A recent AOPA ePilot newsletter included a segment about an incident where a female flight instructor and her student were killed accomplishing spin training. Preliminary indications are that the larger male student may have frozen at the controls during a spin recovery. Additionally, the August 2009 Instructor Report (AOPA member sign-in required) from Flight Training Magazine discusses the psychology of spin training. Both of these articles took me back to my T-37 instructor days and our spin training sessions.
My second assignment as a USAF pilot (back in the mid 1970s) was as a T-37 instructor at Webb AFB, TX. At that time all students attending USAF Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) started with an orientation in the Cessna T-41 (Cessna 172 variant), then progressed to the T-37, side-by-side jet trainer and finished up with the tandem-seat, supersonic Northrop T-38. The T-37 was a fun plane to fly. It wasn’t a super-fast airplane, but in my opinion that made it much more fun to fly. Aerobatics took fewer g’s and less altitude to complete than the T-38. Then there were the spins. The training syllabus in the T-37 included spin entry and recovery while the T-38 training only included various types of stalls.