Aerodynamics – Next Monday

June 16, 2011 by Bruce Landsberg

This is a plug for next Monday’s Air Safety Institute’s free aerodynamics webinar. What with airliners having difficulty with stalls these days and the usual carnage that surrounds GA it’s a hot topic. I will be joined by two experts in the field: Rich Stowell, who runs a first class training operation out of Santa Paula Airport in California and literally wrote the book on stalls and spins and Brian Smith, an aeronautical engineer who works for NASA and is a private pilot. He says a barn door can be made to fly and might actually tell us how that works.  We’ll review a number of accidents from the aerodynamics perspective and will be accepting questions from the audience.

We’ve looked at the GA stall-related accidents back to 2003 and plotted them on a map which you’ll see – year by year. As basic as this might seem, too many pilots and their passengers are dying because they don’t quite understand Alpha. Everybody regurgitates the mantra for the checkride and for the knowledge test that an aircraft can be stalled at any airspeed and pitch attitute but somehow they haven’t internalized it.

Some questions that might be answered are:

  • Pitch & power – which controls airspeed and which controls altitude? We guarantee a good time with that one!
  • Why using power in stall recovery isn’t always a good idea?
  • How about teaching spins that aren’t really spins?
  • How can we, as CFIs, better prepare our students to stay alive?
  • Should we practice the “impossible turn” – engine failure after takeoff?
  • Why not use AOA instead of Airspeed  as the measurement?

After the revelations regarding the Colgan accident and now that Air France 447 is beginning to reveal some of its secrets,  it’s a great time to study. This is probably not the program to invite a non-pilot to watch but for the rest of us, it will either be something new or a great refresher. We will be working with a leading edge software program that demonstrates state of the art webinars – with luck it will work seamlessly – at the least – you’ll be entertained. If you don’t have a better offer for an hour next  Monday, join us.

Bruce Landsberg
Senior Safety Advisor, Air Safety Institute

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  • Bruce Ziegler

    Had to respond “Wait for the movie” only because I’m not available Monday. Hope this is made available on the web site as a webinar to review later.

  • Bruce Landsberg


    For better or worse,it will be recorded for posterity and stored on the webinar tab of the ASI website. It should be a lively discussion!

  • Field Morey

    Very sorry that I will miss this. On the way to Alaska on Monday