Henry TrikeLife Escapes Serious Spiral Dive

eg: stopmotion, new-york, street
Here is a real life situation where Henry TrikeLife escaped a spiral dive with most of his cameras running. Luckily i had a chance to provide Henry spiral recovery when he was here filming plus he watched Larry's videos of spiral recovery which saved him. This video speaks for itself and is a cooperative effort for the safety of all trike pilots.

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  • Leo Iezzi
    by Leo Iezzi 3 years ago
    Thank you Paul, Larry, Henry and Ken for putting this video together and sharing with all of us. Well done!
    I'm very glad the outcome was a positive one!
  • dave kempler
    by dave kempler 3 years ago
    I was hoping to get a new video soon, but was not prepared for this. Thank You so much for sharing this and for the great explanations and science behind recovery. I'm so glad everybody is OK. DO NOT MISS THIS!
  • Rizwan Bukhari
    by Rizwan Bukhari 3 years ago
    Wow, that was a significant drop but great recovery in the end.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 3 years ago
    Simple concept. Reduce angle of attack.
  • Tom Currier
    by Tom Currier 3 years ago
    Thanks. This really illustrates how quickly and easily you can get into trouble close to the ground.... and recover from it. I'm going back to study your training video again
  • B  Alvarius
    by B Alvarius 3 years ago
    Agreed Abid, the concept of reducing angle of attack is not difficult, any maneuver requires energy and pushing out on the bar reduces energy (at a given throttle setting). Beginning at 1:29 you can see the pilot pushing out as he begins his turn and at 1:53 the pilot's right hand is clearly visible on instructors bar to give himself greater leverage with the bar pushed out. Henry is subsequently seen grabbing the instructors bar and pulling in and leveling the wing correcting the error. This idea of pushing out to go up only makes matters worse. I'm glad Henry was prepared and quickly corrected the error.
  • Richard LaHood
    by Richard LaHood 3 years ago
    EXCELLENT INSTRUCTION. Thanks to all who put this video together.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 3 years ago
    Yes it is a simple concept but unfortunately pilots are trained to do the opposite. It is counter initiative to what they have learned.

    Same as a stall in an airplane, when the wing drops you want to move the stick in the direction to raise the wing since this is what you have learned but if you do it will further stall the wing and put you into a spin.

    Same here with the weight shift. Students and pilots are taught to push out to slow up and go up but after 45 degree bank the basic physics change.

    In airplane training this is commonly know and practiced as unusual attitudes. Trike training has not evolved yet to include this so here is where we are trying to change this to provide the proper training and save lives. I would imagine most trike pilots and many instructors have not been through this but it is a very important maneuver for safe flying.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 3 years ago
    Hi Paul:
    Yes when you are flying increasing angle of attack works to do what we think it will do but when we are not flying (stalled) that does not work.
    The problem is stall recognition in banked attitudes. Pilits are trained to do stalls and recover from level attitudes. I was surprised during transition from UL to SP period how many trike pilots had never even stalled their trikes ever. Let alone stalled it in banked attitude.
    This stall is an accelerated stall while banking and pushing out and being behind the power curve. It as you showed through lift vector components develops a huge horizontal component of lift and small vertical component of lift. That huge horizontal component of lift pulls you in even more tightening things up till you stall which really starts to lick the controls out because the wing is not technically flying any longer. Reducing the angle of attack while simultaneously leveling the wing is the only thing that will work. Pushing out will result in no results.

    There have accident reports from Australua from ATSB all the way to accidents in the US like the instructor in the NW in Washington state to others who have gone down going banked maneuvers and pushing out too much for too long without adequate power to compensate.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 3 years ago
    I do note that our European friends think that spiral dive is something very different. I have searched and searched and not found any aeronautical reference to their definition of spiral dive. It's almost as though a basic spin is being defined as a spiral dive for a trike. When one wing is stalled more tgan the other and a rotation develops. So I am trying to stay away from calling it a spiral dive so someone does not get upset. The point is this does develop into a rotational corkscrew downwards really fast and you can get locked out where it seems the controls are not leveling the wing.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 3 years ago
    Good point Abid. Call it what ever you want, but KNOW THE RECOVERY. I would also like to add that just a simple constant rate spiral descent can be just as deadly if the recovery is not made. The ground is responsible for stopping many descents. And regardless of how many revolutions (based on height) is unimportant in my opinion. I believe it was just last year there was a NTSB report stating 7 revolutions from 1000'AGL into the ground. if you don't know how to fix it, even 30 seconds from impact may not be enough time to figure out to pull the bar in and level the wing when pushing out seems to make all the sense in the world.
  • Peter Del Vecho
    by Peter Del Vecho 3 years ago
    Once again, excellent video and one that really emphasizes how quickly things can change and how innocent and harmless everything looks at first. Great reminder and these videos, as Henry mentions, make a big impression when the time comes and you need to recover quickly. Thanks for the training Larry, and for th video Henry, Larry and Paul.
  • Barry Maggio
    by Barry Maggio 3 years ago
    absolutely the best video for showing you how to recover from this situation. What I am not seeing in this discussion is how to avoid this scenario in the first place. It seems to me that this is a typical landing stall spin accident. The only difference is they were not planning the land. It looks to me that as soon as the turn is initiated the nose begins to drop rapidly. This would indicate to me that the straight and level flight before the turn was just too slow. Maybe just a few knots above stall speed. Had the cruising speed been faster I don't think the nose would have dropped that quickly when the turn was first initiated.
  • Tony Ford
    by Tony Ford 3 years ago
    Every pilot should practice this at a higher alltitude.
  • John Glynn
    by John Glynn 3 years ago
    Thank you very much for posting. Excellent video. I believe that transitioning pilots from 3 axis airplanes to weight shift trikes should especially take note. The pilot iinput on a trike may not be the same as recovery for an airplane and the airplane pilot may have to overcome some ingrained recovery habits learned over time when flying a trike. Not difficult just dofferent. Altitude is your friend and proper instruction is priceless. Thank you again Larry, Paul, Henry, Wes, etc. for sharing this life saving into. John Glynn
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 3 years ago
    It should be noted that stalls in a turn, which is required to learn and practice for a successful checkride, is a good step to learning spiral recovery because the wing usually drops and you need to pull in and level it simultaneously same as spiral recovery.
  • Thomas Nielsen
    by Thomas Nielsen 3 years ago
    Thank you for producing this video. These things takes time and commitment, and some degree of courage too by the pilots to show and tell what nearly got them killed. Not fun to watch, but so darn important. Great airman-ship Henry!
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 3 years ago
    Just so everyone knows, Larry took the extra time to get an interview with Ken and edit this together with input from Henry, Ken and myself. Besides getting the Rev ready for Sun N Fun, and getting my new Revo 912iS ready for delivery, Larry took the time to edit this for the best message. I know how much time and effort this takes and it shows his dedication to the safety of the sport. A huge thanks goes to Henry for the spectacular footage and the decision to share it as he did. I can not get over thinking what it would have been like to hear about another trike spiraling into the ground, especially my friend Henry who is so well known in triking and want to be trikers with his spectacular videos. What a spectacular story.
  • Den Freeman
    by Den Freeman 3 years ago
    Thank you! Same thing happened to me several years ago as a low time pilot flying my Airborne XT912 with a StreakIII. Turned into a dive over Lake Conroe, TX. The control bar was immediately "stuck" in my lap. Cut power, leveled the wing, full power, increased airspeed and climbed out just in time. Holding on to a wing that would not move was different! Den
  • Tony  Castillo
    by Tony Castillo 3 years ago
    henry, or ken, I have a question. I see that there is rasing terrain next to the beach. Also seems the sea is very calm... I was wondering if yiu were dealing with any wind at all, and if any cooming from land... Or from sea, or none. I do wonder because it is likely that if there was any wind at all from land you would be flying and turning into possible rotors. If any wind comming from sea, you are turning also into tail wind. But looks like the winds were very calm or none... I just wonder. Still looks to me as too slow into a high bank turn.... And the wing stalled... Been a couple of hundred feet lower and not sure you would have been able to recover. This can happen on landing turning to final so we must really pay attetion and maintain good airspeed and coordination in our turns. That was scary! Lets just not do that anynore !!!!
  • Jim Garrett
    by Jim Garrett 3 years ago
    This should be the video of the year!
  • Tony  Castillo
    by Tony Castillo 3 years ago
    I agree also with Paul and others as to this is a very good example as to how quickly things can go bad and how to properly recover, but I also think it is as important put discusss also how Not to put ourselves into this situation. At lower altitude, even with the correct technique, there may not be a possible recover. Maneuvering for landing is an example of turning, and perhaps at times at lower speeds, and at lower altitudes.

    if the pilot intitiated the turn at very slow speed, and seems that to be the case, unless there is wind comming from land and possibly generating a rotor or downdraft, then the pilot should have felt a lot of pitch feed back (the wing should have felt heavy and wanting to comeback to neutral).

