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Avionics - Certificated

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 I fly AOAs in the PC12 I fly for work, no AOAs in my 185 or any of the other light GA planes, just doesn't seem needed in something like a 185, I'd just put that money into your gas tank or in some backcountry dual from a high time backcountry CFI. 

On Jan 25, 2016, at 9:17, "Thomas Hale (" <> wrote:

I have been searching for threads on this AOA topic as I am looking for a 185 and saw one with a Reserve Lift Indicator installed.
From what I read recently the FAA is relaxing their requirements for adding a AOA in light aircraft.
Does anyone have any thoughts on these that have been in use for several years?

I have been searching for threads on this AOA topic as I am looking for a 185 and saw one with a Reserve Lift Indicator installed.
From what I read recently the FAA is relaxing their requirements for adding a AOA in light aircraft.
Does anyone have any thoughts on these that have been in use for several years?

I'll sure second the opinion that nothing replace's the old seat of the pants flying. I'll admit that when I'm landing on my 1000' strip at the farm with trees on both ends, I slow the plane on final to OAA (optimum alpha angle or the blue dot) and then fly down to my flare spot by my butt. So are AOA's accurate and worth a damn? I don't really know, I'm not an aerospace engineer. I think the AOA gauge add's another reference that helps. And the blinking LED's are cool. If money were tight, I could live without it. But by the grace of God, I don't have cash problem's right now. This has led to overmodifiedoutthewazoo180-itis. A costly mental disease.

This topic has been beaten up every which way you can think of on many forums. Have a look at a few of the links below.
My comments never say they are a bad thing to have. In fact the opposite.
Use your AOA in a short field with trees and your going to find yourself in the woods at the end. You still need to know how to fly the plane by the seat of your pants (by feel) and understand its characteristics. Repeat, the ASI does virtually the very same thing. We are not flying a jet or a Pilatus, etc.
This topic can turn into a wheel landing vs 3 point. Its all about opinion. Again, the AOA is a good thing, just not for short strips with 50' tress on the end trust me. Otherwise we will be reading about you and thats exactly what I dont want to have happen.

Here is some good reading for you:



3 point or wheel landing???

I am saving my money for gas...
I think the AOA instruments are worth the money. I can't think of any other mod under $1500 that translates into the added safety that they provide.When faced with a real pucker factor of a short strip, it helps. I calibrated mine a tad above the recommended procedure, so I should have gobs of reserve at Alpha. Skywagon's certainly warrant one more than most planes in my humble opinion unless your operating exclusively on 5000' strips. We used an existing inspection hole so it was logged as a minor alteration. Mudhole's statements that they are not accurate is the first negative comment of that type that I have read anywhere. Mine is solid and no fluctuations. When it's just me and the plane is light, takeoff at max alpha will have them talking about you.
I installed the original pneumatic Lift Reserve Indicator AOA. No blinking LEDs. It is installed in the inspection cover next to pitot tube. It is stone simple, and works well, except that your stall AOA is dependent on flap settings. Thus if you set the sensor for stall at the most conservative scenario, you will always be safe - and not flying "on the edge". With a cargo pod installed, I can be "significantly heavy" and do much of my flying at high density altitudes in Colorado. I have noted flight scenarios - especially varied CG loading - where the actual stall speed varied over ten knots but the LRI AOA never lied. Since I always use it when landing, I was unaffected for the upcoming landing when a grasshopper blocked my regular pitot tube during flight.
An AOA system DOES work very accurately on a jet which has no big fan out front. Unfortunately, in a propeller driven airplane, the "AOA sensor" has to be mounted out on one wing to stay out of prop wash. Since the AOA can and does vary considerably over the span of a wing, particularly in maneuvering flight, a sensor out on one wing provides pretty seriously flawed data on the AOA, giving only the AOA of that particular spot on the wing, which will vary considerably, depending on coordination, from the remainder of the wing.

Look at the sensor on several of these things, then go look at the pitot mast on a Piper Warrior. They look remarkably similar, and the relationship of the pitot tube to the static port on the Warrior looks pretty similar to the "AOA" system's "sensor". And, by the way, they are both mounted on about the same spot on the wing.

In other words, these "AOA devices" as applied to light single engine airplanes provide no better nor worse data than does many a conventional airspeed indicator system. With all the same issues as the AS.

The key is to understand how the air moves around the wing. If you can mount the sensors on the fuselage, and symmetrically, you can install an ACTUAL AOA system, and they are effective.
Hi Mad,
I have the AOA alfa angle of attack display(LED version) in my C185 and the reason was for short field and high density altitude ops. There are a couple of these on the market. Issues are certification, if the system ties into your static system it is a problem re certification.
AOA has a separate static/pitot system and the only tie in is the power for the lights and can usually be certified as a minor mod.(337)
Calibration needs to be done which is next problem as it varies from aircraft to aircraft,requires a few flights and ground adjustments to get it right.
once this is done it works as advertised, found it useful in varying load configs. as stall speed varies and aoa gives you the info required to be safe.Turn Base to final is a lot less stressful. Hope this helps !
Does anyone have info on Angle of Attack indicators? Do you like it, recommend it...Is it better then the airspeed indicator for Vx Climbs and short field landings?
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