Myth: If you inadvertently stall or spin, just let go of the controls.
Reality: Aerodynamics, human factors, and the practicalities of the situation can conspire to make this advice suspect:
- Some light airplanes might be able to self-recover from the early stages of some stall / spins; however, letting go of the controls a bit later in the process, or under a different set of conditions, may not result in recovery at all.
- Letting go of the controls during a surprise stall / spin is not a natural instinct – clutching the stick or yoke even tighter is a more common reaction.
- The majority of stall / spin accidents occur at or below traffic pattern altitude. Even if the airplane can self-recover and the pilot is capable of instantly releasing the controls, more altitude will likely be consumed compared to a prompt application of precisely choreographed recovery controls.