Airplane Exotic Spins

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The basic spin is only the tip of the iceberg. Properly designed and well-flown aerobatic aircraft commonly perform variations on at least six different kinds of spins. In addition to the normal spin, there are accelerated spins, and flat spins flown upright and inverted —six in all. Recently, some daring pilots have perfected a maneuver first developed by radio-control fliers, the knife-edge spin. Some radio control airplanes are capable of climbing in a flat spin. Presumably, given enough time, creative pilots and capable airplanes will someday duplicate that maneuver as well.

There are several aerobatic books which cover exotic spins as a matter of course. As such, this book focuses only on the normal, upright variety, and how to recover.

Emergency spin recovery
In addition to the normal, FAA-approved spin recovery procedures we have discussed, there is another recovery procedure. First publicized by Mr. Eric Muller and now promoted by Mr. Gene Beggs, this procedure is based on findings that planes are able to recover from spins if a simplified spin recovery procedure is used. This procedure reduces the pilot’s need to correctly position the elevator and ailerons for spin recovery, or to need to know what type of spin they are in. To summarize, the procedure is:
1. Cut that throttle!
2. Take your hands off the stick!
3. Kick full rudder opposite until the spin stops!
4. Neutralize rudder and pull out of the dive! (Sport Aerobatics, p. 31, April 1994)

You can see that this procedure differs from the recommended version by the FAA. One of the largest differences is releasing the control stick, which allows the airflow to position the elevator and ailerons in spin recovery positions. Once rudder opposite the direction of the spin is applied, the plane recovers from the spin. 

Mr. Beggs has successfully tested the recovery procedure in several aircraft with success, as long as the plane was loaded within proper weight and balance ranges. The aircraft tested by Mr. Beggs included several Pitts Special models, the Christen Eagle II, the Cessna 150, Cessna 172, and the Beechcraft Skipper trainer (Sport Aerobatics, p. 31, April 1994).

I must mention certain cautions regarding this spin recovery technique, though. NASA studies have found that the procedure does not work with all aircraft and should not be depended on in all cases. Some authors have suggested that the Muller/ Beggs recovery procedure may work at certain points in a spin while not working at others.

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