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Wake Turbulence Stories Needed.  
User currently offlineJulesmusician From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6853 times:

I would like to hear from any pilots that have experienced wake turbulence, as I am trying to learn some more about it, but the best knowledge is that which people have experienced themselves. I would particularly like to know about wake turbulence incidents where you know what aircraft caused it and can remember the heights you were at, and also if you can remember the weather conditions, especially wind direction and speed. Also how certain you were that it was wake turbulence and nothing else could have caused it?

See what I get!

J

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6388 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6842 times:

I was a passenger once in a Cessna Turbo 206 (law enforcement aircraft) landing at ELP. I was sitting in the right seat. We were cleared to land #2 behind a WN 737, and the tower issued a "Caution Wake Turbulence" warning for us. We were probably about 200 feet above the threshhold for runway 8R when we suddenly rolled approx. 60-70 degrees to the right (I was sitting in the right front seat...I got a good view of the ground!). Fortunately, the pilot recovered from the rapid, uncommanded roll (in time to land without going around, too!). I think it took about 30 minutes after landing for my heart rate (and the pilot's) to return to normal after that one...


Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineXFSUgimpLB41X From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4200 posts, RR: 37
Reply 2, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6840 times:

Had it from the first couple hundred feet in altitude all the way up to FL290.

Just control the airplane... the jolt and rolling motion never ceases to get your heart going- esp in smooth air.



Chicks dig winglets.
User currently offlineFredT From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 2185 posts, RR: 26
Reply 3, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6833 times:

Glider pilot. Aerotow. Need I say more? Big grin

Apart from numerous encounters behind the tow plane, it's not uncommon to run into the wake turbulence of the tow plane quite some time after it has left the area, as you are manouevering in the same airspace and descending. Very noticeable at times, but nothing exciting about it. Very bumpy road kinda feeling.



I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
User currently offlineJush From Germany, joined Apr 2005, 1636 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6816 times:

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 1):
I was a passenger once in a Cessna Turbo 206 (law enforcement aircraft) landing at ELP. I was sitting in the right seat. We were cleared to land #2 behind a WN 737, and the tower issued a "Caution Wake Turbulence" warning for us. We were probably about 200 feet above the threshhold for runway 8R when we suddenly rolled approx. 60-70 degrees to the right (I was sitting in the right front seat...I got a good view of the ground!). Fortunately, the pilot recovered from the rapid, uncommanded roll (in time to land without going around, too!). I think it took about 30 minutes after landing for my heart rate (and the pilot's) to return to normal after that one...

I can imagine why your heart rate was at these levels. 200 feet high and a 60 to 70 degree bank. I reckon i would wet myself if my bladder would dare to react in that situation.  scared 



There is one problem with airbus. Though their products are engineering marvels they lack passion, completely.
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 5, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6797 times:

Back in the early 1970s a C-206 crashed at OAK in wake turbulence from a 747 that had made a missed approach on a training flight. The pilot was lucky to have survived, and never even saw the 747. I looked at the wreckage shortly after. The left wing, door and door frame and strut were all separated as a unit. It appeared to me that they might have been coming off before it hit the ground.

In the late 1970s I was driving north on I-5, passing the end of SAN Lindbergh Field. A Delta L-1011 was just touching down on 27 and I noticed that a palm tree in the median of the freeway was flailing wildly. A moment later the vortex hit me. It almost rolled my VW bus over.

A couple of years later I was flying a Cessna 402 into LAX and at about 800' above the field, with gear down and probably flaps to the first notch, I got rolled right over upside-down. I reflexively rolled against it and had a bunch of left aileron in by the time I was looking up at the lights of Los Angeles. Had I known how far it was going to go I would have rolled with it and just gone all the way around.

At about that time I talked to a guy who struck the ground in a Navajo while trying to recover from a similar encounter, but just closer to the ground so he ran out of sky to maneuver in. He survived with minor injures but it tore the plane up pretty bad.

I've hit it at cruise, cutting across the contrail of a DC-10 a good twenty miles in trail. It was just two quick jolts crossing it like that. It is when you are aligned with it that it produces the rolling.

When talking about "wake turbulence" people think of two very different things. One is propwash or jet blast. This is rarely dangerous. The other thing is wingtip vortices. These are killers and avoidance is the only real solution because your puny flight controls and sluggish reflexes are not going to save your life in an encounter. That leaves only luck.

The AIM has pretty good stuff about wingtip vortices. Chapter 7 starting at 7.3.1 Look also at "heavy" and "aircraft classes" Read this stuff as it is a very good dissertation on it.

