Do trainee pilots learn to enter into spins and recover from them in any basic trainer aircraft? Does any regulation mandate this?

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    $\begingroup$ Depends where you are. US doesn't. Canada does. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Apr 20, 2019 at 13:03
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    $\begingroup$ Germany does, Iceland doesn’t. So not even the same within EASA. $\endgroup$
    – Florian
    Apr 20, 2019 at 13:48
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    $\begingroup$ Which country's regulations are you asking about? $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Apr 20, 2019 at 17:43
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    $\begingroup$ Aircraft I trained in was prohibited from spins as per its POH, so spin training would have been quite illegal using it. $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    Apr 26, 2019 at 3:55
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    $\begingroup$ Some instructors in the US teach spins to students seeking private pilot SEL despite it NOT being currently required in US. Your question could possibly be reworded to recognize the possibility that there may be no universal answer-- for example you could ask do ALL trainee pilots learn to enter... or do ANY trainee pilots learn to enter... etc. I experienced one flight dedicated to spin entries and recoveries in the US despite it not being required-- we did not wear parachutes and the instructor said that was fine as long as I was possibly considering get an instructor rating sometime $\endgroup$ May 26, 2019 at 16:25

1 Answer 1


US used to, I recall doing spin & recovery 3 times in a Cessna 150 Aerobat (in 1994), and feeling queasy for quite a while after that. I think now those maneuvers just need to be demonstrated. See AC 61-67C, excerpt follows

CHAPTER 3. FLIGHT TRAINING: SPINS 300. SPIN TRAINING. Spin training is required for flight instructor-airplane and flight instructor-glider applicants only. Upon completion of the training, the applicant’s logbook or training record should be endorsed by the flight instructor who provided the training. A sample endorsement of spin training for flight instructor applicants is available in the current edition of AC 61-65, Certification: Pilots and Flight and Ground Instructors.

a. Spin training must be accomplished in an aircraft that is approved for spins. Before practicing intentional spins, the AFM or POH should be consulted for the proper entry and recovery techniques.

b. The training should begin by practicing both power-on and power-off stalls to familiarize the applicant with the aircraft's stall characteristics. Spin avoidance, incipient spins, actual spin entry, spin, and spin recovery techniques should be practiced from an altitude above 3,500 feet AGL.

c. Spin avoidance training should consist of stalls and maneuvering during slow flight using realistic distractions such as those listed in Chapter 2. Performance is considered unsatisfactory if it becomes necessary for the instructor to take control of the aircraft to avoid a fully developed spin.

d. Incipient spins should be practiced to train the instructor applicant to recover from a student's poorly performed stall or unusual attitude that could lead to a spin. Configure the aircraft for a power-on or power-off stall, and continue to apply back elevator pressure. As the stall occurs, apply right or left rudder and allow the nose to yaw toward the stalled wing. Release the spin inducing controls and recover as the spin begins by applying opposite rudder and forward elevator pressure. The instructor should discuss control application in the recovery.

e. Spin entry, spin, and spin recovery should be demonstrated by the instructor and repeated in both directions by the applicant.

(1) Apply the entry procedure for a power-off stall. As the airplane approaches a stall, smoothly apply full rudder in the direction of desired spin rotation and continue to apply back elevator to the limit of travel. The ailerons should be neutral.

(2) Allow the spin to develop, and be fully recovered no later than one full turn. Observe the airspeed indicator during the spin and subsequent recovery to ensure that it does not reach the red line (VNE).

(3) Follow the recovery procedures recommended by the manufacturer in the AFM or POH. In most aircraft, spin recovery techniques consist of retarding power (if in a powered aircraft), applying opposite rudder to slow the rotation, neutralizing the ailerons, applying positive forward elevator movement to break the stall, neutralizing the rudder as the spinning stops, and returning to level flight.

f. During spin training if a spin is not fully developed, the aircraft may instead go into a spiral. A spiral may be recognized by a rapidly increasing airspeed after the attempted spin entry. In an actual spin, the airspeed normally stabilizes below stall speed). The pilot must recognize a spiral and initiate immediate recovery to prevent exceeding structural limits of the airplane.

  1. SPIN TRAINING AND PARACHUTES. Title 14 CFR part 91, § 91.307(c) prohibits the pilot of a civil aircraft from executing any intentional maneuver that exceeds 60° of bank relative to the horizon, or exceeds 30° nose-up or nose-down attitude relative to the horizon, unless an approved parachute is worn by each occupant (other than a crewmember). Section 91.307(d) states, in part, that § 91.307(c) does not apply to flight tests for a Pilot Certificate or rating, or spins and other flight maneuvers required by the regulations, for any certificate or rating when given by a certificated flight instructor (CFI) or an airline transport pilot (ATP) instructing in accordance with part 61, § 61.167.

a. Section 61.183(i) requires an applicant for a Flight Instructor Certificate airplane or glider rating to receive flight training in stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery procedures. The applicant must also possess and demonstrate instructional proficiency in these areas to receive the certificate or rating.

b. Because spin entry, spins, and spin recovery are required for a Flight Instructor Certificate airplane or glider rating, a person receiving instruction from an authorized instructor need not wear an approved parachute while instruction is being provided in these maneuvers.

The instructor providing the training is also not required to wear an approved parachute while providing this flight training.

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    $\begingroup$ I did my Private Pilot training in 1994 in the USA. There was no spin requirement for Private Pilots in 1994. Spins do not need to be demonstrated for any checkride; CFI candidates need a logbook endorsement of spin training, that is all. $\endgroup$ May 16, 2019 at 21:48
  • $\begingroup$ So did I, started in April 1994. We definitely went up that summer to 4500 ft, the highest I had been in my private pilot training. My instructor did a spin, we recovered, leveled off, climbed back up, and then I did two myself, and felt queazy the rest of the day. My wife got her private in 1996, and only had it demo'd. $\endgroup$
    – CrossRoads
    May 17, 2019 at 2:29
  • $\begingroup$ Regarding this part of the regulation: "unless an approved parachute is worn by each occupant (other than a crewmember)". Do I understand it correctly to mean that the pilot and instructor don't have to wear parachutes but anyone else who comes along for the ride does? (Second question: What sort of crazy person comes along for the ride?) $\endgroup$ Sep 24, 2019 at 4:31
  • $\begingroup$ Many planes are only approved for spins in the Utility Category. For my Cessna Cardinal (177) for example: "UTILITY CATEGORY This airplane is not designed for purely aerobatic flight. However, in the acquisition of various certificates such as commercial pilot, instrument pilot and flight instructor, certain maneuvers are required by the FAA. All of these maneuvers are permitted in this airplane when operated in the utility category. In the utility category, the baggage compartment and rear seat must not be occupied. Chandelles, Lazy Eights, Steep Turns, Spins, Stalls." $\endgroup$
    – CrossRoads
    Sep 24, 2019 at 12:29
  • $\begingroup$ So no parachutes, and no passengers. $\endgroup$
    – CrossRoads
    Sep 24, 2019 at 12:29

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