Features

April 2001 Issue

Demon Speeds

If you like having your wings and tail attached, donít fool with flutter

Judging from the NTSBís files, more than a few pilots have had the misfortune of encountering flutter. Whether induced by the pilotís actions or by improper maintenance procedures, flutter is a very serious problem that requires instant corrective action in flight. The stakes are high. Flutter can disfigure your airframe or even rip it apart.

I personally encountered flutter in flight a few years ago Ė and at a speed that greatly surprised me because it was relatively low.

I was in a sailplane working an afternoon thermal with my wife in the front seat. I was circling in the thermal at about 55 knots when the wing started to vibrate. It was enough that we definitely felt it in the coc...

To continue reading this entire article you must be a paid subscriber.

Subscribe to Aviation Safety

The monthly journal of risk management and accident prevention, is packed with useful, timely information on basic and advanced technique, accident analysis and, most important, practical articles on how you can develop the judgment that will keep you in the air and out of the NTSB's files.

Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.

Subscriber Log In

Forgot your password? Click Here.