Developed criteria to improve pilot reporting of airplane vortex encounters

    Aziz Al-Mahadin   Affiliation
    ; Serdar Dalkilic   Affiliation


Leading airplane vortices can be hazardous to following airplanes. The regulated minimum separations between following and leading airplanes are sometimes overjudged, hence causing reduction in the capacity of airports. In other instances, they are underjudged and subsequently causing airplane incidences. A vital contribution to the establishment and adjustment of vortex-related minimum airplane separations rely on the identification of vortex encounters through pilot reporting with a manual analysis of flight data from FDRs (flight data recorders). This current process relies on judgment of both the pilot and the airline analysist. Hence, it is subjective and sometimes lacks the required accuracy. Therefore, it is desirable to set a number of criteria, which can be utilized to evaluate the accuracy of wake vortex encounter identification. These criteria can save time, and are both accurate and simple. This study investigates 54 pilot reports of flight events to establish a set of criteria that enable concerned aviation organizations to confirm airplane vortex encounters with higher accuracy. This also helps airlines and aviation stakeholders to introduce new regulations and enhancements such as pilots and FDR analysts training on vortex identification. Such measures will enhance safety, improve aviation operation efficiency and allow revision of vortex-separation regulations.

First published online 27 February 2020

Keyword : pilot reporting, flight events, identification of wake vortex encounter, flight data, flight data recorders (FDRs), wake vortex separation distance

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Al-Mahadin, A., & Dalkilic, S. (2019). Developed criteria to improve pilot reporting of airplane vortex encounters. Aviation, 23(4), 133-142.
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Dec 31, 2019
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