The FAA recently published a notice to operators, training managers and inspectors of the importance of AC 120-109, to reinforce the importance of adequate flight crew training on the use of aircraft stick shakers and pushers. The increased emphasis was the result of a September 2010 Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) to stem the numbers of loss-of-control accidents due to pilot unfamiliarity with stick pushers, as well as flight into icing and wind-shear conditions.
At a time when aviation has achieved an extraordinarily high level of safety, regulators and safety organizations are pushing for more improvements in pilot training to preempt future accidents and ensure that new pilots entering the ranks start off with the right approach. One of the key areas receiving extensive examination is stall training, both in the early stages of ab initio training and how it is taught later to pilots who are flying sophisticated high-performance jets.
The FAA released AC 120-109 on August 6 to address its concern about loss of control. The agency said some pilots are reacting incorrectly to aircraft stall indications, as in the case of the 2009 crash of Continental Express 3407 in Buffalo, N.Y. The agency also has concerns about pilots’ failing to recognize the insidious onset of an approach-to-stall during routine operations in both manual and automatic flight.
Diamond Aircraft brought D-Jet prototype S/N 003 to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh last week, displaying publicly for the first time the jet’s new upswept wingtips. “At this point the aerodynamic configuration is frozen,” said Diamond president and CEO Peter Maurer. The new wingtips have “a positive effect on the stall speed and roll control, but also the overall aesthetics,” he added.
The National Transportation Safety Board issued four safety recommendations after its investigation into the January 27, 2009 loss-of-control crash of an Empire Airlines ATR 42-320 at Lubbock Airport (LBB), Texas. The NTSB said the flight crew failed to monitor and maintain a safe airspeed during an approach in icing conditions.
The FAA has issued a proposed advisory circular that would, as a core principle, include “emphasis of ‘reduce angle of attack’ response as the primary response for stall events.” According to the proposed AC, “The primary goal of this proposed advisory circular is to provide training, testing and checking recommenda
Embraer is paying for a service bulletin to replace flap-controller units in the first 10 to 20 Phenom 100 very light jets. The new controller units will have updated software to fix a “nuisance failure” problem that causes the flaps not to work. “The failure does not actually exist,” explained Embraer’s Mauricio Martins de Almeida Filho, “but the system interprets it as a ‘flap fail’ condition and triggers a fail-safe shutdown.
Embraer has chosen Safe Flight Instrument Corporation’s Stall Warning and Protection System (SWPS) for the Phenom 100 very light jet. The contract marks the second such selection of Safe Flight’s angle-of-attack AoA sensor for next-generation VLJs.
An NTSB preliminary report posted yesterday provides details on a May 4 incident involving a Hawker 800A that went of control and lost more than 10,000 feet before recovering. N71MT, owned and operated by Raytheon Aircraft, was on a maintenance test flight and the crew was setting up for a stall series at 17,000 feet near Lincoln, Neb.
An incident on May 4 this year in which a Hawker 800A lost more than 10,000 feet during a post-maintenance stall test underscores the potential risks of stalling swept-wing jets. The Hawker recovered after what the pilot said was a four- to five-g pullout.