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Disturbing Dream...

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Disturbing Dream...

Old 12th May 2015, 11:01
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Disturbing Dream...

This is a random (bordering on the verge of disturbing for me) post but it got me thinking when I 'woke up' about whether one should action learning from what they dream. It will all make sense in a minute..

Last night (in the early hours of the morning) I had a dream that I was flying a basic trainer and I stalled turning "base to final" and entered a spiral dive and crashed

I worked out that I had crashed after waking up to images of a shadowy figure and a "white light" showing me around a "wrecked plane" with the engine bay all burned out and it was actually quite disturbing.

The bit in between as to what happened in the dive and how I quite managed to survive is a bit of a blur... One would most likely not walk away - unless they knew how to "recover from a spiral dive".

The premise of my instruction went something along the lines of "Diving is not covered in the EASA PPL syllabus" but we will do unusual attitude recovery... and "if you stop the stall, you stop the spin". They teach spiral dives etc in the FAA Syllabus.


So my question:

What can any new-ish PPL do to ensure they survive such circumstances (if it ever occurs) and should more syllabus directed learning be in place to ensure they "experience the feeling/visual cue of a spiral dive" from say 4000 feet with a feral instructor and recovery techniques?

Other than Aero's..?

I know the FAA hammer home - spiral dives, power on dives etc..

Last edited by Scoobster; 12th May 2015 at 11:23.
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Old 12th May 2015, 11:24
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Of course I favour advanced training and competent aerobatic training, but more simply, the stall/spin/spiral to final can be prevented by assuring that you don't allow the conditions which enable it to begin. Understanding what to to start, will prevent your having to recover from it.

Stretching a glide is a poor idea, particularly when there are turns yet to make. Thus, I like higher, more steep approaches where the traffic allows it. With a more steep approach there is less incentive to slow the plane too much.

Use caution when gusty winds may cause the need for a rapid pitch correction, particularly when that wind is not aligned with the runway heading.

Use landing flaps, but extend them when a stabilized approach has you in a place where you can safely continue the landing with that flap setting.
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Old 12th May 2015, 11:34
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Looks to me you are mixing spiral dive with spin.


Spiral is not the stall, in spin neither wing is stalled, low AoA and high IAS.
Usuall spin = wing inside turn is stalled. This mostlikely happen in your dream.




To the "easa syllabus" i did my PPL in EASA land recently, even both spin and spirals were not in syllabus, I did it with my instructor. simple on requests.


For spins I got option: you can do syllabus "avoiding spin situations" with C150/172 or we can take aerobatics rated plane (Z-142), aerobatics rated FI and you will do real spins with real recovery, but it will cost you slightly more. (around 30gbp per hour) so end up doing almost two hours real spins and real recovery. It started I was scared out of shit after first demonstration, I said something "I am not sure I can do this, but let me try at least once" but at the end I enjoyed this as nothing else, did controled things like two and half rotation and looking forward to do this again just for "memory recovery"
Last but not least, I had this lesson when my total air time was below 5 hours, so I was not even able to land a cessna


if you do this, go for it!




For spiral dives, you can try these in VFR condition pretty safely in cessna like planes (I don't fly anything else) get at least 2000 agl, level up plane in cruise speed and start turning left (15' angle max) do just roll turn, ignore pitch. Nose will drop a bit, plane will starts to gain a speed, turning radius will get smaller and smaller, couple of turns you will definitelly feel something like 2G pushing you into seat. When speedo hits yellow, level up plane. reduce throttle to lost the speed...
(again, did this with my PPL FI during "unusual recoveries" chapter..)
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Old 12th May 2015, 11:49
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You could just stay off the cheese before bedtime.

However, fear of such things can be unhealthy. The only cure is some advanced training in upset recovery.
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Old 12th May 2015, 11:50
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I just recall spinning so chances are it wasn't a stall but most likely an overshoot of the runway and overcompensating on the bank angle to correct resulting in a spin.

Got me thinking about those situations which may develop inadvertently...

If your in a spin, you are pretty much unless you know the recovery techniques...

Most basic trainers have the "white plaque" that says "Spin Avoidance Steps" but this is useless without the formal training.

You could just stay off the cheese before bedtime.
Ha Ha.. Never was a fan of cheese!

But yes, agreed fear can hold people back.. It was just food for thought..