    In this case I would be curious to know
    1) The wind (if any) speed and direction as that will affect performance
    2) If the aircraft was using mechanical trim to slow flight or was slowed by pilot input alone as that will make a difference on the pitch feedback we get from the wing in slow flight.
    3) What was the air speed before wntering the turn, and the aircraft stall speed in level flight. banking will increase the stall speed, if too close to stall and no speed adjustment is done in a high banking maneouver the wing stalls. Perhaps the case here that the aircraft was flying too close to stall, and high bank turn was initiated without incrasing the speed to account for increase stall speed in the turn.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 3 years ago
    Yes Tony very true. How to stay out of trouble in the first place. Always the first defense. Here it is low, slow, typical flying distractions. Hopefully most of our flight training is aimed at staying out of the stall/spin (as the airplane people call it). This is a perfect example of this. For trike we will call it the stall/spiral situation. Base to final is typical for this, low level looking at dolphins (I can remember many times doing this in Hawaii), wind sheer, thermals, yes it can happen to any pilot anywhere.

    No different than driving a car. Not less than a year ago I was driving on a freeway and everything was fine. All of a sudden an auto hood launched out of a wrecking truck and was headed towards me. If I would have not moved (done immediate corrective action) it would have come into my car and sliced me in half. I looked, veered to the open right and slammed on my brakes to avoid it. It hit next to me where i was. Never was I trained for this but immediate, quick corrective action saved my life. THE SAME IS TRUE IN FLYING. S*** happens. Be prepared when things go bad. Never assume you can keep yourself out of trouble (same as driving). There are elements out there that are not in your control. If you think you can control the situation and do not have to learn spiral recovery because it will never happen to you, THINK AGAIN. Be Prepared.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 3 years ago
    Spiral dive where speed and height loss increases and bank steepens and thus G force increases (due to push out of the bar and winding things in more) is also taught in airplanes as well. Of course the actions in the airplane to recover are opposite a bit.




    Note in these lessons they make power to idle as a first step for good reason too.
    Second roll level and if you can't then pull in slightly and roll level almost simultaneously but aggressively. Definitely stop pushing the bar out, let it come to neutral. That is all you need.

    One reason its not advised to pull in too much is that some wings at high speed may develop ballooning of the tips without straps (GT-5 etc.) that can possibly cause un-coordination or slip. All you need is just a slight pull in and more importantly stop pushing out and trying to level the wing. Let the bar come back to neutral at least.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 3 years ago
    I have been watching ALL of the comments not just here on TPS, but across the Internet on this video. There is a GOOD CONSENSUS by most that the spiral (although that term is a debate in itself) was started by lack of airspeed.

    This is my opinion as well. Let's talk about the facts:

    If a trike is traveling in straight and level fligth we call that 1 G flight. If you put a G meter on your Dash like most new REVOs have these days, you will see for yourself exactly what I'm talking about. From 1 G flight, there are certain speeds that allow you to be capable of producing 1.5G s in a trike combination similar to what is in the video and there are certain speeds that alow you to produce 2 Gs. If you are just 10 MPH above stall speed, chances are you cannot produce 2 Gs. In the case that you try to spike your G meter to 2Gs by pushing out abruptly, you will stall at maybe 1.4 Gs for example. Add another 10 MPH and try again, this time you will stall at 1.6 Gs and finally at 40 MPH over stall you should be able produce 2 Gs and you are not stalled, but the bar is almost to stall possition.

    From 1 G flight you MUST produce 2 Gs if you bank 60 degrees IN ORDER NOT TO LOSE ANY ALTITUDE. The less bank angle you choose, the less Gs required. Iust because you bank 60 degrees DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE PULLING 2Gs. if you bank 60 degrees from level flight and pull 1.5Gs your nose of the trike will drop. This is a fact. Once your nose drops and you try to bring the nose up by producing more Gs it will take OVER 2 Gs to raise the nose, but it can be done by pushing the bar out and increasing the AOA and or increasing the power setting. Please note: this is NOT a recommendation, but a physics fact. The PROBLEM is your airspeed may not be great enough to be able to produce the 2.5Gs (for example) needed to raise the nose which is now 10 degrees down and as the nose reaches 20 degrees nose down, the required G force you would have to produce to keep the bank angle and eliminate the descent, is radically getting higher. If the pilot continues to push forward reaching his maximum G force available from the aircraft/wing design and the speed in which it is flying the wing will stall. The worst part is when it stalls the inside/low wing stalls, copounding the bank angle being too steep already and steepens the turn more as you saw in the video. The only answer when most of our trikes cannot produce enough Gs to raise the nose in a turn is to reduce bank angle in which the available Gs you are pulling are enough to raise the nose and stop the descent.

    If a stall is involved, it is not the entire wing that is stalled which is why the trike is not rolling upside down (at least not in this case) but no matter how much billow Ken produced on his left wing by moving the bar to the right, the high billowed wing was still producing MORE LIFT than the flatter partially stalled wing. As soon as Henry pulled in the bar the heavily warped wing rolled immediately to the left.

    So the question of the hour: How do I avoid entering this type or any type of spiral when making a turn?

    1) Make a rough guestimation of how steep you can make your desired level turn with the current airspeed you are at BEFORE entering a desired bank angle. In other words, I have watched experienced trike pilots enter over a 45 degree bank angle from near stall speed. Guess what happened?

    2) keep your eyes on the horizon (not the ground) and look for any drop of the nose of your carriage. If you detect the nose drop even a few degrees, stop the nose there by pushing out more and/or adding more throttle. But a good rule of thumb is keep a few inches between the control bar and the compression strut. Remember your bar is an excellent AOA indicator. Don't wait until your nose is 10 degrees down to try and raise it by pushing forward. By that time you have blown the turn and need to level your wings and try agin or at least reduce your bank . If you are looking at the ground you will have no clue what so ever that your nose has dropeed 10 degrees (as seen in the video)

    3) If you are low to the ground and you recognize a spiral, do not try and figure out if it is a spiral descent or dive and you can move the bar sideways to level the wing or if it is a stalled turn and you must pull in. Just pull back and then over. Thank God Henry didn't think, HE REACTED with a fix-all solution to anything resembling the nose down while the wing is banked The airspeed doesnt change that quickly when the bar is pulled in a split second before the wings start to level and in fact leveling the wings which will happen instantaniously will reduce more airspeed than the pull in on the bar. This technique will eliminate the altitude loss quicker and preserve altitude better than any other technique. The reason why is your wing will level itself faster. And without the wings level (or less banked at least) you cannot stop the descent. (documented on REVO and BioniX wings)

    4) Once the nose is down and you have clearly blown points 1,2 and 3. TAKE YOUR FOOT OFF THE THROTTLE! You need to try and keep your airspeed down and the throttle is not very helpful in a spiral for anything other than speeding your airspeed up. As seen in the video they had WAY TOO MUCH POWER coing out of that descent. In fact they had to pull the bar back to his chest. They didn't need power to stop coming down, they needed virtical lift and the ability to create some Gs. at the speed they were at during the recovery. Their airspeed was well beyond the needed airspeed required to produce plenty of Gs to stop all of that inirtia towards the ground.
  • Tony  Castillo
    by Tony Castillo 3 years ago
    One difference I see between this situation in the video, and other demonstrations of spiral dive recovery I have seen, is that seems to me in the spiral dive recovery demonstrations the wing was not stalled. In this video it seems to me that the right wing stalled (stopped producing lift) hence the spin/dive.

    I may be one of the ones that do not consider this scenario a spiral dive but rather a stall, spin... With naturally a dive as the lost of lift automatically generates such.

    Is this differenciation of any importance at all? Well, perhpas to a degree it is because a spiral dive to me is a bit more of an intentional maneuver that we should avoid as per our Aircraft Operating Manual, however this stall/spin is not intentional but rather a possible situation in normal flight where the pilot is not paying attention to the air speed / aircraft loading / banking degree / conditions, Or a combination.

