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Mooneys and Spins

Original post: 3/31/2000
By: Don Kaye

Replies: 3

You really, really don't want to accidentally get a Mooney in a spin, as is apparent for this post!

We had quite a discussion of this several years ago. At that time due to the FAA saying that stall/spin accidents were on the rise, I had all my students doing cross controlled stalls in left turns with me during checkouts. Things went well with everyone for about 6 airplanes with recovery effected before things got out of hand. The 7th one, a 231, did not behave well at all. For the first and only time in my flying career with a student, the airplane did something I wasn't expecting---the nose dropped down vertically and it went into a spin.

We had started the cross controlled stall 6,500 feet, an altitude I thought was plenty high. Later, in talking to the test pilots at Mooney, they said in their spin testing, they would not begin below 10,000 feet. Boy do I concur!

I told the student I had the airplane and began the normal recovery procedure. As part of the procedure I release the back pressure smoothly. as power was reduce and opposite rudder applied. The plane oscillated in the spin, as I felt it was trying to go flat, and it didn't stop rotating. There were a couple of seconds there when I wasn't sure it would.. The elevator was held full forward and it eventually did stop rotating and we pulled out of the dive. Definitely not a pleasant experience. It turns out we only did two rotations, but on the second one we were test pilots.

I was informed by the test pilots at Mooney that the correct recovery technique is to aggressively push the yoke forward while reducing power and applying opposite rudder. If that fails to stop the rotation, then rudder into the turn, then out of it trying to break the stall, then if that didn't work start increasing and decreasing the power to induce the stall to break. They said they never had go beyond that.

I don't do cross controlled stalls with anyone in a Mooney anymore and, once again, I recommend against anyone doing them.

Don Kaye, Mooney Master | CFII, MEI, ATP(SEL MEL) | N9148W M20M



Revision: 10/28/2010