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Spirals: Why do we stop the spiral with rudder instead of aileron? In an article by Paul A. Soderlind, (AvWeb 5/11/2000) he states you level the wings with slow, gentle rudder pressure keeping hands off the controls. I have been around a long time and have used both ailerons and rudder. Answer?

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8 Answers

  1. Best Answer


    Nathan Parker on Dec 29, 2011

    Do you mean “spin”, rather than “spiral”?    A spiral is indeed stopped with coordinated aileron and rudder.

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  2. Lori Adams on Dec 29, 2011

    No spin, my question is about the spiral.

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  3. Nathan Parker on Dec 29, 2011

    I think that Soderlind was talking about recovering from a spiral when a pilot is experiencing disorientation.  In that scenario, he’s rightly concerned that the pilot could aggravate the situation by manipulating the yoke.  Pulling back on the yoke when the aircraft is in a steep bank could overload the aircraft, possibly causing structural failure.  A rudder-only recovery would prevent this mistake.
     
    In VMC conditions, however, or for proficient pilots in IMC, the standard recovery would be to roll out of the bank using coordinated aileron and rudder and smoothly raise the nose to a level flight attitude. 
     
     

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  4. John D. Collins on Dec 30, 2011

    When you are in a spiral, the trim is still set to the position you had it in prior to entering the spiral.  During the spiral, the airspeed will climb rapidly.  If you merely roll the wings level, you are likely to find that the G forces will be higher than permitted because of the trim set for a much lower speed. To keep the G forces in check during the recovery, you will often find a need to push on the yoke to allow for a smooth recovery and keep the wings attached. There is not likely to be any need to raise the nose as it will happen on its own and you have to manage the G forces so they are not excessive, particularly if the recovery results in speeds exceeding the maneuvering speed.  Although true on all types of aircraft, this is especially true on a clean aircraft such as a Mooney or Bonanza.

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  5. Mark Stevens on Jan 01, 2012

    One extra point is that using ailerons from an aerodynamic standpoing causes an increased angle of attack on the down wing which could lead to the outer edge of the wing losing left, furter increasing the roll in the wrong direction.  That is why Rudder recovery is so important. By rotating the aircraft towards the outside of the sping, you are also increasing left as the down wing gets rotated a bit.

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  6. Nathan Parker on Jan 02, 2012

    “One extra point is that using ailerons from an aerodynamic standpoing causes an increased angle of attack on the down wing which could lead to the outer edge of the wing losing left,”
     
    Not possible as long as the wing section around the aileron is unstalled. A spiral situation is normally a low AoA scenario.

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  7. Matthew Waugh on Jan 09, 2012

    This is an emergency recovery technique – it’s like the advice to a non-instrument pilot to descend through clouds by using the rudder to maintain wings level. It’s MUCH harder to screw things up with the rudder than if you’re sawing away with the yoke.
     
    It’s not advice for routine flying.

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  8. http://www.itbagone.com on Aug 08, 2013

    cjonybgdnt Spirals: Why do we stop the spiral with rudder instead of aileron? In an article by Paul A. Soderlind, (AvWeb 5/11/2000) he states you level the wings with slow, gentle rudder pressure keeping hands off the controls. I have been around a long time and have used both ailerons and rudder. Answer? | Ask a Flight Instructor cjonybgdnt cjonybgdnt cjonybgdnt

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