Controlability of aircraft

This forum has been developed to discuss aviation related topics.

Moderators: ahramin, sky's the limit, sepia, Sulako, lilfssister, North Shore, I WAS Birddog

Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
PilotDAR
Rank 10
Rank 10
Posts: 2646
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:46 pm
Location: Near CNJ4 Orillia, Ontario

Controlability of aircraft

#1 Post by PilotDAR » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:48 am

In some discussions, the possible effect of winds on the controlability of an aircraft are brought into the discussion. Pilots must remind themselves, that the effect of the wind, can only begin to become an excuse for an accident when the flight controls have been used to their full deflection, and that was not enough. In truth, if a pilot on approach finds that full control input is not adequate, a go around would be a good idea.

In the mean time, don't blame the winds, if you were not already moving the flight controls to the stops as needed to maintain control. Example:

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKBI_bVFSfs[/youtube]
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
youhavecontrol
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:17 am

Re: Controlability of aircraft

#2 Post by youhavecontrol » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:28 am

Instructor: "So what do you think went wrong on that landing?"
Student: "The wind pushed me off centreline."
Instructor: "Who's flying the aircraft? Is it the wind? ...don't let the wind take you somewhere you don't want to go."
---------- ADS -----------
  
"I found that Right Rudder you kept asking for."

CFR
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 775
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:51 pm
Location: CYAV

Re: Controlability of aircraft

#3 Post by CFR » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:53 am

"... Please be careful opening the overhead bins as items may have shifted in flight!"
---------- ADS -----------
  

AuxBatOn
Rank 10
Rank 10
Posts: 2897
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:13 pm
Location: North America, sometimes

Re: Controlability of aircraft

#4 Post by AuxBatOn » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:53 am

Controllability is one thing. You may have enough control power to counteract wind gust but if you cannot anticipate what the winds will do or the control response time constant is high, it may be difficult to precisely control the aircraft.

I have been in situations where I certainly had enough control power available to maintain altitude but because of the randomness and strenght of the turbulence, I had a hard time maintaining within 100' of my desired altitide. Combine this with a slow response aircraft or turbulence around the natural frequency of the aircraft and it becomes difficult to control (and may even lead to PIO).

Not saying that pdw is right in his assessments but simply because you have control power available doesn't mean the aircraft is necessarily precicely controllable (which can lead to incidents/accidents).
---------- ADS -----------
  
Going for the deck at corner

User avatar
PilotDAR
Rank 10
Rank 10
Posts: 2646
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:46 pm
Location: Near CNJ4 Orillia, Ontario

Re: Controlability of aircraft

#5 Post by PilotDAR » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:03 pm

simply because you have control power available doesn't mean the aircraft is necessarily precicely controllable
Absolutely. So the skilled pilot, who is being challenged to maintain control, recognizes this, and goes around/elsewhere, if a safe landing cannot be achieved. I have flown crosswind landing testing, where I have had to apply and hold full aileron and rudder against the wind, but was able to make a controlled landing. If I could not, I would have used the runway into the wind! Test passed, the aircraft could be safely controlled, 'didn't mean I didn't have to work at it!

I have flown with pilots who apply some control, and seem to stop moving the controls more, as though that was all the control they'd been taught to use, yet the aircraft is not adequately under control. Flight training and checkouts should include maneuvering the aircraft safely at altitude, such that the flight controls are momentarily applied to their respective stops, just to remind the pilot that the stops are set where they are for a reason.
---------- ADS -----------
  

sstaurus
Rank 7
Rank 7
Posts: 559
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 4:32 pm

Re: Controlability of aircraft

#6 Post by sstaurus » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:54 pm

Did you post that to show poor controllability? I sure hope so.. He appears to land in a straight up sideways crab. Lucky the gear didn't collapse.. (maybe it's the perspective)
---------- ADS -----------
  

C.W.E.
Rank 7
Rank 7
Posts: 524
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:22 pm

Re: Controlability of aircraft

#7 Post by C.W.E. » Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:49 pm

I would think that that video demonstrates what one should not do.

For sure the runway contact was not under control, at least under control as I understand it.
---------- ADS -----------
  

Schooner69A
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 393
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 5:17 pm
Location: The Okanagan

Re: Controlability of aircraft

#8 Post by Schooner69A » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:16 pm

I think the pilot was a former CF-5 pilot...
---------- ADS -----------
  

aeroncasuperchief
Rank 2
Rank 2
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:54 pm

Re: Controlability of aircraft

#9 Post by aeroncasuperchief » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:58 pm

It looks like the pilot was beyond his/her abilities to control the aircraft in a safe manner within the limits of the aircraft and should NOT have attempted the landing and have gone to the alternate ! Can you imagine the passengers sheer terror compounded by the lateral G forces experienced ?
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
PilotDAR
Rank 10
Rank 10
Posts: 2646
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:46 pm
Location: Near CNJ4 Orillia, Ontario

