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How Low to Spin??

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Old August 31st 04, 04:06 AM
Bob Korves
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We have a pilot/owner where I fly that has this tidbit as the first item on
his takeoff checklist:
1. Remove canopy cover

"Mark James Boyd" wrote in message
news:[email protected]
ADP wrote:
1. Failed to use proper check list.
2. The aircraft had not filed a flight plan.

3. Pilot failed to maintain proper terrain clearance.

everyone nods heads solemnly in agreement with
the wise sage who figured this one out too

Mark Boyd
Avenal, California, USA

Old August 31st 04, 03:08 PM
Herbert Kilian
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(Tom Seim) wrote in message . com...

I recently read the accident report of the ASW20 crash (fatal) at
Williams, CA. Per the check list, they did a positive control check of
the elevator by having the assistant (co-owner) hold the elevator
while the pilot applied force on the stick. Resistance was felt, check
list passed. Only problem was the elevator was not hooked up and what
the pilot felt was the push rod hitting the bottom of the elevator.
Now, if the guy just LOOKED at the connection it would have been
obvious that it was not hooked up (it is in plain site).

Tom and all,

Your report triggers my a "Pavlov's dog" reaction in me. Rather than
salivating like the dog I shake my head in sorrow that in the US we
are practicing placing the pilot in the cockpit for a positive control
check. If the pilot in your example had done the walk-around combined
with the PCC he would most likely have noticed the disconnected
elevator. In most other countries (input from Europe, Australia, S.
Africa etc. welcome) they put a helper at the controls (in the
cockpit) and the pilot asks for specific movements i.e. 'elevator full
up, elevator full down' with the helper repeating the words and
applying force to the controls. I have talked about this to many
pilots here in the US including instructors and the reaction was
always that most here think the pilot needs to "feel" the controls
from the cockpit to know what's going on. I think that's incorrect
mainly because different helpers will apply different forces to the
control surfaces leading to inconsistent feedback.
Another observation in the same vein: most US pilots fail to do the
walk-around check with the justification that they just taped wings
and tail and looked over the glider while doing so.
Another comment: poking fun at the use of check-lists in this thread
is very unfortunate.

Herb, J7
Old August 31st 04, 04:54 PM
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Herbert Kilian wrote:


Another comment: poking fun at the use of check-lists in this thread
is very unfortunate.


I see the main thrust of references to checklists in this thread as a
denigration of overly detailed checklists, and as a warning against
using checklists in situations where time is of the essence in
responding to an abnormal attitude or condition of flight.

I hope that everyone understands it is the misuse of checklists and not
their proper and very necessary uses at which fun was being poked. Some
immediate action steps must be committed to memory and become second
nature. In many phases of flight, both normal and abnormal, a checklist
is best used as a review.

I think you are right about the conduct of control checks. Anybody
should be able to move the stick as instructed, but only the pilot can
be expected to know the feel of a properly connected system and that
feel is best gained at the control surface.

Assembly, control, and walk-around checks (always performed separately)
seem to me to be the best examples of the "menu" approach to using a

Old August 31st 04, 07:19 PM
Tom Seim
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Another comment: poking fun at the use of check-lists in this thread
is very unfortunate.

Exactly which part of my post was "poking fun"? I thought that I was
being dead (pardon the pun) serious.

I have 4 opportunities to catch an error on control linkages:
1. The initial hookup.
2. An immediate check of each control linkage after hookup.
3. The walk-around inspection.
4. Visual observation of control movement standing by the cockpit.

Missing all 4 falls into the "being hit by an asteroid" category.

Old August 31st 04, 11:06 PM
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The discussion of a) overly-long checklists that don't get used and,
on the other hand, b) the need for checklists reminds me of a
discussion with a power instructor (instrument), who made a
distinction I hadn't encountered before, but it made sense. He
distinguished between a written procedure, a written checklist and an
oral checklist. Here's the idea:

Written procedu a written sequence of steps to take.
Written checklist: a written list of things to check.
Oral checklist: a memorized checklist. Should be very short, and
memorable, used only for a few last-minute and "death/destruction"

A written procedure may be quite long and can be detailed. It may
contain some lower-importance items. It is used for setting up the
aircraft and should be used when there is time for it. Sitting next
in line for takeoff on the runway, barreling down final approach, or
right after a rope break - not good times for a written procedure.

A written checklist may also be quite long. Often it's the same as
the procedure list, but it should contain only short reminders of only
the important items: its purpose is to confirm that the aircraft is
already properly set up. Written checklists should also be used when
there is time for them. They provide a double-check; their
disadvantage is that they rarely identify anything wrong, so human
nature makes it easy to miss something. It's mostly for that reason
that a checklist should be as short as possible and should stick to
truly important items: no zipper-checks.

In 2-pilot operations, the written procedure and checklist can be
combined in a single document, but the functions are separated by the
challenge-response between the two pilots. For single pilot
operation, this instructor did NOT like the approach of
read-it-do-it-confirm-it all in one pass. It's too easy to either
skip a line, or skip an action (to avoid missing a line, pilots have a
tendency to touch the control but keep their eyes on the list, so they
don't actually confirm the step or even think about what they're
doing). Hence his preference for separating the roles of the two
pilots - read it (copilot role), do it (pilot role), check it (copilot
role) - into entirely separate sequences.

