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“The aircraft was the aerobatic version of a popular trainer and that might be significant in what happened – different centre of gravity.”

Steve Curtis stated that “sharing the aeroplane type would allow following pilots to review the recommended spin recovery for the type.” He suspected that it was a Cessna 150?

I am going to assume it was a Cessna 150 for the sake of my discussion.


Was the CG within limits for spinning? Was the different CG relevant – was it similar to that resulting from different crew weight?

“…..  but the elevators, when I moved them, felt the same as if we were parked on the apron.


“Well, I’d read about this sort of thing, so I shoved the throttle to the panel and followed it with the stick. And again and again – allegro!”

I have read about that sort of thing in a few articles too. I’d read about that recovery technique in CASA’s Flight Instructor Manual too.

“… brief on these emergency recovery procedures. ….. In all cases full opposite rudder must be maintained whilst carrying out the following supplementary action …”

Interesting that those emergency recovery procedures didn’t make it into CASA’s CAAP 155-1?


I had first heard about that particular emergency recovery action from John Day many years ago. My recollection is that John wrote for the Aviation Safety Digest (I must check his full bio). John indicated to me the origin of that and the type of aircraft where it had been applied successfully.


A bit like the Beggs-Mueller emergency spin recovery technique which is popularly promoted in some quarters without regard to the limitations on applicable types clearly stated by Beggs in his publications – he has reported on all of his testing. The Cessna 150 is one of many types where the Beggs-Mueller technique failed.


“This meant I was holding the stick to the panel and the throttle ‘bricks to the wall’ long enough to have an effect.”

Yep, as CASA’s FIM advises, on the same page as that emergency recovery technique: “It is important to emphasize that sufficient time must be allowed for the recovery action to take effect and this is particularly important where the spin has become flat.”


“Lessons learnt: It was a neural pathway or perhaps a neural superhighway burnt into my mind. I had been going at it too fast. Years have passed and many a first officer has heard me say, ‘andante, andante’. (Piano teacher’s jargon for, ‘Hey, slow down!’)”

Yes, slowing down and taking the correct action generally results in a better outcome than taking an immediate, incorrect action.


Unfortunately, there is a lot of disinformation about spinning.

The classic example is the ATSB report on the Chipmunk VH-UPD spin accident and the pilot’s training – it makes me angry every time I think about it. I discuss this with my spin training endorsement trainees.


There is some disinformation about certification standards – fine to quote FAR 23 (and if you do, quote the applicable amendment as there are differences) but I often see the latest version only quoted. Furthermore, a lot of aeroplanes around not certified to FAR 23. There were earlier standards which are different. There are also different, earlier standards from other countries. LSA spin recovery standards are different.


It is worth mentioning the ATSB report on Diamond DA40 VH-MPM. The ATSB stated: “, the investigation identified incorrect incipient spin recovery guidance provided by CASA. The CASA publication Flight Instructor Manual …”

The report stated: “CASA has advised the ATSB that they have taken the following safety action:

Guidance material review

CASA is reviewing the Spins and Spirals section of the Flight Instructor Manual for correction as required.”

Really? The ATSB report was issued in 2017!


CASA published AC 61-16 in April 2020 which provides much information contrary to CASA’s FIM! Fortunately, I don’t know of any flight instructor courses which use the FIM as a reference.


Back in August 1975 the FAA in cooperation with Cessna published Flight Instructor Bulletin No. 18 on the spin characteristics of Cessnas. Rich Stowell’s excellent book, Stall/Spin Awareness, explains the background to that:

“In the early 1970s, the Cessna 150 – arguably one of the most spin tested light airplanes in history – came under fire when a couple of flight instructors reported difficulty in recovering from spins. …. The FAA representative then went into the field to address questions about the 150’s spin characteristics. The representative was met with considerable misunderstanding about spins in general and the Cessna 150 in particular.”


The FAA sponsored a stall/spin clinic which you can read about in the archives of Flight International magazine of 28 October 1978.


Cessna published a detailed pamphlet, Spin Characteristics of Cessna Models 150, A150, 152, A152, 172, R172 & 177. I wonder how many flight instructors who teach spinning in Cessnas are aware of that information? It is included in William K Kershner’s book, The Basic Aerobatic Manual.


Andante, andante by Douglas Robertson was an event long ago but still relevant today, thanks.


It seems to me that the situation that the FAA found back in the ‘70s with “considerable misunderstanding about spins in general” exists to a large extent today – from my observations and discussions with many pilots. Perhaps time for a series of stall/spin clinics by CASA – after they revise the Flight Instructor Manual?

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If the idle speed was set a little high on the early Cessna 150s without the anti-spin strake they would sometimes not recover from a spin due to the pro spin torque....the only way to recover was to switch the motor off and even then it took two or more turns to fully recover.  I read this somewhere.....

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On 28/04/2022 at 10:24 PM, lee-wave said:

..... early Cessna 150s without the anti-spin strake they would sometimes not recover from a spin due to the pro spin torque....the only way to recover was to switch the motor off and even then it took two or more turns to fully recover.  I read this somewhere.....

Doesn't seem like a Cessna 150. Chipmunks and Tiger Moths may have anti-spin strakes - another discussion on their effectiveness. I have also readabout a type which was sensitive to throttle and, from memory, the manual stated to switch the motor off if recovery was delayed - Zlin 526.

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