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For commercial pilot standards, the maneuver needs to be performed with at least three 360 degree turns. Pick an altitude that will allow you to accomplish the turns and still have plenty of recovery altitude.
Before the maneuver, complete a set of two 90 degree or one 180 degree clearing turns to make sure there are no aircraft or birds near of you.
In the real world, steep spirals can performed if you have an engine failure. You should pick a point like the approach end of a runway (at a non-towered airport that isn't busy), or an intersection of two roads, so you can set yourself up for a downwind, base and final to the landing area.
Keeping the power at idle and pitching for best glide well help keep a close radius to the ground reference you are spiraling over.
In order to keep a constant radius around your reference point, you need to vary the bank angle (not in excess of 60 degrees) in order to account for wind and your changing ground speed. For example, as you are transitioning from a tailwind to a headwind, your bank angle should gradually decrease, just like a turn around a point.
Because you are at a low power setting, you should clear the engine (when you have a headwind to reduce deviating from your constant radius) in order to avoid fouled spark plugs.
The maneuver can either be recovered on a designated heading followed by transition back to cruise power, or you can continue to a power-off 180 approach to land if you are performing the steep spiral over an airfield.
Corey is a commercial aviation student and commercial pilot with multi-engine and instrument ratings who attends the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota. He has been flying since his junior year of high school and has since started his flight instructing training. You can reach him at email@example.com.