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Based on a number of trike fatalities because of lack of training of pilots being able to exit intentional or unintentional spiral dives, I have decided to pursue getting spiral dive recovery into the Practical Test Standards (PRS) for the USA so all new pilots and CFI's will start training to this important standard. This will also emphasize the importance of this for pilots and instructors for the 24 month flight review. If we are successful here and this is my goal, we can make spiral training visible and available to all pilots within 24 to 30 months.
I have contacted the FAA USA and discussed this addition to the PTS so here is my plan based on this conversation. It is more than likely we can achieve this so I am asking others for input to this important evolution in trike safety.
1. Justification for addition to PTS
2.What exactly is the task .
This article is the justification from specific instances where spiral dives hurt people or training saved them. The specific tasks are covered in a separate article.
Here is what I have now but we need specific instances. PLEASE HELP by adding specific links where spiral recovery would have helped.....
I am starting with Henry Trike Life video as a perfect example where training helped avoid a spiral fatality:
Accidents where spiral dive s without recovery are suspected main causes:
Rob Lyons 2 fatalities Washington state:
Michelle and Steve (Buzzy Bee) in Australia http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/two-people-dead-in-light-plane-crash-in-nsw-northern-tablelands-20150412-1mj9eg.html
reported spiral witness http://alltrikes.com/elgg/profile/YARRAFT
I could go back all the way to 2005-2005 and show you that:
in New England, a BFI and a student spiralled in, in an Air Creation with IXcess wing when they ran through some wake of (but well behind) a coast guard helicopter that made them start the spiral but the student or the new BFI had no clue on how to come out of it and spiralled multiple times to the ground from 800 feet and died. There was a spiral like this in a Klass trike which was fatal in 2006 or 2007, there was a suspected (no witness) spiral to death in I think Arizona in 2009 in an Air Creation with a new pilot and a CFI. There was a clear spiral from a ground reference maneuver (turn around a point) with a DPE (without trainer bars) with a student in a Northwing a couple of years back that was very clearly this spiral from 400 feet AGL to the ground digging in the tip into the ground killing both in Washington state. There are more that I don't know about or remember but these had clear signs of this spiral type lockout from the front seat occupant.
Intentional or unintentional spiral dives have caused a number of fatalities throughout the world. Therefore, I have decided to pursue getting spiral dive recovery into the Practical Test Standards (PTS) so all new pilots and CFI's will start training for this important maneuver in the US and hopefully worldwide. Additionally, this will also emphasize the importance of this important safety concept for pilots and instructors while performing a flight review required for all pilots ever 24 months in the USA. If we are successful with this, we can make spiral training visible and available to all pilots in the US within 24 to 30 months.
I have contacted the FAA and discussed this addition to the PTS so here is my plan based on this conversation. It is more than likely we can achieve this so I am asking others for input to this important evolution in trike safety. All input is appreciated.
There are two specific topics that need to be achieved to accomplish this:.
1. Justification for addition to PTS
2. What specifically to test for in the PTS which will be the basis of training for spiral dive recovery.
Before we get to the specifics, let's look at the closest item in the PTS that would relate to this subject.
The PTS is located at www.faa.gov/ training_testing/ testing/ test_standards/ media/ FAA-S-8081-31.pdf or you can purchase a paper copy at http://www.pilot-stores.com/asa-practical-test-standards-sport-pilot/
In the PTS Power Off Stall Task, the turning stall task is made to simulate the base to final turn and specifies a maximum 20 degree banked stall to represent this base to final scenario with no more than a +/- 10 degree variation. Hopefully this maneuver is thought by instructors to cover this base to final stall/spiral avoidance as a starting point to avoid this situation altogether in the first place. Typically the inside wing falls and the recovery is the same as a spiral recovery - reduce angle of attack (AOA) while leveling the wing, EXCEPT, repeat EXCEPT, you add throttle to recover at a slow speed and bank angle below 45 degrees RATHER than let off the throttle to recover in a spiral dive when the nose is pointed down. Significantly different recovery methods based on the bank angle.
