Wind-Shear Encounters during Visual Approaches at Night. A Piloted Simulator Study.
ROYAL AIRCRAFT ESTABLISHMENT FARNBOROUGH (ENGLAND)
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A study was made in a fixed-base simulator of encounters with a variety of idealised wind-shears under conditions simulating a two-pilot approach, partly on instruments and partly visual, made at night. Twenty-five pilots, airline and Service, participated completing a total of 62 sorties, each of ten approaches. There were four shear encounters per sortie. The data comprised time-histories of each approach together with the pilots responses to a detailed questionnaire and their spontaneous observations. Pilots were successful in recognising the absence of shear or the presence of severe shear. They were less successful in recognising shears of moderate intensity or in identifying the velocity components. They were prone to discern vertical draughts where none existed and may have been induced to do so by the compelling visual indications of vertical departure from the glide path given by the Precision Approach Path Indicator PAPI. To cope effectively with the shears, pilot action had to be both prompt and appropriate and it was clear that pilots were quick to seek clues that might offer early warning of impending shear. Many pilots commented on the value of participating in this study and it seems likely that the inclusion of shear encounters during routine simulator training may prove beneficial. Author