In aviation, a spin is an aggravated stall resulting in autorotation about the spin axis wherein the aircraft follows a corkscrew downward path. Spins can be entered intentionally or unintentionally, from any flight attitude and from practically any airspeed—all that is required is sufficient yaw rate while an aircraft is stalled. In either case, however, a specific and often counterintuitive set of actions may be needed for an effective recovery to be made. If the aircraft exceeds published limitations regarding spins, or is loaded improperly, or if the pilot uses incorrect technique to recover, the spin can lead to a crash.

In a spin both wings are in a stalled condition, but one wing will be in a deeper stall condition than the other. This causes the aircraft to autorotate (yaw) towards the deeper-stalled wing due to its higher drag. Spins are also characterized by high angle of attack, low airspeed, and high rate of descent.

Spins differ from spiral dives which are characterized by low angle of attack and high airspeed. A spiral dive is not a type of spin because neither wing is stalled. In a spiral dive the airplane will respond conventionally to the pilot's inputs to the flight controls. A spin, on the other hand, is a low speed maneuver that requires stall recovery techniques.

In the early years of flight, a spin was frequently referred to as a "tailspin."

Read more about Tailspin:  How A Spin Occurs, Phases, Modes, History, Entry and Recovery, Center of Gravity, Unrecoverable Spins, Aircraft Design, Spin Kit, References

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