Flying the Champion Citabria

 

What better way to close out the semester than to be doing 360 loops, spins, dutch rolls and aileron rolls throughout the skies of Florida! I finally did my spin flight this week and it was by far the most fun I have had flying an airplane. It was my first time flying the Champion Citabria which is FIT Aviation’s only aerobatic tailwheel aircraft in their fleet. Flying this aircraft made me feel like a kid again, its maneuverability and its aerodynamic capability was simply amazing.

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The purpose of the flight was to learn the effects of a spin and how to recover from one. A spin is an aggravated aerodynamic stall where autorotation occurs which results in an aircraft making a downward corkscrewing path to the ground. A spin occurs when an aircraft is in an uncoordinated stalled condition. It is the Flight Instructors responsibility to not only know how to recover from a stall and teach their student’s stall recovery procedures. But it is also important for a Flight Instructor to stress how important it is to be coordinated in flight especially during a stall. The best way to be spin proof is not knowing how to recover from one but knowing how to never get into a spin.

My favorite part of the flight was doing aerobatic maneuvers that I have never done before like the 360 loop and aileron roll. What I initially thought were difficult maneuvers, I later found out that they were not hard at all! After doing this flight and seeing how much fun aerobatic flying can be, I definitely would love to do it again sometime in the near future.

 

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