Unintentional Spin in Long-EZ

April 1983

As you know, our Long-EZs have undergone extensive high angle-of-attack testing at all cgs and configurations and the results have shown them to be immune to stall, departure or spins. Vigorous and sustained combinations of all flight controls were input, by us and by a NASA pilot with the same results. The Owners Manual does caution, though that experience has indicated not all examples fly the same and that the builder should be aware of differences. We have recently heard from a Long-EZ owner who has experienced a spin and his report is published below. It is possible that he was operating aft of the aft limit cg.

His impression of the effects of power for recovery are probably due to the oscillatory effects of the incipient spin since it lasted only two and a half turns. Conclusive data on power effects can only be made after a stable (developed) spin rate is achieved (over 2 or 3 turns) and by study of flight test instrumentation-obtained data. See also our LPC #115 on page 6. Pilot Info: Age 63, 30,000 plus hours, flew Aeroncas, Cubs, Monocoupes, Cessnas, Stinsons, Wacos, Fairchilds, Douglas DC 3-4-6-7-8, Boeing 747 etc. Currently own half interest in a Pitts S-1 Long-EZ and a 1927 Monocoupe. Conditions - Gross weight 1070, Fuel 84 lbs left tank and 42 lbs. right tank, CG - maximum aft, altitude 3000 ft, SL - 2200 ft above ground, UX - CAVU While approaching a stalled condition with the nose about 15 up, air speed 62-65 mph, the left wing went down about 60� followed by the nose dropping and the airplane entering a left spin.

The nose was at least 60� down. After the spin had started, an attempt to recover was made by using forward stick and opposite rudder. There was no response. Opposite aileron was also used which may have aggravated the situation. The aircraft had a rather rapid rate of rotation - faster than a Citabria type but less than a Pitts S-1. Also there was pressure to the right - being pushed against the right side of the cockpit. With no response from basic control inputs the throttle was "jabbed" which resulted in a momentary slower rotation rate. When the engine idled back, the rotation returned to its original quite rapid rate.

The throttle was then opened (1/8 -1/4) and left there. The spin rate decreased and a recovery was effected. The pull out from the dive did not result in high air speed. The actual speed was not observed: however, the G load was not excessive - less than the bottom side of a loop with the airplane. The number of rotations was about two and a half and 800 to 1000 feet of altitude lost. After climbing a few thousand feet a half-hearted attempt was made to duplicate the situation, but it was unsuccessful. With the many times that the almost identical flight conditions have been explored that is the only time this condition ever surfaced or gave any indication that it might surface. The airplane has about 180 hours on it and flies and performs beautifully. Approaches to stalls have been very normal and docile.

Usually a wing will drop (30� at the most) followed by the nose dropping, and then wings can be leveled with either rudder or aileron. During this incident no attempt was made to level the airplane until the resulting spin was entered. That the gyration was a tight spiral does not seem logical for a couple of reasons. From past experience with spins and spirals, had the airplane been spiraling considerable speed would have built up and basic control would have been regained. Also the pull-out would have had much more speed. As to the effect that the engine had on recovery, one wonders whether it was the thrust that aided recovery or the resulting torque, or both.

The only change to the aircraft since the original flight test is the addition of wheel fairings. It would not appear that they would cause appreciable change in flight characteristics particularly at such low air speeds. Sincerely, Paul Wallace. Paul reports that he installed 10 lbs of lead in the nose and his Long-EZ now flies at full aft stick per the book. NOTE: When doing the original envelope expansion on your new Long-EZ, wear a parachute and have at least 7000 feet of altitude. If you find yourself routinely operating at aft CG, ballast to around mid CG. Any aircraft flies better at mid CG, a little lead up in the nose does not hurt a thing.

Copyright 1999-2017 ez.org All Rights Reserved