    If the pilot was at higher altitude, and turned and initiated a dive, not try to maintain altitude by pushing the bar out, and hence slowing the flight further and increasing the G load, the wing would have not stalled but dive instead... Into a perhaps what then I will view more as spiral dive. However, recovery from either situation is similar indeed.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 3 years ago
    Tony. Don't kid yourself, I almost died In a stabilized spiral descent in a Cessna 152 before I had proper training. Trike pilots are hitting the ground nose down,wing down. They don't know what to do and if we had a GPS tracker the flight track would show a cork screw path. I AM lumping all maneuvers with this path as a spiral. Why? It's because the purpose of all of this is to make sure pilots get out of the 3 maneuvers.

    It is like calling skidding "SLIDING" in a car when you are on dry pavement or ice or hydroplaning. They are clearly 3 different scenarios all with one thing in common. No traction.

    Let's not take away from a demonstration saying to lift the brake pedal that shows a car skidding on ice to demonstrate both skidding on ice or pavement. Let the message stand as to WHAT TO DO.

    I heard last week a trike spiraled into the water in Australia. not sure if this video could have helped in that case or not. But the fact that others actively trying to demerit the recovery videos is sickening to me.

    Let's SPREAD the word. Share this video, tell your trike buddies to watch it. And all corresponding instructional spiral videos.
  • Arthur Thompson
    by Arthur Thompson 3 years ago
    And even with proper training "edge of the envelope" maneuvers can be dangerous. I agree, spread the word.
  • Tony  Castillo
    by Tony Castillo 3 years ago
    Larry, Barry posted earlier in this discussiona and I quote "what I'm not seeing in this discussion is how to avoid this scenario in the first place" which brings a point, and the reason for my post.

    Basically I believe as important as it is to spread the word as to how to recover from these kind of unusual attitudes, is also important to discuss how not to get into these unusual attitudes, regardless of how they are called. Hence my post.

    This is a very good example to discuss how to come out of it, and also a good example that shows how from what seemed a normal flight, developped very quickly in a oit of control spin dive, or spiral dive if you think better describes it.

  • Craig Dingwall
    by Craig Dingwall 3 years ago
    This has been a great learning event and one that had a happy outcome.

    I noted that someone, maybe Paul mentioned that it was the edited version. I would love to see the full version of that event from start to finish.

  • B  Alvarius
    by B Alvarius 3 years ago
    It seems to me that this is fundamentally a discussion about flight energy managment. Any action or pilot input that reduces the available energy for flight can become one step in a chain of events that leads to an accident.

    I keep seeing references to pushing to bar out to maintain or increase altitude which I find distrubing. While the result of increasing AOA does result in an increase in altitude, there is a corresponding decrease in energy available for flight, one indicator of which, is a decrease in airspeed (at a throttle setting that would maintain straight and level flight).

    Though never a hang glider pilot, I was trained by hang glider pilots who constantly emphasized energy management. Since at that time trikes had little in the way of instrumentation (a hobbs meter, egt, and cht) there was was no way to measure airspeed. Energy management was with the control bar or the foot throttle. Up and down with the trottle, fast and slow with the control bar.

    There are times I miss those days of simplicity.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 3 years ago
    Tony, one of my favorite air show demonstrations where I make as tight if a circle as I can at full throttle. This entail going to full throttle, increasing my bank angle so that I am not climbing and then pushing the control bar out within 1" of stall. When I do this sometimes I hit my own wake or it's usually mid day so the trike actually stalls and just like the video the low wing wants to drop as well as the nose and enter that cork screw. The recovery (in and over) is executed so fast and so small (2" in at most and 2-3" over) that the level right circle continues and no one on the ground watching ever detects that the trike entered the stall/spin (or whatever it officially is).

    My point is, recovery is so immediate and effective that the recovery itself IS the cure and the prevention to stop it before it starts.

    Beyond that as I outlined above bank angle have sufficient Gs in order not to enter the maneuver. But descending turns are done on purpose all the time. So not going there is not something we should focus to avoid. In the case of the stall spin DONT PUSH YOUR CONTROL BAR ALL THE WAY OUT if you don't intend on stalling.

    I think that about covers it honestly. The problem is sometimes a high bank angle is onset by turbulence, rotors, wake turbulence etc. So there is no real way to avoid entering a spiral for the rest of our flying careers. But a well trained pilot will probably never lose more than 50' of altitude from the onset of an unwanted spiral.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 3 years ago
    You want it raw unedited?

  • Glade Montgomery
    by Glade Montgomery 3 years ago
    Wow! Thanks to everyone for such a great contribution. Ken and Henry, I am so glad you are alive.

    I'd like to tell my story.

    About three years ago, I went to Zephyrhills, determined to check out the Revo. It was my first time meeting Larry, and he took me up in his "Blue Devil." I had just a few score hours in my log book at the time. With Larry as safety in the backseat, I felt uninhibited, in regard to aggressiveness of my high-speed testing maneuvers. I decided to try a long-held, high-speed, high-banked turn. I maneuvered nicely into a right bank, doing about 90 I think. I put it at about 55 degrees bank, and enjoyed the Gs as we turned and turned. Gradually the nose was dropping just a little, so (as I'd prior been taught) I pushed the bar slightly forward to compensate. I was enjoying the whole thing, and I am sure had a large grin on my face. The nose responded a bit, then moderately resumed its dropping tendency, so I pushed on the bar a little more. This cycle continued for a while, until I had the bar pushed nearly all the way forward . . . just holding, just holding. Then, all of a sudden, and with greater quickness than you can imagine, there was instant and very high-speed rotation further rightward in bank. I think, within a tenth of a second or so, we were at 80 degrees bank, and most certainly would have continued this rapid rotation to inversion if Larry had not immediately taken over and corrected. His correction was so fast and subtle, I was not even aware what he'd done to correct. I felt dumbfounded. Almost as quickly as it happened, I remember exclaiming: "What was that?" (With the safety of Larry on the backseat, honestly, I felt the whole thing had been kind of fun.)

    As I recall, Larry did not give me any direct explanation at the time, and instead recommended that I choose against ordering my Revo with the "Competition" wing, that I'd thought I wanted. It was only later that, recalling the episode, I deduced precisely what had occurred. Very simply, the lower/inside wing stalled, while the upper/outside wing was still properly flying, so also still creating lift. This understanding makes it very apparent why there was that sudden and high-speed rotation, further rightward in bank. It's also evident to me now that Larry's simple correction was to pull in the bar (at least somewhat from the far forward position where I'd had it) level the wings, and resume flying.

    Another matter in retrospect: I can imagine Larry in the backseat, as I maneuver his aircraft nearer and nearer to this condition, wondering if I'll be conscious of the approaching abyss and resist its threshold, or continue onward until plunging over, as in fact I did. I can imagine his hands being poised for needed recovery, anticipating with almost perfect precision where the event would occur.

    For my own flying since, I have not tried it, but I can imagine maneuvering to deliberately teeter "on-the-edge" of this lower/one-wing stall condition (and instantly correcting back each time it's briefly entered), just as Larry describes doing for air shows. I imagine, when you're good at doing this, it's a rather enjoyable maneuver to pursue.

    Regardless, since that one encounter, I have stayed very well clear of the situation. Sure, I do some 60 degree banks. Maybe sometimes more. But (and, yes, you may call me chicken if you like), I do not do such banks with the bar very far forward, if forward at all. It's a matter I am very focused on (i.e., assuring the bar stays well-distant from the front tube while in a turn). If someday I have time where Larry can teach me how to instinctively and instantly recover from the incipient one-wing-stalled condition (making it a matter of muscle memory), then this strict avoidance may change. Until then, I feel better keeping a wide berth between me and it.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 3 years ago
    B Alvarius, if you are flying a traditional large winged trike, it is possible to leave the bar neutral and takeoff, make turns and even land never moving the bar more than a few inches. I have seen many trike pilots fly this way. If you are flying something with a small wing it's not coming off the ground until around 100 if you don't push out and you can't bank more than 20 degrees without entering a spiral if you don't push out and landing is more of a controlled crash if you don't push out.

    To me learning to fly and flying a trike means learning to fly the wing all the way to stall. Energy management and retaining energy are two very different things in my opinion. I just recently flew with a sport pilot that thought that once you cut power to land you need to have the bar pretty far back all the way down. When I showed her she could let it float at 55 MPH (bar 5" from strut) all the way down to short final and then start pulling in at 200' AGL she was amazed.

