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"Caution Wake Turbulence"

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Got Quattro?
Apr 14, 2003
While on final this past weekend in a 172 I was cleared to land just after a XJT E145 was cleared for TO on the same runway. At the end of MY clearance the contrlloer advised, "Cleared to land Rwy22, caution wake turbulence from departing RJ". This was a first. I'd been given that advisory while following a NWA DC-9-30 but never an RJ. Do they really create enough wake to warrant this?...I didn't notice anything at all.
Yes they do. Someone posted a link earlier to a Baron that crashed due to landing in the wake of an ERJ.
I've landed behind 747's and never noticed the wake. Was well aware it was however. Following something on the order of 15 to 20 times the weight you are is worthy of a wake turb advisory.
Any size airplane can and will create enough wake turbulence to upset your flight somehow. Its all about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. One of the worst wakes I have encountered was from a Lear 45 on a high final. His steep descent crossed my path (C-172) on final and it threw me almost 70 degrees to the left before reacting. Just know your wake turbulence rules and try and avoid everyone that is bigger than your 172. If you are thinking,"should I avoid this planes wake"...... then it probably does create one powerful enough to fu*k you up a little. Thats just my experience anyway.
I caught some wake behind a private jet (lear or cit) yrs. ago in a 160 HP Piper. My instructor and I rolled 60 degrees really quickly and rolled right back. My counter corrections almost felt like they were ineffective. It felt just like riding a wave, with no control. I'd say in a 172 you could definitely be rolled strongly. Probably not enough to cause an unrecoverable upset, but some good rock and roll, yeah...
Make no mistake ... if you experienced no wake (Hey! That rhymes!), you either inadvertently followed the rules on landing behind larger aircraft or the wake was gone by the time you got there. And this is usually the case.

I have been absolutely ROCKED by something as small as a DC-9, which ain't much bigger than an RJ. I went to 60 degrees in a Cessna 152 in nothing flat, and as someone else stated, it was as if the controls weren't doing what they're supposed to do and you have to 'ride it'. 60 degrees doesn't sound like much, until it happens to you in a split second and with no warning.

I promise you ... hit an RJ wake in a spam can and you will be a believer. :D

This might hep a little. The FAA order 7110.65 (controller bible) states this.

"Apply wake turbulence procedures to aircraft operating behind heavy jets/B757 and where indicated to small aircraft behind large aircraft."

Small aircraft=41,000 lbs. and under
Large aircfaft=over 41,000 lbs. to 255,000 lbs.
Heavy=more than 255,000 lbs.
IF the "RJ" was taking off, and you were landing, it was not wake turbulence, it was "jet blast"

Had a G-V roll me 30 degrees in a Falcon 10 on a 2 mile final, my opposite corrections seemingly had no effect. Then we were clear of it, rolled wings level, and continued to land. I was a half a dot low...my mistake. No airspeed variation and ground track remained along the extended centerline. It's quite a helpless feeling.

I had another wake turbulence experience years ago in an Archer 2. It should have resulted in an incident at the very least and probably an accident. I dipped into my jar of luck and took out a big serving that day. I was forced down at a 40 degree angle to the runway in a three point landing...I don't know how I didn't hit a wingtip, bend the prop, or snap off some gear. I did put a flat spot on each of the three tires...fortunately the only skid marks I left were on the runway and not in my pants...but it was close. And all this when I was flying a dot HIGH on the ILS...I guess that 737 was flying a little high on the approach due to the 757 that he was following.

Live and learn, live and learn.
ERJs weigh in the neighborhood of 50,000 pounds. That's a lot for a 2,000 pound Cessna to deal with. I think it is funny hearing someone cautioned for *my* wake in the Legacy because I am usually following much bigger airplanes, but it is an appropriate warning.

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