Plane Spins Uncontrollably in Mid-Air During Planned Stall

This student pilot was practicing a stalling exercise when flying over Tombstone, Arizona, back in 2012 when something truly unexpected occurred; the plane started to, temporarily, spin out of control.

Timothy Timmons, who sent Storyful the video, described the scene:

“This was a practice power on stall exercise with a student in a Cessna 172 (180HP STC). Notice how the aircraft was yawing left due to lack of right rudder. When the left wing dropped, the student attempted recovery by trying to lift the down wing with aileron (a very natural yet, incorrect, response). This only aggravates the stall (by further increasing the wings AOA, and more deeply stalling the wing) and the development of a spin began, as we went into the vertical. The correct response to a wing drop is quick and pronounced opposite rudder.’

“In 15 seconds, we went from 7600ft MSL to 6600ft MSL, before recovering. The descent was 4000ft a minute! We leveled off at 2100ft AGL and would have had only an additional 30 seconds before impact.”

A lucky escape indeed. Credit: Tim Timmons via Storyful