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Wake Turbulence - Is There A Sop Or Qrh Procedure?  
User currently offlineJulianUK From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 105 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3997 times:

If you encounter wake turbulence and you are sure it is wake turbulence are there any set procedures now in place of what to do? My own thought is that you would want to slow down, so reduce throttles, not put huge control inputs in, but let things settle? I may be wrong but I wonder if there is any specific training what to do in this circumstance?

J

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRalgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3983 times:

Yeah, miss it.  eyepopping 

If avoiding it doesn't work for whatever reason, and I do feel it coming on an approach I'll slow the descent rate and get a bit higher on the glideslope. Power adjusted as necessary. Encounters at cruise are typically so short that by the time you've reacted, you're out of it and either everything is fine (most common), or you have to do an unusual attitude recovery.



09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
User currently offlineJulianUK From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 105 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3975 times:

The interesting thing is you say "I will...." not "the procedure is...." which indicates that there is no specific training here. Now with busy approaches etc wouldn't it be best that for both pilots and air traffic sake that once the words "wake turbulence" are heard by ATC there is a set process that goes into action?

User currently offlineEvan767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2957 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3963 times:

Ugh. I cannot stand when pilots don't wait before take-off to ensure that the air is all clear. I was flying once on an ERJ from FLL-MCO and a Northwest A320 had just taken off. The pilot gets right onto the runway and takes right off. About 10 seconds into the flight when we were over the ocean, the plane takes a jolt, about a 20 degree dip to the left, and then, what scared the sh** out of everyone was, imediately after that, the plane took a tremendous jolt to the right at least 30 degrees, maybe even up to 40 degrees. One or two people gave out a little scream, and my father even shouted, "What the hell is going on here?" and the pilot came on and apologized. I hope soon we can figure out something to prevent this. (don't forget the AA A300 on take-off from JFK right after 9/11)


The proper term is "on final" not "on finals" bud...
User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3954 times:

Quoting Evan767 (Reply 3):
Ugh. I cannot stand when pilots don't wait before take-off to ensure that the air is all clear

So, when tower says immediate, we just tell them we'd like to make sure tha air is clear? Or better yet, why don't we just wait 4 minutes behind all traffic. That would help!

Quoting JulianUK (Reply 2):
The interesting thing is you say "I will...." not "the procedure is...." which indicates that there is no specific training here. Now with busy approaches etc wouldn't it be best that for both pilots and air traffic sake that once the words "wake turbulence" are heard by ATC there is a set process that goes into action?

Wake turbulence and the associated problems are nothing new. That's why you have spacing requirements between dissimilar aircraft. However, to suggest we aren't trained is just bollocks! Pilots are trained about wake turbulence from day one. How to recognize the weather conditions that make it worse, how to land longer when following another plane. The list goes on.

It should be second nature for all pilots, not contained in a QRH. Airlines spent vast amounts of training on pilots for all sorts of situations. This is included.


User currently offlineBarney Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 966 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3952 times:

Quoting Evan767 (Reply 3):
Ugh. I cannot stand when pilots don't wait before take-off to ensure that the air is all clear.

So how long is long enough? There are clearly defined minimum separation rules that apply to aircraft with wake in mind. The controllers know this minimum and wont launch you until they have it. Asking for anything more (especially during peak times) won't go over too well. Wake is a very dynamic (and invisible) thing. I've launched with minimum spacing behind a heavy and gotten nothing and yet have been smacked by our same type ac with twice the spacing. In any case, the minimun spacing may not keep you from encountering SOME wake, it will keep you from anything would prove disastrous.



...from the Banana Republic....
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 41
Reply 6, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3949 times:

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 4):
Pilots are trained about wake turbulence from day one.

That's kind of what I was hoping a pilot would say.  Smile

Quoting JulianUK (Reply 2):
once the words "wake turbulence" are heard by ATC there is a set process that goes into action?

The set process being for the pilot to deal with it as trained, presumably. As I see it, there are generally three possible outcomes:
  • Damage or upset so severe it results in an accident - procedure out of the pilots' hands
  • Damage that requires a return to the field - procedure already in place
  • Continue with the flight - procedure already in place


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21637 posts, RR: 55
Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3937 times:

Quoting JulianUK (Thread starter):
If you encounter wake turbulence and you are sure it is wake turbulence are there any set procedures now in place of what to do? My own thought is that you would want to slow down, so reduce throttles, not put huge control inputs in, but let things settle? I may be wrong but I wonder if there is any specific training what to do in this circumstance?

