July 2015 Issue

Crossing The Streams

We’ve been told wake turbulence is a hazard only if we’re behind and below a larger aircraft. That’s...incomplete.

All pilots and controllers know about wake turbulence, the vortices streaming out and downward from an airplane’s wingtips anytime it’s generating lift. We know they’re strongest when the generating airplane is heavy, clean and slow. We know not to fly in-trail of a larger airplane at the same altitude unless there are at least three minutes’ separation, preferably more.

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