Safe Flight Receives Patent for “Tailstrike Warning System”


White Plains, New York (March 14, 2018) — Safe Flight Instrument Corporation of White Plains, New York, has been awarded a United States patent for “Tailstrike Warning System,” US 9,828,113 was issued on November 28, 2017.

Tailstrikes, in which the tail section of the aircraft contacts the runway, are a significant hazard on takeoff and landing.  A tailstrike can result in extensive structural damage to an aircraft.  This damage may be readily apparent, resulting in immediate loss of the aircraft and casualties, or may remain latent until a future incident.  Tailstrikes are particularly common in transport aircraft, where the wide range of weight and center-of-gravity causes the aircraft to have large variations in pitch responsiveness.

Rather than focusing on pitch angle, Safe Flight’s Tailstrike Warning System establishes a relationship between the ground clearance and Angle-of-Attack (AoA).  This relationship can incorporate predictive elements to identify the potential for a tailstrike caused by unstabilized approaches before an unsafe attitude is achieved.  By providing warning symbology in terms of AoA, a parameter already being managed during takeoff and landing, this provides tailstrike protection without increasing piloting complexity.  By establishing ground clearance by reference to body AoA, variables such as runway slope and landing gear strut compression are accounted for.

The system can be integrated with existing displays to provide an indication of how closely the aircraft was to a tailstrike for each takeoff and landing.  Crew feedback from Safe Flight’s Tailstrike Warning System can provide a powerful training resource for operators.

About Safe Flight

Safe Flight Instrument Corporation, a leader in aviation safety and flight performance systems, was founded in 1946.  Headquartered in White Plains, New York, the company pioneered the development of Stall Warning and Angle of Attack, Automatic Throttle Systems, Wind Shear Warning and other flight performance and control systems.  Safe Flight’s products are installed on over two-thirds of the world’s aircraft in the general aviation, business aircraft, air transport and government sectors.  To find out more, please visit



Matthew Greene

Executive Vice President

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