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Whip Stalls??

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Anyone out there know what a whip stall is? This is referenced in Cessna aircraft manuals. I cannot find an explanation anywhere nor has anyone I asked know what it is.

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I think this is another term for a hammerhead. That is when you take the plane into a VERTICAL climb until you stall/stop, hang on the prop for a second and then turn the rudder left or right, making the plane turn vertivally on it's axis so you're pointing straight down... then you pull out of the dive.It's more of an acrobatic or dogfighting manoeuvre.Simon.

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Hey Simon,A whip stall is what can result from an improperly executed hammerhead turn, among other things.If you climb the airplane straight up until the rudder loses effectiveness and you're unable to make the the plane yaw and execute the hammerhead turn, you will enter a tail slide. The tail slide forces the elevator full up or down and is followed by a stall where the nose transitions violently from pointing straight up to pointing down, hence the term "whip stall.""A whip stall, according to those who have encountered it unexpectedly, takes approximately 10 years of one's life to complete." - William KershnerJohn

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Bill Kershners books are great reading. His sense of humor along with the corny cartoons make for a good learning experience for any pilot (real or virtual).Tim13

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John,Your explanation makes sense. However, it brings up the question of why is this type of stall mentioned in a Cessna 172 manual...any ideas? The maneuver sounds like an aerobatic maneuver and the airplane is not certified for any aerobatic maneuvers. Any comments would be appreciated.Justin

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Hi Justin,14 CFR 303 says:"... aerobatic flight means an intentional maneuver involving an abrupt change in an aircraft's attitude, an abnormal attitude, or abnormal acceleration, not necessary for normal flight."Given this definition, spins could certainly be construed to be an aerobatic maneuver.14 CFR 91.307(d) allows spins to be performed in an appropriate aircraft with an instructor on board and doesn't require the occupants to wear parachutes. Cessna says that spins are allowed in a 172 that is loaded so that the CG is within the utility category.Cessna is probably trying to explicitly state which maneuvers are allowed and which are not as a way to limit their liability.A whip stall can place high loads on an aircraft and if the plane is not strong enough, the force could break it in half. In addition to ruining your day, it could give some enterprising lawyers a way to go after the manufacturer. I think that's why the POH specifically says whip stalls are not approved.John

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Cool... thanks for the explanation, John. Sounds like an 'uncomfortable' thing to do! :)

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