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Airspeed Fluctuations  
User currently offlineXXXX10 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 777 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 9 months 6 hours ago) and read 1342 times:

Can anyone help,

Does airspeed change when the head/tail winds change or is it just groundspeed that changes.

Could an aircraft find itself flying too fast or slow because of changes in wind speed?

many thanks

5 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (11 years 9 months 3 hours ago) and read 1317 times:

Very simple explaination is that it depends on how the change occurs. If an airplane is in a 20kt headwind which very quickly goes over to a 20kt tailwind, the airplane's airspeed will drop by 40kts while its ground speed will stay roughly the same. This is generally called windshear and can be very deadly. Now say the same change in wind speed happens, but very gradually over time. The airplane will maintain the same airspeed yet it will gain 40kts in ground speed.

Airplanes fly in relation to the air. They don't really care what the ground is doing while flying. Think of it as being in a stationary chunk of air with the ground having a speed (opposite in direction of the wind speed...its all about vantage point). That might help, or maybe really really confuse you.  Big thumbs up

On a side note, I'm friends with a private pilot who doesn't grasp the concept that air can have speeds, he thinks the airspeed indicator shows ground speed. *sigh*


User currently offlineFritzi From United Arab Emirates, joined Jun 2001, 2762 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (11 years 9 months 3 hours ago) and read 1314 times:

On a side note, I'm friends with a private pilot who doesn't grasp the concept that air can have speeds, he thinks the airspeed indicator shows ground speed.

Who did your friend bribe to get his licence?



User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (11 years 9 months 3 hours ago) and read 1313 times:

Fritzi, good question. It took him 3 tries to pass his checkride. His dad is a Continental pilot who I suppose has connections. You'd think having an airline pilot for a father would help, but he's not a very good pilot, actually an almost scary one.

User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 29
Reply 4, posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1227 times:

Could an aircraft find itself flying too fast or slow because of changes in wind speed?

Windshear can be an extremely serious situation having catastrophic results.

To cite an example of the top of my head is the Delta L1011 that crashed across the highway at DFW after flying into a shear caused by a thunderstorm. The shear createded a situation where the planes airspeed had been low enough not to be able to further support flight and the L1011 simply fell out of the sky.

JET






User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3474 posts, RR: 46
Reply 5, posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1235 times:

>Could an aircraft find itself flying too fast or slow because of changes in wind speed?

In a word.... YES!

>Windshear can be an extremely serious situation having catastrophic results.
>
>To cite an example of the top of my head is the Delta L1011 that crashed across the
>highway at DFW after flying into a shear caused by a thunderstorm. The shear createded
>a situation where the planes airspeed had been low enough not to be able to further
>support flight and the L1011 simply fell out of the sky.

Not quite accurate. The plane had plenty of flying capability left, but the pilots were not trained in the proper technique to utilize that capability nor in recognizing when to utilize that technique. This was the "final straw" that forced FAA to _require_ windshear simulator training at Part-121 airlines. I've flown that exact scenario more than a dozen times in simulators and escaped every time (average at AA has been ~65% success rate). Probably because I got so d*** scared each time that I squeezed every ounce of performance the plane could provide. Probably burned up a couple of engines along the way as well.  Innocent



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
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