Airline Pilot Central Forums

Airline Pilot Central Forums (https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/)
-   Safety (https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/safety/)
-   -   Not understanding AoA indicators... (https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/safety/84956-not-understanding-aoa-indicators.html)

USMCFLYR 11-14-2014 04:00 AM


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.
Actually AoA come into play on your airliner with most things that you are doing I would guess - it is just behind the scenes and since you fly how much of every flight in the heart of the envelope I'm not surprised that you don't value what the instrument can provide in the area of safety of flight.

Here is a short thread on it. But for explanation, the first post is really what you are looking for.

BeechTalk - Login

You could search for Fred Scott's posts on the subject though and read a lot more on the subject.
BeechTalk - Information

Continue reading through the various posts if you want to get a good idea of what GA pilots are feeling about the opportunity to install AoAs and the usefulness of such instruments. And fear not! You'll find some of your opinion in there too. Can't please everyone ;)

E2CMaster on this forum can give you some more information as well.

Cubdriver 11-14-2014 11:23 AM

I am with USMC on this one. AoA is good. Perhaps his background in military aviation is why he sees the value in AOA information in the cockpit. The two of us usually clash on everything, but he finally he sees something totally right. ;) It makes perfect sense to me being (modestly) experienced in airline flying, that in contrast, watching AoA indications is not even close to an important part of RickAir's daily flying life. USMC nailed the reason- all the AoA stuff is engineered into the airplane and the procedures used there. What the pilot finally sees and does is what the background designers want them to see. But AoA really is the essence of flying, it is one of the key things a pilot can manage, and also one which must always be within limits for optimum safety.

Great point about icing Rick, the whole icing alternate v-speed regime is simply to keep AoA within safe limits as lift and drag goes to hell in icing. As an engineer the alternate v-speeds used in icing could all be replaced by one to four accurate AoA gauges and a simple set of marking bands in each one.

AoA has numerous pilot uses aside from icing and stall recovery, it is useful in maximizing economy and all the things USMC mentioned earlier as well as intentionally getting out of limits sometimes in aerobatic flight, spin training, and certain types of landing. As a former aircraft engineer and flight instructor I could talk about AoA a long time because it has so many didactic and engineering purposes. Most are safety related but engineering uses AoA to optimize wing design and there have to be a thousand other uses for it. In teaching one of the big areas of course spins and stalls, which are very much AoA discussions.

When I made the comment that a con to having yet another cockpit instrument is a student distraction, or something along those lines, I was really talking about glass cockpits not the basic 6 packs with a few extra dials inside. I actually think that a g-meter and AoA gauge should be in every trainer as standard instruments. Am I nuts? Well maybe, but at times I have found both of those instruments very useful and while I do think they appeal more to advanced pilots than primary flight students, a 172 should have them somewhere.

CardioMD, you are obviously a quick learner being as doctor and engineer and I am not surprised that simply reading the Garmin manual was most of what you needed to get the glass cockpit process. That is one factor in your progress, another is (if I understand correctly) that you brought steam gauge instrument skills with you to the first glass panel aircraft you flew. I had a lot of trouble getting people to start from day one in a glass cockpit and no, that 25 hours was just to bring them to a safe enough level to solo not to master the system. People who really master the G1000 often have many more hours than that. In fact, I occasionally see people who are unable to operate a G430 or 530 well at 2,000 hours, hell even 5,000 hours in one case. Some are inclined and some are not, but the average was always adding 15 hours of flying around the patch in a G1000 Skyhawk with a new student if they did not have any prior flight time or were not practicing with a desktop trainer. I think the AoA and g-meter data could be optionally configured by the pilot on an individual basis in the G1000, and those who cannot use it can hide it from view. But not having it at all is in my opinion a serious weakness in any aircraft, including an airliner.

cardiomd 11-15-2014 02:04 AM


Originally Posted by USMCFLYR (Post 1763491)
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?

The ones I've seen are still the mini-weathervane sticking out of the side of the plane that rotates with the relative wind. Vulnerable to freezing, so may need heater. Heater goes - gauge may stick. It could also be broken off or damaged. It is hard to ignore a noncovered invalid instrument and if that failure is subtle it may contribute to a chain of events instead of preventing it.

