The Airplane Flying Handbook

The Airplane Flying Handbook
FAA-H-8083-3A
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AIRPLANE FLYING
HANDBOOK
2004
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION
Flight Standards Service
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PREFACE
The Airplane Flying Handbook is designed as a technical manual to introduce basic pilot skills and knowledge that
are essential for piloting airplanes. It provides information on transition to other airplanes and the operation of
various airplane systems. It is developed by the Flight Standards Service, Airman Testing Standards Branch, in
cooperation with various aviation educators and industry.
This handbook is developed to assist student pilots learning to fly airplanes. It is also beneficial to pilots who wish
to improve their flying proficiency and aeronautical knowledge, those pilots preparing for additional certificates or
ratings, and flight instructors engaged in the instruction of both student and certificated pilots. It introduces the future
pilot to the realm of flight and provides information and guidance in the performance of procedures and maneuvers
required for pilot certification. Topics such as navigation and communication, meteorology, use of flight information
publications, regulations, and aeronautical decision making are available in other Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) publications.
This handbook conforms to pilot training and certification concepts established by the FAA. There are different ways
of teaching, as well as performing flight procedures and maneuvers, and many variations in the explanations of
aerodynamic theories and principles. This handbook adopts a selective method and concept of flying airplanes. The
discussion and explanations reflect the most commonly used practices and principles. Occasionally the word “must”
or similar language is used where the desired action is deemed critical. The use of such language is not intended to
add to, interpret, or relieve a duty imposed by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR).
It is essential for persons using this handbook to also become familiar with and apply the pertinent parts of 14 CFR
and the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). The AIM is available online at http://www.faa.gov/atpubs.
Performance standards for demonstrating competence required for pilot certification are prescribed in the appropriate airplane practical test standard.
The current Flight Standards Service airman training and testing material and subject matter knowledge codes for all
airman certificates and ratings can be obtained from the Flight Standards Service Web site at http://av-info.faa.gov.
The FAA greatly acknowledges the valuable assistance provided by many individuals and organizations throughout
the aviation community whose expertise contributed to the preparation of this handbook.
This handbook supersedes FAA-H-8083-3, Airplane Flying Handbook, dated 1999. This handbook also supersedes
AC 61-9B, Pilot Transition Courses for Complex Single-Engine and Light Twin-Engine Airplanes, dated 1974; and
related portions of AC 61-10A, Private and Commercial Pilots Refresher Courses, dated 1972. This revision expands
all technical subject areas from the previous edition, FAA-H-8083-3. It also incorporates new areas of safety concerns and technical information not previously covered. The chapters covering transition to seaplanes and skiplanes
have been removed. They will be incorporated into a new handbook (under development), FAA-H-8083-23,
Seaplane, Skiplane and Float/Ski Equipped Helicopter Operations Handbook.
This handbook is available for download from the Flight Standards Service Web site at http://av-info.faa.gov. This
web site also provides information about availablity of printed copies.
This handbook is published by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Airman
Testing Standards Branch, AFS-630, P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, OK 73125. Comments regarding this handbook should be sent in e-mail form to [email protected]
AC 00-2, Advisory Circular Checklist, transmits the current status of FAA advisory circulars and
other flight information publications. This checklist is available via the Internet at
http://www.faa.gov/aba/html_policies/ac00_2.html.
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CONTENTS
Chapter 1—Introduction to Flight Training
Purpose of Flight Training.............................1-1
Role of the FAA ............................................1-1
Role of the Pilot Examiner............................1-2
Role of the Flight Instructor..........................1-3
Sources of Flight Training.............................1-3
Practical Test Standards.................................1-4
Flight Safety Practices...................................1-4
Collision Avoidance..................................1-4
Runway Incursion Avoidance...................1-5
Stall Awareness.........................................1-6
Use of Checklists......................................1-6
Positive Transfer of Controls....................1-6
Chapter 2—Ground Operations
Visual Inspection ...........................................2-1
Inside the Cockpit.....................................2-2
Outer Wing Surfaces
and Tail Section .......................................2-4
Fuel and Oil ..............................................2-5
Landing Gear, Tires, and Brakes ..............2-6
Engine and Propeller ................................2-6
Cockpit Management.....................................2-7
Ground Operations ........................................2-7
Engine Starting ..............................................2-7
Hand Propping...............................................2-8
Taxiing ...........................................................2-9
Before Takeoff Check..................................2-11
After Landing ..............................................2-11
Clear of Runway..........................................2-11
Parking.........................................................2-11
Engine Shutdown.........................................2-12
Postflight......................................................2-12
Securing and Servicing................................2-12
Chapter 3—Basic Flight Maneuvers
The Four Fundamentals.................................3-1
Effects and Use of the Controls ....................3-1
Feel of the Airplane .......................................3-2
Attitude Flying...............................................3-2
Integrated Flight Instruction..........................3-3
Straight-and-Level Flight ..............................3-4
Trim Control ..................................................3-6
Level Turns....................................................3-7
Climbs and Climbing Turns ........................3-13
Normal Climb.........................................3-13
Best Rate of Climb .................................3-13
Best Angle of Climb...............................3-13
Descents and Descending Turns..................3-15
Partial Power Descent ............................3-16
Descent at Minimum
Safe Airspeed.........................................3-16
Glides......................................................3-16
Pitch and Power...........................................3-19
Chapter 4—Slow Flight, Stalls, and Spins
Introduction ...................................................4-1
Slow Flight ....................................................4-1
Flight at Less than
Cruise Airspeeds......................................4-1
Flight at Minimum
Controllable Airspeed..............................4-1
Stalls ..............................................................4-3
Recognition of Stalls ................................4-3
Fundamentals of Stall Recovery ..............4-4
Use of Ailerons/Rudder
in Stall Recovery .....................................4-5
Stall Characteristics ..................................4-6
Approaches to Stalls (Imminent Stalls)
—Power-On or Power-Off ......................4-6
Full Stalls Power-Off................................4-7
Full Stalls Power-On ................................4-8
Secondary Stall.........................................4-9
Accelerated Stalls .....................................4-9
Cross-Control Stall .................................4-10
Elevator Trim Stall .................................4-11
Spins ............................................................4-12
Spin Procedures ......................................4-13
Entry Phase.........................................4-13
Incipient Phase....................................4-13
Developed Phase ................................4-14
Recovery Phase ..................................4-14
Intentional Spins..........................................4-15
Weight and Balance Requirements.........4-16
Chapter 5—Takeoff and Departure Climbs
General...........................................................5-1
Terms and Definitions ...................................5-1
Prior to Takeoff..............................................5-2
Normal Takeoff..............................................5-2
Takeoff Roll..............................................5-2
Lift-Off .....................................................5-3
Initial Climb..............................................5-4
Crosswind Takeoff.........................................5-5
Takeoff Roll..............................................5-5
Lift-Off .....................................................5-6
Initial Climb..............................................5-6
Ground Effect on Takeoff..............................5-7
Short-Field Takeoff and Maximum
Performance Climb.......................................5-8
Takeoff Roll..............................................5-9
Lift-Off .....................................................5-9
Initial Climb..............................................5-9
Soft/Rough-Field Takeoff and Climb..........5-10
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Takeoff Roll............................................5-10
Lift-Off ...................................................5-10
Initial Climb............................................5-10
Rejected Takeoff/Engine Failure .................5-11
Noise Abatement..........................................5-11
Chapter 6—Ground Reference Maneuvers
Purpose and Scope.........................................6-1
Maneuvering By Reference
to Ground Objects ........................................6-1
Drift and Ground Track Control....................6-2
Rectangular Course .......................................6-4
S-Turns Across a Road ..................................6-6
Turns Around a Point ....................................6-7
Elementary Eights .........................................6-9
Eights Along a Road.................................6-9
Eights Across a Road..............................6-11
Eights Around Pylons .............................6-11
Eights-On-Pylons (Pylon Eights) ...........6-12
Chapter 7—Airport Traffic Patterns
Airport Traffic Patterns and Operations ........7-1
Standard Airport Traffic Patterns ..................7-1
Chapter 8—Approaches and Landings
Normal Approach and Landing .....................8-1
Base Leg ...................................................8-1
Final Approach .........................................8-2
Use of Flaps..............................................8-3
Estimating Height and Movement............8-4
Roundout (Flare) ......................................8-5
Touchdown ...............................................8-6
After-Landing Roll ...................................8-7
Stabilized Approach Concept ...................8-7
Intentional Slips...........................................8-10
Go-Arounds (Rejected Landings)................8-11
Power ......................................................8-11
Attitude ...................................................8-12
Configuration..........................................8-12
Ground Effect ..............................................8-13
Crosswind Approach and Landing ..............8-13
Crosswind Final Approach .....................8-13
Crosswind Roundout (Flare) ..................8-15
Crosswind Touchdown ...........................8-15
Crosswind After-Landing Roll ...............8-15
Maximum Safe
Crosswind Velocities .............................8-16
Turbulent Air Approach and Landing .........8-17
Short-Field Approach and Landing .............8-17
Soft-Field Approach and Landing ...............8-19
Power-Off Accuracy Approaches ................8-21
90° Power-Off Approach........................8-21
180° Power-Off Approach......................8-23
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360° Power-Off Approach......................8-24
Emergency Approaches and
Landings (Simulated) .................................8-25
Faulty Approaches and Landings ................8-27
Low Final Approach...............................8-27
High Final Approach ..............................8-27
Slow Final Approach ..............................8-28
Use of Power ..........................................8-28
High Roundout .......................................8-28
Late or Rapid Roundout .........................8-29
Floating During Roundout......................8-29
Ballooning During Roundout .................8-30
Bouncing During Touchdown ................8-30
Porpoising...............................................8-31
Wheelbarrowing .....................................8-32
Hard Landing..........................................8-32
Touchdown in a Drift or Crab ................8-32
Ground Loop ..........................................8-33
Wing Rising After Touchdown...............8-33
Hydroplaning ...............................................8-34
Dynamic Hydroplaning ..........................8-34
Reverted Rubber Hydroplaning..............8-34
Viscous Hydroplaning ............................8-34
Chapter 9—Performance Maneuvers
Performance Maneuvers................................9-1
Steep Turns ...............................................9-1
Steep Spiral...............................................9-3
Chandelle ..................................................9-4
Lazy Eight ................................................9-6
Chapter 10—Night Operations
Night Vision.................................................10-1
Night Illusions .............................................10-2
Pilot Equipment ...........................................10-3
Airplane Equipment and Lighting...............10-3
Airport and Navigation Lighting Aids ........10-4
Preparation and Preflight.............................10-4
Starting, Taxiing, and Runup.......................10-5
Takeoff and Climb.......................................10-5
Orientation and Navigation .........................10-6
Approaches and Landings ...........................10-6
Night Emergencies ......................................10-8
Chapter 11—Transition to Complex
Airplanes
High Performance
and Complex Airplanes ..............................11-1
Wing Flaps...................................................11-1
Function of Flaps....................................11-1
Flap Effectiveness...................................11-2
Operational Procedures...........................11-2
Controllable-Pitch Propeller ........................11-3
Constant-Speed Propeller .......................11-4
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Takeoff, Climb, and Cruise ....................11-4
Blade Angle Control ...............................11-5
Governing Range....................................11-5
Constant-Speed Propeller Operation ......11-5
Turbocharging..............................................11-7
Ground Boosting vs.
Altitude Turbocharging..........................11-7
Operating Characteristics .......................11-8
Heat Management...................................11-8
Turbocharger Failure ..............................11-9
Overboost Condition...........................11-9
Low Manifold Pressure ......................11-9
Retractable Landing Gear............................11-9
Landing Gear Systems............................11-9
Controls and Position Indicators ..........11-10
Landing Gear Safety Devices...............11-10
Emergency Gear
Extension Systems...............................11-10
Operational Procedures.........................11-12
Preflight ............................................11-12
Takeoff and Climb ............................11-13
Approach and Landing .....................11-13
Transition Training ....................................11-14
Chapter 12—Transition to Multiengine
Airplanes
Multiengine Flight .......................................12-1
General.........................................................12-1
Terms and Definitions .................................12-1
Operation of Systems ..................................12-3
Propellers ................................................12-3
Propeller Synchronization ......................12-5
Fuel Crossfeed ........................................12-5
Combustion Heater.................................12-6
Flight Director / Autopilot......................12-6
Yaw Damper ...........................................12-6
Alternator / Generator ............................12-7
Nose Baggage Compartment..................12-7
Anti-Icing / Deicing................................12-7
Performance and Limitations ......................12-8
Weight and Balance...................................12-10
Ground Operation......................................12-12
Normal and Crosswind
Takeoff and Climb....................................12-12
Level Off and Cruise .................................12-14
Normal Approach and Landing .................12-14
Crosswind Approach and Landing ............12-16
Short-Field Takeoff and Climb..................12-16
Short-Field Approach
and Landing ..............................................12-17
Go-Around.................................................12-17
Rejected Takeoff........................................12-18
Engine Failure After Lift-Off ....................12-18
Engine Failure During Flight ....................12-21
Engine Inoperative Approach
and Landing ..............................................12-22
Engine Inoperative Flight Principles.........12-23
Slow Flight ................................................12-25
Stalls ..........................................................12-25
Power-Off Stalls
(Approach and Landing) .....................12-26
Power-On Stalls
(Takeoff and Departure) ......................12-26
Spin Awareness.....................................12-26
Engine Inoperative—Loss of
Directional Control Demonstration ..........12-27
Multiengine Training Considerations........12-31
Chapter 13—Transition to Tailwheel
Airplanes
Tailwheel Airplanes .....................................13-1
Landing Gear ...............................................13-1
Taxiing .........................................................13-1
Normal Takeoff Roll....................................13-2
Takeoff.........................................................13-3
Crosswind Takeoff.......................................13-3
Short-Field Takeoff......................................13-3
Soft-Field Takeoff........................................13-4
Touchdown ..................................................13-4
After-Landing Roll ......................................13-4
Crosswind Landing......................................13-5
Crosswind After-Landing Roll ....................13-5
Wheel Landing ............................................13-6
Short-Field Landing.....................................13-6
Soft-Field Landing.......................................13-6
Ground Loop ...............................................13-6
Chapter 14—Transition to Turbopropeller
Powered Airplanes
General.........................................................14-1
The Gas Turbine Engine..............................14-1
Turboprop Engines ......................................14-2
Turboprop Engine Types .............................14-3
Fixed Shaft..............................................14-3
Split-Shaft / Free Turbine Engine ..........14-5
Reverse Thrust and
Beta Range Operations...............................14-7
Turboprop Airplane
Electrical Systems ......................................14-8
Operational Considerations .......................14-10
Training Considerations ............................14-12
Chapter 15—Transition to Jet Powered
Airplanes
General.........................................................15-1
Jet Engine Basics.........................................15-1
Operating the Jet Engine .............................15-2
Jet Engine Ignition..................................15-3
Continuous Ignition ................................15-3
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Fuel Heaters............................................15-3
Setting Power..........................................15-4
Thrust to Thrust Lever Relationship ......15-4
Variation of Thrust with RPM................15-4
Slow Acceleration of the Jet Engine ......15-4
Jet Engine Efficiency...................................15-5
Absence of Propeller Effect ........................15-5
Absence of Propeller Slipstream .................15-5
Absence of Propeller Drag ..........................15-6
Speed Margins .............................................15-6
Recovery from Overspeed Conditions ........15-8
Mach Buffet Boundaries..............................15-8
Low Speed Flight ......................................15-10
Stalls ..........................................................15-10
Drag Devices .............................................15-13
Thrust Reversers........................................15-14
Pilot Sensations in Jet Flying ....................15-15
Jet Airplane Takeoff and Climb.................15-16
V-Speeds ...............................................15-16
Pre-Takeoff Procedures ........................15-16
Takeoff Roll..........................................15-17
Rotation and Lift-Off............................15-18
Initial Climb..........................................15-18
Jet Airplane Approach and Landing..........15-19
Landing Requirements..........................15-19
Landing Speeds ....................................15-19
Significant Differences .........................15-20
The Stabilized Approach ......................15-21
Approach Speed....................................15-21
Glidepath Control .................................15-22
The Flare...............................................15-22
Touchdown and Rollout .......................15-24
Chapter 16—Emergency Procedures
Emergency Situations ..................................16-1
Emergency Landings ...................................16-1
Types of Emergency Landings ...............16-1
Psychological Hazards............................16-1
Basic Safety Concepts .................................16-2
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General....................................................16-2
Attitude and Sink Rate Control ..............16-3
Terrain Selection.....................................16-3
Airplane Configuration...........................16-3
Approach ................................................16-4
Terrain Types ...............................................16-4
Confined Areas .......................................16-4
Trees (Forest)..........................................16-4
Water (Ditching) and Snow....................16-4
Engine Failure After Takeoff
(Single-Engine)...........................................16-5
Emergency Descents ...................................16-6
In-Flight Fire ...............................................16-7
Engine Fire .............................................16-7
Electrical Fires........................................16-7
Cabin Fire ...............................................16-8
Flight Control Malfunction / Failure...........16-8
Total Flap Failure ...................................16-8
Asymmetric (Split) Flap.........................16-8
Loss of Elevator Control ........................16-9
Landing Gear Malfunction ..........................16-9
Systems Malfunctions ...............................16-10
Electrical System ..................................16-10
Pitot-Static System ...............................16-11
Abnormal Engine
Instrument Indications ..............................16-11
Door Opening In Flight .............................16-12
Inadvertent VFR Flight Into IMC .............16-12
General..................................................16-12
Recognition...........................................16-14
Maintaining Airplane Control ..............16-14
Attitude Control....................................16-14
Turns .....................................................16-15
Climbs...................................................16-15
Descents................................................16-16
Combined Maneuvers...........................16-16
Transition to Visual Flight....................16-16
Glossary .......................................................G-1
Index ..............................................................I-1
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PURPOSE OF FLIGHT TRAINING
The overall purpose of primary and intermediate flight
training, as outlined in this handbook, is the acquisition
and honing of basic airmanship skills. Airmanship
can be defined as:
•
A sound acquaintance with the principles of
flight,
•
The ability to operate an airplane with competence and precision both on the ground and in the
air, and
•
The exercise of sound judgment that results in
optimal operational safety and efficiency.
Learning to fly an airplane has often been likened to
learning to drive an automobile. This analogy is
misleading. Since an airplane operates in a different
environment, three dimensional, it requires a type of
motor skill development that is more sensitive to this
situation such as:
•
Coordination—The ability to use the hands and
feet together subconsciously and in the proper
relationship to produce desired results in the airplane.
•
Timing—The application of muscular coordination at the proper instant to make flight, and all
maneuvers incident thereto, a constant smooth
process.
•
Control touch—The ability to sense the action
of the airplane and its probable actions in the
immediate future, with regard to attitude and
speed variations, by the sensing and evaluation of
varying pressures and resistance of the control
surfaces transmitted through the cockpit flight
controls.
•
Speed sense—The ability to sense instantly and
react to any reasonable variation of airspeed.
An airman becomes one with the airplane rather than
a machine operator. An accomplished airman
demonstrates the ability to assess a situation quickly
and accurately and deduce the correct procedure to
be followed under the circumstance; to analyze
accurately the probable results of a given set of circumstances or of a proposed procedure; to exercise
care and due regard for safety; to gauge accurately
the performance of the airplane; and to recognize
personal limitations and limitations of the airplane
and avoid approaching the critical points of each.
The development of airmanship skills requires effort
and dedication on the part of both the student pilot
and the flight instructor, beginning with the very first
training flight where proper habit formation begins
with the student being introduced to good operating
practices.
Every airplane has its own particular flight characteristics. The purpose of primary and intermediate flight
training, however, is not to learn how to fly a particular
make and model airplane. The underlying purpose of
flight training is to develop skills and safe habits that
are transferable to any airplane. Basic airmanship skills
serve as a firm foundation for this. The pilot who has
acquired necessary airmanship skills during training,
and demonstrates these skills by flying training-type
airplanes with precision and safe flying habits, will be
able to easily transition to more complex and higher
performance airplanes. It should also be remembered
that the goal of flight training is a safe and competent
pilot, and that passing required practical tests for pilot
certification is only incidental to this goal.
ROLE OF THE FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is empowered by the U.S. Congress to promote aviation safety
by prescribing safety standards for civil aviation. This
is accomplished through the Code of Federal
Regulations (CFRs) formerly referred to as Federal
Aviation Regulations (FARs).
Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR)
part 61 pertains to the certification of pilots, flight
instructors, and ground instructors. 14 CFR part 61 prescribes the eligibility, aeronautical knowledge, flight
proficiency, and training and testing requirements for
each type of pilot certificate issued.
14 CFR part 67 prescribes the medical standards and
certification procedures for issuing medical certificates
for airmen and for remaining eligible for a medical
certificate.
14 CFR part 91 contains general operating and flight
rules. The section is broad in scope and provides
general guidance in the areas of general flight rules,
visual flight rules (VFR), instrument flight rules
(IFR), aircraft maintenance, and preventive maintenance and alterations.
1-1
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Within the FAA, the Flight Standards Service sets the
aviation standards for airmen and aircraft operations in
the United States and for American airmen and aircraft
around the world. The FAA Flight Standards Service is
headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is broadly
organized into divisions based on work function (Air
Transportation, Aircraft Maintenance, Technical
Programs, a Regulatory Support Division based in
Oklahoma City, OK, and a General Aviation and
Commercial Division). Regional Flight Standards division managers, one at each of the FAA’s nine regional
offices, coordinate Flight Standards activities within
their respective regions.
The interface between the FAA Flight Standards
Service and the aviation community/general public
is the local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).
[Figure 1-1] The approximately 90 FSDOs are
strategically located across the United States, each
office having jurisdiction over a specific geographic
area. The individual FSDO is responsible for all air
activity occurring within its geographic boundaries.
In addition to accident investigation and the
enforcement of aviation regulations, the individual
FSDO is responsible for the certification and surveillance of air carriers, air operators, flight
schools/training centers, and airmen including pilots
and flight instructors.
Each FSDO is staffed by aviation safety inspectors
whose specialties include operations, maintenance,
and avionics. General aviation operations inspectors are highly qualified and experienced aviators.
Once accepted for the position, an inspector must
satisfactorily complete a course of indoctrination
training conducted at the FAA Academy, which
includes airman evaluation and pilot testing techniques and procedures. Thereafter, the inspector must
complete recurrent training on a regular basis. Among
other duties, the FSDO inspector is responsible for
administering FAA practical tests for pilot and flight
Figure 1-1. FAA FSDO.
1-2
instructor certificates and associated ratings. All questions concerning pilot certification (and/or requests for
other aviation information or services) should be directed
to the FSDO having jurisdiction in the particular geographic area. FSDO telephone numbers are listed in the
blue pages of the telephone directory under United States
Government offices, Department of Transportation,
Federal Aviation Administration.
ROLE OF THE PILOT EXAMINER
Pilot and flight instructor certificates are issued by
the FAA upon satisfactory completion of required
knowledge and practical tests. The administration
of these tests is an FAA responsibility normally
carried out at the FSDO level by FSDO inspectors.
The FAA, however, being a U.S. government
agency, has limited resources and must prioritize
its responsibilities. The agency’s highest priority
is the surveillance of certificated air carriers, with
the certification of airmen (including pilots and
flight instructors) having a lower priority.
In order to satisfy the public need for pilot testing and
certification services, the FAA delegates certain of these
responsibilities, as the need arises, to private individuals who are not FAA employees. A designated pilot
examiner (DPE) is a private citizen who is designated
as a representative of the FAA Administrator to perform
specific (but limited) pilot certification tasks on behalf
of the FAA, and may charge a reasonable fee for doing
so. Generally, a DPE’s authority is limited to accepting
applications and conducting practical tests leading to
the issuance of specific pilot certificates and/or ratings.
A DPE operates under the direct supervision of the
FSDO that holds the examiner’s designation file. A
FSDO inspector is assigned to monitor the DPE’s certification activities. Normally, the DPE is authorized to
conduct these activities only within the designating
FSDO’s jurisdictional area.
The FAA selects only highly qualified individuals to
be designated pilot examiners. These individuals must
have good industry reputations for professionalism,
high integrity, a demonstrated willingness to serve the
public, and adhere to FAA policies and procedures in
certification matters. A designated pilot examiner is
expected to administer practical tests with the same
degree of professionalism, using the same methods,
procedures, and standards as an FAA aviation safety
inspector. It should be remembered, however, that a
DPE is not an FAA aviation safety inspector. A DPE
cannot initiate enforcement action, investigate accidents, or perform surveillance activities on behalf of
the FAA. However, the majority of FAA practical tests
at the recreational, private, and commercial pilot level
are administered by FAA designated pilot examiners.
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ROLE OF THE FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR
The flight instructor is the cornerstone of aviation
safety. The FAA has adopted an operational training
concept that places the full responsibility for student
training on the authorized flight instructor. In this role,
the instructor assumes the total responsibility for training the student pilot in all the knowledge areas and
skills necessary to operate safely and competently as a
certificated pilot in the National Airspace System. This
training will include airmanship skills, pilot judgment
and decision making, and accepted good operating
practices.
An FAA certificated flight instructor has to meet
broad flying experience requirements, pass rigid
knowledge and practical tests, and demonstrate the
ability to apply recommended teaching techniques
before being certificated. In addition, the flight
instructor’s certificate must be renewed every 24
months by showing continued success in training
pilots, or by satisfactorily completing a flight instructor’s refresher course or a practical test designed to
upgrade aeronautical knowledge, pilot proficiency,
and teaching techniques.
A pilot training program is dependent on the quality of
the ground and flight instruction the student pilot
receives. A good flight instructor will have a thorough
understanding of the learning process, knowledge of
the fundamentals of teaching, and the ability to communicate effectively with the student pilot.
observe all regulations and recognized safety practices
during all flight operations.
Generally, the student pilot who enrolls in a pilot training
program is prepared to commit considerable time,
effort, and expense in pursuit of a pilot certificate. The
student may tend to judge the effectiveness of the flight
instructor, and the overall success of the pilot training
program, solely in terms of being able to pass the
requisite FAA practical test. A good flight instructor,
however, will be able to communicate to the student
that evaluation through practical tests is a mere sampling of pilot ability that is compressed into a short
period of time. The flight instructor’s role, however, is
to train the “total” pilot.
SOURCES OF FLIGHT TRAINING
The major sources of flight training in the United States
include FAA-approved pilot schools and training centers, non-certificated (14 CFR part 61) flying schools,
and independent flight instructors. FAA “approved”
schools are those flight schools certificated by the FAA
as pilot schools under 14 CFR part 141. [Figure 1-2]
Application for certification is voluntary, and the school
must meet stringent requirements for personnel, equipment, maintenance, and facilities. The school must
operate in accordance with an established curriculum,
which includes a training course outline (TCO)
A good flight instructor will use a syllabus and insist
on correct techniques and procedures from the
beginning of training so that the student will develop
proper habit patterns. The syllabus should embody
the “building block” method of instruction, in which
the student progresses from the known to the
unknown. The course of instruction should be laid
out so that each new maneuver embodies the principles
involved in the performance of those previously
undertaken. Consequently, through each new subject
introduced, the student not only learns a new principle or technique, but broadens his/her application of
those previously learned and has his/her deficiencies
in the previous maneuvers emphasized and made
obvious.
The flying habits of the flight instructor, both during
flight instruction and as observed by students when
conducting other pilot operations, have a vital effect
on safety. Students consider their flight instructor to be
a paragon of flying proficiency whose flying habits
they, consciously or unconsciously, attempt to imitate.
For this reason, a good flight instructor will meticulously observe the safety practices taught the students.
Additionally, a good flight instructor will carefully
Figure 1-2. FAA-approved pilot school certificate.
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approved by the FAA. The TCO must contain student
enrollment prerequisites, detailed description of each
lesson including standards and objectives, expected
accomplishments and standards for each stage of training, and a description of the checks and tests used to
measure a student’s accomplishments. FAA-approved
pilot school certificates must be renewed every 2 years.
Renewal is contingent upon proof of continued high
quality instruction and a minimum level of instructional
activity. Training at an FAA certificated pilot school is
structured. Because of this structured environment, the
CFRs allow graduates of these pilot schools to meet the
certification experience requirements of 14 CFR part
61 with less flight time. Many FAA certificated pilot
schools have designated pilot examiners (DPEs) on
their staff to administer FAA practical tests. Some
schools have been granted examining authority by the
FAA. A school with examining authority for a particular course or courses has the authority to recommend its
graduates for pilot certificates or ratings without further
testing by the FAA. A list of FAA certificated pilot
schools and their training courses can be found in
Advisory Circular (AC) 140-2, FAA Certificated Pilot
School Directory.
FAA-approved training centers are certificated under
14 CFR part 142. Training centers, like certificated
pilot schools, operate in a structured environment with
approved courses and curricula, and stringent standards
for personnel, equipment, facilities, operating procedures and record keeping. Training centers certificated
under 14 CFR part 142, however, specialize in the use
of flight simulation (flight simulators and flight training devices) in their training courses.
The overwhelming majority of flying schools in the
United States are not certificated by the FAA. These
schools operate under the provisions of 14 CFR part
61. Many of these non-certificated flying schools offer
excellent training, and meet or exceed the standards
required of FAA-approved pilot schools. Flight
instructors employed by non-certificated flying
schools, as well as independent flight instructors, must
meet the same basic 14 CFR part 61 flight instructor
requirements for certification and renewal as those
flight instructors employed by FAA certificated pilot
schools. In the end, any training program is dependent
upon the quality of the ground and flight instruction a
student pilot receives.
PRACTICAL TEST STANDARDS
Practical tests for FAA pilot certificates and associated
ratings are administered by FAA inspectors and designated pilot examiners in accordance with FAA-developed
practical test standards (PTS). [Figure 1-3] 14 CFR
part 61 specifies the areas of operation in which
knowledge and skill must be demonstrated by the
applicant. The CFRs provide the flexibility to permit
1-4
the FAA to publish practical test standards containing
the areas of operation and specific tasks in which
competence must be demonstrated. The FAA requires
that all practical tests be conducted in accordance with
the appropriate practical test standards and the policies
set forth in the Introduction section of the practical test
standard book.
It must be emphasized that the practical test standards
book is a testing document rather than a teaching document. An appropriately rated flight instructor is
responsible for training a pilot applicant to acceptable
standards in all subject matter areas, procedures, and
maneuvers included in the tasks within each area of
operation in the appropriate practical test standard.
The pilot applicant should be familiar with this book
and refer to the standards it contains during training.
However, the practical test standard book is not
intended to be used as a training syllabus. It contains
the standards to which maneuvers/procedures on FAA
practical tests must be performed and the FAA policies
governing the administration of practical tests.
Descriptions of tasks, and information on how to
perform maneuvers and procedures are contained in
reference and teaching documents such as this
handbook. A list of reference documents is contained
in the Introduction section of each practical test standard book.
Practical test standards may be downloaded from the
Regulatory Support Division’s, AFS-600, Web site at
http://afs600.faa.gov. Printed copies of practical test
standards can be purchased from the Superintendent
of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, DC 20402. The official online bookstore
Web site for the U.S. Government Printing Office is
www.access.gpo.gov.
FLIGHT SAFETY PRACTICES
In the interest of safety and good habit pattern formation, there are certain basic flight safety practices and
procedures that must be emphasized by the flight
instructor, and adhered to by both instructor and student,
beginning with the very first dual instruction flight.
These include, but are not limited to, collision
avoidance procedures including proper scanning
techniques and clearing procedures, runway incursion
avoidance, stall awareness, positive transfer of
controls, and cockpit workload management.
COLLISION AVOIDANCE
All pilots must be alert to the potential for midair
collision and near midair collisions. The general operating and flight rules in 14 CFR part 91 set forth the
concept of “See and Avoid.” This concept requires
that vigilance shall be maintained at all times, by
each person operating an aircraft regardless of
whether the operation is conducted under instrument
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Figure 1-3. PTS books.
flight rules (IFR) or visual flight rules (VFR). Pilots
should also keep in mind their responsibility for continuously maintaining a vigilant lookout regardless of
the type of aircraft being flown and the purpose of the
flight. Most midair collision accidents and reported
near midair collision incidents occur in good VFR
weather conditions and during the hours of daylight.
Most of these accident/incidents occur within 5 miles
of an airport and/or near navigation aids.
The “See and Avoid” concept relies on knowledge
of the limitations of the human eye, and the use of
proper visual scanning techniques to help compensate for these limitations. The importance of, and
the proper techniques for, visual scanning should
be taught to a student pilot at the very beginning of
flight training. The competent flight instructor
should be familiar with the visual scanning and
collision avoidance information contained in
Advisory Circular (AC) 90-48, Pilots’ Role in
Collision Avoidance, and the Aeronautical
Information Manual (AIM).
There are many different types of clearing procedures.
Most are centered around the use of clearing turns. The
essential idea of the clearing turn is to be certain that
the next maneuver is not going to proceed into another
airplane’s flightpath. Some pilot training programs
have hard and fast rules, such as requiring two 90°
turns in opposite directions before executing any
training maneuver. Other types of clearing procedures
may be developed by individual flight instructors.
Whatever the preferred method, the flight instructor
should teach the beginning student an effective clearing procedure and insist on its use. The student pilot
should execute the appropriate clearing procedure
before all turns and before executing any training
maneuver. Proper clearing procedures, combined
with proper visual scanning techniques, are the most
effective strategy for collision avoidance.
RUNWAY INCURSION AVOIDANCE
A runway incursion is any occurrence at an airport
involving an aircraft, vehicle, person, or object on the
ground that creates a collision hazard or results in a
loss of separation with an aircraft taking off, landing,
or intending to land. The three major areas contributing to runway incursions are:
•
Communications,
•
Airport knowledge, and
•
Cockpit procedures for maintaining orientation.
Taxi operations require constant vigilance by the entire
flight crew, not just the pilot taxiing the airplane. This
is especially true during flight training operations.
Both the student pilot and the flight instructor need to
be continually aware of the movement and location of
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other aircraft and ground vehicles on the airport
movement area. Many flight training activities are
conducted at non-tower controlled airports. The
absence of an operating airport control tower creates a
need for increased vigilance on the part of pilots operating at those airports.
Planning, clear communications, and enhanced
situational awareness during airport surface
operations will reduce the potential for surface incidents. Safe aircraft operations can be accomplished
and incidents eliminated if the pilot is properly trained
early on and, throughout his/her flying career,
accomplishes standard taxi operating procedures and
practices. This requires the development of the
formalized teaching of safe operating practices during
taxi operations. The flight instructor is the key to this
teaching. The flight instructor should instill in the
student an awareness of the potential for runway
incursion, and should emphasize the runway
incursion avoidance procedures contained in
Advisory Circular (AC) 91-73, Part 91 Pilot and
Flightcrew Procedures During Taxi Operations and
Part 135 Single-Pilot Operations.
STALL AWARENESS
14 CFR part 61 requires that a student pilot receive and
log flight training in stalls and stall recoveries prior to
solo flight. During this training, the flight instructor
should emphasize that the direct cause of every stall is
an excessive angle of attack. The student pilot should
fully understand that there are any number of flight
maneuvers which may produce an increase in the
wing’s angle of attack, but the stall does not occur until
the angle of attack becomes excessive. This “critical”
angle of attack varies from 16 to 20° depending on the
airplane design.
The flight instructor must emphasize that low speed is
not necessary to produce a stall. The wing can be
brought to an excessive angle of attack at any speed.
High pitch attitude is not an absolute indication of
proximity to a stall. Some airplanes are capable of vertical flight with a corresponding low angle of attack.
Most airplanes are quite capable of stalling at a level or
near level pitch attitude.
The key to stall awareness is the pilot’s ability to
visualize the wing’s angle of attack in any particular
circumstance, and thereby be able to estimate his/her
margin of safety above stall. This is a learned skill
that must be acquired early in flight training and
carried through the pilot’s entire flying career. The
pilot must understand and appreciate factors such as
airspeed, pitch attitude, load factor, relative wind,
power setting, and aircraft configuration in order to
develop a reasonably accurate mental picture of the
wing’s angle of attack at any particular time. It is
1-6
essential to flight safety that a pilot take into consideration this visualization of the wing’s angle of
attack prior to entering any flight maneuver.
USE OF CHECKLISTS
Checklists have been the foundation of pilot standardization and cockpit safety for years. The checklist is an
aid to the memory and helps to ensure that critical
items necessary for the safe operation of aircraft are
not overlooked or forgotten. However, checklists are
of no value if the pilot is not committed to its use.
Without discipline and dedication to using the checklist at the appropriate times, the odds are on the side of
error. Pilots who fail to take the checklist seriously
become complacent and the only thing they can rely
on is memory.
The importance of consistent use of checklists cannot
be overstated in pilot training. A major objective in
primary flight training is to establish habit patterns that
will serve pilots well throughout their entire flying
career. The flight instructor must promote a positive
attitude toward the use of checklists, and the student
pilot must realize its importance. At a minimum, prepared checklists should be used for the following
phases of flight.
•
Preflight Inspection.
•
Before Engine Start.
•
Engine Starting.
•
Before Taxiing.
•
Before Takeoff.
•
After Takeoff.
•
Cruise.
•
Descent.
•
Before Landing.
•
After Landing.
•
Engine Shutdown and Securing.
POSITIVE TRANSFER OF CONTROLS
During flight training, there must always be a clear
understanding between the student and flight instructor of who has control of the aircraft. Prior to any
dual training flight, a briefing should be conducted
that includes the procedure for the exchange of flight
controls. The following three-step process for the
exchange of flight controls is highly recommended.
When a flight instructor wishes the student to take
control of the aircraft, he/she should say to the student, “You have the flight controls.” The student
should acknowledge immediately by saying, “I have
the flight controls.” The flight instructor confirms by
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again saying, “You have the flight controls.” Part of
the procedure should be a visual check to ensure that
the other person actually has the flight controls. When
returning the controls to the flight instructor, the student should follow the same procedure the instructor
used when giving control to the student. The student
should stay on the controls until the instructor says:
“I have the flight controls.” There should never be
any doubt as to who is flying the airplane at any one
time. Numerous accidents have occurred due to a lack
of communication or misunderstanding as to who
actually had control of the aircraft, particularly
between students and flight instructors. Establishing
the above procedure during initial training will ensure
the formation of a very beneficial habit pattern.
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VISUAL INSPECTION
The accomplishment of a safe flight begins with a careful visual inspection of the airplane. The purpose of the
preflight visual inspection is twofold: to determine that
the airplane is legally airworthy, and that it is in condition for safe flight. The airworthiness of the airplane is
determined, in part, by the following certificates and
documents, which must be on board the airplane when
operated. [Figure 2-1]
records for the airframe and engine are required to be
kept. There may also be additional propeller records.
At a minimum, there should be an annual inspection
within the preceding 12-calendar months. In addition,
the airplane may also be required to have a 100-hour
inspection in accordance with Title14 of the Code of
Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91, section
91.409(b).
•
Airworthiness certificate.
•
Registration certificate.
•
FCC radio station license, if required by the type
of operation.
•
Airplane operating limitations, which may be in
the form of an FAA-approved Airplane Flight
Manual and/or Pilot’s Operating Handbook
(AFM/POH), placards, instrument markings, or
any combination thereof.
The emergency locator transmitter (ELT) should also
be checked. The ELT is battery powered, and the
battery replacement or recharge date should not
be exceeded.
Airplane logbooks are not required to be kept in the
airplane when it is operated. However, they should be
inspected prior to flight to show that the airplane has
had required tests and inspections. Maintenance
Airworthiness Directives (ADs) have varying
compliance intervals and are usually tracked in a
separate area of the appropriate airframe, engine, or
propeller record.
If a transponder is to be used, it is required to be
inspected within the preceding 24-calendar months. If
the airplane is operated under instrument flight rules
(IFR) in controlled airspace, the pitot-static system is
also required to be inspected within the preceding
24-calendar months.
Figure 2-1. Aircraft documents and AFM/POH.
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8
1
10
2
9
3
7
6
5
4
Figure 2-2. Preflight inspection.
The determination of whether the airplane is in a condition for safe flight is made by a preflight inspection
of the airplane and its components. [Figure 2-2] The
preflight inspection should be performed in accordance
with a printed checklist provided by the airplane manufacturer for the specific make and model airplane.
However, the following general areas are applicable to
all airplanes.
Figure 2-3. Inside the cockpit.
2-2
The preflight inspection of the airplane should begin
while approaching the airplane on the ramp. The pilot
should make note of the general appearance of the
airplane, looking for obvious discrepancies such as a
landing gear out of alignment, structural distortion,
skin damage, and dripping fuel or oil leaks. Upon
reaching the airplane, all tiedowns, control locks, and
chocks should be removed.
INSIDE THE COCKPIT
The inspection should start with the cabin door. If the
door is hard to open or close, or if the carpeting or
seats are wet from a recent rain, there is a good chance
that the door, fuselage, or both are misaligned. This
may be a sign of structural damage.
The windshield and side windows should be examined
for cracks and/or crazing. Crazing is the first stage of
delamination of the plastic. Crazing decreases
visibility, and a severely crazed window can result in
near zero visibility due to light refraction at certain
angles to the sun.
The pilot should check the seats, seat rails, and seat
belt attach points for wear, cracks, and serviceability.
The seat rail holes where the seat lock pins fit should
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Figure 2-4. Fuel selector and primer.
also be inspected. The holes should be round and not
oval. The pin and seat rail grips should also be checked
for wear and serviceability.
Inside the cockpit, three key items to be checked are:
(1) battery and ignition switches—off, (2) control
column locks—removed, (3) landing gear control—
down and locked. [Figure 2-3]
The fuel selectors should be checked for proper
operation in all positions—including the OFF position. Stiff selectors, or ones where the tank position is
hard to find, are unacceptable. The primer should also
be exercised. The pilot should feel resistance when
the primer is both pulled out and pushed in. The
primer should also lock securely. Faulty primers can
interfere with proper engine operation. [Figure 2-4]
The engine controls should also be manipulated by
slowly moving each through its full range to check
for binding or stiffness.
The airspeed indicator should be properly marked, and
the indicator needle should read zero. If it does not, the
instrument may not be calibrated correctly. Similarly,
the vertical speed indicator (VSI) should also read zero
when the airplane is on the ground. If it does not, a
small screwdriver can be used to zero the instrument.
The VSI is the only flight instrument that a pilot has
the prerogative to adjust. All others must be adjusted
by an FAA certificated repairman or mechanic.
The magnetic compass is a required instrument for
both VFR and IFR flight. It must be securely mounted,
with a correction card in place. The instrument face
must be clear and the instrument case full of fluid. A
cloudy instrument face, bubbles in the fluid, or a
partially filled case renders the instrument unusable.
[Figure 2-5]
The gyro driven attitude indicator should be checked
before being powered. A white haze on the inside of
Figure 2-5. Airspeed indicator, VSI, and magnetic compass.
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Figure 2-6. Wing and tail section inspection.
the glass face may be a sign that the seal has been
breached, allowing moisture and dirt to be sucked into
the instrument.
The altimeter should be checked against the ramp or
field elevation after setting in the barometric pressure.
If the variation between the known field elevation and
the altimeter indication is more than 75 feet, its
accuracy is questionable.
The pilot should turn on the battery master switch and
make note of the fuel quantity gauge indications for
comparison with an actual visual inspection of the fuel
tanks during the exterior inspection.
OUTER WING SURFACES AND TAIL
SECTION
The pilot should inspect for any signs of deterioration,
distortion, and loose or missing rivets or screws,
especially in the area where the outer skin attaches to
the airplane structure. [Figure 2-6] The pilot should
look along the wing spar rivet line—from the wingtip
to the fuselage—for skin distortion. Any ripples and/or
waves may be an indication of internal damage
or failure.
Loose or sheared aluminum rivets may be identified by
the presence of black oxide which forms rapidly when
2-4
the rivet works free in its hole. Pressure applied to the
skin adjacent to the rivet head will help verify the
loosened condition of the rivet.
When examining the outer wing surface, it should be
remembered that any damage, distortion, or
malformation of the wing leading edge renders the
airplane unairworthy. Serious dents in the leading
edge, and disrepair of items such as stall strips, and
deicer boots can cause the airplane to be
aerodynamically unsound. Also, special care should
be taken when examining the wingtips. Airplane
wingtips are usually fiberglass. They are easily
damaged and subject to cracking. The pilot should
look at stop drilled cracks for evidence of crack
progression, which can, under some circumstances,
lead to in-flight failure of the wingtip.
The pilot should remember that fuel stains anywhere
on the wing warrant further investigation—no matter
how old the stains appear to be. Fuel stains are a sign
of probable fuel leakage. On airplanes equipped with
integral fuel tanks, evidence of fuel leakage can be
found along rivet lines along the underside of
the wing.
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fuel. The pilot should always ensure that the fuel caps
have been securely replaced following each fueling.
Engines certificated for grades 80/87 or 91/96 AVGAS
will run satisfactorily on 100LL. The reverse is not
true. Fuel of a lower grade/octane, if found, should
never be substituted for a required higher grade.
Detonation will severely damage the engine in a very
short period of time.
Automotive gasoline is sometimes used as a substitute
fuel in certain airplanes. Its use is acceptable only
when the particular airplane has been issued a
supplemental type certificate (STC) to both the
airframe and engine allowing its use.
Figure 2-7. Aviation fuel types, grades, and colors.
FUEL AND OIL
Particular attention should be paid to the fuel quantity,
type and grade, and quality. [Figure 2-7] Many fuel
tanks are very sensitive to airplane attitude when
attempting to fuel for maximum capacity. Nosewheel
strut extension, both high as well as low, can
significantly alter the attitude, and therefore the fuel
capacity. The airplane attitude can also be affected
laterally by a ramp that slopes, leaving one wing
slightly higher than another. Always confirm the fuel
quantity indicated on the fuel gauges by visually
inspecting the level of each tank.
The type, grade, and color of fuel are critical to safe
operation. The only widely available aviation gasoline
(AVGAS) grade in the United States is low-lead
100-octane, or 100LL. AVGAS is dyed for easy
recognition of its grade and has a familiar gasoline
scent. Jet-A, or jet fuel, is a kerosene-based fuel for
turbine powered airplanes. It has disastrous
consequences when inadvertently introduced into
reciprocating airplane engines. The piston engine
operating on jet fuel may start, run, and power the
airplane, but will fail because the engine has been
destroyed from detonation.
Jet fuel has a distinctive kerosene scent and is oily to
the touch when rubbed between fingers. Jet fuel is
clear or straw colored, although it may appear dyed
when mixed in a tank containing AVGAS. When a few
drops of AVGAS are placed upon white paper, they
evaporate quickly and leave just a trace of dye. In
comparison, jet fuel is slower to evaporate and leaves
an oily smudge. Jet fuel refueling trucks and
dispensing equipment are marked with JET-A placards
in white letters on a black background. Prudent pilots
will supervise fueling to ensure that the correct tanks
are filled with the right quantity, type, and grade of
Checking for water and other sediment contamination
is a key preflight element. Water tends to accumulate
in fuel tanks from condensation, particularly in
partially filled tanks. Because water is heavier than
fuel, it tends to collect in the low points of the fuel
system. Water can also be introduced into the fuel
system from deteriorated gas cap seals exposed to rain,
or from the supplier’s storage tanks and delivery
vehicles. Sediment contamination can arise from dust
and dirt entering the tanks during refueling, or from
deteriorating rubber fuel tanks or tank sealant.
The best preventive measure is to minimize the
opportunity for water to condense in the tanks. If
possible, the fuel tanks should be completely filled
with the proper grade of fuel after each flight, or at
least filled after the last flight of the day. The more fuel
there is in the tanks, the less opportunity for
condensation to occur. Keeping fuel tanks filled is also
the best way to slow the aging of rubber fuel tanks and
tank sealant.
Sufficient fuel should be drained from the fuel strainer
quick drain and from each fuel tank sump to check for
fuel grade/color, water, dirt, and smell. If water is
present, it will usually be in bead-like droplets,
different in color (usually clear, sometimes muddy), in
the bottom of the sample. In extreme cases, do not
overlook the possibility that the entire sample,
particularly a small sample, is water. If water is found
in the first fuel sample, further samples should be taken
until no water appears. Significant and/or consistent
water or sediment contamination are grounds for
further investigation by qualified maintenance
personnel. Each fuel tank sump should be drained
during preflight and after refueling.
The fuel tank vent is an important part of a preflight
inspection. Unless outside air is able to enter the tank
as fuel is drawn out, the eventual result will be fuel
gauge malfunction and/or fuel starvation. During the
preflight inspection, the pilot should be alert for any
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signs of vent tubing damage, as well as vent blockage.
A functional check of the fuel vent system can be done
simply by opening the fuel cap. If there is a rush of air
when the fuel tank cap is cracked, there could be a
serious problem with the vent system.
The oil level should be checked during each preflight
and rechecked with each refueling. Reciprocating
airplane engines can be expected to consume a small
amount of oil during normal operation. If the
consumption grows or suddenly changes, qualified
maintenance personnel should investigate. If line
service personnel add oil to the engine, the pilot should
ensure that the oil cap has been securely replaced.
LANDING GEAR, TIRES, AND BRAKES
Tires should be inspected for proper inflation, as well
as cuts, bruises, wear, bulges, imbedded foreign object,
and deterioration. As a general rule, tires with cord
showing, and those with cracked sidewalls are
considered unairworthy.
Brakes and brake systems should be checked for rust
and corrosion, loose nuts/bolts, alignment, brake pad
wear/cracks, signs of hydraulic fluid leakage, and
hydraulic line security/abrasion.
An examination of the nose gear should include the
shimmy damper, which is painted white, and the torque
link, which is painted red, for proper servicing and
general condition. All landing gear shock struts should
also be checked for proper inflation.
ENGINE AND PROPELLER
The pilot should make note of the condition of the
engine cowling. [Figure 2-8] If the cowling rivet heads
reveal aluminum oxide residue, and chipped paint
surrounding and radiating away from the cowling rivet
heads, it is a sign that the rivets have been rotating until
the holes have been elongated. If allowed to continue,
Figure 2-8. Check the propeller and inside the cowling.
2-6
the cowling may eventually separate from the airplane
in flight.
Certain engine/propeller combinations require
installation of a prop spinner for proper engine
cooling. In these cases, the engine should not be
operated unless the spinner is present and properly
installed. The pilot should inspect the propeller
spinner and spinner mounting plate for security of
attachment, any signs of chafing of propeller blades,
and defects such as cracking. A cracked spinner is
unairworthy.
The propeller should be checked for nicks, cracks,
pitting, corrosion, and security. The propeller hub
should be checked for oil leaks, and the alternator/
generator drive belt should be checked for proper
tension and signs of wear.
When inspecting inside the cowling, the pilot should
look for signs of fuel dye which may indicate a fuel
leak. The pilot should check for oil leaks, deterioration
of oil lines, and to make certain that the oil cap, filter,
oil cooler and drain plug are secure. The exhaust
system should be checked for white stains caused by
exhaust leaks at the cylinder head or cracks in the
stacks. The heat muffs should also be checked for
general condition and signs of cracks or leaks.
The air filter should be checked for condition and
secure fit, as well as hydraulic lines for deterioration
and/or leaks. The pilot should also check for loose or
foreign objects inside the cowling such as bird nests,
shop rags, and/or tools. All visible wires and lines
should be checked for security and condition. And
lastly, when the cowling is closed, the cowling
fasteners should be checked for security.
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COCKPIT MANAGEMENT
After entering the airplane, the pilot should first ensure
that all necessary equipment, documents, checklists,
and navigation charts appropriate for the flight are on
board. If a portable intercom, headsets, or a hand-held
global positioning system (GPS) is used, the pilot is
responsible for ensuring that the routing of wires and
cables does not interfere with the motion or the
operation of any control.
Regardless of what materials are to be used, they
should be neatly arranged and organized in a manner
that makes them readily available. The cockpit and
cabin should be checked for articles that might be
tossed about if turbulence is encountered. Loose items
should be properly secured. All pilots should form the
habit of good housekeeping.
The pilot must be able to see inside and outside
references. If the range of motion of an adjustable seat
is inadequate, cushions should be used to provide the
proper seating position.
When the pilot is comfortably seated, the safety belt
and shoulder harness (if installed) should be fastened
and adjusted to a comfortably snug fit. The shoulder
harness must be worn at least for the takeoff and
landing, unless the pilot cannot reach or operate the
controls with it fastened. The safety belt must be worn
at all times when the pilot is seated at the controls.
If the seats are adjustable, it is important to ensure that
the seat is locked in position. Accidents have occurred
as the result of seat movement during acceleration or
pitch attitude changes during takeoffs or landings.
When the seat suddenly moves too close or too far
away from the controls, the pilot may be unable to
maintain control of the airplane.
14 CFR part 91 requires the pilot to ensure that each
person on board is briefed on how to fasten and
unfasten his/her safety belt and, if installed, shoulder
harness. This should be accomplished before starting
the engine, along with a passenger briefing on the
proper use of safety equipment and exit information.
Airplane manufacturers have printed briefing cards
available, similar to those used by airlines, to
supplement the pilot’s briefing.
GROUND OPERATIONS
It is important that a pilot operates an airplane safely
on the ground. This includes being familiar with
standard hand signals that are used by ramp personnel.
[Figure 2-9]
ENGINE STARTING
The specific procedures for engine starting will not be
discussed here since there are as many different
Figure 2-9. Standard hand signals.
methods as there are different engines, fuel systems,
and starting conditions. The before engine starting and
engine starting checklist procedures should be followed. There are, however, certain precautions that
apply to all airplanes.
Some pilots have started the engine with the tail of the
airplane pointed toward an open hangar door, parked
automobiles, or a group of bystanders. This is not only
discourteous, but may result in personal injury and
damage to the property of others. Propeller blast can
be surprisingly powerful.
When ready to start the engine, the pilot should look in
all directions to be sure that nothing is or will be in the
vicinity of the propeller. This includes nearby persons
and aircraft that could be struck by the propeller blast
or the debris it might pick up from the ground. The
anticollision light should be turned on prior to engine
start, even during daytime operations. At night, the
position (navigation) lights should also be on.
The pilot should always call “CLEAR” out of the side
window and wait for a response from persons who may
be nearby before activating the starter.
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When activating the starter, one hand should be kept
on the throttle. This allows prompt response if the
engine falters during starting, and allows the pilot to
rapidly retard the throttle if revolutions per minute
(r.p.m.) are excessive after starting. A low r.p.m.
setting (800 to 1,000) is recommended immediately
following engine start. It is highly undesirable to allow
the r.p.m. to race immediately after start, as there will
be insufficient lubrication until the oil pressure rises.
In freezing temperatures, the engine will also be
exposed to potential mechanical distress until it warms
and normal internal operating clearances are assumed.
As soon as the engine is operating smoothly, the oil
pressure should be checked. If it does not rise to the
manufacturer’s specified value, the engine may not be
receiving proper lubrication and should be shut down
immediately to prevent serious damage.
Although quite rare, the starter motor may remain on
and engaged after the engine starts. This can be
detected by a continuous very high current draw on the
ammeter. Some airplanes also have a starter engaged
warning light specifically for this purpose. The engine
should be shut down immediately should this occur.
Starters are small electric motors designed to draw
large amounts of current for short periods of cranking.
Should the engine fail to start readily, avoid
continuous starter operation for periods longer than 30
seconds without a cool down period of at least 30
seconds to a minute (some AFM/POH specify even
longer). Their service life is drastically shortened from
high heat through overuse.
When hand propping is necessary, the ground surface
near the propeller should be stable and free of debris.
Unless a firm footing is available, consider relocating
the airplane. Loose gravel, wet grass, mud, oil, ice, or
snow might cause the person pulling the propeller
through to slip into the rotating blades as the engine
starts.
Both participants should discuss the procedure and
agree on voice commands and expected action. To
begin the procedure, the fuel system and engine
controls (tank selector, primer, pump, throttle, and
mixture) are set for a normal start. The ignition/
magneto switch should be checked to be sure that it is
OFF. Then the descending propeller blade should be
rotated so that it assumes a position slightly above the
horizontal. The person doing the hand propping should
face the descending blade squarely and stand slightly
less than one arm’s length from the blade. If a stance
too far away were assumed, it would be necessary to
lean forward in an unbalanced condition to reach the
blade. This may cause the person to fall forward into
the rotating blades when the engine starts.
The procedure and commands for hand propping are:
•
Person out front says, “GAS ON, SWITCH OFF,
THROTTLE CLOSED, BRAKES SET.”
•
Pilot seat occupant, after making sure the fuel is
ON, mixture is RICH, ignition/magneto switch is
OFF, throttle is CLOSED, and brakes SET, says,
“GAS ON, SWITCH OFF, THROTTLE
CLOSED, BRAKES SET.”
•
Person out front, after pulling the propeller
through to prime the engine says, “BRAKES
AND CONTACT.”
•
Pilot seat occupant checks the brakes SET and
turns the ignition switch ON, then says,
“BRAKES AND CONTACT.”
HAND PROPPING
Even though most airplanes are equipped with electric
starters, it is helpful if a pilot is familiar with the procedures and dangers involved in starting an engine by
turning the propeller by hand (hand propping). Due to
the associated hazards, this method of starting should
be used only when absolutely necessary and when
proper precautions have been taken.
An engine should not be hand propped unless two
people, both familiar with the airplane and hand
propping techniques, are available to perform the
procedure. The person pulling the propeller blades
through directs all activity and is in charge of the
procedure. The other person, thoroughly familiar
with the controls, must be seated in the airplane with
the brakes set. As an additional precaution, chocks
may be placed in front of the main wheels. If this is
not feasible, the airplane’s tail may be securely tied.
Never allow a person unfamiliar with the controls to
occupy the pilot’s seat when hand propping. The
procedure should never be attempted alone.
2-8
The propeller is swung by forcing the blade downward
rapidly, pushing with the palms of both hands. If the
blade is gripped tightly with the fingers, the person’s
body may be drawn into the propeller blades should
the engine misfire and rotate momentarily in the
opposite direction. As the blade is pushed down, the
person should step backward, away from the propeller.
If the engine does not start, the propeller should not be
repositioned for another attempt until it is certain the
ignition/magneto switch is turned OFF.
The words CONTACT (mags ON) and SWITCH OFF
(mags OFF) are used because they are significantly
different from each other. Under noisy conditions or
high winds, the words CONTACT and SWITCH OFF
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are less likely to be misunderstood than SWITCH ON
and SWITCH OFF.
When removing the wheel chocks after the engine
starts, it is essential that the pilot remember that the
propeller is almost invisible. Incredible as it may seem,
serious injuries and fatalities occur when people who
have just started an engine walk or reach into the
propeller arc to remove the chocks. Before the chocks
are removed, the throttle should be set to idle and the
chocks approached from the rear of the propeller.
Never approach the chocks from the front or the side.
The procedures for hand propping should always be in
accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations
and checklist. Special starting procedures are used
when the engine is already warm, very cold, or when
flooded or vapor locked. There will also be a different
starting procedure when an external power source
is used.
TAXIING
The following basic taxi information is applicable to
both nosewheel and tailwheel airplanes.
Taxiing is the controlled movement of the airplane
under its own power while on the ground. Since an
airplane is moved under its own power between the
parking area and the runway, the pilot must thoroughly
understand and be proficient in taxi procedures.
An awareness of other aircraft that are taking off,
landing, or taxiing, and consideration for the right-ofway of others is essential to safety. When taxiing, the
pilot’s eyes should be looking outside the airplane, to
the sides, as well as the front. The pilot must be aware
of the entire area around the airplane to ensure that the
airplane will clear all obstructions and other aircraft. If
at any time there is doubt about the clearance from an
object, the pilot should stop the airplane and have
someone check the clearance. It may be necessary to
have the airplane towed or physically moved by a
ground crew.
It is difficult to set any rule for a single, safe taxiing
speed. What is reasonable and prudent under some
conditions may be imprudent or hazardous under others. The primary requirements for safe taxiing are positive control, the ability to recognize potential hazards
in time to avoid them, and the ability to stop or turn
where and when desired, without undue reliance on the
brakes. Pilots should proceed at a cautious speed on
congested or busy ramps. Normally, the speed should
be at the rate where movement of the airplane is
dependent on the throttle. That is, slow enough so
when the throttle is closed, the airplane can be stopped
promptly. When yellow taxiway centerline stripes are
provided, they should be observed unless necessary to
clear airplanes or obstructions.
Use Up Aileron
on LH Wing and
Neutral Elevator
Use Down Aileron
on LH Wing and
Down Elevator
Use Up Aileron
on RH Wing and
Neutral Elevator
Use Down Aileron
on RH Wing and
Down Elevator
Figure 2-10. Flight control positions during taxi.
When taxiing, it is best to slow down before
attempting a turn. Sharp, high-speed turns place
undesirable side loads on the landing gear and may
result in an uncontrollable swerve or a ground loop.
This swerve is most likely to occur when turning from
a downwind heading toward an upwind heading. In
moderate to high-wind conditions, pilots will note the
airplane’s tendency to weathervane, or turn into the
wind when the airplane is proceeding crosswind.
