Airflow disruption, was Re: Made in China

From: Michael M. Butler (
Date: Mon Apr 23 2001 - 02:29:26 MDT

I think you're on to something here.

Perhaps his jetwash got too close to the underside of the port wing, or maybe the flow around his airframe and wing
complicated the EP-3 wing airflow or even stalled it. There's also the "biplane suck" effect where two airfoils in close
vertical proximity can see enough lower pressure between them that they tend to collide.

Some of this stuff could have looked to an unprepared observer like a turn or bank, but without the associated control
surface movement.

It can be devilishly hard to reconstruct this sort of stuff to the satisfaction of all parties. But for sure, a change
in lift that could produce, say, a nominal 500 fpm change in altitude would be most inconvenient at a distance of a
couple of feet. wrote:
> To me, it sounds like the close approach of the fighter killed the wing's
> lift, causing
> the EP-3 to roll and hit the fighter. That would make both surviving pilots'
> claims
> to be essentially true - the American was flying straight and level, the EP-3
> turned
> and hit the fighter. I agree the "at-fault" party for the accident was the
> fighter pilot.

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