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

Yoda2 11-16-2014 11:48 AM

Thanks again everyone. James, thanks for expounding on your previous post. JNB, The scenarios you describe are, of course, common. Negative issues associated with these flights you describe, to include accident, injury and or death..., IMO are primarily due to lack of or insufficient understanding and or basic flying skills. What is the cause of this? It would be easy to blame the pilot, though how can you place blame on a person who was not trained sufficiently. Should we blame the instructors, maybe? Though I believe, as the problem is so widespread, the common denominator and root cause is that the system is failing these folks. We need to stop training folks just to pass an exam or teaching the test... I know I'm preaching to the choir; though many pilots can not sufficiently explain, or more importantly understand, simple dynamic stability, the area of reverse command, the difference between a slip and a skid, the list goes on. I recently encountered a new ATP. They could not, for their life, explain the purpose of a stall strip... This is what's out there, as you know, and it is essentially horrifying! BTW, I am now onboard with the use of AOA indicators in light aircraft, though I believe their use would be most beneficial, in those aircraft, as an additional training tool. It will be interesting to see how this pans out, once they are in widespread use.

Cubdriver 11-16-2014 12:44 PM

Easy on RickAir there JJ! Obviously one can get along all day long without AoA instruments in airliners or GA both, it's a nice-to-have item and not a necessity. I suspect the reason they do not have them now has more to do with cost than anything else, but that may change soon.

rickair7777 11-16-2014 06:07 PM


Originally Posted by JetJocF14 (Post 1764596)

Those are two of the stupidest sentences I've ever read. You really have no idea how AOA works or what it is trying to tell you. To you it's just a gauge with some pretty colors attached to it. Like USMC says, " I'd take a AOA gauge in every airplane that I've ever flown. In fact I plan on installing one in my personal Comanche at my next annual.

You're pretty quick to belittle people whom you don't know anything about.

I'm an engineer, of course I know what it does. I think all airliners should have them, even all turbine aircraft...for the icing benefit if nothing else.

So far the fighter pilots are all in on AoA...not surprising, you cut your teeth on it and lived and died by it.

But the goodness of AoA isn't realized for free...it costs money to install, and casual training after-the-fact will NOT allow the typical GA or recreational pilot to gain the benefit of an AoA gauge. They'll need what YOU had, which is to grow up with the thing.

In GA (and airlines) if I fly the profile, AoA will simply tell me what I already know...where I am within the envelope. It's utility is when you're in the envelope but there's something wrong with the airplane which is affecting it's aerodynamic performance, 99.99% of the time this would be ice.

USMCFLYR 11-16-2014 06:12 PM


Originally Posted by rickair7777 (Post 1765010)
I'm an engineer, of course I know what it does. I think all airliners should have them, even all turbine aircraft...for the icing benefit if nothing else.

So far the fighter pilots are all in on AoA...not surprising, you cut your teeth on it and lived and died by it.

But the goodness of AoA isn't realized for free...it costs money to install, and casual training after-the-fact will NOT allow the typical GA or recreational pilot to gain the benefit of an AoA gauge. They'll need what YOU had, which is to grow up with the thing.

In GA (and airlines) if I fly the profile, AoA will simply tell me what I already know...where I am within the envelope. It's utility is when you're in the envelope but there's something wrong with the airplane which is affecting it's aerodynamic performance, 99.99% of the time this would be ice.

You didn't read a single link I suggested or any of the series of posts by Fred Scott did you?

If you had - then you would heard what most of the GA pilots were saying about the utility of the AoA instruments currently available at a relatively low cost to the GA community. You don't have to have "grown up with it" to appreciate the benefits. That is a gross overstatement to the training required to effectively utilize it. We're not asking the recreational pilot to use it to the extent, or for the purposes, that the fighter pilots used it on a routine basis.

Btw - I was flying before the military so I wasn't initially trained AT ALL on its use or benefits. It wasn't until T-34C training that I was introduced to it and I could still see the benefits of such information. When I got back into civilian (professional) flying did I find to my surprise that the turbine equipment I was then training on did not have any AoA information available.

Cruz5350 11-18-2014 12:33 PM


Originally Posted by Timbo (Post 1764712)
Here's one for you guys with light airplanes:

Advanced Flight Systems

The airplane had one of those little vanes on the strut called a "Bacon Saver" which was nothing more than a 2" wedge on a card with some red paint in the 'no go' zone.

Because it was mounted on the left strut, it was right in line with my sight as I turned final. I found I looked at that more than the airspeed indicator in the pattern, and certainly while doing the steep turns taking pictures.

But like someone said above, you can't fix stupid. Putting an AOA vane on all airplanes won't stop idiots from killing themselves in airplanes, especially light airplanes, if they try hard enough, they will always find a way!