Back to the JUSTICICATION before we get to the specifics of the spiral recovery maneuver. I can easily write a paragraph describing the problem but specific instances involving pilots in accidents is important to make this happen. I will put this into another blog/article to keep it separate and on track since this may create some discussion on this topic. Here we will focus on the specifics of the PTS task here.
Where should this be in the PTS as a task? Well it can be either in the Slow Flight and Stalls Area after the whip stall and tumble awareness OR in the Emergency Operations Area. The Slow Flight and Stalls Area is similar to the tuck tumble task for WSC/trikes and similar to the Spin Awareness for the Airplane Task which is in the slow flight and stalls for airplane. The Emergency procedures is appropriate since it is an Emergency recovery procedure. Ideas and input as to where the appropriate place in the PTS are appreciated from CFI's and DPE's.
The problem is how I teach this is not easily replicated for student to practice nor testing during a checkride. I now teach this with a two step process:
1. Get into a very high 60 degree bank and recover from there. Nose falls and the recovery procedure is initiated by simultaneously decreasing angle of attack, level wings and reduce throttle. Additionally at a very high bank angle, push out to demonstrate the stall and how this will initiate a spiral as the wing drops and things get worse. Again, the recovery procedure is initiated by simultaneously decreasing angle of attack, level wings and reduce throttle.
2. Get into a steep bank angle (example 45 degree bank performance maneuver) and bumping the bar to a higher bank angle as if there was some event that put the student into a very high bank angle (example 60 degrees) unable to maintain altitude at full throttle. Nose falls and the recovery procedure is initiated by simultaneously decreasing angle of attack, leveling wings and reducing throttle.
There may be a difference of opinion of exactly the sequence among flight instructors, but I teach a simultaneous pitch/roll/throttle where a sequence 1,2,3 can also be utilized for specific wing/trike situations. The PTS tasks needs to be open enough to accomplish either method depending on the specific trike/wing.
So how do we provide a recovery technique to initiate and recognize a spiral that can be thought by CFI's and practiced by the student on their own.
Here is my first cut at this in the PTS to accomplish this task. The objective is to obtain input before I submit this to the FAA to have it incorporated into the PTS. Here is a first cut at the two tasks as a starting point:
TASK: POWER ON SPIRAL RECOVERY (WSCL and WSCS)
REFERENCES: FAA-H-8083-5; Aircraft Flight Manual(AFM)/POH/AOI, .
Objective. To determine that the applicant:
1. Exhibits knowledge of the elements related to power on spiral recovery.
2. Selects an entry altitude that allows the task to be completed no lower than 1,000 feet AGL (Typically this would be at least 2000 AGL).
3. Establishes a high banked minimum 45 degree turn maintaining altitude at 1.6 Vs as specified by the examiner. Applicant simulates unintentional spiral by bumping to higher bank angle not to exceed 60 degrees and nose down attitude 30 degrees. Transitions smoothly and immediately from nose down high banked turn to level flight with 0 to 30 degrees bank angle.
4. Minimizes altitude loss, with no high pitch angle recovery, with immediate correction to new heading with no more than 180°correction in direction from simulated spiral initiated heading.
5. Recognizes and recovers promptly after the spiral is initiated by reducing the angle of attack , leveling the wing and reducing throttle to return to a straight-and-level flight attitude with a minimum loss of altitude appropriate for the specific weight-shift control aircraft.
6. Returns to the altitude, heading, and airspeed specified by the examiner.
Y. TASK: POWER OFF SPIRAL DIVE (WSCL and WSCS)
REFERENCES: FAA-H-8083-5; Aircraft Flight Manual(AFM)/POH/AOI, .
Objective. To determine that the applicant:
1. Exhibits knowledge of the elements related to power off spiral recovery.
2. Selects an entry altitude that allows the task to be completed no lower than 1,000 feet AGL.
3. Reduces throttle and establishes a high banked minimum 45 degree descending turn at 1.6 Vs as specified by the examiner. Applicant simulates unintentional spiral by bumping to higher bank angle not to exceed 60 degrees and nose down attitude 30 degrees. Transitions smoothly and immediately from nose down high banked turn to level flight with 0 to 30 degrees bank angle.
4. Minimizes altitude loss , with immediate correction to new heading with no more than 180°correction in direction from simulated spiral heading.
