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-   -   Not understanding AoA indicators... (https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/safety/84956-not-understanding-aoa-indicators.html)

USMCFLYR 11-13-2014 12:59 PM


Originally Posted by rickair7777 (Post 1763166)
Adding AoA indication to GA aircraft would be an unnecessary cost, and would further be pointless unless pilots are trained to use it.

By "trained" I don't mean somebody showing them how it works...I mean it's use would have to be extensively incorporated into primary training from the very outset. Otherwise it would be just another costly dust collector.

Unlike say a fighter, there are no normal phases of flight in which the AoA data would be interesting for GA aircraft...comply with the AFM speeds and attitudes and you'll never get near the AoA limit except maybe in the flare. Since it would not be interesting or useful, most pilots would tune it out...and it would be silly to expect them to suddenly revert to referencing the thing in a crisis.

It could be useful for aircraft certified for sustained FIKI. That's the only time I ever look at it.

That post if full of your OPINION...but doubtfully vey much experience.

Well there are A LOT of very smart people involved in this development and pilots that are using them right now (the FA just made getting them installed much easier because they have finally come around to see the usefulness in the systems) that would disagree with you on this point rickair.

I can send you a link to a informative thread should you like to pursue the posts before flat out saying that are near useless. You might even learn a thing or two ;).

USMCFLYR 11-13-2014 01:05 PM


Originally Posted by Yoda2 (Post 1763146)
Good points all. Maybe I'm just too old school in my approach to dealing with basic loss of control. My solution to training is to cover up the entire panel, at certain times, with a small blanket, T shirt, Etc. Then you can teach someone to fly.

Absolutely - but what if you could cover up all those instruments like you are suggesting and then look at ONE instrument that would give you (for instance) best range, best endurance, best climb, best descent, best landing (full or half or NO flaps) and if you did lose control - best recovery - under all conditions?

Well...as you can tell - I am bias on this subject - and it is my opinion.
I can tell you though that I wish I had an AoA gauge in every aircraft I fly - and if I owned (especially at today's costs) it would be one of the first things I'd have in my plane - - sort of like that tornado shelter I put in my house! :D

Adlerdriver 11-13-2014 02:33 PM


Originally Posted by USMCFLYR (Post 1763194)
Absolutely - but what if you could cover up all those instruments like you are suggesting and then look at ONE instrument that would give you (for instance) best range, best endurance, best climb, best descent, best landing (full or half or NO flaps) and if you did lose control - best recovery - under all conditions?



+1 to this.

Learning to fly high performance jets that spent a great deal of time in various stages of pre-stall buffet, AOA information was extremely helpful. Instructors would describe areas to avoid (like “heavy buffet”) as “elephants (or something else big) jumping on the wings”. An energy saving turn was a “light tickle”. Max acceleration to get knots was “light in the seat” or floating your feet off the rudder pedals.

The problem was, all those descriptions were subjective. One guy’s elephants weren’t the same as another’s. Having an AOA gauge to correlate what was really happening to what I was actually feeling made it so much easier to eventually, with some experience, fly the aircraft into those regimes accurately simply by feel.

Translating that to a new student in a light airplane – I think an AOA gauge would be extremely helpful. For starters, what a great independent backup in the event of a pitot-static problem. Also, they could learn more about how the aircraft performs closer to the edges of the envelope. Not that you want a student flying on the edge right away, but to make him fly in the middle all the time doesn’t allow him to gain full knowledge of the aircraft and its limits. There is still approach to stall and stall recovery training for a PPL, right? Most analog airplanes talk to you as you approach various AOA milestones. Being able to recognize those just by feel has always been an important thing to learn – an AOA gauge just makes that easier, IMO.

mojo6911 11-13-2014 03:16 PM

Landing the Metro was nearly impossible without the AOA gauge.

cardiomd 11-13-2014 05:27 PM


Originally Posted by BoilerUP (Post 1763101)
There is no reason to NOT have AoA data...

Cost, reliability, failure modes (e.g. if somebody begins to "depend" on the sensor, and it gets stuck, etc), decreased efficiency, tendency to break off or poke you on the walkaround, and many others that I can't think of right now are all good reasons.

That being said, I'm a fan and would like to have one but I'm not going to retrofit.


Originally Posted by Yoda2 (Post 1763107)
I agree with the responses, and thanks. It just seems for GA pilots it is being overly hyped as some big safety solution for the putt putt's.

I agree, if somebody is going to stall/spin then they probably should not be flying. It would just be one more gauge to ignore while yanking back on the yoke.


Originally Posted by Cubdriver (Post 1763108)
Just a safety aid. I actually worry that light aircraft have become overly complex with glass cockpits, and the data seems to suggest that too much electronic stuff in front of them makes the average pilot less safe. I used to teach in glass panel planes and I could never solo anyone in less than about 25 hours which was almost all spent getting them to run the avionics to a basic level. I could solo someone in a steam gauge airplane in about ten hours, really even less if they were a good stick.

