Loss of Control, Low Ceilings, Instrument Approach

We recently had a serious aviation accident in our own backyard (Santa Rosa, California KSTS.)  It involved two well liked area citizens flying a Comanche 250 on an instrument approach (ILS to runway 32) to the Santa Rosa Airport.  The visibility was extremely low, less than 2.5 miles, and the ceilings were around 400 feet. Somewhere at the end of the approach they lost control of the aircraft just short of the runway.

One part of my job is investigating and representing people in regard to aviation accidents.  As I have previously stated, I read every accident report I can get my hands on especially related to loss of control.  Even though we do not know exactly what happened to the Comanche on the approach, loss of control has to be considered.

In our loss of control syllabus we focus on what I call stabilized approaches.  Stabilized approaches are really simple but they are lost in actual conditions because of failure to maintain currency and/or other factors.  What is a stabilized approach.  It is getting to a position in the aircraft where the flight profile and the power is set to render a safe control to a point in either altitude or time or both.

Recently one of our senior instructors reproduced the Comanche aircraft accident in one of our motion sims.  He set the sim to the exact conditions in the are of the accident as they existed the night of the crash.  The sim is able to recreate the weather (rain and low ceilings) and visibility along with the time of night that the crash occurred. Our simulators can also produce turbulence with actual motion.  Our simulators are designed for you, the pilot, to face the same situations as the Comanche pilot faced.  Our sims and instructors can work with you or your crew to prevent loss of controls from happening to you and your passengers.

Keep your instrument currency up.  Practice in safe simulated conditions. With the sim we can recreate the conditions and approaches more times in the sims in less time that you could create them in an aircraft.   Contact us to set up an appointment to work with you for your safety.  Have fun in the sim with senior instructors who are there to help you train safely for your safety.

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