Episode 62. Why angle of attack is overrated, with Ed Wischmeyer

Ed WischmeyerLoss of control accidents are a problem, but longtime pilot and engineer Ed Wischmeyer says there simply isn’t a miracle cure. He explains why angle of attack indicators, stabilized approaches, and energy management are all overrated—and the concept he teaches pilots instead. As he says, “You want pilots to have a large comfort zone, so that when they’re flying in normal operations they’re not anywhere near the boundaries of their comfort zone.” In the Ready to Copy segment, Ed talks about the most absurd FAA regulation, how to prevent runway incursions, why slow flight is underrated, and flying the AirCam.

Quotes:

  • AoA indicators: “Angle of attack is a wonderful theoretical concept, but when you look at the implementation, there are all kinds of things that don’t show up in the theory.”

  • Control inputs: “There’s also a considerable amount of evidence that suggests strongly that pitch control and bank control are two separate tasks.”

  • Energy management: “It’s vague in the sense of, it’s not immediately discernible in the cockpit. It’s an abstraction.”

  • Stable approaches: “The real question is not should the approach be stable, but how long should it be stable?”

  • Expanded Envelope Exercises: “You want pilots to have a large comfort zone, so that when they’re flying in normal operations they’re not anywhere near the boundaries of their comfort zone.”

  • Stall training: “Yes you want pilots to be aware of stalls and to avoid stalls, but you don’t want them to be afraid of them.”

  • Voice callouts: “They’re worse than a gimmick; they’re obnoxious.”

  • Flying an AirCam: “It’s not open cockpit, it’s no cockpit.”

Show links:

Listen in your favorite app:

Listen online:

Sign up for Special Offers

Stay up to date on new arrivals, email exclusives, and more.