Exercise 14 – Spiral Dives

Care should be taken in this lesson to ensure the student does not commit any major errors in the recovery of spiral dives. If not properly managed, the aircraft could go into an undesired state which can lead to structural failure.

This lesson does not take super long to complete and is often combined with a basic lesson on slipping. Before going into the flight, the student should understand the main differences between a spiral dive and spin. When completing the TKT in the PGI, do not simply review the spin as it is not fully appropriate to this exercise.

All entires to spiral dives are done by the instructor. Always limit yourself to your students ability. 


  • Do a HASEL check and make sure your student knows you are doing it


  • All spiral dives are steep descending turns which get worse
  • You can start any steep turn and not apply backpressure, eventually it will go into a spiral
  • Begin a steep turn at 45 degrees of bank and do not apply backpressure
  • Demonstrate to student what they are seeing outside and feeling
    • Later entries can be done from incorrect spin entries or distractions
    • Take care when doing incorrect spin entires which lead into a spiral dive, things can go sour quickly if not properly managed
  • Point out what the instruments are showing.


  • Verbalize in an assertive tone of voice the recovery procedure
  • Throttle IDLE, Flaps UP, Wings LEVEL, Ease out of dive to cruise

Student Practice

  • This is a progressive exercise, start easy and work your way to more challenging recoveries
  • Never put the aircraft in a state of danger
  • Ensure the student does not commit any major errors
    • Most common being pulling out while the wings are not level
    • Make sure the students do coordinated rolls when levelling the wings
    • All of this information on pilot training and flight training in Canada is also available at www.myflighttraining.ca.