    In any case I guess my point is stalling isn't a big deal so long as you are either higher than 400 feet roughly or you are lower than about 18". At these altitudes, stall should be a non event. But I have witnessed Glade (as mentioned above) and 2 others absolutely get confused or scared or lock up or push the wrong direction as Ken did in the video when the wing and nose drop and rotation begins. And then altitude buys you more time to panic if you don't know exactly what to do.
  • Glade Montgomery
    by Glade Montgomery 3 years ago
    Just for clarification, Larry, I do not believe that I either locked-up, got scared or panicked. I felt relaxed and composed the entire time (all of the small fraction of a second the situation endured). Perhaps it was because of the assurance of having you in the back seat. Perhaps it was because you corrected the situation before there'd been sufficient time in which to lock-up or panic. Regardless, I rather more enjoyed the situation than felt fear from it.

    Just the same, at the time I had no idea regarding either what caused the situation or how to correct it. So, for sure, I was helpless to correct it on my own.

    I do believe, with the greater understanding and "feel" that I've developed since, it's likely I could now properly react on my own, were a similar situation to occur. Regardless (and as described), my tendency is to want to stay well clear of it, until having specific training, with you or someone similar in the backseat (perhaps Paul). I would indeed like to do that training.

    BTW, I have since spent many scores of hours, over hundreds of miles, flying just at stall (and frequently, indeed, momentarily under it) while flying with local friends whose trikes are slower than my Revo. So I'm very used to straight-on flying that way. It's repetition of the while-in-tight-turn, one-wing-stall that I feel leery of, and that I feel determined to steer clear of until practicing with safety of you or similar in the seat behind me.
  • Bill  Pilgrim
    by Bill Pilgrim 3 years ago
    Larry, I think you have hit the nail on the head in your last post. I went through all my initial training and early flying without ever doing a coordinated turn, not that noticable on a airborne cruise wing or my old pegasus q2. I did my flight review with another instructor one year and learned about the J manouver. Now that I have moved up to the higher performance wing, I find that if I don't coordinate the turn the Revo starts looking at the ground very quickly. This may be why we are seeing so many fatalities from the spiral dive ie our wings are being modernised but our training is not.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 3 years ago
    Relating to Glades experience with Larry in a spiral, one of the most important talents of an instructor, is to let the student make the mistake, and the student will hopefully figure it out and fix it. The talented instructor in the meantime, lets it progress to the point where he/she must correct/fix it before the ground comes up or the trike exceeds its limitations. It is best for the student to experience the mistake so it is recognized in the future. I am sure this experience is well remembered by Glade.

    This is where practicing the spiral recovery with a qualified instructor is important so that the student/pilot instinctively, immediately and without question performs the corrective action. This is true for all most areas of flying but especially spiral recovery and takeoff/landings.

    I do remember forcing Henry into the spiral recovery which he appeared a little irritated and said it almost made him sick. I felt a little bad at the time but now I feel really good.

    All of my students and every pilot flight review get spiral recovery training like it or not......
  • Craig Dingwall
    by Craig Dingwall 3 years ago
    Guys, I was wondering about the shudder that occurs at 1:52 right before the sudden drop and turn (full video nose view) can we take it that this is the point of the stall or could this be something else such as rotor etc? It almost looks like the trike had passed through its own wake (similar effect)
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 3 years ago
    Hi Craig, judging by the control bar position it is likely a stall onset by the bar being pushed forward and the critical AOA being exceeded.

    Interestingly enough when the bar is moved to the right first (not pulling in first) the angle of attack on the right wing Increases as the billow is removed (and added to the other wing) which causes that mid span section of wing, where you see the trailing edge flutter, to be at a higher AOA than if no roll input was being applied.

    Anything is possible, but I'm quite sure we can go up and reproduce this same scenario on the first try by matching Ken's inputs. I did try to do this maneuver with the same wing which is ironically what Ken flies on his 912XT and due to the compression strut being a few inches closer, the XT would not stall a wing. For that matter it wouldn't stall in the level flight either.

    I have a feeling I may document more of this on video with various trikes in the future. Just to show this is not a unique capability of the trike/wing combo in this video. As I have mentioned you can limit the AOA on different trike designs to eliminate stall in most attitudes such as this, but we really shouldn't fear such a natural healthy characteristic of flight. There are many advantages to a trike that actually stalls in level flight. Can anyone name a few?
  • B  Alvarius
    by B Alvarius 3 years ago
    Larry you are quite right energy management and energy retention are 2 different things and your example illustrates this quite well. It brings up the point that different wings have different handling characteristics and different degrees of response to energy management techniques which is often lost in discussions. Glade beings up an interesting point when he references the “feel” of the wing. Before all the instrumentation, the feel of the wing in flight was all the pilot had or needed to control flight. I used the term “wing Zen” to describe the qualitative and subjective feel of the wing's performance in flight. I think some of this has been lost in flying by the numbers and is a useful ability for pilots to recognize potential hazardous situations. I think additional videos showing how other trikes and wings behave would be useful. Perhaps tying together the numbers (airspeed, stall speed, etc.) with bar positions in flight to illustrate the differences between wings.
  • Glade Montgomery
    by Glade Montgomery 3 years ago
    Paul, you darned well should be happy for having given Henry that training. You and Larry certainly saved two lives. That is incredibly fantastic!!!!!

    Since you're so much nearer to me than Larry, I'm going to find time to make it to Reno, so you can give me the same training you gave Henry.

    I'd like to learn to fly on the edge of the one-wing/tight-turning stall, as Larry describes (with momentary slight dipping in, and instantaneous correction out). I am thinking, when you have that touch, feel and muscle-memory ingrained into your system, it likely makes you a much safer pilot.
  • Craig Dingwall
    by Craig Dingwall 3 years ago
    Larry, thanks, this has certainly been a great discussion on a very important topic and having a video of an actual event that we can comment and discuss is priceless.

  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 3 years ago
    Glade and anyone else, Please come by for a flight review and one of the main topics is spiral recovery and other good stuff. Many have combined their flight review with flying the Revo, spiral recovery, and mountain flying to Lake Tahoe. It is fun and would like to fly with YOU.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 3 years ago
    charles nolen: Here is my story. I had bought an amphib trike with a hazard wing. Had always flown northwing wings and big ones (17m). Took off in calm wind and made a couple low passes over field (not water). Made one last pass and came around to land. On base to final and the wing would not move and was locked in the turn. Coming down fast and furious. Jerking on the wing like a madman and no response. About 30 feet from the ground I "accidentally" pulled in and over and instantly the trike corrected itself and leveled. But it was to late to stop the descent . Landed like a pancake in very high weeds. the aluminum pontoons where destroyed (mostly flattened) and the stainless steel landing gear tore to pieces obviously absorbing the impact. I just sat there thinking "what the hell just happened". The 582 was still running and the mast and wing seemed ok. Turned off the engine got out. Not a scratch. That was a few years back. I really didn't know what happened until I saw this video and Larry and Pauls videos. Got out of triking for awhile and just flew PPC's. Now back. Now wiser. Now happy. Still very careful in those turns but at least now I understand what happened. Thanks
    22 hours ago

    Larry Mednick ×Larry Mednick The Hazzard 15 will "lock out" on you and stall the inside wing with the bar nowhere near the compression strut. If you talk to Buddy at Trick Trikes it nearly killed him as well. I saved on in the back seat on that wing as well. It did it to me multiple times and surprised me often because I was not really pushing out very much when it would happen. There have been many fatalities associated with the H15. Makes you wonder if this was not the cause in many or all cases.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 3 years ago
    Charles: I think the first time me and Larry even noticed this lockout situation was on the topless H15 or H15S wing on Larry's then Krucker amphib. It exhibited it on demand consistently. Larry noticed it while flying it with someone else and then told me about it and we went flying together and sure enough I noticed it also. Again just a few inches of pulling in gets it out of lock out on roll. So it was not you, that wing is especially susceptible to making the roll response negligible when in an accelerated turning stall and it seems to do that with vigor.
    In a turning stall the wing's feedback is not linear or well recognized. In a level stall its very linear and good. That is what happened to you. Its a rather well defined quirk in the strutted version of Hazard 15 wing. We never flew the Classic version of Hazard 15 so can't comment on that.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 3 years ago
    ASTM Requirements for Turning Stalls are as follows:

