AIR Flight Training focuses on detailed, scenario-based Piper PA46 training for Malibu, Mirage, Matrix, and Meridian pilots. We arm pilots with the knowledge and experience to react in any situation.


101 years ago this week, Royal Navy Lt. Wilfred Parke became the first aviator to ever recover from a spin.

On August 25, 1912, Lt. Parke was executing flight tests in an Avro G biplane in central southern England, after recently breaking the world endurance record with it. At 700 feet AGL, the aircraft was accidentally spun leftward. In a life-saving attempt to recover, he initially increased speed, pulled the stick back, and turned into the spin–exactly the OPPOSITE of proper spin recovery procedure. To his dismay (and our suspicion), the spin increased and the aircraft continued towards the ground. Due to centrifugal force, Lt. Parke was disabled, thus causing him to release the stick. In a last-moment effort, he kicked the right rudder forward (opposite the leftward spin). The Avro G biplane leveled and recovered at a mere 50 feet AGL. Interestingly, spin recovery was not incorporated into flight curriculum until World War I.

Avro G Biplane Source: Museum of Science & Industry Manchester

Avro G Biplane
Source: Museum of Science & Industry Manchester

REMEMBER: Per the POH, no acrobatic maneuvers, including spins, are approved in the PA46. However, should you find yourself in one, review these recovery procedures (found in Section 3, Emergency Procedures of the POH), so that you’re not frantic like Lt. Parke:

Rudder —————————————–>FULL OPPOSITE to DIRECTION of ROTATION
Throttle —————————————->CLOSED
Rudder (when rotation stops) —————->NEUTRAL
Control Wheel———————————>AS REQUIRED to smoothly regain level flight attitude


Sources: “Flight Fantastic: The Illustrated History of Aerobatics,” by Annette Carson, Haynes Publishing Group, England, 1986 and Wikipedia







About the author

Christopher Carmody has been instructing pilots for over a decade in various aircraft models. He has been awarded the Master Flight Instructor designation by the National Association of Flight Instructors in addition to being recently named "Flight Instructor of the Year" in the FAA's Central Region. He is a former demonstration pilot and regional director of sales of new Piper Aircraft in the midwest. He received his B.S. in Aeronautics majoring in both Aviation Science / Professional Pilot and Aviation Management from Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology at Saint Louis University.