Here's my procedure for wake turbulence:

1) Get the plane under control, and keep it that way
2) Get out of the wake turbulence

Wake turbulence is not like regular turbulence - you're generally in and out pretty fast. But what it lacks in duration it makes up for in intensity, which is why it's not something you just plan on riding out - you plan on avoiding it entirely. I've never heard of any set procedure for dealing with it - what I wrote above is just common sense. However, what I have heard is "fly above the flight path, land beyond the touchdown point." That will keep you clear of any wake turbulence, which is where you want to be. Naturally, when an IFR approach is in use and you're flying in IMC, you don't know where the other plane's flight path was, nor do you know where it touched down. That's where the ATC separation rules come into play.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineRalgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3933 times:

Quoting JulianUK (Reply 2):
The interesting thing is you say "I will...." not "the procedure is...." which indicates that there is no specific training here.

Nearly all of the training and procedures pertain to avoiding wake turbulence, as my opener states. Once you hit it the "procedure" is to not break anything, and that is as much a function of the wake strength, altitude, and speed as it is pilot actions. Once you're in it, there really isn't much you CAN do aside from ride it out and get out.

Quoting JulianUK (Reply 2):
Now with busy approaches etc wouldn't it be best that for both pilots and air traffic sake that once the words "wake turbulence" are heard by ATC there is a set process that goes into action?

There is a set process, it's called "avoid it," the pilot(s) will use their training and experience to determine how best to execute that process. One size does not fit all here.



09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
User currently offlineEvan767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2957 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3898 times:

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 4):
So, when tower says immediate, we just tell them we'd like to make sure tha air is clear? Or better yet, why don't we just wait 4 minutes behind all traffic. That would help!

I am just saying it will save some of the passengers from heart stopping turbulence. The wake turbulence sucked and I was just thinking that might be a good way to make sure we don't encounter any.



The proper term is "on final" not "on finals" bud...
User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3892 times:

Quoting Evan767 (Reply 9):
I am just saying it will save some of the passengers from heart stopping turbulence. The wake turbulence sucked and I was just thinking that might be a good way to make sure we don't encounter any.

I do know what you're saying, but there are practical limits to what you're proposing.

Bottom line is, if the pilots don't think it's safe, then they won't accept the takeoff clearance. Otherwise, you just might experience a few bumps.


User currently offlineSuper Em From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 448 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3837 times:

Quoting Evan767 (Reply 3):

I once saw an Olympic A340 at JFK encouter wake turbulence during t/o.
One of the scariest things that I ever witnessed. Even with precautions, sometimes it is inevitable. However whenever listening to JFK ATC the controller always advises the pilots of wake turbulence.


User currently offlineWoodreau From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1043 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3819 times:

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 4):
Pilots are trained about wake turbulence from day one. How to recognize the weather conditions that make it worse, how to land longer when following another plane. The list goes on.

It should be second nature for all pilots, not contained in a QRH.

That brought to mind the movie, "A Few Good Men."

"Show me in the manual the procedure for Code Red."
(rebuttal)
"Show me in the manual where the chow hall is..."

It'd be like having a procedure in the QRH or manual for when the controller tells you, "Turn left heading 050."

When I get the "Caution wake turbulence, 757 ahead on 3 mile final" I don't consciously think about the wake or what I have to do to avoid the wake, I just adjust my flight path so that I'm above the glideslope. I don't think about it at all. I look at where the 757 landed before and I make sure I don't touch down on the runway before its landing point.



Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
User currently offlinePilotaydin From Turkey, joined Sep 2004, 2539 posts, RR: 51
Reply 13, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 3801 times:

our SOP covers it in great detail, including the 757 and its hazards...

generally if it gets really bad, you go full manual and prepare for a go around, worst case



The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
User currently offlineJulianuk From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 105 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3700 times:

very interesting discussions, but the underlying facts I see are that if you experience wake turbulence it is entirely up to the pilot as he/she sees fit to alter their flying to avoid it - thus they could climb to go above the glideslope, slow down, or also turn slightly - so there are a number of options. My discussion was that ATC would not know which one you were going to do, therefore have to wait to see and make adjustments in the queue behind. This is why I have heard air traffic give pilots a real headache over not telling them what they were intending to do because it made the controller stand up by his display watching two aircraft getting very close, not knowing why, and it would be his responsibility if it went wrong (at least the ATC person would see it that way) - don't know what the best thing to do would be?

User currently offlineWakeTurbulence From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1294 posts, RR: 16
Reply 15, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3696 times:

Quoting Woodreau (Reply 12):
When I get the "Caution wake turbulence, 757 ahead on 3 mile final" I don't consciously think about the wake or what I have to do to avoid the wake, I just adjust my flight path so that I'm above the glideslope. I don't think about it at all. I look at where the 757 landed before and I make sure I don't touch down on the runway before its landing point.

If you are on final to SNA (5701' 19R) behind a 757 that has touched down long (1500' or so), how do you avoid wake? Or do the controllers do a better job at maintaining farther than minimum separation at that airport?
-Matt



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