You are far from the only person that has this opinion and I'm always somewhat surprised by it. I learned steam+G430 and upgraded to glass G1000 and it took all of an hour to become extremely comfortable.

I read the manual over a few more months, and on a BFR spent an extra 15 minutes instructing my instructor on some shortcuts with the computer, showing him how to insert waypoints rapidly in flightplans etc. It started out quizzing me to ensure I was competent but he was honestly interested.

Obviously I was an engineer and am comfortable with technical stuff, and did have some sim experience, but I can not conceive how it could take almost "all of 25 hours" to get somebody up to basics with those avionics!

Are you exaggerating or serious? Very confused.:confused:

Yoda2 11-13-2014 05:43 PM

Cardio, What is your definition of extremely comfortable? Would that also mean competent? After only an hour with the G1000, would you have launched into the clouds with it? And... You read the manual AFTER you were comfortable with the G1000? Also curious how much "some" Sim experience was?

cardiomd 11-13-2014 06:22 PM


Originally Posted by Yoda2 (Post 1763435)
Cardio, What is your definition of extremely comfortable? Would that also mean competent? After only an hour with the G1000, would you have launched into the clouds with it? And... You read the manual AFTER you were comfortable with the G1000? Also curious how much "some" Sim experience was?

Presumably somebody on a first solo after 25 hours is not launching into the clouds. I was definitely competent to fly VFR after an hour. IME easier to scan with glass, routinely do hard IFR and would feel good about both but all things considered I'd much rather launch with glass.

Tuning and identify, dialing in radials all much easier, enhanced SA, AHRS with less dip / lag / acceleration errors, no gyro precession, all advantages.

Yes sir - read the manual after I was comfortable. Did 10 minute ground intro then maybe 1 hr flight. Enough to get basics, then read the manual for the rest. Perhaps people take 25 flight hours because they don't do a tiny bit of ground work. :confused:

USMCFLYR 11-13-2014 06:45 PM


Originally Posted by cardiomd (Post 1763420)
Cost, reliability, failure modes (e.g. if somebody begins to "depend" on the sensor, and it gets stuck, etc), decreased efficiency, tendency to break off or poke you on the walkaround, and many others that I can't think of right now are all good reasons.

That argument doesn't hold any more water than saying that any instrument isn't worth the cost then. Failure modes? That is why you cross check - just like with many other instruments. Do you have data to show that many of the simple AoA systems now available on the marker are NOT reliable?


I agree, if somebody is going to stall/spin then they probably should not be flying. It would just be one more gauge to ignore while yanking back on the yoke.
DANG! I've stalled and even gone out of control a few times at least and you've decided that I shouldn't be flying. Harsh.
Guess what helped me recover during some of those OCF moments.
Sounds like that person needs more training. At least with a AoA gauge that person might just pull enough instead of too much. ;)


Care to tell us how much experience you have flying with reference to an AoA instrument? If you are trained to it - it doesn't take much experience to learn how to incorporate it effectively. I mean you're good enough on the G1000 after 1 hr - I can't imagine a single gauge would be too overwhelming.

rickair7777 11-13-2014 08:04 PM


Originally Posted by USMCFLYR (Post 1763188)
That post if full of your OPINION...but doubtfully vey much experience.

I have several thousand hours in a turbine airliner with an AoA indicator. It never comes into play if you fly the profiles, and they didn't really train us on it's use in abnormal situations. But like I said it's reassuring in icing conditions.


Originally Posted by USMCFLYR (Post 1763188)
Well there are A LOT of very smart people involved in this development and pilots that are using them right now (the FA just made getting them installed much easier because they have finally come around to see the usefulness in the systems) that would disagree with you on this point rickair.

Smart, I wouldn't doubt. In tune with reality maybe not so much.


Originally Posted by USMCFLYR (Post 1763188)
I can send you a link to a informative thread should you like to pursue the posts before flat out saying that are near useless. You might even learn a thing or two ;).

Please send it, I'm always open to new ideas. But for most of the GA community AoA is a bridge too far, UNLESS the FAA wants to revamp the training syllabi.

BTW, my post was at the same time as yours, I hadn't seen your post and was not replying to it.

Adlerdriver 11-13-2014 08:25 PM


Originally Posted by rickair7777 (Post 1763537)
I have several thousand hours in a turbine airliner with an AoA indicator. It never comes into play if you fly the profiles,

Which, IMO, would be the situation that would provide the fewest opportunities to use and realize the value of such a tool. You even admit that you don't use it on a regular basis. So, if flying an airliner with an AOA gauge is the sum total of the experience you're using the make these judgments, I'm not surprised about your attitude.

The OP's question was directed at the use of AOA in a GA training environment - not 121 ops.


Originally Posted by rickair7777 (Post 1763537)
... and they didn't really train us on it's use in abnormal situations.

Not surprising. We've had it for years at FedEx and it's just recently began to be incorporated into the very few scenarios that might require (or at least benefit) from using AOA.


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