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

Adlerdriver 06-14-2016 09:15 AM


Originally Posted by rickair7777 (Post 2144880)
Wonder if any ATC changes will come out of this one, sure looks like ATC might be a contributing factor...bet she wouldn't have crashed if she had got a long base to a nice stable 3-4 mile final.

The only thing Tower could have done differently would have been to send her packing much sooner to one of the many smaller airports in the Houston metro area. He was wayyy too accommodating. Devoting a good portion of his attention to dealing with her for 20 minutes had the potential to create other hazards.

It's not Tower's job to hand hold a minimally experienced private pilot attempting to land in challenging conditions mixed in with jet airliner traffic.

If she needed a long base to a 3-4 mile final then she needed to ask for that. However, flying into a busy class-B airport and then expecting ATC to let you fly like you're back at your uncontrolled Unicom airport is a bit unrealistic. Can't hurt to ask - then ATC could have:
1 - Issued holding instructions so he could find a hole in arrivals if possible
2 - Denied the request

cardiomd 06-14-2016 10:30 AM


Originally Posted by Adlerdriver (Post 2144958)
The only thing Tower could have done differently would have been to send her packing much sooner to one of the many smaller airports in the Houston metro area. He was wayyy too accommodating. Devoting a good portion of his attention to dealing with her for 20 minutes had the potential to create other hazards.

It's not Tower's job to hand hold a minimally experienced private pilot attempting to land in challenging conditions mixed in with jet airliner traffic.

If she needed a long base to a 3-4 mile final then she needed to ask for that. However, flying into a busy class-B airport and then expecting ATC to let you fly like you're back at your uncontrolled Unicom airport is a bit unrealistic. Can't hurt to ask - then ATC could have:
1 - Issued holding instructions so he could find a hole in arrivals if possible
2 - Denied the request

The thing is, he couldn't have known that she needed a long base and several mile final, and her voice is actually quite calm during the whole exchange. I think ATC was doing their job, and actually doing it exceptionally well trying to accommodate her in busy airspace. He might have thought he sequenced her a bit too fast. Nothing up until the crash really says impending disaster.

As many of you know I fly for business and regularly go into quite a few very busy large class B. Done well it has no impact to flow as even a 182 can keep 120 kts until final and get off the runway at the first turnoff; typically controllers request max speed when very busy or use LAHSO with an intersecting, etc.

I would have thanked the controller for the ability to duck in front of a jet on 5 mile final or make a short approach. The controllers know and learn what a light plane can do (we simply don't have to be as "stabilized" an approach as the heavy jets) and we are typically a lot more flexible and nimble. If you know where the wake vortices are rapid sequencing during landing is not a problem.

The controller expected her to be able to make a low pattern, circle around and land. For a multitude of reasons, she couldn't do it with fatal results. That is not the controller's fault. It is the pilot's issue.

I would hope there are not large changes in policy as a result of the crash, but simply more education for the Cirrus "drivers" in the air on how their airplane handles. Attitudes will take a long time to change (pun intended). :(

Adlerdriver 06-14-2016 10:58 AM


Originally Posted by cardiomd (Post 2145006)
The thing is, he couldn't have known that she needed a long base and several mile final, and her voice is actually quite calm during the whole exchange. I think ATC was doing their job, and actually doing it exceptionally well trying to accommodate her in busy airspace. He might have thought he sequenced her a bit too fast. Nothing up until the crash really says impending disaster.

Isn't that pretty much what I said? :confused:

On another topic - I'm completely ignorant of the Cirrus and it's operation/flying characteristics. So, what is so different about the SR20 airfoil that you would consider deviating from your stance against AOA gauges?

BoilerUP 06-14-2016 11:31 AM

The Cirrus is a high-performance single and flies as such; it isn't remotely as forgiving as a Skylane. That said, it isn't exactly a F-104 waiting to kill you.

Fly it by the numbers and it is a fantastic aircraft, but like most high-performance airplanes, it doesn't tolerate being slow and in a skid.

I've done PLENTY of slow flight, power-on stalls, etc. in a SR22 and the *only* time it ever entered an incipient spin was because I purposefully did a power-on stall with my feet flat on the floor. Stall broke, wing dropped, and the maneuver was recovered within 90 degrees of heading.

Airspeed, airspeed, airspeed...

cardiomd 06-14-2016 11:50 AM


Originally Posted by Adlerdriver (Post 2145023)
Isn't that pretty much what I said? :confused:

Yes and no, I am just saying that tower really didn't have time to determine that she was having difficulty flying the plane before it crashed. So they didn't get to do what you describe -- he had no forewarning nor indication until too late. He was just being helpful to what he assumed was a skilled and competent pilot.