    4.2.5 Turning Flight and Stalls—Stalls shall be performed as follows:
    after establishing a steady state turn of at least 30° bank, the speed shall be reduced until the aircraft stalls, or until the full nose up limit of pitch control is reached. After the turning stall or reaching the limit of pitch control, level flight shall be regained without exceeding 60° of roll. This shall be performed with the engine at idle. No loss of altitude greater than 152 m [500 ft], uncontrolled turn of more than one revolution, or speed buildup to greater than Vne (Speed Never Exceed) shall be associated with the recovery.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 3 years ago
    I personally complied with this requirement on the DJ-II and Cheval wing by basically setting it up so the wing really does not stall even in a 30 degree bank even though the bar reaches the compression strut. Using a speed bar I could stall it in a 30 degree bank and check recovery to be normal. Normal here means reduce angle of attack (pull the bar in a little) and level the wings. The main thing in a stall recovery of any kind is obviously reducing angle of attack. Pilots need to be able to recognize when the stall happens. The wing needs to provide some buffet or excessive pressure or a clean nose down break, to allow the pilot to recognize stall. However not all pilots are "normally" perceptive either. What seems obvious to me, may not be obvious to some pilots without instruction. That is why its important to cover things like this on our flight review and check yourself.

    In the video above you can clearly see that the wing is producing lift in an upwards direction but to the wing upwards now is "sideways". Wing is completely oblivious to where the ground is. Only we have a reference to the ground not the aircraft.
    The nose drops but yet the pilot did not recognize that as not enough vertical lift in a turn and continued to push the bar out. I bet if he was more straight and level, he would immediately recognize it as a stall or not enough lift to stay up and pull the bar in to reduce angle of attack but just because it was a high bank turn, that recognition was not there and the wing did exactly what it supposed to do. Pilot's perception changed to we are going down and turn is tightening, let me push out (go up) and level the wings. But in a stall you don't push out, you have to pull in to start flying first before normal control response (as perceived by the pilot) is restored.

    Most people in aviation describe this as a "graveyard spiral" that we can search and read about. Its mainly associated with instrument conditions but the physical mechanism of it is pilot pulls the yoke or stick back in an airplane (opposite of a trike) and all it does is tightens the spiral till he collides with the terrain.

    Unfortunately for us in trikes, there have been numerous accidents like this, a few in the US and a few abroad including Australia where this is exactly what has happened in VFR conditions due to a lack of training in this maneuver and its recovery. ATSB in one of the accident investigations in Australia in 1995 (re-affirmed in 2007) recommended that this training be included in microlight curriculums of HGFA. We need to do that as well.

  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 3 years ago
    Here is ATSB recommended changes to HGFA curriculum for microlight pilots in Australia. I recommend that US trike instructors make a lesson to meet the same criteria.

    A revised HGFA Weightshift Microlight Flying Instructor's Manual was issued. This included the following:
    "Spiral Dive Tendency
    Demonstrate the tendency for the aircraft to begin to "spiral" when excessive pitch pressure is applied with a nose down attitude in a steep turn. Demonstrate that the aircraft will recover from the spiral due to its pitch and roll stability, though height loss can be substantial if excessive pitch pressure is held until the aircraft stalls. Demonstrate that reducing pitch pressure and levelling the wings will reduce height loss.

    "Demonstrate that though the aircraft's tendency to diverge in roll is slow, it will increase if the aircraft is held in this spiral mode. Demonstrate that the aircraft can be readily rolled level by easing pitch pressure and applying weightshift.
    Ensure that the student is able to recognise the onset of the spiral tendency and is familiar with the recovery techniques".
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 3 years ago
    Interesting the ausies have realized this and have incorporated it into the cfi manual. Yes i have spiral recovery in my flight training video from over 10 years ago which is still part of the my comprehensive trike training system. I did a specific ground lesson in the new book i wrote "Weight-shift control aircraft pilots handbook of aeronautical knowledge" to explain the aeronautical knowledge with some exerts in the video above, it is a specific lesson segment in by training syllabus, etc.. All the tools are there for CFI's but few use which is a shame. Here on this site, are the super inthused, trike pilots who crave to learn more but we are a small percentage. If i was going to guess, it is a very small percentage of the trike pilots and CFI's who are aware of this and will continue to be. Even our hero Henry begrudingly got the flight training and after figured "it can not happen to me" but did make the extra effort to watch Larry's video and used his training when he needed it. The real question is how to spread the word because we are preaching to the choir here. The only way to get anyones attention on this is to make it a requrement in the PTS so CFI's will be required to train on spiral recovery. i will pursue this. If we can stop this spinning into the ground at high bank angles it will be better for everybody.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 3 years ago
    Hi Paul: Yes we are probably preaching to the choir and yes not all CFIs do it. But then like anything else in life, there are CFIs and then there are CFIs.
  • Glade Montgomery
    by Glade Montgomery 3 years ago
    I was just watching the video again, and noted Wes's comment regarding how your natural instinct, when you're pointed at the ground, is to push the bar out -- which in this circumstance is of course precisely the wrong thing to do.

    It made me think of parallel.

    Imagine driving your car in ice or snow. Ahead the road curves just before what would otherwise be a trajectory right over a huge and fatal cliff. On reaching the curve, you turn your wheel somewhat sharply, intending to follow it. But, you turn too sharply. The front wheels stop rotating, and instead just slide (the angle at which they are pointing now irrelevant), straight across the slippery surface, and toward the cliff. Your instinct may be to turn the wheel even more sharply, in the desired direction. Your instinct would be wrong. Instead (at least if you are to save yourself), you must turn the wheel back toward the direction of travel (i.e., back toward the cliff), so that your front wheels may begin rotating again, and thereby gain some ability to veer the front of your vehicle into the desired direction.

    If you practice driving in an unobstructed snow-covered parking lot, you can experience the underlying phenomenon enough times (and its appropriate correction too) so that your "natural" instinct changes. With practice you may learn that, just the instant you sense that those front wheels are no longer rotating and grabbing, you must point them back toward the direction of travel so they can then grab again, and thereby give you some useful purchase. In other words, it becomes second-nature to thoroughly anticipate this, and instantly react in precisely the right way.

    So, the training we need in trikes is similar. We need to practice the event enough times so as to change our instinct. We must reach a point where, without even thinking, we know the condition is always potentially there, and even subconsciously we are primed to sense its proximity. We must further be naturally and reflexively primed to react in just the right way when that "skid" incipiently begins to develop.

    When I get a time that I can do it, Paul, I'll make arrangements to come and see you for this specific training.
  • Ted Hunting
    by Ted Hunting 3 years ago
    Glad to be training with Paul. he was recommended when I flew first in Kauai and feel lucky to train with the best and learn to deal with this situation. great thread here for safe flying.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 3 years ago
    Glade, truly excellent analogy.
    Abid, the HGFA really words this well. I like the verbiage actually. It seems the US. Just hasn't done a good job across the board. I would like to see this recovery done on the PTS. A 20 degree nose down combined with a 45 degree bank is well within the operating limitations of all trikes and safe to do. This would basically make this type of training mandatory for all sport pilots. Considering the spiral in my opinion is the most likely way to accidentally Kill yourself in a trike, this is the most important maneuver to be aware of. While whip stalls leading to tumbles are rare and quite difficult to accidentally do and getting slow on landings usually cause injury not fatality, the spiral in my opinion is the one maneuver that kills unsuspecting pilots that thought they were flying safe and conservative.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 3 years ago
    Hi Paul and Larry: You are right. The US in trike training requirements is well behind UK and Australia IMO. If you get with a good instructor you are set but if you get with someone else, you won't even know some of these things because PTS has no such requirement. I could go back all the way to 2005-2005 and show you that in New England, a BFI and a student spiralled in, in an Air Creation with IXcess wing when they ran through some wake of (but well behind) a coast guard helicopter that made them start the spiral but the student or the new BFI had no clue on how to come out of it and spiralled multiple times to the ground from 800 feet and died. There was a spiral like this in a Klass trike which was fatal in 2006 or 2007, there was a suspected (no witness) spiral to death in I think Arizona in 2009 in an Air Creation with a new pilot and a CFI. There was a clear spiral from a ground reference maneuver (turn around a point) with a DPE (without trainer bars) with a student in a Northwing a couple of years back that was very clearly this spiral from 400 feet AGL to the ground digging in the tip into the ground killing both in Washington state. There are more that I don't know about or remember but these had clear signs of this spiral type lockout from the front seat occupant. Now thankfully due to this accidental video, people can see what happens, how fast the altitude is lost, how fast the speed increases and how you can be thinking you are trying to level the wing and it is just not going to respond easily unless you do the right technique.