When taxiing at appropriate speeds in no-wind
conditions, the aileron and elevator control surfaces
have little or no effect on directional control of the
airplane. The controls should not be considered
steering devices and should be held in a neutral
position. Their proper use while taxiing in windy
conditions will be discussed later. [Figure 2-10]
Steering is accomplished with rudder pedals and
brakes. To turn the airplane on the ground, the pilot
should apply rudder in the desired direction of turn and
use whatever power or brake that is necessary to
control the taxi speed. The rudder pedal should be held
in the direction of the turn until just short of the point
where the turn is to be stopped. Rudder pressure is then
released or opposite pressure is applied as needed.
More engine power may be required to start the
airplane moving forward, or to start a turn, than is
required to keep it moving in any given direction.
When using additional power, the throttle should
immediately be retarded once the airplane begins
moving, to prevent excessive acceleration.
When first beginning to taxi, the brakes should be
tested for proper operation as soon as the airplane is
put in motion. Applying power to start the airplane
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moving forward slowly, then retarding the throttle and
simultaneously applying pressure smoothly to both
brakes does this. If braking action is unsatisfactory, the
engine should be shut down immediately.
The presence of moderate to strong headwinds and/or
a strong propeller slipstream makes the use of the
elevator necessary to maintain control of the pitch
attitude while taxiing. This becomes apparent when
considering the lifting action that may be created on
the horizontal tail surfaces by either of those two
factors. The elevator control in nosewheel-type
airplanes should be held in the neutral position, while
in tailwheel-type airplanes it should be held in the aft
position to hold the tail down.
Downwind taxiing will usually require less engine
power after the initial ground roll is begun, since the
wind will be pushing the airplane forward. [Figure
2-11] To avoid overheating the brakes when taxiing
downwind, keep engine power to a minimum. Rather
than continuously riding the brakes to control speed, it
is better to apply brakes only occasionally. Other than
sharp turns at low speed, the throttle should always be
at idle before the brakes are applied. It is a common
student error to taxi with a power setting that requires
controlling taxi speed with the brakes. This is the
aeronautical equivalent of driving an automobile with
both the accelerator and brake pedals depressed.
When taxiing with a quartering headwind, the wing on
the upwind side will tend to be lifted by the wind
unless the aileron control is held in that direction
(upwind aileron UP). [Figure 2-12] Moving the aileron
WHEN TAXIING DOWNWIND
Keep engine power
to a minimum.
into the UP position reduces the effect of the wind
striking that wing, thus reducing the lifting action.
This control movement will also cause the downwind
aileron to be placed in the DOWN position, thus a
small amount of lift and drag on the downwind wing,
further reducing the tendency of the upwind wing
to rise.
When taxiing with a quartering tailwind, the elevator
should be held in the DOWN position, and the upwind
aileron, DOWN. [Figure 2-13] Since the wind is
striking the airplane from behind, these control
positions reduce the tendency of the wind to get under
the tail and the wing and to nose the airplane over.
Upwind Aileron Down
Elevator Down
Downwind Aileron Up
Figure 2-13. Quartering tailwind.
The application of these crosswind taxi corrections
helps to minimize the weathervaning tendency and
ultimately results in making the airplane easier to
steer.
Normally, all turns should be started using the rudder
pedal to steer the nosewheel. To tighten the turn after
full pedal deflection is reached, the brake may be
applied as needed. When stopping the airplane, it is
advisable to always stop with the nosewheel straight
ahead to relieve any side load on the nosewheel and to
make it easier to start moving ahead.
During crosswind taxiing, even the nosewheel-type
airplane has some tendency to weathervane. However,
Do not ride the brakes.
Reduce power and use
brakes intermittently.
Figure 2-11. Downwind taxi.
Upwind Aileron Up
Downwind Aileron Down
Elevator Neutral
Figure 2-12. Quartering headwind.
2-10
Figure 2-14. Surface area most affected by wind.
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the weathervaning tendency is less than in
tailwheel-type airplanes because the main wheels are
located farther aft, and the nosewheel’s ground friction
helps to resist the tendency. [Figure 2-14] The
nosewheel linkage from the rudder pedals provides
adequate steering control for safe and efficient ground
handling, and normally, only rudder pressure is
necessary to correct for a crosswind.
BEFORE TAKEOFF CHECK
The before takeoff check is the systematic procedure
for making a check of the engine, controls, systems,
instruments, and avionics prior to flight. Normally, it is
performed after taxiing to a position near the takeoff
end of the runway. Taxiing to that position usually
allows sufficient time for the engine to warm up to at
least minimum operating temperatures. This ensures
adequate lubrication and internal engine clearances
before being operated at high power settings. Many
engines require that the oil temperature reach a
minimum value as stated in the AFM/POH before high
power is applied.
Air-cooled engines generally are closely cowled and
equipped with pressure baffles that direct the flow of
air to the engine in sufficient quantities for cooling in
flight. On the ground, however, much less air is forced
through the cowling and around the baffling.
Prolonged ground operations may cause cylinder
overheating long before there is an indication of rising
oil temperature. Cowl flaps, if available, should be set
according to the AFM/POH.
Before beginning the before takeoff check, the airplane
should be positioned clear of other aircraft. There
should not be anything behind the airplane that might
be damaged by the prop blast. To minimize
overheating during engine runup, it is recommended
that the airplane be headed as nearly as possible into
the wind. After the airplane is properly positioned for
the runup, it should be allowed to roll forward slightly
so that the nosewheel or tailwheel will be aligned fore
and aft.
During the engine runup, the surface under the airplane
should be firm (a smooth, paved, or turf surface if
possible) and free of debris. Otherwise, the propeller
may pick up pebbles, dirt, mud, sand, or other loose
objects and hurl them backwards. This damages the
propeller and may damage the tail of the airplane.
Small chips in the leading edge of the propeller form
stress risers, or lines of concentrated high stress. These
are highly undesirable and may lead to cracks and
possible propeller blade failure.
While performing the engine runup, the pilot must
divide attention inside and outside the airplane. If the
parking brake slips, or if application of the toe brakes
is inadequate for the amount of power applied, the
airplane could move forward unnoticed if attention is
fixed inside the airplane.
Each airplane has different features and equipment,
and the before takeoff checklist provided by the
airplane manufacturer or operator should be used to
perform the runup.
AFTER LANDING
During the after-landing roll, the airplane should be
gradually slowed to normal taxi speed before turning
off the landing runway. Any significant degree of turn
at faster speeds could result in ground looping and
subsequent damage to the airplane.
To give full attention to controlling the airplane during
the landing roll, the after-landing check should be
performed only after the airplane is brought to a
complete stop clear of the active runway. There have
been many cases of the pilot mistakenly grasping the
wrong handle and retracting the landing gear, instead
of the flaps, due to improper division of attention while
the airplane was moving. However, this procedure may
be modified if the manufacturer recommends that
specific after-landing items be accomplished during
landing rollout. For example, when performing a
short-field landing, the manufacturer may recommend
retracting the flaps on rollout to improve braking. In
this situation, the pilot should make a positive
identification of the flap control and retract the flaps.
CLEAR OF RUNWAY
Because of different features and equipment in various
airplanes, the after-landing checklist provided by the
manufacturer should be used. Some of the items may
include:
•
Flaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Identify and retract
•
Cowl flaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Open
•
Propeller control . . . . . . . . . . . Full increase
•
Trim tabs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Set
PARKING
Unless parking in a designated, supervised area, the
pilot should select a location and heading which will
prevent the propeller or jet blast of other airplanes from
striking the airplane broadside. Whenever possible, the
airplane should be parked headed into the existing or
forecast wind. After stopping on the desired heading,
the airplane should be allowed to roll straight ahead
enough to straighten the nosewheel or tailwheel.
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ENGINE SHUTDOWN
•
Turn ignition switch to OFF when engine stops.
Finally, the pilot should always use the procedures in
the manufacturer’s checklist for shutting down the
engine and securing the airplane. Some of the important items include:
•
Turn master electrical switch to OFF.
•
Install control lock.
•
Set the parking brakes ON.
•
Set throttle to IDLE or 1,000 r.p.m. If turbocharged, observe the manufacturer’s spool
down procedure.
•
Turn ignition switch OFF then ON at idle to
check for proper operation of switch in the OFF
position.
•
Set propeller control (if equipped) to FULL
INCREASE.
•
Turn electrical units and radios OFF.
•
Set mixture control to IDLE CUTOFF.
2-12
POSTFLIGHT
A flight is never complete until the engine is shut down
and the airplane is secured. A pilot should consider this
an essential part of any flight.
SECURING AND SERVICING
After engine shutdown and deplaning passengers, the
pilot should accomplish a postflight inspection. This
includes checking the general condition of the aircraft.
For a departure, the oil should be checked and fuel
added if required. If the aircraft is going to be inactive,
it is a good operating practice to fill the tanks to the
top to prevent water condensation from forming.
When the flight is completed for the day, the aircraft
should be hangared or tied down and the flight
controls secured.
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THE FOUR FUNDAMENTALS
There are four fundamental basic flight maneuvers
upon which all flying tasks are based: straight-andlevel flight, turns, climbs, and descents. All
controlled flight consists of either one, or a combination
or more than one, of these basic maneuvers. If a student
pilot is able to perform these maneuvers well, and the
student’s proficiency is based on accurate “feel” and
control analysis rather than mechanical movements, the
ability to perform any assigned maneuver will only be
a matter of obtaining a clear visual and mental conception of it. The flight instructor must impart a good
knowledge of these basic elements to the student, and
must combine them and plan their practice so that
perfect performance of each is instinctive without
conscious effort. The importance of this to the success
of flight training cannot be overemphasized. As the
student progresses to more complex maneuvers,
discounting any difficulties in visualizing the
maneuvers, most student difficulties will be caused by
a lack of training, practice, or understanding of the
principles of one or more of these fundamentals.
EFFECTS AND USE OF THE CONTROLS
In explaining the functions of the controls, the instructor
should emphasize that the controls never change in the
results produced in relation to the pilot. The pilot should
always be considered the center of movement of the airplane, or the reference point from which the movements
of the airplane are judged and described. The following
will always be true, regardless of the airplane’s attitude
in relation to the Earth.
•
When back pressure is applied to the elevator control, the airplane’s nose rises in relation to the pilot.
•
When forward pressure is applied to the elevator
control, the airplane’s nose lowers in relation to the
pilot.
•
When right pressure is applied to the aileron control, the airplane’s right wing lowers in relation to
the pilot.
•
When left pressure is applied to the aileron control,
the airplane’s left wing lowers in relation to the
pilot.
•
When pressure is applied to the right rudder pedal,
the airplane’s nose moves (yaws) to the right in
relation to the pilot.
•
When pressure is applied to the left rudder pedal,
the airplane’s nose moves (yaws) to the left in
relation to the pilot.
The preceding explanations should prevent the
beginning pilot from thinking in terms of “up” or
“down” in respect to the Earth, which is only a relative
state to the pilot. It will also make understanding of the
functions of the controls much easier, particularly
when performing steep banked turns and the more
advanced maneuvers. Consequently, the pilot must be
able to properly determine the control application
required to place the airplane in any attitude or flight
condition that is desired.
The flight instructor should explain that the controls
will have a natural “live pressure” while in flight and
that they will remain in neutral position of their own
accord, if the airplane is trimmed properly.
With this in mind, the pilot should be cautioned
never to think of movement of the controls, but of
exerting a force on them against this live pressure or
resistance. Movement of the controls should not be
emphasized; it is the duration and amount of the
force exerted on them that effects the displacement
of the control surfaces and maneuvers the airplane.
The amount of force the airflow exerts on a control
surface is governed by the airspeed and the degree that
the surface is moved out of its neutral or streamlined
position. Since the airspeed will not be the same in all
maneuvers, the actual amount the control surfaces are
moved is of little importance; but it is important that
the pilot maneuver the airplane by applying sufficient
control pressure to obtain a desired result, regardless
of how far the control surfaces are actually moved.
The controls should be held lightly, with the fingers,
not grabbed and squeezed. Pressure should be exerted
on the control yoke with the fingers. A common error
in beginning pilots is a tendency to “choke the stick.”
This tendency should be avoided as it prevents the
development of “feel,” which is an important part of
aircraft control.
The pilot’s feet should rest comfortably against the
rudder pedals. Both heels should support the weight
of the feet on the cockpit floor with the ball of each
foot touching the individual rudder pedals. The legs
and feet should not be tense; they must be relaxed
just as when driving an automobile.
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When using the rudder pedals, pressure should be
applied smoothly and evenly by pressing with the ball
of one foot. Since the rudder pedals are interconnected,
and act in opposite directions, when pressure is applied
to one pedal, pressure on the other must be relaxed proportionately. When the rudder pedal must be moved
significantly, heavy pressure changes should be made
by applying the pressure with the ball of the foot while
the heels slide along the cockpit floor. Remember, the
ball of each foot must rest comfortably on the rudder
pedals so that even slight pressure changes can be felt.
In summary, during flight, it is the pressure the pilot
exerts on the control yoke and rudder pedals that
causes the airplane to move about its axes. When a
control surface is moved out of its streamlined position
(even slightly), the air flowing past it will exert a force
against it and will try to return it to its streamlined position. It is this force that the pilot feels as pressure on
the control yoke and the rudder pedals.
FEEL OF THE AIRPLANE
The ability to sense a flight condition, without relying
on cockpit instrumentation, is often called “feel of the
airplane,” but senses in addition to “feel” are involved.
Sounds inherent to flight are an important sense in
developing “feel.” The air that rushes past the modern light plane cockpit/cabin is often masked by
soundproofing, but it can still be heard. When the
level of sound increases, it indicates that airspeed is
increasing. Also, the powerplant emits distinctive
sound patterns in different conditions of flight. The
sound of the engine in cruise flight may be different
from that in a climb, and different again from that in
a dive. When power is used in fixed-pitch propeller
airplanes, the loss of r.p.m. is particularly noticeable. The amount of noise that can be heard will
depend on how much the slipstream masks it out.
But the relationship between slipstream noise and
powerplant noise aids the pilot in estimating not
only the present airspeed but the trend of the airspeed.
There are three sources of actual “feel” that are very
important to the pilot. One is the pilot’s own body as
it responds to forces of acceleration. The “G” loads
imposed on the airframe are also felt by the pilot.
Centripetal accelerations force the pilot down into the
seat or raise the pilot against the seat belt. Radial
accelerations, as they produce slips or skids of the airframe, shift the pilot from side to side in the seat.
These forces need not be strong, only perceptible by
the pilot to be useful. An accomplished pilot who has
excellent “feel” for the airplane will be able to detect
even the minutest change.
The response of the aileron and rudder controls to the
pilot’s touch is another element of “feel,” and is one
3-2
that provides direct information concerning airspeed.
As previously stated, control surfaces move in the
airstream and meet resistance proportional to the
speed of the airstream. When the airstream is fast, the
controls are stiff and hard to move. When the airstream
is slow, the controls move easily, but must be deflected
a greater distance. The pressure that must be exerted
on the controls to effect a desired result, and the lag
between their movement and the response of the airplane, becomes greater as airspeed decreases.
Another type of “feel” comes to the pilot through the
airframe. It consists mainly of vibration. An example
is the aerodynamic buffeting and shaking that precedes
a stall.
Kinesthesia, or the sensing of changes in direction or
speed of motion, is one of the most important senses a
pilot can develop. When properly developed, kinesthesia can warn the pilot of changes in speed and/or
the beginning of a settling or mushing of the airplane.
The senses that contribute to “feel” of the airplane are
inherent in every person. However, “feel” must be
developed. The flight instructor should direct the
beginning pilot to be attuned to these senses and teach
an awareness of their meaning as it relates to various
conditions of flight. To do this effectively, the flight
instructor must fully understand the difference
between perceiving something and merely noticing it.
It is a well established fact that the pilot who develops
a “feel” for the airplane early in flight training will
have little difficulty with advanced flight maneuvers.
ATTITUDE FLYING
In contact (VFR) flying, flying by attitude means visually establishing the airplane’s attitude with reference
to the natural horizon. [Figure 3-1] Attitude is the
angular difference measured between an airplane’s
axis and the line of the Earth’s horizon. Pitch attitude
is the angle formed by the longitudinal axis, and bank
attitude is the angle formed by the lateral axis.
Rotation about the airplane’s vertical axis (yaw) is
termed an attitude relative to the airplane’s flightpath,
but not relative to the natural horizon.
In attitude flying, airplane control is composed of four
components: pitch control, bank control, power control, and trim.
•
Pitch control is the control of the airplane about
the lateral axis by using the elevator to raise and
lower the nose in relation to the natural horizon.
•
Bank control is control of the airplane about the longitudinal axis by use of the ailerons to attain a desired
bank angle in relation to the natural horizon.
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PITCH CONTROL
BANK CONTROL
Figure 3-1. Airplane attitude is based on relative positions of the nose and wings on the natural horizon.
•
Power control is used when the flight situation
indicates a need for a change in thrust.
•
Trim is used to relieve all possible control pressures held after a desired attitude has been
attained.
•
The airplane’s attitude is established and maintained by positioning the airplane in relation to the
natural horizon. At least 90 percent of the pilot’s
attention should be devoted to this end, along with
90% of the time, the pilot's attention should
be outside the cockpit.
The primary rule of attitude flying is:
ATTITUDE + POWER = PERFORMANCE
INTEGRATED FLIGHT INSTRUCTION
When introducing basic flight maneuvers to a beginning
pilot, it is recommended that the “Integrated” or
“Composite” method of flight instruction be used. This
means the use of outside references and flight instruments to establish and maintain desired flight attitudes
and airplane performance. [Figure 3-2] When beginning
pilots use this technique, they achieve a more precise
and competent overall piloting ability. Although this
method of airplane control may become second nature
with experience, the beginning pilot must make a determined effort to master the technique. The basic elements
of which are as follows.
No more than
10% of the pilot's
attention should
be inside the
cockpit.
Figure 3-2. Integrated or composite method of flight instruction.
3-3
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scanning for other airplanes. If, during a recheck of
the pitch and/or bank, either or both are found to be
other than desired, an immediate correction is made
to return the airplane to the proper attitude.
Continuous checks and immediate corrections will
allow little chance for the airplane to deviate from
the desired heading, altitude, and flightpath.
•
•
The airplane’s attitude is confirmed by referring to
flight instruments, and its performance checked. If
airplane performance, as indicated by flight instruments, indicates a need for correction, a specific
amount of correction must be determined, then
applied with reference to the natural horizon. The airplane’s attitude and performance are then rechecked
by referring to flight instruments. The pilot then
maintains the corrected attitude by reference to the
natural horizon.
The pilot should monitor the airplane’s performance by making numerous quick glances at the
flight instruments. No more than 10 percent of the
pilot’s attention should be inside the cockpit. The
pilot must develop the skill to instantly focus on
the appropriate flight instrument, and then immediately return to outside reference to control the
airplane’s attitude.
The pilot should become familiar with the relationship
between outside references to the natural horizon and
the corresponding indications on flight instruments
inside the cockpit. For example, a pitch attitude adjustment may require a movement of the pilot’s reference
point on the airplane of several inches in relation to the
natural horizon, but correspond to a small fraction of
an inch movement of the reference bar on the airplane’s attitude indicator. Similarly, a deviation from
desired bank, which is very obvious when referencing
the wingtip’s position relative to the natural horizon,
may be nearly imperceptible on the airplane’s attitude
indicator to the beginning pilot.
The use of integrated flight instruction does not, and is
not intended to prepare pilots for flight in instrument
weather conditions. The most common error made by the
beginning student is to make pitch or bank corrections
while still looking inside the cockpit. Control pressure is
applied, but the beginning pilot, not being familiar with
the intricacies of flight by references to instruments,
including such things as instrument lag and gyroscopic
precession, will invariably make excessive attitude corrections and end up “chasing the instruments.” Airplane
attitude by reference to the natural horizon, however, is
immediate in its indications, accurate, and presented
many times larger than any instrument could be. Also,
the beginning pilot must be made aware that anytime, for
whatever reason, airplane attitude by reference to the natural horizon cannot be established and/or maintained, the
situation should be considered a bona fide emergency.
3-4
STRAIGHT-AND-LEVEL FLIGHT
It is impossible to emphasize too strongly the necessity for forming correct habits in flying straight and
level. All other flight maneuvers are in essence a
deviation from this fundamental flight maneuver.
Many flight instructors and students are prone to
believe that perfection in straight-and-level flight
will come of itself, but such is not the case. It is not
uncommon to find a pilot whose basic flying ability
consistently falls just short of minimum expected
standards, and upon analyzing the reasons for the
shortcomings to discover that the cause is the inability to fly straight and level properly.
Straight-and-level flight is flight in which a constant
heading and altitude are maintained. It is accomplished
by making immediate and measured corrections for deviations in direction and altitude from unintentional slight
turns, descents, and climbs. Level flight, at first, is a matter
of consciously fixing the relationship of the position of
some portion of the airplane, used as a reference point, with
the horizon. In establishing the reference points, the
instructor should place the airplane in the desired position
and aid the student in selecting reference points. The
instructor should be aware that no two pilots see this relationship exactly the same. The references will depend on
where the pilot is sitting, the pilot’s height (whether short
or tall), and the pilot’s manner of sitting. It is, therefore,
important that during the fixing of this relationship, the
pilot sit in a normal manner; otherwise the points will not
be the same when the normal position is resumed.
In learning to control the airplane in level flight, it is
important that the student be taught to maintain a light
grip on the flight controls, and that the control forces
desired be exerted lightly and just enough to produce
the desired result. The student should learn to associate the apparent movement of the references with the
forces which produce it. In this way, the student can
develop the ability to regulate the change desired in
the airplane’s attitude by the amount and direction of
forces applied to the controls without the necessity of
referring to instrument or outside references for each
minor correction.
The pitch attitude for level flight (constant altitude) is
usually obtained by selecting some portion of the airplane’s nose as a reference point, and then keeping
that point in a fixed position relative to the horizon.
[Figure 3-3] Using the principles of attitude flying,
that position should be cross-checked occasionally
against the altimeter to determine whether or not the
pitch attitude is correct. If altitude is being gained or
lost, the pitch attitude should be readjusted in relation to the horizon and then the altimeter rechecked
to determine if altitude is now being maintained. The
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application of forward or back-elevator pressure is
used to control this attitude.
STRAIGHT AND LEVEL
Fixed
The pitch information obtained from the attitude indicator also will show the position of the nose relative to
the horizon and will indicate whether elevator pressure
is necessary to change the pitch attitude to return to
level flight. However, the primary reference source is
the natural horizon.
In all normal maneuvers, the term “increase the pitch
attitude” implies raising the nose in relation to the horizon; the term “decreasing the pitch attitude” means
lowering the nose.
Reference Point
Figure 3-3. Nose reference for straight-and-level flight.
Straight flight (laterally level flight) is accomplished
by visually checking the relationship of the airplane’s
wingtips with the horizon. Both wingtips should be
equidistant above or below the horizon (depending on
whether the airplane is a high-wing or low-wing type),
and any necessary adjustments should be made with
the ailerons, noting the relationship of control pressure
and the airplane’s attitude. [Figure 3-4] The student
should understand that anytime the wings are banked,
even though very slightly, the airplane will turn. The
objective of straight-and-level flight is to detect small
deviations from laterally level flight as soon as they
occur, necessitating only small corrections. Reference
to the heading indicator should be made to note any
change in direction.
Figure 3-4. Wingtip reference for straight-and-level flight.
3-5
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Continually observing the wingtips has advantages
other than being the only positive check for leveling the
wings. It also helps divert the pilot’s attention from the
airplane’s nose, prevents a fixed stare, and automatically
expands the pilot’s area of vision by increasing the range
necessary for the pilot’s vision to cover. In practicing
straight-and-level-flight, the wingtips can be used not
only for establishing the airplane’s laterally level attitude or bank, but to a lesser degree, its pitch attitude.
This is noted only for assistance in learning straight-andlevel flight, and is not a recommended practice in normal operations.
The scope of a student’s vision is also very important,
for if it is obscured the student will tend to look out to
one side continually (usually the left) and consequently
lean that way. This not only gives the student a biased
angle from which to judge, but also causes the student
to exert unconscious pressure on the controls in that
direction, which results in dragging a wing.
With the wings approximately level, it is possible to
maintain straight flight by simply exerting the necessary forces on the rudder in the desired direction.
However, the instructor should point out that the
practice of using rudder alone is not correct and may
make precise control of the airplane difficult.
Straight–and-level flight requires almost no application of control pressures if the airplane is properly
trimmed and the air is smooth. For that reason, the
student must not form the habit of constantly moving
the controls unnecessarily. The student must learn to
recognize when corrections are necessary, and then to
make a measured response easily and naturally.
To obtain the proper conception of the forces
required on the rudder during straight-and-levelflight, the airplane must be held level. One of the
most common faults of beginning students is the
tendency to concentrate on the nose of the airplane
and attempting to hold the wings level by observing
the curvature of the nose cowling. With this method,
the reference line is very short and the deviation,
particularly if very slight, can go unnoticed. Also, a
very small deviation from level, by this short reference line, becomes considerable at the wingtips and
results in an appreciable dragging of one wing. This
attitude requires the use of additional rudder to
maintain straight flight, giving a false conception of
neutral control forces. The habit of dragging one
wing, and compensating with rudder pressure, if
allowed to develop is particularly hard to break, and
if not corrected will result in considerable difficulty
in mastering other flight maneuvers.
For all practical purposes, the airspeed will remain constant in straight-and-level flight with a constant power
setting. Practice of intentional airspeed changes, by
increasing or decreasing the power, will provide an
3-6
excellent means of developing proficiency in maintaining straight-and-level flight at various speeds.
Significant changes in airspeed will, of course, require
considerable changes in pitch attitude and pitch trim to
maintain altitude. Pronounced changes in pitch attitude
and trim will also be necessary as the flaps and landing
gear are operated.
Common errors in the performance of straight-andlevel flight are:
•
Attempting to use improper reference points on
the airplane to establish attitude.
•
Forgetting the location of preselected reference
points on subsequent flights.
•
Attempting to establish or correct airplane attitude
using flight instruments rather than outside visual
reference.
•
Attempting to maintain direction using only rudder control.
•
Habitually flying with one wing low.
•
“Chasing” the flight instruments rather than
adhering to the principles of attitude flying.
•
Too tight a grip on the flight controls resulting in
overcontrol and lack of feel.
•
Pushing or pulling on the flight controls rather
than exerting pressure against the airstream.
•
Improper scanning and/or devoting insufficient
time to outside visual reference. (Head in the
cockpit.)
•
Fixation on the nose (pitch attitude) reference
point.
•
Unnecessary or inappropriate control inputs.
•
Failure to make timely and measured control
inputs when deviations from straight-and-level
flight are detected.
•
Inadequate attention to sensory inputs in developing feel for the airplane.
TRIM CONTROL
The airplane is designed so that the primary flight
controls (rudder, aileron, and elevator) are streamlined with the nonmovable airplane surfaces when
the airplane is cruising straight-and-level at normal
weight and loading. If the airplane is flying out of
that basic balanced condition, one or more of the
control surfaces is going to have to be held out of its
streamlined position by continuous control input.
The use of trim tabs relieves the pilot of this requirement. Proper trim technique is a very important and
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often overlooked basic flying skill. An improperly
trimmed airplane requires constant control pressures,
produces pilot tension and fatigue, distracts the pilot
from scanning, and contributes to abrupt and erratic
airplane attitude control.
Because of their relatively low power and speed, not
all light airplanes have a complete set of trim tabs
that are adjustable from the cockpit. In airplanes
where rudder, aileron, and elevator trim are available, a definite sequence of trim application should
be used. Elevator/stabilator should be trimmed first
to relieve the need for control pressure to maintain
constant airspeed/pitch attitude. Attempts to trim the
rudder at varying airspeed are impractical in propeller driven airplanes because of the change in the
torque correcting offset of the vertical fin. Once a
constant airspeed/pitch attitude has been established,
the pilot should hold the wings level with aileron
pressure while rudder pressure is trimmed out.
Aileron trim should then be adjusted to relieve any
lateral control yoke pressure.
A common trim control error is the tendency to
overcontrol the airplane with trim adjustments. To
avoid this the pilot must learn to establish and hold
the airplane in the desired attitude using the primary
flight controls. The proper attitude should be established with reference to the horizon and then verified by reference to performance indications on the
flight instruments. The pilot should then apply trim
in the above sequence to relieve whatever hand and
foot pressure had been required. The pilot must
avoid using the trim to establish or correct airplane
attitude. The airplane attitude must be established
and held first, then control pressures trimmed out
so that the airplane will maintain the desired attitude in “hands off” flight. Attempting to “fly the
airplane with the trim tabs” is a common fault in
basic flying technique even among experienced
pilots.
A properly trimmed airplane is an indication of good
piloting skills. Any control pressures the pilot feels
should be a result of deliberate pilot control input during a planned change in airplane attitude, not a result
of pressures being applied by the airplane because the
pilot is allowing it to assume control.
Figure 3-5. Level turn to the left.
All four primary controls are used in close coordination when making turns. Their functions are as follows.
•
The ailerons bank the wings and so determine the
rate of turn at any given airspeed.
•
The elevator moves the nose of the airplane up or
down in relation to the pilot, and perpendicular to
the wings. Doing that, it both sets the pitch attitude
in the turn and “pulls” the nose of the airplane
around the turn.
•
The throttle provides thrust which may be used for
airspeed to tighten the turn.
•
The rudder offsets any yaw effects developed by
the other controls. The rudder does not turn the airplane.
For purposes of this discussion, turns are divided into
three classes: shallow turns, medium turns, and steep
turns.
•
Shallow turns are those in which the bank (less
than approximately 20°) is so shallow that the
inherent lateral stability of the airplane is acting to
level the wings unless some aileron is applied to
maintain the bank.
•
Medium turns are those resulting from a degree of
bank (approximately 20° to 45°) at which the airplane remains at a constant bank.
LEVEL TURNS
A turn is made by banking the wings in the direction of
the desired turn. A specific angle of bank is selected by
the pilot, control pressures applied to achieve the
desired bank angle, and appropriate control pressures
exerted to maintain the desired bank angle once it is
established. [Figure 3-5]
3-7
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Steep turns are those resulting from a degree of
bank (45° or more) at which the “overbanking
tendency” of an airplane overcomes stability, and
the bank increases unless aileron is applied to
prevent it.
More lift
Additional
induced drag
Reduced lift
Changing the direction of the wing’s lift toward one
side or the other causes the airplane to be pulled in that
direction. [Figure 3-6] Applying coordinated aileron
and rudder to bank the airplane in the direction of the
desired turn does this.
Rudder overcomes
adverse yaw to
coordinate the turn
Figure 3-7. Forces during a turn.
Figure 3-6. Change in lift causes airplane to turn.
When an airplane is flying straight and level, the total lift
is acting perpendicular to the wings and to the Earth. As
the airplane is banked into a turn, the lift then becomes
the resultant of two components. One, the vertical lift
component, continues to act perpendicular to the Earth
and opposes gravity. Second, the horizontal lift component (centripetal) acts parallel to the Earth’s surface and
opposes inertia (apparent centrifugal force). These two
lift components act at right angles to each other, causing
the resultant total lifting force to act perpendicular to the
banked wing of the airplane. It is the horizontal lift component that actually turns the airplane—not the rudder.
When applying aileron to bank the airplane, the lowered
aileron (on the rising wing) produces a greater drag than
the raised aileron (on the lowering wing). [Figure 3-7]
This increased aileron yaws the airplane toward the rising
wing, or opposite to the direction of turn. To counteract
this adverse yawing moment, rudder pressure must be
applied simultaneously with aileron in the desired
direction of turn. This action is required to produce a
coordinated turn.
After the bank has been established in a medium
banked turn, all pressure applied to the aileron may be
relaxed. The airplane will remain at the selected bank
3-8
with no further tendency to yaw since there is no
longer a deflection of the ailerons. As a result, pressure may also be relaxed on the rudder pedals, and the
rudder allowed to streamline itself with the direction
of the slipstream. Rudder pressure maintained after the
turn is established will cause the airplane to skid to the
outside of the turn. If a definite effort is made to center
the rudder rather than let it streamline itself to the turn,
it is probable that some opposite rudder pressure will
be exerted inadvertently. This will force the airplane to
yaw opposite its turning path, causing the airplane to
slip to the inside of the turn. The ball in the turn-andslip indicator will be displaced off-center whenever
the airplane is skidding or slipping sideways. [Figure
3-8] In proper coordinated flight, there is no skidding
or slipping. An essential basic airmanship skill is the
ability of the pilot to sense or “feel” any uncoordinated
condition (slip or skid) without referring to instrument
reference. During this stage of training, the flight
instructor should stress the development of this ability
and insist on its use to attain perfect coordination in all
subsequent training.
In all constant altitude, constant airspeed turns, it is
necessary to increase the angle of attack of the wing
when rolling into the turn by applying up elevator.
This is required because part of the vertical lift has
been diverted to horizontal lift. Thus, the total lift must
be increased to compensate for this loss.
To stop the turn, the wings are returned to level flight
by the coordinated use of the ailerons and rudder
applied in the opposite direction. To understand the
relationship between airspeed, bank, and radius of
turn, it should be noted that the rate of turn at any
given true airspeed depends on the horizontal lift component. The horizontal lift component varies in proportion to the amount of bank. Therefore, the rate of
turn at a given true airspeed increases as the angle of
bank is increased. On the other hand, when a turn is
made at a higher true airspeed at a given bank angle,
the inertia is greater and the horizontal lift component
required for the turn is greater, causing the turning rate
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Page 3-9
SKID
Ball to outside
of turn
COORDINATED
TURN
Ball centered
SLIP
Ball to inside
of turn
Pilot feels
sideways force
to outside of turn
Pilot feels
sideways force
to inside of turn
Pilot feels
force straight
down into seat
Figure 3-8. Indications of a slip and skid.
to become slower. [Figure 3-9 on next page] Therefore,
at a given angle of bank, a higher true airspeed will
make the radius of turn larger because the airplane will
be turning at a slower rate.
When changing from a shallow bank to a medium
bank, the airspeed of the wing on the outside of the turn
increases in relation to the inside wing as the radius of
turn decreases. The additional lift developed because
of this increase in speed of the wing balances the
inherent lateral stability of the airplane. At any given
airspeed, aileron pressure is not required to maintain
the bank. If the bank is allowed to increase from a
medium to a steep bank, the radius of turn decreases
further. The lift of the outside wing causes the bank to
steepen and opposite aileron is necessary to keep the
bank constant.
As the radius of the turn becomes smaller, a significant
difference develops between the speed of the inside
wing and the speed of the outside wing. The wing on
the outside of the turn travels a longer circuit than the
inside wing, yet both complete their respective circuits
in the same length of time. Therefore, the outside wing
travels faster than the inside wing, and as a result, it
develops more lift. This creates an overbanking
tendency that must be controlled by the use of the
ailerons. [Figure 3-10] Because the outboard wing is
developing more lift, it also has more induced drag.
This causes a slight slip during steep turns that must be
corrected by use of the rudder.
Sometimes during early training in steep turns, the
nose may be allowed to get excessively low resulting
in a significant loss in altitude. To recover, the pilot
should first reduce the angle of bank with coordinated
use of the rudder and aileron, then raise the nose of the
airplane to level flight with the elevator. If recovery
from an excessively nose-low steep bank condition is
attempted by use of the elevator only, it will cause a
steepening of the bank and could result in overstressing the airplane. Normally, small corrections for pitch
during steep turns are accomplished with the elevator,
and the bank is held constant with the ailerons.
To establish the desired angle of bank, the pilot should
use outside visual reference points, as well as the bank
indicator on the attitude indicator.
OVERBANKING TENDENCY
Outer wing travels greater distance
• Higher Speed
• More Lift
Inner wing travels shorter distance
• Lower speed
• Less lift
Figure 3-10. Overbanking tendency during a steep turn.
The best outside reference for establishing the degree of
bank is the angle formed by the raised wing of low-wing
airplanes (the lowered wing of high-wing airplanes) and
the horizon, or the angle made by the top of the engine
cowling and the horizon. [Figure 3-11 on page 3-11]
Since on most light airplanes the engine cowling is fairly
flat, its horizontal angle to the horizon will give some
indication of the approximate degree of bank. Also,
information obtained from the attitude indicator will
show the angle of the wing in relation to the horizon.
Information from the turn coordinator, however, will not.
3-9
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CONSTANT AIRSPEED
10° Angle of Bank
When airspeed is
held constant, a
larger angle of bank
will result in a
smaller turn radius
and a greater turn
rate.
20° Angle of Bank
30° Angle of Bank
CONSTANT ANGLE OF BANK
100 kts
When angle of bank
is held constant, a
slower airspeed will
result in a smaller
turn radius and
greater turn rate.
90 kts
80 kts
Figure 3-9. Angle of bank and airspeed regulate rate and radius of turn.
3-10
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Page 3-11
RIGHT
Figure 3-11. Visual reference for angle of bank.
WRONG
Figure 3-12. Right and wrong posture while seated in the
airplane.
The following variations provide excellent guides.
The pilot’s posture while seated in the airplane is very
important, particularly during turns. It will affect the
interpretation of outside visual references. At the
beginning, the student may lean away from the turn in
an attempt to remain upright in relation to the ground
rather than ride with the airplane. This should be corrected immediately if the student is to properly learn to
use visual references. [Figure 3-12]
Parallax error is common among students and experienced pilots. This error is a characteristic of airplanes
that have side-by-side seats because the pilot is seated to
one side of the longitudinal axis about which the airplane
rolls. This makes the nose appear to rise when making a
left turn and to descend when making right turns. [Figure
3-13]
Beginning students should not use large aileron and
rudder applications because this produces a rapid roll
rate and allows little time for corrections before the
desired bank is reached. Slower (small control displacement) roll rates provide more time to make
necessary pitch and bank corrections. As soon as
the airplane rolls from the wings-level attitude, the
nose should also start to move along the horizon,
increasing its rate of travel proportionately as the
bank is increased.
•
If the nose starts to move before the bank starts,
rudder is being applied too soon.
•
If the bank starts before the nose starts turning, or
the nose moves in the opposite direction, the rudder is being applied too late.
•
If the nose moves up or down when entering a
bank, excessive or insufficient up elevator is being
applied.
As the desired angle of bank is established, aileron
and rudder pressures should be relaxed. This will
stop the bank from increasing because the aileron
and rudder control surfaces will be neutral in their
streamlined position. The up-elevator pressure
should not be relaxed, but should be held constant to
maintain a constant altitude. Throughout the turn, the
pilot should cross-check the airspeed indicator, and
if the airspeed has decreased more than 5 knots, additional power should be used. The cross-check should
also include outside references, altimeter, and vertical speed indicator (VSI), which can help determine
whether or not the pitch attitude is correct. If gaining
or losing altitude, the pitch attitude should be
adjusted in relation to the horizon, and then the
altimeter and VSI rechecked to determine if altitude
is being maintained.
Figure 3-13. Parallax view.
3-11
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Page 3-12
During all turns, the ailerons, rudder, and elevator are
used to correct minor variations in pitch and bank just
as they are in straight-and-level flight.
The rollout from a turn is similar to the roll-in except
the flight controls are applied in the opposite direction.
Aileron and rudder are applied in the direction of the
rollout or toward the high wing. As the angle of bank
decreases, the elevator pressure should be relaxed as
necessary to maintain altitude.
Since the airplane will continue turning as long as there
is any bank, the rollout must be started before reaching
the desired heading. The amount of lead required to roll
out on the desired heading will depend on the degree of
bank used in the turn. Normally, the lead is one-half the
degrees of bank. For example, if the bank is 30°, lead the
rollout by 15°. As the wings become level, the control
pressures should be smoothly relaxed so that the controls
are neutralized as the airplane returns to straight-andlevel flight. As the rollout is being completed, attention
should be given to outside visual references, as well as
the attitude and heading indicators to determine that the
wings are being leveled and the turn stopped.
Instruction in level turns should begin with medium
turns, so that the student has an opportunity to grasp
the fundamentals of turning flight without having
to deal with overbanking tendency, or the inherent
stability of the airplane attempting to level the
wings. The instructor should not ask the student to
roll the airplane from bank to bank, but to change
its attitude from level to bank, bank to level, and so
on with a slight pause at the termination of each
phase. This pause allows the airplane to free itself
from the effects of any misuse of the controls and
assures a correct start for the next turn. During
these exercises, the idea of control forces, rather
than movement, should be emphasized by pointing
out the resistance of the controls to varying forces
applied to them. The beginning student should be
encouraged to use the rudder freely. Skidding in this
phase indicates positive control use, and may be
easily corrected later. The use of too little rudder, or
rudder use in the wrong direction at this stage of
training, on the other hand, indicates a lack of
proper conception of coordination.
In practicing turns, the action of the airplane’s nose
will show any error in coordination of the controls.
Often, during the entry or recovery from a bank, the
nose will describe a vertical arc above or below the
horizon, and then remain in proper position after the
bank is established. This is the result of lack of timing
and coordination of forces on the elevator and rudder
controls during the entry and recovery. It indicates that
the student has a knowledge of correct turns, but that
entry and recovery techniques are in error.
3-12
Because the elevator and ailerons are on one control,
and pressures on both are executed simultaneously, the
beginning pilot is often apt to continue pressure on one
of these unintentionally when force on the other only
is intended. This is particularly true in left-hand turns,
because the position of the hands makes correct
movements slightly awkward at first. This is sometimes responsible for the habit of climbing slightly in
right-hand turns and diving slightly in left-hand
turns. This results from many factors, including the
unequal rudder pressures required to the right and to
the left when turning, due to the torque effect.
The tendency to climb in right-hand turns and descend
in left-hand turns is also prevalent in airplanes having
side-by-side cockpit seating. In this case, it is due to
the pilot’s being seated to one side of the longitudinal
axis about which the airplane rolls. This makes the
nose appear to rise during a correctly executed left turn
and to descend during a correctly executed right turn.
An attempt to keep the nose on the same apparent level
will cause climbing in right turns and diving in left
turns.
Excellent coordination and timing of all the controls in
turning requires much practice. It is essential that this
coordination be developed, because it is the very basis
of this fundamental flight maneuver.
If the body is properly relaxed, it will act as a pendulum and may be swayed by any force acting on it.
During a skid, it will be swayed away from the turn,
and during a slip, toward the inside of the turn. The
same effects will be noted in tendencies to slide on the
seat. As the “feel” of flying develops, the properly
directed student will become highly sensitive to this
last tendency and will be able to detect the presence
of, or even the approach of, a slip or skid long before
any other indication is present.
Common errors in the performance of level turns are:
•
Failure to adequately clear the area before beginning the turn.
•
Attempting to execute the turn solely by instrument reference.
•
Attempting to sit up straight, in relation to the
ground, during a turn, rather than riding with the
airplane.
•
Insufficient feel for the airplane as evidenced by
the inability to detect slips/skids without reference
to flight instruments.
•
Attempting to maintain a constant bank angle by
referencing the “cant” of the airplane’s nose.
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•
Fixating on the nose reference while excluding
wingtip reference.
•
“Ground shyness”—making “flat turns” (skidding) while operating at low altitudes in a conscious or subconscious effort to avoid banking
close to the ground.
•
Holding rudder in the turn.
•
Gaining proficiency in turns in only one direction
(usually the left).
•
Failure to coordinate the use of throttle with other
controls.
•
Altitude gain/loss during the turn.
CLIMBS AND CLIMBING TURNS
When an airplane enters a climb, it changes its flightpath from level flight to an inclined plane or climb
attitude. In a climb, weight no longer acts in a direction perpendicular to the flightpath. It acts in a rearward direction. This causes an increase in total drag
requiring an increase in thrust (power) to balance the
forces. An airplane can only sustain a climb angle
when there is sufficient thrust to offset increased drag;
therefore, climb is limited by the thrust available.
Like other maneuvers, climbs should be performed
using outside visual references and flight instruments.
It is important that the pilot know the engine power
settings and pitch attitudes that will produce the following conditions of climb.
NORMAL CLIMB—Normal climb is performed at
an airspeed recommended by the airplane manufacturer. Normal climb speed is generally somewhat
higher than the airplane’s best rate of climb. The additional airspeed provides better engine cooling, easier
control, and better visibility over the nose. Normal
Best angle-of-climb airspeed (Vx)
gives the greatest altitude gain in the
shortest horizontal distance.
climb is sometimes referred to as “cruise climb.”
Complex or high performance airplanes may have a
specified cruise climb in addition to normal climb.
BEST RATE OF CLIMB—Best rate of climb (VY) is
performed at an airspeed where the most excess power
is available over that required for level flight. This
condition of climb will produce the most gain in altitude in the least amount of time (maximum rate of
climb in feet per minute). The best rate of climb made
at full allowable power is a maximum climb. It must
be fully understood that attempts to obtain more
climb performance than the airplane is capable of by
increasing pitch attitude will result in a decrease in
the rate of altitude gain.
BEST ANGLE OF CLIMB—Best angle of climb
(VX) is performed at an airspeed that will produce the
most altitude gain in a given distance. Best angle-ofclimb airspeed (VX) is considerably lower than best
rate of climb (VY), and is the airspeed where the most
excess thrust is available over that required for level
flight. The best angle of climb will result in a steeper
climb path, although the airplane will take longer to
reach the same altitude than it would at best rate of
climb. The best angle of climb, therefore, is used in
clearing obstacles after takeoff. [Figure 3-14]
It should be noted that, as altitude increases, the speed
for best angle of climb increases, and the speed for best
rate of climb decreases. The point at which these two
speeds meet is the absolute ceiling of the airplane.
[Figure 3-15 on next page]
A straight climb is entered by gently increasing pitch
attitude to a predetermined level using back-elevator
pressure, and simultaneously increasing engine power
to the climb power setting. Due to an increase in
downwash over the horizontal stabilizer as power is
applied, the airplane’s nose will tend to immediately
begin to rise of its own accord to an attitude higher than
Best rate-of-climb airspeed (Vy)
gives the greatest altitude gain
in the shortest time.
Figure 3-14. Best angle of climb vs. best rate of climb.
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Absolute Ceiling
When performing a climb, the power should be
advanced to the climb power recommended by the
manufacturer. If the airplane is equipped with a controllable-pitch propeller, it will have not only an
engine tachometer, but also a manifold pressure gauge.
Normally, the flaps and landing gear (if retractable)
should be in the retracted position to reduce drag.
Service Ceiling
As the airplane gains altitude during a climb, the manifold pressure gauge (if equipped) will indicate a loss
in manifold pressure (power). This is because the same
volume of air going into the engine’s induction system
gradually decreases in density as altitude increases.
When the volume of air in the manifold decreases, it
causes a loss of power. This will occur at the rate of
approximately 1-inch of manifold pressure for each
1,000-foot gain in altitude. During prolonged climbs,
the throttle must be continually advanced, if constant
power is to be maintained.
Figure 3-15. Absolute ceiling.
that at which it would stabilize. The pilot must be prepared for this.
As a climb is started, the airspeed will gradually diminish. This reduction in airspeed is gradual because of
the initial momentum of the airplane. The thrust
required to maintain straight-and-level flight at a given
airspeed is not sufficient to maintain the same airspeed
in a climb. Climbing flight requires more power than
flying level because of the increased drag caused by
gravity acting rearward. Therefore, power must be
advanced to a higher power setting to offset the
increased drag.
The propeller effects at climb power are a primary factor. This is because airspeed is significantly slower
than at cruising speed, and the airplane’s angle of
attack is significantly greater. Under these conditions,
torque and asymmetrical loading of the propeller will
cause the airplane to roll and yaw to the left. To
counteract this, the right rudder must be used.
During the early practice of climbs and climbing turns,
this may make coordination of the controls seem awkward (left climbing turn holding right rudder), but after
a little practice this correction for propeller effects will
become instinctive.
Trim is also a very important consideration during a
climb. After the climb has been established, the airplane should be trimmed to relieve all pressures from
the flight controls. If changes are made in the pitch attitude, power, or airspeed, the airplane should be
retrimmed in order to relieve control pressures.
3-14
To enter the climb, simultaneously advance the throttle
and apply back-elevator pressure to raise the nose of the
airplane to the proper position in relation to the horizon.
As power is increased, the airplane’s nose will rise due
to increased download on the stabilizer. This is caused
by increased slipstream. As the pitch attitude increases
and the airspeed decreases, progressively more right
rudder must be applied to compensate for propeller
effects and to hold a constant heading.
After the climb is established, back-elevator pressure
must be maintained to keep the pitch attitude constant.
As the airspeed decreases, the elevators will try to
return to their neutral or streamlined position, and the
airplane’s nose will tend to lower. Nose-up elevator
trim should be used to compensate for this so that the
pitch attitude can be maintained without holding backelevator pressure. Throughout the climb, since the
power is fixed at the climb power setting, the airspeed
is controlled by the use of elevator.
A cross-check of the airspeed indicator, attitude indicator, and the position of the airplane’s nose in relation
to the horizon will determine if the pitch attitude is
correct. At the same time, a constant heading should
be held with the wings level if a straight climb is being
performed, or a constant angle of bank and rate of turn
if a climbing turn is being performed. [Figure 3-16]
To return to straight-and-level flight from a climb, it is
necessary to initiate the level-off at approximately 10
percent of the rate of climb. For example, if the airplane
is climbing at 500 feet per minute (f.p.m.), leveling off
should start 50 feet below the desired altitude. The nose
must be lowered gradually because a loss of altitude
will result if the pitch attitude is changed to the level
flight position without allowing the airspeed to increase
proportionately.
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becomes greater as the angle of bank is increased. So
shallow turns should be used to maintain an efficient
rate of climb.
Figure 3-16. Climb indications.
All the factors that affect the airplane during level
(constant altitude) turns will affect it during climbing
turns or any other training maneuver. It will be noted
that because of the low airspeed, aileron drag (adverse
yaw) will have a more prominent effect than it did in
straight-and-level flight and more rudder pressure will
have to be blended with aileron pressure to keep the
airplane in coordinated flight during changes in bank
angle. Additional elevator back pressure and trim will
also have to be used to compensate for centrifugal
force, for the loss of vertical lift, and to keep pitch attitude constant.
After the airplane is established in level flight at a
constant altitude, climb power should be retained
temporarily so that the airplane will accelerate to the
cruise airspeed more rapidly. When the speed reaches
the desired cruise speed, the throttle setting and the
propeller control (if equipped) should be set to the
cruise power setting and the airplane trimmed. After
allowing time for engine temperatures to stabilize,
adjust the mixture control as required.
During climbing turns, as in any turn, the loss of vertical lift and induced drag due to increased angle of
attack becomes greater as the angle of bank is
increased, so shallow turns should be used to maintain
an efficient rate of climb. If a medium or steep banked
turn is used, climb performance will be degraded.
In the performance of climbing turns, the following
factors should be considered.
•
Attempting to establish climb pitch attitude by referencing the airspeed indicator, resulting in “chasing” the airspeed.
•
Applying elevator pressure too aggressively,
resulting in an excessive climb angle.
•
Applying elevator pressure too aggressively during level-off resulting in negative “G” forces.
•
Inadequate or inappropriate rudder pressure during climbing turns.
•
Allowing the airplane to yaw in straight climbs,
usually due to inadequate right rudder pressure.
•
At a constant power setting, the airplane will climb
at a slightly shallower climb angle because some
of the lift is being used to turn the airplane.
Fixation on the nose during straight climbs, resulting in climbing with one wing low.
•
Attention should be diverted from fixation on the
airplane’s nose and divided equally among inside
and outside references.
Failure to initiate a climbing turn properly with use
of rudder and elevators, resulting in little turn, but
rather a climb with one wing low.
•
Improper coordination resulting in a slip which
counteracts the effect of the climb, resulting in little or no altitude gain.
•
Inability to keep pitch and bank attitude constant
during climbing turns.
•
Attempting to exceed the airplane’s climb capability.
•
•
•
•
•
With a constant power setting, the same pitch attitude and airspeed cannot be maintained in a bank
as in a straight climb due to the increase in the total
lift required.
The degree of bank should not be too steep. A
steep bank significantly decreases the rate of
climb. The bank should always remain constant.
It is necessary to maintain a constant airspeed and
constant rate of turn in both right and left turns.
The coordination of all flight controls is a primary
factor.
There are two ways to establish a climbing turn. Either
establish a straight climb and then turn, or enter the
climb and turn simultaneously. Climbing turns should
be used when climbing to the local practice area.
Climbing turns allow better visual scanning, and it is
easier for other pilots to see a turning aircraft.
In any turn, the loss of vertical lift and increased
induced drag, due to increased angle of attack,
Common errors in the performance of climbs and
climbing turns are:
DESCENTS AND DESCENDING TURNS
When an airplane enters a descent, it changes its flightpath from level to an inclined plane. It is important that
3-15
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the pilot know the power settings and pitch attitudes
that will produce the following conditions of descent.
PARTIAL POWER DESCENT—The normal
method of losing altitude is to descend with partial
power. This is often termed “cruise” or “enroute”
descent. The airspeed and power setting recommended
by the airplane manufacturer for prolonged descent
should be used. The target descent rate should be 400 –
500 f.p.m. The airspeed may vary from cruise airspeed
to that used on the downwind leg of the landing pattern. But the wide range of possible airspeeds should
not be interpreted to permit erratic pitch changes. The
desired airspeed, pitch attitude, and power combination should be preselected and kept constant.
DESCENT AT MINIMUM SAFE AIRSPEED—A
minimum safe airspeed descent is a nose-high, power
assisted descent condition principally used for clearing
obstacles during a landing approach to a short runway.
The airspeed used for this descent condition is recommended by the airplane manufacturer and normally is
no greater than 1.3 VSO. Some characteristics of the
minimum safe airspeed descent are a steeper than normal descent angle, and the excessive power that may
be required to produce acceleration at low airspeed
should “mushing” and/or an excessive rate of descent
be allowed to develop.
GLIDES—A glide is a basic maneuver in which the
airplane loses altitude in a controlled descent with little
or no engine power; forward motion is maintained by
gravity pulling the airplane along an inclined path and
the descent rate is controlled by the pilot balancing the
forces of gravity and lift.
Although glides are directly related to the practice of
power-off accuracy landings, they have a specific
operational purpose in normal landing approaches, and
forced landings after engine failure. Therefore, it is
necessary that they be performed more subconsciously
than other maneuvers because most of the time during
their execution, the pilot will be giving full attention to
details other than the mechanics of performing the
maneuver. Since glides are usually performed relatively close to the ground, accuracy of their execution
and the formation of proper technique and habits are of
special importance.
Because the application of controls is somewhat different in glides than in power-on descents, gliding
maneuvers require the perfection of a technique
somewhat different from that required for ordinary
power-on maneuvers. This control difference is
caused primarily by two factors—the absence of the
usual propeller slipstream, and the difference in the
relative effectiveness of the various control surfaces
at slow speeds.
3-16
The glide ratio of an airplane is the distance the airplane will, with power off, travel forward in relation to
the altitude it loses. For instance, if an airplane travels
10,000 feet forward while descending 1,000 feet, its
glide ratio is said to be 10 to 1.
The glide ratio is affected by all four fundamental
forces that act on an airplane (weight, lift, drag, and
thrust). If all factors affecting the airplane are constant,
the glide ratio will be constant. Although the effect of
wind will not be covered in this section, it is a very
prominent force acting on the gliding distance of the
airplane in relationship to its movement over the
ground. With a tailwind, the airplane will glide farther
because of the higher groundspeed. Conversely, with a
headwind the airplane will not glide as far because of
the slower groundspeed.
Variations in weight do not affect the glide angle provided the pilot uses the correct airspeed. Since it is the
lift over drag (L/D) ratio that determines the distance the
airplane can glide, weight will not affect the distance.
The glide ratio is based only on the relationship of the
aerodynamic forces acting on the airplane. The only
effect weight has is to vary the time the airplane will
glide. The heavier the airplane the higher the airspeed
must be to obtain the same glide ratio. For example, if
two airplanes having the same L/D ratio, but different
weights, start a glide from the same altitude, the heavier
airplane gliding at a higher airspeed will arrive at the
same touchdown point in a shorter time. Both airplanes
will cover the same distance, only the lighter airplane
will take a longer time.
Under various flight conditions, the drag factor may
change through the operation of the landing gear
and/or flaps. When the landing gear or the flaps are
extended, drag increases and the airspeed will
decrease unless the pitch attitude is lowered. As the
pitch is lowered, the glidepath steepens and reduces
the distance traveled. With the power off, a windmilling propeller also creates considerable drag,
thereby retarding the airplane’s forward movement.
Although the propeller thrust of the airplane is normally dependent on the power output of the engine,
the throttle is in the closed position during a glide so
the thrust is constant. Since power is not used during a
glide or power-off approach, the pitch attitude must be
adjusted as necessary to maintain a constant airspeed.
The best speed for the glide is one at which the airplane will travel the greatest forward distance for a
given loss of altitude in still air. This best glide speed
corresponds to an angle of attack resulting in the least
drag on the airplane and giving the best lift-to-drag
ratio (L/DMAX). [Figure 3-17]
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L/Dmax
Increasing Lift-to-Drag Ratio
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Increasing Angle of Attack
Figure 3-17. L/DMAX.
Any change in the gliding airspeed will result in a proportionate change in glide ratio. Any speed, other than
the best glide speed, results in more drag. Therefore, as
the glide airspeed is reduced or increased from the
optimum or best glide speed, the glide ratio is also
changed. When descending at a speed below the best
glide speed, induced drag increases. When descending
at a speed above best glide speed, parasite drag
increases. In either case, the rate of descent will
increase. [Figure 3-18]
tude lower than that at which it would stabilize. The
pilot must be prepared for this. To keep pitch attitude
constant after a power change, the pilot must counteract the immediate trim change. If the pitch attitude
is allowed to decrease during glide entry, excess
speed will be carried into the glide and retard the
attainment of the correct glide angle and airspeed.
Speed should be allowed to dissipate before the pitch
attitude is decreased. This point is particularly
important in so-called clean airplanes as they are
very slow to lose their speed and any slight deviation
of the nose downwards results in an immediate
increase in airspeed. Once the airspeed has dissipated to normal or best glide speed, the pitch attitude
should be allowed to decrease to maintain that speed.
This should be done with reference to the horizon.
When the speed has stabilized, the airplane should
be retrimmed for “hands off” flight.
This leads to a cardinal rule of airplane flying that a
student pilot must understand and appreciate: The pilot
must never attempt to “stretch” a glide by applying
back-elevator pressure and reducing the airspeed
below the airplane’s recommended best glide speed.
Attempts to stretch a glide will invariably result in an
increase in the rate and angle of descent and may precipitate an inadvertent stall.
When the approximate gliding pitch attitude is
established, the airspeed indicator should be
checked. If the airspeed is higher than the recommended speed, the pitch attitude is too low, and if
the airspeed is less than recommended, the pitch
attitude is too high; therefore, the pitch attitude
should be readjusted accordingly referencing the
horizon. After the adjustment has been made, the
airplane should be retrimmed so that it will maintain
this attitude without the need to hold pressure on the
elevator control. The principles of attitude flying
require that the proper flight attitude be established
using outside visual references first, then using the
flight instruments as a secondary check. It is a good
practice to always retrim the airplane after each
pitch adjustment.
To enter a glide, the pilot should close the throttle and
advance the propeller (if so equipped) to low pitch
(high r.p.m.). A constant altitude should be held with
back pressure on the elevator control until the airspeed
decreases to the recommended glide speed. Due to a
decrease in downwash over the horizontal stabilizer as
power is reduced, the airplane’s nose will tend to
immediately begin to lower of its own accord to an atti-
A stabilized power-off descent at the best glide speed
is often referred to as a normal glide. The flight
instructor should demonstrate a normal glide, and
direct the student pilot to memorize the airplane’s
angle and speed by visually checking the airplane’s
attitude with reference to the horizon, and noting the
pitch of the sound made by the air passing over the
structure, the pressure on the controls, and the feel of
de S
Gli
Best
peed
t
Fas
Too
Too
w
Slo
Figure 3-18. Best glide speed provides the greatest forward distance for a given loss of altitude.
3-17
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the airplane. Due to lack of experience, the beginning
student may be unable to recognize slight variations
of speed and angle of bank immediately by vision or
by the pressure required on the controls. Hearing will
probably be the indicator that will be the most easily
used at first. The instructor should, therefore, be certain that the student understands that an increase in
the pitch of sound denotes increasing speed, while a
decrease in pitch denotes less speed. When such an
indication is received, the student should consciously
apply the other two means of perception so as to
establish the proper relationship. The student pilot
must use all three elements consciously until they
become habits, and must be alert when attention is
diverted from the attitude of the airplane and be
responsive to any warning given by a variation in the
feel of the airplane or controls, or by a change in the
pitch of the sound.
After a good comprehension of the normal glide is
attained, the student pilot should be instructed in the differences in the results of normal and “abnormal” glides.
