Old 13th Aug 2018, 19:09
  #221 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Sydney
Age: 55
Posts: 87
Originally Posted by meleagertoo View Post
Not many people know that, my friend, and even if you take issue with the terminology (but why? It is a common enough expresson) everyone knows what is meant by it and the significance of it in this case. Quite how that one petty cavil renders an entire post "utterly irrelevant" is known only to you pal - but it doesn't say much for your CRM, tolerance or powers of logic and judgement does it?

Nul points for a pointless, irrelevant snipe.
Very much appreciated your post too meleagertoo (and I didn't think any of it "irrelevant" by the mention of a downwind turn). I think this person is just exercising the usual knee-jerk black & white judgement reaction to the possibility that in using the term you're indicating you're from that die-hard aviation fraternity that swears by the belief an aircraft behaves differently (and has differing stall speeds) depending on whether you're turning into the wind or away from it. There is of course an ongoing debate with members of this fraternity where some will absolutely hang-on to this notion that an upwind turn "can save you" in circumstances where you're close to stalling whereas an equivalent downwind turn can be your undoing. What's missed in these discussions again and again is that these turns can only be termed "upwind" and "downwind" when considered in regards to reference against the terrain the aircraft is flying over and it is when a pilot falls for the trap of attempting to tighten a turn because of the perceived overshoot with reference to the ground or terrain that a "downwind turn" can be so fraught with danger.

And (from what I can assess with the obvious experience and knowledge you've presented in your post) it's this phenomena you're talking about; an aircraft close to the edge of its performance envelop in high density altitude conditions boxed in by rising terrain where a downwind turn will have the pilots likely overshooting with the radius of the turn bigger than expected resulting in them (potentially and unwittingly) pulling it tighter and into a stall. This is an accident scenario all too common, with one of the more obvious ones being where pilots stall during the turn from base onto final when dealing with a strong crosswind. They start overshooting during the turn because they didn't allow for the wind behind them and in the ensuing over-banking stall and spiral in.

The human factors you've written about and the complacency that can set in with very experienced high-hours flight crew is all too likely to have been the major contributing factor in this accident. I appreciate how you've articulated this.

Last edited by RenegadeMan; 13th Aug 2018 at 19:16. Reason: Minor grammar correction and removed "right hand" from crosswind circuit description as depends of circuit direction
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