I just had my first spin lesson, and had to explain even to some pilot friend that it did not include a bicycle. Spin training in an airplane was quite the experience and I am so glad I did it. My overactive imagination asked “what if?” so I decided to find out, and what an eye-opener that was. I was taught to recognize oncoming spins and stop them early.

I went up with Reza in the Super Decathalon and after a few docile maneuvers to get a feel for the plane he demonstrated a spin. We just went into it so gracefully it barely felt like a problem; until I noticed I was staring straight down at the ocean and could tell I was spinning. Then, just as easily he stopped the spin and guided the plane back to level flight. He made it feel and look easy, other than the outside picture of the world spinning.

My turn next. I followed his coaching and entered a spin. There was the ocean spinning around again. I moved quickly, well, too quickly, because I was not so smooth. BUT I DID IT! I stopped the spin and brought the plane to straight and level. A few more times helped smooth my technique.

As the lesson ended I felt like I could handle this if it happened to me. But I also learned important signs to identify when the spin could happen. My plan is to never let it happen, unless I want it (and without my wife onboard). Reza said that experience in the plane I always fly would be even more insightful and help my skills. I check the POH and “Intentional spins are approved for this aircraft in the Utility Category only.” So I know I will be taking another lesson soon, this time in my favorite 172!

I cannot recommend strong enough how this can benefit anyones flying skills, but even if you just like thrill rides, this will be a great experience!

 

Blue Skies,

Gary Palmer