The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee Safety Assessment Team (SAT) is recommending the use of angle-of-attack indicators for general aviation aircraft. The recommendation emerged from a recently completed study of 2,472 accidents that occurred between 2001 and 2010. The SAT determined that the use of AoA-based systems by the GA community is an effective method for reducing loss-of-control accidents in the approach and landing phase of flight.
Angle of attack
Safe Flight invented the stall warning horn in 1946, and refined the concept with its “lift transducer” beginning in 1953. Now the company is at EAA AirVenture 2014 with a new product–the SCx Leading Edge AoA (angle of attack) indicator. It’s priced to be competitive with other AoA indicators, especially considering its $200 show discount. AirVenture buyers will pay $1,295 when they buy a system at the Safe Flight booth (No. 18). The regular price is still-attractive at $1,495.
The Viking 400 Series Twin Otter will soon come equipped with a Safe Flight angle-of-attack (AoA) indicator as standard equipment. The TSO’d system consists of a lift transducer, computer and a speed indexer. The speed indexer provides the pilot heads-up guidance to approach AoA. The computer provides Arinc outputs to drive low airspeed awareness and AoA displays on the primary flight display. Safe Flight’s lift transducer is a heated leading edge sensor and is cleared for flights into known icing conditions.
Safe Flight Instrument (Booth 5251) introduced at EBACE 2014 its new Icing Conditions Detector (ICD). The patented optical ICD provides an alert that icing conditions exist before ice can accrete on the aircraft. Comprised of a single line replaceable unit, the system is ideal for operations in all modes of flight, according to Safe Flight.
For many pilots, the first exposure to the benefits of an angle-of-attack (AOA) indicating system comes during their first simulator session toward a business jet or airliner type rating. Because fewer pilots are entering the world of professional flying via the military–which actively uses AOA systems–and general aviation training airplanes are rarely AOA equipped, new civilian pilots get little exposure to AOA indicators and their safety benefits.
EAA AirVenture 2013 is barely 48 hours old, but already some definite themes are emerging around the show. Among them is greater discussion regarding use of angle of attack (AoA) indicators in general aviation (GA) aircraft.
The European Aviation Safety Agency issued an emergency airworthiness directive December 4 for the angle of attack (AOA) probes of both the Airbus A330 and A340. The AD, which became effective December 6, results from an incident in which an A330 in the climb experienced a blockage of all AOA probes, leading to autopilot disconnection and activation of the alpha (angle of attack) protection system when Mach number increased.
The FAA has issued a proposed advisory circular that would, as a core principle, include “emphasis of ‘reduce angle of attack’ response as the primary response for stall events.” According to the proposed AC, “The primary goal of this proposed advisory circular is to provide training, testing and checking recommendat