Top Letters And Comments, August 9, 2019


Accident Probe: Twin Training

Just for my two bits worth: Many years ago, I was involved in a test program to defend Beechcraft in a lawsuit based on a spin/crash during training in a Beech 58 (non-turbo). We were at 10,000 feet over Borrego Springs (L-08), CA, where ground elevation close to 600 feet. At 10k’, “Full Power” was significantly less than maximum, so VMCA was below the stall speed.

Our flight followed several days of extensive testing to demonstrate that the approach to stall was preceded by numerous “red flag” events – VMCA KIAS marking, stall horn and stall buffet. At the moment of the accident loss of control, the aircraft had been at 10,000′.

At our event, we were performing previously tested full stalls with the right engine at full power and the left windmilling (Yes!!), video-taping the tests with onboard wing-tuft video as well as chase plane video.

I was the onboard camera operator. On this occasion, pilot achieved full stall with a bit too much right rudder, so the right (full power side) wing dropped about 15-20 degrees. The pilot explored the condition by just applying enough aileron to correct the roll, not recovering from the stall yet. The plane instantly snapped inverted to the left. (Oh yeah, and I experienced time compression.)

We recovered in half a turn with both engines at idle, and then discussed what had just happened.

It was apparent that the slight roll caused the AOA of the down-going wing to exceed the stall by a much larger margin than the other wing.

I still love the pilot’s answer when I commented on the next stall being MUCH more conservative: “The truth is, I’m a bit gun-shy right now.” He was actually human!!!

Ian Hollingsworth

Smoke-Filled British Air A321 Makes Emergency Landing

I recently retired with over 11,000 hours in the Airbus 319, 320, 321. I pushed very hard for the last 3 years for a simple memory item to remove smoke from the cabin and cockpit. The memory item I created could be accomplished in less than 30 seconds. British 422 was lucky the smoke was not toxic or you could have had hundreds of dead in the cabin. Only the cockpit masks are designed for smoke protection. The Captain upon declaring an emergency has the authority to deviate from all procedures in order to stabilize the situation. Therefore, the Captain is not required to do a checklist if it is inappropriate for the situation. With smoke in any plane the essence of smoke removal is descend, depressurize and open the ram air valve which gets fresh outside air flowing into the plane. Opening the ram air valve will also open the outflow valve.

Had the smoke been eliminated an evacuation would not have been necessary.

The checklist is too long and in a smoke-filled cockpit you may not even be able to read it.

Bill Bellinger

Poll: Does General Aviation Have A Role In Addressing Climate Change?

Climate change is probably happening, but it always has, and we’re not causing it, nor can we stop it.




Change is real, man’s impact is overstated.


Yes, more efficient airplanes. Let’s start with electronic ignition.


If the assumption that climate change is caused by engines burning fossil fuel is true, yes, we need to make our contribution reducing our contribution. However, the truth is, fossil burning engines are not the cause. But the real cause would not be a PC topic, so back to the first false assumption.


Yes. A big role. Electric solution.


No, not compared to military and airlines.


Hydrogen has the power density we need.


LOL, GA has zero influence on “climate change.”


Does GA like living on this planet?


Minimal compared to the rest.


Yes. Improved technology, better operations, sustainable fuels.


Every bit helps so GA also has a role to play.


Forget electric for now but diesel and efficient small turbines are needed, more affordably.


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