By: Pat Finucane
As a former flight instructor who taught all students spin recovery
techniques in a Tomahawk and who has experienced flat spins in the
aircraft I have some comments to make.
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am also a Tomahawk owner so my comments may be considered somewhat biased.
The flat spin is entered from an aggravated cross-control stall. Just hold the cross
controls thru the first 1.5 turns and the nose will come up. It's about
30 degrees below the horizon, but the controls go 'dead' (i.e. no
effect.) recovery is by deploying the flaps momentarily to get the nose
to pitch down. Immediately retract the flaps when the nose pitches and
then perform a normal spin recovery. Moving forward in the seats may not
be possible due to forces in the pesudo flat spin. All spins in the
Tomahawk that are unplanned or unexpected are the result of a stall at
high angles of attack. The T-Tail gets into the prop slip stream and
it is almost impossible to control the rolling or yaw moments. The
Tomahawk stalls just like a C-150 when you limit the pitch angle of the
nose to just slightly above the horizon. It exhibits normal
characteristics, i.e. lost of buffeting, nose drop and smooth,
progressive application of power with corresponding right rudder
pressure, the airplane will fly out of the stall, in a hands off
condition. This applies to all types of stall entries, power-off,
power-on (limited to 2200 rpm), accelerated, take-off departure. By
limiting the pitch attitude to the same as normal climb out, the stall
characteristics are typical as in other aircraft. If you get the nose
too high, so that the tail is being buffeted or affected by the
propeller slip stream, the Tomahawk will begin to yaw and roll and will
easily enter a spin. Recovery from knife edge flight is possible with
full coordinated control input and smooth power application. Typical
loss of altitude from the incipient spin entry is 400 ft.
Hope these comments are helpful to understand this bird's characteristics .
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