    It is as basic as 1, 2, 3 but I hate to say it, many CFIs in the US did not (and even now may not) believe that this can happen. Well it does, in almost any wing and any brand to different degrees. It does make Physics sense why it happens. In airplanes this happens also and it happened and happens on the other side of the globe as well and they even listed its remedy officially which is what we have been saying and sometimes honestly getting poo-poohed by other (some) trike instructors in the past. So here it is in black and white with seal of approval from ATSB etc. Now its up to FAA to make it official required training in the PTS.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 3 years ago
    My first goal is learn something every day from every daily experience, student and teacher. My second goal is to pass this on to others. thanks henry and ken for both these goals. Hopefully henrys talents and kens openness helps us all.
  • Paul Dewhurst
    by Paul Dewhurst 3 years ago
    In the UK us trike / microlight instructors are careful to differentiate the definition of a spiral dive from a stall in a turn. It seems in this discussion that the two have become rather mixed.

    For us a spiral dive is defined as a situation of acceleration - bank angle, speed and G increasing. Like you might get into form a badly executed steep turn or some sort of botched wing over manoeuvre.

    A steady state descending turn would be a spiral descent. That could be high speed or low speed - but not stalled, and it's under control. Favorite manoeuvre when aerotowing hangliders and getting quickly back down to pick up the next.

    It seems from the video that this was neither. It was a stall whilst rolling, which then precipitated a wing drop and nose drop. The result was nose down and wing down, so a not dissimilar attitude at a glance to a spiral dive, or spiral descent, but quite different in terms of energy and aerodynamics.

    The sad fact is that a pilot who makes this sort of basic handling mistake is unlikley to realise what they have done wrong ( and may not think they have done anything wrong ) and will make it worse, by trying to oppose the nose drop by pushing out further - and hence deepening the stall, and will oppose the wing drop with opposite roll input, which at best will be ineffective. Maybe given a large amount of height the aircraft would attempt to self recover or pilot would finally realise what the situation was, but at low altitude... The fixedwing equivalent is stall / spin off the final turn, always fatal or if lucky serious injury.

    In this case it was lucky that an experienced pilot who did recognise what was happening took over and unstalled the aircraft - just in time!

    So although recovery actions are vital to teach and understand, the real fix is to not get into this situation in the first place.

    But the former can fix the latter! - practising stalls and stall recovery tune the pilot in to all the indications of the slow flight and stall onset. It's vital during training and vital to continue afterwards - straight line flying for the famous $100 hamburger, may accumulate flight hours but does little to accumulate useful experience and pilot skill. Practising stalls, steep turns, and playing with the aeroplane throughout a reasonable envelope really pays dividends in increasing skills and innate awareness, which helps avoid handling mistakes under stress or distraction, and will bring to the fore correct 'muscle memory' recovery actions actions even if caught out.

    It's interesting in this case that distration / disorientation seems to be a big factor - staring straight down at the Dolphins, means the horizon as a primary reference is lost, and further confusion may be given by the proximity to the cliff, which might confuse peripheral vision / horizon perception. Without a really good feel for the control forces and feedback it is not surprising at all that loss of control is the result.

    Skills really need to be finely tuned to safely horse around at low level in this sort of situation, and a healthy fear / awareness of the jeopardy of the task..

  • Tony  Castillo
    by Tony Castillo 3 years ago
    Right on Paul.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 3 years ago
    Hi Paul (Dewhurst):
    Good of you to comment. We can call it whatever we decide but it is a rotation and witnesses describe it as a spiralling in. I am quite sure this has killed people all around the world. It cannot be called a spin really because it doesn't quite meet that definition.
    In your definition (which is right btw and I agree of the classic spiral dive), this instance did have acceleration (speed increased) and bank angle increased as well. The whole thing lasted but a few seconds so I am not sure the measurements were done by the pilots to see what was happening exactly.

  • B  Alvarius
    by B Alvarius 3 years ago
    Practice does not make perfect, practice makes competent. I strive for compentancy.
  • Doug Boyle
    by Doug Boyle 3 years ago
    Succinctly said!
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 3 years ago
    Yes Paul D I agree completely. I have done extensive research utilizing all countries I could find definitions to define the terms for trikes and published this in my "Weight-Shift Control Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge" This is in Chapter 5 Advanced Maneuvers and now used to develop an enhanced degree of pilot skill. These aid all pilots in understanding what we are doing.
    For all pilots who want to go above and beyond basic sport, private and CFI certificates to new levels of skill, precision and safety.

    Getting your trike license is a “license to learn”. What about after that. What can you do to keep learning? How can you make your flight review productive rather than another bureaucratic/regulatory hassle? How can you develop greater bar and throttle (stick and rudder) skills to become One with your trike?

    Here are three maneuvers that help accomplish this which is a new chapter I just added in the WSC Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical knowledge. Any other techniques, maneuvers, tips and tricks for advanced trike flying is welcomed here.


    This chapter focuses on Advanced Flight Maneuvers not covered in the FAA Weight-Shift Control Aircraft Flying Handbook.

    These maneuvers are not required in the Practical Test Standards but are included here for the purpose of increasing safety and building additional piloting skills.

    Reading and understanding the FAA Weight-Shift Control Aircraft Flying Handbook Chapters “2 Aerodynamics”,

    “5 Flight Maneuvers” plus this book Chapter “4 Aerodynamics of Flight” are prerequisites to read and understood before reading this chapter.

    About Advanced Flight Maneuvers

    ng the proper coordination and timing for maneuvering trikes in intentional and unintentional adverse flying situations and conditions.

    These maneuvers are termed “advanced” because the degree of skill required for proper execution is normally not acquired until a pilot has obtained a sense of orientation and control feel in “normal” Practical Test Standards (PTS) maneuvers for the basic sport and private pilot certificate.

    An important benefit of advanced maneuvers is the sharpening of fundamental skills to the degree that the pilot can cope with unusual or unforeseen circumstances occasionally encountered in normal flight.

    Advanced maneuvers are variations and/or combinations of the basic maneuvers previously learned. They embody the same principles and techniques as the basic maneuvers, but require a higher degree of skill for proper execution.

    The pilot should first master the normal flight maneuvers, ground reference maneuvers and especially the performance maneuver (high banked turn) with confidence and in bumpy air before attempting any of these advanced maneuvers in calm air.

    Flight instructor’s should first start with the components of the basic PTS maneuvers by breaking the maneuver components down into their basic elements in an attempt to identify and correct any deficiency before continuing with these advanced maneuvers.

    Advanced maneuvers can be used for experienced pilots for flight reviews and/or additional training.

    With the new low drag small wing high power trikes available now, airspeed can increase quickly so proper precise techniques must be developed to deal with these new advancements.

    It is important to understand that improper control inputs in the performance and/or recovery of advanced maneuvers may result in over stressing the trike beyond the limitations which can result in serious injury or death.

    For WSC, advanced maneuvers have not been covered so some new terms and definitions will help define specific areas in this chapter.

    Overall, there is a large variation between the handling characteristics of different trike wings, undercarriages and combinations of wings and undercarriages. Especially with the more recent new breed of smaller wings and higher horsepower engines creating faster speeds, more precise piloting techniques are required to handle these greater speed ranges.

    It must be clearly understood that the information provided in this chapter is generic and will have a large variation for different makes/models. Therefore, it is very important to follow the specific recommendations of the manufacturer for the make/model when attempting any maneuver and use this as a general guideline to understand the fundamental concepts and generic techniques.

    Terms and definitions

    For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions are provided:

    High banked turn – a 45 degree to 60 degree banked turn in a climb, level flight or descent.

    Very high banked turn – greater than 60 degree banked turn in a climb, level flight or descent.

    Steep spiral – Maneuver that results in a high to very high banked turn stabilized as a climb, level flight or descent. There is no acceleration or any increase or decrease in speed during a stabilized steep spiral.

