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Crazy Turbulence After Take Off | Video + Audio


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I'm sure for the experienced pilots here this is no big deal, but with gusty 30kt winds and moderate tosevere turbulence forecast, this was one flying lesson I'll never forget!

 

After takeoff, the turbulence builds gradually and then the real fun begins - we start hitting mountain waves on downwind!

 

What's the most turbulent conditions you've been flying in? How bad can it get?

 

 

 

 

 

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I have to ask if severe turbulence was forecast, why did the lesson proceed?

Just to clarify, I ask the instructor to take me up flying for some 'bad weather' experience as long as it was safe - which of course it was. One of the most valuable lessons I've had to date. It showed me despite the conditions that the plane is still safe and flyable. Im glad I got to experience this kind of turbulence with an experience instructor rather than being caught out in them for the first time by myself.

 

 

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In the case where you specifically asked for it, it would have been a great experience and a great learning curve. I did the same many years ago in a C172 Warnervale to Woollongong with my CFI and learned why NOT to fly in severe turbulence conditions.

 

 

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RJW:

 

Ultimately, turbulence can get strong enough to rip the tail off a Boeing 707 as happened over Mt Fuji in Japan ... But neither you nor I would be flying in those conditions and it's not something to become obsessed with.

 

 

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The gauges in the video tell the story

I was wondering if anyone would pickup on that. You should have seen the Dynon digital displays which are hard to read in the video, particularly the vertical speed indicator which was bouncing up and down 500ft every few seconds. Crazy ride!

 

 

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In answer to your question, I've had a few domestic jet rides that made the grade. One recent flight proved you don't want to be in the back two rows AND experiencing turbulence in a 717. Having said that we saw the blue part of the sky for 15 minutes out of 90. The rest of the view out the window was clag and might as well have been a bit of paper from the local chippie.

 

This flight was an all girl crew and big props for keeping the show contained in the most professional way.

 

Looking at the amount of flex in a 717 engine pylon is distressing during turbulence. I'm not sure but I think the cowlings shifted a bit.

 

On the lighter wing loading side I have gone zero G in a drifter a few times at 1000 feet. It's no biggie when the terrain is flat but it is usually associated with big wind gradients which make for sporty, interesting landings.

 

I've yet to have a flight in the circuit where the weather has been marginal at the start and worsened. I plan to avoid that.

 

 

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You'll get worse if you stay a pilot. Keep your speed suitable for the conditions. (No chance of stalling and not above recommended turbulence penetration speed) Don't let the planes attitude bother you too much. maintain an average attitude that is the desired one. (Some unusual attitude recovery will help there as experience. The plane is flyable in all sorts of attitudes .) Your airspeed variation was not great. It could be a lot more. I've seen over 40 knots fluctuation in a similar speed aircraft, but I wouldn't volunteer for it again. That stuff probably came from the hills to the west and is probably fairly normal in those wind conditions. The conditions I encountered was when a sea breeze from the east overcomes a fairly strong westerly wind. Altitude about 2500 at West Maitland. mid afternoon on a hot day Nev

 

 

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From my own personal perspective that's not the sort of TAF I'd choose to takeoff in a little plane with - at least not without a PIREP from someone confirming the absence of severe turbulence. Some salient points:

 

  • Be wary of crossing the line between "looking for experience" and "looking for trouble".
     
     

 

 

 

 

  • Remember the definition of "severe turbulence" in AIP GEN 3.4.
     
     

 

 

 

 

  • Don't forget that it could fall into a routine ATSB reporting category if you get caught in severe turbulence (ie, mandatory reporting by law).
     
     

 

 

 

 

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I used to fly in those sort of conditions in the Tobago but I would not do it in my Jab. Caught once on a hot and windy day and noticed a few times my wing tips just inches off the runway upon landing. It's not fun, not clever and not safe to deliberately fly in turbulence that has your plane rolling and pitching 45° and spilling your beer throughout the cockpit. But, having said that, your ride with the instructor appears to have taught you a good deal and not scare the crap out of you. I would really have liked to see the approach and landing!