Abnormal glides being those conducted at speeds other
than the normal best glide speed. Pilots who do not
acquire an understanding and appreciation of these
differences will experience difficulties with accuracy
landings, which are comparatively simple if the
fundamentals of the glide are thoroughly understood.
Too fast a glide during the approach for landing
invariably results in floating over the ground for
varying distances, or even overshooting, while too
slow a glide causes undershooting, flat approaches,
and hard touchdowns. A pilot without the ability to
recognize a normal glide will not be able to judge
where the airplane will go, or can be made to go, in
an emergency. Whereas, in a normal glide, the flightpath may be sighted to the spot on the ground on
which the airplane will land. This cannot be done in
any abnormal glide.
GLIDING TURNS—The action of the control
system is somewhat different in a glide than with
power, making gliding maneuvers stand in a class by
themselves and require the perfection of a technique
different from that required for ordinary power
maneuvers. The control difference is caused mainly by
two factors—the absence of the usual slipstream, and
the difference or relative effectiveness of the various
control surfaces at various speeds and particularly at
reduced speed. The latter factor has its effect
exaggerated by the first, and makes the task of
coordination even more difficult for the inexperienced
pilot. These principles should be thoroughly explained
in order that the student may be alert to the necessary
differences in coordination.
After a feel for the airplane and control touch have
been developed, the necessary compensation will be
3-18
automatic; but while any mechanical tendency exists,
the student will have difficulty executing gliding turns,
particularly when making a practical application of
them in attempting accuracy landings.
Three elements in gliding turns which tend to force the
nose down and increase glide speed are:
•
Decrease in effective lift due to the direction of
the lifting force being at an angle to the pull of
gravity.
•
The use of the rudder acting as it does in the entry
to a power turn.
•
The normal stability and inherent characteristics
of the airplane to nose down with the power off.
These three factors make it necessary to use more back
pressure on the elevator than is required for a straight
glide or a power turn and, therefore, have a greater
effect on the relationship of control coordination.
When recovery is being made from a gliding turn, the
force on the elevator control which was applied during
the turn must be decreased or the nose will come up
too high and considerable speed will be lost. This error
will require considerable attention and conscious control adjustment before the normal glide can again be
resumed.
In order to maintain the most efficient or normal glide
in a turn, more altitude must be sacrificed than in a
straight glide since this is the only way speed can be
maintained without power. Turning in a glide
decreases the performance of the airplane to an even
greater extent than a normal turn with power.
Still another factor is the difference in rudder action in
turns with and without power. In power turns it is
required that the desired recovery point be anticipated in
the use of controls and that considerably more pressure
than usual be exerted on the rudder. In the recovery from
a gliding turn, the same rudder action takes place but
without as much pressure being necessary. The actual
displacement of the rudder is approximately the same,
but it seems to be less in a glide because the resistance to
pressure is so much less due to the absence of the propeller slipstream. This often results in a much greater
application of rudder through a greater range than is realized, resulting in an abrupt stoppage of the turn when the
rudder is applied for recovery. This factor is particularly
important during landing practice since the student
almost invariably recovers from the last turn too soon
and may enter a cross-control condition trying to correct
the landing with the rudder alone. This results in landing
from a skid that is too easily mistaken for drift.
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There is another danger in excessive rudder use during
gliding turns. As the airplane skids, the bank will
increase. This often alarms the beginning pilot when it
occurs close to the ground, and the pilot may respond
by applying aileron pressure toward the outside of the
turn to stop the bank. At the same time, the rudder
forces the nose down and the pilot may apply back-elevator pressure to hold it up. If allowed to progress, this
situation may result in a fully developed cross-control
condition. A stall in this situation will almost certainly
result in a spin.
The level-off from a glide must be started before
reaching the desired altitude because of the airplane’s
downward inertia. The amount of lead depends on the
rate of descent and the pilot’s control technique. With
too little lead, there will be a tendency to descend
below the selected altitude. For example, assuming a
500-foot per minute rate of descent, the altitude must
be led by 100 – 150 feet to level off at an airspeed
higher than the glide speed. At the lead point, power
should be increased to the appropriate level flight
cruise setting so the desired airspeed will be attained
at the desired altitude. The nose tends to rise as both
airspeed and downwash on the tail section increase.
The pilot must be prepared for this and smoothly control the pitch attitude to attain level flight attitude so
that the level-off is completed at the desired altitude.
Particular attention should be paid to the action of the
airplane’s nose when recovering (and entering) gliding
turns. The nose must not be allowed to describe an arc
with relation to the horizon, and particularly it must
not be allowed to come up during recovery from turns,
which require a constant variation of the relative pressures on the different controls.
Common errors in the performance of descents and
descending turns are:
•
Failure to adequately clear the area.
•
Inadequate back-elevator control during glide
entry resulting in too steep a glide.
•
Failure to slow the airplane to approximate glide
speed prior to lowering pitch attitude.
•
Attempting to establish/maintain a normal glide
solely by reference to flight instruments.
•
Inability to sense changes in airspeed through
sound and feel.
•
Inability to stabilize the glide (chasing the airspeed
indicator).
•
Attempting to “stretch” the glide by applying
back-elevator pressure.
•
Skidding or slipping during gliding turns due to
inadequate appreciation of the difference in rudder
action as opposed to turns with power.
•
Failure to lower pitch attitude during gliding turn
entry resulting in a decrease in airspeed.
•
Excessive rudder pressure during recovery from
gliding turns.
•
Inadequate pitch control during recovery from
straight glides.
•
“Ground shyness”—resulting in cross-controlling
during gliding turns near the ground.
•
Failure to maintain constant bank angle during
gliding turns.
PITCH AND POWER
No discussion of climbs and descents would be
complete without touching on the question of what
controls altitude and what controls airspeed. The
pilot must understand the effects of both power and
elevator control, working together, during different
conditions of flight. The closest one can come to a
formula for determining airspeed/altitude control
that is valid under all circumstances is a basic principle of attitude flying which states:
“At any pitch attitude, the amount of power used
will determine whether the airplane will climb,
descend, or remain level at that attitude.”
Through a wide range of nose-low attitudes, a descent
is the only possible condition of flight. The addition of
power at these attitudes will only result in a greater rate
of descent at a faster airspeed.
Through a range of attitudes from very slightly
nose-low to about 30° nose-up, a typical light airplane can be made to climb, descend, or maintain
altitude depending on the power used. In about the
lower third of this range, the airplane will descend
at idle power without stalling. As pitch attitude is
increased, however, engine power will be required
to prevent a stall. Even more power will be required
to maintain altitude, and even more for a climb. At a
pitch attitude approaching 30° nose-up, all available
power will provide only enough thrust to maintain
altitude. A slight increase in the steepness of climb
or a slight decrease in power will produce a descent.
From that point, the least inducement will result in a
stall.
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Page 4-1
INTRODUCTION
The maintenance of lift and control of an airplane in
flight requires a certain minimum airspeed. This
critical airspeed depends on certain factors, such as
gross weight, load factors, and existing density altitude.
The minimum speed below which further controlled
flight is impossible is called the stalling speed. An
important feature of pilot training is the development
of the ability to estimate the margin of safety above the
stalling speed. Also, the ability to determine the
characteristic responses of any airplane at different
airspeeds is of great importance to the pilot. The
student pilot, therefore, must develop this awareness in
order to safely avoid stalls and to operate an airplane
correctly and safely at slow airspeeds.
SLOW FLIGHT
Slow flight could be thought of, by some, as a speed
that is less than cruise. In pilot training and testing,
however, slow flight is broken down into two distinct
elements: (1) the establishment, maintenance of, and
maneuvering of the airplane at airspeeds and in
configurations appropriate to takeoffs, climbs,
descents, landing approaches and go-arounds, and, (2)
maneuvering at the slowest airspeed at which the
airplane is capable of maintaining controlled flight
without indications of a stall—usually 3 to 5 knots
above stalling speed.
FLIGHT AT LESS THAN CRUISE AIRSPEEDS
Maneuvering during slow flight demonstrates the flight
characteristics and degree of controllability of an
airplane at less than cruise speeds. The ability to
determine the characteristic control responses at the
lower airspeeds appropriate to takeoffs, departures,
and landing approaches is a critical factor in
stall awareness.
As airspeed decreases, control effectiveness decreases
disproportionately. For instance, there may be a certain
loss of effectiveness when the airspeed is reduced from
30 to 20 m.p.h. above the stalling speed, but there will
normally be a much greater loss as the airspeed is
further reduced to 10 m.p.h. above stalling. The
objective of maneuvering during slow flight is to
develop the pilot’s sense of feel and ability to use the
controls correctly, and to improve proficiency in
performing maneuvers that require slow airspeeds.
Maneuvering during slow flight should be performed
using both instrument indications and outside visual
reference. Slow flight should be practiced from straight
glides, straight-and-level flight, and from medium
banked gliding and level flight turns. Slow flight at
approach speeds should include slowing the airplane
smoothly and promptly from cruising to approach
speeds without changes in altitude or heading, and
determining and using appropriate power and trim
settings. Slow flight at approach speed should also
include configuration changes, such as landing gear
and flaps, while maintaining heading and altitude.
FLIGHT AT MINIMUM CONTROLLABLE
AIRSPEED
This maneuver demonstrates the flight characteristics
and degree of controllability of the airplane at its
minimum flying speed. By definition, the term “flight
at minimum controllable airspeed” means a speed at
which any further increase in angle of attack or load
factor, or reduction in power will cause an immediate
stall. Instruction in flight at minimum controllable
airspeed should be introduced at reduced power
settings, with the airspeed sufficiently above the stall to
permit maneuvering, but close enough to the stall to
sense the characteristics of flight at very low
airspeed—which are sloppy controls, ragged response
to control inputs, and difficulty maintaining altitude.
Maneuvering at minimum controllable airspeed should
be performed using both instrument indications and
outside visual reference. It is important that pilots form
the habit of frequent reference to the flight instruments,
especially the airspeed indicator, while flying at very
low airspeeds. However, a “feel” for the airplane at
very low airspeeds must be developed to avoid
inadvertent stalls and to operate the airplane
with precision.
To begin the maneuver, the throttle is gradually
reduced from cruising position. While the airspeed is
decreasing, the position of the nose in relation to the
horizon should be noted and should be raised as
necessary to maintain altitude.
When the airspeed reaches the maximum allowable for
landing gear operation, the landing gear (if equipped
with retractable gear) should be extended and all gear
down checks performed. As the airspeed reaches the
maximum allowable for flap operation, full flaps
4-1
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SLOW FLIGHT
Low airspeed
High angle of attack
High power setting
Maintain altitude
Figure 4-1. Slow flight—Low airspeed, high angle of attack,
high power, and constant altitude.
should be lowered and the pitch attitude adjusted to
maintain altitude. [Figure 4-1] Additional power will
be required as the speed further decreases to maintain
the airspeed just above a stall. As the speed decreases
further, the pilot should note the feel of the flight
controls, especially the elevator. The pilot should also
note the sound of the airflow as it falls off in tone level.
As airspeed is reduced, the flight controls become less
effective and the normal nosedown tendency is
reduced. The elevators become less responsive and
coarse control movements become necessary to retain
control of the airplane. The slipstream effect produces
a strong yaw so the application of rudder is required to
maintain coordinated flight. The secondary effect of
applied rudder is to induce a roll, so aileron is required
to keep the wings level. This can result in flying with
crossed controls.
During these changing flight conditions, it is important
to retrim the airplane as often as necessary to
compensate for changes in control pressures. If the
airplane has been trimmed for cruising speed, heavy
aft control pressure will be needed on the elevators,
making precise control impossible. If too much speed
is lost, or too little power is used, further back pressure
on the elevator control may result in a loss of altitude
or a stall. When the desired pitch attitude and
minimum control airspeed have been established, it is
important to continually cross-check the attitude
indicator, altimeter, and airspeed indicator, as well as
outside references to ensure that accurate control is
being maintained.
The pilot should understand that when flying more
slowly than minimum drag speed (LD/MAX) the
airplane will exhibit a characteristic known as “speed
instability.” If the airplane is disturbed by even the
slightest turbulence, the airspeed will decrease. As
airspeed decreases, the total drag also increases
resulting in a further loss in airspeed. The total drag
continues to rise and the speed continues to fall. Unless
more power is applied and/or the nose is lowered,
the speed will continue to decay right down to the
stall. This is an extremely important factor in the
4-2
performance of slow flight. The pilot must understand
that, at speed less than minimum drag speed, the
airspeed is unstable and will continue to decay if
allowed to do so.
When the attitude, airspeed, and power have been
stabilized in straight flight, turns should be practiced
to determine the airplane’s controllability characteristics at this minimum speed. During the turns, power
and pitch attitude may need to be increased to
maintain the airspeed and altitude. The objective is to
acquaint the pilot with the lack of maneuverability at
minimum speeds, the danger of incipient stalls, and
the tendency of the airplane to stall as the bank is
increased. A stall may also occur as a result of abrupt
or rough control movements when flying at this
critical airspeed.
Abruptly raising the flaps while at minimum
controllable airspeed will result in lift suddenly
being lost, causing the airplane to lose altitude or
perhaps stall.
Once flight at minimum controllable airspeed is set up
properly for level flight, a descent or climb at
minimum controllable airspeed can be established by
adjusting the power as necessary to establish the
desired rate of descent or climb. The beginning pilot
should note the increased yawing tendency at minimum control airspeed at high power settings with flaps
fully extended. In some airplanes, an attempt to climb
at such a slow airspeed may result in a loss of altitude,
even with maximum power applied.
Common errors in the performance of slow flight are:
•
Failure to adequately clear the area.
•
Inadequate back-elevator pressure as power is
reduced, resulting in altitude loss.
•
Excessive back-elevator pressure as power is
reduced, resulting in a climb, followed by a rapid
reduction in airspeed and “mushing.”
•
Inadequate compensation for adverse yaw during
turns.
•
Fixation on the airspeed indicator.
•
Failure to anticipate changes in lift as flaps are
extended or retracted.
•
Inadequate power management.
•
Inability to adequately divide attention between
airplane control and orientation.
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Page 4-3
2.0
Coefficient of Lift (CL)
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1.0
.5
-4
0
5
10
Angle of Attack in Degrees
15
20
Figure 4-2. Critical angle of attack and stall.
STALLS
•
Vision is useful in detecting a stall condition by
noting the attitude of the airplane. This sense can
only be relied on when the stall is the result of an
unusual attitude of the airplane. Since the airplane
can also be stalled from a normal attitude, vision
in this instance would be of little help in detecting
the approaching stall.
•
Hearing is also helpful in sensing a stall condition.
In the case of fixed-pitch propeller airplanes in a
power-on condition, a change in sound due to loss
of revolutions per minute (r.p.m.) is particularly
noticeable. The lessening of the noise made by the
air flowing along the airplane structure as airspeed
decreases is also quite noticeable, and when the
stall is almost complete, vibration and incident
noises often increase greatly.
•
Kinesthesia, or the sensing of changes in direction
or speed of motion, is probably the most important
and the best indicator to the trained and
experienced pilot. If this sensitivity is properly
developed, it will warn of a decrease in speed
or the beginning of a settling or mushing of
the airplane.
•
Feel is an important sense in recognizing the onset
of a stall. The feeling of control pressures is very
important. As speed is reduced, the resistance to
pressures on the controls becomes progressively
less. Pressures exerted on the controls tend to
become movements of the control surfaces. The
4-3
A stall occurs when the smooth airflow over the
airplane’s wing is disrupted, and the lift degenerates
rapidly. This is caused when the wing exceeds its
critical angle of attack. This can occur at any airspeed,
in any attitude, with any power setting. [Figure 4-2]
The practice of stall recovery and the development of
awareness of stalls are of primary importance in pilot
training. The objectives in performing intentional stalls
are to familiarize the pilot with the conditions that
produce stalls, to assist in recognizing an approaching
stall, and to develop the habit of taking prompt
preventive or corrective action.
Intentional stalls should be performed at an altitude
that will provide adequate height above the ground for
recovery and return to normal level flight. Though it
depends on the degree to which a stall has progressed,
most stalls require some loss of altitude during
recovery. The longer it takes to recognize the
approaching stall, the more complete the stall is likely
to become, and the greater the loss of altitude to
be expected.
RECOGNITION OF STALLS
Pilots must recognize the flight conditions that are
conducive to stalls and know how to apply the
necessary corrective action. They should learn to
recognize an approaching stall by sight, sound, and
feel. The following cues may be useful in recognizing
the approaching stall.
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lag between these movements and the response of
the airplane becomes greater, until in a complete
stall all controls can be moved with almost no
resistance, and with little immediate effect on the
airplane. Just before the stall occurs, buffeting,
uncontrollable pitching, or vibrations may begin.
Several types of stall warning indicators have been
developed to warn pilots of an approaching stall. The
use of such indicators is valuable and desirable, but the
reason for practicing stalls is to learn to recognize stalls
without the benefit of warning devices.
FUNDAMENTALS OF STALL RECOVERY
During the practice of intentional stalls, the real
objective is not to learn how to stall an airplane, but to
learn how to recognize an approaching stall and take
prompt corrective action. [Figure 4-3] Though the
recovery actions must be taken in a coordinated
manner, they are broken down into three actions here
for explanation purposes.
First, at the indication of a stall, the pitch attitude and
angle of attack must be decreased positively and
immediately. Since the basic cause of a stall is always
an excessive angle of attack, the cause must first be
eliminated by releasing the back-elevator pressure that
was necessary to attain that angle of attack or by
moving the elevator control forward. This lowers the
nose and returns the wing to an effective angle of
attack. The amount of elevator control pressure or
movement used depends on the design of the airplane,
the severity of the stall, and the proximity of the
ground. In some airplanes, a moderate movement of
the elevator control—perhaps slightly forward of
neutral—is enough, while in others a forcible push to
the full forward position may be required. An
excessive negative load on the wings caused by
excessive forward movement of the elevator may
impede, rather than hasten, the stall recovery. The
object is to reduce the angle of attack but only enough
to allow the wing to regain lift.
Second, the maximum allowable power should be
applied to increase the airplane’s airspeed and assist in
reducing the wing’s angle of attack. The throttle
should be promptly, but smoothly, advanced to the
maximum allowable power. The flight instructor
Stall Recognition
• High angle of attack
• Airframe buffeting or shaking
• Warning horn or light
• Loss of lift
Stall Recovery
• Reduce angle of attack
• Add power
Figure 4-3. Stall recognition and recovery.
4-4
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should emphasize, however, that power is not essential
for a safe stall recovery if sufficient altitude is
available. Reducing the angle of attack is the only way
of recovering from a stall regardless of the amount of
power used.
Although stall recoveries should be practiced without,
as well as with the use of power, in most actual stalls
the application of more power, if available, is an
integral part of the stall recovery. Usually, the greater
the power applied, the less the loss of altitude.
Maximum allowable power applied at the instant of a
stall will usually not cause overspeeding of an engine
equipped with a fixed-pitch propeller, due to the heavy
air load imposed on the propeller at slow airspeeds.
However, it will be necessary to reduce the power as
airspeed is gained after the stall recovery so the
airspeed will not become excessive. When performing
intentional stalls, the tachometer indication should
never be allowed to exceed the red line (maximum
allowable r.p.m.) marked on the instrument.
Third, straight-and-level flight should be regained with
coordinated use of all controls.
Practice in both power-on and power-off stalls is
important because it simulates stall conditions that
could occur during normal flight maneuvers. For
example, the power-on stalls are practiced to show
what could happen if the airplane were climbing at an
excessively nose-high attitude immediately after
takeoff or during a climbing turn. The power-off
turning stalls are practiced to show what could happen
if the controls are improperly used during a turn from
the base leg to the final approach. The power-off
straight-ahead stall simulates the attitude and flight
characteristics of a particular airplane during the final
approach and landing.
Usually, the first few practices should include only
approaches to stalls, with recovery initiated as soon as
the first buffeting or partial loss of control is noted. In
this way, the pilot can become familiar with the
indications of an approaching stall without actually
stalling the airplane. Once the pilot becomes
comfortable with this procedure, the airplane should
be slowed in such a manner that it stalls in as near a
level pitch attitude as is possible. The student pilot
must not be allowed to form the impression that in all
circumstances, a high pitch attitude is necessary to
exceed the critical angle of attack, or that in all
circumstances, a level or near level pitch attitude is
indicative of a low angle of attack. Recovery should be
practiced first without the addition of power, by merely
relieving enough back-elevator pressure that the stall
is broken and the airplane assumes a normal glide
attitude. The instructor should also introduce the
student to a secondary stall at this point. Stall
recoveries should then be practiced with the addition
of power to determine how effective power will be in
executing a safe recovery and minimizing altitude loss.
Stall accidents usually result from an inadvertent stall
at a low altitude in which a recovery was not
accomplished prior to contact with the surface. As a
preventive measure, stalls should be practiced at an
altitude which will allow recovery no lower than 1,500
feet AGL. To recover with a minimum loss of altitude
requires a reduction in the angle of attack (lowering
the airplane’s pitch attitude), application of power, and
termination of the descent without entering another
(secondary) stall.
USE OF AILERONS/RUDDER IN STALL
RECOVERY
Different types of airplanes have different stall
characteristics. Most airplanes are designed so that the
wings will stall progressively outward from the wing
roots (where the wing attaches to the fuselage) to the
wingtips. This is the result of designing the wings in a
manner that the wingtips have less angle of incidence
than the wing roots. [Figure 4-4] Such a design feature
causes the wingtips to have a smaller angle of attack
than the wing roots during flight.
Figure 4-4. Wingtip washout.
4-5
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Exceeding the critical angle of attack causes a stall; the
wing roots of an airplane will exceed the critical angle
before the wingtips, and the wing roots will stall first.
The wings are designed in this manner so that aileron
control will be available at high angles of attack (slow
airspeed) and give the airplane more stable stalling
characteristics.
When the airplane is in a stalled condition, the
wingtips continue to provide some degree of lift, and
the ailerons still have some control effect. During
recovery from a stall, the return of lift begins at the tips
and progresses toward the roots. Thus, the ailerons can
be used to level the wings.
certification, the stall warning may be furnished either
through the inherent aerodynamic qualities of the
airplane, or by a stall warning device that will give a
clear distinguishable indication of the stall. Most
airplanes are equipped with a stall warning device.
The factors that affect the stalling characteristics of the
airplane are balance, bank, pitch attitude, coordination,
drag, and power. The pilot should learn the effect of the
stall characteristics of the airplane being flown and the
proper correction. It should be reemphasized that a stall
can occur at any airspeed, in any attitude, or at any
power setting, depending on the total number of factors
affecting the particular airplane.
Using the ailerons requires finesse to avoid an
aggravated stall condition. For example, if the right
wing dropped during the stall and excessive aileron
control were applied to the left to raise the wing, the
aileron deflected downward (right wing) would
produce a greater angle of attack (and drag), and
possibly a more complete stall at the tip as the critical
angle of attack is exceeded. The increase in drag
created by the high angle of attack on that wing might
cause the airplane to yaw in that direction. This adverse
yaw could result in a spin unless directional control
was maintained by rudder, and/or the aileron control
sufficiently reduced.
A number of factors may be induced as the result of
other factors. For example, when the airplane is in a
nose-high turning attitude, the angle of bank has a
tendency to increase. This occurs because with the
airspeed decreasing, the airplane begins flying in a
smaller and smaller arc. Since the outer wing is
moving in a larger radius and traveling faster than the
inner wing, it has more lift and causes an overbanking
tendency. At the same time, because of the decreasing
airspeed and lift on both wings, the pitch attitude tends
to lower. In addition, since the airspeed is decreasing
while the power setting remains constant, the effect of
torque becomes more prominent, causing the airplane
to yaw.
Even though excessive aileron pressure may have been
applied, a spin will not occur if directional (yaw)
control is maintained by timely application of
coordinated rudder pressure. Therefore, it is important
that the rudder be used properly during both the entry
and the recovery from a stall. The primary use of the
rudder in stall recoveries is to counteract any tendency
of the airplane to yaw or slip. The correct recovery
technique would be to decrease the pitch attitude by
applying forward-elevator pressure to break the stall,
advancing the throttle to increase airspeed, and
simultaneously maintaining directional control with
coordinated use of the aileron and rudder.
During the practice of power-on turning stalls, to
compensate for these factors and to maintain a
constant flight attitude until the stall occurs, aileron
pressure must be continually adjusted to keep the bank
attitude constant. At the same time, back-elevator
pressure must be continually increased to maintain the
pitch attitude, as well as right rudder pressure
increased to keep the ball centered and to prevent
adverse yaw from changing the turn rate. If the bank is
allowed to become too steep, the vertical component
of lift decreases and makes it even more difficult to
maintain a constant pitch attitude.
STALL CHARACTERISTICS
Because of engineering design variations, the stall
characteristics for all airplanes cannot be specifically
described; however, the similarities found in small
general aviation training-type airplanes are noteworthy
enough to be considered. It will be noted that the
power-on and power-off stall warning indications will
be different. The power-off stall will have less
noticeable clues (buffeting, shaking) than the
power-on stall. In the power-off stall, the predominant
clue can be the elevator control position (full upelevator against the stops) and a high descent rate.
When performing the power-on stall, the buffeting will
likely be the predominant clue that provides a positive
indication of the stall. For the purpose of airplane
4-6
Whenever practicing turning stalls, a constant pitch
and bank attitude should be maintained until the stall
occurs. Whatever control pressures are necessary
should be applied even though the controls appear to
be crossed (aileron pressure in one direction, rudder
pressure in the opposite direction). During the entry to
a power-on turning stall to the right, in particular, the
controls will be crossed to some extent. This is due to
right rudder pressure being used to overcome torque
and left aileron pressure being used to prevent the
bank from increasing.
APPROACHES TO STALLS (IMMINENT
STALLS)—POWER-ON OR POWER-OFF
An imminent stall is one in which the airplane is
approaching a stall but is not allowed to completely
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stall. This stall maneuver is primarily for practice in
retaining (or regaining) full control of the airplane
immediately upon recognizing that it is almost in a stall
or that a stall is likely to occur if timely preventive
action is not taken.
The practice of these stalls is of particular value in
developing the pilot’s sense of feel for executing
maneuvers in which maximum airplane performance
is required. These maneuvers require flight with the
airplane approaching a stall, and recovery initiated
before a stall occurs. As in all maneuvers that involve
significant changes in altitude or direction, the pilot
must ensure that the area is clear of other air traffic
before executing the maneuver.
These stalls may be entered and performed in the
attitudes and with the same configuration of the basic
full stalls or other maneuvers described in this chapter.
However, instead of allowing a complete stall, when
the first buffeting or decay of control effectiveness is
noted, the angle of attack must be reduced immediately
by releasing the back-elevator pressure and applying
whatever additional power is necessary. Since the
airplane will not be completely stalled, the pitch
attitude needs to be decreased only to a point where
minimum controllable airspeed is attained or until
adequate control effectiveness is regained.
The pilot must promptly recognize the indication of a
stall and take timely, positive control action to prevent
a full stall. Performance is unsatisfactory if a full stall
occurs, if an excessively low pitch attitude is attained,
or if the pilot fails to take timely action to avoid
excessive airspeed, excessive loss of altitude, or a spin.
FULL STALLS POWER-OFF
The practice of power-off stalls is usually performed
with normal landing approach conditions in simulation
Establish normal
approach
Raise nose,
maintain heading
of an accidental stall occurring during landing
approaches. Airplanes equipped with flaps and/or
retractable landing gear should be in the landing
configuration. Airspeed in excess of the normal
approach speed should not be carried into a stall entry
since it could result in an abnormally nose-high
attitude. Before executing these practice stalls, the
pilot must be sure the area is clear of other air traffic.
After extending the landing gear, applying carburetor
heat (if applicable), and retarding the throttle to idle
(or normal approach power), the airplane should be
held at a constant altitude in level flight until the
airspeed decelerates to that of a normal approach. The
airplane should then be smoothly nosed down into the
normal approach attitude to maintain that airspeed.
Wing flaps should be extended and pitch attitude
adjusted to maintain the airspeed.
When the approach attitude and airspeed have
stabilized, the airplane’s nose should be smoothly
raised to an attitude that will induce a stall. Directional
control should be maintained with the rudder, the
wings held level by use of the ailerons, and a constantpitch attitude maintained with the elevator until the
stall occurs. The stall will be recognized by clues, such
as full up-elevator, high descent rate, uncontrollable
nosedown pitching, and possible buffeting.
Recovering from the stall should be accomplished by
reducing the angle of attack, releasing back-elevator
pressure, and advancing the throttle to maximum
allowable power. Right rudder pressure is necessary to
overcome the engine torque effects as power is
advanced and the nose is being lowered. [Figure 4-5]
The nose should be lowered as necessary to regain
flying speed and returned to straight-and-level flight
Level off at desired altitude,
When stall occurs,
set power and trim
reduce angle of attack
Climb at VY , raise
and add full power.
landing gear and
Raise flaps as
remaining flaps, trim
recommended
As flying speed
returns, stop descent
and establish a climb
Figure 4-5. Power-off stall and recovery.
4-7
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attitude. After establishing a positive rate of climb, the
flaps and landing gear are retracted, as necessary, and
when in level flight, the throttle should be returned to
cruise power setting. After recovery is complete, a climb
or go-around procedure should be initiated, as the situation dictates, to assure a minimum loss of altitude.
Recovery from power-off stalls should also be
practiced from shallow banked turns to simulate an
inadvertent stall during a turn from base leg to final
approach. During the practice of these stalls, care
should be taken that the turn continues at a uniform
rate until the complete stall occurs. If the power-off
turn is not properly coordinated while approaching the
stall, wallowing may result when the stall occurs. If the
airplane is in a slip, the outer wing may stall first and
whip downward abruptly. This does not affect the
recovery procedure in any way; the angle of attack
must be reduced, the heading maintained, and the
wings leveled by coordinated use of the controls. In
the practice of turning stalls, no attempt should be
made to stall the airplane on a predetermined heading.
However, to simulate a turn from base to final
approach, the stall normally should be made to occur
within a heading change of approximately 90°.
After the stall occurs, the recovery should be made
straight ahead with minimum loss of altitude, and
accomplished in accordance with the recovery
procedure discussed earlier.
Recoveries from power-off stalls should be
accomplished both with, and without, the addition of
power, and may be initiated either just after the stall
occurs, or after the nose has pitched down through the
level flight attitude.
Slow to
lift-off speed,
maintain altitude
Set takeoff power,
raise nose
Figure 4-6. Power-on stall.
4-8
When stall occurs,
reduce angle of
attack and add
full power
FULL STALLS POWER-ON
Power-on stall recoveries are practiced from straight
climbs, and climbing turns with 15 to 20° banks, to
simulate an accidental stall occurring during takeoffs
and climbs. Airplanes equipped with flaps and/or
retractable landing gear should normally be in the
takeoff configuration; however, power-on stalls should
also be practiced with the airplane in a clean
configuration (flaps and/or gear retracted) as in
departure and normal climbs.
After establishing the takeoff or climb configuration,
the airplane should be slowed to the normal lift-off
speed while clearing the area for other air traffic.
When the desired speed is attained, the power should
be set at takeoff power for the takeoff stall or the
recommended climb power for the departure stall
while establishing a climb attitude. The purpose of
reducing the airspeed to lift-off airspeed before the
throttle is advanced to the recommended setting is to
avoid an excessively steep nose-up attitude for a long
period before the airplane stalls.
After the climb attitude is established, the nose is then
brought smoothly upward to an attitude obviously
impossible for the airplane to maintain and is held at
that attitude until the full stall occurs. In most
airplanes, after attaining the stalling attitude, the
elevator control must be moved progressively further
back as the airspeed decreases until, at the full stall, it
will have reached its limit and cannot be moved back
any farther.
Recovery from the stall should be accomplished by
immediately reducing the angle of attack by positively
As flying speed
returns, stop
descent and
establish
a climb
Climb at VY , raise
landing gear and
remaining flaps, trim
Level off at desired
altitude, set power
and trim
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releasing back-elevator pressure and, in the case of a
departure stall, smoothly advancing the throttle to
maximum allowable power. In this case, since the
throttle is already at the climb power setting, the addition of power will be relatively slight. [Figure 4-6]
The nose should be lowered as necessary to regain
flying speed with the minimum loss of altitude and
then raised to climb attitude. Then, the airplane should
be returned to the normal straight-and-level flight attitude, and when in normal level flight, the throttle
should be returned to cruise power setting. The pilot
must recognize instantly when the stall has occurred
and take prompt action to prevent a prolonged stalled
condition.
SECONDARY STALL
This stall is called a secondary stall since it may occur
after a recovery from a preceding stall. It is caused by
attempting to hasten the completion of a stall recovery
before the airplane has regained sufficient flying
speed. [Figure 4-7] When this stall occurs, the
back-elevator pressure should again be released just as
in a normal stall recovery. When sufficient airspeed
has been regained, the airplane can then be returned to
straight-and-level flight.
This stall usually occurs when the pilot uses abrupt
control input to return to straight-and-level flight after
a stall or spin recovery. It also occurs when the pilot
fails to reduce the angle of attack sufficiently during
stall recovery by not lowering pitch attitude
sufficiently, or by attempting to break the stall by using
power only.
ACCELERATED STALLS
Though the stalls just discussed normally occur at a
specific airspeed, the pilot must thoroughly understand
that all stalls result solely from attempts to fly at
excessively high angles of attack. During flight, the
angle of attack of an airplane wing is determined by a
number of factors, the most important of which are the
airspeed, the gross weight of the airplane, and the load
factors imposed by maneuvering.
At the same gross weight, airplane configuration, and
power setting, a given airplane will consistently stall at
the same indicated airspeed if no acceleration is
involved. The airplane will, however, stall at a higher
indicated airspeed when excessive maneuvering loads
are imposed by steep turns, pull-ups, or other abrupt
changes in its flightpath. Stalls entered from such flight
situations are called “accelerated maneuver stalls,” a
term, which has no reference to the airspeeds involved.
Stalls which result from abrupt maneuvers tend to be
more rapid, or severe, than the unaccelerated stalls, and
because they occur at higher-than-normal airspeeds,
and/or may occur at lower than anticipated pitch
attitudes, they may be unexpected by an inexperienced
pilot. Failure to take immediate steps toward recovery
when an accelerated stall occurs may result
in a complete loss of flight control, notably,
power-on spins.
This stall should never be practiced with wing flaps in
the extended position due to the lower “G” load
limitations in that configuration.
Accelerated maneuver stalls should not be performed
in any airplane, which is prohibited from such
maneuvers by its type certification restrictions or
Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) and/or Pilot’s
Operating Handbook (POH). If they are permitted,
they should be performed with a bank of
approximately 45°, and in no case at a speed greater
Initial stall
Incomplete or improper
recovery
Secondary stall
Figure 4-7. Secondary stall.
4-9
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than the airplane manufacturer’s recommended
airspeeds or the design maneuvering speed specified
for the airplane. The design maneuvering speed is the
maximum speed at which the airplane can be stalled or
full available aerodynamic control will not exceed the
airplane’s limit load factor. At or below this speed, the
airplane will usually stall before the limit load factor
can be exceeded. Those speeds must not be exceeded
because of the extremely high structural loads that are
imposed on the airplane, especially if there is
turbulence. In most cases, these stalls should be
performed at no more than 1.2 times the normal
stall speed.
The objective of demonstrating accelerated stalls is not
to develop competency in setting up the stall, but rather
to learn how they may occur and to develop the ability
to recognize such stalls immediately, and to take
prompt, effective recovery action. It is important that
recoveries are made at the first indication of a stall, or
immediately after the stall has fully developed; a
prolonged stall condition should never be allowed.
An airplane will stall during a coordinated steep turn
exactly as it does from straight flight, except that the
pitching and rolling actions tend to be more sudden. If
the airplane is slipping toward the inside of the turn at
the time the stall occurs, it tends to roll rapidly toward
the outside of the turn as the nose pitches down
because the outside wing stalls before the inside wing.
If the airplane is skidding toward the outside of the
turn, it will have a tendency to roll to the inside of the
turn because the inside wing stalls first. If the
coordination of the turn at the time of the stall is
accurate, the airplane’s nose will pitch away from the
pilot just as it does in a straight flight stall, since both
wings stall simultaneously.
An accelerated stall demonstration is entered by
establishing the desired flight attitude, then smoothly,
firmly, and progressively increasing the angle of attack
until a stall occurs. Because of the rapidly changing
flight attitude, sudden stall entry, and possible loss of
altitude, it is extremely vital that the area be clear of
other aircraft and the entry altitude be adequate for safe
recovery.
This demonstration stall, as in all stalls, is
accomplished by exerting excessive back-elevator
pressure. Most frequently it would occur during
improperly executed steep turns, stall and spin
recoveries, and pullouts from steep dives. The
objectives are to determine the stall characteristics of
the airplane and develop the ability to instinctively
recover at the onset of a stall at other-than-normal stall
speed or flight attitudes. An accelerated stall, although
usually demonstrated in steep turns, may actually be
encountered any time excessive back-elevator pressure
4-10
is applied and/or the angle of attack is increased
too rapidly.
From straight-and-level flight at maneuvering speed
or less, the airplane should be rolled into a steep level
flight turn and back-elevator pressure gradually
applied. After the turn and bank are established,
back-elevator pressure should be smoothly and
steadily increased. The resulting apparent centrifugal
force will push the pilot’s body down in the seat,
increase the wing loading, and decrease the airspeed.
After the airspeed reaches the design maneuvering
speed or within 20 knots above the unaccelerated stall
speed, back-elevator pressure should be firmly
increased until a definite stall occurs. These speed
restrictions must be observed to prevent exceeding the
load limit of the airplane.
When the airplane stalls, recovery should be made
promptly, by releasing sufficient back-elevator
pressure and increasing power to reduce the angle of
attack. If an uncoordinated turn is made, one wing may
tend to drop suddenly, causing the airplane to roll in
that direction. If this occurs, the excessive backelevator pressure must be released, power added, and
the airplane returned to straight-and-level flight with
coordinated control pressure.
The pilot should recognize when the stall is imminent
and take prompt action to prevent a completely stalled
condition. It is imperative that a prolonged stall,
excessive airspeed, excessive loss of altitude, or spin
be avoided.
CROSS-CONTROL STALL
The objective of a cross-control stall demonstration
maneuver is to show the effect of improper control
technique and to emphasize the importance of using
coordinated control pressures whenever making turns.
This type of stall occurs with the controls crossed—
aileron pressure applied in one direction and rudder
pressure in the opposite direction.
In addition, when excessive back-elevator pressure is
applied, a cross-control stall may result. This is a stall
that is most apt to occur during a poorly planned and
executed base-to-final approach turn, and often is the
result of overshooting the centerline of the runway
during that turn. Normally, the proper action to correct
for overshooting the runway is to increase the rate of
turn by using coordinated aileron and rudder. At the
relatively low altitude of a base-to-final approach turn,
improperly trained pilots may be apprehensive of
steepening the bank to increase the rate of turn, and
rather than steepening the bank, they hold the bank
constant and attempt to increase the rate of turn by
adding more rudder pressure in an effort to align it
with the runway.
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The addition of inside rudder pressure will cause the
speed of the outer wing to increase, therefore, creating
greater lift on that wing. To keep that wing from rising
and to maintain a constant angle of bank, opposite
aileron pressure needs to be applied. The added inside
rudder pressure will also cause the nose to lower in
relation to the horizon. Consequently, additional
back-elevator pressure would be required to maintain a
constant-pitch attitude. The resulting condition is a
turn with rudder applied in one direction, aileron in the
opposite direction, and excessive back-elevator
pressure—a pronounced cross-control condition.
Since the airplane is in a skidding turn during the
cross-control condition, the wing on the outside of the
turn speeds up and produces more lift than the inside
wing; thus, the airplane starts to increase its bank. The
down aileron on the inside of the turn helps drag that
wing back, slowing it up and decreasing its lift, which
requires more aileron application. This further causes
the airplane to roll. The roll may be so fast that it is
possible the bank will be vertical or past vertical before
it can be stopped.
For the demonstration of the maneuver, it is important
that it be entered at a safe altitude because of the
possible extreme nosedown attitude and loss of
altitude that may result.
Before demonstrating this stall, the pilot should clear
the area for other air traffic while slowly retarding the
throttle. Then the landing gear (if retractable gear)
should be lowered, the throttle closed, and the altitude
maintained until the airspeed approaches the normal
glide speed. Because of the possibility of exceeding
the airplane’s limitations, flaps should not be extended.
While the gliding attitude and airspeed are being
established, the airplane should be retrimmed. When
the glide is stabilized, the airplane should be rolled into
a medium-banked turn to simulate a final approach
turn that would overshoot the centerline of the runway.
Set up and trim for
final approach glide
Apply full power to
simulate go-around.
Allow nose to rise
During the turn, excessive rudder pressure should be
applied in the direction of the turn but the bank held
constant by applying opposite aileron pressure. At the
same time, increased back-elevator pressure is
required to keep the nose from lowering.
All of these control pressures should be increased until
the airplane stalls. When the stall occurs, recovery is
made by releasing the control pressures and increasing
power as necessary to recover.
In a cross-control stall, the airplane often stalls with
little warning. The nose may pitch down, the inside
wing may suddenly drop, and the airplane may
continue to roll to an inverted position. This is usually
the beginning of a spin. It is obvious that close to the
ground is no place to allow this to happen.
Recovery must be made before the airplane enters an
abnormal attitude (vertical spiral or spin); it is a simple
matter to return to straight-and-level flight by
coordinated use of the controls. The pilot must be able
to recognize when this stall is imminent and must take
immediate action to prevent a completely stalled
condition. It is imperative that this type of stall not
occur during an actual approach to a landing, since
recovery may be impossible prior to ground contact
due to the low altitude.
The flight instructor should be aware that during traffic
pattern operations, any conditions that result in
overshooting the turn from base leg to final approach,
dramatically increases the possibility of an
unintentional accelerated stall while the airplane is in a
cross-control condition.
ELEVATOR TRIM STALL
The elevator trim stall maneuver shows what can happen when full power is applied for a go-around and
positive control of the airplane is not maintained.
[Figure 4-8] Such a situation may occur during a
go-around procedure from a normal landing approach
As stall approaches,
apply forward pressure
and establish normal
climb speed.
Trim to maintain
normal climb
Figure 4-8. Elevator trim stall.
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or a simulated forced landing approach, or
immediately after a takeoff. The objective of the
demonstration is to show the importance of making
smooth power applications, overcoming strong trim
forces and maintaining positive control of the airplane
to hold safe flight attitudes, and using proper and
timely trim techniques.
At a safe altitude and after ensuring that the area is
clear of other air traffic, the pilot should slowly retard
the throttle and extend the landing gear (if retractable
gear). One-half to full flaps should be lowered, the
throttle closed, and altitude maintained until the
airspeed approaches the normal glide speed. When the
normal glide is established, the airplane should be
trimmed for the glide just as would be done during a
landing approach (nose-up trim).
During this simulated final approach glide, the throttle
is then advanced smoothly to maximum allowable
power as would be done in a go-around procedure. The
combined forces of thrust, torque, and back-elevator
trim will tend to make the nose rise sharply and turn to
the left.
When the throttle is fully advanced and the pitch
attitude increases above the normal climbing attitude
and it is apparent that a stall is approaching, adequate
forward pressure must be applied to return the airplane
to the normal climbing attitude. While holding the
airplane in this attitude, the trim should then be
adjusted to relieve the heavy control pressures and the
normal go-around and level-off procedures completed.
•
Inadequate rudder control.
•
Inadvertent secondary stall during recovery.
•
Failure to maintain a constant bank angle during
turning stalls.
•
Excessive forward-elevator pressure during
recovery resulting in negative load on the wings.
•
Excessive airspeed buildup during recovery.
•
Failure to take timely action to prevent a full stall
during the conduct of imminent stalls.
SPINS
A spin may be defined as an aggravated stall that
results in what is termed “autorotation” wherein the
airplane follows a downward corkscrew path. As the
airplane rotates around a vertical axis, the rising wing
is less stalled than the descending wing creating a
rolling, yawing, and pitching motion. The airplane is
basically being forced downward by gravity, rolling,
yawing, and pitching in a spiral path. [Figure 4-9]
The autorotation results from an unequal angle of
attack on the airplane’s wings. The rising wing has a
decreasing angle of attack, where the relative lift
increases and the drag decreases. In effect, this wing is
less stalled. Meanwhile, the descending wing has an
The pilot should recognize when a stall is approaching,
and take prompt action to prevent a completely stalled
condition. It is imperative that a stall not occur during
an actual go-around from a landing approach.
Common errors in the performance of intentional stalls
are:
•
Failure to adequately clear the area.
•
Inability to recognize an approaching stall
condition through feel for the airplane.
•
Premature recovery.
•
Over-reliance on the airspeed indicator while
excluding other cues.
•
Inadequate scanning resulting in an unintentional
wing-low condition during entry.
•
Excessive back-elevator pressure resulting in an
exaggerated nose-up attitude during entry.
4-12
Figure 4-9. Spin—an aggravated stall and autorotation.
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increasing angle of attack, past the wing’s critical angle
of attack (stall) where the relative lift decreases and
drag increases.
•
Weight and balance limitations.
•
Recommended entry and recovery procedures.
A spin is caused when the airplane’s wing exceeds its
critical angle of attack (stall) with a sideslip or yaw
acting on the airplane at, or beyond, the actual stall.
During this uncoordinated maneuver, a pilot may not
be aware that a critical angle of attack has been
exceeded until the airplane yaws out of control toward
the lowering wing. If stall recovery is not initiated
immediately, the airplane may enter a spin.
•
The requirements for parachutes. It would be
appropriate to review a current Title 14 of the
Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91 for
the latest parachute requirements.
If this stall occurs while the airplane is in a slipping or
skidding turn, this can result in a spin entry and
rotation in the direction that the rudder is being
applied, regardless of which wingtip is raised.
Many airplanes have to be forced to spin and require
considerable judgment and technique to get the spin
started. These same airplanes that have to be forced to
spin, may be accidentally put into a spin by
mishandling the controls in turns, stalls, and flight at
minimum controllable airspeeds. This fact is additional
evidence of the necessity for the practice of stalls until
the ability to recognize and recover from them
is developed.
Often a wing will drop at the beginning of a stall.
When this happens, the nose will attempt to move
(yaw) in the direction of the low wing. This is where
use of the rudder is important during a stall. The
correct amount of opposite rudder must be applied to
keep the nose from yawing toward the low wing. By
maintaining directional control and not allowing the
nose to yaw toward the low wing, before stall recovery
is initiated, a spin will be averted. If the nose is allowed
to yaw during the stall, the airplane will begin to slip in
the direction of the lowered wing, and will enter a spin.
An airplane must be stalled in order to enter a spin;
therefore, continued practice in stalls will help the pilot
develop a more instinctive and prompt reaction in
recognizing an approaching spin. It is essential to learn
to apply immediate corrective action any time it is
apparent that the airplane is nearing spin conditions. If
it is impossible to avoid a spin, the pilot should
immediately execute spin recovery procedures.
SPIN PROCEDURES
The flight instructor should demonstrate spins in those
airplanes that are approved for spins. Special spin
procedures or techniques required for a particular
airplane are not presented here. Before beginning any
spin operations, the following items should be
reviewed.
•
The airplane’s AFM/POH limitations section,
placards, or type certification data, to determine if
the airplane is approved for spins.
A thorough airplane preflight should be accomplished
with special emphasis on excess or loose items that
may affect the weight, center of gravity, and controllability of the airplane. Slack or loose control cables
(particularly rudder and elevator) could prevent full
anti-spin control deflections and delay or preclude
recovery in some airplanes.
Prior to beginning spin training, the flight area, above
and below the airplane, must be clear of other air
traffic. This may be accomplished while slowing the
airplane for the spin entry. All spin training should be
initiated at an altitude high enough for a completed
recovery at or above 1,500 feet AGL.
It may be appropriate to introduce spin training by first
practicing both power-on and power-off stalls, in a
clean configuration. This practice would be used to
familiarize the student with the airplane’s specific stall
and recovery characteristics. Care should be taken with
the handling of the power (throttle) in entries and
during spins. Carburetor heat should be applied
according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
There are four phases of a spin: entry, incipient,
developed, and recovery. [Figure 4-10 on next page]
ENTRY PHASE
The entry phase is where the pilot provides the
necessary elements for the spin, either accidentally or
intentionally. The entry procedure for demonstrating a
spin is similar to a power-off stall. During the entry,
the power should be reduced slowly to idle, while
simultaneously raising the nose to a pitch attitude that
will ensure a stall. As the airplane approaches a stall,
smoothly apply full rudder in the direction of the
desired spin rotation while applying full back (up)
elevator to the limit of travel. Always maintain the
ailerons in the neutral position during the spin
procedure unless AFM/POH specifies otherwise.
INCIPIENT PHASE
The incipient phase is from the time the airplane stalls
and rotation starts until the spin has fully developed.
This change may take up to two turns for most airplanes.
Incipient spins that are not allowed to develop into a
steady-state spin are the most commonly used in the
introduction to spin training and recovery techniques. In
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Page 4-14
Stall
INCIPIENT SPIN
• Lasts about 4 to 6
seconds in light
aircraft.
• Approximately 2
turns.
Less Stalled
Chord Line
Less
Angle of
Relative Wind Attack
• Airspeed, vertical
speed, and rate of
rotation are
stabilized.
• Small, training
aircraft lose
approximately 500
feet per each 3
second turn.
More Drag
More Stalled
Relative Wind
FULLY
DEVELOPED SPIN
Chord Line
RECOVERY
Greater
Angle of
Attack
• Wings regain lift.
• Training aircraft
usually recover in
about 1/4 to 1/2 of
a turn after antispin inputs are
applied.
Figure 4-10. Spin entry and recovery.
this phase, the aerodynamic and inertial forces have not
achieved a balance. As the incipient spin develops, the
indicated airspeed should be near or below stall airspeed, and the turn-and-slip indicator should indicate
the direction of the spin.
stabilized while in a flightpath that is nearly vertical.
This is where airplane aerodynamic forces and inertial
forces are in balance, and the attitude, angles, and selfsustaining motions about the vertical axis are constant
or repetitive. The spin is in equilibrium.
The incipient spin recovery procedure should be
commenced prior to the completion of 360° of
rotation. The pilot should apply full rudder opposite
the direction of rotation. If the pilot is not sure of the
direction of the spin, check the turn-and-slip indicator;
it will show a deflection in the direction of rotation.
RECOVERY PHASE
DEVELOPED PHASE
To recover, control inputs are initiated to disrupt the
spin equilibrium by stopping the rotation and stall. To
accomplish spin recovery, the manufacturer’s
The developed phase occurs when the airplane’s
angular rotation rate, airspeed, and vertical speed are
4-14
The recovery phase occurs when the angle of attack of
the wings decreases below the critical angle of attack
and autorotation slows. Then the nose steepens and
rotation stops. This phase may last for a quarter turn to
several turns.
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Page 4-15
recommended procedures should be followed. In the
absence of the manufacturer’s recommended spin
recovery procedures and techniques, the following
spin recovery procedures are recommended.
flaps and/or retractable landing gear are extended
prior to the spin, they should be retracted as soon
as possible after spin entry.
Step 1—REDUCE THE POWER (THROTTLE)
TO IDLE. Power aggravates the spin
characteristics. It usually results in a flatter spin
attitude and increased rotation rates.
It is important to remember that the above spin
recovery procedures and techniques are recommended
for use only in the absence of the manufacturer’s
procedures. Before any pilot attempts to begin spin
training, that pilot must be familiar with the procedures
provided by the manufacturer for spin recovery.
Step 2—POSITION THE AILERONS TO
NEUTRAL. Ailerons may have an adverse effect
on spin recovery. Aileron control in the direction
of the spin may speed up the rate of rotation and
delay the recovery. Aileron control opposite the
direction of the spin may cause the down aileron
to move the wing deeper into the stall and
aggravate the situation. The best procedure is to
ensure that the ailerons are neutral.
The most common problems in spin recovery include
pilot confusion as to the direction of spin rotation and
whether the maneuver is a spin versus spiral. If the
airspeed is increasing, the airplane is no longer in a
spin but in a spiral. In a spin, the airplane is stalled.
The indicated airspeed, therefore, should reflect
stall speed.
Step 3—APPLY FULL OPPOSITE RUDDER
AGAINST THE ROTATION. Make sure that full
(against the stop) opposite rudder has been
applied.
Step 4—APPLY A POSITIVE AND BRISK,
STRAIGHT FORWARD MOVEMENT OF THE
ELEVATOR CONTROL FORWARD OF THE
NEUTRAL TO BREAK THE STALL. This
should be done immediately after full rudder
application. The forceful movement of the
elevator will decrease the excessive angle of attack
and break the stall. The controls should be held
firmly in this position. When the stall is “broken,”
the spinning will stop.
INTENTIONAL SPINS
The intentional spinning of an airplane, for which the
spin maneuver is not specifically approved, is NOT
authorized by this handbook or by the Code of Federal
Regulations. The official sources for determining if the
spin maneuver IS APPROVED or NOT APPROVED
for a specific airplane are:
•
Type Certificate Data Sheets or the Aircraft
Specifications.
•
The limitation section of the FAA-approved
AFM/POH. The limitation sections may provide
additional specific requirements for spin
authorization, such as limiting gross weight, CG
range, and amount of fuel.
Step 5—AFTER SPIN ROTATION STOPS,
NEUTRALIZE THE RUDDER. If the rudder is
not neutralized at this time, the ensuing increased
airspeed acting upon a deflected rudder will cause
a yawing or skidding effect.
•
On a placard located in clear view of the pilot in
the airplane, NO ACROBATIC MANEUVERS
INCLUDING SPINS APPROVED. In airplanes
placarded against spins, there is no assurance that
recovery from a fully developed spin is possible.
Slow and overly cautious control movements
during spin recovery must be avoided. In certain
cases it has been found that such movements result
in the airplane continuing to spin indefinitely, even
with anti-spin inputs. A brisk and positive
technique, on the other hand, results in a more
positive spin recovery.
There are occurrences involving airplanes wherein
spin restrictions are intentionally ignored by some
pilots. Despite the installation of placards prohibiting
intentional spins in these airplanes, a number of pilots,
and some flight instructors, attempt to justify the
maneuver, rationalizing that the spin restriction results
merely because of a “technicality” in the airworthiness
standards.
Step 6—BEGIN APPLYING BACK-ELEVATOR
PRESSURE TO RAISE THE NOSE TO LEVEL
FLIGHT. Caution must be used not to apply
excessive back-elevator pressure after the rotation
stops. Excessive back-elevator pressure can cause
a secondary stall and result in another spin. Care
should be taken not to exceed the “G” load limits
and airspeed limitations during recovery. If the
Some pilots reason that the airplane was spin tested
during its certification process and, therefore, no
problem should result from demonstrating or
practicing spins. However, those pilots overlook the
fact that a normal category airplane certification only
requires the airplane recover from a one-turn spin in
not more than one additional turn or 3 seconds,
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whichever takes longer. This same test of controllability can also be used in certificating an airplane in the
Utility category (14 CFR section 23.221 (b)).
The point is that 360° of rotation (one-turn spin) does
not provide a stabilized spin. If the airplane’s
controllability has not been explored by the
engineering test pilot beyond the certification
requirements, prolonged spins (inadvertent or
intentional) in that airplane place an operating pilot in
an unexplored flight situation. Recovery may be
difficult or impossible.
In 14 CFR part 23, “Airworthiness Standards: Normal,
Utility, Acrobatic, and Commuter Category
Airplanes,” there are no requirements for investigation
of controllability in a true spinning condition for the
Normal category airplanes. The one-turn “margin of
safety” is essentially a check of the airplane’s controllability in a delayed recovery from a stall. Therefore,
in airplanes placarded against spins there is absolutely
no assurance whatever that recovery from a fully
developed spin is possible under any circumstances.
The pilot of an airplane placarded against intentional
spins should assume that the airplane may well become
uncontrollable in a spin.
An airplane that may be difficult to spin intentionally
in the Utility Category (restricted aft CG and reduced
weight) could have less resistance to spin entry in the
Normal Category (less restricted aft CG and increased
weight). This situation is due to the airplane being able
to generate a higher angle of attack and load factor.
Furthermore, an airplane that is approved for spins in
the Utility Category, but loaded in the Normal
Category, may not recover from a spin that is allowed
to progress beyond the incipient phase.
Common errors in the performance of intentional
spins are:
•
Failure to apply full rudder pressure in the desired
spin direction during spin entry.
•
Failure to apply and maintain full up-elevator
pressure during spin entry, resulting in a spiral.
•
Failure to achieve a fully stalled condition prior to
spin entry.
•
Failure to apply full rudder against the spin during
recovery.
•
Failure to apply sufficient forward-elevator
pressure during recovery.
•
Failure to neutralize the rudder during recovery
after rotation stops, resulting in a possible
secondary spin.
•
Slow and overly cautious control movements
during recovery.
•
Excessive back-elevator pressure after rotation
stops, resulting in possible secondary stall.
•
Insufficient back-elevator pressure
recovery resulting in excessive airspeed.
WEIGHT AND BALANCE REQUIREMENTS
With each airplane that is approved for spinning, the
weight and balance requirements are important for
safe performance and recovery from the spin maneuver. Pilots must be aware that just minor weight or
balance changes can affect the airplane’s spin
recovery characteristics. Such changes can either
alter or enhance the spin maneuver and/or recovery
characteristics. For example, the addition of weight
in the aft baggage compartment, or additional fuel,
may still permit the airplane to be operated within
CG, but could seriously affect the spin and recovery
characteristics.
4-16
during
GENERAL
This chapter discusses takeoffs and departure climbs in
tricycle landing gear (nosewheel-type) airplanes under
normal conditions, and under conditions which require
maximum performance. A thorough knowledge of
takeoff principles, both in theory and practice, will
often prove of extreme value throughout a pilot’s
career. It will often prevent an attempted takeoff that
would result in an accident, or during an emergency,
make possible a takeoff under critical conditions when
a pilot with a less well rounded knowledge and technique would fail.
The takeoff, though relatively simple, often presents
the most hazards of any part of a flight. The importance
of thorough knowledge and faultless technique and
judgment cannot be overemphasized.
It must be remembered that the manufacturer’s recommended procedures, including airplane configuration and
airspeeds, and other information relevant to takeoffs and
departure climbs in a specific make and model airplane are
contained in the FAA-approved Airplane Flight Manual
and/or Pilot’s Operating Handbook (AFM/POH) for that
airplane. If any of the information in this chapter differs
from the airplane manufacturer’s recommendations as
contained in the AFM/POH, the airplane manufacturer’s
recommendations take precedence.
TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
Although the takeoff and climb is one continuous
maneuver, it will be divided into three separate steps
for purposes of explanation: (1) the takeoff roll, (2) the
lift-off, and (3) the initial climb after becoming airborne. [Figure 5-1]
•
Takeoff Roll (ground roll)—the portion of the
takeoff procedure during which the airplane is
accelerated from a standstill to an airspeed that
provides sufficient lift for it to become airborne.
•
Lift-off (rotation)—the act of becoming airborne as a result of the wings lifting the airplane
off the ground or the pilot rotating the nose up,
increasing the angle of attack to start a climb.
•
Initial Climb—begins when the airplane leaves
the ground and a pitch attitude has been established to climb away from the takeoff area.
Normally, it is considered complete when the
airplane has reached a safe maneuvering altitude,
or an en route climb has been established.
Figure 5-1. Takeoff and climb.
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PRIOR TO TAKEOFF
Before taxiing onto the runway or takeoff area, the
pilot should ensure that the engine is operating properly and that all controls, including flaps and trim tabs,
are set in accordance with the before takeoff checklist.
In addition, the pilot must make certain that the
approach and takeoff paths are clear of other aircraft.
At uncontrolled airports, pilots should announce their
intentions on the common traffic advisory frequency
(CTAF) assigned to that airport. When operating from
an airport with an operating control tower, pilots must
contact the tower operator and receive a takeoff clearance before taxiing onto the active runway.
It is not recommended to take off immediately behind
another aircraft, particularly large, heavily loaded
transport airplanes, because of the wake turbulence
that is generated.
While taxiing onto the runway, the pilot can select
ground reference points that are aligned with the
runway direction as aids to maintaining directional
control during the takeoff. These may be runway
centerline markings, runway lighting, distant trees,
towers, buildings, or mountain peaks.
NORMAL TAKEOFF
A normal takeoff is one in which the airplane is headed
into the wind, or the wind is very light. Also, the takeoff surface is firm and of sufficient length to permit the
airplane to gradually accelerate to normal lift-off and
climb-out speed, and there are no obstructions along
the takeoff path.
There are two reasons for making a takeoff as nearly
into the wind as possible. First, the airplane’s speed
while on the ground is much less than if the takeoff
were made downwind, thus reducing wear and stress
on the landing gear. Second, a shorter ground roll and
therefore much less runway length is required to
develop the minimum lift necessary for takeoff and
climb. Since the airplane depends on airspeed in order
to fly, a headwind provides some of that airspeed, even
with the airplane motionless, from the wind flowing
over the wings.
