On the occasion of the world aerobatic championship starting in France (Châteauroux) on 20 August, aeronewstv offers stories on the discipline’s basic figures. After the Barrel, here is the Spin explained by an experienced Extra 200 pilot.
André-Marie Semet, Aerobatics pilot - Midi-Pyrenees Voltige: "What we are going to look at today is the Spin. The Spin does not generate a lot of G’s, on the other hand, you have to pay attention because this is the only figure where you have no impression of actually piloting the plane.
So, for a spin, I reduce power to establish level flight. I line up with a reference point – a road or intersection for example. When I have that, I cut the throttle and pull the nose up smoothly. The plane then starts buffeting, in other words wanting to fall to one side or the other. At that moment it is essential to apply, and hold full rudder (foot pedals) in the direction we want to spin. The nose will fall toward the vertical as the spin starts. One turn, one and a half. We are vertical.
To stop the spin, apply full rudder opposite the direction of rotation. When it stops, neutralise the rudder. Ease back on the stick as airspeed increases. Add power as the nose comes back up to the horizon. The main difficulty of this figure is in always knowing where you are, and what the ‘plane is doing in order to come out of it."