dymondjack
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Planes Flip Upside Down On Final?

Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:43 am

I was just reading an article in Plane & Pilot magazine (myth bustin), and one of the myths was 'if you have some ackro training, you can save yourself if the plane flips upside down on the turn to final.'

Does this actually happen? And if so, how? I suppose if there's a strong gust it might roll the plane over while in the middle of the turn, but how common is this? I gather that spins and stalls happen more often on this turn, which makes sense, but actually flipping over?

I've never heard of it before, and wasn't able to find much searching the web for such cases. Just curious to see if anyone has had to deal with a situation like this before (it doesn't sound like fun...)
"First, get your information. Then you can distort it at your lesiure." - Mark Twain
 
KELPkid
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RE: Planes Flip Upside Down On Final?

Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:45 am



Quoting Dymondjack (Thread starter):
Does this actually happen? And if so, how? I suppose if there's a strong gust it might roll the plane over while in the middle of the turn, but how common is this? I gather that spins and stalls happen more often on this turn, which makes sense, but actually flipping over?

Well, having been on board a Cessna 206 that almost flipped over on short final at ELP, I would say the preceeding WN 737 had a little something to do with it... (in other words, Wake Turbulence  Wink ). We rolled about 110 deg. to the right...I'm really lucky that the guy flying PIC reacted quickly, or I wouldn't be here to tell you about it.
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dymondjack
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RE: Planes Flip Upside Down On Final?

Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:13 am



Quoting KELPkid (Reply 1):
We rolled about 110 deg. to the right

Hopefully I don't get firsthand experience in this...

congrats on the upcoming, btw
"First, get your information. Then you can distort it at your lesiure." - Mark Twain
 
Shhpanked
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RE: Planes Flip Upside Down On Final?

Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:36 am

Can't say I've heard of an aircraft rolling 180 degrees on final but that's not to say it hasn't happened before. I'd say altitude is really key in the type of situation you describe, not necessarily acrobatic training.

My first hand experience was flying through LAX via the shoreline at about 150 ft. and flew through the wake of a departing 747. I want to say the helicopter rolled close to 100 degrees to the left, turned us about a 45 degrees off our original heading, and lost about 75 ft. Doesn't sound horrible but I didn't have much altitude to play with.
People fly airplanes and pilots fly helicopters.
 
KELPkid
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RE: Planes Flip Upside Down On Final?

Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:38 am



Quoting Dymondjack (Reply 2):
Hopefully I don't get firsthand experience in this...

Hope you don't either, if you're PIC, pay attention anytime the tower says "Caution: wake turbulence"  Wink

Quoting Dymondjack (Reply 2):
congrats on the upcoming, btw

Thanks!
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CosmicCruiser
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RE: Planes Flip Upside Down On Final?

Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:49 pm



Quoting Dymondjack (Thread starter):
I suppose if there's a strong gust it might roll the plane over while in the middle of the turn, but how common is this? I gather that spins and stalls happen more often on this turn, which makes sense, but actually flipping over?

Getting away from the wake turb issue I think you're just referring to a stall on the turn base to final. Well yes it could and has happened but it's not something that's going to jump up and grab you out of the clear blue sky. It's merely the fact that you're low and slow and without proper attentuion to airspeed the a/c may approach a stall. Left uncorrected a stall in a turn will usually result in a roll or spin. Not a manuever you want at low alt. The best scenerio I can think of is making the turn, attention on the runway, being a little low so you ease back on the stick to "stretch" your glide and not really paying attention to a/s. plane stalls.
 
n6238p
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RE: Planes Flip Upside Down On Final?

Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:43 pm

Its my impression that the main reason for any stall during the base to final turn is the cross control stall. Few pilots when making their turn will find that they've overshot final and will try to cheat the nose of their plane back to the center line by using the rudder. Lets say its a left turn, they overshoot and add left rudder to get lined back up. Since they're already in a left turn, the added left rudder is going to give the plane an over banking tendency. To compensate for the overbank, the pilot will put in right aileron control. Right aileron, left rudder in a left bank is about as uncoordinated the plane will get. Stall speed increases in turns so the plane is even closer to the critical angle of attack. If the plane stalls, it is already in an severely uncoordinated condition which has the perfect formula for a spin.
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DescendVia
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RE: Planes Flip Upside Down On Final?

Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:53 pm



Quoting Dymondjack (Thread starter):
ckro training, you can save yourself if the plane flips upside down on the turn to final.'

I don't think you need that, you just need common sense. IE, if you rolled over on your back, correct or die.

I had something similar happen to me a while back...... I was doing the pattern and as I made my turn from cross wind to downwind, I got a hugh gust right at the climax of my bank. Needless to say I threw the yoke to other other way and got level, then ask to make it a full stop. It was a butt pucker for sure!

Asking a CFI after the fact, he said the only thing you can do is get the wings back level upright ASAP!
 
KELPkid
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RE: Planes Flip Upside Down On Final?

Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:00 pm

Also, I don't think anyone has covered this, but in a twin you could end up on your back if you get a little careless while engine out and let your airspeed fall below Vmc...
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2H4
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RE: Planes Flip Upside Down On Final?

Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:26 pm



Quoting DescendVia (Reply 7):
I don't think you need that, you just need common sense. IE, if you rolled over on your back, correct or die.

I believe a pilot's first exposure to inverted flight should indeed occur under controlled conditions in a training environment. That way, any subsequent unanticipated upsets will be a heck of a lot less shocking. Having previously experienced inverted flight, the pilot will be less likely to panic and hesitate in (properly) correcting the upset.

2H4
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dymondjack
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RE: Planes Flip Upside Down On Final?

Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:17 pm



Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 5):
I think you're just referring to a stall on the turn base to final.

Actually I was referring to an actual flip on final... I understand how a stall/spin occurs, but would think that in most cases this wouldn't result in a roll of 180°. I've never induced a spin before, and wasn't aware that a spin could result in a flip like this.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 9):
I believe a pilot's first exposure to inverted flight should indeed occur under controlled conditions in a training environment. That way, any subsequent unanticipated upsets will be a heck of a lot less shocking. Having previously experienced inverted flight, the pilot will be less likely to panic and hesitate in (properly) correcting the upset.

As far as the actual 'myth' goes, I would certainly agree with this statement. It makes sense that someone familiar with inverted flight would be more apt to correct the situation in a timely manner (assuming a manuver such as that can be corrected at 500ft AGL).

I was mostly just curious how often an actual flip occurs. I couldn't seem to find much info on it happening elsewhere. Aside from being careless around wake turbulance and strong gusts, it certainly doesn't seem like something that most people would have to contend with.

Not a bad thing to keep tucked away in the cobwebs of the mind though...
"First, get your information. Then you can distort it at your lesiure." - Mark Twain
 
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UltimateDelta
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RE: Planes Flip Upside Down On Final?

Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:07 am

Well, I guess it happens more than you think...


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CosmicCruiser
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RE: Planes Flip Upside Down On Final?

Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:11 am



Quoting UltimateDelta (Reply 11):
Well, I guess it happens more than you think...

That's silly usung that Fedex MD-11 as an example of "rolling over" on final. Actually that particular flight was right on the money until the last 50' where an excessive sink rate was introduced. Bad example.
 
n6238p
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RE: Planes Flip Upside Down On Final?

Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:19 am

A few years ago at a safety seminar, an Air Traffic Controller from Gary/ Chicago told a story about a Lear 55 landing behind a larger bizjet at Gary. The Lear got caught in the wake and rolled passed 90 degrees. The crew was able to recover the aircraft to a normal attitude without any incident. I guess what you can conclude from this is that these rolls may occur a bit more frequently than suspected. What it probably comes down to is what actually gets reported and if these incidents are reported, most likely unless there is damage or injuries, the furthest any records of such events doesn't go past the NASA ARAS forms.

Personally speaking I have not encountered one of these inadvertent rolls however I have gotten myself in situations where I experienced minor wake turbulence. The rolling motion will come out of no where and attempts to stop the motions seem to do nothing but delay the onset of the rolling motion. The only real way to stop it I've found is to get out of it.
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UltimateDelta
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RE: Planes Flip Upside Down On Final?

Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:44 am



Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 12):
That's silly usung that Fedex MD-11 as an example of "rolling over" on final. Actually that particular flight was right on the money until the last 50' where an excessive sink rate was introduced. Bad example.

Never realized that. Thanks for catching that.
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