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I've always used PARE for spin recovery:

Power to idle
Ailerons neutral
Rudder opposite the spin until rotation stops
Elevator forward to break the stall

What is Beggs/Mueller emergency spin recovery, and why does it work?
Does it work in any aircraft?

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  • $\begingroup$ I was always taught that the E was "Elevator nose down to break the stall" and the dive recovery was a separate thing once the plane is flying again, but as long as you get the plane into a dive you've done the hard part :) $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Dec 19 '14 at 3:12
  • $\begingroup$ yes, i wrote it wrong, and will fix. $\endgroup$ – rbp Dec 19 '14 at 3:13
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From the fine folks over at EAA, the Beggs/Mueller technique (also sometimes called the "hands-off" spin recovery technique) is:

  1. Power – Off. (presumably they mean "to idle", and not "stop the engine")
  2. Remove your hand from the stick.
  3. Apply full opposite rudder until rotation stops.
  4. Neutralize rudder and recover to level flight.

So essentially the same technique as PARE, except instead of neutralizing the ailerons & pushing the nose over you put your hands in your lap:

Power: to idle
Ailerons: Put your hands in your lap.
Rudder: Full opposite the direction of spin until rotation stops.
Elevator: Your hands should still be in your lap!

The big advantage to the Beggs/Mueller technique seems to be that with your hands off the stick there's no chance of the pilot panicking and yanking back on the stick/yoke and prolonging the spin. It's predicated on the fact that the nose will fall naturally in a stall, breaking the stall and putting the plane into a slight dive.


I can't say as to whether the Beggs/Mueller technique will work in all aircraft, but it should work in any plane that tends to naturally recover from a stall (i.e. one where the nose naturally falls when the plane is stalled) and has otherwise-conventional spin recovery characteristics. That covers every plane that immediately comes to mind, but it's possible there are some with a canard configuration where spin recovery isn't conventional, and the Beggs/Mueller technique may also not be ideal.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm still interested in why it works $\endgroup$ – rbp Dec 19 '14 at 3:14
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    $\begingroup$ @rbp The mechanics are essentially the same as PARE - they're variations on the same technique. The rudder is still what's arresting the spin, and Beggs/Mueller counts on the aircraft's natural tendency to "want to fly" to take care of the rest rather than making it something the pilot does and risking incorrect control inputs making things worse. $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Dec 19 '14 at 3:28
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The Beggs/Mueller technique is:

  • engine idle
  • let go of the stick
  • push rudder against spin direction

This was developed for pilots of the Pitts Special biplane and will work well with naturally stable, powered aircraft. With gliders (where it strictly doesn't apply) it will be less effective, but still work in most cases. The better way is to combine both, rudder against the spin and stick forward (your PARE technique), but only until the rotation stops. Then both the stick and the rudder must be neutral until speed is sufficient for the pull-out. Beggs/Mueller is more about avoiding wrong inputs due to confusion than ending the spin in the most direct way.

Spin recovery with the hands off the stick will be slower than with active control input. If the control surfaces are free-floating, natural stability is normally less than what it is with fixed control surfaces. For that reason, the Beggs/Mueller technique is less effective than actively ending the spin with both rudder and elevator. If the pilot does not realize he is in an inverted spin, pushing down will make matters worse, however.

Why rudder against spin direction?

An aircraft spins because something stabilizes both the rotation and the high pitch angle. First the rotation: This is caused by fully separated airflow on the retreating wing while some section on the advancing wing has attached airflow. The high drag on the retreating wing pulls this side of the aircraft backwards, while the lift on the section of wing with attached airflow pulls that side of the aircraft forward. Remember, airflow is mostly coming from below, and the spin motion modifies the local flow direction the more one moves away from the center of the aircraft.

Why elevator forward (Back in inverted spin)?

Now the pitch angle: The center of rotation is ahead of the wing in the forward fuselage. The masses in the forward fuselage produce little centrifugal force, while the masses in the rear fuselage and the tail, having a substantial distance from the center of rotation, produce a substantial centrifugal force which pulls the whole aircraft into a level attitude. Since the aircraft's motion is mainly downward, this inertial moment increases the angle of attack above the stall angle.

To break the spin one needs to end the rotation or the pitch attitude. Since they mutually reinforce each other, one must be ended to end both. On aircraft with long fuselages the rudder is more effective to stop the rotation, while on aircraft with long wings the elevator will be more effective in ending the spin via reducing pitch attitude. The rotation is then stopped by the roll damping of the wing. Using both together will give the best effect, however.

Why engine to idle?

Having some added dynamic pressure on the vertical tail will also help to end the rotation, but then the aircraft will pick up speed very quickly. Setting the engine to idle will avoid falling into this particular trap, but again for the price of a somewhat slower recovery. Sometimes an aircraft needs that added dynamic pressure to end the rotation, so Beggs/Mueller will not work in all cases.

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  • $\begingroup$ Does the mass of air moved by propeller at max rpm always hit the tail during a spin, or could the tail "miss" this airflow? $\endgroup$ – qq jkztd Nov 2 at 21:35
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    $\begingroup$ @qqjkztd: The fuselage should ensure that some of the accelerated air still hits the vertical, but some displacement from the center of prop wash must be expected. This displacement, however, is more in vertical than horizontal direction due to the falling motion of the spinning plane, the more so the flatter the spin is. Also, the prop operates in a vey high angle of attack region where the blades are stalled on the way down and see large variations in dynamic pressure. Its efficiency will is likely less than half the normal value in a spin. Yours would be a good candidate for a new question. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Nov 3 at 8:22
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for this, I'll ask about it soon. Considering fully developed spin recovery, Müller let go of the stick allows the stick to naturally move back and inside the spin (left spin, left ailerons, elevator up) Ailerons are too often ousted as a powerful means of decreasing asymmetric critical AOA, while elevator ability to do so is overestimated. $\endgroup$ – qq jkztd Nov 4 at 8:55
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At the York Soaring Association (northwest of Toronto) we mainly use a Schweizer 2-32 for spin training, which is mandatory for all pre-solo student pilots, as well as advanced spin training for our pilots in the aerobatic training program. The 2-32 was also known as the X-26 Frigate in NASA's astronaut training program and was used as a platform for what they called 'yaw/roll coupling' training. I.E. it spins like crazy! As an aerobatic instructor I've spun the 2-32 many times and the Beggs-Mueller recovery works well in this a/c. However, we stress that pilots review and be familiar with the spin recovery technic of the particular aircraft they will be flying and use the recommended spin recovery method in the POH for that aircraft. Also, that they NEVER intentionally put an a/c into a spin that is not certified for spins! Many glider POH's are pretty sketchy about spin recovery and in that case I would recommend the standard Transport Canada ( or FAA) spin recovery technic. Finally, be especially anal about the weight and balance calculations of your aircraft before doing spins. One other thing; we take high tows for spin training (about 1 mile above ground) because multiple spins can chew up a lot of altitude very fast. Our hard deck for recovery is 2,000 ft. agl, which is not only air law in Canada but just plain common sense. Done properly and safely spins are uber fun and great training exercises.

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    $\begingroup$ Hi, Don, Welcome to Aviation.SE! This answer is interesting, but it doesn't really seem to answer the specific question of what the Beggs-Mueller spin recovery technique is. Could you perhaps add a paragraph describing the technique? On SE sites, we want all answers to actually answer the specific question that was asked, though including additional relevant information such as you've given here is certainly fine. For more information, see How to Answer and the help center. Again, welcome! $\endgroup$ – reirab Aug 14 '15 at 3:41

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