TAKEOFF ROLL
After taxiing onto the runway, the airplane should be
carefully aligned with the intended takeoff direction,
and the nosewheel positioned straight, or centered.
After releasing the brakes, the throttle should be
advanced smoothly and continuously to takeoff power.
An abrupt application of power may cause the airplane
to yaw sharply to the left because of the torque effects
of the engine and propeller. This will be most apparent
in high horsepower engines. As the airplane starts to
roll forward, the pilot should assure both feet are on
5-2
the rudder pedals so that the toes or balls of the feet are
on the rudder portions, not on the brake portions.
Engine instruments should be monitored during the
takeoff roll for any malfunctions.
In nosewheel-type airplanes, pressures on the elevator
control are not necessary beyond those needed to
steady it. Applying unnecessary pressure will only
aggravate the takeoff and prevent the pilot from recognizing when elevator control pressure is actually
needed to establish the takeoff attitude.
As speed is gained, the elevator control will tend to
assume a neutral position if the airplane is correctly
trimmed. At the same time, directional control should
be maintained with smooth, prompt, positive rudder
corrections throughout the takeoff roll. The effects of
engine torque and P-factor at the initial speeds tend to
pull the nose to the left. The pilot must use whatever
rudder pressure and aileron needed to correct for these
effects or for existing wind conditions to keep the nose
of the airplane headed straight down the runway. The
use of brakes for steering purposes should be avoided,
since this will cause slower acceleration of the airplane’s speed, lengthen the takeoff distance, and
possibly result in severe swerving.
While the speed of the takeoff roll increases, more
and more pressure will be felt on the flight controls,
particularly the elevators and rudder. If the tail surfaces are affected by the propeller slipstream, they
become effective first. As the speed continues to
increase, all of the flight controls will gradually
become effective enough to maneuver the airplane
about its three axes. It is at this point, in the taxi to
flight transition, that the airplane is being flown more
than taxied. As this occurs, progressively smaller
rudder deflections are needed to maintain direction.
The feel of resistance to the movement of the controls and the airplane’s reaction to such movements
are the only real indicators of the degree of control
attained. This feel of resistance is not a measure of
the airplane’s speed, but rather of its controllability.
To determine the degree of controllability, the pilot
must be conscious of the reaction of the airplane to
the control pressures and immediately adjust the
pressures as needed to control the airplane. The pilot
must wait for the reaction of the airplane to the
applied control pressures and attempt to sense the
control resistance to pressure rather than attempt to
control the airplane by movement of the controls.
Balanced control surfaces increase the importance
of this point, because they materially reduce the
intensity of the resistance offered to pressures
exerted by the pilot.
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At this stage of training, beginning takeoff practice, a
student pilot will normally not have a full appreciation
of the variations of control pressures with the speed of
the airplane. The student, therefore, may tend to move
the controls through wide ranges seeking the pressures
that are familiar and expected, and as a consequence
over-control the airplane. The situation may be aggravated by the sluggish reaction of the airplane to these
movements. The flight instructor should take measures
to check these tendencies and stress the importance of
the development of feel. The student pilot should be
required to feel lightly for resistance and accomplish
the desired results by applying pressure against it. This
practice will enable the student pilot, as experience is
gained, to achieve a sense of the point when sufficient
speed has been acquired for the takeoff, instead of
merely guessing, fixating on the airspeed indicator, or
trying to force performance from the airplane.
LIFT-OFF
Since a good takeoff depends on the proper takeoff
attitude, it is important to know how this attitude
appears and how it is attained. The ideal takeoff attitude requires only minimum pitch adjustments
shortly after the airplane lifts off to attain the speed
for the best rate of climb (VY). [Figure 5-2] The pitch
attitude necessary for the airplane to accelerate to VY
speed should be demonstrated by the instructor and
memorized by the student. Initially, the student pilot
may have a tendency to hold excessive back-elevator
pressure just after lift-off, resulting in an abrupt pitchup. The flight instructor should be prepared for this.
Each type of airplane has a best pitch attitude for
normal lift-off; however, varying conditions may
make a difference in the required takeoff technique.
A rough field, a smooth field, a hard surface runway,
or a short or soft, muddy field, all call for a slightly
A. Initial roll
B. Takeoff attitude
Figure 5-2. Initial roll and takeoff attitude.
different technique, as will smooth air in contrast to
a strong, gusty wind. The different techniques for
those other-than-normal conditions are discussed
later in this chapter.
When all the flight controls become effective during
the takeoff roll in a nosewheel-type airplane, backelevator pressure should be gradually applied to
raise the nosewheel slightly off the runway, thus
establishing the takeoff or lift-off attitude. This is
often referred to as “rotating.” At this point, the
position of the nose in relation to the horizon should
be noted, then back-elevator pressure applied as
necessary to hold this attitude. The wings must be
kept level by applying aileron pressure as necessary.
The airplane is allowed to fly off the ground while in
the normal takeoff attitude. Forcing it into the air by
applying excessive back-elevator pressure would only
result in an excessively high pitch attitude and may
delay the takeoff. As discussed earlier, excessive and
rapid changes in pitch attitude result in proportionate
changes in the effects of torque, thus making the airplane more difficult to control.
Although the airplane can be forced into the air, this is
considered an unsafe practice and should be avoided
under normal circumstances. If the airplane is forced
to leave the ground by using too much back-elevator
pressure before adequate flying speed is attained, the
wing’s angle of attack may be excessive, causing the
airplane to settle back to the runway or even to stall.
On the other hand, if sufficient back-elevator pressure
is not held to maintain the correct takeoff attitude after
becoming airborne, or the nose is allowed to lower
excessively, the airplane may also settle back to the
runway. This would occur because the angle of attack
is decreased and lift diminished to the degree where it
will not support the airplane. It is important, then, to
hold the correct attitude constant after rotation or liftoff.
As the airplane leaves the ground, the pilot must
continue to be concerned with maintaining the
wings in a level attitude, as well as holding the
proper pitch attitude. Outside visual scan to
attain/maintain proper airplane pitch and bank attitude must be intensified at this critical point. The
flight controls have not yet become fully effective,
and the beginning pilot will often have a tendency
to fixate on the airplane’s pitch attitude and/or the
airspeed indicator and neglect the natural tendency
of the airplane to roll just after breaking ground.
During takeoffs in a strong, gusty wind, it is advisable
that an extra margin of speed be obtained before the
airplane is allowed to leave the ground. A takeoff at the
normal takeoff speed may result in a lack of positive
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control, or a stall, when the airplane encounters a
sudden lull in strong, gusty wind, or other turbulent
air currents. In this case, the pilot should allow the
airplane to stay on the ground longer to attain more
speed; then make a smooth, positive rotation to leave
the ground.
INITIAL CLIMB
Upon lift-off, the airplane should be flying at approximately the pitch attitude that will allow it to accelerate
to VY. This is the speed at which the airplane will gain
the most altitude in the shortest period of time.
If the airplane has been properly trimmed, some backelevator pressure may be required to hold this attitude
until the proper climb speed is established. On the
other hand, relaxation of any back-elevator pressure
before this time may result in the airplane settling,
even to the extent that it contacts the runway.
The airplane will pick up speed rapidly after it
becomes airborne. Once a positive rate of climb is
established, the flaps and landing gear can be retracted
(if equipped).
It is recommended that takeoff power be maintained
until reaching an altitude of at least 500 feet above the
surrounding terrain or obstacles. The combination of
VY and takeoff power assures the maximum altitude
gained in a minimum amount of time. This gives the
pilot more altitude from which the airplane can be
safely maneuvered in case of an engine failure or other
emergency.
Since the power on the initial climb is fixed at the takeoff
power setting, the airspeed must be controlled by making
slight pitch adjustments using the elevators. However,
the pilot should not fixate on the airspeed indicator when
making these pitch changes, but should, instead, continue
to scan outside to adjust the airplane’s attitude in relation
to the horizon. In accordance with the principles of attitude flying, the pilot should first make the necessary
pitch change with reference to the natural horizon and
hold the new attitude momentarily, and then glance at the
airspeed indicator as a check to see if the new attitude is
correct. Due to inertia, the airplane will not accelerate or
decelerate immediately as the pitch is changed. It takes a
little time for the airspeed to change. If the pitch attitude
has been over or under corrected, the airspeed indicator
will show a speed that is more or less than that desired.
When this occurs, the cross-checking and appropriate
pitch-changing process must be repeated until the desired
climbing attitude is established.
When the correct pitch attitude has been attained, it
should be held constant while cross-checking it against
the horizon and other outside visual references. The
5-4
airspeed indicator should be used only as a check to
determine if the attitude is correct.
After the recommended climb airspeed has been established, and a safe maneuvering altitude has been
reached, the power should be adjusted to the recommended climb setting and the airplane trimmed to
relieve the control pressures. This will make it easier
to hold a constant attitude and airspeed.
During initial climb, it is important that the takeoff
path remain aligned with the runway to avoid drifting
into obstructions, or the path of another aircraft that
may be taking off from a parallel runway. Proper scanning techniques are essential to a safe takeoff and
climb, not only for maintaining attitude and direction,
but also for collision avoidance in the airport area.
When the student pilot nears the solo stage of flight
training, it should be explained that the airplane’s
takeoff performance will be much different when the
instructor is out of the airplane. Due to decreased
load, the airplane will become airborne sooner and
will climb more rapidly. The pitch attitude that the
student has learned to associate with initial climb
may also differ due to decreased weight, and the
flight controls may seem more sensitive. If the situation is unexpected, it may result in increased tension
that may remain until after the landing. Frequently,
the existence of this tension and the uncertainty that
develops due to the perception of an “abnormal”
takeoff results in poor performance on the subsequent landing.
Common errors in the performance of normal takeoffs
and departure climbs are:
•
Failure to adequately clear the area prior to taxiing into position on the active runway.
•
Abrupt use of the throttle.
•
Failure to check engine instruments for signs of
malfunction after applying takeoff power.
•
Failure to anticipate the airplane’s left turning
tendency on initial acceleration.
•
Overcorrecting for left turning tendency.
•
Relying solely on the airspeed indicator rather
than developed feel for indications of speed and
airplane controllability during acceleration and
lift-off.
•
Failure to attain proper lift-off attitude.
•
Inadequate compensation for torque/P-factor
during initial climb resulting in a sideslip.
•
Over-control of elevators during initial climbout.
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•
Limiting scan to areas directly ahead of the airplane (pitch attitude and direction), resulting in
allowing a wing (usually the left) to drop
immediately after lift-off.
•
Failure to attain/maintain best rate-of-climb airspeed (VY).
•
Failure to employ the principles of attitude flying
during climb-out, resulting in “chasing” the airspeed indicator.
CROSSWIND TAKEOFF
While it is usually preferable to take off directly into
the wind whenever possible or practical, there will
be many instances when circumstances or judgment
will indicate otherwise. Therefore, the pilot must be
familiar with the principles and techniques involved
in crosswind takeoffs, as well as those for normal
takeoffs. A crosswind will affect the airplane during
takeoff much as it does in taxiing. With this in mind,
it can be seen that the technique for crosswind
correction during takeoffs closely parallels the
crosswind correction techniques used in taxiing.
TAKEOFF ROLL
The technique used during the initial takeoff roll in a
crosswind is generally the same as used in a normal
takeoff, except that aileron control must be held INTO
the crosswind. This raises the aileron on the upwind
wing to impose a downward force on the wing to counteract the lifting force of the crosswind and prevents
the wing from rising.
As the airplane is taxied into takeoff position, it is essential that the windsock and other wind direction indicators
be checked so that the presence of a crosswind may be
recognized and anticipated. If a crosswind is indicated,
FULL aileron should be held into the wind as the takeoff
roll is started. This control position should be maintained
while the airplane is accelerating and until the ailerons
start becoming sufficiently effective for maneuvering the
airplane about its longitudinal axis.
With the aileron held into the wind, the takeoff path
must be held straight with the rudder. [Figure 5-3]
Normally, this will require applying downwind rudder
pressure, since on the ground the airplane will tend to
weathervane into the wind. When takeoff power is
applied, torque or P-factor that yaws the airplane to the
left may be sufficient to counteract the weathervaning
tendency caused by a crosswind from the right. On the
other hand, it may also aggravate the tendency to
Apply full aileron into wind
Rudder as needed for direction
WIND
Hold aileron into wind
Roll on upwind wheel
Rudder as needed
Start roll
Takeoff roll
Hold aileron into wind
Bank into wind
Rudder as needed
Wings level
with a wind correction
angle
Lift-off
Initial climb
Figure 5-3. Crosswind takeoff roll and initial climb.
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swerve left when the wind is from the left. In any case,
whatever rudder pressure is required to keep the airplane rolling straight down the runway should be
applied.
As the forward speed of the airplane increases and the
crosswind becomes more of a relative headwind, the
mechanical holding of full aileron into the wind should
be reduced. It is when increasing pressure is being felt
on the aileron control that the ailerons are becoming
more effective. As the aileron’s effectiveness increases
and the crosswind component of the relative wind
becomes less effective, it will be necessary to gradually
reduce the aileron pressure. The crosswind component
effect does not completely vanish, so some aileron pressure will have to be maintained throughout the takeoff
roll to keep the crosswind from raising the upwind wing.
If the upwind wing rises, thus exposing more surface to
the crosswind, a “skipping” action may result. [Figure
5-4]
WIND
No correction
WIND
Proper correction
Figure 5-4. Crosswind effect.
This is usually indicated by a series of very small
bounces, caused by the airplane attempting to fly
and then settling back onto the runway. During these
bounces, the crosswind also tends to move the airplane sideways, and these bounces will develop into
side-skipping. This side-skipping imposes severe
side stresses on the landing gear and could result in
structural failure.
It is important, during a crosswind takeoff roll, to hold
sufficient aileron into the wind not only to keep the
upwind wing from rising but to hold that wing down so
that the airplane will, immediately after lift-off, be
sideslipping into the wind enough to counteract drift.
LIFT-OFF
As the nosewheel is being raised off the runway, the
holding of aileron control into the wind may result in
5-6
the downwind wing rising and the downwind main
wheel lifting off the runway first, with the remainder
of the takeoff roll being made on that one main wheel.
This is acceptable and is preferable to side-skipping.
If a significant crosswind exists, the main wheels
should be held on the ground slightly longer than in a
normal takeoff so that a smooth but very definite liftoff can be made. This procedure will allow the airplane to leave the ground under more positive control
so that it will definitely remain airborne while the
proper amount of wind correction is being established.
More importantly, this procedure will avoid imposing
excessive side-loads on the landing gear and prevent
possible damage that would result from the airplane
settling back to the runway while drifting.
As both main wheels leave the runway and ground
friction no longer resists drifting, the airplane will be
slowly carried sideways with the wind unless adequate
drift correction is maintained by the pilot. Therefore, it
is important to establish and maintain the proper
amount of crosswind correction prior to lift-off by
applying aileron pressure toward the wind to keep the
upwind wing from rising and applying rudder pressure
as needed to prevent weathervaning.
INITIAL CLIMB
If proper crosswind correction is being applied, as soon
as the airplane is airborne, it will be sideslipping into the
wind sufficiently to counteract the drifting effect of the
wind. [Figure 5-5] This sideslipping should be continued
until the airplane has a positive rate of climb. At that time,
the airplane should be turned into the wind to establish
just enough wind correction angle to counteract the wind
and then the wings rolled level. Firm and aggressive use
of the rudders will be required to keep the airplane headed
straight down the runway. The climb with a wind correction angle should be continued to follow a ground track
aligned with the runway direction. However, because the
force of a crosswind may vary markedly within a few
hundred feet of the ground, frequent checks of actual
ground track should be made, and the wind correction
adjusted as necessary. The remainder of the climb technique is the same used for normal takeoffs and climbs.
Common errors in the performance of crosswind takeoffs are:
•
Failure to adequately clear the area prior to taxiing onto the active runway.
•
Using less than full aileron pressure into the
wind initially on the takeoff roll.
•
Mechanical use of aileron control rather than
sensing the need for varying aileron control
input through feel for the airplane.
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GROUND EFFECT ON TAKEOFF
Ground effect is a condition of improved performance encountered when the airplane is operating
very close to the ground. Ground effect can be
detected and measured up to an altitude equal to one
wingspan above the surface. [Figure 5-6] However,
ground effect is most significant when the airplane
(especially a low-wing airplane) is maintaining a
constant attitude at low airspeed at low altitude (for
example, during takeoff when the airplane lifts off
and accelerates to climb speed, and during the landing flare before touchdown).
WIND
When the wing is under the influence of ground effect,
there is a reduction in upwash, downwash, and wingtip
vortices. As a result of the reduced wingtip vortices,
induced drag is reduced. When the wing is at a height
equal to one-fourth the span, the reduction in induced
drag is about 25 percent, and when the wing is at a
height equal to one-tenth the span, the reduction in
induced drag is about 50 percent. At high speeds where
parasite drag dominates, induced drag is a small part of
the total drag. Consequently, the effects of ground effect
are of greater concern during takeoff and landing.
On takeoff, the takeoff roll, lift-off, and the beginning
of the initial climb are accomplished in the ground
effect area. The ground effect causes local increases in
static pressure, which cause the airspeed indicator and
altimeter to indicate slightly less than they should, and
usually results in the vertical speed indicator indicating a descent. As the airplane lifts off and climbs out of
the ground effect area, however, the following will
occur.
Figure 5-5. Crosswind climb flightpath.
•
Premature lift-off resulting in side-skipping.
•
The airplane will require an increase in angle of
attack to maintain the same lift coefficient.
•
Excessive aileron input in the latter stage of the
takeoff roll resulting in a steep bank into the wind
at lift-off.
•
The airplane will experience an increase in
induced drag and thrust required.
•
The airplane will experience a pitch-up tendency
and will require less elevator travel because of an
increase in downwash at the horizontal tail.
•
Inadequate drift correction after lift-off.
Ground effect
decreases
induced drag
Airplane may
fly at lower
indicated
airspeed
Accelerate in
ground effect
to VX or V Y
Ground effect
decreases quickly
with height
Ground effect is
negligible when
height is equal
to wingspan
Ground
Effect
Area
Figure 5-6. Takeoff in ground effect area.
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•
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The airplane will experience a reduction in static
source pressure as it leaves the ground effect area
and a corresponding increase in indicated airspeed.
Due to the reduced drag in ground effect, the airplane
may seem to be able to take off below the recommended airspeed. However, as the airplane rises out of
ground effect with an insufficient airspeed, initial
climb performance may prove to be marginal because
of the increased drag. Under conditions of high-density altitude, high temperature, and/or maximum gross
weight, the airplane may be able to become airborne at
an insufficient airspeed, but unable to climb out of
ground effect. Consequently, the airplane may not be
able to clear obstructions, or may settle back on the
runway. The point to remember is that additional
power is required to compensate for increases in drag
that occur as an airplane leaves ground effect. But during an initial climb, the engine is already developing
maximum power. The only alternative is to lower pitch
attitude to gain additional airspeed, which will result in
inevitable altitude loss. Therefore, under marginal conditions, it is important that the airplane takes off at the
recommended speed that will provide adequate initial
climb performance.
Ground effect is important to normal flight operations.
If the runway is long enough, or if no obstacles exist,
ground effect can be used to an advantage by using the
reduced drag to improve initial acceleration.
Additionally, the procedure for takeoff from unsatisfactory surfaces is to take as much weight on the wings
as possible during the ground run, and to lift off with
the aid of ground effect before true flying speed is
attained. It is then necessary to reduce the angle of
attack to attain normal airspeed before attempting to
fly away from the ground effect area.
SHORT-FIELD TAKEOFF AND
MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE CLIMB
Takeoffs and climbs from fields where the takeoff area
is short or the available takeoff area is restricted by
obstructions require that the pilot operate the airplane
at the limit of its takeoff performance capabilities. To
depart from such an area safely, the pilot must exercise
positive and precise control of airplane attitude and
airspeed so that takeoff and climb performance results
in the shortest ground roll and the steepest angle of
climb. [Figure 5-7]
The achieved result should be consistent with the
performance section of the FAA-approved Airplane
Flight Manual and/or Pilot’s Operating Handbook
(AFM/POH). In all cases, the power setting, flap
setting, airspeed, and procedures prescribed by the
airplane’s manufacturer should be followed.
In order to accomplish a maximum performance takeoff safely, the pilot must have adequate knowledge in
the use and effectiveness of the best angle-of-climb
speed (VX) and the best rate-of-climb speed (VY) for
the specific make and model of airplane being flown.
The speed for V X is that which will result in the
greatest gain in altitude for a given distance over the
ground. It is usually slightly less than VY which provides the greatest gain in altitude per unit of time.
The specific speeds to be used for a given airplane
are stated in the FAA-approved AFM/POH. It should
be emphasized that in some airplanes, a deviation of
5 knots from the recommended speed will result in a
significant reduction in climb performance.
Therefore, precise control of airspeed has an important bearing on the successful execution as well as
the safety of the maneuver.
Climb
at VY
Retract gear
and flaps
Climb
at VX
Rotate at
approximately VX
Figure 5-7. Short-field takeoff.
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TAKEOFF ROLL
Taking off from a short field requires the takeoff to be
started from the very beginning of the takeoff area. At
this point, the airplane is aligned with the intended
takeoff path. If the airplane manufacturer recommends
the use of flaps, they should be extended the proper
amount before starting the takeoff roll. This permits
the pilot to give full attention to the proper technique
and the airplane’s performance throughout the takeoff.
Some authorities prefer to hold the brakes until the
maximum obtainable engine r.p.m. is achieved before
allowing the airplane to begin its takeoff run. However,
it has not been established that this procedure will
result in a shorter takeoff run in all light single-engine
airplanes. Takeoff power should be applied smoothly
and continuously—without hesitation—to accelerate
the airplane as rapidly as possible. The airplane should
be allowed to roll with its full weight on the main
wheels and accelerated to the lift-off speed. As the
takeoff roll progresses, the airplane’s pitch attitude and
angle of attack should be adjusted to that which results
in the minimum amount of drag and the quickest acceleration. In nosewheel-type airplanes, this will involve
little use of the elevator control, since the airplane is
already in a low drag attitude.
LIFT-OFF
Approaching best angle-of-climb speed (VX), the airplane
should be smoothly and firmly lifted off, or rotated, by
applying back-elevator pressure to an attitude that will
result in the best angle-of-climb airspeed (VX). Since the
airplane will accelerate more rapidly after lift-off, additional back-elevator pressure becomes necessary to hold a
constant airspeed. After becoming airborne, a wings level
climb should be maintained at VX until obstacles have
been cleared or, if no obstacles are involved, until an altitude of at least 50 feet above the takeoff surface is attained.
Thereafter, the pitch attitude may be lowered slightly, and
the climb continued at best rate-of-climb speed (VY) until
reaching a safe maneuvering altitude. Remember that an
attempt to pull the airplane off the ground prematurely, or
to climb too steeply, may cause the airplane to settle back
to the runway or into the obstacles. Even if the airplane
remains airborne, the initial climb will remain flat and
climb performance/obstacle clearance ability seriously
degraded until best angle-of-climb airspeed (VX) is
achieved. [Figure 5-8]
Premature rotation
The objective is to rotate to the appropriate pitch attitude at (or near) best angle-of-climb airspeed. It should
be remembered, however, that some airplanes will
have a natural tendency to lift off well before reaching
VX. In these airplanes, it may be necessary to allow the
airplane to lift off in ground effect and then reduce
pitch attitude to level until the airplane accelerates to
best angle-of-climb airspeed with the wheels just clear
of the runway surface. This method is preferable to
forcing the airplane to remain on the ground with forward-elevator pressure until best angle-of-climb speed
is attained. Holding the airplane on the ground unnecessarily puts excessive pressure on the nosewheel, may
result in “wheelbarrowing,” and will hinder both
acceleration and overall airplane performance.
INITIAL CLIMB
On short-field takeoffs, the landing gear and flaps
should remain in takeoff position until clear of obstacles (or as recommended by the manufacturer) and VY
has been established. It is generally unwise for the pilot
to be looking in the cockpit or reaching for landing
gear and flap controls until obstacle clearance is
assured. When the airplane is stabilized at VY, the gear
(if equipped) and then the flaps should be retracted. It
is usually advisable to raise the flaps in increments to
avoid sudden loss of lift and settling of the airplane.
Next, reduce the power to the normal climb setting or
as recommended by the airplane manufacturer.
Common errors in the performance of short-field takeoffs and maximum performance climbs are:
•
Failure to adequately clear the area.
•
Failure to utilize all available runway/takeoff
area.
•
Failure to have the airplane properly trimmed
prior to takeoff.
•
Premature lift-off resulting in high drag.
•
Holding the airplane on the ground unnecessarily
with excessive forward-elevator pressure.
•
Inadequate rotation resulting in excessive speed
after lift-off.
•
Inability to attain/maintain best angle-of-climb
airspeed.
Airplane may lift off
at low airspeed
Flight below VX
results in shallow
climb
Airplane may settle
back to the ground
Figure 5-8. Effect of premature lift-off.
5-9
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•
Fixation on the airspeed indicator during initial
climb.
•
Premature retraction of landing gear and/or wing
flaps.
SOFT/ROUGH-FIELD TAKEOFF
AND CLIMB
Takeoffs and climbs from soft fields require the use of
operational techniques for getting the airplane airborne
as quickly as possible to eliminate the drag caused by
tall grass, soft sand, mud, and snow, and may or may
not require climbing over an obstacle. The technique
makes judicious use of ground effect and requires a
feel for the airplane and fine control touch. These same
techniques are also useful on a rough field where it is
advisable to get the airplane off the ground as soon as
possible to avoid damaging the landing gear.
Soft surfaces or long, wet grass usually reduces the airplane’s acceleration during the takeoff roll so much
that adequate takeoff speed might not be attained if
normal takeoff techniques were employed.
It should be emphasized that the correct takeoff
procedure for soft fields is quite different from
that appropriate for short fields with firm, smooth
surfaces. To minimize the hazards associated with
takeoffs from soft or rough fields, support of the
airplane’s weight must be transferred as rapidly
as possible from the wheels to the wings as the
takeoff roll proceeds. Establishing and maintaining a relatively high angle of attack or nose-high
pitch attitude as early as possible does this. Wing
flaps may be lowered prior to starting the takeoff
(if recommended by the manufacturer) to provide
additional lift and to transfer the airplane’s weight
from the wheels to the wings as early as possible.
Stopping on a soft surface, such as mud or snow, might
bog the airplane down; therefore, it should be kept in
continuous motion with sufficient power while lining
up for the takeoff roll.
TAKEOFF ROLL
As the airplane is aligned with the takeoff path, takeoff
power is applied smoothly and as rapidly as the powerplant will accept it without faltering. As the airplane
Accelerate
Raise nosewheel
Figure 5-9. Soft-field takeoff.
5-10
Lift off
accelerates, enough back-elevator pressure should be
applied to establish a positive angle of attack and to
reduce the weight supported by the nosewheel.
When the airplane is held at a nose-high attitude
throughout the takeoff run, the wings will, as speed
increases and lift develops, progressively relieve the
wheels of more and more of the airplane’s weight,
thereby minimizing the drag caused by surface irregularities or adhesion. If this attitude is accurately maintained,
the airplane will virtually fly itself off the ground,
becoming airborne at airspeed slower than a safe climb
speed because of ground effect. [Figure 5-9]
LIFT-OFF
After becoming airborne, the nose should be lowered
very gently with the wheels clear of the surface to
allow the airplane to accelerate to VY, or VX if obstacles must be cleared. Extreme care must be exercised
immediately after the airplane becomes airborne and
while it accelerates, to avoid settling back onto the surface. An attempt to climb prematurely or too steeply
may cause the airplane to settle back to the surface as
a result of losing the benefit of ground effect. An
attempt to climb out of ground effect before sufficient
climb airspeed is attained may result in the airplane
being unable to climb further as the ground effect area
is transited, even with full power. Therefore, it is
essential that the airplane remain in ground effect until
at least VX is reached. This requires feel for the airplane, and a very fine control touch, in order to avoid
over-controlling the elevator as required control pressures change with airplane acceleration.
INITIAL CLIMB
After a positive rate of climb is established, and the airplane has accelerated to VY, retract the landing gear and
flaps, if equipped. If departing from an airstrip with wet
snow or slush on the takeoff surface, the gear should not
be retracted immediately. This allows for any wet snow
or slush to be air-dried. In the event an obstacle must be
cleared after a soft-field takeoff, the climb-out is performed at VX until the obstacle has been cleared. After
reaching this point, the pitch attitude is adjusted to VY
and the gear and flaps are retracted. The power may
then be reduced to the normal climb setting.
Level off in
ground effect
Accelerate
in ground effect
to VX or VY
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Common errors in the performance of soft/rough field
takeoff and climbs are:
•
Failure to adequately clear the area.
•
Insufficient back-elevator pressure during initial
takeoff roll resulting in inadequate angle of
attack.
•
Failure to cross-check engine instruments for
indications of proper operation after applying
power.
•
Poor directional control.
•
Climbing too steeply after lift-off.
•
Abrupt and/or excessive elevator control while
attempting to level off and accelerate after liftoff.
•
Allowing the airplane to “mush” or settle resulting in an inadvertent touchdown after lift-off.
•
Attempting to climb out of ground effect area
before attaining sufficient climb speed.
•
Failure to anticipate an increase in pitch attitude
as the airplane climbs out of ground effect.
REJECTED TAKEOFF/ENGINE FAILURE
Emergency or abnormal situations can occur during a
takeoff that will require a pilot to reject the takeoff
while still on the runway. Circumstances such as a
malfunctioning powerplant, inadequate acceleration,
runway incursion, or air traffic conflict may be reasons for a rejected takeoff.
Prior to takeoff, the pilot should have in mind a
point along the runway at which the airplane
should be airborne. If that point is reached and the
airplane is not airborne, immediate action should
be taken to discontinue the takeoff. Properly
planned and executed, chances are excellent the
airplane can be stopped on the remaining runway
without using extraordinary measures, such as
excessive braking that may result in loss of directional control, airplane damage, and/or personal
injury.
In the event a takeoff is rejected, the power should be
reduced to idle and maximum braking applied while
maintaining directional control. If it is necessary to
shut down the engine due to a fire, the mixture control
should be brought to the idle cutoff position and the
magnetos turned off. In all cases, the manufacturer’s
emergency procedure should be followed.
What characterizes all power loss or engine failure
occurrences after lift-off is urgency. In most instances,
the pilot has only a few seconds after an engine failure
to decide what course of action to take and to execute
it. Unless prepared in advance to make the proper decision, there is an excellent chance the pilot will make a
poor decision, or make no decision at all and allow
events to rule.
In the event of an engine failure on initial climb-out,
the pilot’s first responsibility is to maintain aircraft
control. At a climb pitch attitude without power, the
airplane will be at or near a stalling angle of attack.
At the same time, the pilot may still be holding right
rudder. It is essential the pilot immediately lower the
pitch attitude to prevent a stall and possible spin.
The pilot should establish a controlled glide toward
a plausible landing area (preferably straight ahead
on the remaining runway).
NOISE ABATEMENT
Aircraft noise problems have become a major concern at
many airports throughout the country. Many local communities have pressured airports into developing specific
operational procedures that will help limit aircraft noise
while operating over nearby areas. For years now, the
FAA, airport managers, aircraft operators, pilots, and special interest groups have been working together to minimize aircraft noise for nearby sensitive areas. As a result,
noise abatement procedures have been developed for
many of these airports that include standardized profiles
and procedures to achieve these lower noise goals.
Airports that have noise abatement procedures provide
information to pilots, operators, air carriers, air traffic
facilities, and other special groups that are applicable
to their airport. These procedures are available to the
aviation community by various means. Most of this
information comes from the Airport/Facility Directory,
local and regional publications, printed handouts, operator bulletin boards, safety briefings, and local air traffic facilities.
At airports that use noise abatement procedures,
reminder signs may be installed at the taxiway hold
positions for applicable runways. These are to remind
pilots to use and comply with noise abatement procedures on departure. Pilots who are not familiar with
these procedures should ask the tower or air traffic
facility for the recommended procedures. In any case,
pilots should be considerate of the surrounding community while operating their airplane to and from such
an airport. This includes operating as quietly, yet safely
as possible.
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Page 6-1
PURPOSE AND SCOPE
Ground reference maneuvers and their related factors
are used in developing a high degree of pilot skill.
Although most of these maneuvers are not performed
as such in normal everyday flying, the elements and
principles involved in each are applicable to performance of the customary pilot operations. They aid the
pilot in analyzing the effect of wind and other forces
acting on the airplane and in developing a fine control touch, coordination, and the division of attention
necessary for accurate and safe maneuvering of the
airplane.
All of the early part of the pilot’s training has been conducted at relatively high altitudes, and for the purpose
of developing technique, knowledge of maneuvers,
coordination, feel, and the handling of the airplane in
general. This training will have required that most of
the pilot’s attention be given to the actual handling of
the airplane, and the results of control pressures on the
action and attitude of the airplane.
MANEUVERING BY REFERENCE
TO GROUND OBJECTS
Ground track or ground reference maneuvers are performed at a relatively low altitude while applying wind
drift correction as needed to follow a predetermined
track or path over the ground. They are designed to
develop the ability to control the airplane, and to recognize and correct for the effect of wind while dividing
attention among other matters. This requires planning
ahead of the airplane, maintaining orientation in relation
to ground objects, flying appropriate headings to follow
a desired ground track, and being cognizant of other air
traffic in the immediate vicinity.
Ground reference maneuvers should be flown at an altitude of approximately 600 to 1,000 feet AGL. The
actual altitude will depend on the speed and type of airplane to a large extent, and the following factors should
be considered.
•
The speed with relation to the ground should not
be so apparent that events happen too rapidly.
If permitted to continue beyond the appropriate training
stage, however, the student pilot’s concentration of
attention will become a fixed habit, one that will seriously detract from the student’s ease and safety as a
pilot, and will be very difficult to eliminate. Therefore,
it is necessary, as soon as the pilot shows proficiency in
the fundamental maneuvers, that the pilot be introduced
to maneuvers requiring outside attention on a practical
application of these maneuvers and the knowledge
gained.
•
The radius of the turn and the path of the airplane
over the ground should be easily noted and
changes planned and effected as circumstances
require.
•
Drift should be easily discernable, but not tax the
student too much in making corrections.
•
Objects on the ground should appear in their proportion and size.
It should be stressed that, during ground reference
maneuvers, it is equally important that basic flying
technique previously learned be maintained. The
flight instructor should not allow any relaxation of the
student’s previous standard of technique simply
because a new factor is added. This requirement
should be maintained throughout the student’s
progress from maneuver to maneuver. Each new
maneuver should embody some advance and include
the principles of the preceding one in order that continuity be maintained. Each new factor introduced
should be merely a step-up of one already learned so
that orderly, consistent progress can be made.
•
The altitude should be low enough to render any
gain or loss apparent to the student, but in no case
lower than 500 feet above the highest obstruction.
During these maneuvers, both the instructor and the
student should be alert for available forced-landing
fields. The area chosen should be away from communities, livestock, or groups of people to prevent possible
annoyance or hazards to others. Due to the altitudes at
which these maneuvers are performed, there is little
time available to search for a suitable field for landing
in the event the need arises.
6-1
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DRIFT AND GROUND
TRACK CONTROL
Whenever any object is free from the ground, it is
affected by the medium with which it is surrounded.
This means that a free object will move in whatever
direction and speed that the medium moves.
For example, if a powerboat is crossing a river and
the river is still, the boat could head directly to a point
on the opposite shore and travel on a straight course
to that point without drifting. However, if the river
were flowing swiftly, the water current would have to
be considered. That is, as the boat progresses forward
with its own power, it must also move upstream at the
same rate the river is moving it downstream. This is
accomplished by angling the boat upstream sufficiently to counteract the downstream flow. If this is
done, the boat will follow the desired track across
the river from the departure point directly to the
intended destination point. Should the boat not be
headed sufficiently upstream, it would drift with the
current and run aground at some point downstream
on the opposite bank. [Figure 6-1]
As soon as an airplane becomes airborne, it is free of
ground friction. Its path is then affected by the air mass
in which it is flying; therefore, the airplane (like the
boat) will not always track along the ground in the
exact direction that it is headed. When flying with the
longitudinal axis of the airplane aligned with a road, it
may be noted that the airplane gets closer to or farther
from the road without any turn having been made. This
would indicate that the air mass is moving sideward in
relation to the airplane. Since the airplane is flying
within this moving body of air (wind), it moves or
drifts with the air in the same direction and speed, just
like the boat moved with the river current. [Figure 6-1]
When flying straight and level and following a
selected ground track, the preferred method of correcting for wind drift is to head the airplane (wind
correction angle) sufficiently into the wind to cause
the airplane to move forward into the wind at the
same rate the wind is moving it sideways.
Depending on the wind velocity, this may require a
large wind correction angle or one of only a few
degrees. When the drift has been neutralized, the
airplane will follow the desired ground track.
To understand the need for drift correction during
flight, consider a flight with a wind velocity of 30
knots from the left and 90° to the direction the airplane
is headed. After 1 hour, the body of air in which the
airplane is flying will have moved 30 nautical miles
(NM) to the right. Since the airplane is moving with
this body of air, it too will have drifted 30 NM to the
right. In relation to the air, the airplane moved forward, but in relation to the ground, it moved forward
as well as 30 NM to the right.
There are times when the pilot needs to correct for drift
while in a turn. [Figure 6-2] Throughout the turn the
wind will be acting on the airplane from constantly
changing angles. The relative wind angle and speed
CURRENT
No Current - No Drift
With a current the boat drifts
downstream unless corrected.
WIND
No Wind - No Drift
Figure 6-1. Wind drift.
6-2
CURRENT
With any wind, the airplane drifts
downwind unless corrected.
With proper correction, boat
stays on intended course.
WIND
With proper correction, airplane
stays on intended course.
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Page 6-3
Actual ground path
Intended ground path
No Wind
20 Knot Wind
Figure 6-2. Effect of wind during a turn.
govern the time it takes for the airplane to progress
through any part of a turn. This is due to the constantly
changing groundspeed. When the airplane is headed
into the wind, the groundspeed is decreased; when
headed downwind, the groundspeed is increased.
Through the crosswind portion of a turn, the airplane
must be turned sufficiently into the wind to counteract
drift.
To follow a desired circular ground track, the wind correction angle must be varied in a timely manner
because of the varying groundspeed as the turn progresses. The faster the groundspeed, the faster the wind
correction angle must be established; the slower the
groundspeed, the slower the wind correction angle may
be established. It can be seen then that the steepest
bank and fastest rate of turn should be made on the
downwind portion of the turn and the shallowest bank
and slowest rate of turn on the upwind portion.
The principles and techniques of varying the angle of
bank to change the rate of turn and wind correction
angle for controlling wind drift during a turn are the
same for all ground track maneuvers involving
changes in direction of flight.
When there is no wind, it should be simple to fly along
a ground track with an arc of exactly 180° and a constant radius because the flightpath and ground track
would be identical. This can be demonstrated by
approaching a road at a 90° angle and, when directly
over the road, rolling into a medium-banked turn, then
maintaining the same angle of bank throughout the
180° of turn. [Figure 6-2]
To complete the turn, the rollout should be started at a
point where the wings will become level as the airplane
again reaches the road at a 90° angle and will be
directly over the road just as the turn is completed. This
would be possible only if there were absolutely no
wind and if the angle of bank and the rate of turn
remained constant throughout the entire maneuver.
If the turn were made with a constant angle of bank
and a wind blowing directly across the road, it would
result in a constant radius turn through the air.
However, the wind effects would cause the ground
track to be distorted from a constant radius turn or
semicircular path. The greater the wind velocity, the
greater would be the difference between the desired
ground track and the flightpath. To counteract this
drift, the flightpath can be controlled by the pilot in
such a manner as to neutralize the effect of the wind,
and cause the ground track to be a constant radius
semicircle.
The effects of wind during turns can be demonstrated
after selecting a road, railroad, or other ground reference that forms a straight line parallel to the wind. Fly
into the wind directly over and along the line and then
make a turn with a constant medium angle of bank for
360° of turn. [Figure 6-3] The airplane will return to a
point directly over the line but slightly downwind from
the starting point, the amount depending on the wind
velocity and the time required to complete the turn.
The path over the ground will be an elongated circle,
although in reference to the air it is a perfect circle.
Straight flight during the upwind segment after completion of the turn is necessary to bring the airplane
back to the starting position.
Start & Finish
No Wind
Figure 6-3. Effect of wind during turns.
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Page 6-4
A similar 360° turn may be started at a specific point
over the reference line, with the airplane headed
directly downwind. In this demonstration, the effect of
wind during the constant banked turn will drift the airplane to a point where the line is reintercepted, but the
360° turn will be completed at a point downwind from
the starting point.
The rectangular course is a training maneuver in which
the ground track of the airplane is equidistant from all
sides of a selected rectangular area on the ground. The
maneuver simulates the conditions encountered in an
airport traffic pattern. While performing the maneuver, the altitude and airspeed should be held constant.
The maneuver assists the student pilot in perfecting:
Another reference line which lies directly crosswind
may be selected and the same procedure repeated,
showing that if wind drift is not corrected the airplane
will, at the completion of the 360° turn, be headed in
the original direction but will have drifted away from
the line a distance dependent on the amount of wind.
•
Practical application of the turn.
•
The division of attention between the flightpath,
ground objects, and the handling of the airplane.
•
The timing of the start of a turn so that the turn
will be fully established at a definite point over
the ground.
•
The timing of the recovery from a turn so that a
definite ground track will be maintained.
•
The establishing of a ground track and the determination of the appropriate “crab” angle.
From these demonstrations, it can be seen where and
why it is necessary to increase or decrease the angle of
bank and the rate of turn to achieve a desired track over
the ground. The principles and techniques involved can
be practiced and evaluated by the performance of the
ground track maneuvers discussed in this chapter.
Like those of other ground track maneuvers, one of the
objectives is to develop division of attention between
the flightpath and ground references, while controlling
the airplane and watching for other aircraft in the
RECTANGULAR COURSE
Normally, the first ground reference maneuver the pilot
is introduced to is the rectangular course. [Figure 6-4]
Enter
45° to Downwind
Exit
DOWNWIND
Turn More Than
90° Rollout
with Wind Correction
Established
Start Turn
at Boundary
No Wind Correction
Complete Turn
at Boundary
Turn More
Than 90°
Turn Into
Wind
CROSSWIND
Turn Into
Wind
Wind
oW
h No
ind
k Wit
BASE
kW
n
ectio
Corr
ith N
Start Turn at
Boundary
T rac
Cor
rect
ion
Complete Turn
at Boundary
Trac
Ch 06.qxd
Start Turn at
Boundary
Turn Less Than
90° Rollout
With WIind Correction
Established
Complete Turn
at Boundary
Turn
Less Than 90°
Start Turn
at Boundary
Complete Turn
at Boundary
UPWIND
No Wind Correction
Figure 6-4. Rectangular course.
6-4
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Page 6-5
vicinity. Another objective is to develop recognition of
drift toward or away from a line parallel to the intended
ground track. This will be helpful in recognizing drift
toward or from an airport runway during the various
legs of the airport traffic pattern.
For this maneuver, a square or rectangular field, or an
area bounded on four sides by section lines or roads
(the sides of which are approximately a mile in length),
should be selected well away from other air traffic. The
airplane should be flown parallel to and at a uniform
distance about one-fourth to one-half mile away from
the field boundaries, not above the boundaries. For
best results, the flightpath should be positioned outside
the field boundaries just far enough that they may be
easily observed from either pilot seat by looking out
the side of the airplane. If an attempt is made to fly
directly above the edges of the field, the pilot will have
no usable reference points to start and complete the
turns. The closer the track of the airplane is to the field
boundaries, the steeper the bank necessary at the turning points. Also, the pilot should be able to see the
edges of the selected field while seated in a normal
position and looking out the side of the airplane during
either a left-hand or right-hand course. The distance of
the ground track from the edges of the field should be
the same regardless of whether the course is flown to
the left or right. All turns should be started when the
airplane is abeam the corner of the field boundaries,
and the bank normally should not exceed 45°. These
should be the determining factors in establishing the
distance from the boundaries for performing the
maneuver.
Although the rectangular course may be entered from
any direction, this discussion assumes entry on a
downwind.
On the downwind leg, the wind is a tailwind and results
in an increased groundspeed. Consequently, the turn
onto the next leg is entered with a fairly fast rate of
roll-in with relatively steep bank. As the turn progresses, the bank angle is reduced gradually because
the tailwind component is diminishing, resulting in a
decreasing groundspeed.
During and after the turn onto this leg (the equivalent
of the base leg in a traffic pattern), the wind will tend
to drift the airplane away from the field boundary. To
compensate for the drift, the amount of turn will be
more than 90°.
The rollout from this turn must be such that as the
wings become level, the airplane is turned slightly
toward the field and into the wind to correct for drift.
The airplane should again be the same distance from
the field boundary and at the same altitude, as on other
legs. The base leg should be continued until the upwind
leg boundary is being approached. Once more the pilot
should anticipate drift and turning radius. Since drift
correction was held on the base leg, it is necessary to
turn less than 90° to align the airplane parallel to the
upwind leg boundary. This turn should be started with
a medium bank angle with a gradual reduction to a
shallow bank as the turn progresses. The rollout should
be timed to assure paralleling the boundary of the field
as the wings become level.
While the airplane is on the upwind leg, the next field
boundary should be observed as it is being approached,
to plan the turn onto the crosswind leg. Since the wind
is a headwind on this leg, it is reducing the airplane’s
groundspeed and during the turn onto the crosswind
leg will try to drift the airplane toward the field. For
this reason, the roll-in to the turn must be slow and the
bank relatively shallow to counteract this effect. As the
turn progresses, the headwind component decreases,
allowing the groundspeed to increase. Consequently,
the bank angle and rate of turn are increased gradually
to assure that upon completion of the turn the crosswind ground track will continue the same distance
from the edge of the field. Completion of the turn with
the wings level should be accomplished at a point
aligned with the upwind corner of the field.
Simultaneously, as the wings are rolled level, the
proper drift correction is established with the airplane
turned into the wind. This requires that the turn be less
than a 90° change in heading. If the turn has been made
properly, the field boundary will again appear to be
one-fourth to one-half mile away. While on the crosswind leg, the wind correction angle should be adjusted
as necessary to maintain a uniform distance from the
field boundary.
As the next field boundary is being approached, the
pilot should plan the turn onto the downwind leg. Since
a wind correction angle is being held into the wind and
away from the field while on the crosswind leg, this
next turn will require a turn of more than 90°. Since
the crosswind will become a tailwind, causing the
groundspeed to increase during this turn, the bank initially should be medium and progressively increased
as the turn proceeds. To complete the turn, the rollout
must be timed so that the wings become level at a point
aligned with the crosswind corner of the field just as
the longitudinal axis of the airplane again becomes
parallel to the field boundary. The distance from the
field boundary should be the same as from the other
sides of the field.
Usually, drift should not be encountered on the upwind
or the downwind leg, but it may be difficult to find a
situation where the wind is blowing exactly parallel to
the field boundaries. This would make it necessary to
use a slight wind correction angle on all the legs. It is
6-5
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important to anticipate the turns to correct for groundspeed, drift, and turning radius. When the wind is
behind the airplane, the turn must be faster and steeper;
when it is ahead of the airplane, the turn must be
slower and shallower. These same techniques apply
while flying in airport traffic patterns.
Common errors in the performance of rectangular
courses are:
•
Failure to adequately clear the area.
•
Failure to establish proper altitude prior to
entry. (Typically entering the maneuver while
descending.)
•
Failure to establish appropriate wind correction
angle resulting in drift.
•
Gaining or losing altitude.
•
Poor coordination. (Typically skidding in turns
from a downwind heading and slipping in turns
from an upwind heading.)
•
Abrupt control usage.
•
Inability to adequately divide attention between
airplane control and maintaining ground track.
•
Improper timing in beginning and recovering
from turns.
•
Inadequate visual lookout for other aircraft.
S-TURNS ACROSS A ROAD
An S-turn across a road is a practice maneuver in
which the airplane’s ground track describes semicircles of equal radii on each side of a selected straight
line on the ground. [Figure 6-5] The straight line may
be a road, fence, railroad, or section line that lies perpendicular to the wind, and should be of sufficient
length for making a series of turns. A constant altitude
should be maintained throughout the maneuver.
S-turns across a road present one of the most elementary problems in the practical application of the turn
and in the correction for wind drift in turns. While the
application of this maneuver is considerably less
advanced in some respects than the rectangular course,
it is taught after the student has been introduced to that
maneuver in order that the student may have a knowledge of the correction for wind drift in straight flight
along a reference line before the student attempt to
correct for drift by playing a turn.
The objectives of S-turns across a road are to develop
the ability to compensate for drift during turns, orient
the flightpath with ground references, follow an
assigned ground track, arrive at specified points on
assigned headings, and divide the pilot’s attention. The
Moderate Bank
Shallow Bank
Steep
Bank
Wings Level
Steep
Bank
Shallow Bank
Entry
Moderate Bank
Figure 6-5. S-Turns.
6-6
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maneuver consists of crossing the road at a 90° angle
and immediately beginning a series of 180° turns of
uniform radius in opposite directions, re-crossing the
road at a 90° angle just as each 180° turn is completed.
To accomplish a constant radius ground track requires
a changing roll rate and angle of bank to establish the
wind correction angle. Both will increase or decrease
as groundspeed increases or decreases.
The bank must be steepest when beginning the turn on
the downwind side of the road and must be shallowed
gradually as the turn progresses from a downwind
heading to an upwind heading. On the upwind side, the
turn should be started with a relatively shallow bank
and then gradually steepened as the airplane turns from
an upwind heading to a downwind heading.
In this maneuver, the airplane should be rolled from
one bank directly into the opposite just as the reference
line on the ground is crossed.
Before starting the maneuver, a straight ground reference line or road that lies 90° to the direction of the
wind should be selected, then the area checked to
ensure that no obstructions or other aircraft are in the
immediate vicinity. The road should be approached
from the upwind side, at the selected altitude on a
downwind heading. When directly over the road, the
first turn should be started immediately. With the airplane headed downwind, the groundspeed is greatest
and the rate of departure from the road will be rapid;
so the roll into the steep bank must be fairly rapid to
attain the proper wind correction angle. This prevents
the airplane from flying too far from the road and
from establishing a ground track of excessive radius.
During the latter portion of the first 90° of turn when
the airplane’s heading is changing from a downwind
heading to a crosswind heading, the groundspeed
becomes less and the rate of departure from the road
decreases. The wind correction angle will be at the
maximum when the airplane is headed directly crosswind.
After turning 90°, the airplane’s heading becomes
more and more an upwind heading, the groundspeed
will decrease, and the rate of closure with the road
will become slower. If a constant steep bank were
maintained, the airplane would turn too quickly for
the slower rate of closure, and would be headed perpendicular to the road prematurely. Because of the
decreasing groundspeed and rate of closure while
approaching the upwind heading, it will be necessary
to gradually shallow the bank during the remaining
90° of the semicircle, so that the wind correction
angle is removed completely and the wings become
level as the 180° turn is completed at the moment the
road is reached.
At the instant the road is being crossed again, a turn in
the opposite direction should be started. Since the airplane is still flying into the headwind, the groundspeed
is relatively slow. Therefore, the turn will have to be
started with a shallow bank so as to avoid an excessive
rate of turn that would establish the maximum wind
correction angle too soon. The degree of bank should
be that which is necessary to attain the proper wind
correction angle so the ground track describes an arc
the same size as the one established on the downwind
side.
Since the airplane is turning from an upwind to a
downwind heading, the groundspeed will increase
and after turning 90°, the rate of closure with the road
will increase rapidly. Consequently, the angle of bank
and rate of turn must be progressively increased so
that the airplane will have turned 180° at the time it
reaches the road. Again, the rollout must be timed so
the airplane is in straight-and-level flight directly
over and perpendicular to the road.
Throughout the maneuver a constant altitude should
be maintained, and the bank should be changing
constantly to effect a true semicircular ground track.
Often there is a tendency to increase the bank too
rapidly during the initial part of the turn on the
upwind side, which will prevent the completion of
the 180° turn before re-crossing the road. This is
apparent when the turn is not completed in time for
the airplane to cross the road at a perpendicular
angle. To avoid this error, the pilot must visualize the
desired half circle ground track, and increase the
bank during the early part of this turn. During the latter part of the turn, when approaching the road, the
pilot must judge the closure rate properly and
increase the bank accordingly, so as to cross the road
perpendicular to it just as the rollout is completed.
Common errors in the performance of S-turns across a
road are:
•
Failure to adequately clear the area.
•
Poor coordination.
•
Gaining or losing altitude.
•
Inability to visualize the half circle ground track.
•
Poor timing in beginning and recovering from
turns.
•
Faulty correction for drift.
•
Inadequate visual lookout for other aircraft.
TURNS AROUND A POINT
Turns around a point, as a training maneuver, is a
logical extension of the principles involved in the
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performance of S-turns across a road. Its purposes as
a training maneuver are:
•
To further perfect turning technique.
•
To perfect the ability to subconsciously control
the airplane while dividing attention between the
flightpath and ground references.
•
To teach the student that the radius of a turn is a
distance which is affected by the degree of bank
used when turning with relation to a definite
object.
•
To develop a keen perception of altitude.
•
To perfect the ability to correct for wind drift
while in turns.
In turns around a point, the airplane is flown in two or
more complete circles of uniform radii or distance
from a prominent ground reference point using a maximum bank of approximately 45° while maintaining a
constant altitude.
The factors and principles of drift correction that are
involved in S-turns are also applicable in this maneuver. As in other ground track maneuvers, a constant
radius around a point will, if any wind exists, require a
constantly changing angle of bank and angles of wind
correction. The closer the airplane is to a direct downwind heading where the groundspeed is greatest, the
steeper the bank and the faster the rate of turn required
to establish the proper wind correction angle. The
more nearly it is to a direct upwind heading where the
groundspeed is least, the shallower the bank and the
slower the rate of turn required to establish the proper
wind correction angle. It follows, then, that throughout the maneuver the bank and rate of turn must be
gradually varied in proportion to the groundspeed.
The point selected for turns around a point should
be prominent, easily distinguished by the pilot, and
yet small enough to present precise reference.
[Figure 6-6] Isolated trees, crossroads, or other similar small landmarks are usually suitable.
To enter turns around a point, the airplane should be
flown on a downwind heading to one side of the
selected point at a distance equal to the desired radius
of turn. In a high-wing airplane, the distance from the
point must permit the pilot to see the point throughout
the maneuver even with the wing lowered in a bank. If
the radius is too large, the lowered wing will block the
pilot’s view of the point.
When any significant wind exists, it will be necessary to
roll into the initial bank at a rapid rate so that the steepSteeper
Bank
d Half of Cir
win
cle
Up
Shallowest
Steepest
Bank
Bank
Do
wn
w in d
ir
H a lf o f C
Shallower
Bank
Figure 6-6. Turns around a point.
6-8
cle
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est bank is attained abeam of the point when the airplane
is headed directly downwind. By entering the maneuver
while heading directly downwind, the steepest bank can
be attained immediately. Thus, if a maximum bank of
45° is desired, the initial bank will be 45° if the airplane
is at the correct distance from the point. Thereafter, the
bank is shallowed gradually until the point is reached
where the airplane is headed directly upwind. At this
point, the bank should be gradually steepened until the
steepest bank is again attained when heading downwind
at the initial point of entry.
Just as S-turns require that the airplane be turned into
the wind in addition to varying the bank, so do turns
around a point. During the downwind half of the circle,
the airplane’s nose is progressively turned toward the
inside of the circle; during the upwind half, the nose is
progressively turned toward the outside. The downwind
half of the turn around the point may be compared to the
downwind side of the S-turn across a road; the upwind
half of the turn around a point may be compared to the
upwind side of the S-turn across a road.
As the pilot becomes experienced in performing turns
around a point and has a good understanding of the
effects of wind drift and varying of the bank angle and
wind correction angle as required, entry into the
maneuver may be from any point. When entering the
maneuver at a point other than downwind, however,
the radius of the turn should be carefully selected, taking into account the wind velocity and groundspeed so
that an excessive bank is not required later on to maintain the proper ground track. The flight instructor
should place particular emphasis on the effect of an
incorrect initial bank. This emphasis should continue
in the performance of elementary eights.
Common errors in the performance of turns around a
point are:
•
Failure to adequately clear the area.
•
Failure to establish appropriate bank on entry.
•
Failure to recognize wind drift.
•
Excessive bank and/or inadequate wind correction angle on the downwind side of the circle
resulting in drift towards the reference point.
•
Inadequate bank angle and/or excessive wind
correction angle on the upwind side of the circle
resulting in drift away from the reference point.
•
Skidding turns when turning from downwind to
crosswind.
•
Slipping turns when turning from upwind to
crosswind.
•
Gaining or losing altitude.
•
Inadequate visual lookout for other aircraft.
•
Inability to direct attention outside the airplane
while maintaining precise airplane control.
ELEMENTARY EIGHTS
An “eight” is a maneuver in which the airplane
describes a path over the ground more or less in the
shape of a figure “8”. In all eights except “lazy eights”
the path is horizontal as though following a marked
path over the ground. There are various types of eights,
progressing from the elementary types to very difficult
types in the advanced maneuvers. Each has its special
use in teaching the student to solve a particular
problem of turning with relation to the Earth, or an
object on the Earth’s surface. Each type, as they
advance in difficulty of accomplishment, further
perfects the student’s coordination technique and
requires a higher degree of subconscious flying ability. Of all the training maneuvers available to the
instructor, only eights require the progressively
higher degree of conscious attention to outside
objects. However, the real importance of eights is in
the requirement for the perfection and display of
subconscious flying.
Elementary eights, specifically eights along a road,
eights across a road, and eights around pylons, are
variations of turns around a point, which use two
points about which the airplane circles in either
direction. Elementary eights are designed for the following purposes.
•
To perfect turning technique.
•
To develop the ability to divide attention between
the actual handling of controls and an outside
objective.
•
To perfect the knowledge of the effect of angle of
bank on radius of turn.
•
To demonstrate how wind affects the path of the
airplane over the ground.
•
To gain experience in the visualization of the
results of planning before the execution of the
maneuver.
•
To train the student to think and plan ahead of the
airplane.
EIGHTS ALONG A ROAD
An eight along a road is a maneuver in which the
ground track consists of two complete adjacent circles
of equal radii on each side of a straight road or other
reference line on the ground. The ground track resembles a figure 8. [Figure 6-7 on next page]
Like the other ground reference maneuvers, its
objective is to develop division of attention while
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Steeper
Bank
Steepest
Bank
Shallowest
Bank
Shallower
Bank
Shallowest
Bank
Steep
Bank
Figure 6-7. Eights along a road.
compensating for drift, maintaining orientation with
ground references, and maintaining a constant
altitude.
Although eights along a road may be performed with
the wind blowing parallel to the road or directly across
the road, for simplification purposes, only the latter situation is explained since the principles involved in
either case are common.
A reference line or road which is perpendicular to the
wind should be selected and the airplane flown parallel
to and directly above the road. Since the wind is blowing across the flightpath, the airplane will require some
wind correction angle to stay directly above the road
during the initial straight and level portion. Before
starting the maneuver, the area should be checked to
ensure clearance of obstructions and avoidance of
other aircraft.
Usually, the first turn should be made toward a downwind heading starting with a medium bank. Since the
airplane will be turning more and more directly downwind, the groundspeed will be gradually increasing and
the rate of departing the road will tend to become
faster. Thus, the bank and rate of turn is increased to
establish a wind correction angle to keep the airplane
from exceeding the desired distance from the road
when 180° of change in direction is completed. The
steepest bank is attained when the airplane is headed
directly downwind.
As the airplane completes 180° of change in direction,
it will be flying parallel to and using a wind correction
angle toward the road with the wind acting directly
perpendicular to the ground track. At this point, the
pilot should visualize the remaining 180° of ground
track required to return to the same place over the road
from which the maneuver started.
While the turn is continued toward an upwind heading,
the wind will tend to keep the airplane from reaching
6-10
the road, with a decrease in groundspeed and rate of
closure. The rate of turn and wind correction angle are
decreased proportionately so that the road will be
reached just as the 360° turn is completed. To accomplish this, the bank is decreased so that when headed
directly upwind, it will be at the shallowest angle. In
the last 90° of the turn, the bank may be varied to correct any previous errors in judging the returning rate
and closure rate. The rollout should be timed so that
the airplane will be straight and level over the starting
point, with enough drift correction to hold it over the
road.
After momentarily flying straight and level along the
road, the airplane is then rolled into a medium bank
turn in the opposite direction to begin the circle on the
upwind side of the road. The wind will still be decreasing the groundspeed and trying to drift the airplane
back toward the road; therefore, the bank must be
decreased slowly during the first 90° change in direction in order to reach the desired distance from the
road and attain the proper wind correction angle when
180° change in direction has been completed.