Re: Controlability of aircraft

#10 Post by PilotDAR » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:15 am

Yeah, the landing wasn't pretty, but the message is that the pilot was controlling the plane by using the controllability it provided. Wildly variable winds were within that pilot's capability, and the outcome was a safe landing.
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
HiFlyChick
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:27 am

Re: Controlability of aircraft

#11 Post by HiFlyChick » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:36 pm

Good topic, PilotDAR - I've heard accident discussions before and absolutely cringe at description about how the wind "caught the aircraft and took it off the runway". There was a local one in particular that was like that and I guess maybe the guy telling about it was trying not to be mean or overly critical of the pilot when discussing the accident. But I think it's a really dangerous attitude to allow to propagate amongst junior pilots (or for that matter the general public), that sometimes the wind just comes along and grabs the airplane and there's nothing that those poor pilots can do. If people actually believed that, why on earth would they ever agree to get into an airplane again? I wouldn't, I'll tell you that!

When someone has an accident because the wind "blew the airplane off the runway", unless and until the PIC learns that he did not adequately anticipate nor provide enough input to counteract the wind's effect, he will be forever in danger of it happening again. I hope that someone cared enough about the local guy who blew off the runway to tell him what he did wrong and how to prevent it in the future, including considering the diversion option. Sometimes you need to risk making a person feel bad in order to save their life in future situations.
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
Cat Driver
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 18922
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:31 pm

Re: Controlability of aircraft

#12 Post by Cat Driver » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:46 pm

How is your recovery coming PilotDAR?

And any chance you will be out this way in the near future?

I hope you do not take this in the wrong way as it is not my intention to undermine your post on this subject but I would like to give my personal thoughts on that video.

Yes the airplane was landed without damage or worse, however the turbulence and wind strength and direction changes were probably just at the limits the airplane could be flown in when making an approach and landing and the arrival was not really under control because he touched down going sideways at a very alarming rate.

There can be times when we are in a position where we have no other real choice but to do our best to land because there is no where else better to land due to fuel or other considerations.

I do remember one really hairy landing we did in Alexandria Egypt due to unforecast winds on our arrival and with only one runway our only choice was which X/ wind did we want right or left so I chose from the right because it was the closest to our arrival track, in the case of Alexandria it was customs and immigration that was my problem not a lack of fuel to go somewhere else..

But I digress, it is unlikely that that crew did not have an alternate to fly to in that part of Europe and it appears they must have given their passengers an interesting ride.

Anyhow hope you are feeling better. :)

Chuck E.
---------- ADS -----------
  
The hardest thing about flying is knowing when to say no


After over a half a century of flying no one ever died because of my decision not to fly.

aeroncasuperchief
Rank 2
Rank 2
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:54 pm

Re: Controlability of aircraft

#13 Post by aeroncasuperchief » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:31 pm

"Yeah, the landing wasn't pretty, but the message is that the pilot was controlling the plane by using the controllability it provided. Wildly variable winds were within that pilot's capability, and the outcome was a safe landing."

If I was a top gun type or a private pilot and looked up to all big aeroplane pilots as little gods, then I would agree. BUT, As a commercial pilot the attitude of " If I get my butt to destination, the passengers will follow" does not cut it anymore. Flying an approach should be second nature to these folks and proper decision making, experience/professionalism/crm should have screamed to these pilots to abort the approach and swallow their pride and go to an alternate that was within the abilities of the pilots Professionally, this approach and landing was unacceptable unless there was no alternative!
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
HiFlyChick
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:27 am

Re: Controlability of aircraft

#14 Post by HiFlyChick » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:11 am

PilotDAR wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:15 am
Yeah, the landing wasn't pretty, but the message is that the pilot was controlling the plane by using the controllability it provided. Wildly variable winds were within that pilot's capability, and the outcome was a safe landing.
I wonder what possible damage was done to the gear that could only show up at the next inspection where they pull panels, though....
---------- ADS -----------
  

ruddersup?
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:10 pm

Re: Controlability of aircraft

#15 Post by ruddersup? » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:11 pm

I remember way back when, before cell phones or even computers and I flew a group of guys to a lake for a day fish. We were really on our own during that era to get (predict) weather. A local call to FSS was great help and we would sketch out the systems arriving/departing but there was nothing telling you go or don't go. It really was, as they say, seat of the pants flying. With the lake we went to being only about 15 miles away that over the years I was able to scramble and pick up the group if the weather was turning bad. Turns out weather was lovely except for the wind. It picked up to, guessing 30 plus. I hate a Beaver on a windy day but I couldn't take the Cessna because the group was too big. Long story short - I made the flight but I can't count the number of times the controls went from stop to stop. DeHav built the Beaver with too small flight controls and decided to fix it with the Otter.
---------- ADS -----------
  

Post Reply

Return to “General Comments”