    Spiral dive- Steep to very steep turn that becomes a progressively tighter turn and/or increasing airspeed and/or increasing bank angles over time. In comparison to a steep spiral, a spiral dive is not a steady state maneuver and must be stabilized and/or corrected before aircraft limitations are exceeded.

    Advanced Maneuver Aerodynamics

    Forces in High Banked Turns

    As covered in the previous Chapter 4 of this book, load factor, or G force, increases dramatically during steep turns. Flying straight, in steady state unaccelerated level flight the load factor is 1. In steady state coordinated flight, load factor increases to 1.4 in a 45 degree bank, load factor is 2 in a 60 degree bank, and load factor is 4 in a 75 degree bank. A load factor of 4 is the structural limits for an ASTM certificated trike.

    It should be noted that in a 45 degree banked turn (Figure 5-1), horizontal and vertical components of lift are equal. Increasing the total lift through increasing the angle of attack or increasing speed will provide an equal increase in vertical lift and horizontal components of lift. Thus, increasing the angle of attack by pushing the bar forward creates an equal vertical component slowing the aircraft and horizontal force increasing the turn rate thus increasing horizontal speed/turn rate.

    Above 45 degrees bank angle, increased lift creates a greater horizontal component of lift than vertical component of lift as shown in Figure 5-2. This additional sideways force increases the horizontal speed and thus the overall airspeed. This is counter initiative to what has been previously learned – “pushing the control bar forward slows the aircraft”.

    Thus, at medium bank angles, below 45 degrees, increasing the angle of attack (pushing the control bar forward), slows the trike. But in very high banked turns the opposite is true. Pushing out on the control bar increases the horizontal speed, thus the overall airspeed. Pushing out will also increase the load factor. Similarly, pulling the bar in will decrease the speed and reduce load factors.

    Therefore, a different understanding must be understood and learned to control speed and load factor in high and very high banked turns.

    Since the aerodynamic control of the trike is with physical weight-shift, and a direct connection to the wing, increased loading will often create greater side to side effort required to roll the trike. This is why it is important to understand that pulling the bar in during very high banked turns may be required to reduce the control forces to roll the wing as needed back to level flight.

    In high banked turns, the outside wing is going faster than the inside wing. This additional speed creates more lift on the outside wing verses the inside wing, wanting to roll it further (Figure 5-3).

    This over banking tendency or “spiral instability” is one of the design challenges for aircraft designers to minimize pilot input to stabilize bank angles with minimum pilot input.

    Throttle Effects

    Nose down pitch attitudes may result in any advanced maneuver. At nose down pitch attitudes, increased thrust has vertical and horizontal components as shown in figure 5-4. At nose down pitch attitudes, increased thrust increases airspeed and vertical descent. Therefore, throttle settings must be reduced with nose down pitch attitude where airspeed must be maintained or reduced to stay within aircraft speed limits and/or the pilot needs to minimize altitude loss.

    Unique Design Characteristics of Trikes

    The design of the weight-shift control aircraft is significantly different than an airplane which has a third axis vertical stabilizer plus a movable rudder to maintain yaw/side to side coordinated flight.

    Generally, during the start of a turn, most trikes have a tendency to initially slip in the direction of the turn. This tendency can also be looked at as the nose initially going in the opposite direction of the turn and commonly known as “adverse yaw” for airplanes.

    For weight-shift control aircraft, after the turn is initiated, the swept wing design and the area behind the CG of the undercarriage tend to correct adverse yaw tendencies and automatically coordinate the trike straight into the airflow for a coordinated turn. Each design of the trike wing and undercarriage in combination is different, but some correct adverse yaw/slip more than others, This yaw stabilization varies greatly from make/model and combination of wing and trike undercarriage.

    Generally the higher performance faster wings with less sweep and twist tend to slip more and may take additional pilot skill to coordinate.

    Again, this is another design challenge for the manufacturers to design an easy to handle high performance wing for varied speed ranges.

    This adverse yaw in trikes, especially high banked turns may create unusual handling characteristics and surprising losses in altitude with recovery techniques unique to each individual design.

    Overall as pilots, understanding the aerodynamics and practicing advanced maneuvers are important for flight safety and precision flying for each make/model.

    The effects of throttle at nose down pitch angles and adverse yaw tendencies with altitude loss in different situations with different recovery procedures is an important safety concept in practicing advanced maneuvers. With the different trike designs, follow manufacturer’s recommendations for specific make/model’s.

    Students, pilots and instructors should approach advanced maneuvers with extreme caution and slowly build up to the advanced maneuvers gradually in calm air and never perform or continue maneuvers below 1500 feet minimum AGL.

    Very High Bank Turn Recovery

    Let’s look at a scenario where a trike is in a 45 degree high banked turn as shown in figure 5-5. Note the control bar is in the side to side neutral position, centered in the middle of undercarriage. The control bar fore/aft is in a neutral position holding a coordinated turn. There might be a slight forward pressure to coordinate speed and bank angle.

    A strong gust hits the aircraft and the trike rolls up to a 75 degree very high bank angle as shown in figure 5-6. Typically in this situation the trike would start to pitch down and increase speed. The natural reaction would be to push out to decrease speed and give it throttle. However, at the high bank angles and low pitch angle this would increase the speed and increase loads, neither of which is desirable in this situation.

    As shown in Figure 5-6, he proper recovery control input is to simultaneously

    • move the control bar to the side to level the wing,
    • pull in to reduce the angle of attack and
    • reduce throttle.

    It is important to note that pulling the bar in and reducing the angle of attack unloads the wing and assists in the necessary roll correction.

    In a critical situation such as this, it is important to understand that proper control inputs must be applied to correct this situation.

    It should be noted that in a 75 degree turn and a load factor or 4, the stall speed about doubles. Pushing the bar out would aggravate the situation. At the high load factors in this situation, the control forces may increase where it is hard to bring the bar sideways as needed.

    Therefore, pulling the bar in to reduce the angle of attack while simultaneously rolling the wings to level is the correct procedure as shown in Figure 5-6 to recover from a very high banked turn, intentional or unintentional

    Advanced Maneuvers

    Steep Spirals

    The objective is to improve pilot techniques for airspeed control, wind drift control, planning, orientation, and division of attention. The steep spiral is not only a valuable flight training maneuver, but it has practical application in providing a procedure for dissipating altitude while remaining over a selected spot in preparation for landing, especially for emergency forced landings.

    A steep spiral is a constant turn, during which a constant radius around a point on the ground is maintained similar to the maneuver, turns around a point only at a much greater bank angle. The steep spiral can be done with power on for level flight/minimum descent or done with minimum/power off for a steep spiral descent. The bank angle is at least 45 degrees and should not exceed 60 degrees or the manufacturer’s maximum bank angle limitation.

    Sufficient altitude must be obtained before starting this maneuver so that the spiral may be continued through a series of at least three 360° turns alternating right and left. [Figure 5-7] The maneuver should not be performed or continued below 1,000 feet AGL unless performing an emergency landing in conjunction with the spiral descent. In this case bank angle must be decreased as required when getting near the ground for safety.

    A speed is established that is well above stall speed for the desired bank angle. A turn is initiated with an increasing bank angle maintaining speed which usually requires some forward pressure on the control bar as the bank angle increases.

    The steep spiral should first be done maintaining a constant bank angle in calm wind but can also be practiced in wind with a turn of constant radius maintained around the selected spot on the ground. This will require correction for wind drift by steepening the bank on downwind headings and shallowing the bank on upwind headings, just as in the turns around a point maneuver.

    During a descending spiral, the pilot must judge the direction and speed of the wind at different altitudes and make appropriate changes in the angle of bank to maintain a uniform radius. A constant airspeed should also be maintained throughout the maneuver.

    During practice of the maneuver, the pilot should execute three turns and roll out toward a definite object or on a specific heading. During the rollout, smoothness is essential, and the use of controls must be so coordinated that no increase or decrease of speed results when the straight path is resumed.

    Common errors in the performance of steep spirals are:

    • Failure to adequately clear the area.

    • Failure to maintain constant airspeed.

    • Inadequate wind drift correction.

    • Failure to coordinate the controls so that no increase/decrease in speed results when straight flight is resumed.

    • Failure to scan for other traffic.

    • Failure to maintain orientation.


    The objective of this maneuver is to develop the pilot’s coordination, orientation, planning, and accuracy of control during maximum performance flight.