As the remaining 180° of turn continues, the wind
becomes more of a tailwind and increases the airplane’s groundspeed. This causes the rate of closure
to become faster; consequently, the angle of bank
and rate of turn must be increased further to attain
sufficient wind correction angle to keep the airplane
from approaching the road too rapidly. The bank will
be at its steepest angle when the airplane is headed
directly downwind.
In the last 90° of the turn, the rate of turn should be
reduced to bring the airplane over the starting point on
the road. The rollout must be timed so the airplane will
be straight and level, turned into the wind, and flying
parallel to and over the road.
The measure of a student’s progress in the performance
of eights along a road is the smoothness and accuracy of
the change in bank used to counteract drift. The sooner
the drift is detected and correction applied, the smaller
will be the required changes. The more quickly the
student can anticipate the corrections needed, the
less obvious the changes will be and the more attention
can be diverted to the maintenance of altitude and operation of the airplane.
Errors in coordination must be eliminated and a constant altitude maintained. Flying technique must not
be allowed to suffer from the fact that the student’s
attention is diverted. This technique should improve as
the student becomes able to divide attention between
the operation of the airplane controls and following a
designated flightpath.
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EIGHTS ACROSS A ROAD
This maneuver is a variation of eights along a road and
involves the same principles and techniques. The primary difference is that at the completion of each loop
of the figure eight, the airplane should cross an intersection of roads or a specific point on a straight road.
[Figure 6-8]
The loops should be across the road and the wind
should be perpendicular to the road. Each time the road
is crossed, the crossing angle should be the same and
the wings of the airplane should be level. The eights
also may be performed by rolling from one bank
immediately to the other, directly over the road.
EIGHTS AROUND PYLONS
This training maneuver is an application of the same
principles and techniques of correcting for wind drift
as used in turns around a point and the same objectives
as other ground track maneuvers. In this case, two
points or pylons on the ground are used as references,
and turns around each pylon are made in opposite
directions to follow a ground track in the form of a
figure 8. [Figure 6-9]
Steeper
Bank
Steeper
Bank
Shallowest
Bank
Shallowest
Bank
Steepest
Bank
Shallower
Bank
Steepest
Bank
Shallower
Bank
Figure 6-8. Eights across a road.
Steeper
Bank
Steeper
Bank
Steepest
Bank
Shallowest
Bank
Shallowest
Bank
Steepest
Bank
Shallower
Bank
Shallower
Bank
Figure 6-9. Eights around pylons.
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The pattern involves flying downwind between the
pylons and upwind outside of the pylons. It may
include a short period of straight-and-level flight while
proceeding diagonally from one pylon to the other.
The pylons selected should be on a line 90° to the
direction of the wind and should be in an area away
from communities, livestock, or groups of people, to
avoid possible annoyance or hazards to others. The
area selected should be clear of hazardous obstructions
and other air traffic. Throughout the maneuver a constant altitude of at least 500 feet above the ground
should be maintained.
The eight should be started with the airplane on a
downwind heading when passing between the pylons.
The distance between the pylons and the wind velocity
will determine the initial angle of bank required to
maintain a constant radius from the pylons during each
turn. The steepest banks will be necessary just after
each turn entry and just before the rollout from each
turn where the airplane is headed downwind and the
groundspeed is greatest; the shallowest banks will be
when the airplane is headed directly upwind and the
groundspeed is least.
The rate of bank change will depend on the wind
velocity, the same as it does in S-turns and turns
around a point, and the bank will be changing continuously during the turns. The adjustment of the bank
angle should be gradual from the steepest bank to the
shallowest bank as the airplane progressively heads
into the wind, followed by a gradual increase until the
steepest bank is again reached just prior to rollout. If
the airplane is to proceed diagonally from one turn to
the other, the rollout from each turn must be completed
on the proper heading with sufficient wind correction
angle to ensure that after brief straight-and-level flight,
the airplane will arrive at the point where a turn of the
same radius can be made around the other pylon. The
straight-and-level flight segments must be tangent to
both circular patterns.
Common errors in the performance of elementary
eights are:
•
Failure to adequately clear the area.
•
Poor choice of ground reference points.
•
Improper maneuver entry considering wind
direction and ground reference points.
•
Incorrect initial bank.
•
Poor coordination during turns.
•
Gaining or losing altitude.
•
Loss of orientation.
•
Abrupt rather than smooth changes in bank angle
to counteract wind drift in turns.
6-12
•
Failure to anticipate needed drift correction.
•
Failure to apply needed drift correction in a
timely manner.
•
Failure to roll out of turns on proper heading.
•
Inability to divide attention between reference
points on the ground, airplane control, and scanning for other aircraft.
EIGHTS-ON-PYLONS (PYLON EIGHTS)
The pylon eight is the most advanced and most difficult of the low altitude flight training maneuvers.
Because of the various techniques involved, the pylon
eight is unsurpassed for teaching, developing, and testing subconscious control of the airplane.
As the pylon eight is essentially an advanced
maneuver in which the pilot’s attention is directed
at maintaining a pivotal position on a selected pylon,
with a minimum of attention within the cockpit, it
should not be introduced until the instructor is assured
that the student has a complete grasp of the fundamentals.
Thus, the prerequisites are the ability to make a coordinated turn without gain or loss of altitude, excellent feel of
the airplane, stall recognition, relaxation with low altitude
maneuvering, and an absence of the error of over
concentration.
Like eights around pylons, this training maneuver also
involves flying the airplane in circular paths, alternately left and right, in the form of a figure 8 around
two selected points or pylons on the ground. Unlike
eights around pylons, however, no attempt is made to
maintain a uniform distance from the pylon. In eightson-pylons, the distance from the pylons varies if there
is any wind. Instead, the airplane is flown at such a
precise altitude and airspeed that a line parallel to the
airplane’s lateral axis, and extending from the pilot’s
eye, appears to pivot on each of the pylons. [Figure 610] Also, unlike eights around pylons, in the performance of eights-on-pylons the degree of bank increases
as the distance from the pylon decreases.
The altitude that is appropriate for the airplane being
flown is called the pivotal altitude and is governed by
the groundspeed. While not truly a ground track
maneuver as were the preceding maneuvers, the objective is similar—to develop the ability to maneuver the
airplane accurately while dividing one’s attention
between the flightpath and the selected points on the
ground.
In explaining the performance of eights-on-pylons, the
term “wingtip” is frequently considered as being synonymous with the proper reference line, or pivot
point on the airplane. This interpretation is not
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Entry
Closest to
the Pylon
Lowest
Groundspeed
Lowest Pivotal
Altitude
High Groundspeed
High Pivotal Altitude
Figure 6-10. Eights-on-pylons.
always correct. High-wing, low-wing, sweptwing, and
tapered wing airplanes, as well as those with tandem or
side-by-side seating, will all present different angles from
the pilot’s eye to the wingtip. [Figure 6-11] Therefore, in
the correct performance of eights-on-pylons, as in other
maneuvers requiring a lateral reference, the pilot should
use a sighting reference line that, from eye level, parallels
the lateral axis of the airplane.
Lateral Axis
Line of Sight
Line of Sight
Lateral Axis
Figure 6-11. Line of sight.
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The sighting point or line, while not necessarily on the
wingtip itself, may be positioned in relation to the
wingtip (ahead, behind, above, or below), but even
then it will differ for each pilot, and from each seat in
the airplane. This is especially true in tandem (fore and
aft) seat airplanes. In side-by-side type airplanes, there
will be very little variation in the sighting lines for different persons if those persons are seated so that the
eyes of each are at approximately the same level.
An explanation of the pivotal altitude is also essential.
There is a specific altitude at which, when the airplane
turns at a given groundspeed, a projection of the sighting reference line to the selected point on the ground
will appear to pivot on that point. Since different airplanes fly at different airspeeds, the groundspeed will
be different. Therefore, each airplane will have its own
pivotal altitude. [Figure 6-12] The pivotal altitude does
not vary with the angle of bank being used unless the
bank is steep enough to affect the groundspeed. A rule
of thumb for estimating pivotal altitude in calm wind is
to square the true airspeed and divide by 15 for miles
per hour (m.p.h.) or 11.3 for knots.
KNOTS
MPH
APPROXIMATE
PIVOTAL
ALTITUDE
87
100
670
91
105
735
96
110
810
100
115
885
104
120
960
109
125
1050
113
130
1130
AIRSPEED
Figure 6-12. Speed vs. pivotal altitude.
Distance from the pylon affects the angle of bank.
At any altitude above that pivotal altitude, the projected reference line will appear to move rearward
in a circular path in relation to the pylon.
Conversely, when the airplane is below the pivotal
altitude, the projected reference line will appear to
move forward in a circular path. [Figure 6-13]
To demonstrate this, the airplane is flown at normal
cruising speed, and at an altitude estimated to be below
the proper pivotal altitude, and then placed in a
medium-banked turn. It will be seen that the projected
reference line of sight appears to move forward along
the ground (pylon moves back) as the airplane turns.
A climb is then made to an altitude well above the pivotal altitude, and when the airplane is again at normal
6-14
cruising speed, it is placed in a medium-banked turn.
At this higher altitude, the projected reference line of
sight now appears to move backward across the
ground (pylon moves forward) in a direction opposite
that of flight.
After the high altitude extreme has been demonstrated,
the power is reduced, and a descent at cruising speed
begun in a continuing medium bank around the pylon.
The apparent backward travel of the projected reference line with respect to the pylon will slow down as
altitude is lost, stop for an instant, then start to reverse
itself, and would move forward if the descent were
allowed to continue below the pivotal altitude.
The altitude at which the line of sight apparently
ceased to move across the ground was the pivotal
altitude. If the airplane descended below the pivotal
altitude, power should be added to maintain airspeed
while altitude is regained to the point at which the
projected reference line moves neither backward nor
forward but actually pivots on the pylon. In this way
the pilot can determine the pivotal altitude of the airplane.
The pivotal altitude is critical and will change with
variations in groundspeed. Since the headings
throughout the turns continually vary from directly
downwind to directly upwind, the groundspeed will
constantly change. This will result in the proper pivotal altitude varying slightly throughout the eight.
Therefore, adjustment is made for this by climbing or
descending, as necessary, to hold the reference line or
point on the pylons. This change in altitude will be
dependent on how much the wind affects the groundspeed.
The instructor should emphasize that the elevators are
the primary control for holding the pylons. Even a very
slight variation in altitude effects a double correction,
since in losing altitude, speed is gained, and even a
slight climb reduces the airspeed. This variation in altitude, although important in holding the pylon, in most
cases will be so slight as to be barely perceptible on a
sensitive altimeter.
Before beginning the maneuver, the pilot should select
two points on the ground along a line which lies 90° to
the direction of the wind. The area in which the
maneuver is to be performed should be checked for
obstructions and any other air traffic, and it should be
located where a disturbance to groups of people, livestock, or communities will not result.
The selection of proper pylons is of importance to
good eights-on-pylons. They should be sufficiently
prominent to be readily seen by the pilot when completing the turn around one pylon and heading for the
next, and should be adequately spaced to provide time
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Too High
Pivotal Altitude
Too Low
Figure 6-13. Effect of different altitudes on pivotal altitude.
for planning the turns and yet not cause unnecessary
straight-and-level flight between the pylons. The
selected pylons should also be at the same elevation,
since differences of over a very few feet will necessitate climbing or descending between each turn.
For uniformity, the eight is usually begun by flying
diagonally crosswind between the pylons to a point
downwind from the first pylon so that the first turn
can be made into the wind. As the airplane
approaches a position where the pylon appears to be
just ahead of the wingtip, the turn should be started
by lowering the upwind wing to place the pilot’s line
of sight reference on the pylon. As the turn is continued, the line of sight reference can be held on the
pylon by gradually increasing the bank. The reference
line should appear to pivot on the pylon. As the airplane heads into the wind, the groundspeed
decreases; consequently, the pivotal altitude is lower
and the airplane must descend to hold the reference
line on the pylon. As the turn progresses on the
upwind side of the pylon, the wind becomes more of
a crosswind. Since a constant distance from the pylon
is not required on this maneuver, no correction to
counteract drifting should be applied during the turns.
If the reference line appears to move ahead of the
pylon, the pilot should increase altitude. If the reference line appears to move behind the pylon, the pilot
should decrease altitude. Varying rudder pressure to
yaw the airplane and force the wing and reference
line forward or backward to the pylon is a dangerous
technique and must not be attempted.
As the airplane turns toward a downwind heading,
the rollout from the turn should be started to allow
the airplane to proceed diagonally to a point on the
downwind side of the second pylon. The rollout
must be completed in the proper wind correction
angle to correct for wind drift, so that the airplane
will arrive at a point downwind from the second
pylon the same distance it was from the first pylon
at the beginning of the maneuver.
Upon reaching that point, a turn is started in the opposite
direction by lowering the upwind wing to again place
the pilot’s line of sight reference on the pylon. The turn
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is then continued just as in the turn around the first
pylon but in the opposite direction.
With prompt correction, and a very fine control
touch, it should be possible to hold the projection of
the reference line directly on the pylon even in a stiff
wind. Corrections for temporary variations, such as
those caused by gusts or inattention, may be made by
shallowing the bank to fly relatively straight to bring
forward a lagging wing, or by steepening the bank
temporarily to turn back a wing which has crept
ahead. With practice, these corrections will become
so slight as to be barely noticeable. These variations
are apparent from the movement of the wingtips long
before they are discernable on the altimeter.
Pylon eights are performed at bank angles ranging
from shallow to steep. [Figure 6-14] The student
should understand that the bank chosen will not alter
the pivotal altitude. As proficiency is gained, the
instructor should increase the complexity of the
maneuver by directing the student to enter at a distance
from the pylon that will result in a specific bank angle
at the steepest point in the pylon turn.
The most common error in attempting to hold a pylon
is incorrect use of the rudder. When the projection of
the reference line moves forward with respect to the
60˚
Pivotal
Altitude
Pylon
Figure 6-14. Bank angle vs. pivotal altitude.
6-16
pylon, many pilots will tend to press the inside rudder
to yaw the wing backward. When the reference line
moves behind the pylon, they will press the outside
rudder to yaw the wing forward. The rudder is to be
used only as a coordination control.
Other common errors in the performance of eights-onpylons (pylon eights) are:
•
Failure to adequately clear the area.
•
Skidding or slipping in turns (whether trying to
hold the pylon with rudder or not).
•
Excessive gain or loss of altitude.
•
Over concentration on the pylon and failure to
observe traffic.
•
Poor choice of pylons.
•
Not entering the pylon turns into the wind.
•
Failure to assume a heading when flying
between pylons that will compensate sufficiently
for drift.
•
Failure to time the bank so that the turn entry is
completed with the pylon in position.
•
Abrupt control usage.
•
Inability to select pivotal altitude.
˚
˚
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AIRPORT TRAFFIC
PATTERNS AND OPERATIONS
Just as roads and streets are needed in order to utilize
automobiles, airports or airstrips are needed to utilize
airplanes. Every flight begins and ends at an airport or
other suitable landing field. For that reason, it is
essential that the pilot learn the traffic rules, traffic
procedures, and traffic pattern layouts that may be in
use at various airports.
When an automobile is driven on congested city streets,
it can be brought to a stop to give way to conflicting traffic; however, an airplane can only be slowed down.
Consequently, specific traffic patterns and traffic control
procedures have been established at designated airports.
The traffic patterns provide specific routes for takeoffs,
departures, arrivals, and landings. The exact nature of
each airport traffic pattern is dependent on the runway in
use, wind conditions, obstructions, and other factors.
Control towers and radar facilities provide a means of
adjusting the flow of arriving and departing aircraft,
and render assistance to pilots in busy terminal areas.
Airport lighting and runway marking systems are used
frequently to alert pilots to abnormal conditions and
hazards, so arrivals and departures can be made safely.
Airports vary in complexity from small grass or sod
strips to major terminals having many paved runways
and taxiways. Regardless of the type of airport, the
pilot must know and abide by the rules and general
operating procedures applicable to the airport being
used. These rules and procedures are based not only on
logic or common sense, but also on courtesy, and their
objective is to keep air traffic moving with maximum
safety and efficiency. The use of any traffic pattern,
service, or procedure does not alter the responsibility
of pilots to see and avoid other aircraft.
STANDARD AIRPORT
TRAFFIC PATTERNS
To assure that air traffic flows into and out of an airport
in an orderly manner, an airport traffic pattern is established appropriate to the local conditions, including the
direction and placement of the pattern, the altitude to
be flown, and the procedures for entering and leaving
the pattern. Unless the airport displays approved visual
markings indicating that turns should be made to the
right, the pilot should make all turns in the pattern to
the left.
When operating at an airport with an operating control
tower, the pilot receives, by radio, a clearance to
approach or depart, as well as pertinent information
about the traffic pattern. If there is not a control tower,
it is the pilot’s responsibility to determine the direction
of the traffic pattern, to comply with the appropriate
traffic rules, and to display common courtesy toward
other pilots operating in the area.
The pilot is not expected to have extensive knowledge
of all traffic patterns at all airports, but if the pilot is
familiar with the basic rectangular pattern, it will be
easy to make proper approaches and departures from
most airports, regardless of whether they have control
towers. At airports with operating control towers, the
tower operator may instruct pilots to enter the traffic
pattern at any point or to make a straight-in approach
without flying the usual rectangular pattern. Many
other deviations are possible if the tower operator and
the pilot work together in an effort to keep traffic
moving smoothly. Jets or heavy airplanes will
frequently be flying wider and/or higher patterns than
lighter airplanes, and in many cases will make a
straight-in approach for landing.
Compliance with the basic rectangular traffic pattern
reduces the possibility of conflicts at airports without
an operating control tower. It is imperative that the pilot
form the habit of exercising constant vigilance in the
vicinity of airports even though the air traffic appears
to be light.
The standard rectangular traffic pattern is illustrated in
figure 7-1 (on next page). The traffic pattern altitude is
usually 1,000 feet above the elevation of the airport surface. The use of a common altitude at a given airport is the
key factor in minimizing the risk of collisions at airports
without operating control towers.
It is recommended that while operating in the traffic
pattern at an airport without an operating control
tower the pilot maintain an airspeed that conforms
with the limits established by Title 14 of the Code of
Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91 for such an airport: no more than 200 knots (230 miles per hour
(m.p.h.)). In any case, the speed should be adjusted,
7-1
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Crosswind
LEFT-HAND
TRAFFIC PATTERN
Departure
Entry
Downwind
Final
Base
Crosswind
Departure
RIGHT-HAND
TRAFFIC PATTERN
Entry
Downwind
Final
Base
Figure 7-1. Traffic patterns.
7-2
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when practicable, so that it is compatible with the
speed of other airplanes in the pattern.
When entering the traffic pattern at an airport without
an operating control tower, inbound pilots are expected
to observe other aircraft already in the pattern and to
conform to the traffic pattern in use. If other aircraft
are not in the pattern, then traffic indicators on the
ground and wind indicators must be checked to determine which runway and traffic pattern direction should
be used. [Figure 7-2] Many airports have L-shaped
traffic pattern indicators displayed with a segmented
circle adjacent to the runway. The short member of the
L shows the direction in which the traffic pattern turns
should be made when using the runway parallel to the
long member. These indicators should be checked
while at a distance well away from any pattern that
might be in use, or while at a safe height well above
generally used pattern altitudes. When the proper traffic pattern direction has been determined, the pilot
should then proceed to a point well clear of the pattern
before descending to the pattern altitude.
When approaching an airport for landing, the traffic pattern should be entered at a 45° angle to the downwind
leg, headed toward a point abeam of the midpoint of the
runway to be used for landing. Arriving airplanes should
be at the proper traffic pattern altitude before entering
the pattern, and should stay clear of the traffic flow until
established on the entry leg. Entries into traffic patterns
while descending create specific collision hazards and
should always be avoided.
The entry leg should be of sufficient length to provide
a clear view of the entire traffic pattern, and to allow
the pilot adequate time for planning the intended path
in the pattern and the landing approach.
The downwind leg is a course flown parallel to the
landing runway, but in a direction opposite to the
intended landing direction. This leg should be
Segmented Circle
approximately 1/2 to 1 mile out from the landing runway, and at the specified traffic pattern altitude.
During this leg, the before landing check should be
completed and the landing gear extended if
retractable. Pattern altitude should be maintained
until abeam the approach end of the landing runway.
At this point, power should be reduced and a descent
begun. The downwind leg continues past a point
abeam the approach end of the runway to a point
approximately 45° from the approach end of the runway, and a medium bank turn is made onto the base
leg.
The base leg is the transitional part of the traffic pattern between the downwind leg and the final approach
leg. Depending on the wind condition, it is established
at a sufficient distance from the approach end of the
landing runway to permit a gradual descent to the
intended touchdown point. The ground track of the airplane while on the base leg should be perpendicular to
the extended centerline of the landing runway,
although the longitudinal axis of the airplane may not
be aligned with the ground track when it is necessary
to turn into the wind to counteract drift. While on the
base leg, the pilot must ensure, before turning onto the
final approach, that there is no danger of colliding with
another aircraft that may be already on the final
approach.
The final approach leg is a descending flightpath starting from the completion of the base-to-final turn and
extending to the point of touchdown. This is probably
the most important leg of the entire pattern, because
here the pilot’s judgment and procedures must be the
sharpest to accurately control the airspeed and descent
angle while approaching the intended touchdown
point.
As stipulated in 14 CFR part 91, aircraft while on
final approach to land or while landing, have the
right-of-way over other aircraft in flight or operating
on the surface. When two or more aircraft are
approaching an airport for the purpose of landing, the
aircraft at the lower altitude has the right-of-way.
Pilots should not take advantage of this rule to cut in
front of another aircraft that is on final approach to
land, or to overtake that aircraft.
The upwind leg is a course flown parallel to the landing runway, but in the same direction to the intended
landing direction. The upwind leg continues past a
point abeam of the departure end of the runway to
where a medium bank 90° turn is made onto the
crosswind leg.
Windsock
Traffic Pattern Indicator
(indicates location of base leg)
Figure 7-2. Traffic pattern indicators.
The upwind leg is also the transitional part of the traffic pattern when on the final approach and a go-around
is initiated and climb attitude is established. When a
7-3
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safe altitude is attained, the pilot should commence a
shallow bank turn to the upwind side of the airport.
This will allow better visibility of the runway for
departing aircraft.
The departure leg of the rectangular pattern is a
straight course aligned with, and leading from, the
takeoff runway. This leg begins at the point the airplane leaves the ground and continues until the 90°
turn onto the crosswind leg is started.
On the departure leg after takeoff, the pilot should continue climbing straight ahead, and, if remaining in the
traffic pattern, commence a turn to the crosswind leg
beyond the departure end of the runway within 300 feet
of pattern altitude. If departing the traffic pattern, continue straight out or exit with a 45° turn (to the left
when in a left-hand traffic pattern; to the right when in
7-4
a right-hand traffic pattern) beyond the departure end
of the runway after reaching pattern altitude.
The crosswind leg is the part of the rectangular pattern
that is horizontally perpendicular to the extended centerline of the takeoff runway and is entered by making
approximately a 90° turn from the upwind leg. On the
crosswind leg, the airplane proceeds to the downwind
leg position.
Since in most cases the takeoff is made into the wind,
the wind will now be approximately perpendicular to
the airplane’s flightpath. As a result, the airplane will
have to be turned or headed slightly into the wind
while on the crosswind leg to maintain a ground track
that is perpendicular to the runway centerline extension.
Additional information on airport operations can be
found in the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM).
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NORMAL APPROACH AND LANDING
A normal approach and landing involves the use of
procedures for what is considered a normal situation;
that is, when engine power is available, the wind is
light or the final approach is made directly into the
wind, the final approach path has no obstacles, and the
landing surface is firm and of ample length to
gradually bring the airplane to a stop. The selected
landing point should be beyond the runway’s approach
threshold but within the first one-third portion of
the runway.
The factors involved and the procedures described for
the normal approach and landing also have applications
to the other-than-normal approaches and landings
which are discussed later in this chapter. This being the
case, the principles of normal operations are explained
first and must be understood before proceeding to the
more complex operations. So that the pilot may better
understand the factors that will influence judgment and
procedures, that last part of the approach pattern and
the actual landing will be divided into five phases: the
base leg, the final approach, the roundout, the
touchdown, and the after-landing roll.
It must be remembered that the manufacturer’s
recommended procedures, including airplane
configuration and airspeeds, and other information
relevant to approaches and landings in a specific make
and model airplane are contained in the FAA-approved
Airplane Flight Manual and/or Pilot’s Operating
Handbook (AFM/POH) for that airplane. If any of the
information in this chapter differs from the airplane
manufacturer’s recommendations as contained in
the AFM/POH, the airplane manufacturer’s
recommendations take precedence.
BASE LEG
The placement of the base leg is one of the more
important judgments made by the pilot in any landing
approach. [Figure 8-1] The pilot must accurately judge
the altitude and distance from which a gradual descent
will result in landing at the desired spot. The distance
will depend on the altitude of the base leg, the effect of
wind, and the amount of wing flaps used. When there is
a strong wind on final approach or the flaps will be
used to produce a steep angle of descent, the base leg
must be positioned closer to the approach end of the
runway than would be required with a light wind or no
Figure 8-1. Base leg and final approach.
8-1
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flaps. Normally, the landing gear should be extended
and the before landing check completed prior
to reaching the base leg.
After turning onto the base leg, the pilot should start
the descent with reduced power and airspeed of
approximately 1.4 V SO . (V SO —the stalling speed
with power off, landing gears and flaps down.) For
example, if VSO is 60 knots, the speed should be 1.4
times 60, or 84 knots. Landing flaps may be partially
lowered, if desired, at this time. Full flaps are not
recommended until the final approach is established.
Drift correction should be established and
maintained to follow a ground track perpendicular
to the extension of the centerline of the runway on
which the landing is to be made. Since the final
approach and landing will normally be made into
the wind, there will be somewhat of a crosswind
during the base leg. This requires that the airplane be
angled sufficiently into the wind to prevent drifting
farther away from the intended landing spot.
The base leg should be continued to the point where a
medium to shallow-banked turn will align the
airplane’s path directly with the centerline of the
landing runway. This descending turn should be
completed at a safe altitude that will be dependent
upon the height of the terrain and any obstructions
along the ground track. The turn to the final approach
should also be sufficiently above the airport elevation
to permit a final approach long enough for the pilot to
accurately estimate the resultant point of touchdown,
while maintaining the proper approach airspeed. This
will require careful planning as to the starting point
and the radius of the turn. Normally, it is recommended
that the angle of bank not exceed a medium bank
because the steeper the angle of bank, the higher the
airspeed at which the airplane stalls. Since the base-tofinal turn is made at a relatively low altitude, it is
important that a stall not occur at this point. If an
extremely steep bank is needed to prevent
overshooting the proper final approach path, it is
advisable to discontinue the approach, go around, and
plan to start the turn earlier on the next approach rather
than risk a hazardous situation.
FINAL APPROACH
After the base-to-final approach turn is completed, the
longitudinal axis of the airplane should be aligned with
the centerline of the runway or landing surface, so that
drift (if any) will be recognized immediately. On a
normal approach, with no wind drift, the longitudinal
axis should be kept aligned with the runway centerline
throughout the approach and landing. (The proper way
to correct for a crosswind will be explained under the
section, Crosswind Approach and Landing. For now,
only an approach and landing where the wind is
straight down the runway will be discussed.)
After aligning the airplane with the runway centerline,
the final flap setting should be completed and the pitch
attitude adjusted as required for the desired rate of
descent. Slight adjustments in pitch and power may
be necessary to maintain the descent attitude and the
desired approach airspeed. In the absence of the
manufacturer’s recommended airspeed, a speed
equal to 1.3 VSO should be used. If VSO is 60 knots,
the speed should be 78 knots. When the pitch
attitude and airspeed have been stabilized, the
airplane should be retrimmed to relieve the
pressures being held on the controls.
The descent angle should be controlled throughout the
approach so that the airplane will land in the center
of the first third of the runway. The descent angle is
affected by all four fundamental forces that act on an
airplane (lift, drag, thrust, and weight). If all the
forces are constant, the descent angle will be constant
in a no-wind condition. The pilot can control these
forces by adjusting the airspeed, attitude, power, and
drag (flaps or forward slip). The wind also plays a
prominent part in the gliding distance over the
ground [Figure 8-2]; naturally, the pilot does not have
control over the wind but may correct for its effect
on the airplane’s descent by appropriate pitch and
power adjustments.
Increased Airspeed Flightpath
Normal Best Glide Speed
Flightpath
Figure 8-2. Effect of headwind on final approach.
8-2
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Considering the factors that affect the descent angle on
the final approach, for all practical purposes at a given
pitch attitude there is only one power setting for one
airspeed, one flap setting, and one wind condition.
A change in any one of these variables will require
an appropriate coordinated change in the other controllable variables. For example, if the pitch attitude
is raised too high without an increase of power, the
airplane will settle very rapidly and touch down
short of the desired spot. For this reason, the pilot
should never try to stretch a glide by applying backelevator pressure alone to reach the desired landing
spot. This will shorten the gliding distance if power is
not added simultaneously. The proper angle of descent
and airspeed should be maintained by coordinating
pitch attitude changes and power changes.
made to correct for being too high in the approach.
This is one reason for performing approaches with partial power; if the approach is too high, merely lower
the nose and reduce the power. When the approach is
too low, add power and raise the nose.
The objective of a good final approach is to descend at
an angle and airspeed that will permit the airplane to
reach the desired touchdown point at an airspeed
which will result in minimum floating just before
touchdown; in essence, a semi-stalled condition. To
accomplish this, it is essential that both the descent
angle and the airspeed be accurately controlled. Since
on a normal approach the power setting is not fixed as
in a power-off approach, the power and pitch attitude
should be adjusted simultaneously as necessary, to
control the airspeed, and the descent angle, or to attain
the desired altitudes along the approach path. By lowering the nose and reducing power to keep approach
airspeed constant, a descent at a higher rate can be
USE OF FLAPS
The lift/drag factors may also be varied by the pilot to
adjust the descent through the use of landing flaps.
[Figures 8-3 and 8-4] Flap extension during landings
provides several advantages by:
•
Producing greater lift and permitting lower
landing speed.
•
Producing greater drag, permitting a steep
descent angle without airspeed increase.
•
Reducing the length of the landing roll.
Flap extension has a definite effect on the airplane’s
pitch behavior. The increased camber from flap deflection produces lift primarily on the rear portion of the
wing. This produces a nosedown pitching moment;
however, the change in tail loads from the downwash
deflected by the flaps over the horizontal tail has a
significant influence on the pitching moment.
Consequently, pitch behavior depends on the design
features of the particular airplane.
Flap deflection of up to 15° primarily produces lift with
minimal drag. The airplane has a tendency to balloon
With: Constant Airspeed
Constant Power
Fu
ll F
lap
s
Half
No F
laps
Flap
s
Figure 8-3. Effect of flaps on the landing point.
No Flaps
Half Flaps
Full Flaps
Ste
ep
With: Constant Airspeed
Constant Power
Flatte
r Des
cent
er
De
sce
nt A
ng
le
Angle
Figure 8-4. Effect of flaps on the approach angle.
8-3
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up with initial flap deflection because of the lift
increase. The nosedown pitching moment, however,
tends to offset the balloon. Flap deflection beyond 15°
produces a large increase in drag. Also, deflection
beyond 15° produces a significant noseup pitching
moment in high-wing airplanes because the resulting
downwash increases the airflow over the horizontal tail.
The time of flap extension and the degree of deflection
are related. Large flap deflections at one single point in
the landing pattern produce large lift changes that
require significant pitch and power changes in order to
maintain airspeed and descent angle. Consequently, the
deflection of flaps at certain positions in the landing
pattern has definite advantages. Incremental deflection
of flaps on downwind, base leg, and final approach
allow smaller adjustment of pitch and power compared
to extension of full flaps all at one time.
When the flaps are lowered, the airspeed will decrease
unless the power is increased or the pitch attitude
lowered. On final approach, therefore, the pilot must
estimate where the airplane will land through
discerning judgment of the descent angle. If it appears
that the airplane is going to overshoot the desired
landing spot, more flaps may be used if not fully
extended or the power reduced further, and the pitch
attitude lowered. This will result in a steeper approach.
If the desired landing spot is being undershot and a
shallower approach is needed, both power and pitch
attitude should be increased to readjust the descent
angle. Never retract the flaps to correct for undershooting since that will suddenly decrease the lift and cause
the airplane to sink even more rapidly.
The airplane must be retrimmed on the final approach
to compensate for the change in aerodynamic forces.
With the reduced power and with a slower airspeed,
the airflow produces less lift on the wings and less
downward force on the horizontal stabilizer, resulting
in a significant nosedown tendency. The elevator must
then be trimmed more noseup.
deliberate awareness of distance from either side of
the runway within the pilot’s peripheral field of vision.
Accurate estimation of distance is, besides being a
matter of practice, dependent upon how clearly objects
are seen; it requires that the vision be focused properly
in order that the important objects stand out as clearly
as possible.
Speed blurs objects at close range. For example,
most everyone has noted this in an automobile
moving at high speed. Nearby objects seem to merge
together in a blur, while objects farther away stand
out clearly. The driver subconsciously focuses the
eyes sufficiently far ahead of the automobile to see
objects distinctly.
The distance at which the pilot’s vision is focused
should be proportionate to the speed at which the
airplane is traveling over the ground. Thus, as speed is
reduced during the roundout, the distance ahead of the
airplane at which it is possible to focus should be
brought closer accordingly.
If the pilot attempts to focus on a reference that is too
close or looks directly down, the reference will
become blurred, [Figure 8-5] and the reaction will be
either too abrupt or too late. In this case, the pilot’s
tendency will be to overcontrol, round out high, and
make full-stall, drop-in landings. When the pilot
focuses too far ahead, accuracy in judging the
closeness of the ground is lost and the consequent
reaction will be too slow since there will not appear to
be a necessity for action. This will result in the
airplane flying into the ground nose first. The change
of visual focus from a long distance to a short distance
requires a definite time interval and even though the
time is brief, the airplane’s speed during this interval is
such that the airplane travels an appreciable distance,
both forward and downward toward the ground.
It will be found that the roundout, touchdown, and
landing roll are much easier to accomplish when they
are preceded by a proper final approach with precise
control of airspeed, attitude, power, and drag resulting
in a stabilized descent angle.
ESTIMATING HEIGHT AND MOVEMENT
During the approach, roundout, and touchdown, vision
is of prime importance. To provide a wide scope of
vision and to foster good judgment of height and
movement, the pilot’s head should assume a natural,
straight-ahead position. The pilot’s visual focus should
not be fixed on any one side or any one spot ahead of
the airplane, but should be changing slowly from a
point just over the airplane’s nose to the desired
touchdown zone and back again, while maintaining a
8-4
Figure 8-5. Focusing too close blurs vision.
If the focus is changed gradually, being brought progressively closer as speed is reduced, the time interval
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78 Knots
Increase
Angle of
Attack
70 Knots
Increase
Angle of
Attack
Increase
Angle of
Attack
65 Knots
60 Knots
Figure 8-6. Changing angle of attack during roundout.
and the pilot’s reaction will be reduced, and the whole
landing process smoothed out.
ROUNDOUT (FLARE)
The roundout is a slow, smooth transition from a normal approach attitude to a landing attitude, gradually
rounding out the flightpath to one that is parallel with,
and within a very few inches above, the runway. When
the airplane, in a normal descent, approaches within
what appears to be 10 to 20 feet above the ground, the
roundout or flare should be started, and once started
should be a continuous process until the airplane
touches down on the ground.
As the airplane reaches a height above the ground
where a timely change can be made into the proper
landing attitude, back-elevator pressure should be
gradually applied to slowly increase the pitch attitude
and angle of attack. [Figure 8-6] This will cause the
airplane’s nose to gradually rise toward the desired
landing attitude. The angle of attack should be
increased at a rate that will allow the airplane to continue settling slowly as forward speed decreases.
When the angle of attack is increased, the lift is momentarily increased, which decreases the rate of descent.
Since power normally is reduced to idle during the
roundout, the airspeed will also gradually decrease.
This will cause lift to decrease again, and it must be
controlled by raising the nose and further increasing the
angle of attack. During the roundout, the airspeed is
being decreased to touchdown speed while the lift is
being controlled so the airplane will settle gently onto
the landing surface. The roundout should be executed
at a rate that the proper landing attitude and the proper
touchdown airspeed are attained simultaneously just as
the wheels contact the landing surface.
The rate at which the roundout is executed depends on
the airplane’s height above the ground, the rate of
descent, and the pitch attitude. A roundout started
excessively high must be executed more slowly than
one from a lower height to allow the airplane to
descend to the ground while the proper landing attitude
is being established. The rate of rounding out must also
be proportionate to the rate of closure with the ground.
When the airplane appears to be descending very
slowly, the increase in pitch attitude must be made at a
correspondingly slow rate.
Visual cues are important in flaring at the proper altitude and maintaining the wheels a few inches above
the runway until eventual touchdown. Flare cues are
primarily dependent on the angle at which the pilot’s
central vision intersects the ground (or runway) ahead
and slightly to the side. Proper depth perception is a
factor in a successful flare, but the visual cues used
most are those related to changes in runway or terrain
perspective and to changes in the size of familiar
objects near the landing area such as fences, bushes,
trees, hangars, and even sod or runway texture. The
pilot should direct central vision at a shallow downward angle of from 10° to 15° toward the runway as
the roundout/flare is initiated. [Figure 8-7]
Maintaining the same viewing angle causes the point
10° to 15°
Figure 8-7. To obtain necessary visual cues, the pilot should look toward the runway at a shallow angle.
8-5
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of visual interception with the runway to move
progressively rearward toward the pilot as the airplane
loses altitude. This is an important visual cue in
assessing the rate of altitude loss. Conversely, forward
movement of the visual interception point will indicate
an increase in altitude, and would mean that the pitch
angle was increased too rapidly, resulting in an over
flare. Location of the visual interception point in
conjunction with assessment of flow velocity of nearby
off-runway terrain, as well as the similarity of
appearance of height above the runway ahead of the
airplane (in comparison to the way it looked when the
airplane was taxied prior to takeoff) is also used to
judge when the wheels are just a few inches above
the runway.
The pitch attitude of the airplane in a full-flap approach
is considerably lower than in a no-flap approach. To
attain the proper landing attitude before touching
down, the nose must travel through a greater pitch
change when flaps are fully extended. Since the roundout is usually started at approximately the same height
above the ground regardless of the degree of flaps
used, the pitch attitude must be increased at a faster
rate when full flaps are used; however, the roundout
should still be executed at a rate proportionate to the
airplane’s downward motion.
Once the actual process of rounding out is started, the
elevator control should not be pushed forward. If too
much back-elevator pressure has been exerted, this
pressure should be either slightly relaxed or held
constant, depending on the degree of the error. In some
cases, it may be necessary to advance the throttle
slightly to prevent an excessive rate of sink, or a stall, all
of which would result in a hard, drop-in type landing.
It is recommended that the student pilot form the habit
of keeping one hand on the throttle throughout the
approach and landing, should a sudden and unexpected
hazardous situation require an immediate application
of power.
TOUCHDOWN
The touchdown is the gentle settling of the airplane
onto the landing surface. The roundout and touchdown
should be made with the engine idling, and the airplane
at minimum controllable airspeed, so that the airplane
will touch down on the main gear at approximately
stalling speed. As the airplane settles, the proper
landing attitude is attained by application of whatever
back-elevator pressure is necessary.
Some pilots may try to force or fly the airplane onto
the ground without establishing the proper landing
attitude. The airplane should never be flown on
the runway with excessive speed. It is paradoxical that
the way to make an ideal landing is to try to hold the
airplane’s wheels a few inches off the ground as
long as possible with the elevators. In most cases,
when the wheels are within 2 or 3 feet off the
ground, the airplane will still be settling too fast for
a gentle touchdown; therefore, this descent must be
retarded by further back-elevator pressure. Since
the airplane is already close to its stalling speed and
is settling, this added back-elevator pressure will
only slow up the settling instead of stopping it. At
the same time, it will result in the airplane touching
the ground in the proper landing attitude, and the
main wheels touching down first so that little or no
weight is on the nosewheel. [Figure 8-8]
After the main wheels make initial contact with the
ground, back-elevator pressure should be held to
maintain a positive angle of attack for aerodynamic
braking, and to hold the nosewheel off the ground until
the airplane decelerates. As the airplane’s momentum
decreases, back-elevator pressure may be gradually
relaxed to allow the nosewheel to gently settle onto the
runway. This will permit steering with the nosewheel.
At the same time, it will cause a low angle of attack
and negative lift on the wings to prevent floating or
skipping, and will allow the full weight of the airplane
to rest on the wheels for better braking action.
Near-Zero Rate of Descent
15 Feet
2 to 3 Feet
Figure 8-8. A well executed roundout results in attaining the proper landing attitude.
8-6
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It is extremely important that the touchdown occur
with the airplane’s longitudinal axis exactly parallel to
the direction in which the airplane is moving along the
runway. Failure to accomplish this imposes severe side
loads on the landing gear. To avoid these side stresses,
the pilot should not allow the airplane to touch down
while turned into the wind or drifting.
AFTER-LANDING ROLL
The landing process must never be considered complete until the airplane decelerates to the normal taxi
speed during the landing roll or has been brought to a
complete stop when clear of the landing area. Many
accidents have occurred as a result of pilots abandoning their vigilance and positive control after getting the
airplane on the ground.
The pilot must be alert for directional control difficulties immediately upon and after touchdown due to the
ground friction on the wheels. The friction creates a pivot
point on which a moment arm can act. Loss of directional
control may lead to an aggravated, uncontrolled, tight
turn on the ground, or a ground loop. The combination
of centrifugal force acting on the center of gravity (CG)
and ground friction of the main wheels resisting it during
the ground loop may cause the airplane to tip or lean
enough for the outside wingtip to contact the ground.
This may even impose a sideward force, which could
collapse the landing gear.
The rudder serves the same purpose on the ground as it
does in the air—it controls the yawing of the airplane.
The effectiveness of the rudder is dependent on the airflow, which depends on the speed of the airplane. As
the speed decreases and the nosewheel has been lowered to the ground, the steerable nose provides more
positive directional control.
The brakes of an airplane serve the same primary
purpose as the brakes of an automobile—to reduce
speed on the ground. In airplanes, they may also be
used as an aid in directional control when more positive control is required than could be obtained with
rudder or nosewheel steering alone.
To use brakes, on an airplane equipped with toe brakes,
the pilot should slide the toes or feet up from the rudder pedals to the brake pedals. If rudder pressure is
being held at the time braking action is needed, that
pressure should not be released as the feet or toes are
being slid up to the brake pedals, because control may
be lost before brakes can be applied.
Putting maximum weight on the wheels after touchdown is an important factor in obtaining optimum
braking performance. During the early part of rollout,
some lift may continue to be generated by the wing.
After touchdown, the nosewheel should be lowered to
the runway to maintain directional control. During
deceleration, the nose may be pitched down by braking
and the weight transferred to the nosewheel from the
main wheels. This does not aid in braking action, so
back pressure should be applied to the controls without
lifting the nosewheel off the runway. This will enable
the pilot to maintain directional control while keeping
weight on the main wheels.
Careful application of the brakes can be initiated after
the nosewheel is on the ground and directional control
is established. Maximum brake effectiveness is just
short of the point where skidding occurs. If the brakes
are applied so hard that skidding takes place, braking
becomes ineffective. Skidding can be stopped by releasing the brake pressure. Also, braking effectiveness is not
enhanced by alternately applying and reapplying brake
pressure. The brakes should be applied firmly and
smoothly as necessary.
During the ground roll, the airplane’s direction of
movement can be changed by carefully applying pressure on one brake or uneven pressures on each brake in
the desired direction. Caution must be exercised when
applying brakes to avoid overcontrolling.
The ailerons serve the same purpose on the ground as
they do in the air—they change the lift and drag components of the wings. During the after-landing roll,
they should be used to keep the wings level in much
the same way they were used in flight. If a wing starts
to rise, aileron control should be applied toward that
wing to lower it. The amount required will depend on
speed because as the forward speed of the airplane
decreases, the ailerons will become less effective.
Procedures for using ailerons in crosswind conditions
are explained further in this chapter, in the Crosswind
Approach and Landing section.
After the airplane is on the ground, back-elevator pressure may be gradually relaxed to place normal weight on
the nosewheel to aid in better steering. If available
runway permits, the speed of the airplane should be
allowed to dissipate in a normal manner. Once the
airplane has slowed sufficiently and has turned on to
the taxiway and stopped, the pilot should retract the
flaps and clean up the airplane. Many accidents have
occurred as a result of the pilot unintentionally operating
the landing gear control and retracting the gear instead
of the flap control when the airplane was still
rolling. The habit of positively identifying both of these
controls, before actuating them, should be formed from
the very beginning of flight training and continued in all
future flying activities.
STABILIZED APPROACH CONCEPT
A stabilized approach is one in which the pilot establishes and maintains a constant angle glidepath
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towards a predetermined point on the landing runway.
It is based on the pilot’s judgment of certain visual
clues, and depends on the maintenance of a constant
final descent airspeed and configuration.
An airplane descending on final approach at a constant
rate and airspeed will be traveling in a straight line
toward a spot on the ground ahead. This spot will not
be the spot on which the airplane will touch down,
because some float will inevitably occur during the
roundout (flare). [Figure 8-9] Neither will it be the spot
toward which the airplane’s nose is pointed, because
the airplane is flying at a fairly high angle of attack,
and the component of lift exerted parallel to the Earth’s
surface by the wings tends to carry the airplane forward horizontally.
horizon appears to increase (aiming point moving
down away from the horizon), then the true aiming
point, and subsequent touchdown point, is farther
down the runway. If the distance between the perceived aiming point and the horizon decreases (aiming
point moving up toward the horizon), the true aiming
point is closer than perceived.
When the airplane is established on final approach, the
shape of the runway image also presents clues as to
what must be done to maintain a stabilized approach
to a safe landing.
A runway, obviously, is normally shaped in the form
of an elongated rectangle. When viewed from the
air during the approach, the phenomenon known as
Aiming Point (Descent Angle Intersects Ground)
Touchdown
Distance Traveled in Flare
Figure 8-9. Stabilized approach.
The point toward which the airplane is progressing is
termed the “aiming point.” [Figure 8-9] It is the point
on the ground at which, if the airplane maintains a
constant glidepath, and was not flared for landing, it
would strike the ground. To a pilot moving straight
ahead toward an object, it appears to be stationary. It
does not “move.” This is how the aiming point can be
distinguished—it does not move. However, objects in
front of and beyond the aiming point do appear to move
as the distance is closed, and they appear to move in
opposite directions. During instruction in landings, one
of the most important skills a student pilot must acquire
is how to use visual cues to accurately determine the
true aiming point from any distance out on final
approach. From this, the pilot will not only be able to
determine if the glidepath will result in an undershoot
or overshoot, but, taking into account float during
roundout, the pilot will be able to predict the touchdown point to within a very few feet.
For a constant angle glidepath, the distance between
the horizon and the aiming point will remain constant.
If a final approach descent has been established but the
distance between the perceived aiming point and the
8-8
perspective causes the runway to assume the shape of
a trapezoid with the far end looking narrower than the
approach end, and the edge lines converging ahead.
If the airplane continues down the glidepath at a
constant angle (stabilized), the image the pilot sees
will still be trapezoidal but of proportionately larger
dimensions. In other words, during a stabilized
approach the runway shape does not change. [Figure
8-10]
If the approach becomes shallower, however, the
runway will appear to shorten and become wider.
Conversely, if the approach is steepened, the runway will appear to become longer and narrower.
[Figure 8-11]
The objective of a stabilized approach is to select an
appropriate touchdown point on the runway, and
adjust the glidepath so that the true aiming point and
the desired touchdown point basically coincide.
Immediately after rolling out on final approach, the
pilot should adjust the pitch attitude and power so that
the airplane is descending directly toward the aiming
point at the appropriate airspeed. The airplane should
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Too High
3°Approach Angle
4000' x 100' Runway
1600' From Threshold
105' Altitude
Proper Descent Angle
Same Runway, Same Approach Angle
800' From Threshold
52' Altitude
Too Low
Figure 8-11. Change in runway shape if approach becomes
narrow or steep.
Same Runway, Same Approach Angle
400' From Threshold
26' Altitude
Figure 8-10. Runway shape during stabilized approach.
be in the landing configuration, and trimmed for
“hands off” flight. With the approach set up in this
manner, the pilot will be free to devote full attention
toward outside references. The pilot should not stare at
any one place, but rather scan from one point to
another, such as from the aiming point to the horizon,
to the trees and bushes along the runway, to an area
well short of the runway, and back to the aiming point.
In this way, the pilot will be more apt to perceive a
deviation from the desired glidepath, and whether or
not the airplane is proceeding directly toward the
aiming point.
If the pilot perceives any indication that the aiming
point on the runway is not where desired, an adjustment
must be made to the glidepath. This in turn will move
the aiming point. For instance, if the pilot perceives that
the aiming point is short of the desired touchdown
point and will result in an undershoot, an increase in
pitch attitude and engine power is warranted. A constant
airspeed must be maintained. The pitch and power
change, therefore, must be made smoothly and
simultaneously. This will result in a shallowing of
the glidepath with the resultant aiming point moving
towards the desired touchdown point. Conversely,
if the pilot perceives that the aiming point is farther
down the runway than the desired touchdown point
and will result in an overshoot, the glidepath should be
steepened by a simultaneous decrease in pitch attitude
and power. Once again, the airspeed must be held constant. It is essential that deviations from the desired
glidepath be detected early, so that only slight and
infrequent adjustments to glidepath are required.
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The closer the airplane gets to the runway, the larger
(and possibly more frequent) the required corrections
become, resulting in an unstabilized approach.
Common errors in the performance of normal
approaches and landings are:
•
Overshooting or undershooting the turn onto
final approach resulting in too steep or too shallow a turn onto final approach.
•
Flat or skidding turns from base leg to final
approach as a result of overshooting/inadequate
wind drift correction.
•
Poor coordination during turn from base to final
approach.
•
Failure to complete the landing checklist in a
timely manner.
•
Unstabilized approach.
•
Failure to adequately compensate for flap extension.
•
Poor trim technique on final approach.
•
Attempting to maintain altitude or reach the runway using elevator alone.
•
Focusing too close to the airplane resulting in a
too high roundout.
•
Focusing too far from the airplane resulting in a
too low roundout.
•
Touching down prior to attaining proper landing
attitude.
•
Failure to hold sufficient back-elevator pressure
after touchdown.
•
Excessive braking after touchdown.
Most airplanes exhibit the characteristic of positive
static directional stability and, therefore, have a natural tendency to compensate for slipping. An intentional
slip, therefore, requires deliberate cross-controlling
ailerons and rudder throughout the maneuver.
A “sideslip” is entered by lowering a wing and applying
just enough opposite rudder to prevent a turn. In a
sideslip, the airplane’s longitudinal axis remains parallel to the original flightpath, but the airplane no
longer flies straight ahead. Instead the horizontal
component of wing lift forces the airplane also to
move somewhat sideways toward the low wing.
[Figure 8-12] The amount of slip, and therefore the
rate of sideward movement, is determined by the bank
angle. The steeper the bank—the greater the degree of
slip. As bank angle is increased, however, additional
opposite rudder is required to prevent turning.
Sideslip
lat
Inadequate wind drift correction on the base leg.
A slip is a combination of forward movement and
sideward (with respect to the longitudinal axis of the
airplane) movement, the lateral axis being inclined
and the sideward movement being toward the low
end of this axis (low wing). An airplane in a slip is in
fact flying sideways. This results in a change in the
direction the relative wind strikes the airplane. Slips
are characterized by a marked increase in drag and
corresponding decrease in airplane climb, cruise, and
glide performance. It is the increase in drag, however, that makes it possible for an airplane in a slip to
descend rapidly without an increase in airspeed.
Re
•
reducing airspeed in situations where wing flaps are
inoperative or not installed.
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INTENTIONAL SLIPS
A slip occurs when the bank angle of an airplane is too
steep for the existing rate of turn. Unintentional slips
are most often the result of uncoordinated
rudder/aileron application. Intentional slips, however,
are used to dissipate altitude without increasing airspeed, and/or to adjust airplane ground track during a
crosswind. Intentional slips are especially useful in
forced landings, and in situations where obstacles must
be cleared during approaches to confined areas. A slip
can also be used as an emergency means of rapidly
8-10
Figure 8-12. Sideslip.
A “forward slip” is one in which the airplane’s
direction of motion continues the same as before the
slip was begun. Assuming the airplane is originally
in straight flight, the wing on the side toward which
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Relative Wind
the slip is to be made should be lowered by use of the
ailerons. Simultaneously, the airplane’s nose must be
yawed in the opposite direction by applying opposite
rudder so that the airplane’s longitudinal axis is at an
angle to its original flightpath. [Figure 8-13] The
degree to which the nose is yawed in the opposite
direction from the bank should be such that the
original ground track is maintained. In a forward slip,
the amount of slip, and therefore the sink rate, is
determined by the bank angle. The steeper the bank—
the steeper the descent.
Direction of Movement
Ch 08.qxd
Forward Slip
Figure 8-13. Forward slip.
In most light airplanes, the steepness of a slip is
limited by the amount of rudder travel available. In
both sideslips and forward slips, the point may be
reached where full rudder is required to maintain
heading even though the ailerons are capable of further
steepening the bank angle. This is the practical slip
limit, because any additional bank would cause the
airplane to turn even though full opposite rudder is
being applied. If there is a need to descend more
rapidly even though the practical slip limit has been
reached, lowering the nose will not only increase the
sink rate but will also increase airspeed. The increase
in airspeed increases rudder effectiveness permitting
a steeper slip. Conversely, when the nose is raised,
rudder effectiveness decreases and the bank angle must
be reduced.
Discontinuing a slip is accomplished by leveling the
wings and simultaneously releasing the rudder
pressure while readjusting the pitch attitude to the
normal glide attitude. If the pressure on the rudder is
released abruptly, the nose will swing too quickly into
line and the airplane will tend to acquire excess speed.
Because of the location of the pitot tube and static
vents, airspeed indicators in some airplanes may have
considerable error when the airplane is in a slip. The
pilot must be aware of this possibility and recognize a
properly performed slip by the attitude of the airplane,
the sound of the airflow, and the feel of the flight
controls. Unlike skids, however, if an airplane in a slip
is made to stall, it displays very little of the yawing
tendency that causes a skidding stall to develop into a
spin. The airplane in a slip may do little more than tend
to roll into a wings level attitude. In fact, in some
airplanes stall characteristics may even be improved.
GO-AROUNDS
(REJECTED LANDINGS)
Whenever landing conditions are not satisfactory, a
go-around is warranted. There are many factors that
can contribute to unsatisfactory landing conditions.
Situations such as air traffic control requirements,
unexpected appearance of hazards on the runway,
overtaking another airplane, wind shear,
wake turbulence, mechanical failure and/or an
unstabilized approach are all examples of reasons to
discontinue a landing approach and make another
approach under more favorable conditions. The
assumption that an aborted landing is invariably the
consequence of a poor approach, which in turn is due
to insufficient experience or skill, is a fallacy. The
go-around is not strictly an emergency procedure. It
is a normal maneuver that may at times be used in an
emergency situation. Like any other normal maneuver,
the go-around must be practiced and perfected. The flight
instructor should emphasize early on, and the student
pilot should be made to understand, that the go-around
maneuver is an alternative to any approach
and/or landing.
Although the need to discontinue a landing may arise
at any point in the landing process, the most critical
go-around will be one started when very close to the
ground. Therefore, the earlier a condition that warrants a
go-around is recognized, the safer the go-around/rejected
landing will be. The go-around maneuver is not
inherently dangerous in itself. It becomes dangerous
only when delayed unduly or executed improperly.
Delay in initiating the go-around normally stems from
two sources: (1) landing expectancy, or set—the
anticipatory belief that conditions are not as
threatening as they are and that the approach will
surely be terminated with a safe landing, and (2)
pride—the mistaken belief that the act of going around
is an admission of failure—failure to execute the
approach properly. The improper execution of the goaround maneuver stems from a lack of familiarity with
the three cardinal principles of the procedure: power,
attitude, and configuration.
POWER
Power is the pilot’s first concern. The instant the
pilot decides to go around, full or maximum allowable takeoff power must be applied smoothly and
without hesitation, and held until flying speed and
controllability are restored. Applying only partial
power in a go-around is never appropriate. The pilot
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must be aware of the degree of inertia that must be
overcome, before an airplane that is settling towards
the ground can regain sufficient airspeed to become
fully controllable and capable of turning safely or
climbing. The application of power should be smooth
as well as positive. Abrupt movements of the throttle
in some airplanes will cause the engine to falter.
Carburetor heat should be turned off for maximum
power.
partially retracted or placed in the takeoff position as
recommended by the manufacturer. Caution must be
used, however, in retracting the flaps. Depending on
the airplane’s altitude and airspeed, it may be wise to
retract the flaps intermittently in small increments to
allow time for the airplane to accelerate progressively
as they are being raised. A sudden and complete retraction of the flaps could cause a loss of lift resulting in
the airplane settling into the ground. [Figure 8-14]
ATTITUDE
Attitude is always critical when close to the ground,
and when power is added, a deliberate effort on the part
of the pilot will be required to keep the nose from
pitching up prematurely. The airplane executing a goaround must be maintained in an attitude that permits a
buildup of airspeed well beyond the stall point before
any effort is made to gain altitude, or to execute a turn.
Raising the nose too early may produce a stall from
which the airplane could not be recovered if the
go-around is performed at a low altitude.
Unless otherwise specified in the AFM/POH, it is generally recommended that the flaps be retracted (at least
partially) before retracting the landing gear—for two
reasons. First, on most airplanes full flaps produce
more drag than the landing gear; and second, in case
the airplane should inadvertently touch down as the
go-around is initiated, it is most desirable to have the
landing gear in the down-and-locked position. After a
positive rate of climb is established, the landing gear
can be retracted.
A concern for quickly regaining altitude during a goaround produces a natural tendency to pull the nose up.
The pilot executing a go-around must accept the fact
that an airplane will not climb until it can fly, and it
will not fly below stall speed. In some circumstances,
it may be desirable to lower the nose briefly to gain
airspeed. As soon as the appropriate climb airspeed and
pitch attitude are attained, the pilot should “rough
trim” the airplane to relieve any adverse control pressures. Later, more precise trim adjustments can be
made when flight conditions have stabilized.
CONFIGURATION
In cleaning up the airplane during the go-around, the
pilot should be concerned first with flaps and secondly
with the landing gear (if retractable). When the decision is made to perform a go-around, takeoff power
should be applied immediately and the pitch attitude
changed so as to slow or stop the descent. After the
descent has been stopped, the landing flaps may be
Timely Decision to
Make Go-Around
Assume Climb Atttude
Apply Max Power
Flaps to
Adjust Pitch Attitude
Intermediate
Allow Airspeed to Increase
Figure 8-14. Go-around procedure.
8-12
When takeoff power is applied, it will usually be necessary to hold considerable pressure on the controls to
maintain straight flight and a safe climb attitude. Since
the airplane has been trimmed for the approach (a low
power and low airspeed condition), application of
maximum allowable power will require considerable
control pressure to maintain a climb pitch attitude. The
addition of power will tend to raise the airplane’s nose
suddenly and veer to the left. Forward elevator pressure
must be anticipated and applied to hold the nose in a
safe climb attitude. Right rudder pressure must be
increased to counteract torque and P-factor, and to keep
the nose straight. The airplane must be held in the proper
flight attitude regardless of the amount of control
pressure that is required. Trim should be used to
relieve adverse control pressures and assist the pilot in
maintaining a proper pitch attitude. On airplanes that
produce high control pressures when using maximum
power on go-arounds, pilots should use caution when
reaching for the flap handle. Airplane control may
become critical during this high workload phase.
Positive Rate
of Climb, Retract
Gear, Climb
at VY
Retract Remaining
Flaps
500'
Cruise Climb
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The landing gear should be retracted only after the initial or rough trim has been accomplished and when it is
certain the airplane will remain airborne. During the
initial part of an extremely low go-around, the airplane
may settle onto the runway and bounce. This situation
is not particularly dangerous if the airplane is kept
straight and a constant, safe pitch attitude is maintained. The airplane will be approaching safe flying
speed rapidly and the advanced power will cushion any
secondary touchdown.
If the pitch attitude is increased excessively in an effort
to keep the airplane from contacting the runway, it may
cause the airplane to stall. This would be especially
likely if no trim correction is made and the flaps
remain fully extended. The pilot should not attempt to
retract the landing gear until after a rough trim is
accomplished and a positive rate of climb is established.
