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First turbulence experience


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I think most have experienced turb of some level or another, goes hand in hand with aviators desire to leave the surely bounds of the Earth:-) I've had more nasty turb experiences than I care to recall from industrial green puke (someone else's all over me!) to busted bones & big $$$ to check airfarmes/engines these days I only drive my planes in fair WX & light winds, no longer do I have to perform like a circus monkey for someone else:-)

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Flying down the Caprivi strip Namibia, at about 1500 ft AGL, I was surrounded by scattered grey columns of rain showers. They were quite well defined, not very wide. One was directly across my track.

I’ve only had two experiences where I was genuinely scared or just plain wanted off this ride now.    One was in a c172 many years ago starting my ppl and coming out of Essendon. I got caught i

I used to fly the TB10 Tobago in 35° temperatures and 30 knot winds, rough as guts but tolerable. I could never get used to strong turbulence in my Jabiru. I took off one day in gusty hot winds and 30

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what's that great quote, Earnest Gann

"14. “In referance to flying through thunderstorms; “A pilot may earn his full pay for that year in less than two minutes. At the time of incident he would gladly return the entire amount for the privilege of being elsewhere.”:

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I have experienced truly violent turbulence in the vicinity of Katoomba - still shaking when I got back on the ground at The Oaks. I now approach that area, ready to reduce power at the slightest hint of vertical air movement.

 

On the other hand - years ago, when returning from Cowra to Condobolin, in a C172, I had entered a very smooth (no violent movement)  powerful updraft that had the aircraft climbing at idle power, at at least 1000 ft /min. Seconds later entered the down draft, unable to maintain altitude at full power. At no time was I as terrified as the later encounter over Katoomba.

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On 03/08/2021 at 8:54 AM, Kyle Communications said:

Steve

 

It certainly did...It made me very gunshy. I was a low time pilot then and it is indeliby imprinted into my brain. I am so aware of it now when winds are more than about 15kts.

 

We dont really have too much of a issue for DA where I fly but even a small altitude can make a difference in your aircrafts perfomance. I picked up a mate from a airfield west of here to go to a breakfast and it is about 2000ft AMSL so nothing you would usually worry about. But when we finally got back there to drop him off the temperature of the day had gone from about 20degC when I picked him up to about 40degC when I was landing back at his airfield....I had my aircraft drop from about 1mtr above the runway...it was an arrival...not a landing. The extra weight of the pax and the extra fuel I had on board I was probably at about 560kg. The aircraft performance was drasticaly degraded. It sort of shocked me a bit because we never usually see that as most places I fly are around sea level. So I can imagine the huge differences when these guys overseas are landing at 7 and 10 thousand feet. 

 

 

That sounds like turbulence off the black runway and nothing to do with DA.  

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Flying down the Caprivi strip Namibia, at about 1500 ft AGL, I was surrounded by scattered grey columns of rain showers. They were quite well defined, not very wide. One was directly across my track. The aircraft got quite dusty in the bush and I prided myself in keeping it as clean as I could. So, I thought in my young inexperienced mind…fly through it and get a nice wash for free.
The fact I couldn’t quite see through it, should have….sounded a small tinkling warning bell…as I went in, the rain became a torrent. This aircraft had a fast and quite powerful windscreen wiper, it was totally swamped. I could only see the ground looking straight down, very bumpy, then to my eternal disappointment, the Kudu started descending, full power, all 340 horses and 11% flap, had no effect…the tops of the trees loomed up, as we staggered along at landing approach speed (didn’t want to go slower in this turb). Then, what felt like 5 ft above the trees, she stopped descending and shortly afterwards we popped out, in clear air. The aircraft was nice and sparkling clean….my flying overalls were not…

We had of course flown through a column of descending air, coming down with the rain. A microburst is the same, but is far more intense and dangerous…, the descending air, pushing me down. The downdraft stopped as it mushroomed out against the ground, I can only assume the forest had also caused a drop on wind speed as normal, you have a headwind going in, followed by a sudden tailwind going out. This effect again, far worse with a microburst. This tailwind can be strong enough to cause a dangerous loss of speed…luckily the aircraft at full power was not greatly effected, plus my Guardian Angel, who I think was driven to drink… On the next trip, you would have seen a C4M Kudu, doing wide S turns around columns of rain….Pic of the mighty C4M “Koe-doef” (my landing sounds) below.

92F0F5D3-D3C9-41E9-AA73-736212B4ECEF.jpeg

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Well, after reading all these posts I feel very good about wanting to wear a Parachute,  in case my plane comes apart in severe turbulence, don’t see my Thruster liking it at all. 

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8 hours ago, jackc said:

Well, after reading all these posts I feel very good about wanting to wear a Parachute,  in case my plane comes apart in severe turbulence, don’t see my Thruster liking it at all. 

