Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Weight And Balance Requirements

With each airplane that is approved for spinning, the
weight and balance requirements are important for
safe performance and recovery from the spin maneuver. Pilots must be aware that just minor weight or
balance changes can affect the airplane's spin
recovery characteristics. Such changes can either
alter or enhance the spin maneuver and/or recovery
characteristics. For example, the addition of weight
in the aft baggage compartment, or additional fuel,
may still permit the airplane to be operated within
CG, but could seriously affect the spin and recovery

An airplane that may be difficult to spin intentionally
in the Utility Category (restricted aft CG and reduced
weight) could have less resistance to spin entry in the
Normal Category (less restricted aft CG and increased
weight). This situation is due to the airplane being able
to generate a higher angle of attack and load factor.
Furthermore, an airplane that is approved for spins in
the Utility Category, but loaded in the Normal
Category, may not recover from a spin that is allowed
to progress beyond the incipient phase.

Common errors in the performance of intentional
spins are:

  • Failure to apply full rudder pressure in the desired
    spin direction during spin entry.

  • Failure to apply and maintain full up-elevator
    pressure during spin entry, resulting in a spiral.

  • Failure to achieve a fully stalled condition prior to
    spin entry.

  • Failure to apply full rudder against the spin during

  • Failure to apply sufficient forward-elevator
    pressure during recovery.

  • Failure to neutralize the rudder during recovery
    after rotation stops, resulting in a possible
    secondary spin.

  • Slow and overly cautious control movements
    during recovery.

  • Excessive back-elevator pressure after rotation
    stops, resulting in possible secondary stall.

  • Insufficient back-elevator pressure during
    recovery resulting in excessive airspeed.

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