Stay safe and keep flying everyone !
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Old 12th May 2015, 12:55
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overcompensating on the bank angle to correct resulting in a spin.
As I am sure everyone was told as part of training, if you've misjudged your turn to final you're better off overshooting the extended centreline and returning to it - don't tighten that turn!

If you're in a spin, you are pretty much unless you know the recovery techniques...
Sure, but you could say the same about a stall. Knowing the recovery technique is not difficult. On most (if not all) trainers - and probably also most 'normal' CofA aircraft the average GA flyer will pilot, the recovery techniques will be very similar. As a gross simplification, just letting go of the stick/yoke will in most cases improve the situation straight away to something you may feel less uncomfortable with. Tapping the rudder in the opposite direction should also be part of a natural response and will not do any harm.

Of course, each aircraft has their own peculiarities and there are optimal methods for the timing, order and magnitude of the inputs - especially if you are in a developed spin. But the reaction to a spin entry should be fairly easy and come natural to most pilots with a feeling for the aircraft.

Having said that, doing some training on recognising and recovering from incipient spins is well worth it. Probably more so than aeros, which is a different sport altogether and where you choose to fly manoeuvres which you should never attempt in your normal aircraft - and where the techniques you apply may also not be the optimal for recovery in your touring aircraft. (E.g. aeros do not, IMHO, replace awareness/avoidance training on your regular aircraft).

By all means, have large doses of healthy respect for stall/spins, but fear of them should not stop you from flying normally
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Old 12th May 2015, 12:58
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Something similar actually happened to me in real life.

I can't remember now if it was just before I got my licence, or just after, but I do remember I was flying solo in a PA-38 when, turning final, I felt instinctively that something was wrong. The aircraft didn't feel right, and it didn't sound right. A quick glance at the panel showed the ASI needle was on the wrong side of 60kt and falling fast.

I didn't exactly panic, but I was definitely unnerved. I immediately gave up any thought of completing the approach, applied full power & levelled the wings. Once safely back to 70kt & climbing, I turned toward the runway & called "G-xx going around from here". I didn't fully regain my composure until I was at least halfway round the circuit, but I don't remember anything about the subsequent landing so I suppose it must have been uneventful.

I can still remember the experience as if it were yesterday, so perhaps it frightened me more than I thought at the time.

I think what saved me was (1) recognising that I was flying dangerously slowly and (2) immediately abandoning any thought of completing the approach and just concentrating on recovering the aircraft to a safe attitude and airspeed.

With more experience, I could have easily got back into a safe approach configuration, but back then, focusing on regaining proper control of the aircraft may just have saved my life.

So - what I'd advise is to develop an instinctive feel for when you're too slow. At a safe height, practice manoevuring the aircraft 10-15kt below normal approach speed, paying particular attention to the feel of the controls and the sound of the airflow. The important thing is to be able to recognise you're too slow without looking at the ASI; I suspect most stall/spin accidents during the approach phase happen because the pilot got distracted and didn't see the indications from the panel that the airspeed was dangerously low.

Last edited by Sillert,V.I.; 12th May 2015 at 13:11.
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Old 12th May 2015, 14:52
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Don't grab the controls with your fists (or even worse, two fists) but try to fly with just your thumb and index finger. Make sure the aircraft is trimmed properly and that you don't need a lot of force to guide the aircraft where you want it to go. (This might not work on very short final with a turbulent crosswind, but should work in all other flight regimes.)

Listen to what the airframe is telling you. If the sound of wind rush is diminishing, if the controls get sloppy, if the power setting does not match the attitude (e.g. nose up with no power), if you feel buffeting, you are most likely getting near the stall. And by extension, a possible spin.

Don't rush the approach. Make sure there's enough space between you and the aircraft ahead of you. Know what type of aircraft is ahead, and what the approximate approach speed will be, relative to your aircraft. Consider wake turbulence. And you can tuck in closer behind an aircraft that intends to do a T&G than a full stop.

Make sure you are stable (fully configured for landing, with the proper airspeed and power setting, on the correct glide path) at a predetermined height. Say 200 feet or so. If you're not stabilized and/or the runway is not available at that point, go around. And practice your go-arounds.

Don't get distracted during the approach, landing and rollout. Tell your passengers you need your full attention on the landing. Use "Pilot isolation" on the audio panel if necessary.
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Old 12th May 2015, 16:09
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The simple solution

Yes, fortunately there is a simple solution.

