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REVAN

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I guess one could claim the aircraft is not in controlled flight because an untrained pilot is at the controls. Please tell me all licensed pilots would know to push the stick forward and rudder left (with ailerons neutral) to break the stall/spin described above.

We are all capable of making mistakes with not enough altitude to recover but, I hope that at least the controls are in the appropriate position should I ever auger in.

I know I'm taking your quote out of context but we really need to do a better job of training pilots. Even in a panicked and unusual situation, no pilot should be holding full back stick and left aileron hoping it will eventually recover. That's a training failure. Short of fully automated aircraft with no pilot controls, we need better training.
While pilots have become accustomed to this situation and consider it 'normal', I hope that with a bit more careful reflection on the situation, most of you can see that there is a functional problem with the aircraft when the control system is intended to bank left when the pilot pulls the stick left, but it sometimes works opposite, and similar reversals with the pitch control. For decades, the solution has been to have pilots be responsible for recognizing that they need to change the control law that has been reinforced through hundreds of hours of flying and automatically switch to something that is fundamentally different. When there is an emergency and panic sets in, the predominate muscle memory often wins over the known, but rarely or never practiced (because it can be dangerous) control law to recover the aircraft. When it doesn't work and people die, everyone puts the blame on the pilot and inadequate training.

Watch this video to see how a simple control reversal can take something easy we all can do, and turn it into a nearly impossible control problem.
https://youtu.be/MFzDaBzBlL0

Now imagine I made a flying machine that has been carefully crafted to challenge pilots by implementing a control reversal at specific times to correlate with emergency conditions just to see if the pilot can figure it out and do something they are aware must be done, but that is in conflict with their reflex actions and what is familiar. Why would I make such a machine? Maybe I'm an evil SOB, but I'm going to be nice enough to give you the heads up that I put this trap in the design... and by the way, if you fail the test, you will probably die. Would you volunteer to test your skills against my machine of mayhem?

My point of this is that instead of identifying poor pilot training as the main problem behind these unfortunate spin accidents, maybe it's time to recognize the very significant role that excessively challenging aircraft design has been playing all along. There's only so much a task loaded person can be expected to do, and compensating for difficult control problems in an emergency is, too often, more than than the pilot will actually accomplish with success, even though he/she may 'know' what they need to do.
 
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Turd Ferguson

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IMHO, the way young instructors teach (and the FAA condones) stalls/slow flight is much too rote and mechanical.
The FAA's approach to stalls for training purposes has been completely revamped over the past few yrs. The ACS completion standards require a thorough understanding of all the factors involved, when properly administered there can be no robotic type response. Now, if they would only do the same for Lazy 8's.
 

MadRocketScientist

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Watch this video to see how a simple control reversal can take something easy we all can do, and turn it into a nearly impossible control problem.
https://youtu.be/MFzDaBzBlL0
I have the same issue with my feet controlling the rudder pedals, while I havent done all that much flying, my feet have the opposite muscle memory from using homemade childhood go karts. My feet instinctivly push the pedals the wrong way!

I do wonder if the mind can be trained to handle both ways of reacting and switch between them at will? It would make reaction to situations of control reversal such as a spin more instinctive without making things worse.
 

mcrae0104

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Backwards bicycle:
[video=youtube_share;MFzDaBzBlL0]https://youtu.be/MFzDaBzBlL0[/video]
 

davidb

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Now imagine I made a flying machine that has been carefully crafted to challenge pilots by implementing a control reversal at specific times to correlate with emergency conditions just to see if the pilot can figure it out and do something they are aware must be done, but that is in conflict with their reflex actions and what is familiar.
.
I understand your point but flying an airplane will always NOT be analogous to riding a bicycle nor driving a car. If you were to rig the the aircraft's controls backwards, then yes, I would certainly crash rather quickly. However, the term "control reversal" is a misnomer and in my opinion should never be used when describing what happens in certain realms of flight. I maintain that one should not dumb down aircraft control and aerodynamics. The concepts of aircraft control may seem counterintuitive to the untrained but that is why becoming a pilot requires specialized training.

If you were to design an airplane that behaves in ways you determine is safe and intuitive, you may find unintended consequences. And, shortcutting pilot training to a minimum needed for normal flight regimes of an "idiot proof" airplane has in recent times proved fatal.
 

jedi

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I have the same issue with my feet controlling the rudder pedals, while I havent done all that much flying, my feet have the opposite muscle memory from using homemade childhood go karts. My feet instinctivly push the pedals the wrong way!

I do wonder if the mind can be trained to handle both ways of reacting and switch between them at will? It would make reaction to situations of control reversal such as a spin more instinctive without making things worse.
Yes. The mind can be trained to handle both ways. At least some minds can with proper training. I fly both WSC and fixed wing aircraft. Some consider those aircraft to have opposite control systems. If the control logic is understood and proper control relationships learned the transition is mastered.

