Anyone messing around with aerobatics will eventually surprise themselves with a spin. Sometimes sooner, often later. The scary kind we call “aggravated”. The kind that spring like a tiger from out of nowhere to pin you down with their hot breath in your face, ready to rip out your throat and tear open your rib cage.

ground inverted

With training, there is a reliable and well practiced recovery that overcomes the panic. Without the training, outcomes are mixed but generally poor. The spin training I received early on saved my life twice. Watching videos on YouTube doesn’t cut it. Part of the problem is that you’ll think you know better. Find someone who knows to take you out flying and share with you.

ground blur

Here’s an outline of an aerobatic syllabus that you can crib from. The bold items people ought to have dual before going out to play on their own. Too few do. If you’re flying a competition aerobatic airplane, not a Beach Bonanza or anything turbine, it will do all of these things without giving any trouble:

  • Basic safety rules- positive exchange, bail out procedure
  • Simulated bail out
  • Simulated rip cord pull
  • Minimums– establishing a floor
  • Dutch rolls
  • Zero G
  • Ballistic rolls
  • 45 up, 45 down
  • Well developed upright left-rudder spin at least ten turns and recovery, note vertigo
  • Well developed upright right-rudder spin, note the differences
  • Adding power in the left rudder upright spin– the dreaded flat spin
  • Accelerated upright left rudder spin
  • 45 up line held to fall out
  • 45 up line to tumble
  • Inverted flight entered from ballistic half roll, level inverted, dish back to upright
  • Inverted level flight with turns
  • Inverted dutch rolls
  • 45 up half roll to inverted, float inverted to 45 down, half roll to upright
  • Inverted right rudder fully developed spin
  • Inverted left rudder fully developed spin
  • Crossover spin
  • Inverted left rudder accelerated spin
  • Inverted right rudder flat spin
  • Loops and
  • botched loops
  • 45 up, half roll to inverted, vertical down
  • Vertical to 45 inverted, half roll upright
  • Hammerhead turn and
  • botched hammerhead to inverted spin
  • Competition turns
  • Aileron rolls
  • Hammerhead quarter roll up, quarter roll down, rolls to the left and right
  • Humpty bumps– positive and negative
  • Competition upright one turn, 1-1/4 turn, 1-1/2 turn “spins” to the left and right
  • Inverted competition turns
  • Rolling turns
  • Snap rolls