Pilot's Guide to Avionics 2015-16 Edition - 48
SAFETY PRODUCT PROSPECTS
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flying sector of general aviation.
These accidents account for approximately 40
percent of GA fatalities.
" We are not on the path to safety that we would like
to have," said Bill Schinstock, manager of regulations
and policy for the FAA's Small Airplane Directorate,
during the 2014 Aircraft Electronics Association
International Convention & Trade Show. " We're looking
for ways to improve safety without increasing the cost
and burden of compliance. That's why we're looking at
the ASTM standards."
Loss-of-control accidents as a group envelop a
range of catalysts: landing long and overrun the
runway; land badly in a crosswind, depart the runway;
and ground loop on touchdown.
The worst outcomes typically accompany LOC
accidents involving pattern work, arrival legs, takeoff
climb, missed-approach climbs and rejected-landing
climb-out. All are loss-of-control accidents and heavily
dosed with pilots struggling with their pitch control. A
little too slow, a little too low, and you're left with too
little time and too little altitude for recovery.
At pattern altitude and below, the outcomes are toooften fatal. Why do pilots still struggle to be inside safe
Certainly, the stall warning systems in Part 23
should provide a margin of safety; but only a regular
pilot will know with confidence whether any given
aircraft's really works accurately. Further, the ASI
suffers with its own shortcomings in stall-avoidance
Neither the stall horn nor the ASI compensate for
density altitude, G-loading or attitude.
As a rule, AoA systems make for accurate response
with indication consistently reflecting the aircraft's
margin in pitch before the onset of a stall - regardless
of attitude or ambient conditions.
The FAA sees the increased situational awareness
from AoA systems as a way to address a frequent
accident cause. " A lot of our fatal accidents (in general
aviation) are related to low-speed loss of control,"
In the words of a retired professional certified
flight instructor who spent years as a business-jet
"Reducing loss-of-control accidents
is a current top target of safety
experts; AoA systems are viewed
as an underutilized tool in general
aviation, one with great potential to
reduce loss-of-control accidents."
designated examiner, " The AoA doesn't fool around and
isn't fooled. It will tell you you're close to stall angleof-attack while the airspeed needle shows you're still
10, 12 knots away. An AoA gives the pilot an honest,
consistent cushion and a bigger window to react and
indicate a trend toward stall well before stall."
Organizations from the NTSB, the FAA, pilots and
business aviation groups, all indicate their intent to
focus on reducing LOC accidents through a number of
techniques and tools.
The option to supplement the ASI and stall-warning
device with a graphic, often audible, indication with
the new angle-of-attacks gives these safety advocates
a tool new to the rank-and-file piston-aircraft owners
but one with an established track record and respect
earned from thousands of flight-deck professionals:
airline pilots, business aviation flight crews and military
The FAA's February 2014 approval of the ASTM
standards for installation of complaint, nonrequired
angle-of-attack indicators is an example of the
possibilities emerging from the years-long Part 23
rewrite now coming into play.
" We're pretty excited," said Ric Peri, AEA vice
president of government and industry affairs. " We are
seeing the future and are moving ahead, and not just
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