Question: The greatest number of tornadoes to ever hit within a 24-hour period was
Answer: D. The worst outbreak of tornadoes in modern history occurred on April 3rd and 4th, 1974, when 148 tornadoes hit 13 states, killed over 300 people, injured thousands more, and caused a half a billion dollars in property damage.
Subject: Here We Go Loop De Loop…
Question: A pilot lets himself get into a spiral dive, with bank and airspeed rapidly increasing. Coming to his senses near redline as the bank reaches 75 degrees, he quickly levels the wings. If he does nothing else, what happens next?
- If the air isn’t smooth, the wings may break off.
- It will rapidly roll into a dive in the opposite direction
- He will cause an accelerated stall
- The airplane will enter a steep climb, and could even loop
Answer: D. Both the FAA Flight Training Handbook and the Instrument Flying Handbook neglect to mention that upon recovery you actually need to push nose down (in addition to retarding the throttle of course) because if you do not, you may find yourself on your back in IMC (or at least as bad, in a tail slide), having just escaped the spiral. After being in the frying pan of an impending dive, the natural reaction is to pull up after leveling the wings. However, there’s one small problem: that’s the airplane’s reaction, as well! Even a fairly light and relatively boxy airplane like a Citabria will enter at least a 60 degree nose up attitude, which is exactly what Barry Schiff recently experienced when he tried it for me. Conceivably, it is possible that an aerodynamically cleaner aircraft could go farther, and possiby ‘over the top’. If you pulled back in addition to the airplane’s own tendency to generate much greater lift at the airspeed you would likely have reached by this point in a spiral, almost any airplane could easily enter a loop, or (like I said) possibly worse, a tail slide.
Subject: Breaking the Bank
Question: A pilot is flying his Skyhawk and is practicing turns about a point. His airspeed is about 90 knots, his altitude is about 700 feet AGL, and his turn radius is about 800 feet. On the downwind side he finds it necessary to increase the bank angle slightly, but he is distracted and to his alarm, discovers that his bank angle has exceeded 60 degrees and is rapidly increasing. What is he in danger of doing? (More than one may apply.)
- entering a graveyard spiral
- rolling inverted
- exceeding the design load of the wing
- stalling if he increases back pressure to maintain altitude
- descending to too low an altitude
Answer: D and E. Although most 172s do not have enough power to maintain level turns beyond about 55 degrees of bank, stall speed still increases greatly, and so will altitude loss, especially if he stalls the wing and enters a spin. The airspeed is not high, so the wings will stall before reaching load limits. (Hopefully he’s in VMC, so the first two choices don’t apply!)