complete times before recovering. It really
whipped around and was incredibly fun. It
felt like we were flying aerobatics in this old
Cessna 172. Technically, maybe we were.
Jason wanted in on the excitement, so we
started alternating turns.
During one of my turns I probably
started having too much fun. After stopping
the spin I pitched back too much, started
talking, and forgot to add power back in.
Jason saw what was developing but waited
to see if I would. A few seconds later I felt
the controls get sloppy, so I immediately
pitched forward and applied power to avoid
a secondary stall. This was an eerie feeling,
probably one of the most uncomfortable
feelings I’ve ever had in a plane. Unlike all
the other stalls I’ve ever practiced, this one
I learned several things in those few
short seconds: 1) Accidentally stalling is a
completely different feeling than stalling on
purpose; 2) It’s easy to enter a secondary
stall after recovering from an initial stall;
and 3) All my stall training up to this point
served its purpose. I felt the stall approach-
ing and immediately made the proper inputs
to avoid stalling the plane.
Altogether we did 10 spin recoveries
that afternoon. It was definitely the most
fun I’ve ever had in a plane with Jason. I
flew back toward the airport and made my
first landing in a yoke-controlled plane,
which, by the way, wasn’t nearly as awkward as I thought it would be.
Experience is a great teacher. It fills
the gaps and gives confidence in a way
no book can. There is no longer that
sliver of doubt about whether or not I
can recover from a spin. No amount of
reading gave me that confidence. A
45-minute flight did.
I highly encourage you to find an
instructor who enjoys teaching spins and a
plane that is approved for it and go take a
45-minute flight, if for no other reason than
it is a great excuse to go do some really fun
flying. The fact that you’ll also be a better
pilot is just a bonus.
P.S. Mom–if you read this, sorry I never
told you about this lesson ahead of time.