In Top Gun, Maverick's F-14 enters a flat spin after flying through another F-14's jetwash, forcing him to eject and causing the death of Goose.
Is this scenario possible or was it only created for theatrical purposes?
If not, how does it happen, and how can it be avoided, especially for other types of aircraft such as the B-2?
The key to recovering from a flat spin is partly in the aircraft's design (aerobatic aircraft are built to handle "flatter" spins than normal aircraft and recover more readily), partly in the loading (specifically the location of the center of gravity), and partly in how "flat" the spin actually is.
There is going to be a point for any aircraft where you simply don't have the control authority to recover though (absent something extreme like mounting JATO bottles to the wing and firing them opposite the direction of the spin to stop the rotation).
There are definitely instances where pilots have been able to recover from a flat spin though - one example being is the Piper Owner story Jay Carr pointed out. Aircraft can sometimes even recover on their own, such as the "cornfield bomber" which actually recovered itself after the pilot ejected.
I can't locate the article, but I recall early in my training reading a story about an instructor and student who entered an inadvertent spin while practicing stalls. The spin went flat, and they were only able to recover by literally climbing forward onto the glare shield to move the center of gravity far enough forward that the nose dropped and normal spin recovery procedures were effective.
As for avoiding flat spins, they're best avoided by avoiding spins entirely, and by applying prompt and correct recovery inputs if a spin is inadvertently entered (spins tend to "go flat" as they progress, so recovering early minimizes the risk of a "regular" spin going flat).
How easy that recovery is depends on the aircraft's loading (center of gravity) - as illustrated by the "climb onto the glare shield" example above.
Every airplane type has his unique way of spinning. It can happen to have also an irregular spin path with a partial flat spin. In a flat spin you almost have no authority on the controls, but the center of gravity in a forward position (all planes are usually designed in that way) will convert the flat spin into a dive spin, and so by gaining again authority on the rudder you can exit from the spin sooner.
It's the higher weight in the forward position together with gravity the main cause of converting a flat spin into a dive spin. Also most modern light planes are designed to automatically exit very soon from a spin even without any action from the pilot. It is also quite simple to exit a spin but also this vary from plane to plane, usually full rudder against the spin direction, stick slowly forwards a bit, and wait. Aerobatic planes enjoy doing spins without any extra risks compared to a normal flight.
The real problem is the high loss of altitude while waiting to exit from the spin, a high vertical speed, so it becomes dangerous if there isn't enough altitude. Also this depends on the kind of plane. A spin while landing is usually deadly. With unlimited altitude every plane mathematically would exit sooner or later from any kind of spin simply due to air friction, but this is theory since altitude is always quite limited. Another problem for spins is that you may don't realize that you are spinning at all and so you are taking wrong actions.
Military Jets are different they are build to be dynamically unstable for better reactivity. Don't know much about them. Still with a center of gravity in a forward position they too should convert a flat spin into a dive spin, the problem again is that you need enough altitude. Few rotations are enough to reach the ground.
To enter a spin you need low speed, it's a stall condition of only one wing, which will drop, start an autorotation and then convert to a spin. All this can be easily avoided with enough speed, even if the engines are dead you can always glide to the ground at the speed you wish.
Spencer Suderman recently did a world record 81-turn inverted flat spin, and dropped over 21 thousand feet while doing so. The entire thing is documented on youtube. The spin starts at 3 minutes into the clip. Looking at the footage, in the beginning of the spin, and also (although to a lesser extent) at the end of the spin, the altimeter is unwinding very unevenly, being almost steady... be leveling out. It's worth noting that in the middle of descent, when spin is perfectly flat, it's unwinding evenly.
speeds, well, that and the ground effects were pretty strong. But, no mentions of going into flat spins when going into hard maneuvers (that I recall). So how do they control that Y axis on flying wings? Are they perhaps more susceptible to a flat spin than a regular design (even if those risks can be kept to an acceptable minimum)? ...How do flying wings, like the B-2 Stealth bomber, actually keep themselves from yawing out of control without a vertical stabilizer? For the record, I assume this has to be a simple mechanics
this to happen? (My guess is it is CG related) And most importantly: If I would have continued this "mushing" flight, would it be possible to have entered a flat spin or a simple "drop out of the sky...When I took delivery of a new Cessna 182T last year, I did a test flight for certification purposes. During the test flight we had to perform a power off stall but that didn't go as planned.... This "mushing" went on for what seemed ages before I eventually applied power and pushed the nose down to gain airspeed again. We tried it again after that and the same thing happened. I had an instructor
After answering this question on History.SE, I started to wonder if it would be possible to find out even more detail about the plane now that its serial number is known. I have no idea what kind of flight records the US Army Air Corps kept, however. I know most flight logs today are kept by pilot, but I imagine there would be some way to trace what pilots flew a particular plane. I have no idea if this is possible for USAAC trainer planes in the 1930s. Could I get access to these records? If so, how would I go about it? I'm mostly interested in seeing if I can find out more information
In Top Gun, Maverick's F-14 enters a flat spin after flying through another F-14's jetwash, forcing him to eject and causing the death of Goose. Is this scenario possible or was it only created for theatrical purposes? If not, how does it happen, and how can it be avoided, especially for other types of aircraft such as the B-2?
There are a number of different ways of taking off with a powerless hang glider, the most commonly used being either running down a hill or jumping off a cliff/platform. This is how I learned to hang glide and is the standard way of getting airborne for most hang gliders. However, I recently moved to the Houston, Texas which is extremely flat. As far as I can tell, there isn't a single hill tall enough to take off from within a 100 mile radius of where I live. How can I safely get airborne when I am on flat ground?
In flight training we're warned against skidding turns since they have a higher potential for a stall/spin (the classic example being the stall/spin on the base to final turn). However, how does the airplane behave during a stall entered from a slip? It's a cross-controlled condition, but since the rudder input is opposite to what it would be in a skid, is it more difficult, or not possible, to spin from such a situation?
During initial flight training a lot of emphasis is placed on stalls and spins and how to recover from them, but is it possible to recover from a fully developed spin in an airliner? Do these large aircraft have enough rudder authority to pull it off? Has it ever been done? And is it part of the training for specific type ratings? (in a simulator of course)
Many larger airports (class Bravos) have a landing fee. What's the process for assessing and collecting the fees? How do these landing fees work with general aviation aircraft? Where can I find out what the fee will be? Is it published? How will I be charged the fee? (Pay before leaving the airport, bill sent to my home, etc.) Is the landing fee a flat rate or is it calculated based on aircraft weight or some other factor? I've heard that the landing fee is generally waived if you buy a few gallons of (overpriced) gas at an FBO, is that true? Example scenario: I offer to take a friend up
I imagine that the tires on commercial jets wear out pretty fast with all those squealing landings as the tire suddenly has to spin up from zero to the speed of landing. 2 questions: How many landings does any average commercial airliner tire last before it is discarded? Before landing, why not have a small motor assembly on the landing gear to spin up the tires to the correct speed? Surely this would avoid the degrading tire burn. The tire might last a lot longer and might even offset the cost of the motor assembly.