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The maneuver was accomplished just at the transition from mesosphere to stratosphere with the safety systems taken offline. At the point where gravity would begin to exert a substantial pull on the shuttle, the nose of the ship was to be tilted up and the thrusters cut, so that the ship would began sinking toward the surface tail first, without power. The shuttle would soon be pulled into a flat spin, and the only way to restart the thrusters was to get the ship into a dive, nose-down, so that air would be forced through the intake manifolds, thus starting the magnaturbines spinning. Atmospheric oxygen would then combine with fuel from the shuttle's tanks in a supersonic combustion chamber, providing power for the thrusters, at which point the emergency drogue field would be engaged. If the nose of the ship was tilted down too soon, it would be thrown into an end-over-end tumble; too late, the atmosphere would be dense enough to keep the shuttle nose-up and it would continue to spin out of control at lethal speed.
In 2374, Tom Paris performed the Yeager maneuver in the upper atmosphere of a planet in the Delta Quadrant. Shortly afterwards, he and the rest of Voyager's away team were captured by the Subu. (VOY novel: Pathways)