BTW. Farmers have a similar issue with the throttle. Tractors pull for more power. Aircraft push for power.
 

jedi

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Thank you. We are so far apart in what we want or even consider reasonable in an airplane, that I will not disrupt your thread by commenting further.


BJC
Please respond in the "Are Aircraft Safe" thread as to what you want and consider reasonable aircraft safety in relation to the aircraft loss of control issue as presented by the EAA Inventure Program.
 

Turd Ferguson

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I have the same issue with my feet controlling the rudder pedals, while I havent done all that much flying, my feet have the opposite muscle memory from using homemade childhood go karts. My feet instinctivly push the pedals the wrong way!

I do wonder if the mind can be trained to handle both ways of reacting and switch between them at will? It would make reaction to situations of control reversal such as a spin more instinctive without making things worse.
Perhaps but it would take a lot of practice. Years ago, I would fly my C-120 on cross country, stretch out and use the outer rudder pedals. Worked pretty well. Then I got the bright idea I could use the inner pedals which worked opposite - push left pedal to yaw right. I did a lot of coordination type maneuvers to practice that but never got up the courage to try a takeoff or land using the inner rudder pedals.

I hear it takes a lot of practice to fly low level down the runway inverted. Get too low, instinctively pull back on the stick and you're dead!

I learned to ride a motorcycle with left shift right brake and later rode European bikes (and pre 70's Harley) with right shift and left brake. Got and got fairly comfortable switching between the two, however, I would bet in a panic situation where I needed max braking, I would have bent the gear shift lever!
 

jedi

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Sorry, but this doesn't make sense. The determination of whether the plane is in controlled flight depends on whether the condition was intentional?


If controls are neutralized but the condition continues, then that constitutes uncontrolled flight? By that definition, straight and level flight is "uncontrolled flight."
Sorry if I was not clear. The condition being discussed was a spin, not level flight.

As to the firist comment, if I were at 200 feet on final and found myself inverted due to wake turbulence I would not say that I was in control of the aircraft. I would hope to regain control of the aircraft by applying forward elevator (nose down or in this case it should actually be called nose up because of the inverted orientation relative to the earth) along with appropriate aileron and rudder to recover. What the elevator input is really commanding is a reduction in the angle of attack. The intent is to avoid diving inverted into the ground. How is the pilot to know if the aircraft is on the verge if an inverted spin where the opposite elevator should be applied?

The issue in many stall/spin loss of control accidents is not knowing how to recover from the stall, it is recognizing the stall in a timely manner as in the Airbus incident over the South Atlantic a few years ago. A "smart" airplane and a well regulated training program were not adequate in that instance. How can we help airline and GA passengers avoid a similar situation?
 

BJC

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Please respond in the "Are Aircraft Safe" thread as to what you want and consider reasonable aircraft safety in relation to the aircraft loss of control issue as presented by the EAA Inventure Program.
Done.


BJC
 

BBerson

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Upside down on final in most airplanes the engine will quit and a roll to upright is very near impossible.
The half roll to upright requires speed. Most airplanes (R/C models) will only split S out from inverted and no power.
I would glide in inverted, I think.
 

stuart fields

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I have the same issue with my feet controlling the rudder pedals, while I havent done all that much flying, my feet have the opposite muscle memory from using homemade childhood go karts. My feet instinctivly push the pedals the wrong way!

I do wonder if the mind can be trained to handle both ways of reacting and switch between them at will? It would make reaction to situations of control reversal such as a spin more instinctive without making things worse.
My Benson steered on the ground with a bar connected to the castoring nose wheel. push right to go left, push left to go right. This worked during take off up until you raised the nose wheel and got on the rudder pedals an push right got right Yaw and push left got left yaw. My wife with only some limite fixed wing training soloed the Benson with out any dual.(no dual available in those days) We seemed to just accept the difference and had zero taxiing or transition into flight problems.

Stuart Fields
sfk@iwvisp.com
 

TFF

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The Airbus lost in the South Atlantic had its pitot tubes ice up. In an Airbus that means your toast. Loss of instruments and the fly by wire is confused. Technically supposed to be impossible.
 

gtae07

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The Airbus lost in the South Atlantic had its pitot tubes ice up. In an Airbus that means your toast. Loss of instruments and the fly by wire is confused. Technically supposed to be impossible.
No, it doesn't. At least, assuming your pilot doesn't panic and wipe all of his mental training and just keep hauling back on the stick, doing a falling-leaf impression into the water.

The flight control system did not get confused--it simply reverted to a lower mode. Had the pilots left things alone for a moment (what's that old saw about winding your watch, or peeling a banana?) and thought before panicking, it would have been a non-event, the same as if it had happened in any other airliner or business jet.