5. Recognizes and recovers promptly after the unintentional spiral is initiated by simultaneously reducing the angle of attack, leveling the wing and increasing throttle as appropriate to return to a straight-and-level flight attitude with a minimum loss of altitude appropriate for the weight shift control aircraft.
6. Returns to the altitude, heading, and airspeed specified by the examiner.
This beautiful Red, Black, and White Streak 3 wing flies 65-70 mph behind the XT 912. It is an extra trike that I'm willing to sell for less than 30k! No damage or hanger rash and comes with Lynx helmets/headsets, Powered Interface, and an Icom A6 radio. It has a BRS installed but is out-of-date. The XT 912 is a 2007 SLSA and has 725 hours, in annual, and well-maintained. The wing is bagged and ready to ship to the new owner. This is a great price for a great trike! Instruction is available if you desire to drive/fly it home from Winston-Salem, NC. Or, you can take delivery in Rochelle, IL at the conclusion of PreOsh on July 18. Doug Boyle (336) 414-2522
Hi Guys and Gals:
Steve Morse (yes the rock guitarist of Deep Purple fame) owns and flies an Apollo LSA that we assembled at Zephyrhills in I believe 2008 or 2009. The plane flies almost every day or two by Steve and he loves it but he is a tail-dragger enthusiaist and would possibly be willing to part with the pane to order a replacement tail dragger version.
It has a BRS, MGL Enigma EFIS, Partial backup analog panel, 2-axis auto-pilot and the works. 980 hours. Located in Ocala, FL.
If you don't know who Steve Morse is, see:
Serious inquries please.
Asking price is $56k.
It's always a problem finding Mogas for my 100 HP Rotax engine while away from my home field. A few airports list having Mogas but it's often not available anymore or they don't have the Premimum Grade I need...another words, not up to date and unreliable. How about creating a new section under "Destinations" at AdventurePilot.com?
Pilots can write in the new "Mogas" section under "Destinations", fill out a form about availability of Mogas at an airport or how far away. For example, a common place for traveling pilots to get Mogas in California is Harris Ranch (3O8). Nothing is listed in Airport Information but there is a gas station 50 yards from the airport parking and mostly just us locals know about it and use it.
Next, iFly would use this data to create an additional Mogas - "M" icon under "Fuel Prices" and "Map Mode & Layers". Enable this "M" icon and an "M" would show on the screen at the airports where someone has filed a report. Tap on that airport and have a place on the Airport Information where you could read the filed reports and decide if you want to walk to that gas station or perhaps an airport car can be used. Subsequent users could confirm the accuracy or change the data if necessary.
With this data base, it would be possible to fly most places in the US and find Mogas.
There's a good chance iFly will implement something close to this, this summer and especially if people go to the iFly website and comment on my post. Do you like the idea of having a National Mogas Database for pilots? Tell them! Would you buy this GPS if you knew you could find Mogas all over the U.S.? Tell them!
This is a notice for all Apollo trikers that have Profi TL or Reflex series of wings.
It is mandatory to check the integrity of all plastic clip batten tips every 50 hours for the trailing edge (all made by Airborne) and replace any that are suspect at all. Its difficult to judge the strength of the clip closing and thus is during an open and close check anything is suspect at all, please replace the tip immediately. Any of these tips that have been forced open once should not be re-used as they lose a significant amount of their holding resistence to open. These should never be put back together and re-used.
Although SilverLight Aviation is not responsible for other brands but we highly suggest to all trikers flying wings with these Airborne produced clips to follow the same advice we are providing our customers.
These tips can be purchased from various sources like by calling us, calling Northwing or via Aeros or Airborne. All of them come from the same source and produced by Airborne.
In our new wings we do not use these tips any longer and have switched to string batten cords.
A mandatory safety bulletin will be going out to our customers who are known to have wings with these tips on their trikes. Please spread this if you know someone with these tips in their wings.
This bulletin is offered as a preventative cautious approach based on the following Oz Report and video of a hangglider getting into an unreciverable spiral dive by experienced pilots and recreated by German DHV test pilot.
