45’s and spiral dives… heres to up-chucking.

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Ginger apparently is a great stomach settler and if you’re one of those unlucky people that struggles with the stomach churning effect you get when you’re on a rollercoaster, going over a hump back bridge or while flying, it’s probably wise to keep some handy.

If you’re learning to fly though, you’ll be pleased to discover that the necessity to settle your stomach while practicing spiral dives and 45 degree turns is minimal… its not as nasty as you might think.

So what, when it’s at home is a 45 degree turn? Well, its just that, a turn in which you bank the aircraft at 45 degrees. Performing this manoeuvre is easy. Turn to 30 degrees, keeping the aircrafts altitude level and as you turn past 30 add in full power to help prevent a stall as the load factor increases (by about 1.4 at 45 degrees) so does the stall speed. If, for example in level flight your stall speed is 50kts, at 45 degrees its going to be 60kts… so its important to keep the airspeed up.

Part 2 of the lesson was “spiral dives” or rather recovering from a spiral dive… This is different from a spin. (the PA28 I’m learning in, isn’t rated for spins) A spiral dive is recognised by the airspeed and altitude changing rapidly. The airspeed will increase, potentially above VNE (velocity never exceed) so be very careful and pick up on this quickly… and you’ll be turning one way or another in a downwards spiral. Recovery is simple. Power OFF, level the wings and gently pull up to level flight, when the airspeed is within safe limits, add the power back in.

For clarity, A spin is a special category of stall resulting in autorotation about the vertical axis and a shallow, rotating, downward path. Recovering from a spin, is easy and although the PA28 GoFly UK uses is not rated for spinning, it’s not to say that it won’t spin so even though one can’t practice recovery, its something you have to keep in mind. Power is first reduced to idle and the ailerons are neutralised (central). Then, full opposite rudder (that is, against the yaw) is added and held to counteract the spin rotation, and the elevator control is moved briskly forward to reduce the angle of attack below the critical angle. Sometimes, ‘stepping on the heavy rudder’ is easier than trying to work out which direction you’re spinning as its quite disorientating.

Heres the latest film, also available for download as a podcast – just search for “gofly” in your usual podcast providers.