"I applied for Figure 1 Foundation’s Upset Recovery/Spin Training/Introduction to Aerobatics Scholarship in hopes it would help me overcome a fear – spinning an airplane. At the time, I had only ever been taught how to keep the airplane coordinated during a stall and had not experienced an actual spin. Sure, I memorized the recovery steps, but when Chris demonstrated a spin for the first time– I forgot everything I had read. I was so surprised at how low the nose dropped that I hadn’t even notice which way we were spinning. That first lesson was embarrassingly short, but it was only upright from there… kind of.
Over the next few flights, we focused primarily on coordination, unusual attitude and spin recovery. Chris was calm and consistent as he walked me through wingovers, rolls, and spins. I learned control inputs, safety zones, unloading and how to safely get out of any unusual flight attitude. As my “g tolerance” increased, so did my confidence. After a couple flights, we were practicing competition aerobatic maneuvers and I even earned my first International Aerobatic Club patch. By the end of training, I was doing inverted flat spins as if they were nothing!
In less than a week, I had overcome my fear of spinning an airplane. I now view a spin as something I could get myself out of but, more importantly, I am most confident in my ability to not get myself into one. I am extremely thankful that Figure 1 Foundation and Chris Olmsted gave me the opportunity for the training. The training has deepened my knowledge and provided me with the required piloting skills that will aid me in my future career."