The Airbus A380 Wake Vortex Steering Group recently issued new recommendations for A380 wake turbulence spacing. The group includes representatives from the FAA, JAA, Eurocontrol and Airbus. For a heavy aircraft following an A380 on approach and landing, add two nautical miles to the existing standard, for a total of six. Medium aircraft, add three, for a total of eight. And light aircraft, add four, for 10 total.
Because international aviation regulators and aerodynamic experts failed again last week to reach agreement about the extent of the safety hazards created by Airbus A380 wake turbulence, interim guidelines remain in effect. When the interim recommendations were adopted late last year the experts had expected to reach a consensus earlier this year on final guidelines.
Canada’s National Research Council, NRC Aerospace (Hall 4 Stand C17a), is gathering detailed wake turbulence data with a specially equipped aircraft. NRC’s CT-133, a former military trainer, has just completed instrument test flights. Researchers are focusing on en route wake turbulence behind commercial aircraft, which seem to be more dangerous than expected.
Airbus has issued a new “conservative and interim” recommendation for A380 separation minimums backed by 100 hours of flight testing performed in Toulouse, Istres and Frankfurt.
The Airbus A380 Wake Vortex Steering Group recently issued new recommendations for A380 wake turbulence spacing. The group includes representatives from the FAA, JAA, Eurocontrol and Airbus. Vertical, horizontal and holding spacing remains the same as for other aircraft; for these regimes the A380 was found to have wake characteristics similar to those of the Boeing 747.
Learjet 25, Amarillo, Texas, July 1, 2005–Landing at Amarillo International Airport with a 17-knot crosswind, the 7,300-hour captain was unable to maintain directional control of the Air America Jet Charter Learjet. The airplane struck a runway distance marker and ran off the runway to the left. The left wingtip tank fuel load was 200 to 300 pounds heavier than the load in the right wingtip.
The horizontal distance currently required between lighter and heavier aircraft to avoid wake turbulence might have to be doubled for smaller aircraft flying behind the new Airbus A380, according to preliminary findings of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The FAA has reiterated its request that pilots submit information on wake turbulence encounters that occur in domestic RVSM airspace, including the U.S., offshore airspace and the San Juan flight information region, via the NASA-operated Aviation Safety Reporting System.
Bombardier Challenger 600, Aspen, Colo., Feb. 9, 2006–Encountering what the pilot said were wake vortices from a BAe 146 taking off from Runway 33 at Pitkin County Airport, the Challenger was substantially damaged as it landed on Runway 15. At 50 feet agl, the Challenger rolled hard to the left and the stall warning horn sounded.
The pilot of a Bombardier Challenger 600 that was substantially damaged during a hard landing on Runway 15 at Aspen, Colo., on February 9, told the NTSB that the airplane encountered wake vortices from a BAe 146 that had just taken off from Runway 33. According to the pilot, at 50 feet agl the airplane rolled hard to the left. He added power and the twinjet rolled hard to the right.