Best way to escape an uncontrolled descent?

Hej där, IF community,

I had an experience a few minutes ago. I was flying from London to Miami. I was a few hours in and everything was normal until I bumped the rudder a little bit. I noticed I had deviated .1 NM from my course. I waited a few minutes for it to correct itself but nothing happened. Fearing it would create a larger problem later on, I attempted to use the rudder again to fix it. The result was disastrous. At first, everything was fine but soon after, I started to shift much more than I had originally hoped and wanted to. I started to enter a bit of a spin. At first the spin was slow and I tried to correct it yet again with my rudder but only made the problem worse. My lateral spin turned into a completely out of control fall out of the sky. I lost all speed and movement controls. I plummeted at about -40,000 fps for about 30 seconds and I was only able to recover because I set my flaps to full and regained control of plane. Obviously, that could have gone better. Is there a better way to escape an uncontrolled spin? Had I been at a lower altitude, I would have crashed. Do you have any tips should a similar situation arise?

Why use the rudder? You should turn instead…


I was in AP and the margin was too small to correct by turning.

Then that’s fine, turn nav on and it will do it all for you. Using too much rudder will make your plane go crazy and you will crash.

I wouldn’t use rudder unless you are taking off or on approach personally

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Yeah, which is the problem I described in my post.

I believe a bose dive would help correct it by forcuing all movement downward, but you risk overspending

Well thats how to prevent the issue from occurring. Surely it’s best to sort out the cause rather than continue doing it.

Yeah but in my situation I had no control at all until I extended the flaps.

Yeah, I know. But should it happen again. I want to know what I can do better.

Spin recovery

  • Throttle idle
  • Alerions neutral
  • Push forward to break the stall
  • Full rudder opposite of spin
  • level off when you have sufficient speed, and re add power

You should Not be using the rudder for anything other then coordination. There is a major difference between heading, and course. Make sure you know the difference.


Brandon wins the cookie. May I also add, when some minor autopilot issue occurs… turn it off and hand fly the plane. Applying a rudder input like you stated only throws the AP off even more.

Enjoy! 😜