Can You Spin Your Flivver (Intentionally)?


You might be able to do spin training in your own airplane. The first thing to check is whether it’s placarded against intentional spins, as depicted above. If not, you may still need to find a CFI willing to spin your airplane, plus a couple of parachutes. It may be easier and cheaper to simply find the local spin instructor and sign up for the training in his or her airplane.

If your airplane has a placard or other limitation like the one above, it’s a good idea to pay attention to it. Yes, your airplane was spin-tested during certification, but only to determine it recovered from a one-turn spin in not more than an additional turn or three seconds, whichever takes longer. That’s not a stabilized spin. Instead, it essentially is a simple test to determine the airplane’s controllability if stall recovery is delayed, not its ability to recover from a fully developed spin.

Accordingly, the FAA admonishes, “[I]n airplanes placarded against spins there is absolutely no assurance whatever that recovery from a fully developed spin is possible under any circumstances.” The pilot of an airplane placarded against intentional spins should understand it may be uncontrollable in a spin progressing beyond a single turn.


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