T-34C OUT-OF-CONTROL FLIGHT
This step requires your right hand, both feet, and a visual check to confirm the controls at the
neutral position. It is possible you will have to work against stick forces to neutralize.
Experience has shown that neutralizing controls abruptly, but smoothly, is more effective than
doing so slowly. Visual confirmation of neutral stick is vital, because the natural position to
which your hand will fall is aft of neutral. Neutralizing the rudder assumes the ability to reach
the pedals is not so easy if your harness is loose and you experience negative "G" forces. This
step is more important than raising the gear or flaps, admiring the incredible gyrations, swearing,
or watching your life pass in front of your eyes. It is a simple, yet critical step. It should never
Lower power settings reduce torque effect, restrict onset of rapid
airspeed buildup, and enhance controllability. However,
departures from controlled flight in close proximity to the ground
may require rapid power addition upon OCF recovery.
Determine aircraft altitude.
Scan the altimeter frequently, especially if the recovery is delayed. You should always be aware
of the aircraft's altitude and know approximately what 5000 feet AGL is on the barometric
Altimeter lag has been known to be insignificant.
Determine AOA, airspeed and check turn needle.
Many refer to this step, combined with the previous step, to "analyze" without being fully aware
of what is being analyzed. The philosophy of this step in simplest terms is:
Check to see that the aircraft is NOT in a Steady-State Spin. If the aircraft is in anything other
than a Steady-State Spin, the correct recovery inputs have already been set (neutral), and all that
is required is to wait until the aircraft regains controlled flight to begin the unusual attitude
recovery. Only if all 3 instruments indicate a Steady-State Spin should any form of anti-spin
input be applied. A Steady-State Spin can normally be ruled out after noting AOA and airspeed.
Checking the turn needle is required primarily to determine the correct rudder to use if AOA and
airspeed indicate a Steady-State Spin or if passing/below 5000 feet AGL, the correct side for
bailout. Being upside down and rotating does not necessarily equate to an inverted spin. Tales
of inverted spins without intelligent recollection of AOA, airspeed, and turn needle should be as
well received as stories of fish that got away. For example, the possible AOA values for a
Steady-State Spin in the T-34C are 30 units (pegged) or 2 - 3 units. Noting any other value
immediately indicates the aircraft is NOT in Steady-State Spin and applying anti-spin controls
2-6 UNUSUAL ATTITUDES AND OUT-OF-CONTROL FLIGHT