What is Prop Wash?

Prop wash is the airflow generated by an aircraft’s propeller, which can have significant effects on the performance of the aircraft, particularly during takeoff and landing. This airflow can create disturbances on the ground, which can affect other aircraft, people, and equipment in the vicinity.

Prop wash has several effects on an aircraft. It can cause a loss of lift and control of the aircraft when taking off or landing. Additionally, it can cause debris and foreign objects to be sucked into the engine, which can damage the engine and potentially cause a catastrophic failure.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), pilots must be aware of the effects of it and take appropriate measures to mitigate them. For example, pilots should avoid hovering over people or objects on the ground and should maintain a safe distance from other aircraft to avoid prop wash disturbances.

Military Helicopter
“The disturbed mass of air or water pushed aft (or fore when in reverse) by the propeller of an aircraft or propeller-driven watercraft.” wikipedia

Prop wash can also have an impact on airport design and operations. According to a report by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), airport planners should consider the effects of it when designing taxiways, runways, and other airport facilities. Additionally, the report recommends that airports implement measures to mitigate the effects of prop wash, such as using blast fences or other barriers to redirect the airflow.

In conclusion, it is an important consideration in aviation, and pilots, airport planners, and other aviation professionals must take appropriate measures to manage its effects.