Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Aerospace, Physics, and Space Sciences

First Advisor

Brian A. Kish

Second Advisor

Ralph D. Kimberlin

Third Advisor

Stephen K. Cusick

Fourth Advisor

Daniel Batcheldor


As an FAA Commercial Pilot and Flight Instructor, one comes in contact with many different types of experiences and abnormal situations. A widely known cause of fatal accidents in the general aviation industry, and also currently listed on the National Transportation Safety Board Most Wanted List, is the loss of control in the traffic pattern [1]. For many years now, different departments of the FAA and Department of Transportation, such as the FAA Small Airplane Directorate, have been trying to mitigate the risks and causes associated with the loss of control in the traffic pattern. Due to technological advancements and an improving knowledge in this area, it has become more and more clear what the issues are that cause these fatal accidents. Using these experiences to rewrite the Part 23 Regulations will hopefully improve the statistics and prevent future loss of control accidents from happening as frequent as they do. This thesis presents different concepts and procedures used to compare trim force changes and the aircraft free response after a change in flap configuration. In order to satisfactorily complete this research, measurements in five different aircraft were taken, focusing on the control forces required after extending the flaps, or while retracting the flaps and completing a go-around procedure. Additionally, the free response of the aircraft was recorded when extending the flaps, or retracting the flaps with the addition of adding go-around power. Completing these tests will give a better idea of the operation safety of the aircraft, and which areas might need to be redefined in the Part 23 Regulations to enhance the safety of the General Aviation industry and their pilots.


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