I've had many more encounters and heard other stories. I'm sure we'll see more here.

Given the choice at a busy airport or behind a heavy I will stay about a half-dot high on the glideslope as the part about the vortices settling seems to be mostly true, especially in the approach phase.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6388 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6787 times:

Quoting Jush (Reply 4):
I can imagine why your heart rate was at these levels. 200 feet high and a 60 to 70 degree bank. I reckon i would wet myself if my bladder would dare to react in that situation.

Just remember, the rules in a private (or even government-owned) bird are usually, "you emit it, you get to clean it up."
 Big grin

After having a passenger loose his lunch on me (without warning), my pre-flight briefing for pax now includes the location of the barf bag (and a quick visual to confirm it's where it belongs before flight!). I made him rent the steam cleaning machine from the grocery store, and do the dirty work (after locating a change of clothing for myself). Man, did that REEK! All I can say is, thankfully, most FBOs have a shower...



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineMissedApproach From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 713 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6749 times:

No personal experience, but I would call the Delta DC-9 crash in 1972 the worst case of wake turbulence. They were training on approaches & landings behind an American DC-10 when wake turbulence caused the DC-9 to roll inverted while close to the runway.
http://www.pilotfriend.com/disasters/3305L.htm

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Photo © Mel Lawrence




Can you hear me now?
User currently offlineSfomb67 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 417 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 6563 times:

Seems I remember a biz jet carrying In-N-Out executives crashed, due to the wake of a 757, a number of years ago - think it was around LA, maybe SNA.


Not as easy as originally perceived
User currently offlineFLY2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 6560 times:

Last summer I flew a C172 into PHX (yes, THE PHX airport!  sly  ) along with some friends to take a tour of the tower. Keeping in mind how much we had been warned in groundschool about this phenomenon, I was really alert when on final. There were no planes visible before us, even upwind was seemingly unoccupied, although they were using 7L for T/Os. At about a 1 mile final, the plane rolls to one side, then to the other gently, no more than 20 degrees of bank, and I remember applying plenty of opposite aileron to counteract it, but I got no response. The flight was smooth all the way to that point, and from there afterwards. It did not feel like a thermal updraft or typical random bumpiness, it was just a smooth rolling force from one side to the other, once. We landed safely, and had a lot of fun in the tower, and the four of us in the plane found no other possible explanation but wake turbulence, even without any possible perpetrator in sight.

 twocents 


User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1123 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 6544 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

Here's also one, though not my personal experience. Back in the 80s, a 747 (freighter I think) was on approach to ZAG. Some 10-11 NM behind it, and a bit below it, was a Metroliner. From the wake turbulence, the Metro suffered engine flameouts on both engines. Thankfully, the crew had time to relight them above minimum altitudes and land safely. And, to the crew's delight, mail bags don't complain  biggrin 


No plane, no gain.
User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6501 times:

Most recent was a few months ago arriving at JFK. We were slowed from 210 to 180 and a Korean 74 that was paralleling us was then turned in front of us. We crossed that wake at about a 60 degree angle. Two other incidents doing the VOR to 13R there. One was an Indian 74 and the other was somebody's 777. I have also been cause behind a World MD11 coming out of ATL and a Delta 76 arriving at CVG. The bank angle never exceed 45 degrees and there was no significant airspeed or altitude loss, but it does get the heart rate up, especially close to the ground.


Proud OOTSK member
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9643 posts, RR: 52
Reply 12, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6360 times:

I have felt wake turbulence a couple times in a Cessna 172. The first time I was with my flight instructor flying into BFI. I was cleared to land behind a Boeing 777-200LR on the main runway (there was a healthy separation of probably about 3 minutes). However the 777 was slow to get off the runway and rather than doing a go around the tower allowed me to use the short parallel runway. But interestingly enough even while landing even on the parallel runway, I could feel the effect of the heavy jet. At about 100ft the plane definitely experienced some sudden turbulence and I ended up landing the plane awfully hard on one of the main wheels with no flare whatsoever. But once I hit the ground everything was fine after a healthy bounce.

The second time was also at BFI. I was trying to make a short approach and was following a Cessna Citation business jet. I knew there might be a little turbulence, but didn't expect there to be much. Suddenly the plane yawed to the right as I passed through the wake turbulence. But almost as quickly as it happened, it went away and the plane returned to a stable attitude.