GROUND EFFECT
Ground effect is a factor in every landing and every
takeoff in fixed-wing airplanes. Ground effect can also
be an important factor in go-arounds. If the go-around
is made close to the ground, the airplane may be in the
ground effect area. Pilots are often lulled into a sense
of false security by the apparent “cushion of air” under
the wings that initially assists in the transition from an
approach descent to a climb. This “cushion of air,”
however, is imaginary. The apparent increase in airplane performance is, in fact, due to a reduction in
induced drag in the ground effect area. It is “borrowed”
performance that must be repaid when the airplane
climbs out of the ground effect area. The pilot must
factor in ground effect when initiating a go-around
close to the ground. An attempt to climb prematurely
may result in the airplane not being able to climb, or
even maintain altitude at full power.
Common errors in the performance of go-arounds
(rejected landings) are:
CROSSWIND
APPROACH AND LANDING
Many runways or landing areas are such that landings
must be made while the wind is blowing across rather
than parallel to the landing direction. All pilots should
be prepared to cope with these situations when they
arise. The same basic principles and factors involved
in a normal approach and landing apply to a crosswind
approach and landing; therefore, only the additional
procedures required for correcting for wind drift are
discussed here.
Crosswind landings are a little more difficult to perform than crosswind takeoffs, mainly due to different
problems involved in maintaining accurate control of
the airplane while its speed is decreasing rather than
increasing as on takeoff.
There are two usual methods of accomplishing a crosswind approach and landing—the crab method and the
wing-low (sideslip) method. Although the crab method
may be easier for the pilot to maintain during final
approach, it requires a high degree of judgment and
timing in removing the crab immediately prior to
touchdown. The wing-low method is recommended in
most cases, although a combination of both methods
may be used.
CROSSWIND FINAL APPROACH
The crab method is executed by establishing a heading
(crab) toward the wind with the wings level so that the
airplane’s ground track remains aligned with the centerline of the runway. [Figure 8-15] This crab angle is
maintained until just prior to touchdown, when the
longitudinal axis of the airplane must be aligned with
the runway to avoid sideward contact of the wheels
with the runway. If a long final approach is being
flown, the pilot may use the crab method until just
before the roundout is started and then smoothly
change to the wing-low method for the remainder of
the landing.
•
Failure to recognize a condition that warrants a
rejected landing.
•
Indecision.
•
Delay in initiating a go-round.
•
Failure to apply maximum allowable power in a
timely manner.
•
Abrupt power application.
•
Improper pitch attitude.
•
Failure to configure the airplane appropriately.
•
Attempting to climb out of ground effect prematurely.
Figure 8-15. Crabbed approach.
•
Failure to adequately compensate for torque/Pfactor.
The wing-low (sideslip) method will compensate for a
crosswind from any angle, but more important, it
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enables the pilot to simultaneously keep the airplane’s
ground track and longitudinal axis aligned with the
runway centerline throughout the final approach,
roundout, touchdown, and after-landing roll. This
prevents the airplane from touching down in a sideward motion and imposing damaging side loads on
the landing gear.
To use the wing-low method, the pilot aligns the airplane’s heading with the centerline of the runway,
notes the rate and direction of drift, and then promptly
applies drift correction by lowering the upwind wing.
[Figure 8-16] The amount the wing must be lowered
depends on the rate of drift. When the wing is lowered,
Figure 8-16. Sideslip approach.
Figure 8-17. Crosswind approach and landing.
8-14
the airplane will tend to turn in that direction. It is then
necessary to simultaneously apply sufficient opposite
rudder pressure to prevent the turn and keep the airplane’s longitudinal axis aligned with the runway. In
other words, the drift is controlled with aileron, and
the heading with rudder. The airplane will now be
sideslipping into the wind just enough that both the
resultant flightpath and the ground track are aligned
with the runway. If the crosswind diminishes, this
crosswind correction is reduced accordingly, or the
airplane will begin slipping away from the desired
approach path. [Figure 8-17]
To correct for strong crosswind, the slip into the wind
is increased by lowering the upwind wing a considerable amount. As a consequence, this will result in a
greater tendency of the airplane to turn. Since turning
is not desired, considerable opposite rudder must be
applied to keep the airplane’s longitudinal axis aligned
with the runway. In some airplanes, there may not be
sufficient rudder travel available to compensate for the
strong turning tendency caused by the steep bank. If
the required bank is such that full opposite rudder will
not prevent a turn, the wind is too strong to safely land
the airplane on that particular runway with those wind
conditions. Since the airplane’s capability will be
exceeded, it is imperative that the landing be made on
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a more favorable runway either at that airport or at an
alternate airport.
Flaps can and should be used during most approaches
since they tend to have a stabilizing effect on the airplane. The degree to which flaps should be extended
will vary with the airplane’s handling characteristics,
as well as the wind velocity.
CROSSWIND ROUNDOUT (FLARE)
Generally, the roundout can be made like a normal
landing approach, but the application of a crosswind
correction is continued as necessary to prevent
drifting.
Since the airspeed decreases as the roundout progresses, the flight controls gradually become less
effective. As a result, the crosswind correction being
held will become inadequate. When using the winglow method, it is necessary to gradually increase the
deflection of the rudder and ailerons to maintain the
proper amount of drift correction.
Do not level the wings; keep the upwind wing down
throughout the roundout. If the wings are leveled, the
airplane will begin drifting and the touchdown will
occur while drifting. Remember, the primary objective
is to land the airplane without subjecting it to any side
loads that result from touching down while drifting.
CROSSWIND TOUCHDOWN
If the crab method of drift correction has been used
throughout the final approach and roundout, the crab
must be removed the instant before touchdown by
applying rudder to align the airplane’s longitudinal
axis with its direction of movement. This requires
timely and accurate action. Failure to accomplish this
will result in severe side loads being imposed on the
landing gear.
If the wing-low method is used, the crosswind correction (aileron into the wind and opposite rudder)
should be maintained throughout the roundout, and
the touchdown made on the upwind main wheel.
During gusty or high wind conditions, prompt adjustments must be made in the crosswind correction to
assure that the airplane does not drift as the airplane
touches down.
As the forward momentum decreases after initial
contact, the weight of the airplane will cause the
downwind main wheel to gradually settle onto the
runway.
In those airplanes having nosewheel steering interconnected with the rudder, the nosewheel may not be
aligned with the runway as the wheels touch down
because opposite rudder is being held in the crosswind
correction. To prevent swerving in the direction the
nosewheel is offset, the corrective rudder pressure
must be promptly relaxed just as the nosewheel
touches down.
CROSSWIND AFTER-LANDING ROLL
Particularly during the after-landing roll, special
attention must be given to maintaining directional
control by the use of rudder or nosewheel steering,
while keeping the upwind wing from rising by the use
of aileron.
When an airplane is airborne, it moves with the air
mass in which it is flying regardless of the airplane’s
heading and speed. When an airplane is on the ground,
it is unable to move with the air mass (crosswind)
because of the resistance created by ground friction on
the wheels.
Characteristically, an airplane has a greater profile or
side area, behind the main landing gear than forward
of it does. With the main wheels acting as a pivot point
and the greater surface area exposed to the crosswind
behind that pivot point, the airplane will tend to turn or
weathervane into the wind.
Wind acting on an airplane during crosswind landings
is the result of two factors. One is the natural wind,
which acts in the direction the air mass is traveling, while
the other is induced by the movement of the airplane and
acts parallel to the direction of movement. Consequently,
a crosswind has a headwind component acting along
the airplane’s ground track and a crosswind component
acting 90° to its track. The resultant or relative wind is
somewhere between the two components. As the
airplane’s forward speed decreases during the afterlanding roll, the headwind component decreases and the
relative wind has more of a crosswind component. The
greater the crosswind component, the more difficult it is
to prevent weathervaning.
Retaining control on the ground is a critical part of the
after-landing roll, because of the weathervaning effect
of the wind on the airplane. Additionally, tire side load
from runway contact while drifting frequently generates roll-overs in tricycle geared airplanes. The basic
factors involved are cornering angle and side load.
Cornering angle is the angular difference between the
heading of a tire and its path. Whenever a load bearing
tire’s path and heading diverge, a side load is created.
It is accompanied by tire distortion. Although side load
differs in varying tires and air pressures, it is completely
independent of speed, and through a considerable
range, is directional proportional to the cornering angle
and the weight supported by the tire. As little as 10° of
cornering angle will create a side load equal to half the
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supported weight; after 20° the side load does not
increase with increasing cornering angle. For each
high-wing, tricycle geared airplane, there is a cornering angle at which roll-over is inevitable. The roll-over
axis being the line linking the nose and main wheels.
At lesser angles, the roll-over may be avoided by use
of ailerons, rudder, or steerable nosewheel but not
brakes.
While the airplane is decelerating during the afterlanding roll, more and more aileron is applied to keep
the upwind wing from rising. Since the airplane is
slowing down, there is less airflow around the ailerons
and they become less effective. At the same time, the
relative wind is becoming more of a crosswind and
exerting a greater lifting force on the upwind wing.
When the airplane is coming to a stop, the aileron control must be held fully toward the wind.
Before an airplane is type certificated by the Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA), it must be flight tested
to meet certain requirements. Among these is the
demonstration of being satisfactorily controllable with
no exceptional degree of skill or alertness on the part
of the pilot in 90° crosswinds up to a velocity equal to
0.2 VSO. This means a windspeed of two-tenths of the
airplane’s stalling speed with power off and landing
gear/flaps down. Regulations require that the demonstrated crosswind velocity be included on a placard in
airplanes certificated after May 3, 1962.
The headwind component and the crosswind component
for a given situation can be determined by reference
to a crosswind component chart. [Figure 8-19] It is
imperative that pilots determine the maximum
crosswind component of each airplane they fly, and
avoid operations in wind conditions that exceed the
capability of the airplane.
0°
Headwind Component
60
60
20°
30°
W 40°
IN
D
V 50°
50
40
30
0
40
60°
70°
20
80°
10
50
10
20
30
40
50
Crosswind Component
90°
60
Figure 8-19. Crosswind component chart.
Common errors in the performance of crosswind
approaches and landings are:
30
20
10
0
Direct
Crosswind
20
40
60
80
Wind Angle – Degrees
Figure 8-18. Crosswind chart.
8-16
10°
ITY
OC
EL
MAXIMUM SAFE CROSSWIND VELOCITIES
Takeoffs and landings in certain crosswind conditions
are inadvisable or even dangerous. [Figure 8-18] If the
crosswind is great enough to warrant an extreme drift
correction, a hazardous landing condition may result.
Therefore, the takeoff and landing capabilities with
respect to the reported surface wind conditions and the
available landing directions must be considered.
Wind Velocity – MPH
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•
Attempting to land in crosswinds that exceed the
airplane’s maximum demonstrated crosswind
component.
•
Inadequate compensation for wind drift on the
turn from base leg to final approach, resulting in
undershooting or overshooting.
•
Inadequate compensation for wind drift on final
approach.
•
Unstabilized approach.
•
Failure to compensate for increased drag during
sideslip resulting in excessive sink rate and/or
too low an airspeed.
•
Touchdown while drifting.
100
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•
Excessive airspeed on touchdown.
•
Failure to apply appropriate flight control inputs
during rollout.
•
Failure to maintain direction control on rollout.
•
Excessive braking.
TURBULENT AIR
APPROACH AND LANDING
Power-on approaches at an airspeed slightly above the
normal approach speed should be used for landing in
turbulent air. This provides for more positive control
of the airplane when strong horizontal wind gusts, or
up and down drafts, are experienced. Like other
power-on approaches (when the pilot can vary the
amount of power), a coordinated combination of both
pitch and power adjustments is usually required. As in
most other landing approaches, the proper approach
attitude and airspeed require a minimum roundout and
should result in little or no floating during the landing.
To maintain good control, the approach in turbulent air
with gusty crosswind may require the use of partial
wing flaps. With less than full flaps, the airplane will
be in a higher pitch attitude. Thus, it will require less
of a pitch change to establish the landing attitude, and
the touchdown will be at a higher airspeed to ensure
more positive control. The speed should not be so
excessive that the airplane will float past the desired
landing area.
One procedure is to use the normal approach speed
plus one-half of the wind gust factors. If the normal
speed is 70 knots, and the wind gusts increase 15 knots,
airspeed of 77 knots is appropriate. In any case, the airspeed and the amount of flaps should be as the airplane
manufacturer recommends.
Obstacle Clearance
An adequate amount of power should be used to maintain the proper airspeed and descent path throughout
the approach, and the throttle retarded to idling position
only after the main wheels contact the landing surface.
Care must be exercised in closing the throttle before the
pilot is ready for touchdown. In this situation, the sudden
or premature closing of the throttle may cause a sudden
increase in the descent rate that could result in a hard
landing.
Landings from power approaches in turbulence should
be such that the touchdown is made with the airplane
in approximately level flight attitude. The pitch attitude
at touchdown should be only enough to prevent the
nosewheel from contacting the surface before the main
wheels have touched the surface. After touchdown, the
pilot should avoid the tendency to apply forward pressure on the yoke as this may result in wheelbarrowing
and possible loss of control. The airplane should be
allowed to decelerate normally, assisted by careful use
of wheel brakes. Heavy braking should be avoided until
the wings are devoid of lift and the airplane’s full
weight is resting on the landing gear.
SHORT-FIELD APPROACH
AND LANDING
Short-field approaches and landings require the use of
procedures for approaches and landings at fields with a
relatively short landing area or where an approach is
made over obstacles that limit the available landing area.
[Figures 8-20 and 8-21] As in short-field takeoffs, it is
one of the most critical of the maximum performance
operations. It requires that the pilot fly the airplane at
one of its crucial performance capabilities while close to
the ground in order to safely land within confined areas.
This low-speed type of power-on approach is closely
related to the performance of flight at minimum
controllable airspeeds.
Effective Runway
Length
Figure 8-20. Landing over an obstacle.
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Effective Runway Length
Non-Obstacle Clearance
Figure 8-21. Landing on a short-field.
To land within a short-field or a confined area, the pilot
must have precise, positive control of the rate of
descent and airspeed to produce an approach that will
clear any obstacles, result in little or no floating during
the roundout, and permit the airplane to be stopped in
the shortest possible distance.
The procedures for landing in a short-field or for landing approaches over obstacles, as recommended in the
AFM/POH, should be used. A stabilized approach is
essential. [Figures 8-22 and 8-23] These procedures
generally involve the use of full flaps, and the final
approach started from an altitude of at least 500 feet
higher than the touchdown area. A wider than normal
pattern should be used so that the airplane can be
properly configured and trimmed. In the absence of
the manufacturer’s recommended approach speed, a
speed of not more than 1.3 VSO should be used. For
example, in an airplane that stalls at 60 knots with
power off, and flaps and landing gear extended, the
approach speed should not be higher than 78 knots. In
gusty air, no more than one-half the gust factor should
be added. An excessive amount of airspeed could result
in a touchdown too far from the runway threshold or
an after-landing roll that exceeds the available landing
area.
After the landing gear and full flaps have been
extended, the pilot should simultaneously adjust the
power and the pitch attitude to establish and maintain
the proper descent angle and airspeed. A coordinated
combination of both pitch and power adjustments is
required. When this is done properly, very little change
in the airplane’s pitch attitude and power setting is
necessary to make corrections in the angle of descent
and airspeed.
The short-field approach and landing is in reality an
accuracy approach to a spot landing. The procedures
previously outlined in the section on the stabilized
approach concept should be used. If it appears that
the obstacle clearance is excessive and touchdown
will occur well beyond the desired spot, leaving
insufficient room to stop, power may be reduced
while lowering the pitch attitude to steepen the
descent path and increase the rate of descent. If it
appears that the descent angle will not ensure safe
clearance of obstacles, power should be increased
while simultaneously raising the pitch attitude to
shallow the descent path and decrease the rate of
descent. Care must be taken to avoid an excessively
low airspeed. If the speed is allowed to become too
slow, an increase in pitch and application of full power
Stabilized
Figure 8-22. Stabilized approach.
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Unstabilized
Figure 8-23. Unstabilized approach.
may only result in a further rate of descent. This occurs
when the angle of attack is so great and creating so
much drag that the maximum available power is
insufficient to overcome it. This is generally referred
to as operating in the region of reversed command
or operating on the back side of the power curve.
Because the final approach over obstacles is made at a
relatively steep approach angle and close to the airplane’s stalling speed, the initiation of the roundout or
flare must be judged accurately to avoid flying into the
ground, or stalling prematurely and sinking rapidly. A
lack of floating during the flare, with sufficient control
to touch down properly, is one verification that the
approach speed was correct.
Touchdown should occur at the minimum controllable
airspeed with the airplane in approximately the pitch
attitude that will result in a power-off stall when the
throttle is closed. Care must be exercised to avoid closing the throttle too rapidly before the pilot is ready for
touchdown, as closing the throttle may result in an
immediate increase in the rate of descent and a hard
landing.
Upon touchdown, the airplane should be held in this
positive pitch attitude as long as the elevators remain
effective. This will provide aerodynamic braking to
assist in deceleration.
Immediately upon touchdown, and closing the throttle,
appropriate braking should be applied to minimize the
after-landing roll. The airplane should be stopped
within the shortest possible distance consistent with
safety and controllability. If the proper approach speed
has been maintained, resulting in minimum float
during the roundout, and the touchdown made at
minimum control speed, minimum braking will be
required.
Common errors in the performance of short-field
approaches and landings are:
•
Failure to allow enough room on final to set up
the approach, necessitating an overly steep
approach and high sink rate.
•
Unstabilized approach.
•
Undue delay in initiating glidepath corrections.
•
Too low an airspeed on final resulting in inability
to flare properly and landing hard.
•
Too high an airspeed resulting in floating on
roundout.
•
Prematurely reducing power to idle on roundout
resulting in hard landing.
•
Touchdown with excessive airspeed.
•
Excessive and/or unnecessary braking after
touchdown.
•
Failure to maintain directional control.
SOFT-FIELD APPROACH
AND LANDING
Landing on fields that are rough or have soft surfaces,
such as snow, sand, mud, or tall grass requires unique
procedures. When landing on such surfaces, the
objective is to touch down as smoothly as possible,
and at the slowest possible landing speed. The pilot
must control the airplane in a manner that the wings
support the weight of the airplane as long as practical, to minimize drag and stresses imposed on the
landing gear by the rough or soft surface.
The approach for the soft-field landing is similar to the
normal approach used for operating into long, firm
landing areas. The major difference between the two is
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that, during the soft-field landing, the airplane is held
1 to 2 feet off the surface in ground effect as long as
possible. This permits a more gradual dissipation of
forward speed to allow the wheels to touch down gently at minimum speed. This technique minimizes the
nose-over forces that suddenly affect the airplane at
the moment of touchdown. Power can be used
throughout the level-off and touchdown to ensure
touchdown at the slowest possible airspeed, and the
airplane should be flown onto the ground with the
weight fully supported by the wings. [Figure 8-24]
The use of flaps during soft-field landings will aid in
touching down at minimum speed and is recommended
whenever practical. In low-wing airplanes, the flaps
may suffer damage from mud, stones, or slush thrown
up by the wheels. If flaps are used, it is generally inadvisable to retract them during the after-landing roll
because the need for flap retraction is usually less
important than the need for total concentration on
maintaining full control of the airplane.
The final approach airspeed used for short-field landings is equally appropriate to soft-field landings. The
use of higher approach speeds may result in excessive
float in ground effect, and floating makes a smooth,
controlled touchdown even more difficult. There is,
however, no reason for a steep angle of descent unless
obstacles are present in the approach path.
Touchdown on a soft or rough field should be made at
the lowest possible airspeed with the airplane in a
nose-high pitch attitude. In nosewheel-type airplanes,
after the main wheels touch the surface, the pilot
should hold sufficient back-elevator pressure to keep
the nosewheel off the surface. Using back-elevator
pressure and engine power, the pilot can control the
rate at which the weight of the airplane is transferred
from the wings to the wheels.
Field conditions may warrant that the pilot maintain a
flight condition in which the main wheels are just
Transition
Area
Ground Effect
Figure 8-24. Soft/rough field approach and landing.
8-20
touching the surface but the weight of the airplane is
still being supported by the wings, until a suitable taxi
surface is reached. At any time during this transition
phase, before the weight of the airplane is being supported by the wheels, and before the nosewheel is on
the surface, the pilot should be able to apply full
power and perform a safe takeoff (obstacle clearance
and field length permitting) should the pilot elect to
abandon the landing. Once committed to a landing,
the pilot should gently lower the nosewheel to the
surface. A slight addition of power usually will aid in
easing the nosewheel down.
The use of brakes on a soft field is not needed and
should be avoided as this may tend to impose a heavy
load on the nose gear due to premature or hard contact
with the landing surface, causing the nosewheel to dig
in. The soft or rough surface itself will provide sufficient reduction in the airplane’s forward speed. Often it
will be found that upon landing on a very soft field, the
pilot will need to increase power to keep the airplane
moving and from becoming stuck in the soft surface.
Common errors in the performance of soft-field
approaches and landings are:
•
Excessive descent rate on final approach.
•
Excessive airspeed on final approach.
•
Unstabilized approach.
•
Roundout too high above the runway surface.
•
Poor power management during roundout and
touchdown.
•
Hard touchdown.
•
Inadequate control of the airplane weight transfer from wings to wheels after touchdown.
•
Allowing the nosewheel to “fall” to the runway
after touchdown rather than controlling its
descent.
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POWER-OFF ACCURACY
APPROACHES
Power-off accuracy approaches are approaches and
landings made by gliding with the engine idling,
through a specific pattern to a touchdown beyond and
within 200 feet of a designated line or mark on the runway. The objective is to instill in the pilot the judgment
and procedures necessary for accurately flying the airplane, without power, to a safe landing.
The ability to estimate the distance an airplane will glide
to a landing is the real basis of all power-off accuracy
approaches and landings. This will largely determine the
amount of maneuvering that may be done from a given
altitude. In addition to the ability to estimate distance, it
requires the ability to maintain the proper glide while
maneuvering the airplane.
With experience and practice, altitudes up to approximately 1,000 feet can be estimated with fair accuracy,
while above this level the accuracy in judgment of height
above the ground decreases, since all features tend to
merge. The best aid in perfecting the ability to judge
height above this altitude is through the indications of the
altimeter and associating them with the general
appearance of the Earth.
The judgment of altitude in feet, hundreds of feet, or
thousands of feet is not as important as the ability to
estimate gliding angle and its resultant distance. The
pilot who knows the normal glide angle of the airplane
can estimate with reasonable accuracy, the approximate
spot along a given ground path at which the airplane
will land, regardless of altitude. The pilot, who also has
the ability to accurately estimate altitude, can judge
how much maneuvering is possible during the glide,
which is important to the choice of landing areas in an
actual emergency.
The objective of a good final approach is to descend at
an angle that will permit the airplane to reach the
desired landing area, and at an airspeed that will result
in minimum floating just before touchdown. To
accomplish this, it is essential that both the descent
angle and the airspeed be accurately controlled.
Unlike a normal approach when the power setting is
variable, on a power-off approach the power is fixed at
the idle setting. Pitch attitude is adjusted to control the
airspeed. This will also change the glide or descent
angle. By lowering the nose to keep the approach airspeed
constant, the descent angle will steepen. If the airspeed is
too high, raise the nose, and when the airspeed is too low,
lower the nose. If the pitch attitude is raised too high, the
airplane will settle rapidly due to a slow airspeed and
insufficient lift. For this reason, never try to stretch a glide
to reach the desired landing spot.
Uniform approach patterns such as the 90°, 180°, or
360° power-off approaches are described further in this
chapter. Practice in these approaches provides the pilot
with a basis on which to develop judgment in gliding
distance and in planning an approach.
The basic procedure in these approaches involves closing the throttle at a given altitude, and gliding to a key
position. This position, like the pattern itself, must not
be allowed to become the primary objective; it is
merely a convenient point in the air from which the
pilot can judge whether the glide will safely terminate
at the desired spot. The selected key position should be
one that is appropriate for the available altitude and the
wind condition. From the key position, the pilot must
constantly evaluate the situation.
It must be emphasized that, although accurate spot
touchdowns are important, safe and properly executed
approaches and landings are vital. The pilot must never
sacrifice a good approach or landing just to land on the
desired spot.
90° POWER-OFF APPROACH
The 90° power-off approach is made from a base leg and
requires only a 90° turn onto the final approach. The
approach path may be varied by positioning the base leg
closer to or farther out from the approach end of the runway according to wind conditions. [Figure 8-25]
The glide from the key position on the base leg through
the 90° turn to the final approach is the final part of all
accuracy landing maneuvers.
The 90° power-off approach usually begins from a
rectangular pattern at approximately 1,000 feet above
the ground or at normal traffic pattern altitude. The
airplane should be flown onto a downwind leg at the
same distance from the landing surface as in a normal
traffic pattern. The before landing checklist should be
completed on the downwind leg, including extension
of the landing gear if the airplane is equipped with
retractable gear.
After a medium-banked turn onto the base leg is completed, the throttle should be retarded slightly and the
airspeed allowed to decrease to the normal base-leg
speed. [Figure 8-26] On the base leg, the airspeed,
wind drift correction, and altitude should be maintained
while proceeding to the 45° key position. At this
position, the intended landing spot will appear to be
on a 45° angle from the airplane’s nose.
The pilot can determine the strength and direction of
the wind from the amount of crab necessary to hold the
desired ground track on the base leg. This will help in
planning the turn onto the final approach and in lowering the correct amount of flaps.
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Light Wind
Medium Wind
Strong Wind
Figure 8-25. Plan the base leg for wind conditions.
At the 45° key position, the throttle should be closed
completely, the propeller control (if equipped)
advanced to the full increase r.p.m. position, and altitude maintained until the airspeed decreases to the
manufacturer’s recommended glide speed. In the
absence of a recommended speed, use 1.4 VSO. When
this airspeed is attained, the nose should be lowered to
maintain the gliding speed and the controls retrimmed.
The base-to-final turn should be planned and accomplished so that upon rolling out of the turn the airplane
will be aligned with the runway centerline. When on
final approach, the wing flaps are lowered and the
pitch attitude adjusted, as necessary, to establish the
proper descent angle and airspeed (1.3 VSO), then the
controls retrimmed. Slight adjustments in pitch attitude
or flaps setting may be necessary to control the glide
Power Reduced
Base Leg Speed
Close Throttle
Established 1.4 VS0
Base Key
Position
45°
Lower Partial Flaps
Maintain 1.4 VS0
Lower Full Flaps
(As Needed)
Establish 1.3 VS0
Figure 8-26. 90° power-off approach.
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angle and airspeed. However, NEVER TRY TO
STRETCH THE GLIDE OR RETRACT THE FLAPS
to reach the desired landing spot. The final approach
may be made with or without the use of slips.
but it should usually not exceed 1,000 feet above the
ground, except with large airplanes. Greater accuracy
in judgment and maneuvering is required at higher
altitudes.
After the final approach glide has been established, full
attention is then given to making a good, safe landing
rather than concentrating on the selected landing spot.
The base-leg position and the flap setting already
determined the probability of landing on the spot. In
any event, it is better to execute a good landing 200
feet from the spot than to make a poor landing precisely on the spot.
When abreast of or opposite the desired landing spot,
the throttle should be closed and altitude maintained
while decelerating to the manufacturer’s recommended
glide speed, or 1.4 VSO. The point at which the throttle
is closed is the downwind key position.
The turn from the downwind leg to the base leg should
be a uniform turn with a medium or slightly steeper
bank. The degree of bank and amount of this initial
turn will depend upon the glide angle of the airplane
and the velocity of the wind. Again, the base leg should
be positioned as needed for the altitude, or wind condition. Position the base leg to conserve or dissipate
altitude so as to reach the desired landing spot.
180° POWER-OFF APPROACH
The 180° power-off approach is executed by gliding
with the power off from a given point on a downwind
leg to a preselected landing spot. [Figure 8-27] It is an
extension of the principles involved in the 90° poweroff approach just described. Its objective is to further
develop judgment in estimating distances and glide
ratios, in that the airplane is flown without power from
a higher altitude and through a 90° turn to reach the
base-leg position at a proper altitude for executing the
90° approach.
The turn onto the base leg should be made at an altitude high enough and close enough to permit the
airplane to glide to what would normally be the
base key position in a 90° power-off approach.
Although the key position is important, it must not be
overemphasized nor considered as a fixed point on
the ground. Many inexperienced pilots may gain a
conception of it as a particular landmark, such as a
tree, crossroad, or other visual reference, to be
reached at a certain altitude. This will result in a
mechanical conception and leave the pilot at a total
The 180° power-off approach requires more planning
and judgment than the 90° power-off approach. In the
execution of 180° power-off approaches, the airplane
is flown on a downwind heading parallel to the landing
runway. The altitude from which this type of approach
should be started will vary with the type of airplane,
Close Throttle
Normal Glide Speed
Medium or
Steeper Bank
90°
Downwind Leg
Key Position
Lower Partial Flaps
Maintain 1.4 Vs0
Lower Full Flaps
(as Needed)
Establish 1.3 Vs0
Key Position
Figure 8-27. 180° power-off approach.
8-23
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loss any time such objects are not present. Both altitude and geographical location should be varied as
much as is practical to eliminate any such conception.
After reaching the base key position, the approach and
landing are the same as in the 90° power-off approach.
beyond the downwind key position, the landing gear
may be extended if the airplane is equipped with
retractable gear. The altitude at the downwind key
position should be approximately 1,000 to 1,200 feet
above the ground.
360° POWER-OFF APPROACH
The 360° power-off approach is one in which the airplane glides through a 360° change of direction to
the preselected landing spot. The entire pattern is
designed to be circular, but the turn may be shallowed,
steepened, or discontinued at any point to adjust the
accuracy of the flightpath.
After reaching that point, the turn should be continued
to arrive at a base-leg key position, at an altitude of
about 800 feet above the terrain. Flaps may be used at
this position, as necessary, but full flaps should not be
used until established on the final approach.
The 360° approach is started from a position over the
approach end of the landing runway or slightly to the
side of it, with the airplane headed in the proposed
landing direction and the landing gear and flaps
retracted. [Figure 8-28]
It is usually initiated from approximately 2,000 feet or
more above the ground—where the wind may vary significantly from that at lower altitudes. This must be
taken into account when maneuvering the airplane to a
point from which a 90° or 180° power-off approach
can be completed.
After the throttle is closed over the intended point of
landing, the proper glide speed should immediately be
established, and a medium-banked turn made in the
desired direction so as to arrive at the downwind key
position opposite the intended landing spot. At or just
The angle of bank can be varied as needed throughout
the pattern to correct for wind conditions and to align
the airplane with the final approach. The turn-to-final
should be completed at a minimum altitude of 300 feet
above the terrain.
Common errors in the performance of power-off accuracy approaches are:
•
Downwind leg too far from the runway/landing
area.
•
Overextension of downwind leg resulting from
tailwind.
•
Inadequate compensation for wind drift on base
leg.
•
Skidding turns in an effort to increase gliding
distance.
Normal Glide Speed
Normal Glide
Speed
Close Throttle,
Retract Flaps
Key Position
Lower Partial Flaps
Maintain 1.4 Vs0
Key Position
Figure 8-28. 360° power-off approach.
8-24
Lower Flaps
as Needed
Establish 1.3 Vs0
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•
Failure to lower landing gear in retractable gear
airplanes.
•
Attempting to “stretch” the glide during undershoot.
•
Premature flap extension/landing gear extension.
•
Use of throttle to increase the glide instead of
merely clearing the engine.
•
Forcing the airplane onto the runway in order to
avoid overshooting the designated landing spot.
EMERGENCY APPROACHES AND
LANDINGS (SIMULATED)
From time to time on dual flights, the instructor should
give simulated emergency landings by retarding the
throttle and calling “simulated emergency landing.”
The objective of these simulated emergency landings
is to develop the pilot’s accuracy, judgment, planning,
procedures, and confidence when little or no power is
available.
A simulated emergency landing may be given with the
airplane in any configuration. When the instructor calls
“simulated emergency landing,” the pilot should
immediately establish a glide attitude and ensure that
the flaps and landing gear are in the proper configuration for the existing situation. When the proper glide
speed is attained, the nose should then be lowered and
the airplane trimmed to maintain that speed.
A constant gliding speed should be maintained because
variations of gliding speed nullify all attempts at accuracy in judgment of gliding distance and the landing
spot. The many variables, such as altitude, obstruction,
wind direction, landing direction, landing surface and
gradient, and landing distance requirements of the
airplane will determine the pattern and approach procedures to use.
Utilizing any combination of normal gliding maneuvers,
from wings level to spirals, the pilot should eventually
arrive at the normal key position at a normal traffic pattern altitude for the selected landing area. From this
point on, the approach will be as nearly as possible a
normal power-off approach. [Figure 8-29]
With the greater choice of fields afforded by higher
altitudes, the inexperienced pilot may be inclined to
delay making a decision, and with considerable altitude in which to maneuver, errors in maneuvering and
estimation of glide distance may develop.
All pilots should learn to determine the wind direction
and estimate its speed from the windsock at the airport,
smoke from factories or houses, dust, brush fires, and
windmills.
Once a field has been selected, the student pilot should
always be required to indicate it to the instructor.
Normally, the student should be required to plan and
fly a pattern for landing on the field first elected until
the instructor terminates the simulated emergency
Spiral Over
Landing Field
Retract Flaps
Base Key Point
Lower Flaps
Figure 8-29. Remain over intended landing area.
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landing. This will give the instructor an opportunity to
explain and correct any errors; it will also give the student an opportunity to see the results of the errors.
However, if the student realizes during the approach
that a poor field has been selected—one that would
obviously result in disaster if a landing were to be
made—and there is a more advantageous field within
gliding distance, a change to the better field should be
permitted. The hazards involved in these last-minute
decisions, such as excessive maneuvering at very low
altitudes, should be thoroughly explained by the
instructor.
Slipping the airplane, using flaps, varying the position
of the base leg, and varying the turn onto final
approach should be stressed as ways of correcting for
misjudgment of altitude and glide angle.
Eagerness to get down is one of the most common
faults of inexperienced pilots during simulated emergency landings. In giving way to this, they forget about
speed and arrive at the edge of the field with too much
speed to permit a safe landing. Too much speed may be
just as dangerous as too little; it results in excessive
floating and overshooting the desired landing spot. It
should be impressed on the students that they cannot
dive at a field and expect to land on it.
Figure 8-30. Sample emergency checklist.
8-26
During all simulated emergency landings, the engine
should be kept warm and cleared. During a simulated
emergency landing, either the instructor or the student
should have complete control of the throttle. There
should be no doubt as to who has control since many
near accidents have occurred from such misunderstandings.
Every simulated emergency landing approach should
be terminated as soon as it can be determined whether
a safe landing could have been made. In no case
should it be continued to a point where it creates an
undue hazard or an annoyance to persons or property
on the ground.
In addition to flying the airplane from the point of
simulated engine failure to where a reasonable safe
landing could be made, the student should also be
taught certain emergency cockpit procedures. The
habit of performing these cockpit procedures should
be developed to such an extent that, when an engine
failure actually occurs, the student will check the critical items that would be necessary to get the engine
operating again while selecting a field and planning
an approach. Combining the two operations—
accomplishing emergency procedures and planning
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and flying the approach—will be difficult for the student during the early training in emergency landings.
exhaustion, and the emergency operation of airplane
systems and equipment.
There are definite steps and procedures to be followed
in a simulated emergency landing. Although they may
differ somewhat from the procedures used in an actual
emergency, they should be learned thoroughly by the
student, and each step called out to the instructor. The
use of a checklist is strongly recommended. Most
airplane manufacturers provide a checklist of the
appropriate items. [Figure 8-30]
FAULTY APPROACHES
AND LANDINGS
LOW FINAL APPROACH
When the base leg is too low, insufficient power is used,
landing flaps are extended prematurely, or the velocity of
the wind is misjudged, sufficient altitude may be lost,
which will cause the airplane to be well below the proper
final approach path. In such a situation, the pilot would
have to apply considerable power to fly the airplane (at
an excessively low altitude) up to the runway threshold.
When it is realized the runway will not be reached
unless appropriate action is taken, power must be
applied immediately to maintain the airspeed while the
pitch attitude is raised to increase lift and stop the
descent. When the proper approach path has been
intercepted, the correct approach attitude should be
reestablished and the power reduced and a stabilized
approach maintained. [Figure 8-31] DO NOT increase
the pitch attitude without increasing the power, since
the airplane will decelerate rapidly and may approach
the critical angle of attack and stall. DO NOT retract
the flaps; this will suddenly decrease lift and cause the
airplane to sink more rapidly. If there is any doubt
about the approach being safely completed, it is advisable to EXECUTE AN IMMEDIATE GO-AROUND.
Critical items to be checked should include the position of the fuel tank selector, the quantity of fuel in the
tank selected, the fuel pressure gauge to see if the electric fuel pump is needed, the position of the mixture
control, the position of the magneto switch, and the use
of carburetor heat. Many actual emergency landings
have been made and later found to be the result of the
fuel selector valve being positioned to an empty tank
while the other tank had plenty of fuel. It may be wise
to change the position of the fuel selector valve even
though the fuel gauge indicates fuel in all tanks
because fuel gauges can be inaccurate. Many actual
emergency landings could have been prevented if
the pilots had developed the habit of checking these
critical items during flight training to the extent that
it carried over into later flying.
Instruction in emergency procedures should not be limited to simulated emergency landings caused by power
failures. Other emergencies associated with the operation
of the airplane should be explained, demonstrated, and
practiced if practicable. Among these emergencies are
such occurrences as fire in flight, electrical or hydraulic
system malfunctions, unexpected severe weather
conditions, engine overheating, imminent fuel
Intercept Normal Glidepath
Resume Normal Approach
HIGH FINAL APPROACH
When the final approach is too high, lower the flaps as
required. Further reduction in power may be necessary,
while lowering the nose simultaneously to maintain
approach airspeed and steepen the approach path.
[Figure 8-32] When the proper approach path has been
intercepted, adjust the power as required to maintain a
ath
hP
oac
ppr
al A
Add Power
Nose Up
Hold Altitude
rm
No
Wrong (Dragging it in with
High Power / High Pitch Altitude)
Figure 8-31. Right and wrong methods of correction for low final approach.
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No Flaps
Full Flaps
Ste
Increased Rate of Descent
ep
er
De
sce
nt A
ng
le
Figure 8-32. Change in glidepath and increase in descent rate for high final approach.
stabilized approach. When steepening the approach
path, however, care must be taken that the descent does
not result in an excessively high sink rate. If a high sink
rate is continued close to the surface, it may be difficult
to slow to a proper rate prior to ground contact. Any
sink rate in excess of 800 - 1,000 feet per minute is considered excessive. A go-around should be initiated if
the sink rate becomes excessive.
SLOW FINAL APPROACH
When the airplane is flown at a slower-than-normal
airspeed on the final approach, the pilot’s judgment of
the rate of sink (descent) and the height of roundout
will be difficult. During an excessively slow approach,
the wing is operating near the critical angle of attack
and, depending on the pitch attitude changes and control usage, the airplane may stall or sink rapidly, contacting the ground with a hard impact.
Whenever a slow-speed approach is noted, the pilot
should apply power to accelerate the airplane and
increase the lift to reduce the sink rate and to prevent
a stall. This should be done while still at a high
enough altitude to reestablish the correct approach
airspeed and attitude. If too slow and too low, it is
best to EXECUTE A GO-AROUND.
USE OF POWER
Power can be used effectively during the approach and
roundout to compensate for errors in judgment. Power
can be added to accelerate the airplane to increase lift
without increasing the angle of attack; thus, the descent
can be slowed to an acceptable rate. If the proper
landing attitude has been attained and the airplane is
only slightly high, the landing attitude should be
held constant and sufficient power applied to help
ease the airplane onto the ground. After the airplane
has touched down, it will be necessary to close the
8-28
throttle so the additional thrust and lift will be
removed and the airplane will stay on the ground.
HIGH ROUNDOUT
Sometimes when the airplane appears to temporarily
stop moving downward, the roundout has been made
too rapidly and the airplane is flying level, too high
above the runway. Continuing the roundout would
further reduce the airspeed, resulting in an increase
in angle of attack to the critical angle. This would
result in the airplane stalling and dropping hard onto
the runway. To prevent this, the pitch attitude should
be held constant until the airplane decelerates enough
to again start descending. Then the roundout can be
continued to establish the proper landing attitude.
This procedure should only be used when there is
adequate airspeed. It may be necessary to add a slight
amount of power to keep the airspeed from decreasing
excessively and to avoid losing lift too rapidly.
Although back-elevator pressure may be relaxed
slightly, the nose should not be lowered any perceptible amount to make the airplane descend when fairly
close to the runway unless some power is added
momentarily. The momentary decrease in lift that
would result from lowering the nose and decreasing
the angle of attack may be so great that the airplane
might contact the ground with the nosewheel first,
which could collapse.
When the proper landing attitude is attained, the airplane is approaching a stall because the airspeed is
decreasing and the critical angle of attack is being
approached, even though the pitch attitude is no longer
being increased. [Figure 8-33]
It is recommended that a GO-AROUND be executed
any time it appears the nose must be lowered significantly or that the landing is in any other way uncertain.
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Figure 8-33. Rounding out too high.
LATE OR RAPID ROUNDOUT
Starting the roundout too late or pulling the elevator
control back too rapidly to prevent the airplane from
touching down prematurely can impose a heavy load
factor on the wing and cause an accelerated stall.
Suddenly increasing the angle of attack and stalling the
airplane during a roundout is a dangerous situation
since it may cause the airplane to land extremely hard
on the main landing gear, and then bounce back into
the air. As the airplane contacts the ground, the tail will
be forced down very rapidly by the back-elevator pressure and by inertia acting downward on the tail.
Recovery from this situation requires prompt and
positive application of power prior to occurrence of
the stall. This may be followed by a normal landing if
sufficient runway is available—otherwise the pilot
should EXECUTE A GO-AROUND immediately.
If the roundout is late, the nosewheel may strike the
runway first, causing the nose to bounce upward. No
attempt should be made to force the airplane back onto
the ground; a GO-AROUND should be executed
immediately.
FLOATING DURING ROUNDOUT
If the airspeed on final approach is excessive, it will
usually result in the airplane floating. [Figure 8-34]
Before touchdown can be made, the airplane may be
well past the desired landing point and the available
runway may be insufficient. When diving an airplane
on final approach to land at the proper point, there will
be an appreciable increase in airspeed. The proper
touchdown attitude cannot be established without producing an excessive angle of attack and lift. This will
cause the airplane to gain altitude or balloon.
Any time the airplane floats, judgment of speed,
height, and rate of sink must be especially acute. The
pilot must smoothly and gradually adjust the pitch attitude as the airplane decelerates to touchdown speed
and starts to settle, so the proper landing attitude is
attained at the moment of touchdown. The slightest
Figure 8-34. Floating during roundout.
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error in judgment and timing will result in either ballooning or bouncing.
The recovery from floating will depend on the amount
of floating and the effect of any crosswind, as well as
the amount of runway remaining. Since prolonged
floating utilizes considerable runway length, it should
be avoided especially on short runways or in strong
crosswinds. If a landing cannot be made on the first
third of the runway, or the airplane drifts sideways, the
pilot should EXECUTE A GO-AROUND.
BALLOONING DURING ROUNDOUT
If the pilot misjudges the rate of sink during a landing
and thinks the airplane is descending faster than it
should, there is a tendency to increase the pitch attitude and angle of attack too rapidly. This not only
stops the descent, but actually starts the airplane
climbing. This climbing during the roundout is
known as ballooning. [Figure 8-35] Ballooning can
be dangerous because the height above the ground is
increasing and the airplane may be rapidly
approaching a stalled condition. The altitude gained
in each instance will depend on the airspeed or the
speed with which the pitch attitude is increased.
When ballooning is slight, a constant landing attitude
should be held and the airplane allowed to gradually
decelerate and settle onto the runway. Depending on
the severity of ballooning, the use of throttle may be
helpful in cushioning the landing. By adding power,
thrust can be increased to keep the airspeed from
decelerating too rapidly and the wings from suddenly
losing lift, but throttle must be closed immediately
after touchdown. Remember that torque will be created as power is applied; therefore, it will be necessary
to use rudder pressure to keep the airplane straight as it
settles onto the runway.
Figure 8-35. Ballooning during roundout.
8-30
When ballooning is excessive, it is best to EXECUTE
A GO-AROUND IMMEDIATELY; DO NOT
ATTEMPT TO SALVAGE THE LANDING. Power
must be applied before the airplane enters a stalled
condition.
The pilot must be extremely cautious of ballooning
when there is a crosswind present because the crosswind correction may be inadvertently released or it
may become inadequate. Because of the lower airspeed
after ballooning, the crosswind affects the airplane
more. Consequently, the wing will have to be lowered
even further to compensate for the increased drift. It
is imperative that the pilot makes certain that the
appropriate wing is down and that directional control
is maintained with opposite rudder. If there is any
doubt, or the airplane starts to drift, EXECUTE A
GO-AROUND.
BOUNCING DURING TOUCHDOWN
When the airplane contacts the ground with a sharp
impact as the result of an improper attitude or an
excessive rate of sink, it tends to bounce back into the
air. Though the airplane’s tires and shock struts
provide some springing action, the airplane does not
bounce like a rubber ball. Instead, it rebounds into
the air because the wing’s angle of attack was
abruptly increased, producing a sudden addition of
lift. [Figure 8-36]
The abrupt change in angle of attack is the result of
inertia instantly forcing the airplane’s tail downward
when the main wheels contact the ground sharply. The
severity of the bounce depends on the airspeed at the
moment of contact and the degree to which the angle
of attack or pitch attitude was increased.
Since a bounce occurs when the airplane makes contact with the ground before the proper touchdown
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Decreasing Angle
of Attack
Normal Angle
of Attack
Small Angle
of Attack
Rapid Increase in
Angle of Attack
Figure 8-36. Bouncing during touchdown.
attitude is attained, it is almost invariably accompanied by the application of excessive back-elevator
pressure. This is usually the result of the pilot realizing
too late that the airplane is not in the proper attitude
and attempting to establish it just as the second touchdown occurs.
The corrective action for a bounce is the same as for
ballooning and similarly depends on its severity. When
it is very slight and there is no extreme change in the
airplane’s pitch attitude, a follow-up landing may be
executed by applying sufficient power to cushion the
subsequent touchdown, and smoothly adjusting the
pitch to the proper touchdown attitude.
In the event a very slight bounce is encountered while
landing with a crosswind, crosswind correction must
be maintained while the next touchdown is made.
Remember that since the subsequent touchdown will
be made at a slower airspeed, the upwind wing will
have to be lowered even further to compensate for
drift.
Extreme caution and alertness must be exercised any
time a bounce occurs, but particularly when there is a
crosswind. Inexperienced pilots will almost invariably
release the crosswind correction. When one main
wheel of the airplane strikes the runway, the other
wheel will touch down immediately afterwards, and
the wings will become level. Then, with no crosswind
correction as the airplane bounces, the wind will cause
the airplane to roll with the wind, thus exposing even
more surface to the crosswind and drifting the airplane
more rapidly.
When a bounce is severe, the safest procedure is to
EXECUTE A GO-AROUND IMMEDIATELY. No
attempt to salvage the landing should be made. Full
power should be applied while simultaneously maintaining directional control, and lowering the nose to a
safe climb attitude. The go-around procedure should
be continued even though the airplane may descend
and another bounce may be encountered. It would be
extremely foolish to attempt a landing from a bad
bounce since airspeed diminishes very rapidly in the
nose-high attitude, and a stall may occur before a
subsequent touchdown could be made.
PORPOISING
In a bounced landing that is improperly recovered,
the airplane comes in nose first setting off a series of
motions that imitate the jumps and dives of a porpoise—
hence the name. [Figure 8-37] The problem is improper
airplane attitude at touchdown, sometimes caused by
inattention, not knowing where the ground is, mistrimming or forcing the airplane onto the runway.
Ground effect decreases elevator control effectiveness
and increases the effort required to raise the nose. Not
enough elevator or stabilator trim can result in a noselow contact with the runway and a porpoise develops.
Porpoising can also be caused by improper airspeed
control. Usually, if an approach is too fast, the airplane
floats and the pilot tries to force it on the runway when
the airplane still wants to fly. A gust of wind, a bump in
the runway, or even a slight tug on the control wheel
will send the airplane aloft again.
The corrective action for a porpoise is the same as for
a bounce and similarly depends on its severity. When
it is very slight and there is no extreme change in the
airplane’s pitch attitude, a follow-up landing may be
executed by applying sufficient power to cushion the
subsequent touchdown, and smoothly adjusting the
pitch to the proper touchdown attitude.
8-31
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Decreasing Angle
of Attack
Decreasing Angle
of Attack
Rapid Increase in
Angle of Attack
Normal Angle
of Attack
Rapid Increase in
Angle of Attack
Normal Angle
of Attack
Figure 8-37. Porpoising.
When a porpoise is severe, the safest procedure is to
EXECUTE A GO-AROUND IMMEDIATELY. In a
severe porpoise, the airplane’s pitch oscillations can
become progressively worse, until the airplane strikes
the runway nose first with sufficient force to collapse
the nose gear. Pilot attempts to correct a severe porpoise with flight control and power inputs will most
likely be untimely and out of sequence with the oscillations, and only make the situation worse. No attempt
to salvage the landing should be made. Full power
should be applied while simultaneously maintaining
directional control, and lowering the nose to a safe
climb attitude.
cushion the impact of touchdown, the force of contact
with the ground may be so great it could cause
structural damage to the airplane.
WHEELBARROWING
When a pilot permits the airplane weight to become
concentrated about the nosewheel during the takeoff or
landing roll, a condition known as wheelbarrowing will
occur. Wheelbarrowing may cause loss of directional
control during the landing roll because braking action is
ineffective, and the airplane tends to swerve or pivot on
the nosewheel, particularly in crosswind conditions.
One of the most common causes of wheelbarrowing
during the landing roll is a simultaneous touchdown
of the main and nosewheel, with excessive speed,
followed by application of forward pressure on the
elevator control. Usually, the situation can be corrected by smoothly applying back-elevator pressure.
However, if wheelbarrowing is encountered and
runway and other conditions permit, it may be advisable
to promptly initiate a go-around. Wheelbarrowing will
not occur if the pilot achieves and maintains the correct
landing attitude, touches down at the proper speed, and
gently lowers the nosewheel while losing speed on
rollout. If the pilot decides to stay on the ground rather
than attempt a go-around or if directional control is
lost, the throttle should be closed and the pitch attitude smoothly but firmly rotated to the proper landing
attitude. Raise the flaps to reduce lift and to increase
the load on the main wheels for better braking action.
During this time, the landing gear together with some
aid from the lift of the wings must supply whatever
force is needed to counteract the force of the airplane’s
inertia and weight. The lift decreases rapidly as the
airplane’s forward speed is decreased, and the force
on the landing gear increases by the impact of
touchdown. When the descent stops, the lift will be
practically zero, leaving the landing gear alone to
carry both the airplane’s weight and inertia force.
The load imposed at the instant of touchdown may
easily be three or four times the actual weight of the
airplane depending on the severity of contact.
HARD LANDING
When the airplane contacts the ground during landings,
its vertical speed is instantly reduced to zero. Unless
provisions are made to slow this vertical speed and
There are three factors that will cause the longitudinal
axis and the direction of motion to be misaligned
during touchdown: drifting, crabbing, or a combination of both.
8-32
The purpose of pneumatic tires, shock absorbing landing
gears, and other devices is to cushion the impact and to
increase the time in which the airplane’s vertical descent
is stopped. The importance of this cushion may be
understood from the computation that a 6-inch free fall
on landing is roughly equal, to a 340-foot-per-minute
descent. Within a fraction of a second, the airplane must
be slowed from this rate of vertical descent to zero,
without damage.
TOUCHDOWN IN A DRIFT OR CRAB
At times the pilot may correct for wind drift by crabbing
on the final approach. If the roundout and touchdown are
made while the airplane is drifting or in a crab, it will
contact the ground while moving sideways. This will
impose extreme side loads on the landing gear, and if
severe enough, may cause structural failure.
The most effective method to prevent drift in primary
training airplanes is the wing-low method. This technique keeps the longitudinal axis of the airplane
aligned with both the runway and the direction of
motion throughout the approach and touchdown.
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If the pilot has not taken adequate corrective action to
avoid drift during a crosswind landing, the main
wheels’ tire tread offers resistance to the airplane’s
sideward movement in respect to the ground.
Consequently, any sidewise velocity of the airplane is
abruptly decelerated, with the result that the inertia
force is as shown in figure 8-38. This creates a moment
around the main wheel when it contacts the ground,
tending to overturn or tip the airplane. If the windward
wingtip is raised by the action of this moment, all the
weight and shock of landing will be borne by one main
wheel. This could cause structural damage.
Center of
Gravity
Airplane Tips
and Swerves
CG Continues Moving in
Same Direction of Drift
Touchdown
Wind Force
Inertia Force
Force Resisting
Side Motion
Weight
Figure 8-38. Drifting during touchdown.
Not only are the same factors present that are attempting to raise a wing, but the crosswind is also acting on
the fuselage surface behind the main wheels, tending
to yaw (weathervane) the airplane into the wind. This
often results in a ground loop.
GROUND LOOP
A ground loop is an uncontrolled turn during ground
operation that may occur while taxiing or taking off,
but especially during the after-landing roll. Drift or
weathervaning does not always cause a ground loop,
although these things may cause the initial swerve.
Careless use of the rudder, an uneven ground surface,
or a soft spot that retards one main wheel of the airplane may also cause a swerve. In any case, the initial
swerve tends to make the airplane ground loop,
whether it is a tailwheel-type or nosewheel-type.
[Figure 8-39]
Nosewheel-type airplanes are somewhat less prone to
ground loop than tailwheel-type airplanes. Since the
center of gravity (CG) is located forward of the main
landing gear on these airplanes, any time a swerve
develops, centrifugal force acting on the CG will tend
to stop the swerving action.
If the airplane touches down while drifting or in a crab,
the pilot should apply aileron toward the high wing and
stop the swerve with the rudder. Brakes should be used
to correct for turns or swerves only when the rudder is
inadequate. The pilot must exercise caution when
applying corrective brake action because it is very easy
to overcontrol and aggravate the situation.
Roundout
Roundout
Figure 8-39. Start of a ground loop.
If brakes are used, sufficient brake should be applied
on the low-wing wheel (outside of the turn) to stop the
swerve. When the wings are approximately level, the
new direction must be maintained until the airplane has
slowed to taxi speed or has stopped.
In nosewheel airplanes, a ground loop is almost always
a result of wheelbarrowing. The pilot must be aware that
even though the nosewheel-type airplane is less prone
than the tailwheel-type airplane, virtually every type of
airplane, including large multiengine airplanes, can be
made to ground loop when sufficiently mishandled.
WING RISING AFTER TOUCHDOWN
When landing in a crosswind, there may be instances
when a wing will rise during the after-landing roll. This
may occur whether or not there is a loss of directional
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control, depending on the amount of crosswind and the
degree of corrective action.
Any time an airplane is rolling on the ground in a
crosswind condition, the upwind wing is receiving a
greater force from the wind than the downwind wing.
This causes a lift differential. Also, as the upwind wing
rises, there is an increase in the angle of attack, which
increases lift on the upwind wing, rolling the airplane
downwind.
When the effects of these two factors are great enough,
the upwind wing may rise even though directional
control is maintained. If no correction is applied, it is
possible that the upwind wing will rise sufficiently to
cause the downwind wing to strike the ground.
In the event a wing starts to rise during the landing roll,
the pilot should immediately apply more aileron pressure toward the high wing and continue to maintain
direction. The sooner the aileron control is applied,
the more effective it will be. The further a wing is
allowed to rise before taking corrective action, the
more airplane surface is exposed to the force of the
crosswind. This diminishes the effectiveness of the
aileron.
HYDROPLANING
Hydroplaning is a condition that can exist when an
airplane is landed on a runway surface contaminated
with standing water, slush, and/or wet snow.
Hydroplaning can have serious adverse effects on
ground controllability and braking efficiency. The
three basic types of hydroplaning are dynamic
hydroplaning, reverted rubber hydroplaning, and viscous hydroplaning. Any one of the three can render
an airplane partially or totally uncontrollable anytime
during the landing roll.
DYNAMIC HYDROPLANING
Dynamic hydroplaning is a relatively high-speed
phenomenon that occurs when there is a film of water
on the runway that is at least one-tenth inch deep. As the
speed of the airplane and the depth of the water increase,
the water layer builds up an increasing resistance to
displacement, resulting in the formation of a wedge of
water beneath the tire. At some speed, termed the
hydroplaning speed (VP), the water pressure equals the
weight of the airplane and the tire is lifted off the runway
surface. In this condition, the tires no longer contribute to
directional control and braking action is nil.
Dynamic hydroplaning is related to tire inflation
pressure. Data obtained during hydroplaning tests have
shown the minimum dynamic hydroplaning speed (VP)
of a tire to be 8.6 times the square root of the tire
pressure in pounds per square inch (PSI). For an
airplane with a main tire pressure of 24 pounds,
8-34
the calculated hydroplaning speed would be
approximately 42 knots. It is important to note that the
calculated speed referred to above is for the start of
dynamic hydroplaning. Once hydroplaning has
started, it may persist to a significantly slower speed
depending on the type being experienced.
REVERTED RUBBER HYDROPLANING
Reverted rubber (steam) hydroplaning occurs during
heavy braking that results in a prolonged locked-wheel
skid. Only a thin film of water on the runway is
required to facilitate this type of hydroplaning.
The tire skidding generates enough heat to cause the
rubber in contact with the runway to revert to its
original uncured state. The reverted rubber acts as a
seal between the tire and the runway, and delays
water exit from the tire footprint area. The water
heats and is converted to steam which supports the
tire off the runway.
Reverted rubber hydroplaning frequently follows an
encounter with dynamic hydroplaning, during which
time the pilot may have the brakes locked in an attempt
to slow the airplane. Eventually the airplane slows
enough to where the tires make contact with the
runway surface and the airplane begins to skid. The
remedy for this type of hydroplane is for the pilot to
release the brakes and allow the wheels to spin up
and apply moderate braking. Reverted rubber
hydroplaning is insidious in that the pilot may not
know when it begins, and it can persist to very slow
groundspeeds (20 knots or less).
VISCOUS HYDROPLANING
Viscous hydroplaning is due to the viscous properties
of water. A thin film of fluid no more than one
thousandth of an inch in depth is all that is needed. The
tire cannot penetrate the fluid and the tire rolls on top
of the film. This can occur at a much lower speed than
dynamic hydroplane, but requires a smooth or smooth
acting surface such as asphalt or a touchdown area
coated with the accumulated rubber of past landings.
Such a surface can have the same friction coefficient
as wet ice.
When confronted with the possibility of hydroplaning,
it is best to land on a grooved runway (if available).
Touchdown speed should be as slow as possible
consistent with safety. After the nosewheel is
lowered to the runway, moderate braking should be
applied. If deceleration is not detected and
hydroplaning is suspected, the nose should be raised
and aerodynamic drag utilized to decelerate to a
point where the brakes do become effective.
Proper braking technique is essential. The brakes
should be applied firmly until reaching a point just
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short of a skid. At the first sign of a skid, the pilot
should release brake pressure and allow the wheels to
spin up. Directional control should be maintained as
far as possible with the rudder. Remember that in a
crosswind, if hydroplaning should occur, the
crosswind will cause the airplane to simultaneously
weathervane into the wind as well as slide downwind.
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PERFORMANCE MANEUVERS
Performance maneuvers are used to develop a high
degree of pilot skill. They aid the pilot in analyzing the
forces acting on the airplane and in developing a fine
control touch, coordination, timing, and division of
attention for precise maneuvering of the airplane.
Performance maneuvers are termed “advanced”
maneuvers because the degree of skill required for
proper execution is normally not acquired until a pilot
has obtained a sense of orientation and control feel in
“normal” maneuvers. An important benefit of
performance maneuvers is the sharpening of
fundamental skills to the degree that the pilot can cope
with unusual or unforeseen circumstances occasionally
encountered in normal flight.
Advanced maneuvers are variations and/or
combinations of the basic maneuvers previously
learned. They embody the same principles and
techniques as the basic maneuvers, but require a higher
degree of skill for proper execution. The student,
therefore, who demonstrates a lack of progress in the
performance of advanced maneuvers, is more than
likely deficient in one or more of the basic maneuvers.
The flight instructor should consider breaking the
advanced maneuver down into its component basic
maneuvers in an attempt to identify and correct
the deficiency before continuing with the
advanced maneuver.
STEEP TURNS
The objective of the maneuver is to develop the
smoothness, coordination, orientation, division of
attention, and control techniques necessary for the
execution of maximum performance turns when the
airplane is near its performance limits. Smoothness of
control use, coordination, and accuracy of execution
are the important features of this maneuver.
The steep turn maneuver consists of a turn in either
direction, using a bank angle between 45 to 60°. This
will cause an overbanking tendency during which
maximum turning performance is attained and
relatively high load factors are imposed. Because of the
high load factors imposed, these turns should be
performed at an airspeed that does not exceed the
airplane’s design maneuvering speed (VA). The
principles of an ordinary steep turn apply, but as a
practice maneuver the steep turns should be continued
until 360° or 720° of turn have been completed.
[Figure 9-1]
Figure 9-1. Steep turns.
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An airplane’s maximum turning performance is its
fastest rate of turn and its shortest radius of turn, which
change with both airspeed and angle of bank. Each
airplane’s turning performance is limited by the
amount of power its engine is developing, its
limit load factor (structural strength), and its
aerodynamic characteristics.
The limiting load factor determines the maximum
bank, which can be maintained without stalling or
exceeding the airplane’s structural limitations. In most
small planes, the maximum bank has been found to be
approximately 50° to 60°.
The pilot should realize the tremendous additional load
that is imposed on an airplane as the bank is increased
beyond 45°. During a coordinated turn with a 70°
bank, a load factor of approximately 3 Gs is placed on
the airplane’s structure. Most general aviation type
airplanes are stressed for approximately 3.8 Gs.
Regardless of the airspeed or the type of airplanes
involved, a given angle of bank in a turn, during which
altitude is maintained, will always produce the same
load factor. Pilots must be aware that an additional load
factor increases the stalling speed at a significant
rate—stalling speed increases with the square root of
the load factor. For example, a light plane that stalls at
60 knots in level flight will stall at nearly 85 knots in a
60° bank. The pilot’s understanding and observance of
this fact is an indispensable safety precaution for the
performance of all maneuvers requiring turns.
Before starting the steep turn, the pilot should ensure
that the area is clear of other air traffic since the rate of
turn will be quite rapid. After establishing the
manufacturer’s recommended entry speed or the
design maneuvering speed, the airplane should be
smoothly rolled into a selected bank angle between 45
to 60°. As the turn is being established, back-elevator
pressure should be smoothly increased to increase the
angle of attack. This provides the additional wing lift
required to compensate for the increasing load factor.
After the selected bank angle has been reached, the
pilot will find that considerable force is required on the
elevator control to hold the airplane in level flight—to
maintain altitude. Because of this increase in the force
applied to the elevators, the load factor increases
rapidly as the bank is increased. Additional
back-elevator pressure increases the angle of attack,
which results in an increase in drag. Consequently,
power must be added to maintain the entry altitude
and airspeed.
Eventually, as the bank approaches the airplane’s
maximum angle, the maximum performance or
structural limit is being reached. If this limit is
exceeded, the airplane will be subjected to excessive
structural loads, and will lose altitude, or stall. The
9-2
limit load factor must not be exceeded, to prevent
structural damage.
During the turn, the pilot should not stare at any one
object. To maintain altitude, as well as orientation,
requires an awareness of the relative position of the
nose, the horizon, the wings, and the amount of bank.
The pilot who references the aircraft’s turn by
watching only the nose will have difficulty holding
altitude constant; on the other hand, the pilot who
watches the nose, the horizon, and the wings can
usually hold altitude within a few feet. If the altitude
begins to increase, or decrease, relaxing or increasing
the back-elevator pressure will be required as
appropriate. This may also require a power adjustment
to maintain the selected airspeed. A small increase or
decrease of 1 to 3° of bank angle may be used to
control small altitude deviations. All bank angle
changes should be done with coordinated use of
aileron and rudder.
The rollout from the turn should be timed so that the
wings reach level flight when the airplane is exactly
on the heading from which the maneuver was started.
While the recovery is being made, back-elevator
pressure is gradually released and power reduced, as
necessary, to maintain the altitude and airspeed.
Common errors in the performance of steep turns are:
•
Failure to adequately clear the area.
•
Excessive pitch change during entry or recovery.
•
Attempts to start recovery prematurely.
•
Failure to stop the turn on a precise heading.
•
Excessive rudder during recovery, resulting in
skidding.
•
Inadequate power management.
•
Inadequate airspeed control.
•
Poor coordination.
•
Gaining altitude in right turns and/or losing
altitude in left turns.
•
Failure to maintain constant bank angle.
•
Disorientation.
•
Attempting to perform the maneuver
by instrument reference rather than visual
reference.
•
Failure to scan for other traffic during the
maneuver.
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STEEP SPIRAL
The objective of this maneuver is to improve pilot
techniques for airspeed control, wind drift control,
planning, orientation, and division of attention. The
steep spiral is not only a valuable flight training
maneuver, but it has practical application in providing
a procedure for dissipating altitude while remaining
over a selected spot in preparation for landing,
especially for emergency forced landings.
A steep spiral is a constant gliding turn, during which a
constant radius around a point on the ground is
maintained similar to the maneuver, turns around a
point. The radius should be such that the steepest bank
will not exceed 60°. Sufficient altitude must be
obtained before starting this maneuver so that the
spiral may be continued through a series of at least
three 360° turns. [Figure 9-2] The maneuver should
not be continued below 1,000 feet above the surface
unless performing an emergency landing in
conjunction with the spiral.
Operating the engine at idle speed for a prolonged
period during the glide may result in excessive engine
cooling or spark plug fouling. The engine should be
cleared periodically by briefly advancing the throttle
to normal cruise power, while adjusting the pitch
attitude to maintain a constant airspeed. Preferably,
this should be done while headed into the wind to
minimize any variation in groundspeed and radius
of turn.
After the throttle is closed and gliding speed is
established, a gliding spiral should be started and a turn
of constant radius maintained around the selected spot
on the ground. This will require correction for wind
drift by steepening the bank on downwind headings
and shallowing the bank on upwind headings, just as in
the maneuver, turns around a point. During the
descending spiral, the pilot must judge the direction
and speed of the wind at different altitudes and make
appropriate changes in the angle of bank to maintain a
uniform radius.
A constant airspeed should also be maintained
throughout the maneuver. Failure to hold the airspeed
constant will cause the radius of turn and necessary
angle of bank to vary excessively. On the downwind
side of the maneuver, the steeper the bank angle, the
lower the pitch attitude must be to maintain a given
airspeed. Conversely, on the upwind side, as the bank
angle becomes shallower, the pitch attitude must be
raised to maintain the proper airspeed. This is
necessary because the airspeed tends to change as the
bank is changed from shallow to steep to shallow.
During practice of the maneuver, the pilot should
execute three turns and roll out toward a definite object
or on a specific heading. During the rollout,
smoothness is essential, and the use of controls must
be so coordinated that no increase or decrease of speed
results when the straight glide is resumed.
Figure 9-2. Steep spiral.
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Common errors in the performance of steep spirals are:
•
Failure to adequately clear the area.
•
Failure to maintain constant airspeed.
•
Poor coordination, resulting in skidding and/or
slipping.
•
Inadequate wind drift correction.
•
Failure to coordinate the controls so that no
increase/decrease in speed results when straight
glide is resumed.
•
Failure to scan for other traffic.
•
Failure to maintain orientation.
CHANDELLE
The objective of this maneuver is to develop the pilot’s
coordination, orientation, planning, and accuracy of
control during maximum performance flight.
A chandelle is a maximum performance climbing turn
beginning from approximately straight-and-level
flight, and ending at the completion of a precise 180°
of turn in a wings-level, nose-high attitude at the
minimum controllable airspeed. [Figure 9-3] The
maneuver demands that the maximum flight
performance of the airplane be obtained; the airplane
should gain the most altitude possible for a given
degree of bank and power setting without stalling.
Figure 9-3. Chandelle.
9-4
Since numerous atmospheric variables beyond control
of the pilot will affect the specific amount of altitude
gained, the quality of the performance of the
maneuver is not judged solely on the altitude gain, but
by the pilot’s overall proficiency as it pertains to climb
performance for the power/bank combination used,
and to the elements of piloting skill demonstrated.
Prior to starting a chandelle, the flaps and gear (if
retractable) should be in the UP position, power set to
cruise condition, and the airspace behind and above
clear of other air traffic. The maneuver should be
entered from straight-and-level flight (or a shallow
dive) and at a speed no greater than the maximum
entry speed recommended by the manufacturer—in
most cases not above the airplane’s design
maneuvering speed (VA).
After the appropriate airspeed and power setting have
been established, the chandelle is started by smoothly
entering a coordinated turn with an angle of bank
appropriate for the airplane being flown. Normally,
this angle of bank should not exceed approximately
30°. After the appropriate bank is established, a
climbing turn should be started by smoothly applying
back-elevator pressure to increase the pitch attitude at
a constant rate and to attain the highest pitch attitude
as 90° of turn is completed. As the climb is initiated in
airplanes with fixed-pitch propellers, full throttle may
be applied, but is applied gradually so that the
maximum allowable r.p.m. is not exceeded. In
airplanes with constant-speed propellers, power may
be left at the normal cruise setting.
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Once the bank has been established, the angle of bank
should remain constant until 90° of turn is completed.
Although the degree of bank is fixed during this
climbing turn, it may appear to increase and, in fact,
actually will tend to increase if allowed to do so as the
maneuver continues.
When the turn has progressed 90° from the original
heading, the pilot should begin rolling out of the bank
at a constant rate while maintaining a constant-pitch
attitude. Since the angle of bank will be decreasing
during the rollout, the vertical component of lift will
increase slightly. For this reason, it may be necessary
to release a slight amount of back-elevator pressure in
order to keep the nose of the airplane from rising
higher.
As the wings are being leveled at the completion of
180° of turn, the pitch attitude should be noted by
checking the outside references and the attitude
indicator. This pitch attitude should be held
momentarily while the airplane is at the minimum
controllable airspeed. Then the pitch attitude may be
gently reduced to return to straight-and-level
cruise flight.
Since the airspeed is constantly decreasing throughout
the maneuver, the effects of engine torque become
more and more prominent. Therefore, right-rudder
pressure is gradually increased to control yaw and
maintain a constant rate of turn and to keep the airplane
in coordinated flight. The pilot should maintain
coordinated flight by the feel of pressures being
applied on the controls and by the ball instrument of
the turn-and-slip indicator. If coordinated flight is
being maintained, the ball will remain in the center of
the race.
To roll out of a left chandelle, the left aileron must be
lowered to raise the left wing. This creates more drag
than the aileron on the right wing, resulting in a
tendency for the airplane to yaw to the left. With the
low airspeed at this point, torque effect tries to make
the airplane yaw to the left even more. Thus, there are
two forces pulling the airplane’s nose to the left—
aileron drag and torque. To maintain coordinated
flight, considerable right-rudder pressure is required
during the rollout to overcome the effects of aileron
drag and torque.
In a chandelle to the right, when control pressure is
applied to begin the rollout, the aileron on the right
wing is lowered. This creates more drag on that wing
and tends to make the airplane yaw to the right. At the
same time, the effect of torque at the lower airspeed is
causing the airplane’s nose to yaw to the left. Thus,
aileron drag pulling the nose to the right and torque
pulling to the left, tend to neutralize each other. If
excessive left-rudder pressure is applied, the rollout
will be uncoordinated.
The rollout to the left can usually be accomplished
with very little left rudder, since the effects of aileron
drag and torque tend to neutralize each other.
Releasing some right rudder, which has been applied
to correct for torque, will normally give the same effect
as applying left-rudder pressure. When the wings
become level and the ailerons are neutralized, the
aileron drag disappears. Because of the low airspeed
and high power, the effects of torque become the more
prominent force and must continue to be controlled
with rudder pressure.
A rollout to the left is accomplished mainly by
applying aileron pressure. During the rollout,
right-rudder pressure should be gradually released, and
left rudder applied only as necessary to maintain
coordination. Even when the wings are level and
aileron pressure is released, right-rudder pressure must
be held to counteract torque and hold the nose straight.
Common errors in the performance of chandelles are:
•
Failure to adequately clear the area.
•
Too shallow an initial bank, resulting in a stall.
•
Too steep an initial bank, resulting in failure to
gain maximum performance.
•
Allowing the actual bank to increase after establishing initial bank angle.
•
Failure to start the recovery at the 90° point in
the turn.
•
Allowing the pitch attitude to increase as the
bank is rolled out during the second 90° of turn.
•
Removing all of the bank before the 180° point
is reached.
•
Nose low on recovery, resulting in too much
airspeed.
•
Control roughness.
•
Poor coordination (slipping or skidding).
•
Stalling at any point during the maneuver.
•
Execution of a steep turn instead of a climbing
maneuver.
•
Failure to scan for other aircraft.
•
Attempting to perform the maneuver by
instrument reference rather than visual reference.
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LAZY EIGHT
The lazy eight is a maneuver designed to develop
perfect coordination of controls through a wide range
of airspeeds and altitudes so that certain accuracy
points are reached with planned attitude and airspeed.
In its execution, the dive, climb, and turn are all
combined, and the combinations are varied and applied
throughout the performance range of the airplane. It is
the only standard flight training maneuver during
which at no time do the forces on the controls
remain constant.
The lazy eight as a training maneuver has great value
since constantly varying forces and attitudes are
required. These forces must be constantly coordinated,
due not only to the changing combinations of banks,
dives, and climbs, but also to the constantly varying
airspeed. The maneuver helps develop subconscious
feel, planning, orientation, coordination, and speed
sense. It is not possible to do a lazy eight mechanically,
because the control pressures required for perfect
coordination are never exactly the same.
This maneuver derives its name from the manner in
which the extended longitudinal axis of the airplane is
made to trace a flight pattern in the form of a figure 8
lying on its side (a lazy 8). [Figure 9-4]
A lazy eight consists of two 180° turns, in opposite
directions, while making a climb and a descent in a
symmetrical pattern during each of the turns. At no
time throughout the lazy eight is the airplane flown
straight and level; instead, it is rolled directly from one
bank to the other with the wings level only at the
Figure 9-4. Lazy eight.
9-6
moment the turn is reversed at the completion of each
180° change in heading.
As an aid to making symmetrical loops of the 8 during
each turn, prominent reference points should be
selected on the horizon. The reference points selected
should be 45°, 90°, and 135° from the direction in
which the maneuver is begun.
Prior to performing a lazy eight, the airspace behind
and above should be clear of other air traffic. The
maneuver should be entered from straight-and-level
flight at normal cruise power and at the airspeed
recommended by the manufacturer or at the airplane’s
design maneuvering speed.
The maneuver is started from level flight with a
gradual climbing turn in the direction of the 45°
reference point. The climbing turn should be planned
and controlled so that the maximum pitch-up attitude
is reached at the 45° point. The rate of rolling into the
bank must be such as to prevent the rate of turn from
becoming too rapid. As the pitch attitude is raised, the
airspeed decreases, causing the rate of turn to increase.
Since the bank also is being increased, it too causes
the rate of turn to increase. Unless the maneuver is
begun with a slow rate of roll, the combination of
increasing pitch and increasing bank will cause the
rate of turn to be so rapid that the 45° reference point
will be reached before the highest pitch attitude
is attained.
At the 45° point, the pitch attitude should be at
maximum and the angle of bank continuing to
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increase. Also, at the 45° point, the pitch attitude
should start to decrease slowly toward the horizon and
the 90° reference point. Since the airspeed is still
decreasing, right-rudder pressure will have to be
applied to counteract torque.
As the airplane’s nose is being lowered toward the 90°
reference point, the bank should continue to increase.
Due to the decreasing airspeed, a slight amount of
opposite aileron pressure may be required to prevent
the bank from becoming too steep. When the airplane
completes 90° of the turn, the bank should be at the
maximum angle (approximately 30°), the airspeed
should be at its minimum (5 to 10 knots above stall
speed), and the airplane pitch attitude should be
passing through level flight. It is at this time that an
imaginary line, extending from the pilot’s eye and
parallel to the longitudinal axis of the airplane, passes
through the 90° reference point.
Lazy eights normally should be performed with no
more than approximately a 30° bank. Steeper banks
may be used, but control touch and technique must be
developed to a much higher degree than when the
maneuver is performed with a shallower bank.
The pilot should not hesitate at this point but should
continue to fly the airplane into a descending turn so
that the airplane’s nose describes the same size loop
below the horizon as it did above. As the pilot’s
reference line passes through the 90° point, the bank
should be decreased gradually, and the airplane’s nose
allowed to continue lowering. When the airplane has
turned 135°, the nose should be in its lowest pitch
attitude. The airspeed will be increasing during this
descending turn, so it will be necessary to gradually
relax rudder and aileron pressure and to
simultaneously raise the nose and roll the wings level.
As this is being accomplished, the pilot should note the
amount of turn remaining and adjust the rate of rollout
and pitch change so that the wings become level and
the original airspeed is attained in level flight just as
the 180° point is reached. Upon returning to the
starting altitude and the 180° point, a climbing turn
should be started immediately in the opposite direction
toward the selected reference points to complete the
second half of the eight in the same manner as the first
half. [Figure 9-5]
Due to the decreasing airspeed, considerable rightrudder pressure is gradually applied to counteract
torque at the top of the eight in both the right and left
turns. The pressure will be greatest at the point of
lowest airspeed.
More right-rudder pressure will be needed during the
climbing turn to the right than in the turn to the left
because more torque correction is needed to prevent
yaw from decreasing the rate of turn. In the left
climbing turn, the torque will tend to contribute to the
90° POINT
1. BANK APPROX 30°
2. MINIMUM SPEED
3. MAXIMUM ALTITUDE
4. LEVEL PITCH ATTITUDE
135° POINT
1. MAX. PITCH-DOWN
2. BANK 15°(APPROX.)
45° POINT
1. MAX. PITCH-UP
ATTITUDE
2. BANK 15°
(APPROX.)
180° POINT
1. LEVEL FLIGHT
2. ENTRY AIRSPEED
3. ALTITUDE SAME AS
ENTRY ALTITUDE
ENTRY:
1. LEVEL FLIGHT
2. MANEUVERING OR CRUISE
SPEED WHICHEVER IS LESS
OR MANUFACTURER'S
RECOMMENDED SPEED.
Figure 9-5. Lazy eight.
9-7
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turn; consequently, less rudder pressure is needed. It
will be noted that the controls are slightly crossed in
the right climbing turn because of the need for left
aileron pressure to prevent overbanking and right
rudder to overcome torque.
•
Watching the airplane
reference points.
•
Inadequate planning, resulting in the peaks of the
loops both above and below the horizon not
coming in the proper place.
The correct power setting for the lazy eight is that
which will maintain the altitude for the maximum and
minimum airspeeds used during the climbs and
descents of the eight. Obviously, if excess power were
used, the airplane would have gained altitude when the
maneuver is completed; if insufficient power were
used, altitude would have been lost.
•
Control roughness, usually caused by attempts
to counteract poor planning.
•
Persistent gain or loss of altitude with the
completion of each eight.
•
Attempting to perform the maneuver
rhythmically, resulting in poor pattern
symmetry.
•
Allowing the airplane to “fall” out of the tops of
the loops rather than flying the airplane through
the maneuver.
•
Slipping and/or skidding.
•
Failure to scan for other traffic.
Common errors in the performance of lazy eights are:
•
Failure to adequately clear the area.
•
Using the nose, or top of engine cowl, instead of
the true longitudinal axis, resulting in
unsymmetrical loops.
9-8
instead
of
the
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NIGHT VISION
Generally, most pilots are poorly informed about night
vision. Human eyes never function as effectively at
night as the eyes of animals with nocturnal habits, but
if humans learn how to use their eyes correctly and
know their limitations, night vision can be improved
significantly. There are several reasons for training to
use the eyes correctly.
Cones for:
• Color
• Detail
• Day
Rods for:
• Gray
• Peripheral
• Day & Night
One reason is the mind and eyes act as a team for a person to see well; both team members must be used
effectively. The construction of the eyes is such that to
see at night they are used differently than during the
day. Therefore, it is important to understand the eye’s
construction and how the eye is affected by darkness.
Innumerable light-sensitive nerves, called “cones” and
“rods,” are located at the back of the eye or retina, a
layer upon which all images are focused. These nerves
connect to the cells of the optic nerve, which transmits
messages directly to the brain. The cones are located in
the center of the retina, and the rods are concentrated
in a ring around the cones. [Figure 10-1]
Area of Best
Day Vision
The function of the cones is to detect color, details, and
faraway objects. The rods function when something is
seen out of the corner of the eye or peripheral vision.
They detect objects, particularly those that are moving,
but do not give detail or color—only shades of gray.
Both the cones and the rods are used for vision during
daylight.
Area of Best
Night Vision
Area of Best
Night Vision
Although there is not a clear-cut division of function,
the rods make night vision possible. The rods and
cones function in daylight and in moonlight, but in the
absence of normal light, the process of night vision is
placed almost entirely on the rods.
Figure 10-1. Rods and cones.
The fact that the rods are distributed in a band around
the cones and do not lie directly behind the pupils
makes off-center viewing (looking to one side of an
object) important during night flight. During daylight,
an object can be seen best by looking directly at it, but
at night a scanning procedure to permit off-center
viewing of the object is more effective. Therefore, the
pilot should consciously practice this scanning procedure to improve night vision.
The eye’s adaptation to darkness is another important
aspect of night vision. When a dark room is entered, it
is difficult to see anything until the eyes become
adjusted to the darkness. Most everyone has experienced this after entering a darkened movie theater. In
this process, the pupils of the eyes first enlarge to
receive as much of the available light as possible. After
approximately 5 to 10 minutes, the cones become
adjusted to the dim light and the eyes become 100
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times more sensitive to the light than they were before
the dark room was entered. Much more time, about 30
minutes, is needed for the rods to become adjusted to
darkness, but when they do adjust, they are about
100,000 times more sensitive to light than they were in
the lighted area. After the adaptation process is complete, much more can be seen, especially if the eyes are
used correctly.
•
Close one eye when exposed to bright light to
help avoid the blinding effect.
•
Do not wear sunglasses after sunset.
•
Move the eyes more slowly than in daylight.
•
Blink the eyes if they become blurred.
After the eyes have adapted to the dark, the entire
process is reversed when entering a lighted room. The
eyes are first dazzled by the brightness, but become
completely adjusted in a very few seconds, thereby losing their adaptation to the dark. Now, if the dark room
is reentered, the eyes again go through the long process
of adapting to the darkness.
•
Concentrate on seeing objects.
•
Force the eyes to view off center.
•
Maintain good physical condition.
•
Avoid smoking, drinking, and using drugs that
may be harmful.
The pilot before and during night flight must consider
the adaptation process of the eyes. First, the eyes
should be allowed to adapt to the low level of light
and then they should be kept adapted. After the eyes
have become adapted to the darkness, the pilot should
avoid exposing them to any bright white light that
will cause temporary blindness and could result in
serious consequences.
Temporary blindness, caused by an unusually bright
light, may result in illusions or after images until the
eyes recover from the brightness. The brain creates
these illusions reported by the eyes. This results in
misjudging or incorrectly identifying objects, such as
mistaking slanted clouds for the horizon or populated
areas for a landing field. Vertigo is experienced as a
feeling of dizziness and imbalance that can create or
increase illusions. The illusions seem very real and
pilots at every level of experience and skill can be
affected. Recognizing that the brain and eyes can play
tricks in this manner is the best protection for flying at
night.
Good eyesight depends upon physical condition.
Fatigue, colds, vitamin deficiency, alcohol, stimulants,
smoking, or medication can seriously impair vision.
Keeping these facts in mind and taking adequate precautions should safeguard night vision.
In addition to the principles previously discussed, the
following items will aid in increasing night vision
effectiveness.
•
•
10-2
Adapt the eyes to darkness prior to flight and
keep them adapted. About 30 minutes is needed
to adjust the eyes to maximum efficiency after
exposure to a bright light.
If oxygen is available, use it during night flying.
Keep in mind that a significant deterioration in
night vision can occur at cabin altitudes as low as
5,000 feet.
NIGHT ILLUSIONS
In addition to night vision limitations, pilots should be
aware that night illusions could cause confusion and
concerns during night flying. The following discussion covers some of the common situations that cause
illusions associated with night flying.
On a clear night, distant stationary lights can be mistaken for stars or other aircraft. Even the northern
lights can confuse a pilot and indicate a false horizon.
Certain geometrical patterns of ground lights, such as
a freeway, runway, approach, or even lights on a moving train can cause confusion. Dark nights tend to
eliminate reference to a visual horizon. As a result,
pilots need to rely less on outside references at night
and more on flight and navigation instruments.
Visual autokinesis can occur when a pilot stares at a
single light source for several seconds on a dark night.
The result is that the light will appear to be moving.
The autokinesis effect will not occur if the pilot
expands the visual field. It is a good procedure not to
become fixed on one source of light.
Distractions and problems can result from a flickering
light in the cockpit, anticollision light, strobe lights,
or other aircraft lights and can cause flicker vertigo. If
continuous, the possible physical reactions can be
nausea, dizziness, grogginess, unconsciousness,
headaches, or confusion. The pilot should try to eliminate any light source causing blinking or flickering
problems in the cockpit.
A black-hole approach occurs when the landing is
made from over water or non-lighted terrain where the
runway lights are the only source of light. Without
peripheral visual cues to help, pilots will have trouble
orientating themselves relative to Earth. The runway
can seem out of position (downsloping or upsloping)
and in the worse case, results in landing short of the
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runway. If an electronic glide slope or visual approach
slope indicator (VASI) is available, it should be used.
If navigation aids (NAVAIDs) are unavailable, careful
attention should be given to using the flight instruments to assist in maintaining orientation and a normal
approach. If at any time the pilot is unsure of his or her
position or attitude, a go-around should be executed.
Bright runway and approach lighting systems, especially where few lights illuminate the surrounding
terrain, may create the illusion of less distance to the
runway. In this situation, the tendency is to fly a
higher approach. Also, when flying over terrain with
only a few lights, it will make the runway recede or
appear farther away. With this situation, the tendency
is common to fly a lower-than-normal approach. If
the runway has a city in the distance on higher terrain, the tendency will be to fly a lower-than-normal
approach. A good review of the airfield layout and
boundaries before initiating any approach will help
the pilot maintain a safe approach angle.
Illusions created by runway lights result in a variety of
problems. Bright lights or bold colors advance the runway, making it appear closer.
The lights of cities and towns can be seen at surprising
distances at night, and if this adjacent chart is not available to identify those landmarks, confusion could
result. Regardless of the equipment used, organization
of the cockpit eases the burden on the pilot and
enhances safety.
AIRPLANE EQUIPMENT
AND LIGHTING
Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR)
part 91 specifies the basic minimum airplane equipment required for night flight. This equipment includes
only basic instruments, lights, electrical energy source,
and spare fuses.
The standard instruments required for instrument
flight under 14 CFR part 91 are a valuable asset for
aircraft control at night. An anticollision light system,
including a flashing or rotating beacon and position
lights, is required airplane equipment. Airplane position lights are arranged similar to those of boats and
ships. A red light is positioned on the left wingtip, a
green light on the right wingtip, and a white light on
the tail. [Figure 10-2]
Night landings are further complicated by the difficulty
of judging distance and the possibility of confusing
approach and runway lights. For example, when a double row of approach lights joins the boundary lights of
the runway, there can be confusion where the approach
lights terminate and runway lights begin. Under certain
conditions, approach lights can make the aircraft seem
higher in a turn to final, than when its wings are level.
PILOT EQUIPMENT
Before beginning a night flight, carefully consider
personal equipment that should be readily available
during the flight. At least one reliable flashlight is
recommended as standard equipment on all night
flights. Remember to place a spare set of batteries in
the flight kit. A D-cell size flashlight with a bulb
switching mechanism that can be used to select white
or red light is preferable. The white light is used while
performing the preflight visual inspection of the airplane,
and the red light is used when performing cockpit operations. Since the red light is nonglaring, it will not impair
night vision. Some pilots prefer two flashlights, one
with a white light for preflight, and the other a penlight type with a red light. The latter can be suspended
by a string from around the neck to ensure the light is
always readily available. One word of caution; if a red
light is used for reading an aeronautical chart, the red
features of the chart will not show up.
Aeronautical charts are essential for night cross-country flight and, if the intended course is near the edge of
the chart, the adjacent chart should also be available.
Figure 10-2. Position lights.
This arrangement provides a means by which pilots
can determine the general direction of movement of
other airplanes in flight. If both a red and green light of
another aircraft were observed, the airplane would be
flying toward the pilot, and could be on a collision
course.
Landing lights are not only useful for taxi, takeoffs,
and landings, but also provide a means by which airplanes can be seen at night by other pilots. The Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) has initiated a voluntary pilot safety program called “Operation Lights
ON.” The “lights on” idea is to enhance the “see and
be seen” concept of averting collisions both in the air
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and on the ground, and to reduce the potential for bird
strikes. Pilots are encouraged to turn on their landing
lights when operating within 10 miles of an airport.
This is for both day and night, or in conditions of
reduced visibility. This should also be done in areas
where flocks of birds may be expected.
Although turning on aircraft lights supports the see and
be seen concept, pilots should not become complacent
about keeping a sharp lookout for other aircraft. Most
aircraft lights blend in with the stars or the lights of the
cities at night and go unnoticed unless a conscious
effort is made to distinguish them from other lights.
AIRPORT AND NAVIGATION
LIGHTING AIDS
The lighting systems used for airports, runways,
obstructions, and other visual aids at night are other
important aspects of night flying.
Lighted airports located away from congested areas
can be identified readily at night by the lights outlining
the runways. Airports located near or within large
cities are often difficult to identify in the maze of
lights. It is important not to only know the exact location of an airport relative to the city, but also to be able
to identify these airports by the characteristics of their
lighting pattern.
Aeronautical lights are designed and installed in a variety of colors and configurations, each having its own
purpose. Although some lights are used only during
low ceiling and visibility conditions, this discussion
includes only the lights that are fundamental to visual
flight rules (VFR) night operation.
It is recommended that prior to a night flight, and
particularly a cross-country night flight, the pilot check
the availability and status of lighting systems at the
destination airport. This information can be found on
aeronautical charts and in the Airport/Facility
Directory. The status of each facility can be determined by reviewing pertinent Notices to Airmen
(NOTAMs).
A rotating beacon is used to indicate the location of
most airports. The beacon rotates at a constant speed,
thus producing what appears to be a series of light
flashes at regular intervals. These flashes may be one
or two different colors that are used to identify various
types of landing areas. For example:
by dual peaked (two quick) white flashes, then
green.
Beacons producing red flashes indicate obstructions or
areas considered hazardous to aerial navigation.
Steady burning red lights are used to mark obstructions on or near airports and sometimes to supplement
flashing lights on en route obstructions. High intensity
flashing white lights are used to mark some supporting
structures of overhead transmission lines that stretch
across rivers, chasms, and gorges. These high intensity
lights are also used to identify tall structures, such as
chimneys and towers.
As a result of the technological advancements in
aviation, runway lighting systems have become
quite sophisticated to accommodate takeoffs and
landings in various weather conditions. However,
the pilot whose flying is limited to VFR only needs
to be concerned with the following basic lighting of
runways and taxiways.
The basic runway lighting system consists of two
straight parallel lines of runway-edge lights defining the lateral limits of the runway. These lights are
aviation white, although aviation yellow may be
substituted for a distance of 2,000 feet from the far
end of the runway to indicate a caution zone. At
some airports, the intensity of the runway-edge
lights can be adjusted to satisfy the individual needs
of the pilot. The length limits of the runway are
defined by straight lines of lights across the runway
ends. At some airports, the runway threshold lights
are aviation green, and the runway end lights are
aviation red.
At many airports, the taxiways are also lighted. A taxiway-edge lighting system consists of blue lights that
outline the usable limits of taxi paths.
PREPARATION AND PREFLIGHT
Night flying requires that pilots be aware of, and operate within, their abilities and limitations. Although
careful planning of any flight is essential, night flying
demands more attention to the details of preflight
preparation and planning.
•
Lighted civilian land airports—alternating white
and green.
•
Lighted civilian water airports—alternating
white and yellow.
Preparation for a night flight should include a thorough
review of the available weather reports and forecasts
with particular attention given to temperature/dewpoint
spread. A narrow temperature/dewpoint spread may
indicate the possibility of ground fog. Emphasis
should also be placed on wind direction and speed,
since its effect on the airplane cannot be as easily
detected at night as during the day.
•
Lighted military airports—alternating white and
green, but are differentiated from civil airports
On night cross-country flights, appropriate aeronautical charts should be selected, including the
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appropriate adjacent charts. Course lines should be
drawn in black to be more distinguishable.
Prominently lighted checkpoints along the prepared
course should be noted. Rotating beacons at airports,
lighted obstructions, lights of cities or towns, and
lights from major highway traffic all provide excellent
visual checkpoints. The use of radio navigation aids
and communication facilities add significantly to the
safety and efficiency of night flying.
All personal equipment should be checked prior to
flight to ensure proper functioning. It is very disconcerting to find, at the time of need, that a flashlight, for
example, does not work.
All airplane lights should be turned ON momentarily
and checked for operation. Position lights can be
checked for loose connections by tapping the light fixture. If the lights blink while being tapped, further
investigation to determine the cause should be made
prior to flight.
The parking ramp should be examined prior to entering the airplane. During the day, it is quite easy to see
stepladders, chuckholes, wheel chocks, and other
obstructions, but at night it is more difficult. A check
of the area can prevent taxiing mishaps.
STARTING, TAXIING, AND RUNUP
After the pilot is seated in the cockpit and prior to starting the engine, all items and materials to be used on the
flight should be arranged in such a manner that they
will be readily available and convenient to use.
Extra caution should be taken at night to assure the
propeller area is clear. Turning the rotating beacon ON,
or flashing the airplane position lights will serve to
alert persons nearby to remain clear of the propeller.
To avoid excessive drain of electrical current from the
battery, it is recommended that unnecessary electrical
equipment be turned OFF until after the engine has
been started.
After starting and before taxiing, the taxi or landing
light should be turned ON. Continuous use of the landing light with r.p.m. power settings normally used for
taxiing may place an excessive drain on the airplane’s
electrical system. Also, overheating of the landing light
could become a problem because of inadequate airflow
to carry the heat away. Landing lights should be used
as necessary while taxiing. When using landing lights,
consideration should be given to not blinding other
pilots. Taxi slowly, particularly in congested areas. If
taxi lines are painted on the ramp or taxiway, these
lines should be followed to ensure a proper path along
the route.
The before takeoff and runup should be performed
using the checklist. During the day, forward movement
of the airplane can be detected easily. At night, the
airplane could creep forward without being noticed
unless the pilot is alert for this possibility. Hold or
lock the brakes during the runup and be alert for any
forward movement.
TAKEOFF AND CLIMB
Night flying is very different from day flying and
demands more attention of the pilot. The most noticeable difference is the limited availability of outside
visual references. Therefore, flight instruments should
be used to a greater degree in controlling the airplane.
This is particularly true on night takeoffs and climbs.
The cockpit lights should be adjusted to a minimum
brightness that will allow the pilot to read the instruments and switches and yet not hinder the pilot’s outside vision. This will also eliminate light reflections on
the windshield and windows.
After ensuring that the final approach and runway are
clear of other air traffic, or when cleared for takeoff by
the tower, the landing lights and taxi lights should be
turned ON and the airplane lined up with the centerline
of the runway. If the runway does not have centerline
lighting, use the painted centerline and the runwayedge lights. After the airplane is aligned, the heading
indicator should be noted or set to correspond to the
known runway direction. To begin the takeoff, the
brakes should be released and the throttle smoothly
advanced to maximum allowable power. As the airplane accelerates, it should be kept moving straight
ahead between and parallel to the runway-edge lights.
The procedure for night takeoffs is the same as for normal daytime takeoffs except that many of the runway
visual cues are not available. Therefore, the flight
instruments should be checked frequently during the
takeoff to ensure the proper pitch attitude, heading, and
airspeed are being attained. As the airspeed reaches the
normal lift-off speed, the pitch attitude should be
adjusted to that which will establish a normal climb.
This should be accomplished by referring to both outside visual references, such as lights, and to the flight
instruments. [Figure 10-3]
Figure 10-3. Establish a positive climb.
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After becoming airborne, the darkness of night often
makes it difficult to note whether the airplane is getting closer to or farther from the surface. To ensure the
airplane continues in a positive climb, be sure a climb
is indicated on the attitude indicator, vertical speed
indicator (VSI), and altimeter. It is also important to
ensure the airspeed is at best climb speed.
Necessary pitch and bank adjustments should be made
by referencing the attitude and heading indicators. It is
recommended that turns not be made until reaching a
safe maneuvering altitude.
Although the use of the landing lights provides help
during the takeoff, they become ineffective after the
airplane has climbed to an altitude where the light
beam no longer extends to the surface. The light can
cause distortion when it is reflected by haze, smoke, or
fog that might exist in the climb. Therefore, when the
landing light is used for the takeoff, it may be turned
off after the climb is well established provided other
traffic in the area does not require its use for collision
avoidance.
ORIENTATION AND NAVIGATION
Generally, at night it is difficult to see clouds and
restrictions to visibility, particularly on dark nights or
under overcast. The pilot flying under VFR must exercise caution to avoid flying into clouds or a layer of
fog. Usually, the first indication of flying into restricted
visibility conditions is the gradual disappearance of
lights on the ground. If the lights begin to take on an
appearance of being surrounded by a halo or glow, the
pilot should use caution in attempting further flight in
that same direction. Such a halo or glow around lights
on the ground is indicative of ground fog. Remember
that if a descent must be made through fog, smoke, or
haze in order to land, the horizontal visibility is considerably less when looking through the restriction than it
is when looking straight down through it from above.
Under no circumstances should a VFR night-flight be
made during poor or marginal weather conditions
unless both the pilot and aircraft are certificated and
equipped for flight under instrument flight rules (IFR).
preplanning is adequate, and the pilot continues to
monitor position, time estimates, and fuel consumed.
NAVAIDs, if available, should be used to assist in
monitoring en route progress.
Crossing large bodies of water at night in singleengine airplanes could be potentially hazardous, not
only from the standpoint of landing (ditching) in the
water, but also because with little or no lighting the
horizon blends with the water, in which case, depth
perception and orientation become difficult. During
poor visibility conditions over water, the horizon will
become obscure, and may result in a loss of orientation. Even on clear nights, the stars may be reflected
on the water surface, which could appear as a continuous array of lights, thus making the horizon difficult
to identify.
Lighted runways, buildings, or other objects may
cause illusions to the pilot when seen from different
altitudes. At an altitude of 2,000 feet, a group of lights
on an object may be seen individually, while at 5,000
feet or higher, the same lights could appear to be one
solid light mass. These illusions may become quite
acute with altitude changes and if not overcome could
present problems in respect to approaches to lighted
runways.
APPROACHES AND LANDINGS
When approaching the airport to enter the traffic pattern and land, it is important that the runway lights
and other airport lighting be identified as early as
possible. If the airport layout is unfamiliar to the
pilot, sighting of the runway may be difficult until
very close-in due to the maze of lights observed in
the area. [Figure 10-4] The pilot should fly toward
the rotating beacon until the lights outlining the runway are distinguishable. To fly a traffic pattern of
proper size and direction, the runway threshold and
runway-edge lights must be positively identified.
Once the airport lights are seen, these lights should
be kept in sight throughout the approach.
The pilot should practice and acquire competency in
straight-and-level flight, climbs and descents, level
turns, climbing and descending turns, and steep turns.
Recovery from unusual attitudes should also be practiced, but only on dual flights with a flight instructor.
The pilot should also practice these maneuvers with all
the cockpit lights turned OFF. This blackout training is
necessary if the pilot experiences an electrical or
instrument light failure. Training should also include
using the navigation equipment and local NAVAIDs.
In spite of fewer references or checkpoints, night crosscountry flights do not present particular problems if
10-6
Figure 10-4. Use light patterns for orientation.
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Distance may be deceptive
at night due to limited
lighting conditions. A lack
of intervening references
on the ground and the
inability of the pilot to compare the size and location of
different ground objects
cause this. This also applies
to the estimation of altitude
and speed. Consequently,
more dependence must be
placed on flight instruments,
particularly the altimeter and
the airspeed indicator.
Above Glidepath
Below Glidepath
On Glidepath
If both light bars are white,
you are too high.
If you see red over red, you
are below the glidepath.
If the far bar is red and the
near bar is white, you are on
the glidepath. The memory
aid "red over white, you're all
right," is helpful in recalling
the correct sequence of lights.
When entering the traffic
pattern, allow for plenty of
time to complete the Figure 10-5. VASI.
before landing checklist. If
the heading indicator contains a heading bug, setting it
to the runway heading will be an excellent reference
for the pattern legs.
Every effort should be made to maintain the recommended airspeeds and execute the approach and
landing in the same manner as during the day. A low,
shallow approach is definitely inappropriate during
a night operation. The altimeter and VSI should be
constantly cross-checked against the airplane’s position
along the base leg and final approach. A visual
approach slope indicator (VASI) is an indispensable aid
in establishing and maintaining a proper glidepath.
[Figure 10-5]
height for the correct roundout. To aid in determining
the proper roundout point, continue a constant
approach descent until the landing lights reflect on the
runway and tire marks on the runway can be seen
clearly. At this point the roundout should be started
smoothly and the throttle gradually reduced to idle
as the airplane is touching down. [Figure 10-6]
During landings without the use of landing lights, the
roundout may be started when the runway lights at the
After turning onto the final approach and aligning the
airplane midway between the two rows of runway-edge
lights, the pilot should note and correct for any wind
drift. Throughout the final approach, pitch and power
should be used to maintain a stabilized approach. Flaps
should be used the same as in a normal approach.
Usually, halfway through the final approach, the landing light should be turned on. Earlier use of the landing
light may be necessary because of “Operation Lights
ON” or for local traffic considerations. The landing
light is sometimes ineffective since the light beam will
usually not reach the ground from higher altitudes. The
light may even be reflected back into the pilot’s eyes
by any existing haze, smoke, or fog. This disadvantage
is overshadowed by the safety considerations provided
by using the “Operation Lights ON” procedure around
other traffic.
The roundout and touchdown should be made in the
same manner as in day landings. At night, the judgment of height, speed, and sink rate is impaired by the
scarcity of observable objects in the landing area. The
inexperienced pilot may have a tendency to round out
too high until attaining familiarity with the proper
Figure 10-6. Roundout when tire marks are visible.
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far end of the runway first appear to be rising higher
than the nose of the airplane. This demands a smooth
and very timely roundout, and requires that the pilot
feel for the runway surface using power and pitch
changes, as necessary, for the airplane to settle slowly
to the runway. Blackout landings should always be
included in night pilot training as an emergency
procedure.
•
Announce the emergency situation to Air Traffic
Control (ATC) or UNICOM. If already in radio
contact with a facility, do not change frequencies, unless instructed to change.
•
If the condition of the nearby terrain is known,
turn towards an unlighted portion of the area.
Plan an emergency approach to an unlighted
portion.
Perhaps the pilot’s greatest concern about flying a singleengine airplane at night is the possibility of a complete
engine failure and the subsequent emergency landing.
This is a legitimate concern, even though continuing
flight into adverse weather and poor pilot judgment
account for most serious accidents.
•
Consider an emergency landing area close to
public access if possible. This may facilitate
rescue or help, if needed.
•
Maintain orientation with the wind to avoid a
downwind landing.
If the engine fails at night, several important procedures
and considerations to keep in mind are:
•
Complete the before landing checklist, and
check the landing lights for operation at altitude
and turn ON in sufficient time to illuminate the
terrain or obstacles along the flightpath. The
landing should be completed in the normal landing attitude at the slowest possible airspeed. If
the landing lights are unusable and outside visual
references are not available, the airplane should
be held in level-landing attitude until the ground
is contacted.
•
After landing, turn off all switches and evacuate
the airplane as quickly as possible.
NIGHT EMERGENCIES
•
Maintain positive control of the airplane and
establish the best glide configuration and airspeed.
Turn the airplane towards an airport or away from
congested areas.
•
Check to determine the cause of the engine
malfunction, such as the position of fuel selectors, magneto switch, or primer. If possible, the
cause of the malfunction should be corrected
immediately and the engine restarted.
10-8
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AIRPLANES
attempts have been made to compromise this
conflicting requirement of high cruise and slow
landing speeds.
Transition to a complex airplane, or a high performance
airplane, can be demanding for most pilots without previous experience. Increased performance and increased
complexity both require additional planning, judgment,
and piloting skills. Transition to these types of
airplanes, therefore, should be accomplished in a
systematic manner through a structured course of
training administered by a qualified flight instructor.
Since an airfoil cannot have two different cambers at
the same time, one of two things must be done. Either
the airfoil can be a compromise, or a cruise airfoil can
be combined with a device for increasing the camber of
the airfoil for low-speed flight. One method for varying
an airfoil’s camber is the addition of trailing edge flaps.
Engineers call these devices a high-lift system.
HIGH PERFORMANCE AND COMPLEX
A complex airplane is defined as an airplane equipped
with a retractable landing gear, wing flaps, and a
controllable-pitch propeller. For a seaplane to be
considered complex, it is required to have wing flaps and
a controllable-pitch propeller. A high performance
airplane is defined as an airplane with an engine of more
than 200 horsepower.
WING FLAPS
Airplanes can be designed to fly fast or slow. High
speed requires thin, moderately cambered airfoils with
a small wing area, whereas the high lift needed for low
speeds is obtained with thicker highly cambered
airfoils with a larger wing area. [Figure 11-1] Many
FUNCTION OF FLAPS
Flaps work primarily by changing the camber of the
airfoil since deflection adds aft camber. Flap deflection
does not increase the critical (stall) angle of attack, and
in some cases flap deflection actually decreases the
critical angle of attack.
Deflection of trailing edge control surfaces, such as the
aileron, alters both lift and drag. With aileron
deflection, there is asymmetrical lift (rolling moment)
and drag (adverse yaw). Wing flaps differ in that
deflection acts symmetrically on the airplane. There is
no roll or yaw effect, and pitch changes depend on the
airplane design.
Tapered
Elliptical
Sweptback
Straight
Delta
Figure 11-1. Airfoil types.
11-1
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Pitch behavior depends on flap type, wing position,
and horizontal tail location. The increased camber
from flap deflection produces lift primarily on the rear
portion of the wing. This produces a nosedown
pitching moment; however, the change in tail load
from the downwash deflected by the flaps over the
horizontal tail has a significant influence on the
pitching moment. Consequently, pitch behavior
depends on the design features of the particular airplane.
Flap deflection of up to 15° primarily produces lift
with minimal drag. The tendency to balloon up with
initial flap deflection is because of lift increase, but the
nosedown pitching moment tends to offset the balloon.
Deflection beyond 15° produces a large increase in
drag. Drag from flap deflection is parasite drag, and
as such is proportional to the square of the speed. Also,
deflection beyond 15° produces a significant noseup
pitching moment in most high-wing airplanes because
the resulting downwash increases the airflow over the
horizontal tail.
FLAP EFFECTIVENESS
Flap effectiveness depends on a number of factors, but
the most noticeable are size and type. For the purpose
of this chapter, trailing edge flaps are classified as four
basic types: plain (hinge), split, slotted, and Fowler.
[Figure 11-2]
The plain or hinge flap is a hinged section of the wing.
The structure and function are comparable to the other
control surfaces—ailerons, rudder, and elevator. The
split flap is more complex. It is the lower or underside
portion of the wing; deflection of the flap leaves the
trailing edge of the wing undisturbed. It is, however,
more effective than the hinge flap because of greater
lift and less pitching moment, but there is more drag.
Split flaps are more useful for landing, but the partially
deflected hinge flaps have the advantage in takeoff.
The split flap has significant drag at small deflections,
whereas the hinge flap does not because airflow
remains “attached” to the flap.
The slotted flap has a gap between the wing and the
leading edge of the flap. The slot allows high
pressure airflow on the wing undersurface to energize
the lower pressure over the top, thereby delaying flow
separation. The slotted flap has greater lift than the
hinge flap but less than the split flap; but, because of
a higher lift-drag ratio, it gives better takeoff and
climb performance. Small deflections of the slotted
flap give a higher drag than the hinge flap but less
than the split. This allows the slotted flap to be used
for takeoff.
The Fowler flap deflects down and aft to increase the
wing area. This flap can be multi-slotted making it the
most complex of the trailing edge systems. This
11-2
Plain Flap
Split Flap
Slotted Flap
Fowler Flap
Figure 11-2. Four basic types of flaps.
system does, however, give the maximum lift
coefficient. Drag characteristics at small deflections
are much like the slotted flap. Because of structural
complexity and difficulty in sealing the slots, Fowler
flaps are most commonly used on larger airplanes.
OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES
It would be impossible to discuss all the many airplane
design and flap combinations. This emphasizes the
importance of the FAA-approved Airplane Flight
Manual and/or Pilot’s Operating Handbook
(AFM/POH) for a given airplane. However, while
some AFM/POHs are specific as to operational use of
flaps, many are lacking. Hence, flap operation makes
pilot judgment of critical importance. In addition, flap
operation is used for landings and takeoffs, during
which the airplane is in close proximity to the ground
where the margin for error is small.
Since the recommendations given in the AFM/POH are
based on the airplane and the flap design combination,
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the pilot must relate the manufacturer’s recommendation to aerodynamic effects of flaps. This requires that
the pilot have a basic background knowledge of flap
aerodynamics and geometry. With this information, the
pilot must make a decision as to the degree of flap
deflection and time of deflection based on runway and
approach conditions relative to the wind conditions.
the deflected flap and fuselage side and with the flap
located behind the main gear, the upwind wing will
tend to rise and the airplane will tend to turn into the
wind. Proper control position, therefore, is essential
for maintaining runway alignment. Also, it may
be necessary to retract the flaps upon positive
ground contact.
The time of flap extension and degree of deflection are
related. Large flap deflections at one single point in the
landing pattern produce large lift changes that require
significant pitch and power changes in order to
maintain airspeed and glide slope. Incremental
deflection of flaps on downwind, base, and final
approach allow smaller adjustment of pitch and power
compared to extension of full flaps all at one time. This
procedure facilitates a more stabilized approach.
The go-around is another factor to consider when
making a decision about degree of flap deflection
and about where in the landing pattern to extend
flaps. Because of the nosedown pitching moment
produced with flap extension, trim is used to offset
this pitching moment. Application of full power in
the go-around increases the airflow over the
“flapped” wing. This produces additional lift
causing the nose to pitch up. The pitch-up tendency
does not diminish completely with flap retraction
because of the trim setting. Expedient retraction of
flaps is desirable to eliminate drag, thereby allowing
rapid increase in airspeed; however, flap retraction
also decreases lift so that the airplane sinks rapidly.
A soft- or short-field landing requires minimal speed at
touchdown. The flap deflection that results in minimal
groundspeed, therefore, should be used. If obstacle
clearance is a factor, the flap deflection that results in
the steepest angle of approach should be used. It
should be noted, however, that the flap setting that
gives the minimal speed at touchdown does not
necessarily give the steepest angle of approach;
however, maximum flap extension gives the steepest
angle of approach and minimum speed at touchdown.
Maximum flap extension, particularly beyond 30 to
35°, results in a large amount of drag. This requires
higher power settings than used with partial flaps.
Because of the steep approach angle combined with
power to offset drag, the flare with full flaps becomes
critical. The drag produces a high sink rate that must
be controlled with power, yet failure to reduce power
at a rate so that the power is idle at touchdown allows
the airplane to float down the runway. A reduction in
power too early results in a hard landing.
Crosswind component is another factor to be
considered in the degree of flap extension. The
deflected flap presents a surface area for the wind to
act on. In a crosswind, the “flapped” wing on the
upwind side is more affected than the downwind
wing. This is, however, eliminated to a slight extent
in the crabbed approach since the airplane is more
nearly aligned with the wind. When using a wing low
approach, however, the lowered wing partially
blankets the upwind flap, but the dihedral of the wing
combined with the flap and wind make lateral control
more difficult. Lateral control becomes more difficult
as flap extension reaches maximum and the
crosswind becomes perpendicular to the runway.
Crosswind effects on the “flapped” wing become more
pronounced as the airplane comes closer to the ground.
The wing, flap, and ground form a “container” that is
filled with air by the crosswind. With the wind striking
The degree of flap deflection combined with design
configuration of the horizontal tail relative to the
wing requires that the pilot carefully monitor pitch
and airspeed, carefully control flap retraction to
minimize altitude loss, and properly use the rudder
for coordination. Considering these factors, the pilot
should extend the same degree of deflection at the
same point in the landing pattern. This requires that a
consistent traffic pattern be used. Therefore, the pilot
can have a preplanned go-around sequence based on
the airplane’s position in the landing pattern.
There is no single formula to determine the degree of
flap deflection to be used on landing, because a
landing involves variables that are dependent on each
other. The AFM/POH for the particular airplane will
contain the manufacturer’s recommendations for
some landing situations. On the other hand,
AFM/POH information on flap usage for takeoff is
more precise. The manufacturer’s requirements are
based on the climb performance produced by a given
flap design. Under no circumstances should a flap
setting given in the AFM/POH be exceeded
for takeoff.
CONTROLLABLE-PITCH PROPELLER
Fixed-pitch propellers are designed for best efficiency
at one speed of rotation and forward speed. This type
of propeller will provide suitable performance in
a narrow range of airspeeds; however, efficiency
would suffer considerably outside this range. To
provide high propeller efficiency through a wide
range of operation, the propeller blade angle
must be controllable. The most convenient
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way of controlling the propeller blade angle is by
means of a constant-speed governing system.
CONSTANT-SPEED PROPELLER
The constant-speed propeller keeps the blade angle
adjusted for maximum efficiency for most conditions
of flight. When an engine is running at constant
speed, the torque (power) exerted by the engine at the
propeller shaft must equal the opposing load provided
by the resistance of the air. The r.p.m. is controlled by
regulating the torque absorbed by the propeller—in
other words by increasing or decreasing the
resistance offered by the air to the propeller. In the
case of a fixed-pitch propeller, the torque absorbed
by the propeller is a function of speed, or r.p.m. If the
power output of the engine is changed, the engine will
accelerate or decelerate until an r.p.m. is reached at
which the power delivered is equal to the power
absorbed. In the case of a constant-speed propeller,
the power absorbed is independent of the r.p.m., for
by varying the pitch of the blades, the air resistance
and hence the torque or load, can be changed without
reference to propeller speed. This is accomplished
with a constant-speed propeller by means of a
governor. The governor, in most cases, is geared to
the engine crankshaft and thus is sensitive to changes
in engine r.p.m.
The pilot controls the engine r.p.m. indirectly by means
of a propeller control in the cockpit, which is
connected to the governor. For maximum takeoff
power, the propeller control is moved all the way
forward to the low pitch/high r.p.m. position, and the
throttle is moved forward to the maximum allowable
manifold pressure position. To reduce power for climb
or cruise, manifold pressure is reduced to the desired
value with the throttle, and the engine r.p.m. is reduced
by moving the propeller control back toward the high
pitch/low r.p.m. position until the desired r.p.m. is
observed on the tachometer. Pulling back on the
propeller control causes the propeller blades to move
to a higher angle. Increasing the propeller blade angle
(of attack) results in an increase in the resistance of the
air. This puts a load on the engine so it slows down. In
other words, the resistance of the air at the higher blade
angle is greater than the torque, or power, delivered to
the propeller by the engine, so it slows down to a point
where the two forces are in balance.
When an airplane is nosed up into a climb from level
flight, the engine will tend to slow down. Since the
governor is sensitive to small changes in engine r.p.m.,
it will decrease the blade angle just enough to keep the
engine speed from falling off. If the airplane is nosed
down into a dive, the governor will increase the blade
angle enough to prevent the engine from overspeeding.
This allows the engine to maintain a constant r.p.m.,
and thus maintain the power output. Changes in
11-4
airspeed and power can be obtained by changing
r.p.m. at a constant manifold pressure; by changing
the manifold pressure at a constant r.p.m.; or by
changing both r.p.m. and manifold pressure. Thus
the constant-speed propeller makes it possible to
obtain an infinite number of power settings.
TAKEOFF, CLIMB, AND CRUISE
During takeoff, when the forward motion of the
airplane is at low speeds and when maximum power
and thrust are required, the constant-speed propeller
sets up a low propeller blade angle (pitch). The low
blade angle keeps the angle of attack, with respect to
the relative wind, small and efficient at the low speed.
[Figure 11-3]
STATIONARY
Chord
Line
FORWARD MOTION
Plane of
Propeller
Rotation
Chord Line
(Blade Face)
Plane of
Propeller
Rotation
Relative
Wind
Relative
Wind
Angle of
Attack
Forward Angle of
Airspeed Attack
Figure 11-3. Propeller blade angle.
At the same time, it allows the propeller to “slice it
thin” and handle a smaller mass of air per revolution.
This light load allows the engine to turn at maximum
r.p.m. and develop maximum power. Although the
mass of air per revolution is small, the number of
revolutions per minute is high. Thrust is maximum at
the beginning of the takeoff and then decreases as the
airplane gains speed and the airplane drag increases.
Due to the high slipstream velocity during takeoff,
the effective lift of the wing behind the propeller(s)
is increased.
As the airspeed increases after lift-off, the load on the
engine is lightened because of the small blade angle.
The governor senses this and increases the blade angle
slightly. Again, the higher blade angle, with the higher
speeds, keeps the angle of attack with respect to the
relative wind small and efficient.
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For climb after takeoff, the power output of the engine
is reduced to climb power by decreasing the manifold
pressure and lowering r.p.m. by increasing the blade
angle. At the higher (climb) airspeed and the higher
blade angle, the propeller is handling a greater mass of
air per second at a lower slipstream velocity. This
reduction in power is offset by the increase in propeller
efficiency. The angle of attack is again kept small by
the increase in the blade angle with an increase
in airspeed.
At cruising altitude, when the airplane is in level flight,
less power is required to produce a higher airspeed
than is used in climb. Consequently, engine power is
again reduced by lowering the manifold pressure and
increasing the blade angle (to decrease r.p.m.). The
higher airspeed and higher blade angle enable the
propeller to handle a still greater mass of air per
second at still smaller slipstream velocity. At normal
cruising speeds, propeller efficiency is at, or near
maximum efficiency. Due to the increase in blade
angle and airspeed, the angle of attack is still small
and efficient.
BLADE ANGLE CONTROL
Once the pilot selects the r.p.m. settings for the
propeller, the propeller governor automatically adjusts
the blade angle to maintain the selected r.p.m. It does
this by using oil pressure. Generally, the oil pressure
used for pitch change comes directly from the engine
lubricating system. When a governor is employed,
engine oil is used and the oil pressure is usually
boosted by a pump, which is integrated with the
governor. The higher pressure provides a quicker blade
angle change. The r.p.m. at which the propeller is to
operate is adjusted in the governor head. The pilot
changes this setting by changing the position of the
governor rack through the cockpit propeller control.
On some constant-speed propellers, changes in pitch
are obtained by the use of an inherent centrifugal
twisting moment of the blades that tends to flatten the
blades toward low pitch, and oil pressure applied to a
hydraulic piston connected to the propeller blades
which moves them toward high pitch. Another type of
constant-speed propeller uses counterweights attached
to the blade shanks in the hub. Governor oil pressure
Aircraft Type
Fixed Gear
Retractable
Turbo Retractable
Turbine Retractable
Transport Retractable
Design Speed
(m.p.h.)
160
180
225/240
250/300
325
and the blade twisting moment move the blades toward
the low pitch position, and centrifugal force acting on
the counterweights moves them (and the blades)
toward the high pitch position. In the first case above,
governor oil pressure moves the blades towards high
pitch, and in the second case, governor oil pressure and
the blade twisting moment move the blades toward low
pitch. A loss of governor oil pressure, therefore, will
affect each differently.
GOVERNING RANGE
The blade angle range for constant-speed propellers
varies from about 11 1/2 to 40°. The higher the speed
of the airplane, the greater the blade angle range.
[Figure 11-4]
The range of possible blade angles is termed the
propeller’s governing range. The governing range is
defined by the limits of the propeller blade’s travel
between high and low blade angle pitch stops. As long
as the propeller blade angle is within the governing
range and not against either pitch stop, a constant
engine r.p.m. will be maintained. However, once the
propeller blade reaches its pitch-stop limit, the engine
r.p.m. will increase or decrease with changes in
airspeed and propeller load similar to a fixed-pitch
propeller. For example, once a specific r.p.m. is
selected, if the airspeed decreases enough, the
propeller blades will reduce pitch, in an attempt to
maintain the selected r.p.m., until they contact their
low pitch stops. From that point, any further
reduction in airspeed will cause the engine r.p.m.
to decrease. Conversely, if the airspeed increases,
the propeller blade angle will increase until the
high pitch stop is reached. The engine r.p.m. will
then begin to increase.
CONSTANT-SPEED
PROPELLER OPERATION
The engine is started with the propeller control in the
low pitch/high r.p.m. position. This position reduces
the load or drag of the propeller and the result is easier
starting and warm-up of the engine. During warm-up,
the propeller blade changing mechanism should be
operated slowly and smoothly through a full cycle.
