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Spin avoidance and stall recovery training information sheet
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Stalling and spinning are aerodynamic phenomena which remain common causes of fatalities due to departures from controlled flight in all categories of aeroplanes. Unrecognised stall or poor recovery technique continue to be contributing factors even in transport category accidents.
Stall - spin related accidents continue to account for approximately one-quarter of all fatal general aviation accidents worldwide, including many during dual flight training. Most unintentional spins other than during dual instruction, occur at altitudes too low for recovery, generally on climb after take-off and turns onto final approach.
The purpose of spin avoidance and stall recovery training, whether for ab-initio training or as part of upset prevention and recovery training for experienced pilots, is to deliver the experience, knowledge and skills required to fly at speeds below the speed for minimum drag, and to recognise and recover from approaching stall and full stall, including wing drop at the stall in the context of situations in which it is most likely to occur.
Advisory Circular AC 61-16 v1.0 (pdf 789.27 KB) provides important information regarding advanced stall training.
The AC clarifies the difference between wing drop at the stall and the incipient phase of a spin and provides background for the interpretation of aircraft flight manual manoeuvre limitations with respect to spinning. It also provides guidance on acceptable methods of training and testing stalls with a wing drop and spin avoidance.
It clarifies that a flying instructor (who has a spinning flight activity endorsement) may conduct spin avoidance training in which a spin is not intentionally induced.
Reference to the term ‘incipient spin manoeuvre’ should be considered as ‘stall with a wing drop’ where it appears in the present Part 61 Manual of Standards (MOS) – and affected syllabuses and patter notes – until it is amended.
Understand that wing drop at the stall precedes spin entry and the incipient phase of a spin. Failure to prevent yaw induced by unequal lift and drag on either wing following the wing drop at the stall precipitates the entry and incipient phases of a spin in which yaw has been allowed to develop and accelerate while the aeroplane is still stalled. Recovery from a wing drop, as with any stall recovery, focuses on reduction of the excessive angle of attack.
Flying training organisations may need to make changes to syllabuses or expositions to reflect the scenarios appropriate to their aircraft.
The change in instructional technique to not induce a spin with rudder application, and to recover before autorotation begins, should be made immediately. Consultation on the Part 61 MOS amendment will occur shortly.
Wing drop should never be induced with pro-spin rudder at the stall for the purposes of the ‘recovery from stall with a wing drop’ exercise. There are many aircraft configurations and common scenarios in which wing drop is likely to occur which may be used to show the characteristics of departure from normal flight of the aircraft being used for training, and methods of recovery. Various scenarios are suggested in Advisory Circular AC 61-16 v1.0 (pdf 789.27 KB).
Lessons preceding stalling, particularly slow flying, should be finessed before proceeding to the stalling exercise to ensure the student is competent handling the aircraft at speeds just above the stall.
A flight training organisation must ensure their training instructional design and the records of training reflect that a stall with a wing drop has been both specifically trained and specifically assessed. The flight training organisation must also ensure their flight instructors are competent in the conduct of the training and assessment of the slow flying and stalling exercises.
The 'stall with a wing drop' is permissible in aeroplanes that are not certified for intentional spinning. The certification standard provides for a margin of safety for a mishandled recovery from a stall with a wing drop but not intentional entry to a spin. The aeroplane will have been tested during certification to recover from a one-turn spin within one turn of recovery inputs.
A flight instructor with a Grade 1, 2 or 3 aeroplane training endorsement must hold a spinning flight activity endorsement, as it is a pre-requisite for the grant of a grade 3 training endorsement. The spinning flight activity endorsement provides the instructor with a margin of safety for a mishandled recovery from a stall with a wing drop but not to train intentional entry to a spin.
There is evidence to suggest pilots exposed to aerobatics or spinning in aeroplanes in their flight training are less likely to exhibit the effects of startle if they encounter an upset. CASA and ICAO recommend applicants for a Commercial Pilot Licence with an aeroplane category rating complete in-aircraft upset prevention and recovery training that may include spinning in aeroplanes approved or certified for intentional spinning.
A flight instructor must hold a spinning training endorsement to conduct spinning training.
The aircraft must be put into a configuration and scenario likely to result in a wing drop at the stall in that type of aircraft, rather than inducing a spin with rudder at the stall. Where “incipient spin” is read in the MOS it can (including for historical purposes) be read as meaning “stall with a wing drop”.
Consistent with the advice in the Flight Examiner’s Handbook, the flight examiner should expect to see the standard application of controls for recovery from the stall; breaking the stall with elevator with active use of rudder to arrest any yaw at the wing drop. Once the wing is unstalled, balanced control inputs should be used to bring the aeroplane back to the desired flight path. The flight examiner should place emphasis on the application of correct technique rather than the achievement of a minimum height loss.