Justification. Adding Spiral recovery to the PTS: Revision

Last updated by TrikeCFI

Categories: Training / Learning to Fly a Trike, Safety

Based on a number of trike fatalities because of lack of training of pilots being able to exit intentional or unintentional spiral dives, I have decided to pursue getting spiral dive recovery into the Practical Test Standards (PRS) for the USA so all new pilots and CFI's will start training to this important standard. This will also emphasize the importance of this for pilots and instructors for the 24 month flight review. If we are successful here and this is my goal, we can make spiral training visible and available to all pilots within 24 to 30 months.

I have contacted the FAA USA and discussed this addition to the PTS so here is my plan based on this conversation. It is more than likely we can achieve this so I am asking others for input to this important evolution in trike safety.

1. Justification for addition to PTS

2.What exactly is the task .

This article is the justification from specific instances where spiral dives hurt people or training saved them. The specific tasks are covered in a separate article.

Here is what I have now but we need specific instances. PLEASE HELP by adding specific links where spiral recovery would have helped.....

I am starting with Henry Trike Life video as a perfect example where training helped avoid a spiral fatality:

Accidents where spiral dive s without recovery are suspected main causes:

Rob Lyons 2 fatalities Washington state:


Michelle and Steve (Buzzy Bee) in Australia


reported spiral witness



I could go back all the way to 2005-2005 and show you that:

in New England, a BFI and a student spiralled in, in an Air Creation with IXcess wing when they ran through some wake of (but well behind) a coast guard helicopter that made them start the spiral but the student or the new BFI had no clue on how to come out of it and spiralled multiple times to the ground from 800 feet and died. There was a spiral like this in a Klass trike which was fatal in 2006 or 2007, there was a suspected (no witness) spiral to death in I think Arizona in 2009 in an Air Creation with a new pilot and a CFI. There was a clear spiral from a ground reference maneuver (turn around a point) with a DPE (without trainer bars) with a student in a Northwing a couple of years back that was very clearly this spiral from 400 feet AGL to the ground digging in the tip into the ground killing both in Washington state. There are more that I don't know about or remember but these had clear signs of this spiral type lockout from the front seat occupant.