Over the years on our web site search results the word "ultralight" has always been popular. Many think that 2 place LSA weight-shift control trikes are ultralights still, after 10 years. I am still explaining to many an ultralight is a single place, 5 gallons, 254 pounds empty, bla, bla, bla..
103's got top billing at popular GA website http://generalaviationnews.com/2015/04/29/part-103-ultralights-are-hot/
This is a significant GA endorsement thanks to Dan Johnson, a trike pilot for decades. You can see a similar article at his web site http://www.bydanjohnson.com/ which has one of the better pictures of the REV.
The REV got top billing for trikes in these articles.
Here is my page on ultralights in general where I speak about ultralights to the general public.
I think ultralights, trikes are going to be more popular since they are:
Trike are the most fun to fly. A trike is most easily compared to a “motorcycle that flies”. It is a simple carriage with wheels and a wing.
A trike is simpler, easier, and less expensive to own and operate than typical airplane. They perform well at lower and higher speeds and burn less fuel.
Because of the wing design they are stall resistant and safer to fly than airplanes with these safer slow flying characteristics. Many trikes have emergency parachute systems making them safer that ultralight airplanes. With the great glide performance, if the engine fails you just glide down and land just like a hang glider.
Speed and Range
Ultralight trike aircraft are known for the ability to fly low and slow. The ultralight trike’s typical cruise speed can range from slow at 25 MPH to 50 mph. You’ll typical operate at heights between 300 and 1500 feet (90-500 meters). But you can ground skim just a few feet off the ground (a popular use of the aircraft) or cross country to altitudes as high as 18,000 feet (5.5 km). Since they are limited to a 5 gallon gas tank and burn less fuel than the higher drag ultralight airplanes they can go further.
The ultralight trike is easier to fly than the ultralight airplane because it is a natural action to control. You simply move your body to there you want to go. You are only controlling two axis, roll and pitch. In an airplane you must control three axis which makes it more difficult. Trikes have an automatic rudder so crosswind take off and landings are easy. The natural feel and the easier to control make trike flying easier, less time/money, and safer.
Transport and Storage
Trikes can be easily taken down and transported in a trailer and stored in a trailer or garage. This makes them fun to take along on road trips and fly where you want.
A trike’s wing folds into a 16-foot tube that is 8 inches in diameter, and the carriage fits in a garage or trailer. It takes less than an hour to set it up or take it down. Another way is with a bigger trailer, the wings are folded back and it rolls right into the trailer which takes about 15 minutes to take down and set up.
If you want to go from airport to airport, you’ll want a smaller wing and enclosed carriage with skinny, streamlined tires. If you want to fly from beaches or in the boonies, you’ll want a big wing and fat tires, and you know with the extra drag you’ll not go as fast, or as far.
With the speed, ease of flying, and cross wind capability of the ultralight trike, it has become popular to new people learning to fly, airplane pilots wanting to simplify, plus powered parachute pilots wanting more speed and wind capability.
An ultralight trike is a great choice for the ultralight category.
to make a short story weally long, (as the waskally wabbit wote), every flight begins with a take-off, and ends, usually, with a landing.( with a bit in between!) both regimens can be performed, successfully, dependant on territorial surface, atmospherical conditions,pilots preferences (quirks), at 'odds' with current teachings. whether the three-three inch wide strips we will be using are on a well manicured (faa funded) mile long blacktop runway, or some 'weed' farmers 'weally weally wuff woad under wildly fluctuating conditions the acknowledged trike 'gurus' tend to tap dance around a bit re the ideal, perfect, pristine landing sequence. understandably reluctant to 'piss off' their fellow 'industry leaders' i've read 'qualifying comments' ranging from 'NO EXCEPTIONS all the way to WHEN SAFE TO DO SO. i'm reffering to full stall, suggestion bar ALL the way forward agin the down thingamy tube,if any, big fan idling,minimum airspeed. it would be interesting to watch a 'friendly' contest between these guys flying ONE trike, with a large 'floaty' wing landing on varying surfaces with an unknown, but significant variable crosswind component. i doubt that the 'perfect' landing regimen would be adhered to! i was teached, way back in a previous century, (i'm not saying which one!) to always leave a 'little in the bank' when landing, to spend some, if neccessary. well, with 4k plus arrivals ,(some of which were fairly smooth!) . this has worked ok for me,(with help from lady luck) with various surfaces and conditions. contrary to some , almost hysterically rigid doctrines demanded by some 'industry leaders'. now i'm not advocating 'blazingly fast' arrivals, just a coupla' furlongs-a-fortnite above minimum controllable airspeed, enabling the average 80 yr old trike driver (like moi) to smoooothly re-attach. the ONLY occasion i see for the 'perfect' landing is due to the roll out area to be drastically reduced by a suddenly appearing sink hole, or a herd of effelumps grazing on the runway, or your brakes 'fall off', or, as demonstrated (un planned) in my 2006 arizona crash video with NO run-out possible, yeah ameliarating inertial damage by getting 'er down 'weally slowly, is good. i prefer smooooth landings every time, (not dropping in and having your dentures fall out) , except for the exceptions......monty
Since spiral dives are responsible for a number of unnecessary trike fatalities, it is important for the industry to provide avoidance and recovery techniques to avoid future mishaps.