TRIM.

Trim the airplane at every configuration change and let the trim have the speed control.
From downwind till flare do NOT pull or push the yoke or stick. Need a speed change? That' s the trims job. => You only fly roll control with fingertips.

Trim = speed. Power is where you will land. (Less Power and you land close by. More power and you land further away)

On Downwind, do the checklist and end with an airplane in trim. On trim = on speed.

As mentioned , fly the airplane with your fingertips in roll. And let trim take care of the AOA = Speed.
On base extend further flaps (if equipped) and retrim.
On final, do the final checks, go land flaps and RE-TRIM.

From downwind to base, and from base to final, never pull or push on the stick. That is for the trim. ONLY fly with roll control, and coordinate with rudder.

An airplane that is in trim, and is left alone, will NEVER stall/Spin.

Last edited by Pilot DAR; 12th May 2015 at 18:22. Reason: Not such good advice about how to fly a plane deleted.
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Old 12th May 2015, 17:17
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to ensure they survive
negative negative negative

If you wish to have any reassurance you'll survive, keep away from all forms of flying. Also keep away from scuba diving, driving a car, shopping at Tesco, driving a motorbike, shopping at Harrod's, driving a pushbike, &c &c
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Old 12th May 2015, 17:32
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Vilters, it is not as simple as that. If you find you have got low on the approach you will need to add power, and the thrust/drag couple means that changing thrust will change the trim requirement. Adding a handful of power and thinking you don't need to touch the trim can lead you into all sorts of trouble.

I hope you are not really suggesting to use only rudder to enter and exit the turns in the circuit? That is a sure fire way of turning a stall into a spin, particularly if the pilot following your advice might not have a lot of finesse or feel for the aircraft.

The problem with accidents caused by gross handling errors such as stall/spin is that those who find themselves in those situations probably don't have a huge amount of finesse to begin with.

To the op I would say do lots of aeros. If you get nothing else out of it you will get a true appreciation of the fact that you can stall at ANY speed, angle of attack is king, control your AoA and and you control your margin over the stall. Do a loop and you will see that over the top your air speed can be well below the "stall speed" but by controlling the AoA you can prevent a stall. Pulling out of the bottom you will be much faster than your "stall speed" but pull too hard on the yoke and you will feel the wings let go of the air, ease up on the back pressure and you will feel the wings work again.

You don't have an AoA gauge in your aeroplane but you can feel g forces through your body. The more g you feel, the faster your stalling speed will be and vice versa. You can't learn this stuff from a message board though, you need to get out there and experience it.

The problem with a lot of stall training is that it is not done in a way that simulates the scenario when you are most likely to encounter it. You are low on profile, have left the turn to final a bit late, and are looking out at the runway which is in a slightly unfamiliar position in the windscreen, maybe you have to look around the pillar a bit. You are flying through the centerline and you instinctively bank more to correct this. You pull back on the yoke as well because the more you bank, the more lift you are losing. You are focussed on the runway to the point that you get tunnel vision and you lose awareness of the energy state of your aircraft. The next thing you know there is a beep, and one of the wings lets go. Briefly startled, and very conscious that you are quite low you find some kind of basic instincts over-ride the brief stall training you had and you add power and pull back on the yoke. The pitch up moment from the power increase compounds the pro-stall pull on the yoke and you find yourself fully stalled and starting to spin.

You ask yourself "how the hell did I end up here?"

I would say the answer is not that you cocked up the stall recovery but that you allowed yourself to get into the situation in the first place. Take yourself back to when you recognized that you were low and wouldn't be able to roll out on centerline using normal bank angles. That was the time to do get yourself out of the situation. Give yourself hard limits, 30 bank, 1000 fpm rate of descent (just examples). If you can't achieve your nominated aim point without exceeding those then go-around. Finally, practice your go-arounds. From my experience the missed approach is the most commonly ballsed up manouvre, simply because people tend not to practice it, and they happen at unexpected times.

To summarize: learn to recognize the types of situation that can lead to a stall and don't allow those situations to ever develop.
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Old 12th May 2015, 18:14
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Scoobster

I wouldn't sweat about it dreams are normally a reflection of other anxieties in life so hardly a concern about stalling and spinning or spiral diving but probably something else where you do not feel in control or where you feel events are taking over.

flying is something that you do control so attaching those worries indicate other aspects of your life are perceived and I stress the word perceived as being out of your control.

so more likely to be job worries, financial worries, health worries or relationship worries than flying

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Old 12th May 2015, 18:23
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Well, I'm a simple person (and I know I'll get flamed for this, but ... ) so when I was in the OP's position I followed everything my instructor said.