I tried to find a link for the Bacon Saver, but can't, maybe they are out of business? It was a really low tech, cheap AOA with no electronics required, just bolt it on the strut, but it wouldn't have a place to mount on a low wing airplane, you need the wing strut to mount it on.

That thing was awesome! You could literally cover the entire panel and fly perfect patterns all day long.

E2CMaster 11-19-2014 07:14 AM


Originally Posted by USMCFLYR (Post 1763641)
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.

I was summoned?

Probably my best argument is in the thread there on BeechTalk.

I'm in Afghanistan at the moment so posting on the phone kind of sucks.

My user name on BT should be pretty obvious.

USMCFLYR 11-19-2014 08:16 AM


Originally Posted by E2CMaster (Post 1766454)
I was summoned?

Probably my best argument is in the thread there on BeechTalk.

I'm in Afghanistan at the moment so posting on the phone kind of sucks.

My user name on BT should be pretty obvious.

Sort of :D

One of the arguments being used here was that AoA was useless to GA pilots. I knew that you were involved in the BT thread with some GA insights I thought - so I threw you out there as a source too (but I don't think any of the information pathways provided were used ;))

cardiomd 11-20-2014 02:43 PM


Originally Posted by rickair7777 (Post 1765010)
You're pretty quick to belittle people whom you don't know anything about.

I'm an engineer, of course I know what it does. I think all airliners should have them, even all turbine aircraft...for the icing benefit if nothing else.

So far the fighter pilots are all in on AoA...not surprising, you cut your teeth on it and lived and died by it.

But the goodness of AoA isn't realized for free...it costs money to install, and casual training after-the-fact will NOT allow the typical GA or recreational pilot to gain the benefit of an AoA gauge. They'll need what YOU had, which is to grow up with the thing.

In GA (and airlines) if I fly the profile, AoA will simply tell me what I already know...where I am within the envelope. It's utility is when you're in the envelope but there's something wrong with the airplane which is affecting it's aerodynamic performance, 99.99% of the time this would be ice.

Excellent post, agree 100%, I said similar above myself. Most of us are not fighter pilots, and when I'm doing spins my head is outside the aircraft.


Originally Posted by USMCFLYR (Post 1765011)
You didn't read a single link I suggested or any of the series of posts by Fred Scott did you?

If you had - then you would heard what most of the GA pilots were saying about the utility of the AoA instruments currently available at a relatively low cost to the GA community. You don't have to have "grown up with it" to appreciate the benefits. That is a gross overstatement to the training required to effectively utilize it. We're not asking the recreational pilot to use it to the extent, or for the purposes, that the fighter pilots used it on a routine basis.

Btw - I was flying before the military so I wasn't initially trained AT ALL on its use or benefits. It wasn't until T-34C training that I was introduced to it and I could still see the benefits of such information. When I got back into civilian (professional) flying did I find to my surprise that the turbine equipment I was then training on did not have any AoA information available.

I am both confused and intrigued by your constant evangelism for this unnecessary but potentially useful device.

What do you feel it would add to routine flights by GA pilots? Do you view it as a safety device or an additive device for routine scanning?

USMCFLYR 11-20-2014 03:03 PM


Originally Posted by cardiomd (Post 1767557)
Excellent post, agree 100%, I said similar above myself. Most of us are not fighter pilots, and when I'm doing spins my head is outside the aircraft.

:) Well this is a clear indication that you don't understand AOA. It wouldn't be useful IN THE SPIN, it would be useful on RECOVERY.


I am both confused and intrigued by your constant evangelism for this unnecessary but potentially useful device.
And I am the same on you constant negativism about a system that you clearly don't seem to understand.


What do you feel it would add to routine flights by GA pilots? Do you view it as a safety device or an additive device for routine scanning?
I've addressed this is an earlier post in this very thread AND provided links to posts and threads chock full of the answers to your questions but it seems that you have decided to not read them either; so I will not waste my time trying to explain the potential benefits again. If you are truly interested I would steer you towards the earlier posted links and/or if you will PM me, I'll even give you the personal email address of one of the biggest proponents of the systems who can certainly elaborate the usefulness to GA pilots.

Otherwise - I will gladly agree to disagree with you on this issue and we'll go our own ways.

Cubdriver 11-20-2014 03:31 PM

Everybody irked => thread complete! :)

Seriously, flying has a thinking side to it that AoA represents an essential part of and as a subject matter it is both fascinating and rewarding. The theory runs deep on this, well into high college level courses like low and high speed aerodynamics, aeroelasticity, aircraft design and optimization, hydrodynamics, flight dynamics, simulator design, computer flight modeling, model aircraft, glider and helicopter design, engine design, aerobatic and military flight, so many high level topics. To put one small instrument in the cockpit is not asking much if you are aware of how many things are dependent on it. It may not be required to watch AoA in some aircraft, but it matters in all aircraft whether the pilot thinks about what's going on or doesn't.


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