Excellent summary. I would add that, except for maybe the Cirrus and a few others, aircraft are designed with horizontal crashing in mind and not so much vertical. So although minimizing forward speed is essential, it’s just as essential to avoid stalling as that would increase the vertical speed component. Since part of a pre-crash check list is to turn off main power, an electrically-powered stall sensor won’t work. So it’s important to get a feel for what attitude your plane assumes at minimum controllable airspeed to avoid stalling. As Bob Hoover once put it, it’s best to keep flying the plane through the crash.
The most important factor in surviving a forced landing is the attitude of the airplane when you hit. The ideal is wings level and slightly nose up. The further away you are from this the less survivable the crash will be. A steep nose down and banked attitude is usually fatal, which is why low altitude stall spin accidents almost always have a very bad outcome.
I remember listening to 2 instructors talk about the relative merits of various crop types in the selection of a field for the forced landing. I think this is massive negative learning, yet this sort of overthinking the process seems to be fairly common in flight training. I tell my students you don’t chose the field, the field choses you. Pick something close with minimal obstacles on the approach if able and don’t worry about the field.
Keep the airplane under control for that ideal touchdown attitude, that is what is going to let you and your passengers walk away from what is left of the airplane….
How Will The Joby Mishap Affect The Company’s Certification Timeline?
If it’s going to happen, a crash in the test phase is when you want it to happen. Doesn’t necessarily mean the issue can’t be overcome. That’s what testing is for. I agree the accident occurring in drone mode is an additional concern. I wonder if the crash surprised the computer modelers on the staff? And given the huge amounts of cash ventures like this seem to be able to ingest, the “Not at liberty to discuss…” excuse would be a concern if I was an investor. I suspect if I had $100 for every successful aircraft that had a crash while in the prototype stage, I still wouldn’t be able to sit at the head table in the Joby corporate cafeteria.
I see this (crash) as merely a splash of reality in the faces of pom-pons-wielding, wealthy cheerleaders.
In engineering, optimism and pessimism always must yield to realism.
Progress will be made; HAS been made. But “how much” and “how soon” are reasonable questions. Charles Dickens phrased it eloquently: “Great Expectations.”
Poll: Does the GA Industry’s Plan To Phase In Unleaded Avgas Over Eight Years Make Sense?
The future of 100LL already hangs by a thread, whether the FAA gets involved or not. It isn’t going to take eight years to see it disappear, more likely just 2 or 3. The best thing the FAA and the alphabet groups can do is try to streamline the distribution system for the already existing unleaded fuels so that GA doesn’t go into crisis mode if the single manufacturer of TEL shuts down for some reason.
A press release claiming that they intend to start working on the issue has been issued, but no actual plan. I strongly suspect we’ll results from this “effort” just shortly after the private sector introduces a viable set of alternative practices.
EAGLE kicks the can down the road. Same players moving the goal posts yet again. Absolutely astounding that there is no mention of the ONLY currently approved full-octane solution, GAMI G100UL, from them. An upstart like GAMI does not fit their agenda, so ignore the science and reality.
We should do it as quickly feasible – I’ve got a friend flying an experimental with unleaded avgas with the same engine as our Comanche. He’s had no issues, but we can’t use it because of policy (and lack of test data). I’d be willing to perform some testing personally to get this approved for our type, but this path likely has the same ‘wading through wet cement’ track that most things have with the FAA and government entities.
The “industry” is only the avgas manufacturers. The only engine manufacturer in the “industry” that has anything to gain or lose is Textron. Either they produce a big-inch engine that can reliably operate on unleaded avgas or leverage the liability issue to those groups pressing for the elimination of lead when 550’s detonate and airplanes crash into a few residential areas. So far, Lycoming and Continental have continued to manufacture engines that require lead with people still paying $750K to over a couple million dollars for piston singles and light twins. Somehow the liability issue and moving forward with proven yet uncertified solutions that will need basic economy of scale to implement, this unleaded phase in will look pretty much like the 10 year phase in of ADS-B. IN other words, another 7-8 years of engine manufacturing malaise until the last year with either a frenzy of solutions installed or another round of kick the can down the road with the backdrop of legal liability for those who “force” unleaded avgas onto GA followed with aircraft safety issues.
Where is the safety in feeding unleaded fuel to engines designed for leaded?
Yes, moving faster may result in unintended side effects.
GAMI and Swift appear on the cusp of a viable solution. Why are they relaunching the failed PAFI initiative now?
Yes, it makes sense and is about time.
It’s important to transition to unleaded fuel, but only when it’s ready for prime time at an affordable price point.
Either fuel will be $20.00 a gallon and GA will be dead, which is government’s goal.
Not if G100UL checks out. And everything that I read indicates that it will.
Yes, it seems to make sense, although, we are a bit short on details. Yes, it should have been done years ago. But if it was easy it would have been done years ago.
After decades of continued progress with the automotive internal combustion engine with unleaded gas, isn’t it about time?
Move forward as safely and efficiently as possible. No need to lock yourself in to some arbitrary timeline.
Use MOGAS, easy.
Yes, a gradual transition will minimize disruption while allowing for the MX advantages of unleaded fuel.
What other choice will GA have?
GAMI and Swift are on the cusp of a real solution that the market will embrace.
The first item needs to be an assessment of whether the existing fleet using 100LL is actually causing a health issue. Now? They are going to study this? I would have thought this would have been done years ago before all the mandates and deadlines were put in place!
Yes, It forces the engine manufacturers to stop relying on outmoded engine technology.
“One fuel” never made sense.
Should have happened already. Just wasn’t anyone’s priority.
The emphasis should be on replacing antiquated engine designs with others that will use autogas.
NO! IT should be done by NLT 2025 using G100UL and maybe other alternatives. Waiting until 2030 is disgraceful.
Yes, this is critical!
It’s foolish to demand a timeline for an unknown product that requires extensive testing to be safe.
We have to follow the science.
GAMI fuel is ready now! FAA should immediately approve GAMI’s STC documentation and quit wasting our money.
This should have been done years ago.
Yes, about time there is a plan with a commitment deadline.
I’ve been burning Swift 94UL for 4 years with no issues.
Eight years is about right for completion of this task and a final date for leaded fuel to be sold. It will probably be a Bell curve with most of the rollout towards the middle.
NO: GA fuel use constitutes less than 3% of overall fuel use in USA….not an issue especially if GA benefits are accounted for!
We have to have a suitable replacement before we can set a timeline.
Industry will be forced to do so by regulators but there is nothing wrong with leaded fuel in the relatively small amount used by GA.
Most aircraft that need 100LL fuel could burn a lower octane with a timing adjustment and a slight power loss. While no one wants less power, they would like vote for the lower cost with their pocket book. Why won’t the FAA allow this option?
Yes, this is an important issue.
Unleaded mogas has been available for decades. Used primarily by boaters and farm equipment operators all over the U.S. Why reinvent the wheel?
Don’t care if you “phase in unleaded avgas.” JUST DON’T PHASE OUT 100LL!
It does if the science is true. My concern is that the issue of lead has been so politicized it clouds the science that should be driving it.
With bio-fuels already available, this should give adequate time to make the change.
Eliminating lead is good. Been trying to do it for years, it’s hard. May find a new additive that is far worse.
I’m able to use 91+ octane auto fuel in my RV7 that has a parallel valve 180 HP IO-360.
This plan is NOT from GA. If it was up to GA, we’d already have solutions!
I suspect a great number of FAA employees are surprised to find out some aircraft do not run on Jet A.
We sent a man to the moon 50 years ago and can’t find an alternative to TEL for aviation fuel.
Haven’t they been talking about this for decades already?