I believe it is not Tower's duty to determine "who to send packing" and again he didn't have evidence yet to determine (in)competence.


Originally Posted by Adlerdriver (Post 2144958)
The only thing Tower could have done differently would have been to send her packing much sooner to one of the many smaller airports in the Houston metro area.

On another topic - I'm completely ignorant of the Cirrus and it's operation/flying characteristics. So, what is so different about the SR20 airfoil that you would consider deviating from your stance against AOA gauges?[/QUOTE]

Sigh. I don't have a "stance against AOA gauges". My argument are against the unresearched and overenthusiastic claims that they would 1) increase safety for most GA pilots, 2) should be retrofitted for the GA fleet, 3) idiotic retorts that if you argue otherwise you "don't understand" how AOA works. All three are just false statements. As I said if a pilot feels he needs AOA indications to fly safely, go ahead and install one. Me, I agree with Chuck Yeager's quote. Most GA planes should be safely flyable with minimum of instrumentation by a qualified pilot.

If you get the opportunity go up in an SR20 or SR22 with a familiar CFI and spend a great deal of time poking around with the plane, particularly in the slow flight realm. I'll probably get some hate from the usual ignorant posters. ;) The major issues:

- On the "backside" of the power curve there is not a lot of lift reserve before airflow separates. When you are in a 172 and get slow, there is a LOT of realm before stall where you can have very high power setting and wallow around without any sinking, and before you stall, you KNOW you are about to stall. The SR20 will, in slow flight stall quite suddenly and do so asymetrically, particularly with power on stalls with moderate increases in AOA. There is a "split" airfoil that allows the wing roots to stall first, and the salesman will demonstrate roll control throughout the stall and in slow flight regime using the sidestick. Interesting, and not how traditional control through the stall is taught.

Wing loading is significantly higher for the SR20 - look at the size (and aspect ratio) of the wing when you see it in person. You can see it is very high performance.

The flight controls are sensitive and "spring loaded" to neutral position. I really did not like this and must say I never got used to it, but I could imagine that I could. The major issue was that the airplane does not mush like traditional planes. Over controlling with the sidestick at low speeds using the "joystick", particularly by a pilot that does not truly understand mechanics of flight (such as adverse yaw etc), is a real possibility and continues to happen. You don't (can't) get a "feel" for what you are doing, because there is very little feedback.

In a sense, this is similar to the Airbus design philosophy (and issues) in the transport airliner realm with their FBW controls.

cardiomd 06-14-2016 11:57 AM


Originally Posted by BoilerUP (Post 2145037)
The Cirrus is a high-performance single and flies as such; it isn't remotely as forgiving as a Skylane. That said, it isn't exactly a F-104 waiting to kill you.

Fly it by the numbers and it is a fantastic aircraft, but like most high-performance airplanes, it doesn't tolerate being slow and in a skid.

I've done PLENTY of slow flight, power-on stalls, etc. in a SR22 and the *only* time it ever entered an incipient spin was because I purposefully did a power-on stall with my feet flat on the floor. Stall broke, wing dropped, and the maneuver was recovered within 90 degrees of heading.

Airspeed, airspeed, airspeed...

I agree with that above and hoped you'd chime in.

FWIW I think the SR20 may be a bit more risky for a pilot like her on the climbout due to lower power; trying to yank it up quickly may lead to rapid airspeed decay.

But seriously do you do short approaches and high angle approaches with the Cirrus? I wouldn't. I simply would not recommend anybody fly it near the edge of the envelope where you can easily drop a 172 with a precision landing, or slow it up on short final, or load the wing to arrest a rapid descent close to the ground; I did not feel anywhere the margin of safety flying the cirrus.

I wonder how I would have felt after 30 hrs in the cirrus, but I decided not to buy.

BoilerUP 06-14-2016 12:13 PM


Originally Posted by cardiomd
But seriously do you do short approaches and high angle approaches with the Cirrus?

Yes, I did...but I likely had substantially more experience than the typical GA driver and am more comfortable near the margins.

The big issue with the Cirrus, IMO, is the lack of experience of pilots with regards to energy management. The airplane would do EXACTLY what you wanted it to do, including steep/short/short field approaches, if you managed energy correctly. Too many pilots get cavalier with speed and rudder control, going too fast in landing and too slow while maneuvering in the pattern and failing to keep the "brick" centered.

cardiomd 06-14-2016 12:45 PM


Originally Posted by BoilerUP (Post 2145052)
The big issue with the Cirrus, IMO, is the lack of experience of pilots with regards to energy management. The airplane would do EXACTLY what you wanted it to do, including steep/short/short field approaches, if you managed energy correctly. Too many pilots get cavalier with speed and rudder control, going too fast in landing and too slow while maneuvering in the pattern and failing to keep the "brick" centered.

