The mechanics of a spark-induced coherent structure (called a ‘spot’) in the turbulent mixing layer of a 12.7 cm diameter incompressible air jet has been investigated through phase-locked measurements at three streamwise stations. Phase averages have been obtained from 200 realizations of X-wire (time-series) data after these are optimally time-aligned with respect to one another through an iterative process of maximization of cross-correlation of individual realizations with the ensemble average. Realizations that are grossly out of alignment owing to turbulence-induced distortions have been rejected; the rejection ratio increases with increasing radial position. Data include phase-average time series of background turbulence intensities, coherent and background Reynolds stresses, vorticity and intermittency at different transverse positions. Spatial distributions of these properties over the extent of the spot have been presented as contour maps. The computed pseudo-stream-functions have been compared with the phase-average streamlines inferred from the measured distributions of the velocity vector. Comparison with the phase-average intermittency contours show that the pseudo-stream-functions are reliable and, even though the integration involved produces smoothed-out stream functions, are most useful in deducing the structure dynamics and its convection velocity. The spark-induced spot is an elongated large-scale coherent vortical structure spanning the entire thickness of the mixing layer, which moves downstream at a convection velocity of about 0.68Ue. The dynamics of the turbulent mixing layer spot, whose signature is buried in the large-amplitude background fluctuations, is much more complicated than that of the boundary-layer spot. The spot transports jet-core fluid outwards at its front and entrains ambient fluid primarily at its back; the outward-momentum transport dominates the inward transport. The Reynolds stress contribution by the spot structure is noticeably larger than that due to the background turbulence. The coherent structure vorticity is significantly modified by the structure-induced organization of the background Reynolds stress at the locations of ‘saddle points’ of the latter's distribution. The vorticity, intermittency and other turbulence measures, zone averaged over the extent of the spot, compare well with the time-average values, thus suggesting that the spark-induced ‘spot’ is probably not different from a naturally occurring large-scale coherent structure.