 

 

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You'll get worse if you stay a pilot. Keep your speed suitable for the conditions. (No chance of stalling and not above recommended turbulence penetration speed) Don't let the planes attitude bother you too much. maintain an average attitude that is the desired one. (Some unusual attitude recovery will help there as experience. The plane is flyable in all sorts of attitudes .) Your airspeed variation was not great. It could be a lot more. I've seen over 40 knots fluctuation in a similar speed aircraft, but I wouldn't volunteer for it again. That stuff probably came from the hills to the west and is probably fairly normal in those wind conditions. The conditions I encountered was when a sea breeze from the east overcomes a fairly strong westerly wind. Altitude about 2500 at West Maitland. mid afternoon on a hot day Nev

Your spot on Nev. Any wind from the south to NNW at Wollongong means pretty bouncy conditions since the wind drops off a 2000ft escarpment just before arriving at the airport. As you said, my instructor just told me to main attitude and 'bracket' the airspeed whilst looking for trends up or down.

 

 

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I used to fly in those sort of conditions in the Tobago but I would not do it in my Jab. Caught once on a hot and windy day and noticed a few times my wing tips just inches off the runway upon landing. It's not fun, not clever and not safe to deliberately fly in turbulence that has your plane rolling and pitching 45° and spilling your beer throughout the cockpit. But, having said that, your ride with the instructor appears to have taught you a good deal and not scare the crap out of you. I would really have liked to see the approach and landing!

Should have the full video of the lesson released in a few weeks time - including a couple of circuits I flew that day!

 

I had a lesson on Friday with gusty 15kt crosswinds and its the most relax flying I have done, and I attribute that to now having experienced much worse. Normally, I'm a bit of a nervous flyer. Its had the opposite effect to 'scaring the crap out of me'. Still not something Id do for fun on the weekend, but I'm thankful for the experience.

 

 

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From my own personal perspective that's not the sort of TAF I'd choose to takeoff in a little plane with - at least not without a PIREP from someone confirming the absence of severe turbulence. Some salient points:

  • Be wary of crossing the line between "looking for experience" and "looking for trouble".
     
     

 

 

 

 

  • Remember the definition of "severe turbulence" in AIP GEN 3.4.
     
     

 

 

 

 

  • Don't forget that it could fall into a routine ATSB reporting category if you get caught in severe turbulence (ie, mandatory reporting by law).
     
     

All good points. I'm certainly not a thrill seeker but I am a realist. Sooner or later as a pilot your probably going to be confronted with pretty rough conditions. I'm glad that my first time is with an experienced pilot beside me. I personally felt I was ready to push my flying boundaries a little...and this lesson achieved that.

 

 

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I think you have an instructor whose judgement you could put some stock in. That's important and you can maximise the learning experience under those circumstances. The gentle drift was putting you off centre earlier on. People who go through their training in calm conditions have some learning to catch up on. No one "enjoys" flying in limit conditions, but it's part of the deal in coping with what is out there. There has been/ are still a lot of accidents where control is lost during the landing run in small planes. Competency is needed there. Nev

 

 

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I'm glad that my first time is with an experienced pilot beside me. I personally felt I was ready to push my flying boundaries a little...and this lesson achieved that.

No probs. And certainly you were absolutely right to take an experienced instructor.

I've been in true severe turbulence I think only a couple of times in my entire career. It's not a pleasant experience and by definition it can sit right on the borderline of loss of controlled flight (I can vouch for that). I've been in moderate turbulence on many occasions and people often mistake this for severe turbulence because it does throw you around a lot. Whenever severe turbulence is on a forecast, it grabs my attention and I say "ok, now what do I need to do to avoid this?" 001_smile.gif.2cb759f06c4678ed4757932a99c02fa0.gif

 

Another point I might throw into the mix when considering how far to push your boundaries (it's just food for thought, that's all):

 

  • it is pretty well demonstrated that if you end up in a scenario such that you become completely task saturated trying to cope, you actually don't learn anything from it at all. In fact you start mentally load-shedding and even recalling later exactly what happened for the safety investigation or report is very difficult.
     
     

 

 

So the trick is expanding your horizons far enough to learn, but not so far that you dump it all in a fit of "Holy [email protected]!! What the heck just happened?" I'm glad you felt you achieved this.

 

 

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The instructors eternal dilemma. How far do I let this go before having to pull a rabbit out of a hat? Do it too early and it's not convincing. Let it go a bit further and increase risks. Nev

 

 

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Good flying, just notice your using a lot of aileron to keep it straight and level and curious on how much rudder are your using?

Good question! Dont judge me by what the indicator ball is showing cause the plane was yawing all over the place! I would like to think I was applying co-ordinated rudder with all that aileron control but I doubt it - with a sudden wing drop, instinctively I would be applying opposite aileron and probably forgetting to use my feet ... couldn't say for sure though.

