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48 votes

Is it practical to intentionally stall an aircraft to execute a fast, controlled descent?

It isn't practical for a number of reasons: Intentional stalls are inherently dangerous. Stall-spin accidents are a major cause of accidents, stall recognition and recovery are taught specifically to ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 54k
36 votes

People in a rollercoaster or falling elevator feel the rapid descent, so why don't pilots in the cockpit?

You only feel the acceleration downward. In roller-coaster this sensation is maximized for maximum thrill. A stall isn't instant: some parts of the wing can be stalled while the rest still provides ...
ratchet freak's user avatar
32 votes
Accepted

On Air France 447, what would have been the lowest altitude to initiate recovery after the stall developed?

For the stalled flight to recover, the nose needs to be pointed in the airstream, and then the aircraft pulled up with load factor below the ultimate load. From the accident report: The recordings ...
Koyovis's user avatar
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30 votes

People in a rollercoaster or falling elevator feel the rapid descent, so why don't pilots in the cockpit?

You only feel the plunging sensation during the initial downward acceleration. Once stabilized at a constant rate of descent, things feel normal again. The other thing is, the amount of vertical ...
John K's user avatar
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22 votes
Accepted

Is it practical to intentionally stall an aircraft to execute a fast, controlled descent?

You don’t need a new technique You don’t normally stall jetliners. And in a crisis the last thing you want to do is learn a new technique. Besides, they already have a trained practice for descending ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
20 votes

Is it practical to intentionally stall an aircraft to execute a fast, controlled descent?

Normally, a stall and controlled flight are mutually exclusive. That AF447 would descend as it did has to do with the relaxed static stability of the A330 and its rear cg location as well as the ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

What does the autopilot do if activated in a stall condition?

In the AF447 accident, the autopilot disconnected because of inconsistent airspeed: Temporary inconsistency between the airspeed measurements, likely following the obstruction of the Pitot probes by ...
Bianfable's user avatar
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19 votes

Would mechanical indicators have helped in the Air France 447 incident?

Unfortunately, if there had been a jazz band in the cockpit singing "The plane is stalling" it wouldn't have helped. If Moses had been in there carrying a stone tablet newly-carved by God himself ...
Daniele Procida's user avatar
16 votes

Would mechanical indicators have helped in the Air France 447 incident?

@mike rodent I've read your comments on this post and they seem rather strong in tone to me. I'm joining the discussion here to hopefully explain to you why your ideas are not going to work as you ...
kevin's user avatar
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14 votes

Is it practical to intentionally stall an aircraft to execute a fast, controlled descent?

It is smarter to roll onto your side and maintain unstalled flight, executing a emergency spiral descent. G loads on the wings are much lower as there is no need to maintain altitude, only to control ...
Robert DiGiovanni's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Why did AF447 never return to normal law?

If the system detects anomalies for more than about ten seconds, alternate law becomes locked in for the remainder of the flight. The system detected a change in the median value of the three ...
TomMcW's user avatar
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12 votes
Accepted

What other circumstances may cause the autopilot to trip out?

What other circumstances may cause the autopilot to trip out? There are numerous circumstances, a few at random pilot presses the autopilot disconnect pushbutton. applying force to control-stick ...
RedGrittyBrick's user avatar
12 votes

Would mechanical indicators have helped in the Air France 447 incident?

A flag is not really effective because a big jets stalling speed is well over 100+ knots. The flag will be blowing fully even in the stall. I'm not familiar with the ship suggestion but it sounds like ...
Ben's user avatar
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11 votes

Would mechanical indicators have helped in the Air France 447 incident?

Wouldn't these two measures have had a good chance of providing the pilots of AF 447 with a true and totally irrefutable mental picture of what was actually going on? No more so than the standard ...
Jamiec's user avatar
  • 33.3k
10 votes

People in a rollercoaster or falling elevator feel the rapid descent, so why don't pilots in the cockpit?

You are forgetting one large difference between an aircraft moving through the air (still generating some lift), and an object in free-fall. Constant velocity in a gravity well (such as on the Earth) ...
Tyzoid's user avatar
  • 215
9 votes
Accepted

Why did Air France flight 447 fail to recover from the stall?

I‘ll attempt a very brief answer based on the report against your questions: 1) Why did the aircraft stall? The aircraft stalled because crew pitched the aircraft up beyond the performance limit at ...
Cpt Reynolds's user avatar
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9 votes

Do Airbus pilots have to practice flying in alternate law?

When I did my initial type rating on the Airbus it was rare to find the aircraft in normal law. The thing is most of the complex failures such as dual hydraulic failures, emergency electrical ...
Anas Maaz's user avatar
  • 1,963
9 votes

Do Airbus pilots have to practice flying in alternate law?

Air France 477 was in a fully developed stall. In a normal flight attitude. All the way from 40,000 feet to the surface of the ocean. The aircraft was falling like a leaf from a tree, with an angle of ...
Koyovis's user avatar
  • 61.8k
8 votes

What does the autopilot do if activated in a stall condition?

On just about all airplanes the Stall Protection System disengages the autopilot automatically whenever a range of parameters is exceeded. One of them is approaching stall. Generally the Autopilot ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
6 votes

People in a rollercoaster or falling elevator feel the rapid descent, so why don't pilots in the cockpit?

Sensation of motion can come through three of the physical senses. Each of the three senses is successively unavailable as we move through the examples of an amusement park ride, the plummeting ...
2NinerRomeo's user avatar
  • 2,223
6 votes

Is it practical to intentionally stall an aircraft to execute a fast, controlled descent?

Yes - and practical enough it could save your life. Spinning - which is a certain type of stall - was invariably fatal in the early days of flying, with 90% of fatal accidents attributed to this cause....
Party Ark's user avatar
  • 13.2k
5 votes

People in a rollercoaster or falling elevator feel the rapid descent, so why don't pilots in the cockpit?

A few things. That accident took place at night and in IMC while the aircraft was passing through a storm which I suspect had quite a bit of turbulence in its core. This would most likely have ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
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5 votes

Did AF447 cross dangerous weather?

The pilots did discuss the weather ahead and made some corrections to their course to compensate: 25 minutes before the autopilot disconnected they discussed climbing to a higher altitude, but the ...
TomMcW's user avatar
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4 votes

AF447 stall and failure to recover

The stall, for the most part, was not detected by the pilots: That was the entire problem. There were many alarms and indications in the cockpit and that caused crew confusion, they neither knew which ...
os1's user avatar
  • 1,560
3 votes
Accepted

What is being depicted w.r.t. AoA in this video?

There are several colored lines. Which one are you asking about? I'm assuming you are referring to the (cyan?) and red lines in the upper right inset. The cyan line shows the current direction of ...
BowlOfRed's user avatar
  • 5,621
3 votes

Do Airbus pilots have to practice flying in alternate law?

Airbus pilots do practice in alternate law when in training. As far as I know, it's a requirement. As you note, in alternate law (A320 family) and alternate law 2 for the other FBW widebody Airbuses, ...
Clayson A's user avatar

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