The pilots that auger in with Cirruses are very often high time "experienced" pilots. Many are CFIs. But yes, it will continue to happen as long as people ignore the properties of the plane and think they can treat it like a Cessna.

Steve Wilson Blog - The Cirrus Airplane Has Serious Problems

If something has reduced margin for error, I would not do it unnecessarily. If you have a video of doing a SR20 or SR22 short approach I'd love to see it (seriously -- it was such a slick aircraft even when I was keeping speed up for spacing it was hard to lose it on final).

Your post is a little contradictory, I'm saying that coming in high speed / high sink on approach would be a worse thing, e.g. deliberately going "too fast" and expecting to be able to shake it off at 200 ft AGL. You can't, but in a dirty cessna with 40 degree flaps you can.

If something requires more precise energy control, the ways of getting and maintaining that control or precision limit the flight profiles of the aircraft. That's physics, not an opinion.

The SR20 is designed as a high-wing loading transport aircraft and I would feel less comfortable hot-dogging with somewhat high wing loading around the patch than I would with a citabria, cessna, piper, or a lot of lighter loading GA planes. Yes, it can be flown well and safely for "fun" but that is not what it is designed to do, nor best at.

YMMV.

BoilerUP 06-14-2016 12:51 PM


Originally Posted by cardiomd
Your post is a little contradictory

No, it isn't.

The airplane can maintain speed and slow down just fine, which matters when mixing in with faster traffic. It also does a fine job of getting down, but like most high performance airplanes, it doesn't slow down AND go down well at the same time. The issue is people wanting to use 90kt over the threshold when the book is (IIRC) 78-80kts. That's a LOT of extra energy to dissipate in the flare, landing and rollout.

I would agree that a Cirrus isn't "fun" to fly, but I feel the same way about a 182 or an Arrow or a Bonanza.

Fly it like what it is - a high performance airplane - and nothing bad will happen. But you can't jack around with too much extra energy because high performance airplanes simply aren't as forgiving as less-performing ones...

Adlerdriver 06-14-2016 01:22 PM

Maybe I wasn't clear - I don't think ATC contributed to this accident and was attempting to say so with my initial reply.

I simply pointed out that he was very accommodating (maybe overly so).


Originally Posted by cardiomd (Post 2145040)
Yes and no, I am just saying that tower really didn't have time to determine that she was having difficulty flying the plane before it crashed.

Agreed. I don't think it's possible for ATC to accurately determine a pilot is "having difficulty flying the plane" (well, until the wing drops and they spiral into a parking lot).


Originally Posted by cardiomd (Post 2145040)
He was just being helpful to what he assumed was a skilled and competent pilot.

I believe it is not Tower's duty to determine "who to send packing" and again he didn't have evidence yet to determine (in)competence.

Yes - assuming competence from a pilot who enters this airspace, in that aircraft with the intention of landing at Hobby is a reasonable assumption.

I think the Tower controller would have been with his rights to ask her to depart the area or hold until she could get her sh!t together after he observed her performance south of the runway complex following her first go around.

He asked her to enter downwind for 35 - she failed to do that and eventually overshot runway centerline to the point that he offered her 04 again.

She takes that but then flies east toward the 35 final so he again offers her 35. She's unable to make that happen, blows through final and has to climb and do a 270 back around to attempt 35 again.

That's all in the span of about 8-10 minutes.

I think at that point, anyone would have supported a decision to send her away. IMO, she had more than proven her incompetence by that point. Yes, I think it can definitely be within Tower's duty to do that if a pilot's presence in their airspace is affecting safety either by creating actual or potential traffic conflicts or requiring so much additional attention that ATC's other duties might be compromised.

I'm not faulting the Tower controller. If he felt that his workload allowed the extra attention required to handle this particular pilot, that's his call. I disagree with your claim he had no reason to question her abilities after seeing what transpired between the 04 go-around and finally getting on final to 35.


Originally Posted by cardiomd (Post 2145040)
Sigh. I don't have a "stance against AOA gauges".

I didn't mean my comment as a "dig". You've been pretty clear in your opinion on the AOA gauge in GA aircraft.

The SR20 seems to fall into the GA category (but maybe not). I really was just curious about what made this particular aircraft different enough that you might consider using one.

"Spring loaded to neutral"?
-What benefit does that offer (if any)?
-Are the controls still conventional, direct cable style?
-I guess in flight, it wouldn't be much different than a conventional GA aircraft since airloads would return controls to neutral in those too, correct?


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