EXCEPT that I trimmed the aeroplane just a tiny tad nose down, so that if my attention should stray from my airspeed to one of those other things that are so important (revs, radio, lookout, wind, carb ice ..... ) then I knew that my airspeed would always be a touch higher than I needed, rather than a touch lower.

This allowed me just a little more spare brain power for all those other things that are in PPL training manuals.



SD
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Old 12th May 2015, 19:29
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Trim = Speed
Power is where you will land.

Airplanes do NOT change speed with power. (at the same trim settings)
They will always stabilise at the same trimmed speed again.

Never mind the nose position.
Who ever cares about nose position?
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Old 12th May 2015, 19:56
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Never mind the nose position.
Who ever cares about nose position?
I like it to be aligned with the direction of flight, unless I choose to side slip.

I would agree that a trimmed aircraft is a good thing, but not always the most important thing - flying the plane is the most important. There are types of aircraft, and operations, where flying out of trim for short periods is inevitable. Pilots must not be lulled into thinking that the trim will absolve them of having to fly.

So pilots, you can use the flight controls in flight, if you think that your doing so will result in the aircraft being flown safely....

As for rudder, it is a primary flight control, but not to the exclusion of the ailerons! Circuits are not flown with the rudder and trim wheel alone. The aircraft was certified with co-ordinated use of the flight controls, so that is how it should be flown.

An airplane that is in trim, and is left alone, will NEVER stall/Spin
Is generally correct for most GA aircraft, but certainly not absolutely true. Pilots who seek to be proficient flying various types should avoid being drawn in to generalities.
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Old 12th May 2015, 20:18
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I immediately gave up any thought of completing the approach, applied full power & levelled the wings.
PLEASE NOTE - This is NOT the correct recovery without lowering the nose, or at least keeping it down, there are aircraft that if you apply this recovery will actually pitch up and stall if you do not take corrective action! ( thus disproving Vilters claim that aircraft do not change speed with power!)

As far as how to prevent this happening goes I would recommend a spin awareness course, you should really have covered spiral dive recovery in the PPL course as part of recovery from unusual attitudes but if not then that should also get covered in a spinning course, going on to do a full aeros course is not necessary, though personally I would recommend it.
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Old 12th May 2015, 21:31
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Basically, I would say practise, practise, practise! As others have said, aerobatics is a great way to learn stall avoidance (you are doing it all the time almost without thinking about it!). Unloading the wings should become an instinctive first reaction whenever you detect any of the signs of the approaching stall (remember SCAB!), no matter what type of flying you do.

I'm slightly worried that several people seem not to have covered spiral descent/dive recoveries during EASA PPL training though. Everywhere I have instructed, it is included in the very first lesson as part of the further effects of controls. It is certainly also covered in Ex.15 steep turns as well. In fact, being the sad person I am, I went and looked in the AMCs to Part-FCL and there it is! - "(C) recoveries from unusual attitudes, including spiral dives."
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Old 12th May 2015, 22:36
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I'm slightly worried that several people seem not to have covered spiral descent/dive recoveries during EASA PPL training though.
Not speaking for the other posters, but I deliberately did not include any techniques for spin/spiral dive recovery in my post, since the scenario of the OP is the base to final turn.

If you end up in a spin in that scenario, there's no way you'll recover in time. If you end up in a spiral dive in that scenario, you may be able to recover if you're completely on the ball. But IMHO prevention is the only real solution for this scenario.
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Old 12th May 2015, 22:45
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(remember SCAB!)
Not come across that one.


MJ

Last edited by Mach Jump; 12th May 2015 at 23:19.
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Old 12th May 2015, 23:17
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Quote:
I'm slightly worried that several people seem not to have covered spiral descent/dive recoveries during EASA PPL training though.
Not speaking for the other posters, but I deliberately did not include any techniques for spin/spiral dive recovery in my post, since the scenario of the OP is the base to final turn.
I think LAI's remark was more directed at earlier posts about lack of this training in general rather than the OP's post, I certainly would agree that this should be part of basic training, but PREVENTION Is the most important training here!
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