The most important remedy is to get actual spiral dive/avoidance/recovery dual training from a qualified instructor. This can most easily be combined with a flight review or a training session with a trike CFI.
Additionally there are many ground training resources that each and every pilot and instructor can utilize to move pilots from the proper or improper rote actions to the correlation levels of learning.
These are listed below:
Video with editing where spiral recovery training saved two lives:
Henry Trikelife raw flying footage of above video:
Exit a Spiral Dive by Larry Mednick video:
Spiral Dive in A.C. by Larry Mednick Video:
Ground school paper book where Spiral Dive science/principles is discussed in detail chapter 5 Advanced Flight Maneuvers:
Ground school downloadable eBook where Spiral Dive science/principles is discussed in detail chapter 5 Advanced Flight Maneuvers:
Trike Training Syllabus where Spiral Recovery is part of a comprehensive training program:
Steep Turns and Spirals for Trikes where steep turn turbulence resulted in spiral with immediate corrective action
Please provide any additional training resources on this subject for trike pilots so we can have a complete listing here.
Thank you your help with this issue.
This past Sunday evening I went up for the first flight of Spring in some nice calm weather. What was unique about this flight is it was my first flight after installing a Roll Trim Kit on my Revo. Installation of the kit was fairly straight forward. The entire process took about 4 hours to install the wheel spat mechanism and dash switch. Up until this point, I was using a "stick on" ground adjustable trim tab which I never seemed to get positioned just right.
For those of you who have watched my videos and seen some of my commentary, getting the trike to fly hands off at all speeds has been a point of frustration. For those with adjustable speed trim - you will probably recognize the issue. After much trial and error with the manual trim tab, I was able to get my trike to fly mostly straight at a nice 75mph cruise. However, if I trimmed slower or faster a slight turn would be induced.
On this first flight, I gave the in flight adjustable trim kit a try and I am VERY HAPPY to report that I was able to take out any turning tendencies perfectly WHILE IN FLIGHT! Furthermore, as I adjusted trim speed, I was able to easily and immediately take out any induced turn with the roll trim. I had my Revo flying hands off, at multiple trim speeds, with no turning tendencies by using very little adjustments of the roll trim kit. I found myself grinning ear to ear as I flew for long durations without having to touch the bar. It was a joy to have a trike that flew straight as an arrow no matter the speed.
For those flying in trikes with adjustable trim speeds or if you have any sort of mild but annoying turning tendencies, this is THE feature to get! It can be frustrating and tiring when your trike just won't fly straight. After proper wing tuning and adjustments are made, this little device compensates for variations caused by weather, humidity and speed changes. It proved its worth training with Larry in Florida on his trikes and now will make all my flights in my trike that much more enjoyable. As I continue to work towards my Sport Pilot goals and with some upcoming cross country flights to complete, this device will make those longer duration flights all that much more enjoyable, accurate and safe. I can't recommend it highly enough! It is without a doubt one of the best investments I have made in my short triking adventure. A must have option on any future trikes I own and fly.
Safe Flying All!