Three-dimensiorial flows of an inviscid incompressible fluid and an inviscid subsonic compressible gas are considered and it is demonstrated how the WKB method can be used for investigating their stability. The evolution of rapidly oscillating initial data is considered and it is shown that in both cases the corresponding flows are unstable if the transport equations associated with the wave which is advected by the flow have unbounded solutions. Analyzing the corresponding transport equations, a number of classical stability conditions are rederived and some new ones are obtained. In particular, it is demonstrated that steady flows of an incompressible fluid and an inviscid subsonic compressible gas are unstable if they have points of stagnation.
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