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Category Archives: Aircraft Performance

Aircraft Performance: Pitch Stability (Stability, part 2)

Before reading today’s post, go back and re-read our post on airplane stability from earlier this month. As promised, we’ll talk today about how static and dynamic stability applies to you as a pilot. We’ll pick up where we left off in Bill Kershner’s The Advanced Pilot’s Flight Manual. The elevators control the pitch (the movement around […]

Aircraft Performance: Airplane Stability (Sability, part 1)

Today, we’ll introduce airplane stability. As you’re well aware of by now, there are three axes around which the airplane moves (yaw, pitch, and roll). These axes pass through the airplane’s center of gravity, or the point where the airplane weight is considered to be concentrated. An airplane that is stable requires little pilot attention […]

CFI Brief: Torque

Today’s discussion is on torque. An airplane of standard configuration has an insistent tendency to turn to the left. This tendency is called torque, and is a combination of four forces: reactive force, spiraling slipstream, gyroscopic precession, and P-factor. Reactive force is based on Newton’s Law of action and reaction. A propeller rotating in a […]

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 […]

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