The dagger [wheeled] through the air and fell into the water with a muffled plop.
The OED gives this for one of its meanings of the verb 'to wheel' :
a. intransitive. To turn or revolve about an axis or centre, like a wheel on its axle; to rotate; to whirl.
and it gives as one of the examples :
1796 H. Hunter tr. J.-H. B. de Saint-Pierre Stud. Nature (1799) I. 426 If the Earth wheels around it's axis.
If something is in general motion, and if it also is turning on its own axis, then it is behaving as a wheel behaves in that the wheel is turning on the axle but the wheel is also proceeding in a forward (or backward) direction.
It was as if Rostov had flown into a wall. The tail of the huge airplane whipped into the air and there was a burst of blinding flame when it hit the trees and he saw dark bits wheeling through the air.
The Romanov Succession - Brain Garfield