Nowdays everything is microcontrollers and digital instead of old systems, so I'd bet the electronics are very reliable.


Originally Posted by USMCFLYR (Post 1763491)
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. ;)

Oh come on... If you did it unintentionally on a routine base to final turn then yes, you shouldn't be flying. I suspect it was not though, and more of an intentional maneuver or practice, and you know and appreciate the difference. ;)


Originally Posted by USMCFLYR (Post 1763491)
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.

I don't think you understand my position at all. I have zero experience with AOA gauge, and wouldn't retrofit my plane if it were zero cost. I'm a fan of it though with new planes and I personally would use it, but do not feel it is remotely needed for most GA pilot who doesn't go into the flight levels or pull high g maneuvers into near accelerated stalls at the edge of the performance envelope. The average pilot, who finds the G1000 exceedingly complex, would simply ignore it.

cardiomd 11-15-2014 02:19 AM


Originally Posted by Cubdriver (Post 1763935)
CardioMD, you are obviously a quick learner being as doctor and engineer and I am not surprised that simply reading the Garmin manual was most of what you needed to get the glass cockpit process. That is one factor in your progress, another is (if I understand correctly) that you brought steam gauge instrument skills with you to the first glass panel aircraft you flew. I had a lot of trouble getting people to start from day one in a glass cockpit and no, that 25 hours was just to bring them to a safe enough level to solo not to master the system. People who really master the G1000 often have many more hours than that. In fact, I occasionally see people who are unable to operate a G430 or 530 well at 2,000 hours, hell even 5,000 hours in one case. Some are inclined and some are not, but the average was always adding 15 hours of flying around the patch in a G1000 Skyhawk with a new student if they did not have any prior flight time or were not practicing with a desktop trainer. I think the AoA and g-meter data could be optionally configured by the pilot on an individual basis in the G1000, and those who cannot use it can hide it from view. But not having it at all is in my opinion a serious weakness in any aircraft, especially an airliner.

Well said. I did have a bit of additional time in the G430 before G1000 that obviously helped, and yes have a technical background. GA pilots range from actual rocket scientists, engineers, to C-student joe six-pack and the soccer mom who wants to fly. Some of my best friends flying mooneys to untalented hacks driving DC8s. Obviously a large range.

It is not that intuitive for a non-computer user, but I would expect any technical guy to pick it up very quickly.

USMCFLYR 11-15-2014 06:40 AM


Originally Posted by cardiomd (Post 1764238)
The ones I've seen are still the mini-weathervane sticking out of the side of the plane that rotates with the relative wind. Vulnerable to freezing, so may need heater. Heater goes - gauge may stick. It could also be broken off or damaged. It is hard to ignore a noncovered invalid instrument and if that failure is subtle it may contribute to a chain of events instead of preventing it.

Nowdays everything is microcontrollers and digital instead of old systems, so I'd bet the electronics are very reliable.

That is exactly the type that I am aware of. Yes - they would be heated - just like a pitot tube. Can they be damaged - yes - just like a pitot tube. Can they fail and give inaccurate information? Yes - just like a pitot tube. Can you fly with them? Yes - just like a pitot tube. Are they useful pieces of equipment and make flying easier? Yes - just like a pitot tube.

I've had them break off. I've had them fail. I've had them bent and twisted. At least my former community finally went away from the 'wing' style vanes to the conical vanes which were a little less prone to being ripped off.


Oh come on... If you did it unintentionally on a routine base to final turn then yes, you shouldn't be flying. I suspect it was not though, and more of an intentional maneuver or practice, and you know and appreciate the difference. ;)
Well now you didn't specify the base to final turn now did you? ;)
Nope - not always intentionally, but when you regularly fly near the edges of the envelope and are asking for the airplane to give you everything its' got (and usually add in a little hamfisting for good measure), you sometimes found yourself in a bad situation. Until the early 2000s - OCF was the number one cause of loss in my community. Finally a new software fix to the flight control program helped fix the major contributor to mishaps. Not they just have to figure out how to stop CFIT and midairs and it will almost be as safe as airline flying :D


I don't think you understand my position at all.
No...I don't understand your position except that you don't think you need it because you have no experience with it.
Just like those old hands sitting around the hangars on Saturday who still give you the sideways glance when you start talking about this GPS thingy-ma-gibber. But even the *old hands* in my organization were quick coverts to our new ProLine21 cockpits though there had been a long standing rumor that those same *old hands* were going to retire rather than learn a *new* way of flying.
Maybe you should look at those links I provided to the other forum where many GA pilots are sharing their positive experiences with AoA installations.

