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Unintentional Flat Spin

From In the Loop Newsletter - June 2014

The October 1992 issue of Sport Aerobatics magazine published the following, which was submitted by an IAC member from Indonesia:

 

Enclosed photo shows the broken throttle Teleflex of our Pitts S-1E, caused by improper installation. The incident occurred while performing aerobatics at 3,500 feet AGL. While entering an inverted spin from inverted, the pilot noticed that despite closing the throttle, the aircraft’s speed did not bleed off as quickly as normal. Not noticing that partial power existed, despite closed throttle, the pilot continued entry into the spin by holding the nose higher to bleed off speed. Read more

 

Somewhat surprised by the resultant inverted flat spin, the pilot initiated recovery using Rich Stowell’s PARE system:

Power: off

Aileron: neutral

Rudder: opposite

Elevator: through neutral.

 

The problem which caused delayed but eventual recovery was that closing the throttle did not take power off because of the broken Teleflex. If the pilot had been able to recognize that partial power was stuck on, he should have pulled the mixture. However, having taken Rich Stowell’s EMT course, the pilot was confident in his spin recovery control inputs and held them in despite the delay in recovery. Had the pilot been in doubt and reversed his control inputs, he would have become another “spun-in” statistic.

 

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