 

What is the correct technqiue in this situation? Obviously in a turn you want to apply co-ordinated rudder, but in bad turbulence with wing drops and so on, does the same rule apply - co-ordinated rudder with the application of aileron?

 

 

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What is the correct technqiue in this situation? Obviously in a turn you want to apply co-ordinated rudder, but in bad turbulence with wing drops and so on, does the same rule apply - co-ordinated rudder with the application of aileron?

Ideally, don't turn unless you really have to. If severe turbulence or a gust is enough to cause a significant wing drop, when you already have bank on and it hits you, things might get complicated. But if you do, certainly don't chase the rudder. The skid ball will be slip-sliding from one side to the other anyway!

Really you should be just setting a suitable power for your turbulence penetration speed, holding an appropriate attitude (whether level, climbing or descending), and accepting the momentary speed and vertical speed excursions. Get out of it by changing altitude, if you can.

 

In answer to your original question - worst turbulence I've had?

 

1) Across the Tasman, severe turbulence encounter. Urgent descent, full speedbrake. Took several attempts to press the "flight level change" button to start descent. Had no idea what speed we were doing because I couldn't read the instruments.

 

2) Early on approach into Sydney. B767. Went through brief layer of moderate to severe turbulence. Full aileron deflection to prevent plane from banking any further. Only lasted a few seconds.

 

3) 25,000 ft on climbout. Severe windshear and turbulence in B767. VSI went off-scale high, airspeed went through VNE even with speedbrake extended, and overspeed warning started going off (and it can't be silenced until you get the speed back under control). And this is what it sounded like for about 20 seconds......but add in getting thrown around too.

 

 

 

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Severe Low level turbulence 34 at Tullamarine from lift off till about 1500 AGL.. Physically shaken to discomfort and can't read any instruments. No control difficulties. The long length of the fuselage makes a springboard effect that exaggerates the turbulence. B 727.. (and others)

 

Airliners with flap out have very effective roll control. You have inboard and outboard ailerons and differential spoilers. Also has lots of stability with wing sweep back so you have roll inducing forces which could allow you to muck things up.

 

In U/L's it depends on the aircrafts design. Wing loading, Positive/ neutral stability etc. Big variations possible but control loosely and I would use rudder to assist rather than balance, because it's all over the place (Ball wise). the rudder is a pretty safe control as long as the stick isn't well back. There is no need to fly the plane precisely controlled. Let it go with the bumps a bit and correct without extreme control input to maintain a "suitable " attitude (approximately) for the power setting you have. Leaving power on aids control effectiveness. What you do with power depends on whether you wish to climb/descend to a more suitable level. It does complicate your difficulties if you are just trying to keep control, especially if you haven't a fair amount of experience.

 

Airspeed... Slower makes it more difficult to overload the airframe dynamically, but you have less control response and may stall.

 

Faster makes it easier to control and overloading (Airframe stressing) more possible. Your plane will have a recommended turbulence penetration speed, based on these concepts. Extreme control movements to be avoided in turbulent conditions. Nev

 

 

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While we're learning about turbulence, at work today we had this airfield info for departure.

 

Any guesses which 2 particular lines perked our interest and caused a pre-departure discussion? Ignore the handwritten stuff. That's just takeoff performance planning adjustments.

 

image.jpeg.bc188c9d16ea743904313d8221ac6154.jpeg

 

 

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The bottom 2 :)

Spot on.

Taking off to the south with possibly up to a 15 knot westerly on the ground, then we turn left (east) into a known 20 knot easterly, then a few seconds later hit a 45 knot easterly. Up to 35 knots of wind change in the first thousand feet, then a definite (as these were recently pilot reported winds) 25 knot change in the next thousand feet. That's a whopping shear rate.

 

A recipe for getting thrown around, especially with local orographic effects of easterly winds at Perth added into it, so discussed in the briefing were windshear aspects, a warning to the hosties that it might be pretty rough soon after takeoff, and turbulence speeds.

 

.....and get thrown around we did! Almost full left sidestick at one point to pickup a wing drop at about 700 ft, then large speed fluctuations before we finally got to turbulence speed (240 kts) and eventually climbed out of it.

 

I would describe it as moderate turbulence, moderate windshear. Just glad we were leaving, not arriving! 001_smile.gif.2cb759f06c4678ed4757932a99c02fa0.gif

 

 

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