An aerobatic maneuver that was very popular in the early days of aviation but is rarely practiced these days. Throughout the maneuver, the aircraft indicated air speed remains just above the stall. It involves the initiation of an incipient spin by bringing the aircraft to the point of stall in level flight, then pulling back on the control column while applying full rudder. As the wing drops, the control column is moved forward to the neutral position to unstall the wings and the opposite rudder is applied and held, stopping the yaw and the incipient spin. Then, the control column is pulled back again while the rudder is held in the same position, thus an opposite direction incipient spin is started. Those sequences are repeated so that as the aircraft mushes down, in and out of the stalled condition, it rocks from side to side in a series of small arcs, as a falling leaf might descend. The process continues until recovery (i.e., the aircraft is brought back into level flight and at a speed well above stalling speed).
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved