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Category Archives: Aircraft Performance

CFI Brief: Crosswinds

This week’s discussion is geared towards the topic of aircraft performance and I thought today would be a great day to talk about crosswinds. The tree blowing across the freeway on my way into the office this morning is probably what gave me the idea. After all, March comes in like a lion and out […]

Aircraft Performance: Takeoff Distance

Today we’re talking about takeoff distance. The majority of pilot-cause aircraft accidents occur during the takeoff and landing phase of flight. Therefore, a pilot must be familiar with all the variables that can influence aircraft performance during these critical phases. This post is excerpted from the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. The minimum takeoff distance […]

CFI Brief: Effects of Weight on Performance

So over the last two weeks while away at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, I may have overindulged a bit too much in deep fried cheese curds. This has unfortunately resulted in a slight weight increase around my waistline and has more than likely affected my athletic performance. Not to compare myself to an airplane, but […]

Aircraft Performance: Computing Weight and Balance With a Graph

We’ve already introduced the importance of weight and balance consideration during your preflight planning, and touched on using the table method to compute weight and balance problems. Our CFI even walked us through some sample problems back in May. Today we’ll talk about another method, using a graph, to reliably compute weight and balance to […]

CFI Brief: Summertime!

The official start to summer is just right around the corner, an exciting time particularly up here in the Pacific Northwest. With summer upon us we tend to see an increase in temperatures and more VFR weather, resulting in an increase in air traffic at and around airports. Changing seasons means a changing environment and […]

CFI Brief: W&B Simple Calculations

As a pilot you should always expect change. Change can often occur prior to your flight even beginning. I’ve been in situations before where I have completed my entire cross country flight plan and weight and balance only to find out another friend wants to come along for the ride. Before doing another entire weight and balance problem […]

Aircraft Performance: Computing Weight and Balance

Back in February, we introduced the concept of weight and balance and its significance in preflight planning. This week, we’ll look at one of the methods of determining your loaded weight and CG. There are a variety of methods to do this, but this week we’ll illustrate the table method with an example from the […]

CFI Brief: W&B Terms

Part of your preflight duties as a pilot will be to determine the weight and balance of the aircraft. Trying to takeoff and fly with an aircraft over max gross weight or out of balance can cause drastic consequences on the airplane’s ability to fly. Below are some of the terms that will be important […]

Aircraft Performance: Introduction to Weight and Balance

This week we’ll introduce weight and balance. This post is excerpted from Bob Gardner‘s textbook The Complete Private Pilot. It would be nice to have an airplane in which we could fill all of the seats and all of the baggage area, fuel up to capacity, and take off safely without worrying about loading, but […]

CFI Brief: Density Altitude

Monday’s post introduced us into the subject of aircraft performance, focusing on how the environment we fly in, specifically the atmosphere and altitude, can affect the overall performance of the aircraft. Two very important altitudes were discussed; Pressure Altitude and Density Altitude both of which are significant when determining aircraft performance. Be particularly aware when […]

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