I get it cardiomd - you don't understand the benefits of an AoA. That is OK. I'm sure you will complete a lifetime of flying without needing one, but that still doesn't mean it is NOT a useful tool in any type of flying activity - airline, GA, or military.

cardiomd 11-15-2014 07:58 AM


Originally Posted by USMCFLYR (Post 1764325)
No...I don't understand your position except that you don't think you need it because you have no experience with it.

...

I get it cardiomd - you don't understand the benefits of an AoA. That is OK. I'm sure you will complete a lifetime of flying without needing one, but that still doesn't mean it is NOT a useful tool in any type of flying activity - airline, GA, or military.

Again, that is not my position. I don't need it because I'm perfectly capable of flying in a safe fashion without it. Not because I "don't understand" the benefits or am an "old codger" or because I have no experience with it.

I do NOT DOUBT it is an extremely useful tool, and as I told you, I'd appreciate it in any plane that I get, but most people will ignore it.

The plane I learned in did not have any GPS. I didn't need it for what I used that plane for - pilotage and radionav did all right. I still recognize GPS as a great tool. However, anybody that has an agenda saying "everybody needs GPS" is just false for a lot of people, even though they may very well realize the possible benefits it gives.

I've spent a lot of time flying a plane without an attitude indicator (almost all older aerobatic planes). Does that mean I don't understand and appreciate the instrument? Of course not.

Similar for AOA. It is a great tool, and has its place. Does everybody "need" it? No. Should it be in airliners? Yes. Should it be in all new GA planes? Probably, if cost and reliability allow.

Yoda2 11-15-2014 08:51 AM

Thanks all, again for the great input. I think now, it is fine to go forward with this in GA. My concern began as my thoughts were more along the lines that this was being implemented as a sort of Band Aid for folks not having a firm grasp on basic/fundamental skills...

JamesNoBrakes 11-15-2014 01:05 PM

I've investigated several accidents where the pilots just didn't realize the AOA they were at. I think there are many accidents where this is the case. I don't think many pilots realize the radical difference in AOA between making a descending power (mostly) off turn descending to base and final vs. doing the same thing at the same airspeed and maintaining level flight. More than one accident I've investigated involved "some flight" but running into trees at the end of the runway. Here is a classic one: LiveLeak.com - (Must Watch!!) Plane crash video from inside cockpit

I think the perception is that due to the forward movement, the AOA must be "ok", but if you were to look at it, it'd be "screaming" the whole time.

Yes, cockpit clutter is an issue, not to mention really using the outside horizon as a pitch reference (rather than just saying "look outside, which can be equally useless as looking inside), but GA accident rates are in the spotlight these days. There's resistance to do anything at any level, whether it's increasing training hours, increasing standards, etc., but this will hopefully have a positive effect, and based many accidents that I've seen, it's likely.

Yoda2 11-15-2014 01:49 PM

Interesting JNB; though there might be some causal factors. It appeared a cap was over the compass and the ashtray was closed. Maybe he didn't know which direction he was going and needed a smoke... Glad you guys are OK!

Adlerdriver 11-15-2014 01:57 PM


Originally Posted by JamesNoBrakes (Post 1764491)
I don't think many pilots realize the radical difference in AOA between making a descending power (mostly) off turn descending to base and final vs. doing the same thing at the same airspeed and maintaining level flight. More than one accident I've investigated involved "some flight" but running into trees at the end of the runway. Here is a classic one:

James, can you clarify the comparison you're making here? It's probably me - I'm having a hard time putting everything together - the AOA discussion in a descending turn vs level flight, ending up in trees at the end of the runway (approach end/departure end?) and the video.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:01 PM.


User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.3.0 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2022 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Website Copyright 2000 - 2017 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands