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From: Kevin O'Brien <>
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.homebuilt
Subject: Re: How did the RV-6 spin??
Date: Thu, 04 May 2000 10:39:51 -0400

In article <>, wrote:

> Ed wrote:
> > While we are talking about ridiculous hypothetical maneuvers to escape
> > from certain calamity (not counting BwBs trick, which was a smart
> > move) ... might it be possible, if stuck going into a box canyon with
> > no room to turn, to execute a half-turn spin and recover going the
> > other direction?  Not that I'd ever have the balls to try it, but
> > wonder if it's possible?
> My guess is No -- a spin drops a lot of altitude. It'd have to be awful
> deep box canyon to do that. I do wonder about doing a hammerhead (known
> here as a stall turn) in that situation... with some practise, I've
> found that a stall turn loses only 100ft or so.
> Frank.

A book I have on the 'rogue pilot' has as an example a pilot who always
said he'd Immelmann out of a box canyon if he ever found hiumself in
one. Ultimately he _deliberately_ entered one to perform this maneuver.
He stalled out.

Best of course is not to go in the thing. Next best is probably to put
the plane down, flying it as slowly as you can and still maintain
control. Usually what happen in box canyon (and mountain pass)
fatalities, is the pilot is in denial about the fact that the terrain
can manage a greater angle of climb than he. As the ground reaches for
him his involuntarily hauls back the stick - BANG. Stall, spin, final
curtain, exeunt omnes.

It's really crucial to realise that you are out of options as early as
possible. I think the usual box canyon scenario pilots talk about over
coffee isn't realistically what happens, because the 'discussion' box
canyon always seems to take place at cruise speed -- if you ever find
yourself in this situation you may not have the energy for swoopy,
zooming maneuvers or even a 45 degree bank, because you'll have been
plugging along nose high and slow for a while. If it's too late when you
realise you're buggered the only choice left is HOW you hit the ground,
collision with terrain as the NTSB so dryly puts it.



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