Wake turbulence is certainly something to worry about. Pilots need to be careful.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineWoodreau From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1042 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 6350 times:

For the glider pilots, one of the maneuvers you are supposed to demonstrate is "boxing the wake." It involves going from high-tow, flying through the propwash of the towplane to low-tow and then flying a box around the wake of the towplane and then finish up by going back from low-tow back up to high-tow. It gets a little bumpy flying through the prop wash.

Any student pilot that does steep turns correctly has probably encountered running into their own wake. I've done steep turns then at the end of the steep turn, the Cessna 172 does a quick jolt up and back down as I flew through my own wake.

I encountered wake turbulence taking off from DFW 13L when there was landing traffic on 17L. After I took off, we flew through the landing aircraft's wake, it was a sharp jolt up and down, feeling like flying through my own wake doing steep turns in the 172, just a little bit stronger. but anything that wasn't wedged in tight went airborne for a split second.

I'm not sure what I ran into landing at Honolulu (PHNL), I'm guessing it was mountain wave coming over the mountains from the windward side to the leeward side. We were approaching HNL doing the freeway arrival from the east, crossing over the field at 2000ft to enter downwind for 4L/4R. Just before I'm about to turn downwind, we get thrown the 172 I was flying up, and for about 1/2 a second my friends and I were in zero G. I remember feeling the seat belts holding me in my seat, and my feet came off the rudder pedals. Charts, pens, the SLR camera - we saw them suspended in midair in the cockpit for a brief moment, my friend grabbed the camera before all the other items crashed back down. My other friend in the back seat, cracked his head in the overhead, and having never flown in a light single before swore never to get in another Cessna again.

And my last little story, was the time I was trying to get my 10 night takeoffs and landings at a towered field the night before my commercial checkride (after I discovered I didn't have them.) The only towered airports available to me were KLAX, KSAN, and KONT as it was during the summer and night didn't officially start until 9PM. LAX and SAN (marine layer) were obviously out of the question. I called up ONT tower. They weren't happy to hear I was coming, but they said that they'd do what they can to accommodate me and that there was a relatively quiet period around 930pm-1000pm. I arrived over ONT around 9:30PM in my dinky 172 and get the first two stop and goes done. As I was entering downwind for my third stop and go, I look down and noticed the UPS ramp, where just about every single heavy UPS had on the ramp (10 or so), was in the process of starting up and taxiing to the runway that I was doing my landings. Tower told me that there were several aircraft (737/747s/757s) on approach and that I needed to go away somewhere else to do my landings. I asked to remain in the pattern and that I'd do anything to separate, 360's, extend downwind. So they asked if I would accept visual separation? I accepted visual separation, not fully understanding at the time that that meant they were turning over the responsibility for wake separation to me. I came in high behind one of the 737s, not a problem, stop and go, immediate crosswind. The next landing was behind a 747 and I didn't stay high enough, it felt like surging, accelerating and a sharp decelaration, then acceleration, and deceleration. I added full power, got out of the disturbance and touched down long. It took a little while to get the rest of my landings in, with the controllers working me in behind all these other bigger commercial aircraft. I was holding short at a taxiway for another pattern when a 747 landed in front of me. All I saw out of the 172 windscreen were the main gear and bogies and as the 747 passed it gave my 172 violent shake.



Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
User currently offlineJulesmusician From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 6347 times:

Great, and interesting. Now am I correct in saying that you would not expect wake turbulence once aircraft start going down the approach on the ILS because wake turbulence descends and the aircraft behind are above the ones in front?

User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 15, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 6328 times:

Quoting Julesmusician (Reply 14):
Now am I correct in saying that you would not expect wake turbulence once aircraft start going down the approach on the ILS because wake turbulence descends and the aircraft behind are above the ones in front?

Theoretically, if everyone was flying the 3° glideslope and the wingtip vortices were sinking, as promised, no one would be hitting it. For the most part, at airports like LAX that is nearly true. But there do seem to be some variables.

If the vortices are sinking in rising air do they stay at the same altitude until they dissipate?

If you approach the glideslope from below, as is usually the case, you do run the risk of encountering the vortices of a plane ahead of you that intercepted it from above, or just father out?

Going into a large airport with a light plane I would always fly above the glideslope (visually if I didn't have an ILS tuned) It is not likely that an airliner will be "high" inside the final approach fix, so this should keep you safer.

It is greatest at liftoff (because that is the moment of greatest weight) so you should always try to observe where the guy ahead of you lifted off. If you are both in 737s for example, you might expect to lift off in about the same place and thus, be above his vortices. If you are heavy and going to roll a long way, or if you are in a light plane and accepting an intersection takeoff it becomes very important to know where the heavy departures have been lifting off. When you are just getting airborne is a bad time to encounter the roll!



