Wake Turbulence is the unseen killer and can really spoil your day or even have fatal consequences as this sad accident below, involving G-AYMJ on the 28th November 1978, shows:
This was the definitive UK wake turbulence accident involving one of our most experienced flying instructors who was a panel examiner and the chief flying instructor at Oxford Air Training, Carlisle. ERROR DOES NOT RESPECT EXPERIENCE!
The pilot of a Cessna 182 was making a VFR approach to runway 32 at Salt Lake City International Airport, Utah.
The pilot reported that he was instructed by ATC to proceed “direct to the numbers” of runway 32 and pass behind a “Boeing” that was on final approach to runway 35.
The Cessna pilot reported that while on final approach, the aircraft experienced a “burble,” and then the nose pitched up and the aircraft suddenly rolled 90 degrees to the right.
The pilot immediately put in full-left deflection of rudder and aileron and full-down elevator in an attempt to level the aircraft and to get the nose down. As the aircraft began to respond to the correct attitude, the pilot realized that he was near the ground and pulled the yoke back into his lap. The aircraft crashed short of the threshold of runway 32, veered to the northeast, and came to rest in the approach end of runway 35.
The pilot and the two passengers suffered minor injuries, and the aircraft was destroyed. The wind was 5 knots from the south. The approach ends of runways 32 and 35 are about 560 feet apart. Radar data show that the Cessna was at an altitude of less than 100 feet above ground level (AGL) when it crossed the flightpath of the B-757. The B-757 had passed the crossing position about 38 seconds prior to the Cessna 182
At anytime you experience a suspected loss of control, especially on the approach or take off, take loss of control/stall recovery action and then CLIMB AWAY away the best rate of climb speed (never recover to straight and level, always recover to the climb – airspeed is lifeblood & height is insurance!) Notice in the above accident the pilot did not use full power to assist recovery.
We always schedule(usually pre first solo) pre briefed wake turbulence recovery practice into Ex 12E & 13E by the instructor inducing a large roll in excess of 40 degrees on final and then handing control to the student. Wake turbulence recovery is not part of the new EASA syllabus!