Safe Flight Patents Tailstrike Warning System

The system relates AOA to ground proximity to prevent structural damage.

tail strike
Safe Flight’s Tailstrike Warning System could help prevent major damage to airframes.Maarten Visser/Wikimedia Commons

White Plains, New York-based Safe Flight Instrument Corporation has patented a system that can alert pilots and help them avoid tail strike scenarios. The “Tailstrike Warning System” relates angle-of-attack rather than pitch guidance to ground proximity. The system also helps predict a tail strike threat in the case of a sloped runway. Because the warning system relates to AOA, it can be incorporated with existing systems and won’t increase the pilot’s workload.

A tail strike during the takeoff or landing phase can cause major damage to an airframe, especially one with a stretched fuselage. The threat is particularly strong for larger, heavier aircraft where changes in loading impact pitch effectiveness. Of particular concern is the potential for structural damage that is hard to detect.

While Safe Flight has received a patent for the Tailstrike Warning System, it has not yet been certified. However, once certification is complete, the system will be available for any type of aircraft, said Safe Flight’s executive vice president Matthew Greene. Pricing has not yet been released.