Stalling was relatively straightforward. Things were even, ample warning was given and our senses weren’t really that bothered.
In comes the spin. Since in life things are rarely balanced, one wing is going to stall before the other. Angle of attack is probably high; we’re living slowly and climbing, pushing the envelope. Maybe we also try to change direction while fighting our way up. All of a sudden, one area of our life is going to spin out of control while the others are still generating lift, thus causing great imbalance in the Force and ultimately leading to the Dark Side. Chaos.
As previously mentioned, the wing that stops flying, falls. The other one, however, tends to keep a sound aerodynamic profile a little while longer and tries to keep the plane in the air. But the lift generated is massively concentrated on one side and suddenly the plane wants to rotate around its vertical axis as the flying wing attempts to fly around the falling one.
Our life plunges into a downward corkscrew motion, everything becomes blurry and our normal references are lost.
In the worse of cases, we might space out, or freeze; the spin will flatten itself, centrifugal force will gain strength and the controls will stop responding. All is lost now to all but the best.
In most cases, though, reducing power and applying opposite rudder will get us out of the spin, if we have kept our head cool and counted the turns despite the overwhelming dizziness.
The problem when we are spinning is that everything is happening too fast for us to keep up. There is no controlling a spin, nor sustaining it. You either count your turns and act before you reach a pre-established limit, or you’re playing with fire.
There is absolutely no time in a spin to do anything else but count and react. Everything else gets pushed back to a subconscious level. Your life – 1 – now depends – 2 – on your count – 3 – power to idle now – 4 – neutral stick & full opposite rudder – 5…
And then some of us have unstable spinning characteristics, and unstable lives. They will not recover from a spin without direct,
aggressive and radical action on the controls, and if no action is taken, the spin will deteriorate.
Others are neutral. If they put themselves in a spin, they’ll tend to remain there, no more no less. Easy to induce, easy to stop. Lucky bastards.
And finally there are the ones who have naturally spin-resistant attitudes. No matter how hard they try or how careless they are, they can’t seem to stall that inside wing, and the plane recovers by itself or stalls straight ahead. Doubly lucky bastards.
So any way, the spin becomes a practice maneuver. Rehearsing is the key. We need to generate patterns, automatic responses and the proper reflexes so that spins can be avoided or least dealt with in a calm orderly manner.
One then achieves the power to voluntarily spin their life apparently out of control while knowing all along that they can enjoy the rush and still save the day.
It’s living on the edge. It’s making life extraordinary. Because for all we know, there might only be one. One life, that is.
[May the pilots forgive me if I’ve butchered the perfect spin recovery theory. It’s been many years since my last spin on a Beech Musketeer, but I have indeed kept practicing the stall/spin maneuver on my life, with arguably poor recovery success… I’ll get better.]