You're thinking of the B-2 crash, where moisture in the air data system confused the FBW system. But that's also a naturally-unstable airplane and it's a high-end military aircraft--that possibility was traded for the performance and signature reduction benefits.


I do want to point out that there's a difference between trying to automate and idiot-proof something, and getting rid of stupid or confusing interface quirks. Lots of people gripe about new(er) airplanes that don't require the heavy rudder inputs to counteract high adverse yaw like the light taildraggers of old. But adverse yaw is in no way a good thing! It's an unintended side effect that has been mostly subdued in newer aircraft because it's a pain in the rear and serves no benefit.
The average light aircraft is not a user-friendly interface, at least by the standards we expect of other user interfaces. Inputs should produce consistent results and be consistent with the desired result. The need for rudder vs. aileron at high AOA is one example; it's generally a limitation that comes out of the airframe design, aerodynamics, and the simple nature of light airplane flight controls. Some inroads have been made via aerodynamic fixes, but for the most part you aren't going to fully fix that with anything short of fly-by-wire. That's understandable.

What I don't understand is why so many pilots are proud of these little inconsistencies. We deal with some forms of crappy interfaces (nonlinear control behaviors, mixture knobs :whistle:) and kid ourselves that it's a good thing that there are these inconsistent behaviors and backwards interfaces. It's like a point of pride with people that they have to deal with them, I guess because they think it sets them above mere mortals? I know, I'm one to talk, building a taildragger and all... and I guess if you view it as mastering a complex skill, great... but let's not kid ourselves that such things are desireable from a user standpoint.

Q: Why are you banging your head on the wall?!
A: Because it feels so good when I stop!
 

REVAN

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I do want to point out that there's a difference between trying to automate and idiot-proof something, and getting rid of stupid or confusing interface quirks. Lots of people gripe about new(er) airplanes that don't require the heavy rudder inputs to counteract high adverse yaw like the light taildraggers of old. But adverse yaw is in no way a good thing! It's an unintended side effect that has been mostly subdued in newer aircraft because it's a pain in the rear and serves no benefit.
The average light aircraft is not a user-friendly interface, at least by the standards we expect of other user interfaces. Inputs should produce consistent results and be consistent with the desired result. The need for rudder vs. aileron at high AOA is one example; it's generally a limitation that comes out of the airframe design, aerodynamics, and the simple nature of light airplane flight controls. Some inroads have been made via aerodynamic fixes, but for the most part you aren't going to fully fix that with anything short of fly-by-wire. That's understandable.

What I don't understand is why so many pilots are proud of these little inconsistencies. We deal with some forms of crappy interfaces (nonlinear control behaviors, mixture knobs :whistle:) and kid ourselves that it's a good thing that there are these inconsistent behaviors and backwards interfaces. It's like a point of pride with people that they have to deal with them, I guess because they think it sets them above mere mortals? I know, I'm one to talk, building a taildragger and all... and I guess if you view it as mastering a complex skill, great... but let's not kid ourselves that such things are desireable from a user standpoint.
And that pesky adverse yaw is one of the contributing factors that will drag a stalling wing into a spin. Adverse yaw is a symptom of yaw instability that requires a vertical tail and rudder action to tame. Fix the instability in the wing and a whole host of problems are alleviated, spin tendency among them. IMO, the guys designing tailless flying wing designs should not be the only ones concerned with making a wing that is stable.
 

lr27

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I'm not sure that having to use more and more rudder when initiating turns at lower and lower speeds counts as control reversal. You're still using the rudder in the same direction. Trying to turn without using the rudder is an error.

Speaking of control reversal, a friend of mine had an RC model with pivoting wings, elevator, but no rudder. Without the rudder, one certainly experienced "control reversal". It was necessary to fly faster than a glider with a rudder. Kind of frustrating at first.

Someone mentioned inverted flight. We used to do low powered RC pylon racing in our local club. My engine had a serious problem with leaning, so sometimes I flew the second half of the race inverted to enrich the mixture. However, it only took about half a second of anxiety and confusion to put it into the dirt.

From my RC glider experience, it seems that generous vertical stab area and moment make spins a whole lot easier to deal with. Ditto lighter wing tips. These things also make normal flight easier. Possibly not so applicable to short winged airplanes that fly fast.
 

BBerson

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A typical full size Lightplane should not be turned with excess rudder. Sure it works, but the tendency when turning with rudder down low is to also keep the bank shallow with opposite aileron. Crossed controls is a bad habit.

Rudder should always be coordinated with aileron to enter a turn. Too much rudder into a turn is how to get an accidental spin. (Pro spin)
When unbanking from the turn any amount of rudder to lift the low wing to level is good. (Anti spin)
In short, don't rudder into turns. Do rudder out of turns.
 
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