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Some Comments on the Hazards Associated with Manoeuvring Flight in Severe Turbulence at High Speed and Low Altitude,

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This paper briefly describes the results of some calculations which were made, following several accidents and incidents during service training, in the hope of providing an insight into risks associated with encounters with severe turbulence during high speed manoeuvring flight at low altitude. In that sense, what is discussed here is an attempt to learn lessons from operational experience. But that is not be taken to imply that the phenomena described are necessarily the cause of any particular accident or incident. Two dangers will be considered that a combination of gust and manoeuvre loads may be sufficiently high to cause structural failure, or that this combination may result in a stall or other departure from controlled flight from which recovery is impossible due to the proximity of the ground. In what follows these will first be treated separately, then compared and then an attempt will be made, using turbulence statistics, to indicate the order of probability which might apply. This paper is about high speed low level flight by military combat aircraft. Such aircraft are capable of achieving and sustaining high manoeuvring accelerations. This capability is used in terrain following, in manoeuvring to take advantage of terrain screening and for other tactical reasons such as to break the lock of an air defense radar which is tracking the aircraft.

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