Answered By AOPA
What is a graveyard spiral vs. graveyard spin?
AOPA Staff Answer
An issue that can arise when flying in low viability. A graveyard spiral is a high-speed, tight, descending turn, entered as a result of failure to detect a rolling motion. It is not a spin because the wing never stalls. A pilot may inadvertently enter a turn without realizing it, as a rate of roll less than two degrees per second might be overlooked. As the plane spirals downward and the descent rate increases, the pilot may sense the descent, but not the turn. The natural tendency is to pull back on the yoke to stop the altitude loss. With the bank angle having gradually increased, this control input only tightens the turn and increases the descent rate.