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineJulesmusician From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 6315 times:

This is interesting, we are planning a hot air balloon flight in one of London's most congested airspace patches and I am trying to work out the minimum altitude to be below the big boys in the holding stacks to be safe. They come off the hold at the lowest about 4000ft. Considering we will be flying on a calm day which is meant to be the worst for wake turbulence, we were trying to work out what would be a safe altitude.

User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9643 posts, RR: 52
Reply 17, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 6294 times:

Quoting Woodreau (Reply 13):
Any student pilot that does steep turns correctly has probably encountered running into their own wake. I've done steep turns then at the end of the steep turn, the Cessna 172 does a quick jolt up and back down as I flew through my own wake.

I have my own wake once while doing a steep turn. However the air has to be perfectly smooth for that to work and that doesn't happen very often. Usually there is enough turbulence around that you would not notice the wake.

Quoting Julesmusician (Reply 16):
Considering we will be flying on a calm day which is meant to be the worst for wake turbulence, we were trying to work out what would be a safe altitude.

Aren't there regulations as to what altitude you can fly at especially when in or near controlled air space?

Quoting Julesmusician (Reply 14):
Great, and interesting. Now am I correct in saying that you would not expect wake turbulence once aircraft start going down the approach on the ILS because wake turbulence descends and the aircraft behind are above the ones in front?

Well that is true, but there are always updrafts and air currents that may move the vorticies and thus make an airplane on the same glidescope feel the wake turbulence.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineJulesmusician From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6287 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 17):
Aren't there regulations as to what altitude you can fly at especially when in or near controlled air space?

Yes there are we have about a 3500ft lid in the place we want to go flying with the big birds circling in a holding stack from 5000ft upwards.


User currently offlineArcticTern From India, joined Dec 2005, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 6203 times:

Hi J,

I have not experience Wake turbulence in an aircraft, but i have definitely heard one. If you a close to an approach runway, or directly under an localizer path, wait for a 777 or 747 and listen to wind noise.

Try doing this at night, when the weather is calm and noise is quiet.

Thanks,
Sushant



I wanted to fly even before I knew how to pronounce the word 'Pilot'
User currently offlineTheGreatChecko From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1128 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6151 times:

Don't forget helicopters!!! They emit a whole bunch of wake turbulence.

I personally witnessed a plane fly into it, scary as hell to watch. The instructor took control and flew out of it. Thankfully, the helicopter wasn't very large and the encounter was recoverable.

The following incident though was unrecoverable. This is what happens when a light aircraft hits the wake turbulence off a Chinook helicopter.

I've seen pictures (I work for the school) and its freaky to see a plane with the same paint job all mashed up. Both the student and flight instructor were seriously injured but survived.

http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief2.asp?...205X00286&ntsbno=CHI99LA110&akey=1

And here is a section from the FAA Aeronautical Information Manual about Wake Turbulence. Its not too long and has lots of good information.

http://www.faa.gov/ATpubs/AIM/Chap7/aim0703.html

GreatChecko



"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
User currently offlineMikeyCpvd From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 162 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6013 times:

I experienced wake in a very random and (in the scheme of things) non-threatening manner several months back. We were in a C172 departing PVD runway 16 on a flight to PWM. Besides facing southeast, 16 takes you out towards the Narragansett Bay where over half of the arrivals for runway 23 end up due to noise abatement. We were instructed to fly runway heading after departure and we would get our clearance northbound once we were outside of the runway 23 downwind corridor. It took us a while to get there and we were about 3500' AGL by the time we did, but we got our turn north after a Delta MD88 passed us right-left descending out of 5000' and 3-4 miles ahead. We turned on course which took us on an approximate 050 heading and climbing thru 4,500 for 7,500 got a huge reality check in the calm fall air. We rolled about 50-60 degrees to the right and immediately counteracted with left input and leveled out.

The thing about wake, as far as I've been taught, is that it is of course most severe and prevalent when you are following someone who is clean, heavy and slow (I.E. a jet shortly after takeoff) and definitely did not cross our mind at that phase of flight at that altitude. But it definitely forced me into appreciate wake at all times, and looking back on my 8 years of flying so far, really made me wonder why it took so long to experience it! However I am glad I did because I have a greater deal of respect for it and would be better prepared (more or less) if I inadvertantly got into it again. Although it's not something I advocate seeking out just for the sake of acquiring another notch under one's belt!



Some cats think i'm 6 feet, I'm so deep; I can get d-d-down like a pessimist - Common
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