • Entry

initially, teach deliberate entries, as for a full spin:

  1. Enhanced HASELL checks: How to calculate minimum entry altitude (based on recovering by 3000 ft agl with allowances for entry, height loss per turn and recovery as specified in the POH and Training Manual). With Lookout stress the need for a clear canopy/windshield, good horizon and not to spin over a monochrome surface (cloud, snow or water) so that there are good references to see when the spin stops. 
  2. The start of the entry is identical to a stall entry. Stress the need to enter without delay once lookout is complete so that the spin takes place over the cleared area. 
  3. At the recommended IAS, apply FULL rudder in the required direction of spin and yoke/stick FULLY aft – AILERONS NEUTRAL.

Later, demo/teach entries from maneuvers, particularly low speed (climbing) turns out of balance with the student recovering.

  • Recovery


  1. AT THE FIRST SIGN OF UNDEMANDED ROLL – centralize all controls. 2. For incipient spins from a maneuver, teach leaving the throttle where it is. 
  2. Roll wings level to the nearest horizon, pitch to level, power A/R to stabilize IAS. Emphasize that if the aeroplane does not recover (i.e. if rotation does not stop) then your student must carry out a full spin recovery drill.



  • Entry 

As for an incipient spin – throttle closed. 

  • Maintaining 

Maintaining FULL pro-spin control – stick/yoke fully aft, ailerons neutral, full rudder.

Point out high rotation rate and low IAS. Advise your student to keep his head still to minimize vestibular apparatus disturbances. (After recovery point out height loss in a very few seconds, confirming high ROD – this is better than pointing to the VSI during the spin.)

  • Recovery
  1. Pre-recovery checks – throttle closed, direction of spin (Turn Indicator/Coordinator) 2. Student to confirm “Recovering Now” 
  2. Take recovery action AS SPECIFIED IN THE POH. (This is usually FULL opposite rudder, stick/yoke centrally forward (ailerons neutral) until the spin stops, then centralize the controls).
  3. Roll wings level to the nearest horizon, pitch up to climb away, power A/R

During recovery, the rate of rotation increases and the nose down angle increases before the spin stops. Many students may not notice this but, in case they do, brief all your students about it and stress that it is NOT a sign of mis-handling and that they should continue with the recovery and maintain full anti-spin controls until the aeroplane recovers. Stress, too, that disturbances to the vestibular system can give the impression of the horizon “rocking” slightly after recovery. Brief your student that this doesn’t last more than a few seconds; to keep his head still, ignore any “rocking” and recover into a climb.


  • Because of apprehension, many students delay setting up the entry after their clearing turns. Point out that, because of the rapid height loss, it is vital to spin into the cleared airspace – not somewhere several miles away! 
  • Some students fail to maintain full spin control during a spin. Follow through on all spins to make sure they are using the controls properly and point out that not applying and maintaining full pro-spin controls can lead to unusual spins and delayed recoveries with excessive height loss. 
  • There is often an irresistible temptation to apply aileron during the spin or recovery. Using both hands on the stick/yoke helps to guard against this. Check by following through and re-teach your student as necessary.