Talk to your Instructor, get him to let you know which Theory books you need (including MET, so you know where turbulence is likely to be), ask him about getting out of a Drifter with a parachute on. Don't forget that if you decided to fly into RFG's 35 kt headwind you could probably be passed by a girl on a horse and fuel burn would become the No1 issue if you persisted. The Thruster parameters are a lot different to a slippery Jabiru; it flies best in a different sky, but offers experiences Jabiru pilots will never know.

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On 17/08/2021 at 3:10 PM, skippydiesel said:

I have experienced truly violent turbulence in the vicinity of Katoomba - still shaking when I got back on the ground at The Oaks. I now approach that area, ready to reduce power at the slightest hint of vertical air movement.

 

On the other hand - years ago, when returning from Cowra to Condobolin, in a C172, I had entered a very smooth (no violent movement)  powerful updraft that had the aircraft climbing at idle power, at at least 1000 ft /min. Seconds later entered the down draft, unable to maintain altitude at full power. At no time was I as terrified as the later encounter over Katoomba.

Might explain my preferred route Cowra-The Oaks being via Goulburn and Mittagong 👍.   Never been over Katoomba in a aircraft I was responsible for flying. 
 

my worst was in a weight shift crossing the Loire valley heading into Chartres. Neg G is a no-no in them but I went there many times that day.  Got on the ground and lay on The grass for half an hour next to the plane. 

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45 minutes ago, turboplanner said:

Talk to your Instructor, get him to let you know which Theory books you need (including MET, so you know where turbulence is likely to be), ask him about getting out of a Drifter with a parachute on. Don't forget that if you decided to fly into RFG's 35 kt headwind you could probably be passed by a girl on a horse and fuel burn would become the No1 issue if you persisted. The Thruster parameters are a lot different to a slippery Jabiru; it flies best in a different sky, but offers experiences Jabiru pilots will never know.

Turbs I have all the books and yesterday I went up the bush and logged my airstrip site on my new Aera 660 GPS and discovered that I am going to have to be very aware of winds on any day of flying. I have a range of hills 1000 ft higher than my strip close by, that prevailing winds come over the top of………lots of careful planning needed……

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That’s the beauty about Pvt flying, you don't have to go if it’s marginal👍
We’ve all had days where we wish we were down there than up here!

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To me, most RA aircraft airframes can handle around 3g, in a steep turn (60 deg) you need to maintain a constant 2g once established in the turn, to maintain a level turn. So, 3g is quite a lot. Turbulence would have to be pretty severe to exceed that. Negative g airframe limits an RA aircraft are less, but again, weight acting in the same direction as a negative load on the wing in level flight, seems to reduce this stress in turbulence.

Slowing down to your rough air penetration speed, top of the white arc, will put you into the stall boundary area of the Vg diagram or structural envelope, which means in severe turbulence your aircraft would stall, if hit by a big updraft. The wing would stall, before it reaches it’s structural limit. Stall is not great….but I would choose it over losing a wing!
I big threat in turbulence is ending up in an upset or unusual attitude. Recovery from that, could cause an over stress. It’s unfortunate, most people when badly frightened, will instinctively pull back on a stick, you might not even realise you are, because pulling back has always meant “up”. If inverted, this will lead to looping it out, very likely to exceed VNE here. I was taught for UA recovery, power down, roll wings level, then pitch.
An significant upset on final approach is clearly about as bad as it gets. This Saturday, I was getting a few good kicks from turbulence on final. I pushed my approach speed up 5Kts and was ready for a go around. Close to the ground, the air has no room to move vertically, so turb reduces, but you are also probably dealing with a X-wind!  I think all pilots are aware of wake turbulence and how bad that can be, close to the ground. Those if us who may encounter the odd Q-Link Dash 8, beware. Interesting in that vortices only form when lift is produced, I try to firstly delay…but, stay above his flight path, take off before his lift off point and land beyond his touchdown point.

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I think that heavy wake turbulence is particularly evil because it revolves continually in a spiral. Recall that a RAAF pilot crashed a Mooney due heavy wake turbulence taking off at Wagga years ago.

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I am sure we have all wished we were on the ground instead of battling the elements from time to time. I know I have.


My SP cabin is a bit on the cozy side and when the air gets sporty I have hit the left side of my head on the flap handle a few times leaving me wondering what would happen if I were knocked out.

 

 I fly solo, so I should think on it some more…….and I see that a few stol jockeys fly wearing a helmet.

 

Here is one that should be fit for purpose. I would remove the “do I look cool in this?” visor and have a peak on it instead.

 

When I get the Colt back in the air it will have a skylight, with all the exposed metal work that entails, so the helmet looks like a good idea.

 

So long as I don’t look like a tosser that is.  They come in a number of colours; I picked the green so you can see the detail.

