digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















Pilot-induced oscillation rating scale, start position at bottom left

Pilot-induced oscillations, as defined by MIL-HDBK-1797A,[1] are sustained or uncontrollable oscillations resulting from efforts of the pilot to control the aircraft and occurs when the pilot of an aircraft inadvertently commands an often increasing series of corrections in opposite directions, each an attempt to cover the aircraft's reaction to the previous input with an overcorrection in the opposite direction. An aircraft in such a condition can appear to be "porpoising" switching between upward and downward directions. As such it is a coupling of the frequency of the pilot's inputs and the aircraft's own frequency. During flight test, pilot-induced oscillation is one of the handling qualities factors that is analyzed, with the aircraft being graded by an established scale (chart at right). In order to avoid any assumption that oscillation is necessarily the fault of the pilot, new terms have been suggested to replace pilot-induced oscillation. These include aircraft-pilot coupling, pilot–in-the-loop oscillations and pilot-assisted (or augmented) oscillations.[2]

In a controls sense, the oscillation is the result of reduced phase margin induced by the lag of the pilot's response. The problem has been mitigated in some cases by adding lead to the instruments - for example, cause the climb rate indication to not only reflect the current climb rate, but also be sensitive to the rate of change of the climb rate.

The physics of flight make such oscillations more probable for pilots than for automobile drivers. An attempt to cause the aircraft to climb, say, by applying up-elevator, will also result in a reduction in airspeed.

Another factor is the response rate of flight instruments in comparison to the response rate of the aircraft itself. An increase in power will not result in an immediate increase in airspeed. An increase in climb rate will not show up immediately on the vertical speed indicator.

A pilot aiming for a 500 foot per minute descent, for example, may find himself descending too rapidly. He begins to apply up elevator until the vertical speed indicator shows 500 feet per minute. However, because the vertical speed indicator lags the actual vertical speed, the pilot is actually descending at much less than 500 feet per minute. The pilot then begins applying down elevator until the vertical speed indicator reads 500 feet per minute, starting the cycle over. It's harder than it might seem to stabilize the vertical speed because the airspeed also constantly changes.

Pilot-induced oscillations may be the fault of the aircraft, the pilot, or both. It is a common problem for inexperienced pilots, and especially student pilots, although it was also a problem for the top research test pilots on the NASA lifting body program. The problem is most acute when the wing and tail section are close together in so called "short coupled" aircraft.

The most dangerous pilot-induced oscillations can occur during landing. Too much up elevator during the flare can result in the plane getting dangerously slow and threatening to stall. A natural reaction to this is to push the nose down harder than one pulled it up, but then the pilot ends up staring at the ground. An even larger amount of up elevator starts the cycle over again.

While Pilot-Induced oscillations often start with fairly low amplitudes, which can adequately be treated with small perturbation linear theory, several PIO's will by definition become very large.[3]

In February 1989 a JAS 39 Gripen prototype crashed when landing in Linköping, Sweden. Pilot-induced oscillation as a result of an over-sensitive, yet slow-response steering system was determined to be the cause. Subsequently, the steering system was redesigned.

Pilot-induced oscillation was blamed for the 1992 crash of the prototype F-22 Raptor, landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. This crash was linked to actuator rate limiting, causing the pilot, Tom Morgenfeld, to overcompensate for pitch fluctuations.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE INTERFACE STANDARD, Flying qualities of piloted airplanes, Washington, D.C.
  2. ^ Witte, Joel B, An Investigation Relating Longitudinal Pilot-Induced Oscillation Tendency Rating To Describing Function Predictions For Rate-Limited Actuators https://research.maxwell.af.mil/papers/ay2004/afit/AFIT-GAE-ENY-04-M16.pdf
  3. ^ McRuer, Duane T. "Pilot-Induced Oscillations and Human Dynamic Behavior". NASA. Dryden Space Flight Research Center. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilot-induced_oscillation — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
9443 videos foundNext > 

Pilot Induced Oscillations during Enterprise landing on slow motion - 10/26/1977 -

Pilot Induced Oscillation at Big Bear Airport (L35)

Pilot induced oscillation happens even to Space Shuttle pilots. In this case it was caused by a bad flare, I just didn't slow down the sink rate enough, this being a warmer day at Big Bear,...

JAS 39 Gripen crash (rare alternate angle) due to pilot-induced oscillation on February 2 1989.

On 2 February 1989, the first prototype JAS 39-1 crashed on its sixth flight, when attempting to land in Linköping. The pilot, Lars Rådeström escaped with a fractured elbow and some minor...

PIO leads to crash landing and loss of aircraft

Rtishchevo Russia Student pilot on first solo flight in Let L 410 another student as right seat observer with guidance from his Instructor Pilot heard on radio. The students lack of experience...

C-17 Pilot Induced Oscillation in Air Refueling

Pilot Induced Oscillation. Crash

Cloud Hopper club member Mat 'Flymo' Howard's unfortunate accident. Please subscribe to our main channel: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=lookupparagliding Main DIY web.

F-16 Pilot Induced Oscillation during First Flight Test

During a high speed taxi test, the F-16 prototype experience severe PIO resulting in becoming airborne.

Saab Gripen Pilot Induced Oscillation during Flight Test - Landing Crash

The Saab Gripen had a unique flight control system that contributed to this PIO experienced by the test pilot during a landing task in early fight test. The aircraft was destroyed by the crash...

Chase plane view of F-8 DFBW pilot-induced oscillations

This 38 second movie clip shows pilot-induced oscillations of the F-8 DFBW aircraft taken from a chase plane. From 1972 to 1985 the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center conducted flight research...

Hang glider Pilot Induced Oscillation (PIO) whilst landing at Stanwell Oct 2013

on final and low to the ground Pilot Input Ossicilation (PIO) the glider starts to ossilate, nearly end up in the trees but I get it back in control and land on the sand.

9443 videos foundNext > 

We're sorry, but there's no news about "Pilot-induced oscillation" right now.


Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight