Steep spirals

Develop the student’s ability to plan and execute a steep spiral, improving options in an emergency situation. <header class=”lessonIntro”> <section class=”module”>


  • altitude considerations
  • setup
  • execution
  • standards

</section> <section class=”module”>


  • model aircraft
  • standardization manual and operating handbook
  • Airplane Flying Handbook

</section> <section class=”module”>

Instructor actions

In a guided discussion, explain the aerodynamics, procedures, and execution for steep spirals, using whiteboard illustrations and a model aircraft. </section> <section class=”module”>

Student actions

Read appropriate chapter and complete homework assignment prior to the briefing. Participate in the guided discussion. </section> </header>

Completion Standards

The student should be able to explain the aerodynamics, procedures, and execution for steep spirals.

Teaching outline

  • altitude considerations
    • starting - three full turns must be completed
    • mra - below 1000 agl only when sim/actual emergency
  • setup
    • suitable altitude for three full turns
    • boost on, gas fullest, gear up, mix rich, prop high
  • power to idle
    • establish airspeed of 95 knots
  • bank to maintain constant radius
    • horizon references
    • coordination
    • pitch and trim for airspeed
    • wind correction as in turns around a point
  • track the number of turns
    • clear the throttle every 360°
  • exit on a heading with a possible landing spot


  • continues through at least three 360° turns
  • airspeed ±10 knots
  • constant-radius circle with max bank of 60° at steepest point
  • roll out toward specified heading/object ±10°