Fly Safe: Prevent Loss of Control Accidents

Published on : Thursday, January 7, 2016

download (1)The FAA and general aviation (GA) group’s #FlySafe national safety campaign aims to educate the GA community on how to prevent Loss of Control (LOC) accidents.

A Loss of Control (LOC) accident involves an unintended departure from controlled flight. LOC can happen when an aircraft operates outside its normal flight envelope and could quickly develop into an aerodynamic stall or spin, surprising the pilot.Contributing factors may include poor judgment/aeronautical decision making, failure to recognize a stall or spin and execute timely corrective action, or intentionally failing to follow regulations. Inexperience in a particular make and mode of aircraft, lack of piloting ability, failure to maintain airspeed, failure to follow procedure or the use of over-the-counter drugs that affect pilot performance have also been cited as playing a role in this type of accident.
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Many fatalities could be avoided if pilots are better informed and trained on how to fly at the best glide speed when preparing for a forced landing.

Simply put, best glide speed is the airspeed at which the aircraft glides the farthest with the least loss of altitude. If faced with a forced landing situation, the best airspeed depends on what you’re trying to do.

Use the speed and configuration that will get you the most distance forward for each increment of altitude lost. This is often referred to as the best glide speed. On most airplanes, it’s roughly half-way between Vx and Vy. Keep in mind that speed increases with weight, so most manufacturers establish the best glide speed at the maximum gross weight for the airplane. This means your best glide speed will likely be a little lower.



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