Mark Cadmus

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautics


Applied Aviation Sciences

Committee Chair

Dr. Michael E. Wiggins

Committee Member

Mr. Francis Ayers

Committee Member

Mr. Theodore Beneigh


The purpose of this research was to compare, in a simulator, the safety of a variable pitch strategy with the established constant pitch strategy in transitioning through a microburst during an abort maneuver in the approach to landing phase of flight. In numerous mathematical and computer studies of microburst penetrations, the variable pitch strategy provided a greater recovery altitude than the constant pitch strategy. A Boeing 737 level C aircraft simulator was employed to evaluate these findings in a dynamic environment. Three appropriately qualified subjects piloted 35 flights through a microburst, while computer generated data were collected. "Safety", defined as the maximization of the minimum altitude experienced by the aircraft during the recovery phase of the microburst encounter, was statistically greater for the constant pitch maneuver. An improved microburst model and a flight director steering command are recommended for continued studies in a manned simulator