An oral checklist should be short and memorable. It should contain
only last-minute items and the few items most likely to cause death
and/or destruction. It can be used when the pilot is busy, because
it's short and doesn't require reading. In fact, busy moments - when
something may get overlooked - can be a good place to insert one! The
takeoff and landing checklists are the best examples.

I'm still working on how this translates for gliders. I think those
long checklists ("zipper check / chewing gum quantity check / attach
tow rope") are actually procedures: most pilots probably don't need to
keep using the written version (how likely is it that you'll forget to
attach the tow rope? - and if you do, what will happen?). Shorter
checklists have their place - "task set up on the nav computer" - but
probably should be done before you become #1 in line for takeoff. And
oral checklists should be used right before takeoff
("brakes-trim-belts" or whatever) and landing (USTALL, or your own
favorite) as a last-minute confirmation that nothing really stupid is
going to cause something really bad.

There's a somewhat separate question of what the right contents for
the procedures and checklists should be!
Old September 1st 04, 12:20 AM
W.J. \(Bill\) Dean \(U.K.\).
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Derek Piggott has written as follows:

"I think lots of people still think that pro-spin controls means having a
lot of rudder or aileron on and don't realise that the important thing is
the stick position. If the stick is well back, spinable machines spin:
without the stick being back they don't spin.

"I don't need to tell you that many other gliders will spin a turn or two if
the stick is kept back on the stop, the c.g. is well aft and a wing drops,
even if the aileron and rudder are still central."

Even if the pilot coordinates perfectly, and string and ball remain exactly
central, a gust or turbulence may cause enough asymmetry to start a wing
drop. Gustiness, gradient, shear and turbulence are particularly likely
close to the ground.

W.J. (Bill) Dean (U.K.).
Remove "ic" to reply.

"Chris OCallaghan" wrote in message


BTW, as I noted in another thread, spins are not caused by lack of
airspeed, but uncoordinated use of the controls -- at least in modern
sailplanes. Two things must happen to enter a spin: 1) you must
stall, and 2) you must fail to apply sufficient rudder during your
attempt to pick up the low wing with aileron. That is, the sailplane
is designed with enough rudder to stop autorotation, even with full
deflection of the aileron throughout the stall break.


Old September 1st 04, 12:42 AM
Bob Korves
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"Herbert Kilian" wrote in message
Another comment: poking fun at the use of check-lists in this thread
is very unfortunate.

Herb, J7

I wasn't making fun of using a checklist. Using a checklist is important
and I use a fairly detailed one religiously before each flight. I do not,
however, need a line item telling me to remove the canopy cover before
-Bob Korves

Old September 1st 04, 07:28 AM
Ian Johnston
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On Tue, 31 Aug 2004 18:19:55 UTC, (Tom Seim)

: 2. An immediate check of each control linkage after hookup.

Which I always get someone else to do.



Old September 1st 04, 03:28 PM
Chip Bearden
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There's a somewhat separate question of what the right contents for
the procedures and checklists should be!

With apologies to pilots whose memories never fail even under stress,
I'm one of those guys who does use a very detailed written checklist.
Chewing gum isn't on it but things like food, drinking water, reading
glasses, and landout jacket are. But I don't wait until I'm #1 on the
takeoff line to use it.

One reason is that it's in sections. The first and longest section is
the post-assembly checklist with all the stuff on the glider, arranged
in the proper walkaround order. I can do that immediately after
rigging. Then there's another list of all the stuff that should be in
the cockpit--things that wouldn't kill me if I forgot but which might
make life less comfortable.

Then there are sections for task items (applies only to contests: task
sheet, retrieve telephone #, etc.), on the grid (tail dolly, etc.),
and pre-takeoff (I use the very old SSA A-B-C-C-C-D sequence that I
committed to memory back in the mid 1960s).

I've got a section for landing out: remove multi-probe, download trace
to CF card, etc., since in the pre-cellular world I once got to a pay
telephone without my wallet or the retrieve #.

There's even a section for my crew to use for hooking up the trailer.

I keep a copy in the cockpit at all times. If I do things out of
sequence, I literally check off each item with a pencil. On a normal
day at the gliderport, I just run my thumb down the list and make sure
I'm not interrupted during one of the sections.

OK, maybe this is overkill. But whether I'm crewless or accompanied by
my wife and two 10-year-old daughters, it seems like I'm always rushed
before takeoff. Having a written checklist not only guarantees I won't
forget something but gives me peace of mind when I launch that I've
done everything right and lets me focus on flying safely.

And in the post-Clem Bowman/Genesis accident era, it gives my family
the same peace of mind. I'll confess that in the past 40 years, I've
taken off without my map (pre-GPS days), with my dive brakes open,
without taping, and with a landing gear door hanging loose. And that
doesn't count the time I was on the line ready to launch with the tail
dolly still attached.

It's fun to scoff about obsessive/compulsive types reaching for their
checklist and pencil during a spin recovery. But I'll continue to
use my written checklist before every flight, as I noted in the safety
talk I gave at this year's U.S. Standard Class Nationals.

Chip Bearden

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