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Wake turbulence could happen to you!
John Lauby
1 Posts

I was departing  25 at Hatteras KHSE on a calm day in my Cherokee 235. An Osprey had landed on the start of the runway 25, then hovered for 3 minutes and departed at low level flight the entire  length of the runway turning left traffic out to the ocean. I back taxied 25 to depart to the west. Did mag checks before back taxi.  Turned around headed down 25 to fly home.  At between 60 to 80 feet I banked right to 270 degrees.  Instantly wake turbulence flipped left wing over to two o’clock. I thought the controls had broken as I was looking out windshield top at trees and ground. I pushed down elevator, full left rudder, then left aileron in that order thinking I would be a yard dart if controls are gone. It was about one second which seemed like three minutes and she began to roll back over and righted herself. I have over 1000 hours 800 in this Cherokee and still feel lucky to have lived through this. I’m telling this  story to let other pilots know wake or prop turbulence is a serious situation not to be taken lightly.  Hatteras is not controlled as ATC would have warned me. Before this I still would not have been concerned. I have a new respect for wake/prop turbulence.  There are many osprey flights here in NC. Just know on calm days turbulence remains around for a long time from those big props. John A Lauby base KFAY 
20 Replies
Ronald Levy
1230 Posts
With calm wind conditions, it’s best to give at least a three minute wait for takeoff behind a “Large” (over 12,500) aircraft, especially a helicopter, which is essentially what a V-22 is when hovering and taking off (until the proprotors are translated to the horizontal mode).  See AIM section 7-3 for a lot more on this subject, especially 7-3-7 regarding operating around helicopters, especially the V-22, which goes upwards of 50,000 lb gross weight.
My student pilot and I had just landed long at Norfolk International when the tower controller had given us a left turn to exit the runway. In his confusion, my student turned RIGHT and exited the runway. I advised tower who told us no problem, do a 180, hold short of the runway, and contact ground. Ground confirmed hold short as a B727 was on its takeoff roll (this was 30 years ago in 1990).

As the jet passed our position, it was nose high and the mains had just left the pavement. Ground immediately cleared us across. My student began taxiing and the little Cessna 152 was rocked by the wake of the departing jet. My student reacted by asking "what the h*** was that?" I reminded him of that wake turbulence ground lesson..."Oh wow, that was crazy" he said. "Yes, it was, but guess what? There's another one right over there" I said, pointing to the other side of the runway. Sure enough, that one blasted us a second time. Now, what on the surface was a simple innocent mistake turned into an incredibly valuable lesson! If my student had turned left as instructed, we would have never experienced that. And I could have never planned such a perfect encounter, to experience while on the safety of the ground, unlike the OP.

If you have a wake encounter story, please share. They are invisible, but it is very important to "see" where they are.
Landing in 1974 at Houston Hobby behind a Delta Airlines 707, in a Piper Cherokee with three passengers, I requested permission to land long and touched down past the point that the 707 had touched down. There was a moderate cross wind from the left so I knew the wake would be moving to the right. I intentionally lined up left of center and as we crossed over just before the point where the 707 had landed we had a nice gentle rocking but nothing to be concerned about. I am very appreciative of my CFI's focus on wake issues. Thank goodness I no longer fly into busy airports. 
Mine is a lesson learned that was a near disaster-I was the student pilot flying a C-152 with my instructor. We were returning to our airport from doing maneuvers. The tower put us number 2 behind a military C-130 ot of Chicago air national guard doing touch and goes. Unknown to me the instructor thought it would be a good lesson to have me experience wake turbulence first hand.  At roughly between 500 and 1000 feet off the ground we lost lift on the right wing,  The instructor quickly took the controls firewalled the throttle and we some how flew out of the situation-this was 40 years ago -scared the hell out of both of us. Ever since I will place  myself well behind another aircraft on final and when cleared for take off behind a larger aircraft I will stay on the ground for a few additional minutes.  Yes a lesson well learned at least I'm still here to tell the story.      
In the early 90’s I owned 1/2 of Cardinal N3212T.  I was an IT manager for big NYC bank that began the letter “C” - leaves a few choices👨‍✈️.  We were based in Danbury at the time and I had a trip to Philadelphia to visit a vendor and I decided to fly down in N3212T.  I flew through NY Class B across the approach path to KLGA.  I was talking to ATC and he called out a B727 crossing in a mile or so front of me.  I flew through his wake shortly after that.  It was an attention grabbber.
 
I also fly gliders.  A standard training maneuver is called “boxing the wake”.  It’s purpose is to demonstrate control proficiency under tow.  Starting from the high tow position the procedure is to descend through the tow plane wake to low tow,  slide left behind the tow planes left wing tip, climb to high tow behind the left wing tip, cross over to high tow behind the right wing tip, descend to low tow, slide left to low tow center, and climb through the wake to the starting position.  you definitely know when you’ve transited the wake.
We’ve had some discussions regarding equipping our gliders with nose mounted paint ball guns to make the maneuver more interesting 😀.