in a flat spin

in (or into) a flat spin

in (or into) a state of agitation or panic. British informal
A flat spin is literally an aerobatic manoeuvre in which an aircraft descends in tight circles while remaining almost horizontal.
2004 BBC Popular Music Reviews Not only is this album rich in highly slanderous spurts, there is also enough copyright violation here to send any record company lawyer in to a flat spin.
See also: flat, spin