Taxing - Departure - Inflight and Landing Vortices
Avoiding Wake Turbulence
Wingtip vortices are greatest when the generating aircraft is “heavy, clean, and slow.” This condition is
most commonly encountered during approaches or departures because an aircraft’s Angle of Attack (AOA) is
at the highest to produce the lift necessary to land or take off. To minimize the chances of flying through an
aircraft’s wake turbulence:
Avoid flying through another aircraft’s flight path.
A hovering helicopter generates a down wash from its main rotor(s) similar to the vortices of an airplane.
Pilots of small aircraft should avoid a hovering helicopter by at least three rotor disc diameters to avoid the
effects of this down wash. In forward flight this energy is transformed into a pair of strong, high-speed trailing
vortices similar to wing - tip vortices of larger fixed - wing aircraft. Helicopter vortices should be avoided
because helicopter forward flight airspeeds are often very slow and can generate exceptionally strong wake