Presenter Email

merktj@erau.edu

Submission Type

Abstract - Paper/Presentation Only

Topic Area

Flight Training; Sustainability: The Future is Now; Aviation Safety

Keywords

energy management, safety, efficiency, pilot training, accident prevention, fuel conservation

Abstract

Aircraft Energy Management: A Best Practice for Integrating Safety and Efficiency

The airplane is the quintessential energy system, constantly transforming, transferring, distributing, storing, and exchanging various forms of energy as it moves through the air. By its very nature, flight warrants safe and efficient management of the airplane’s energy. Thus, poor aircraft energy management can lead to unsafe and/or inefficient operations. Unfortunately, energy principles associated with motion control and performance have not found their way into civilian flight training. As a result, energy management skills, founded on those guiding principles, are not adequately taught to new pilots. The energy-training gap appears to be critical. Poor aircraft energy management is a significant contributing factor to loss of control inflight, controlled flight into terrain, and approach and landing anomalies; the three leading causes of fatal aircraft accidents worldwide. Wasted energy is also a problem in the aviation industry. According to Boeing and Airbus, airlines and other operators lose millions of dollars annually from wasted fuel during flight. Thus, by integrating safety and efficiency, energy management training can be used as a best practice to reduce fatal accidents and conserve fuel. What makes the proposed training approach unique is that it synthesizes energy principles across multiple disciplines (physics, engineering, military science, and biology) and applies them to basic flight training as never done before.

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Aircraft Energy Management: A Best Practice for Integrating Safety and Efficiency

Aircraft Energy Management: A Best Practice for Integrating Safety and Efficiency

The airplane is the quintessential energy system, constantly transforming, transferring, distributing, storing, and exchanging various forms of energy as it moves through the air. By its very nature, flight warrants safe and efficient management of the airplane’s energy. Thus, poor aircraft energy management can lead to unsafe and/or inefficient operations. Unfortunately, energy principles associated with motion control and performance have not found their way into civilian flight training. As a result, energy management skills, founded on those guiding principles, are not adequately taught to new pilots. The energy-training gap appears to be critical. Poor aircraft energy management is a significant contributing factor to loss of control inflight, controlled flight into terrain, and approach and landing anomalies; the three leading causes of fatal aircraft accidents worldwide. Wasted energy is also a problem in the aviation industry. According to Boeing and Airbus, airlines and other operators lose millions of dollars annually from wasted fuel during flight. Thus, by integrating safety and efficiency, energy management training can be used as a best practice to reduce fatal accidents and conserve fuel. What makes the proposed training approach unique is that it synthesizes energy principles across multiple disciplines (physics, engineering, military science, and biology) and applies them to basic flight training as never done before.

 

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