    A chandelle is a maximum performance climbing turn beginning from approximately straight-and-level high speed flight, a constant turning and slowing and ending at the completion of a precise 180° of turn in a wings-level, nose-high attitude at the minimum controllable airspeed. [Figure 5-8]

    The maneuver demands that the maximum flight performance of the aircraft be obtained to gain the most altitude possible for a given degree of bank and power setting without stalling.

    Since numerous atmospheric variables beyond control of the pilot will affect the specific amount of altitude gained, the quality of the performance of the maneuver is not judged solely on the altitude gain, but by the pilot’s overall proficiency as it pertains to climb performance for the power/bank combination used, and to the elements of piloting skill demonstrated.

    Prior to starting a chandelle, the power is set to some high speed cruise condition, and the airspace behind and above clear of other air traffic. The maneuver should be entered from straight-and-level flight (or a shallow dive) and at a speed no greater than the aircraft’s design maneuvering speed (VA).

    After the appropriate airspeed and power setting have been established, the chandelle is started by smoothly entering a coordinated turn with an angle of bank appropriate for the aircraft being flown. Normally, this angle of bank should be around 30°, but greater bank angle’s can also be used.

    After the appropriate bank is established, a climbing turn should be started by smoothly applying forward control bar pressure to increase the pitch attitude at a constant rate and to attain the highest pitch attitude as 90° of turn is completed. Full throttle may be applied during the climbing turn but this is not necessary for the basic maneuver.

    Once the bank has been established, the angle of bank should remain constant until 90° of turn is completed.

    When the turn has progressed 90° from the original heading, the pilot should begin rolling out of the bank at a constant rate while maintaining a constant-pitch attitude. Since the angle of bank will be decreasing during the rollout, the vertical component of lift will increase slightly. For this reason, it may be necessary to release a slight amount of forward control bar pressure in order to keep the nose of the aircraft from rising higher.

    As the wings are being leveled at the completion of 180° of turn, the pitch attitude should be noted by checking the outside references. This pitch attitude should be held momentarily while the airplane is at the minimum controllable airspeed. Then the pitch attitude may be gently reduced to return to straight-and-level cruise flight.

    Common errors in the performance of chandelles are:

    • Failure to adequately clear the area.

    • Too shallow an initial bank.

    • Too steep an initial bank, resulting in failure to gain maximum performance.

    • Allowing the actual bank to increase after establishing initial bank angle.

    • Failure to start the recovery at the 90° point in the turn.

    • Allowing the pitch attitude to increase as the bank is rolled out during the second 90° of turn.

    • Removing all of the bank before the 180° point is reached.

    • Nose low on recovery, resulting in too much airspeed.

    • Control roughness.

    • Stalling at any point during the maneuver.

    • Execution of a steep turn instead of a climbing maneuver.

    • Failure to scan for other aircraft.

    Lazy Eight

    The lazy eight is a maneuver designed to develop perfect coordination of controls through a wide range of airspeeds and altitudes so that certain accuracy points are reached with planned attitude and airspeed.

    In its execution, the dive, climb, and turn are all combined, the combinations are varied and applied throughout the performance range. It is the only standard flight training maneuver during which at no time do the forces on the controls remain constant.

    The lazy eight as a training maneuver has great value since constantly varying forces and attitudes are required. The maneuver helps develop subconscious feel, planning, orientation, coordination, and speed sense.

    This maneuver derives its name from the manner in which the extended longitudinal axis of the aircraft is made to trace a flight pattern in the form of a figure 8 lying on its side (a lazy 8). [Figure 5-9]

    A lazy eight consists of two 180° turns, in opposite directions, while making a climb and a descent in a symmetrical pattern during each of the turns. [Figure 5-10]

    At no time throughout the lazy eight is the aircraft flown straight and level; instead, it is rolled directly from one bank to the other with the wings level only at the moment the turn is reversed at the completion of each 180° change in heading at the bottom of the maneuver.

    As an aid to making symmetrical loops of the 8 during each turn, prominent reference points should be selected on the horizon. The reference points selected should be 45°, 90°, and 135° from the direction in which the maneuver is begun.

    Prior to performing a lazy eight, the airspace behind and above should be clear of other air traffic. The maneuver should be entered from straight-and-level flight at normal cruise power and at the airspeed recommended by the manufacturer or at the aircraft’s design maneuvering speed.

    The maneuver is started from level flight with a gradual climbing turn in the direction of the 45° reference point. The climbing turn should be planned and controlled so that the maximum pitch-up attitude is reached at the 45° point. The rate of rolling into the bank must be such as to prevent the rate of turn from becoming too rapid. As the pitch attitude is raised, the airspeed decreases, causing the rate of turn to increase.

    Since the bank also is being increased, it too causes the rate of turn to increase. Unless the maneuver is begun with a slow rate of roll, the combination of increasing pitch and increasing bank will cause the rate of turn to be so rapid that the 45° reference point will be reached before the highest pitch attitude is attained.

    At the 45° point, the pitch attitude should be at maximum and the angle of bank continuing to increase. Also, at the 45° point, the pitch attitude should start to decrease slowly toward the horizon and the 90° reference point.

    As the aircraft’s nose is being lowered toward the 90° reference point, the bank should continue to increase.

    When the airplane completes 90° of the turn, the bank should be at the maximum angle (approximately 30°), the airspeed should be at its minimum (5 to 10 knots above stall speed), and the aircraft pitch attitude should be passing through level flight. It is at this time that an imaginary line, extending from the pilot’s eye and parallel to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft, passes through the 90° reference point.

    Lazy eights normally should be performed with no more than approximately a 30° bank. Steeper banks may be used, but control touch and technique must be developed to a much higher degree than when the maneuver is performed with a shallower bank.

    The pilot should not hesitate at this point but should continue to fly the aircraft into a descending turn so that the aircraft’s nose describes the same size loop below the horizon as it did above. As the pilot’s reference line passes through the 90° point, the bank should be decreased gradually, and the aircraft’s nose allowed too continue lowering.

    When the aircraft has turned 135°, the nose should be in its lowest pitch attitude. The airspeed will be increasing during this descending turn, so it will be necessary to gradually relax control pressure and to simultaneously raise the nose and roll the wings level.

    As this is being accomplished, the pilot should note the amount of turn remaining and adjust the rate of rollout and pitch change so that the wings become level and the original airspeed is attained in level flight just as the 180° point is reached.

    Upon returning to the starting altitude and the 180° point, a climbing turn should be started immediately in the opposite direction toward the selected reference points to complete the second half of the eight in the same manner as the first half.

    The correct power setting for the lazy eight is that which will maintain the altitude for the maximum and minimum airspeeds used during the climbs and descents of the eight. Obviously, if excess power were used, the airplane would have gained altitude when the maneuver is completed; if insufficient power were used, altitude would have been lost.

    Common errors in performance of lazy eights are:

    • Failure to adequately clear the area.

    • Watching the aircraft or instruments instead of the reference points.

    • Peaks of the loops both above and below the horizon not coming in the proper place.

    • Control roughness.

    • Persistent gain or loss of altitude with the completion of each eight.

    • Allowing the aircraft to “fall” out of the tops of the loops rather than flying the aircraft through

    the maneuver.

    • Failure to scan for other traffic.

    Chapter Summary

    Advanced maneuvers provide additional pilot tools for safely dealing with expected and unexpected unusual attitudes. Additionally, advanced maneuvers provide additional pilot skill above and beyond the minimum practical test standards similar to those required for commercial pilot airplane.

    Understanding trike aerodynamics of high banked turns plus throttle effects are fundamental concepts to understanding in the performance of advanced maneuvers
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 3 years ago
    Here are the Terms and definitions if you do not want to search through the complete chapter above of "Weight-Shift Control Aircraft Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge".

    Terms and definitions

    For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions are provided:

    High banked turn – a 45 degree to 60 degree banked turn in a climb, level flight or descent.

    Very high banked turn – greater than 60 degree banked turn in a climb, level flight or descent.

    Steep spiral – Maneuver that results in a high to very high banked turn stabilized as a climb, level flight or descent. There is no acceleration or any increase or decrease in speed during a stabilized steep spiral.

    Spiral dive- Steep to very steep turn that becomes a progressively tighter turn and/or increasing airspeed and/or increasing bank angles over time. In comparison to a steep spiral, a spiral dive is not a steady state maneuver and must be stabilized and/or corrected before aircraft limitations are exceeded.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 2 years ago
    For anyone that missed this video. This is a MUST WATCH!
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