 

Ken

0B4510D9-A74F-4D76-A118-3C65E98DF531.png

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Got one of them from Dan at Wings Out West, just need to fit my Clark headset to it 🙂

 

 

8ADD4445-C0A0-4409-8301-6867718D5B34.jpeg

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A bone done is probably a good idea in an ultralight with lots of metal in close proximity to your CPU. Even with a full harness adjusted tightly of at least 5 points it’s surprising the amount of body movement one gets, Aero’s attest to that!👍

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1 hour ago, Kenlsa said:

I am sure we have all wished we were on the ground instead of battling the elements from time to time. I know I have.


My SP cabin is a bit on the cozy side and when the air gets sporty I have hit the left side of my head on the flap handle a few times leaving me wondering what would happen if I were knocked out.

 

 I fly solo, so I should think on it some more…….and I see that a few stol jockeys fly wearing a helmet.

 

Here is one that should be fit for purpose. I would remove the “do I look cool in this?” visor and have a peak on it instead.

 

When I get the Colt back in the air it will have a skylight, with all the exposed metal work that entails, so the helmet looks like a good idea.

 

So long as I don’t look like a tosser that is.  They come in a number of colours; I picked the green so you can see the detail.

 

Ken

0B4510D9-A74F-4D76-A118-3C65E98DF531.png

That’s a nice looking helmet. After many years military flying, I felt a bit exposed, flying with a headset. I still wear flying gloves, but maybe now, not so much for fire, I’m just used to the feel of switches and controls. I do like how they reduce those fatty grubby finger oil staining that you will often see in the tired old club Cessna 172. There is a reason military tend to wear helmets and it’s not just because of possible ejection. Another helmet bonus, they are handy to hang stuff off, we don’t need O2 masks but using Velcro patches, you can. Lunt a head torch. If you could afford ANVIS gen 6, you could fly Day VFR rules at night, 👹  as long as they don’t fail ☠️Your local Taliban rep might sell you a unit, one careful previous owner only… I’ve ridden motorcycles for a while, in my book, anyone who rides a bike without a helmet should be certified insane. Take a ripe watermelon and take a half strength swing with a baseball bat and it may give you an idea. Worse than driving without a seatbelt. Another thing is the visor. I wear glasses and a visor is a great way to reduce glare, without messing with flip up sunny lenses, prescription sunglasses and the like!

But seriously, I like that helmet. Where did you get it?

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Ummm. The worst I’ve been in was on tow in a Schleicher K6 behind a supercub in NZ.

 

At about 1500agl the tow disappeared from view below my nose, as I went to bung off I was then flung downwards, and my hands were ripped off the controls (I didn’t get a chance to release the tow) and flung upwards with the negative G (along with several years of dust and crap) just as the tug reappeared, rising rapidly  from downunder to go upover, and which I quickly followed.  Oh, the joys of rotor.  But when i bunged off a very short time later I was in ultra smooth wave giving about a 1kt vertical climb.

 

since then I’m inclined to believe turbulence isn’t severe unless you get dust and grit in your eyes, and perhaps you see that pencil you lost s year ago go sailing upwards and around the cockpit.  I remain nervous of iPads and phones being dangerous projectiles off left on seats or laps unrestrained!

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I hit turbulence in a C-150 where the RH ashtray came out of the door and the ASI was fluctuating more than 60 knots without a pitch change. I just loosely maintained the pitch and (reduced) power I had. It creaked and groaned but didn't break. surprisingly. Nev

 

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On 09/10/2021 at 10:53 PM, facthunter said:

I haven't heard of too any thrusters coming apart in the air. Nev

There was one in Victoria a few years ago and resulted in an AD for the stainless steel strut to spar plates.  Andrew Richards and a student from memory.

Laurie

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4 hours ago, Keenaviator said:

There was one in Victoria a few years ago and resulted in an AD for the stainless steel strut to spar plates.  Andrew Richards and a student from memory.

Laurie

The strut to spar attach plate manufacturer bulletin was in 2004 details on RAAus. They should all be correct now. Always check if purchasing.

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On 10/10/2021 at 7:14 PM, Kenlsa said:

Wings our West

Dang….still pretty pricey!?  But I like it, I would buy one, for sure….but I’m married!💀”for richer…or poorer”…you can forget that second part. Guess for now I will just tighten the lap strap a bit more!

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On 10/10/2021 at 9:30 AM, F10 said:

I was taught for UA recovery, power down, roll wings level, then pitch.

Recovery from a spiral dive is power down, elevator slightly forward, roll wings level, then pitch (ref: Airplane Flying Handbook, FAA). You need to move the elevator slightly forward so you don't over stress the aircraft even levelling wings. Of course, in a stall or spin, rolling the wings level first will cause problems. My guess is that in an UA, the first thing to do is unload the elevator/AOA as you are checking your airspeed. Disclaimer: I have 150 hours. 

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