Fly Smart, #FlySafe
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is attempting to significantly reduce the amount of accidents and incidents related to Loss of Control (LOC) through their #FlySafe campaign.
Some contributing factors to LOC are:
- Poor aeronautical decision making
- Failure to execute proper corrective actions
- Not complying with regulations intentionally
- Failure to maintain airspeed
- Improperly following procedure
- Inexperienced pilot error
One industry solution for LOC prevention is Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC). Similar to other electronic ignition or engine control systems, FADEC offers more control and with multiple redundancies, is less likely to fail. In fact, it is statistically less likely for FADEC to fail than to experience a double magneto failure. The FADEC will know the engine and associated aircraft limitations. Even if a pilot initiates maximum power by pushing the throttles full forward, limitations will not be exceeded.
FADEC takes over engine management tasks from the pilot and, in most cases, doesn’t offer any manual control mode. The FADEC will protect the aircraft and detect any engine anomalies while dutifully and constantly monitoring the health of the powerplant. With diagnostic protection on this level, small problems can be detected before they turn into larger issues.
According to the FAA, “occasionally, pilots have run engines beyond operational limits in order to get out of tight situations. That can’t happen with FADEC.” Running engines beyond operational limits can result in LOC. Eliminating pilot error with FADEC means eliminating it a causal factor in LOC events, and reducing the amount of LOC incidents and accidents. On average, every four days there is at least one fatal accident involving Loss of Control.
Another huge benefit of implementing FADEC is an improvement in fuel economy due to the FADEC system. The system combines the throttle, propeller, and mixture controls into one control, creating the optimum RPM/mixture combination. This results in less drastic shifts within the engine, making for seamless transitions and savings in fuel. Saving in fuel costs due to less stress throughout the aircraft also means there will be reduced maintenance expense. FADEC saves you money, maintenance, and most importantly, may save lives.
If this blog inspired you to take some action in preventing LOC, join the #FlySafe campaign with FAA.gov and every month they will send out tips from their team of experts to help decrease Loss of Control incidents and accidents.