Spin prevention, and recovery… It’s always hot topic around the bar, the safety evenings or when you see a group of students huddling around waving their hands around. It is almost like they are talking in a new kind of pilot-descriptive language.
Have a look at the video below. We will briefly discuss a ‘go-to’ for recovering safely and in time. Just a quick note, we do not train full spins, only the incipient stage.
Prevention is better than the cure! More about that at the end of this article.
This method is an easy-to-use four-letter word, PARE:
POWER, AILERONS, RUDDER and ELEVATOR – Use them in that order and follow these steps immediately when a wing drops during a stall. It’ll prevent the full spin, but the method is used for recovering the inadvertent fully developed spin as well. As with any kind of stall, the very first action is to release the backwards pressure on the control column, ‘stick forward’. This will reestablish more laminar airflow around the wings by quickly fixing the angle of attack that was exceeded. Here are the four steps explained:
- POWER – IDLE/OFF. There are five major benefits of an idle throttle: i) It will lower the risk of airspeed accelerating above Vno. ii) It reduces the rate of descent. iii) It minimizes the yaw caused by the spiral effect of the prop around the fuselage. iv) it minimizes roll caused by the gyroscopic forces of the prop. v) It prevents an RPM over-speed.
- AILERONS – NEUTRAL. Let go of the backwards pressure and get the control column in its neutral position. Remember.. the primary effect of ailerons is roll and the secondary effect is yaw. We want to get rid of both of these as the spin is defined as a continuous yawing and rolling (also pitching) motion. A neutral control column gives you the best chance of stopping that unwanted motion. Trying to lift up the stalled wing with the use of ailerons will only increase the angle of attack of the stalled wing, further preventing the unstalling of said wing.
- RUDDER – The OPPOSITE rudder is the most effective, and only way to pick up the stalled wing. In the video example you’ll see the left wing experienced a loss of lift. Our goal is to stop the rolling and yawing motion, and to do that, we need to get the wings level. This can only be achieved by applying opposite rudder. In this case, Right Rudder was needed for the left wing’s lost of lift.
- ELEVATOR – When we have successfully prevented a fully developed spin or recovered at the incipient stage, both wings are unstalled but we’re still descending. Use the elevator to ease out of the dive. Do this gently but remember that we also want to prevent going into the yellow arc on the ASI. Any normal maneuvers are to be done only in the normal operating range, the green arc. Don’t pitch the nose too high as you want to prevent a secondary stall, so be patient. Put the nose just under the horizon as a reference, confirm a positive rate of climb on the VSI, make sure the speed is still above Vx, add power and climb away without changing your heading if you can. Lastly, complete your after take-off checks.
Prevention! It’s fine when we practice this maneuver with our instructors or when you are solo in the GF, you know it is coming so you are ready for it. Here are a few tips to prevent an inadvertent stall:
- Keep the speed ≥ Vx when flying straight and level.
- Keep the speed ≥ Vx in a climb.
- Don’t exceed bank angles during climbing turns, try ≤ 15˚.
- Don’t exceed bank angles during descending turns, try ≤ 15˚.
- Listen to the engine, when RPM gets low, we might be too slow!
- Sloppy controls and stall warning? Prevent flying at those critically low speeds and high angle of attack.
- Be mindful when you loaded the aircraft with extra luggage, the stall speed increases with an increase in weight.
- Be patient if you overshot the center line when turning final from base, you still have some time and a go-around is always an option if the approach did not work out.
- During a bulked landing and performing a go-around, prevent that sudden high pitch caused by the extra power and flaps, hold the pitch attitude down a little (S&L) and retract the flaps in stages, be active on the rudder pedals to keep the wings level – there are many forces involved here that can cause unbalanced lift on the wings that may result in a roll or yaw.
Thank you and hope to see you at the club soon, be safe out there!