This is done by moving the propeller control (with the
Blade Angle
Range
Low
Pitch
High
111/2°
15°
20°
30°
40°
101/2°
11°
14°
10°
10/15°
22°
26°
34°
40°
50/55°
Figure 11-4. Blade angle range (values are approximate).
11-5
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manifold pressure set to produce about 1,600 r.p.m.)
to the high pitch/low r.p.m. position, allowing the
r.p.m. to stabilize, and then moving the propeller
control back to the low pitch takeoff position. This
should be done for two reasons: to determine
whether the system is operating correctly, and to
circulate fresh warm oil through the propeller
governor system. It should be remembered that the
oil has been trapped in the propeller cylinder since
the last time the engine was shut down. There is a
certain amount of leakage from the propeller
cylinder, and the oil tends to congeal, especially if
the outside air temperature is low. Consequently, if
the propeller isn’t exercised before takeoff, there is
a possibility that the engine may overspeed
on takeoff.
An airplane equipped with a constant-speed propeller
has better takeoff performance than a similarly powered
airplane equipped with a fixed-pitch propeller. This is
because with a constant-speed propeller, an airplane can
develop its maximum rated horsepower (red line on the
tachometer) while motionless. An airplane with a fixedpitch propeller, on the other hand, must accelerate down
the runway to increase airspeed and aerodynamically
unload the propeller so that r.p.m. and horsepower can
steadily build up to their maximum. With a constantspeed propeller, the tachometer reading should come up
to within 40 r.p.m. of the red line as soon as full power is
applied, and should remain there for the entire takeoff.
Excessive manifold pressure raises the cylinder
compression pressure, resulting in high stresses within
the engine. Excessive pressure also produces high
engine temperatures. A combination of high manifold
pressure and low r.p.m. can induce damaging
detonation. In order to avoid these situations, the
following sequence should be followed when making
power changes.
•
When increasing power, increase the r.p.m. first,
and then the manifold pressure.
•
When decreasing power, decrease the manifold
pressure first, and then decrease the r.p.m.
It is a fallacy that (in non-turbocharged engines) the
manifold pressure in inches of mercury (inches Hg)
should never exceed r.p.m. in hundreds for cruise
power settings. The cruise power charts in the
AFM/POH should be consulted when selecting cruise
power settings. Whatever the combinations of r.p.m.
and manifold pressure listed in these charts—they have
been flight tested and approved by the airframe and
powerplant engineers for the respective airframe and
engine
manufacturer. Therefore, if there are power
settings such as 2,100 r.p.m. and 24 inches manifold
pressure in the power chart, they are approved for use.
11-6
With a constant-speed propeller, a power descent can
be made without overspeeding the engine. The system
compensates for the increased airspeed of the descent
by increasing the propeller blade angles. If the descent
is too rapid, or is being made from a high altitude, the
maximum blade angle limit of the blades is not
sufficient to hold the r.p.m. constant. When this
occurs, the r.p.m. is responsive to any change
in throttle setting.
Some pilots consider it advisable to set the propeller
control for maximum r.p.m. during the approach to
have full horsepower available in case of emergency.
If the governor is set for this higher r.p.m. early in the
approach when the blades have not yet reached their
minimum angle stops, the r.p.m. may increase to
unsafe limits. However, if the propeller control is not
readjusted for the takeoff r.p.m. until the approach is
almost completed, the blades will be against, or very
near their minimum angle stops and there will be little
if any change in r.p.m. In case of emergency, both
throttle and propeller controls should be moved to
takeoff positions.
Many pilots prefer to feel the airplane respond
immediately when they give short bursts of the
throttle during approach. By making the approach
under a little power and having the propeller control
set at or near cruising r.p.m., this result can
be obtained.
Although the governor responds quickly to any change
in throttle setting, a sudden and large increase in the
throttle setting will cause a momentary overspeeding
of the engine until the blades become adjusted to
absorb the increased power. If an emergency
demanding full power should arise during approach,
the sudden advancing of the throttle will cause
momentary overspeeding of the engine beyond the
r.p.m. for which the governor is adjusted. This
temporary increase in engine speed acts as an
emergency power reserve.
Some important points to remember concerning
constant-speed propeller operation are:
•
The red line on the tachometer not only indicates
maximum allowable r.p.m.; it also indicates
the r.p.m. required to obtain the engine’s
rated horsepower.
•
A momentary propeller overspeed may occur
when the throttle is advanced rapidly for takeoff.
This is usually not serious if the rated r.p.m. is
not exceeded by 10 percent for more than
3 seconds.
•
The green arc on the tachometer indicates the
normal operating range. When developing
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power in this range, the engine drives the propeller. Below the green arc, however, it is usually
the windmilling propeller that powers the
engine. Prolonged operation below the green arc
can be detrimental to the engine.
•
•
On takeoffs from low elevation airports, the
manifold pressure in inches of mercury may
exceed the r.p.m. This is normal in most cases.
The pilot should consult the AFM/POH
for limitations.
All power changes should be made smoothly
and slowly to avoid overboosting and/or
overspeeding.
TURBOCHARGING
The turbocharged engine allows the pilot to maintain
sufficient cruise power at high altitudes where there is
less drag, which means faster true airspeeds and
increased range with fuel economy. At the same time,
the powerplant has flexibility and can be flown at a low
altitude without the increased fuel consumption of a
turbine engine. When attached to the standard
powerplant, the turbocharger does not take any
horsepower from the powerplant to operate; it is
relatively simple mechanically, and some models can
pressurize the cabin as well.
The turbocharger is an exhaust-driven device, which
raises the pressure and density of the induction air
delivered to the engine. It consists of two separate
components: a compressor and a turbine connected by
a common shaft. The compressor supplies pressurized
air to the engine for high altitude operation. The
compressor and its housing are between the ambient
air intake and the induction air manifold. The turbine
and its housing are part of the exhaust system and
utilize the flow of exhaust gases to drive the
compressor. [Figure 11-5]
TURBOCHARGER
The turbocharger incorporates a
turbine, which is driven by exhaust
gases, and a compressor that
pressurizes the incoming air.
The turbine has the capability of producing manifold
pressure in excess of the maximum allowable for the
particular engine. In order not to exceed the maximum
allowable manifold pressure, a bypass or waste gate is
used so that some of the exhaust will be diverted
overboard before it passes through the turbine.
The position of the waste gate regulates the output of
the turbine and therefore, the compressed air available
to the engine. When the waste gate is closed, all of the
exhaust gases pass through and drive the turbine. As
the waste gate opens, some of the exhaust gases are
routed around the turbine, through the exhaust bypass
and overboard through the exhaust pipe.
The waste gate actuator is a spring-loaded piston,
operated by engine oil pressure. The actuator, which
adjusts the waste gate position, is connected to the
waste gate by a mechanical linkage.
The control center of the turbocharger system is
the pressure controller. This device simplifies
turbocharging to one control: the throttle. Once the
pilot has set the desired manifold pressure, virtually no
throttle adjustment is required with changes in altitude.
The controller senses compressor discharge
requirements for various altitudes and controls the oil
pressure to the waste gate actuator which adjusts the
waste gate accordingly. Thus the turbocharger
maintains only the manifold pressure called for by the
throttle setting.
GROUND BOOSTING VS. ALTITUDE
TURBOCHARGING
Altitude turbocharging (sometimes called “normalizing”) is accomplished by using a turbocharger that
will maintain maximum allowable sea level manifold
pressure (normally 29 – 30 inches Hg) up to a certain
altitude. This altitude is specified by the airplane
manufacturer and is referred to as the airplane’s
critical altitude. Above the critical altitude,
THROTTLE BODY
This regulates airflow
to the engine.
INTAKE MANIFOLD
Pressurized air from the
turbocharger is supplied to
the cylinders.
EXHAUST MANIFOLD
Exhaust gas is ducted through
the exhaust manifold and is
used to turn the turbine which
drives the compressor.
EXHAUST GAS
DISCHARGE
WASTE GATE
This controls the amount of exhaust through the turbine.
Waste gate position is actuated by engine oil pressure.
AIR INTAKE
Intake air is ducted to
the turbocharger where
it is compressed.
Figure 11-5. Turbocharging system.
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the manifold pressure decreases as additional altitude
is gained. Ground boosting, on the other hand, is an
application of turbocharging where more than the
standard 29 inches of manifold pressure is used in
flight. In various airplanes using ground boosting,
takeoff manifold pressures may go as high as 45
inches of mercury.
Although a sea level power setting and maximum
r.p.m. can be maintained up to the critical altitude,
this does not mean that the engine is developing sea
level power. Engine power is not determined just by
manifold pressure and r.p.m. Induction air
temperature is also a factor. Turbocharged induction
air is heated by compression. This temperature rise
decreases induction air density which causes a
power loss. Maintaining the equivalent horsepower
output will require a somewhat higher manifold
pressure at a given altitude than if the induction air
were not compressed by turbocharging. If, on the
other hand, the system incorporates an automatic
density controller which, instead of maintaining a
constant manifold pressure, automatically positions
the waste gate so as to maintain constant air density
to the engine, a near constant horsepower output
will result.
OPERATING CHARACTERISTICS
First and foremost, all movements of the power
controls on turbocharged engines should be slow and
gentle. Aggressive and/or abrupt throttle movements
increase the possibility of overboosting. The pilot
should carefully monitor engine indications when
making power changes.
When the waste gate is open, the turbocharged engine
will react the same as a normally aspirated engine
when the r.p.m. is varied. That is, when the r.p.m. is
increased, the manifold pressure will decrease slightly.
When the engine r.p.m. is decreased, the manifold
pressure will increase slightly. However, when the
waste gate is closed, manifold pressure variation with
engine r.p.m. is just the opposite of the normally
aspirated engine. An increase in engine r.p.m. will
result in an increase in manifold pressure, and a
decrease in engine r.p.m. will result in a decrease in
manifold pressure.
Above the critical altitude, where the waste gate
is closed, any change in airspeed will result in a
corresponding change in manifold pressure. This is
true because the increase in ram air pressure with an
increase in airspeed is magnified by the compressor
resulting in an increase in manifold pressure. The
increase in manifold pressure creates a higher mass
flow through the engine, causing higher turbine speeds
and thus further increasing manifold pressure.
11-8
When running at high altitudes, aviation gasoline may
tend to vaporize prior to reaching the cylinder. If this
occurs in the portion of the fuel system between the
fuel tank and the engine-driven fuel pump, an
auxiliary positive pressure pump may be needed in the
tank. Since engine-driven pumps pull fuel, they are
easily vapor locked. A boost pump provides positive
pressure—pushes the fuel—reducing the tendency to
vaporize.
HEAT MANAGEMENT
Turbocharged engines must be thoughtfully and
carefully operated, with continuous monitoring of
pressures and temperatures. There are two temperatures that are especially important—turbine inlet
temperature (TIT) or in some installations exhaust gas
temperature (EGT), and cylinder head temperature.
TIT or EGT limits are set to protect the elements in the
hot section of the turbocharger, while cylinder head
temperature limits protect the engine’s internal parts.
Due to the heat of compression of the induction air, a
turbocharged engine runs at higher operating
temperatures than a non-turbocharged engine. Because
turbocharged engines operate at high altitudes, their
environment is less efficient for cooling. At altitude
the air is less dense and therefore, cools less
efficiently. Also, the less dense air causes the
compressor to work harder. Compressor turbine
speeds can reach 80,000 – 100,000 r.p.m., adding
to the overall engine operating temperatures.
Turbocharged engines are also operated at higher
power settings a greater portion of the time.
High heat is detrimental to piston engine operation. Its
cumulative effects can lead to piston, ring, and
cylinder head failure, and place thermal stress on other
operating components. Excessive cylinder head
temperature can lead to detonation, which in turn can
cause catastrophic engine failure. Turbocharged
engines are especially heat sensitive. The key to
turbocharger operation, therefore, is effective heat
management.
The pilot monitors the condition of a turbocharged
engine with manifold pressure gauge, tachometer,
exhaust gas temperature/turbine inlet temperature
gauge, and cylinder head temperature. The pilot
manages the “heat system” with the throttle, propeller
r.p.m., mixture, and cowl flaps. At any given cruise
power, the mixture is the most influential control over
the exhaust gas/turbine inlet temperature. The throttle
regulates total fuel flow, but the mixture governs the
fuel to air ratio. The mixture, therefore, controls
temperature.
Exceeding temperature limits in an after takeoff climb
is usually not a problem since a full rich mixture cools
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with excess fuel. At cruise, however, the pilot normally
reduces power to 75 percent or less and simultaneously
adjusts the mixture. Under cruise conditions,
temperature limits should be monitored most closely
because it’s there that the temperatures are most likely
to reach the maximum, even though the engine is
producing less power. Overheating in an enroute
climb, however, may require fully open cowl flaps and
a higher airspeed.
Since turbocharged engines operate hotter at altitude
than do normally aspirated engines, they are more
prone to damage from cooling stress. Gradual
reductions in power, and careful monitoring of
temperatures are essential in the descent phase. The
pilot may find it helpful to lower the landing gear to
give the engine something to work against while power
is reduced and provide time for a slow cool down. It
may also be necessary to lean the mixture slightly to
eliminate roughness at the lower power settings.
TURBOCHARGER FAILURE
Because of the high temperatures and pressures
produced in the turbine exhaust systems, any
malfunction of the turbocharger must be treated with
extreme caution. In all cases of turbocharger operation,
the manufacturer’s recommended procedures should
be followed. This is especially so in the case of
turbocharger malfunction. However, in those instances
where the manufacturer’s procedures do not
adequately describe the actions to be taken in the event
of a turbocharger failure, the following procedures
should be used.
OVERBOOST CONDITION
If an excessive rise in manifold pressure occurs during
normal advancement of the throttle (possibly owing to
faulty operation of the waste gate):
•
Immediately retard the throttle smoothly to limit
the manifold pressure below the maximum for
the r.p.m. and mixture setting.
•
Operate the engine in such a manner as to avoid a
further overboost condition.
LOW MANIFOLD PRESSURE
Although this condition may be caused by a minor
fault, it is quite possible that a serious exhaust leak has
occurred creating a potentially hazardous situation:
•
Shut down the engine in accordance with the
recommended engine failure procedures, unless
a greater emergency exists that warrants continued engine operation.
•
If continuing to operate the engine, use the lowest power setting demanded by the situation and
land as soon as practicable.
It is very important to ensure that corrective
maintenance is undertaken following any
turbocharger malfunction.
RETRACTABLE LANDING GEAR
The primary benefits of being able to retract the
landing gear are increased climb performance and
higher cruise airspeeds due to the resulting decrease in
drag. Retractable landing gear systems may be
operated either hydraulically or electrically, or may
employ a combination of the two systems. Warning
indicators are provided in the cockpit to show the pilot
when the wheels are down and locked and when they
are up and locked or if they are in intermediate
positions. Systems for emergency operation are also
provided. The complexity of the retractable landing
gear system requires that specific operating procedures
be adhered to and that certain operating limitations not
be exceeded.
LANDING GEAR SYSTEMS
An electrical landing gear retraction system utilizes an
electrically driven motor for gear operation. The
system is basically an electrically driven jack for
raising and lowering the gear. When a switch in the
cockpit is moved to the UP position, the electric motor
operates. Through a system of shafts, gears, adapters,
an actuator screw, and a torque tube, a force is
transmitted to the drag strut linkages. Thus, the gear
retracts and locks. Struts are also activated that open
and close the gear doors. If the switch is moved to the
DOWN position, the motor reverses and the gear
moves down and locks. Once activated the gear motor
will continue to operate until an up or down limit
switch on the motor’s gearbox is tripped.
A hydraulic landing gear retraction system utilizes
pressurized hydraulic fluid to actuate linkages to raise
and lower the gear. When a switch in the cockpit is
moved to the UP position, hydraulic fluid is directed
into the gear up line. The fluid flows through
sequenced valves and downlocks to the gear
actuating cylinders. A similar process occurs during
gear extension. The pump which pressurizes the fluid
in the system can be either engine driven or
electrically powered. If an electrically powered pump
is used to pressurize the fluid, the system is referred
to as an electrohydraulic system. The system also
incorporates a hydraulic reservoir to contain excess
fluid, and to provide a means of determining system
fluid level.
Regardless of its power source, the hydraulic pump is
designed to operate within a specific range. When a
sensor detects excessive pressure, a relief valve within
the pump opens, and hydraulic pressure is routed back
to the reservoir. Another type of relief valve prevents
excessive pressure that may result from thermal expansion. Hydraulic pressure is also regulated by limit
11-9
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switches. Each gear has two limit switches—one
dedicated to extension and one dedicated to retraction.
These switches de-energize the hydraulic pump after
the landing gear has completed its gear cycle. In the
event of limit switch failure, a backup pressure relief
valve activates to relieve excess system pressure.
CONTROLS AND POSITION INDICATORS
Landing gear position is controlled by a switch in the
cockpit. In most airplanes, the gear switch is shaped
like a wheel in order to facilitate positive identification
and to differentiate it from other cockpit controls.
[Figure 11-6]
Landing gear position indicators vary with different
make and model airplanes. The most common types of
landing gear position indicators utilize a group of
lights. One type consists of a group of three green
lights, which illuminate when the landing gear is down
and locked. [Figure 11-6] Another type consists of one
green light to indicate when the landing gear is down
and an amber light to indicate when the gear is up. Still
other systems incorporate a red or amber light to
indicate when the gear is in transit or unsafe for
landing. [Figure 11-7] The lights are usually of the
“press to test” type, and the bulbs are interchangeable.
[Figure 11-6]
Other types of landing gear position indicators consist
of tab-type indicators with markings “UP” to indicate
the gear is up and locked, a display of red and white
diagonal stripes to show when the gear is unlocked, or
a silhouette of each gear to indicate when it locks in
the DOWN position.
LANDING GEAR SAFETY DEVICES
Most airplanes with a retractable landing gear have a
gear warning horn that will sound when the airplane is
configured for landing and the landing gear is not
down and locked. Normally, the horn is linked to the
throttle or flap position, and/or the airspeed indicator
so that when the airplane is below a certain airspeed,
Figure 11-6. Typical landing gear switches and position
indicators.
11-10
configuration, or power setting with the gear retracted,
the warning horn will sound.
Accidental retraction of a landing gear may be
prevented by such devices as mechanical downlocks,
safety switches, and ground locks. Mechanical
downlocks are built-in components of a gear retraction
system and are operated automatically by the gear
retraction system. To prevent accidental operation of
the downlocks, and inadvertent landing gear retraction
while the airplane is on the ground, electrically
operated safety switches are installed.
A landing gear safety switch, sometimes referred to as
a squat switch, is usually mounted in a bracket on one
of the main gear shock struts. [Figure 11-8] When the
strut is compressed by the weight of the airplane, the
switch opens the electrical circuit to the motor or
mechanism that powers retraction. In this way, if the
landing gear switch in the cockpit is placed in the
RETRACT position when weight is on the gear, the
gear will remain extended, and the warning horn may
sound as an alert to the unsafe condition. Once the
weight is off the gear, however, such as on takeoff, the
safety switch will release and the gear will retract.
Many airplanes are equipped with additional safety
devices to prevent collapse of the gear when the
airplane is on the ground. These devices are called
ground locks. One common type is a pin installed in
aligned holes drilled in two or more units of the
landing gear support structure. Another type is a
spring-loaded clip designed to fit around and hold two
or more units of the support structure together. All
types of ground locks usually have red streamers
permanently attached to them to readily indicate
whether or not they are installed.
EMERGENCY GEAR EXTENSION SYSTEMS
The emergency extension system lowers the landing
gear if the main power system fails. Some airplanes
Figure 11-7. Typical landing gear switches and position
indicators.
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28V DC
Bus Bar
Lock Release
Solenoid
Landing Gear
Selector Valve
Lock-Pin
Safety Switch
Figure 11-8. Landing gear safety switch.
have an emergency release handle in the cockpit,
which is connected through a mechanical linkage to
the gear uplocks. When the handle is operated, it
Hand Pump
releases the uplocks and allows the gears to free fall, or
extend under their own weight. [Figure 11-9]
Compressed Gas
Hand Crank
Figure 11-9. Typical emergency gear extension systems.
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Figure 11-10. Retractable landing gear inspection
checkpoints.
On other airplanes, release of the uplock is
accomplished using compressed gas, which is directed
to uplock release cylinders.
In some airplanes, design configurations make
emergency extension of the landing gear by gravity
and air loads alone impossible or impractical. In these
airplanes, provisions are included for forceful gear
extension in an emergency. Some installations are
designed so that either hydraulic fluid or compressed
gas provides the necessary pressure, while others use a
manual system such as a hand crank for emergency
gear extension. [Figure 11-9] Hydraulic pressure for
emergency operation of the landing gear may be
provided by an auxiliary hand pump, an accumulator,
or an electrically powered hydraulic pump depending
on the design of the airplane.
OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES
PREFLIGHT
Because of their complexity, retractable landing gears
demand a close inspection prior to every flight. The
inspection should begin inside the cockpit. The pilot
should first make certain that the landing gear selector
switch is in the GEAR DOWN position. The pilot
11-12
should then turn on the battery master switch and
ensure that the landing gear position indicators show
that the gear is down and locked.
External inspection of the landing gear should
consist of checking individual system components.
[Figure 11-10] The landing gear, wheel well, and
adjacent areas should be clean and free of mud and
debris. Dirty switches and valves may cause false
safe light indications or interrupt the extension cycle
before the landing gear is completely down and
locked. The wheel wells should be clear of any
obstructions, as foreign objects may damage the gear
or interfere with its operation. Bent gear doors may
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be an indication of possible problems with normal
gear operation.
Shock struts should be properly inflated and the
pistons clean. Main gear and nose gear uplock and
downlock mechanisms should be checked for general
condition. Power sources and retracting mechanisms
should be checked for general condition, obvious
defects, and security of attachment. Hydraulic lines
should be checked for signs of chafing, and leakage
at attach points. Warning system micro switches
(squat switches) should be checked for cleanliness
and security of attachment. Actuating cylinders,
sprockets, universals, drive gears, linkages and any
other accessible components should be checked for
condition and obvious defects. The airplane structure
to which the landing gear is attached should be
checked for distortion, cracks, and general condition.
All bolts and rivets should be intact and secure.
TAKEOFF AND CLIMB
Normally, the landing gear should be retracted after
lift-off when the airplane has reached an altitude
where, in the event of an engine failure or other
emergency requiring an aborted takeoff, the airplane
could no longer be landed on the runway. This procedure, however, may not apply to all situations. Landing
gear retraction should be preplanned, taking into
account the length of the runway, climb gradient,
obstacle clearance requirements, the characteristics of
the terrain beyond the departure end of the runway, and
the climb characteristics of the particular airplane. For
example, in some situations it may be preferable, in the
event of an engine failure, to make an off airport forced
landing with the gear extended in order to take
advantage of the energy absorbing qualities of terrain
(see Chapter 16). In which case, a delay in retracting
the landing gear after takeoff from a short runway may
be warranted. In other situations, obstacles in the climb
path may warrant a timely gear retraction after takeoff.
Also, in some airplanes the initial climb pitch attitude
is such that any view of the runway remaining is
blocked, making an assessment of the feasibility of
touching down on the remaining runway difficult.
Premature landing gear retraction should be avoided.
The landing gear should not be retracted until a
positive rate of climb is indicated on the flight
instruments. If the airplane has not attained a positive
rate of climb, there is always the chance it may settle
back onto the runway with the gear retracted. This is
especially so in cases of premature lift-off. The pilot
should also remember that leaning forward to reach the
landing gear selector may result in inadvertent forward
pressure on the yoke, which will cause the airplane to
descend.
As the landing gear retracts, airspeed will increase and
the airplane’s pitch attitude may change. The gear may
take several seconds to retract. Gear retraction and
locking (and gear extension and locking) is
accompanied by sound and feel that are unique to the
specific make and model airplane. The pilot should
become familiar with the sounds and feel of normal
gear retraction so that any abnormal gear operation can
be readily discernable. Abnormal landing gear
retraction is most often a clear sign that the gear
extension cycle will also be abnormal.
APPROACH AND LANDING
The operating loads placed on the landing gear at
higher airspeeds may cause structural damage due to
the forces of the airstream. Limiting speeds, therefore,
are established for gear operation to protect the gear
components from becoming overstressed during flight.
These speeds are not found on the airspeed indicator.
They are published in the AFM/POH for the particular
airplane and are usually listed on placards in the
cockpit. [Figure 11-11] The maximum landing
extended speed (VLE ) is the maximum speed at which
the airplane can be flown with the landing gear
extended. The maximum landing gear operating speed
(VLO) is the maximum speed at which the landing gear
may be operated through its cycle.
Figure 11-11. Placarded gear speeds in the cockpit.
The landing gear is extended by placing the gear
selector switch in the GEAR DOWN position. As the
landing gear extends, the airspeed will decrease and
the pitch attitude may increase. During the several
seconds it takes for the gear to extend, the pilot
should be attentive to any abnormal sounds or feel.
The pilot should confirm that the landing gear has
extended and locked by the normal sound and feel of
the system operation as well as by the gear position
indicators in the cockpit. Unless the landing gear has
been previously extended to aid in a descent to traffic
pattern altitude, the landing gear should be extended
by the time the airplane reaches a point on the downwind leg that is opposite the point of intended
landing. The pilot should establish a standard
procedure consisting of a specific position on the
downwind leg at which to lower the landing gear.
Strict adherence to this procedure will aid the pilot in
avoiding unintentional gear up landings.
11-13
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Operation of an airplane equipped with a retractable
landing gear requires the deliberate, careful, and
continued use of an appropriate checklist. When on
the downwind leg, the pilot should make it a habit to
complete the landing gear checklist for that airplane.
This accomplishes two purposes. It ensures that
action has been taken to lower the gear, and it
increases the pilot’s awareness so that the gear down
indicators can be rechecked prior to landing.
Unless good operating practices dictate otherwise, the
landing roll should be completed and the airplane
clear of the runway before any levers or switches are
operated. This will accomplish the following: The
landing gear strut safety switches will be actuated,
deactivating the landing gear retract system. After
rollout and clearing the runway, the pilot will be able
to focus attention on the after landing checklist and to
identify the proper controls.
Pilots transitioning to retractable gear airplanes should
be aware that the most common pilot operational
factors involved in retractable gear airplane accidents
are:
•
Neglected to extend landing gear.
•
Inadvertently retracted landing gear.
•
Activated gear, but failed to check gear position.
•
Misused emergency gear system.
•
Retracted gear prematurely on takeoff.
•
Extended gear too late.
In order to minimize the chances of a landing gear
related mishap, the pilot should:
•
Use an appropriate checklist. (A condensed
checklist mounted in view of the pilot as a
reminder for its use and easy reference can be
especially helpful.)
•
Be familiar with, and periodically review, the
landing gear emergency extension procedures for
the particular airplane.
11-14
•
Be familiar with the landing gear warning horn
and warning light systems for the particular
airplane. Use the horn system to cross-check the
warning light system when an unsafe condition
is noted.
•
Review the procedure for replacing light bulbs
in the landing gear warning light displays for the
particular airplane, so that you can properly
replace a bulb to determine if the bulb(s) in the
display is good. Check to see if spare bulbs are
available in the airplane spare bulb supply as part
of the preflight inspection.
•
Be familiar with and aware of the sounds and
feel of a properly operating landing gear system.
TRANSITION TRAINING
Transition to a complex airplane or a high
performance airplane should be accomplished through
a structured course of training administered by a
competent and qualified flight instructor. The training
should be accomplished in accordance with a ground
and flight training syllabus. [Figure 11-12]
This sample syllabus for transition training is to be
considered flexible. The arrangement of the subject
matter may be changed and the emphasis may be
shifted to fit the qualifications of the transitioning
pilot, the airplane involved, and the circumstances of
the training situation, provided the prescribed
proficiency standards are achieved. These standards
are contained in the practical test standards
appropriate for the certificate that the transitioning
pilot holds or is working towards.
The training times indicated in the syllabus are based
on the capabilities of a pilot who is currently active
and fully meets the present requirements for the
issuance of at least a private pilot certificate. The time
periods may be reduced for pilots with higher
qualifications or increased for pilots who do not meet
the current certification requirements or who have had
little recent flight experience.
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Ground Instruction
1 Hour
1. Operations sections of
flight manual
2. Line inspection
3. Cockpit familiarization
1 Hour
1. Aircraft loading, limitations
and servicing
2. Instruments, radio and
special equipment
3. Aircraft systems
1 Hour
1. Performance section of
flight manual
2. Cruise control
3. Review
Flight Instruction
Directed Practice*
1 Hour
1. Flight training maneuvers
2. Takeoffs, landings and
go-arounds
1 Hour
1. Emergency operations
2. Control by reference to
instruments
3. Use of radio and autopilot
1 Hour
1. Short and soft-field
takeoffs and landings
2. Maximum performance
operations
1 Hour
As assigned by flight instructor
1 Hour
As assigned by flight instructor
1 Hour—CHECKOUT
*
The directed practice indicated may be conducted solo or with a safety pilot at the discretion of the instructor.
Figure 11-12. Transition training syllabus.
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Page 12-1
MULTIENGINE FLIGHT
GENERAL
This chapter is devoted to the factors associated with
the operation of small multiengine airplanes. For the
purpose of this handbook, a “small” multiengine airplane is a reciprocating or turbopropeller-powered
airplane with a maximum certificated takeoff weight
of 12,500 pounds or less. This discussion assumes a
conventional design with two engines—one mounted
on each wing. Reciprocating engines are assumed
unless otherwise noted. The term “light-twin,”
although not formally defined in the regulations, is
used herein as a small multiengine airplane with a
maximum certificated takeoff weight of 6,000 pounds
or less.
The basic difference between operating a multiengine
airplane and a single-engine airplane is the potential
problem involving an engine failure. The penalties for
loss of an engine are twofold: performance and control.
The most obvious problem is the loss of 50 percent
of power, which reduces climb performance 80 to 90
percent, sometimes even more. The other is the control problem caused by the remaining thrust, which
is now asymmetrical. Attention to both these factors
is crucial to safe OEI flight. The performance and
systems redundancy of a multiengine airplane is a
safety advantage only to a trained and proficient
pilot.
There are several unique characteristics of multiengine
airplanes that make them worthy of a separate class rating. Knowledge of these factors and proficient flight
skills are a key to safe flight in these airplanes. This
chapter deals extensively with the numerous aspects of
one engine inoperative (OEI) flight. However, pilots
are strongly cautioned not to place undue emphasis
on mastery of OEI flight as the sole key to flying
multiengine airplanes safely. The inoperative engine
information that follows is extensive only because
this chapter emphasizes the differences between flying
multiengine airplanes as contrasted to single-engine
airplanes.
TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
The modern, well-equipped multiengine airplane can
be remarkably capable under many circumstances. But,
as with single-engine airplanes, it must be flown prudently by a current and competent pilot to achieve the
highest possible level of safety.
This chapter contains information and guidance on the
performance of certain maneuvers and procedures in
small multiengine airplanes for the purposes of flight
training and pilot certification testing. The final
authority on the operation of a particular make and
model airplane, however, is the airplane manufacturer.
Both the flight instructor and the student should be
aware that if any of the guidance in this handbook conflicts with the airplane manufacturer’s recommended
procedures and guidance as contained in the FAAapproved Airplane Flight Manual and/or Pilot’s
Operating Handbook (AFM/POH), it is the airplane
manufacturer’s guidance and procedures that take
precedence.
Pilots of single-engine airplanes are already familiar
with many performance “V” speeds and their definitions. Twin-engine airplanes have several additional
V speeds unique to OEI operation. These speeds are
differentiated by the notation “SE”, for single engine.
A review of some key V speeds and several new V
speeds unique to twin-engine airplanes follows.
•
VR – Rotation speed. The speed at which back
pressure is applied to rotate the airplane to a takeoff attitude.
•
VLOF – Lift-off speed. The speed at which the
airplane leaves the surface. (Note: some manufacturers reference takeoff performance data to
VR, others to VLOF.)
•
VX – Best angle of climb speed. The speed at
which the airplane will gain the greatest altitude
for a given distance of forward travel.
•
VXSE – Best angle-of-climb speed with one
engine inoperative.
•
VY – Best rate of climb speed. The speed at
which the airplane will gain the most altitude for
a given unit of time.
•
VYSE – Best rate-of-climb speed with one engine
inoperative. Marked with a blue radial line on
most airspeed indicators. Above the single-engine
absolute ceiling, VYSE yields the minimum rate of
sink.
•
VSSE – Safe, intentional one-engine-inoperative
speed. Originally known as safe single-engine
12-1
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speed. Now formally defined in Title 14 of the
Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 23,
Airworthiness Standards, and required to be
established and published in the AFM/POH. It is
the minimum speed to intentionally render the
critical engine inoperative.
•
VMC – Minimum control speed with the critical
engine inoperative. Marked with a red radial line
on most airspeed indicators. The minimum speed
at which directional control can be maintained
under a very specific set of circumstances outlined
in 14 CFR part 23, Airworthiness Standards.
Under the small airplane certification regulations
currently in effect, the flight test pilot must be able
to (1) stop the turn that results when the critical
engine is suddenly made inoperative within 20°
of the original heading, using maximum rudder
deflection and a maximum of 5° bank, and (2)
thereafter, maintain straight flight with not
more than a 5° bank. There is no requirement in
this determination that the airplane be capable
of climbing at this airspeed. V MC only
addresses directional control. Further discussion of VMC as determined during airplane certification and demonstrated in pilot training
follows in minimum control airspeed (V MC)
demonstration. [Figure 12-1]
Figure 12-1. Airspeed indicator markings for a multiengine
airplane.
Unless otherwise noted, when V speeds are given in
the AFM/POH, they apply to sea level, standard day
conditions at maximum takeoff weight. Performance
speeds vary with aircraft weight, configuration, and
atmospheric conditions. The speeds may be stated in
statute miles per hour (m.p.h.) or knots (kts), and they
may be given as calibrated airspeeds (CAS) or indicated airspeeds (IAS). As a general rule, the newer
12-2
AFM/POHs show V speeds in knots indicated airspeed
(KIAS). Some V speeds are also stated in knots calibrated airspeed (KCAS) to meet certain regulatory
requirements. Whenever available, pilots should operate the airplane from published indicated airspeeds.
With regard to climb performance, the multiengine
airplane, particularly in the takeoff or landing configuration, may be considered to be a single-engine
airplane with its powerplant divided into two units.
There is nothing in 14 CFR part 23 that requires a
multiengine airplane to maintain altitude while in
the takeoff or landing configuration with one engine
inoperative. In fact, many twins are not required to
do this in any configuration, even at sea level.
The current 14 CFR part 23 single-engine climb
performance requirements for reciprocating enginepowered multiengine airplanes are as follows.
•
More than 6,000 pounds maximum weight
and/or VSO more than 61 knots: the singleengine rate of climb in feet per minute (f.p.m.) at
5,000 feet MSL must be equal to at least .027
VSO2. For airplanes type certificated February 4,
1991, or thereafter, the climb requirement is
expressed in terms of a climb gradient, 1.5 percent. The climb gradient is not a direct equivalent of the .027 VSO2 formula. Do not confuse the
date of type certification with the airplane’s
model year. The type certification basis of many
multiengine airplanes dates back to CAR 3 (the
Civil Aviation Regulations, forerunner of today’s
Code of Federal Regulations).
•
6,000 pounds or less maximum weight and VSO
61 knots or less: the single-engine rate of climb
at 5,000 feet MSL must simply be determined.
The rate of climb could be a negative number.
There is no requirement for a single-engine
positive rate of climb at 5,000 feet or any other
altitude. For light-twins type certificated
February 4, 1991, or thereafter, the singleengine climb gradient (positive or negative) is
simply determined.
Rate of climb is the altitude gain per unit of time, while
climb gradient is the actual measure of altitude gained
per 100 feet of horizontal travel, expressed as a percentage. An altitude gain of 1.5 feet per 100 feet of
travel (or 15 feet per 1,000, or 150 feet per 10,000) is a
climb gradient of 1.5 percent.
There is a dramatic performance loss associated with
the loss of an engine, particularly just after takeoff.
Any airplane’s climb performance is a function of
thrust horsepower which is in excess of that required
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for level flight. In a hypothetical twin with each engine
producing 200 thrust horsepower, assume that the total
level-flight thrust horsepower required is 175. In this
situation, the airplane would ordinarily have a reserve
of 225 thrust horsepower available for climb. Loss of
one engine would leave only 25 (200 minus 175) thrust
horsepower available for climb, a drastic reduction.
Sea level rate-of-climb performance losses of at least
80 to 90 percent, even under ideal circumstances, are
typical for multiengine airplanes in OEI flight.
OPERATION OF SYSTEMS
This section will deal with systems that are generally
found on multiengine airplanes. Multiengine airplanes
share many features with complex single-engine airplanes. There are certain systems and features covered
here, however, that are generally unique to airplanes
with two or more engines.
PROPELLERS
The propellers of the multiengine airplane may outwardly appear to be identical in operation to the
constant-speed propellers of many single-engine
airplanes, but this is not the case. The propellers of
multiengine airplanes are featherable, to minimize
drag in the event of an engine failure. Depending
upon single-engine performance, this feature often
permits continued flight to a suitable airport following
an engine failure. To feather a propeller is to stop
engine rotation with the propeller blades streamlined
with the airplane’s relative wind, thus to minimize
drag. [Figure 12-2]
Feathering is necessary because of the change in parasite drag with propeller blade angle. [Figure 12-3]
When the propeller blade angle is in the feathered
position, the change in parasite drag is at a minimum
and, in the case of a typical multiengine airplane, the
added parasite drag from a single feathered propeller
is a relatively small contribution to the airplane total
drag.
At the smaller blade angles near the flat pitch position,
the drag added by the propeller is very large. At these
small blade angles, the propeller windmilling at high
r.p.m. can create such a tremendous amount of drag that
the airplane may be uncontrollable. The propeller windmilling at high speed in the low range of blade angles
can produce an increase in parasite drag which may be
as great as the parasite drag of the basic airplane.
As a review, the constant-speed propellers on almost
all single-engine airplanes are of the non-feathering,
oil-pressure-to-increase-pitch design. In this design,
increased oil pressure from the propeller governor
drives the blade angle towards high pitch, low r.p.m.
In contrast, the constant-speed propellers installed
on most multiengine airplanes are full feathering,
Low
Pitch
Full
Feathered
90°
High
Pitch
Figure 12-2. Feathered propeller.
counterweighted, oil-pressure-to-decrease-pitch
designs. In this design, increased oil pressure from the
propeller governor drives the blade angle towards low
pitch, high r.p.m.—away from the feather blade angle.
In effect, the only thing that keeps these propellers
from feathering is a constant supply of high pressure
engine oil. This is a necessity to enable propeller feathering in the event of a loss of oil pressure or a propeller
governor failure.
PROPELLER DRAG CONTRIBUTION
Windmilling
Propeller
Change in
Equivalent
Parasite
Drag
Stationary
Propeller
Feathered
Position
Flat Blade Position
0
15
30
45
60
Propeller Blade Angle
90
Figure 12-3. Propeller drag contribution.
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The aerodynamic forces alone acting upon a windmilling propeller tend to drive the blades to low pitch,
high r.p.m. Counterweights attached to the shank of
each blade tend to drive the blades to high pitch, low
r.p.m. Inertia, or apparent force called centrifugal force
acting through the counterweights is generally slightly
greater than the aerodynamic forces. Oil pressure from
the propeller governor is used to counteract the counterweights and drives the blade angles to low pitch,
high r.p.m. A reduction in oil pressure causes the r.p.m.
to be reduced from the influence of the counterweights.
[Figure 12-4]
To feather the propeller, the propeller control is
brought fully aft. All oil pressure is dumped from the
governor, and the counterweights drive the propeller
blades towards feather. As centrifugal force acting on
the counterweights decays from decreasing r.p.m.,
additional forces are needed to completely feather the
blades. This additional force comes from either a
spring or high pressure air stored in the propeller
dome, which forces the blades into the feathered position. The entire process may take up to 10 seconds.
Feathering a propeller only alters blade angle and stops
engine rotation. To completely secure the engine, the
pilot must still turn off the fuel (mixture, electric boost
pump, and fuel selector), ignition, alternator/generator,
and close the cowl flaps. If the airplane is pressurized,
there may also be an air bleed to close for the failed
engine. Some airplanes are equipped with firewall
shutoff valves that secure several of these systems
with a single switch.
Completely securing a failed engine may not be necessary or even desirable depending upon the failure
mode, altitude, and time available. The position of the
fuel controls, ignition, and alternator/generator
switches of the failed engine has no effect on aircraft
performance. There is always the distinct possibility
of manipulating the incorrect switch under conditions
of haste or pressure.
To unfeather a propeller, the engine must be rotated
so that oil pressure can be generated to move the
propeller blades from the feathered position. The
ignition is turned on prior to engine rotation with the
throttle at low idle and the mixture rich. With the
propeller control in a high r.p.m. position, the starter
is engaged. The engine will begin to windmill, start,
and run as oil pressure moves the blades out of
feather. As the engine starts, the propeller r.p.m.
should be immediately reduced until the engine has
had several minutes to warm up; the pilot should
monitor cylinder head and oil temperatures.
Should the r.p.m. obtained with the starter be insufficient to unfeather the propeller, an increase in airspeed
Counterweight
Action
Hydraulic Force
Aerodynamic Force
Nitrogen Pressure or Spring
Force, and Counterweight Action
High-pressure oil enters the cylinder through the center of
the propeller shaft and piston rod. The propeller control
regulates the flow of high-pressure oil from a governor.
The forks push the pitch-change pin of each blade
toward the front of the hub, causing the blades to twist
toward the low-pitch position.
A hydraulic piston in the hub of the propeller is connected
to each blade by a piston rod. This rod is attached to forks
that slide over the pitch-change pin mounted in the root of
each blade.
A nitrogen pressure charge or mechanical spring in
the front of the hub opposes the oil pressure, and
causes the propeller to move toward high-pitch.
The oil pressure moves the piston toward the front of the
cylinder, moving the piston rod and forks forward.
Counterweights also cause the blades to move toward
the high-pitch and feather positions. The counterweights counteract the aerodynamic twisting force that
tries to move the blades toward a low-pitch angle.
Figure 12-4. Pitch change forces.
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from a shallow dive will usually help. In any event, the
AFM/POH procedures should be followed for the
exact unfeathering procedure. Both feathering and
starting a feathered reciprocating engine on the ground
are strongly discouraged by manufacturers due to the
excessive stress and vibrations generated.
As just described, a loss of oil pressure from the propeller governor allows the counterweights, spring
and/or dome charge to drive the blades to feather.
Logically then, the propeller blades should feather
every time an engine is shut down as oil pressure falls
to zero. Yet, this does not occur. Preventing this is a
small pin in the pitch changing mechanism of the
propeller hub that will not allow the propeller blades
to feather once r.p.m. drops below approximately
800. The pin senses a lack of centrifugal force from
propeller rotation and falls into place, preventing the
blades from feathering. Therefore, if a propeller is to
be feathered, it must be done before engine r.p.m.
decays below approximately 800. On one popular
model of turboprop engine, the propeller blades do,
in fact, feather with each shutdown. This propeller is
not equipped with such centrifugally-operated pins,
due to a unique engine design.
An unfeathering accumulator is an optional device that
permits starting a feathered engine in flight without the
use of the electric starter. An accumulator is any device
that stores a reserve of high pressure. On multiengine
airplanes, the unfeathering accumulator stores a small
reserve of engine oil under pressure from compressed
air or nitrogen. To start a feathered engine in flight,
the pilot moves the propeller control out of the
feather position to release the accumulator pressure.
The oil flows under pressure to the propeller hub and
drives the blades toward the high r.p.m., low pitch
position, whereupon the propeller will usually begin
to windmill. (On some airplanes, an assist from the
electric starter may be necessary to initiate rotation
and completely unfeather the propeller.) If fuel and
ignition are present, the engine will start and run.
For airplanes used in training, this saves much electric starter and battery wear. High oil pressure from
the propeller governor recharges the accumulator
just moments after engine rotation begins.
PROPELLER SYNCHRONIZATION
Many multiengine airplanes have a propeller synchronizer (prop sync) installed to eliminate the annoying
“drumming” or “beat” of propellers whose r.p.m. are
close, but not precisely the same. To use prop sync, the
propeller r.p.m. are coarsely matched by the pilot and
the system is engaged. The prop sync adjusts the r.p.m.
of the “slave” engine to precisely match the r.p.m. of
the “master” engine, and then maintains that relationship. The prop sync should be disengaged when the
pilot selects a new propeller r.p.m., then re-engaged
after the new r.p.m. is set. The prop sync should always
be off for takeoff, landing, and single-engine operation. The AFM/POH should be consulted for system
description and limitations.
A variation on the propeller synchronizer is the propeller synchrophaser. Prop sychrophase acts much
like a synchronizer to precisely match r.p.m., but the
synchrophaser goes one step further. It not only
matches r.p.m. but actually compares and adjusts the
positions of the individual blades of the propellers in
their arcs. There can be significant propeller noise and
vibration reductions with a propeller synchrophaser.
From the pilot’s perspective, operation of a propeller
synchronizer and a propeller syncrophaser are very
similar. A synchrophaser is also commonly referred to
as prop sync, although that is not entirely correct
nomenclature from a technical standpoint.
As a pilot aid to manually synchronizing the
propellers, some twins have a small gauge mounted
in or by the tachometer(s) with a propeller symbol
on a disk that spins. The pilot manually fine tunes
the engine r.p.m. so as to stop disk rotation, thereby
synchronizing the propellers. This is a useful backup
to synchronizing engine r.p.m. using the audible
propeller beat. This gauge is also found installed
with most propeller synchronizer and synchrophase
systems. Some synchrophase systems use a knob for
the pilot to control the phase angle.
FUEL CROSSFEED
Fuel crossfeed systems are also unique to multiengine
airplanes. Using crossfeed, an engine can draw fuel
from a fuel tank located in the opposite wing.
On most multiengine airplanes, operation in the crossfeed mode is an emergency procedure used to extend
airplane range and endurance in OEI flight. There are
a few models that permit crossfeed as a normal, fuel
balancing technique in normal operation, but these are
not common. The AFM/POH will describe crossfeed
limitations and procedures, which vary significantly
among multiengine airplanes.
Checking crossfeed operation on the ground with a
quick repositioning of the fuel selectors does nothing
more than ensure freedom of motion of the handle. To
actually check crossfeed operation, a complete, functional crossfeed system check should be accomplished.
To do this, each engine should be operated from its
crossfeed position during the runup. The engines
should be checked individually, and allowed to run at
moderate power (1,500 r.p.m. minimum) for at least 1
minute to ensure that fuel flow can be established from
the crossfeed source. Upon completion of the check,
each engine should be operated for at least 1 minute at
moderate power from the main (takeoff) fuel tanks to
reconfirm fuel flow prior to takeoff.
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This suggested check is not required prior to every
flight. Infrequently used, however, crossfeed lines are
ideal places for water and debris to accumulate unless
they are used from time to time and drained using their
external drains during preflight. Crossfeed is ordinarily not used for completing single-engine flights when
an alternate airport is readily at hand, and it is never
used during takeoff or landings.
COMBUSTION HEATER
Combustion heaters are common on multiengine
airplanes. A combustion heater is best described as
a small furnace that burns gasoline to produce
heated air for occupant comfort and windshield
defogging. Most are thermostatically operated, and
have a separate hour meter to record time in service
for maintenance purposes. Automatic overtemperature
protection is provided by a thermal switch mounted on
the unit, which cannot be accessed in flight. This
requires the pilot or mechanic to actually visually
inspect the unit for possible heat damage in order to
reset the switch.
When finished with the combustion heater, a cool
down period is required. Most heaters require that outside air be permitted to circulate through the unit for at
least 15 seconds in flight, or that the ventilation fan be
operated for at least 2 minutes on the ground. Failure
to provide an adequate cool down will usually trip the
thermal switch and render the heater inoperative until
the switch is reset.
FLIGHT DIRECTOR/AUTOPILOT
Flight director/autopilot (FD/AP) systems are common
on the better-equipped multiengine airplanes. The
system integrates pitch, roll, heading, altitude, and
radio navigation signals in a computer. The outputs,
called computed commands, are displayed on a flight
command indicator, or FCI. The FCI replaces the
conventional attitude indicator on the instrument
panel. The FCI is occasionally referred to as a flight
director indicator (FDI), or as an attitude director
indicator (ADI). The entire flight director/autopilot
system is sometimes called an integrated flight control system (IFCS) by some manufacturers. Others
may use the term “automatic flight control system
(AFCS).”
The FD/AP system may be employed at three different
levels.
•
Off (raw data).
•
Flight director (computed commands).
•
Autopilot.
With the system off, the FCI operates as an ordinary
attitude indicator. On most FCIs, the command bars
are biased out of view when the flight director is off.
12-6
The pilot maneuvers the airplane as though the system
were not installed.
To maneuver the airplane using the flight director, the
pilot enters the desired modes of operation (heading,
altitude, nav intercept, and tracking) on the FD/AP
mode controller. The computed flight commands are
then displayed to the pilot through either a single-cue
or dual-cue system in the FCI. On a single-cue system,
the commands are indicated by “V” bars. On a
dual-cue system, the commands are displayed on
two separate command bars, one for pitch and one
for roll. To maneuver the airplane using computed
commands, the pilot “flies” the symbolic airplane
of the FCI to match the steering cues presented.
On most systems, to engage the autopilot the flight
director must first be operating. At any time thereafter,
the pilot may engage the autopilot through the mode
controller. The autopilot then maneuvers the airplane
to satisfy the computed commands of the flight
director.
Like any computer, the FD/AP system will only do
what it is told. The pilot must ensure that it has been
properly programmed for the particular phase of flight
desired. The armed and/or engaged modes are usually
displayed on the mode controller or separate annunciator lights. When the airplane is being hand-flown, if
the flight director is not being used at any particular
moment, it should be off so that the command bars are
pulled from view.
Prior to system engagement, all FD/AP computer and
trim checks should be accomplished. Many newer
systems cannot be engaged without the completion of
a self-test. The pilot must also be very familiar with
various methods of disengagement, both normal and
emergency. System details, including approvals and
limitations, can be found in the supplements section
of the AFM/POH. Additionally, many avionics manufacturers can provide informative pilot operating
guides upon request.
YAW DAMPER
The yaw damper is a servo that moves the rudder in
response to inputs from a gyroscope or accelerometer
that detects yaw rate. The yaw damper minimizes
motion about the vertical axis caused by turbulence.
(Yaw dampers on sweptwing airplanes provide
another, more vital function of damping dutch roll
characteristics.) Occupants will feel a smoother ride,
particularly if seated in the rear of the airplane, when
the yaw damper is engaged. The yaw damper should
be off for takeoff and landing. There may be additional
restrictions against its use during single-engine operation. Most yaw dampers can be engaged independently
of the autopilot.
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ALTERNATOR/GENERATOR
Alternator or generator paralleling circuitry matches
the output of each engine’s alternator/generator so that
the electrical system load is shared equally between
them. In the event of an alternator/generator failure,
the inoperative unit can be isolated and the entire
electrical system powered from the remaining one.
Depending upon the electrical capacity of the alternator/generator, the pilot may need to reduce the
electrical load (referred to as load shedding) when
operating on a single unit. The AFM/POH will contain
system description and limitations.
Anti-icing equipment is provided to prevent ice from
forming on certain protected surfaces. Anti-icing
equipment includes heated pitot tubes, heated or nonicing static ports and fuel vents, propeller blades with
electrothermal boots or alcohol slingers, windshields
with alcohol spray or electrical resistance heating,
windshield defoggers, and heated stall warning lift
detectors. On many turboprop engines, the “lip”
surrounding the air intake is heated either electrically
or with bleed air. In the absence of AFM/POH guidance
to the contrary, anti-icing equipment is actuated prior to
flight into known or suspected icing conditions.
NOSE BAGGAGE COMPARTMENT
Nose baggage compartments are common on multiengine
airplanes (and are even found on a few single-engine
airplanes). There is nothing strange or exotic about a
nose baggage compartment, and the usual guidance
concerning observation of load limits applies. They
are mentioned here in that pilots occasionally neglect
to secure the latches properly, and therein lies the
danger. When improperly secured, the door will open
and the contents may be drawn out, usually into the
propeller arc, and usually just after takeoff. Even when
the nose baggage compartment is empty, airplanes
have been lost when the pilot became distracted by the
open door. Security of the nose baggage compartment
latches and locks is a vital preflight item.
Deicing equipment is generally limited to pneumatic
boots on wing and tail leading edges. Deicing equipment is installed to remove ice that has already formed
on protected surfaces. Upon pilot actuation, the boots
inflate with air from the pneumatic pumps to break off
accumulated ice. After a few seconds of inflation, they
are deflated back to their normal position with the
assistance of a vacuum. The pilot monitors the buildup
of ice and cycles the boots as directed in the
AFM/POH. An ice light on the left engine nacelle
allows the pilot to monitor wing ice accumulation at
night.
Most airplanes will continue to fly with a nose baggage door open. There may be some buffeting from
the disturbed airflow and there will be an increase in
noise. Pilots should never become so preoccupied
with an open door (of any kind) that they fail to fly
the airplane.
Inspection of the compartment interior is also an
important preflight item. More than one pilot has been
surprised to find a supposedly empty compartment
packed to capacity or loaded with ballast. The tow
bars, engine inlet covers, windshield sun screens, oil
containers, spare chocks, and miscellaneous small
hand tools that find their way into baggage compartments should be secured to prevent damage from
shifting in flight.
ANTI-ICING/DEICING
Anti-icing/deicing equipment is frequently installed on
multiengine airplanes and consists of a combination of
different systems. These may be classified as either
anti-icing or deicing, depending upon function. The
presence of anti-icing and deicing equipment, even
though it may appear elaborate and complete, does not
necessarily mean that the airplane is approved for
flight in icing conditions. The AFM/POH, placards,
and even the manufacturer should be consulted for
specific determination of approvals and limitations.
Other airframe equipment necessary for flight in icing
conditions includes an alternate induction air source
and an alternate static system source. Ice tolerant
antennas will also be installed.
In the event of impact ice accumulating over normal
engine air induction sources, carburetor heat (carbureted engines) or alternate air (fuel injected engines)
should be selected. Ice buildup on normal induction
sources can be detected by a loss of engine r.p.m. with
fixed-pitch propellers and a loss of manifold pressure
with constant-speed propellers. On some fuel injected
engines, an alternate air source is automatically
activated with blockage of the normal air source.
An alternate static system provides an alternate source
of static air for the pitot-static system in the unlikely
event that the primary static source becomes blocked.
In non-pressurized airplanes, most alternate static
sources are plumbed to the cabin. On pressurized airplanes, they are usually plumbed to a non-pressurized
baggage compartment. The pilot must activate the
alternate static source by opening a valve or a fitting in
the cockpit. Upon activation, the airspeed indicator,
altimeter, and the vertical speed indicator (VSI) will be
affected and will read somewhat in error. A correction
table is frequently provided in the AFM/POH.
Anti-icing/deicing equipment only eliminates ice from
the protected surfaces. Significant ice accumulations
may form on unprotected areas, even with proper use
of anti-ice and deice systems. Flight at high angles of
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attack or even normal climb speeds will permit significant ice accumulations on lower wing surfaces, which
are unprotected. Many AFM/POHs mandate minimum
speeds to be maintained in icing conditions. Degradation
of all flight characteristics and large performance losses
can be expected with ice accumulations. Pilots should
not rely upon the stall warning devices for adequate stall
warning with ice accumulations.
Ice will accumulate unevenly on the airplane. It will
add weight and drag (primarily drag), and decrease
thrust and lift. Even wing shape affects ice accumulation; thin airfoil sections are more prone to ice
accumulation than thick, highly-cambered sections.
For this reason certain surfaces, such as the horizontal
stabilizer, are more prone to icing than the wing. With
ice accumulations, landing approaches should be made
with a minimum wing flap setting (flap extension
increases the angle of attack of the horizontal stabilizer)
and with an added margin of airspeed. Sudden and large
configuration and airspeed changes should be avoided.
Unless otherwise recommended in the AFM/POH, the
autopilot should not be used in icing conditions.
Continuous use of the autopilot will mask trim and
handling changes that will occur with ice accumulation. Without this control feedback, the pilot may not
be aware of ice accumulation building to hazardous
levels. The autopilot will suddenly disconnect when it
reaches design limits and the pilot may find the airplane
has assumed unsatisfactory handling characteristics.
The installation of anti-ice/deice equipment on airplanes without AFM/POH approval for flight into icing
conditions is to facilitate escape when such conditions
are inadvertently encountered. Even with AFM/POH
approval, the prudent pilot will avoid icing conditions
to the maximum extent practicable, and avoid extended
flight in any icing conditions. No multiengine airplane
is approved for flight into severe icing conditions, and
none are intended for indefinite flight in continuous
icing conditions.
PERFORMANCE AND LIMITATIONS
Discussion of performance and limitations requires the
definition of several terms.
•
•
12-8
Accelerate-stop distance is the runway length
required to accelerate to a specified speed (either
VR or VLOF, as specified by the manufacturer),
experience an engine failure, and bring the airplane to a complete stop.
Accelerate-go distance is the horizontal distance required to continue the takeoff and climb
to 50 feet, assuming an engine failure at VR or
VLOF, as specified by the manufacturer.
•
Climb gradient is a slope most frequently
expressed in terms of altitude gain per 100 feet
of horizontal distance, whereupon it is stated as
a percentage. A 1.5 percent climb gradient is an
altitude gain of one and one-half feet per 100 feet
of horizontal travel. Climb gradient may also be
expressed as a function of altitude gain per nautical mile, or as a ratio of the horizontal distance
to the vertical distance (50:1, for example).
Unlike rate of climb, climb gradient is affected
by wind. Climb gradient is improved with a
headwind component, and reduced with a tailwind component. [Figure 12-5]
•
The all-engine service ceiling of multiengine
airplanes is the highest altitude at which the airplane can maintain a steady rate of climb of 100
f.p.m. with both engines operating. The airplane
has reached its absolute ceiling when climb is
no longer possible.
•
The single-engine service ceiling is reached
when the multiengine airplane can no longer
maintain a 50 f.p.m. rate of climb with one engine
inoperative, and its single-engine absolute ceiling when climb is no longer possible.
The takeoff in a multiengine airplane should be
planned in sufficient detail so that the appropriate
action is taken in the event of an engine failure. The
pilot should be thoroughly familiar with the airplane’s
performance capabilities and limitations in order to
make an informed takeoff decision as part of the preflight planning. That decision should be reviewed as
the last item of the “before takeoff” checklist.
In the event of an engine failure shortly after takeoff,
the decision is basically one of continuing flight or
landing, even off-airport. If single-engine climb
performance is adequate for continued flight, and
the airplane has been promptly and correctly configured, the climb after takeoff may be continued. If
single-engine climb performance is such that climb
is unlikely or impossible, a landing will have to be
made in the most suitable area. To be avoided above
all is attempting to continue flight when it is not
within the airplane’s performance capability to do
so. [Figure 12-6]
Takeoff planning factors include weight and balance,
airplane performance (both single and multiengine),
runway length, slope and contamination, terrain and
obstacles in the area, weather conditions, and pilot
proficiency. Most multiengine airplanes have
AFM/POH performance charts and the pilot should
be highly proficient in their use. Prior to takeoff, the
multiengine pilot should ensure that the weight and
balance limitations have been observed, the runway
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VR / VLOF
Brake
Release
50 ft
Accelerate-Stop Distance
Accelerate-Go Distance
500 ft
Brake
Release
VLOF
5,000 ft
10:1 or 10 Percent Climb Gradient
Figure 12-5. Accelerate-stop distance, accelerate-go distance, and climb gradient.
length is adequate, the normal flightpath will clear obstacles and terrain, and that a definitive course of action has
been planned in the event of an engine failure.
The regulations do not specifically require that the
runway length be equal to or greater than the accelerate-stop distance. Most AFM/POHs publish
accelerate-stop distances only as an advisory. It
becomes a limitation only when published in the
limitations section of the AFM/POH. Experienced
multiengine pilots, however, recognize the safety
margin of runway lengths in excess of the bare minimum required for normal takeoff. They will insist
on runway lengths of at least accelerate-stop distance as a matter of safety and good operating
practice.
ENGINE FAILURE AFTER LIFT-OFF
Best Angle of Climb
VXSE
Decision Area
VR / VLOF
Brake
Release
Best Rate of Climb
VYSE
gine
e En
s
d Lo
an
r Up
Gea
On
s of
Figure 12-6. Area of decision.
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The multiengine pilot must keep in mind that the
accelerate-go distance, as long as it is, has only
brought the airplane, under ideal circumstances, to a
point a mere 50 feet above the takeoff elevation. To
achieve even this meager climb, the pilot had to instantaneously recognize and react to an unanticipated
engine failure, retract the landing gear, identify and
feather the correct engine, all the while maintaining
precise airspeed control and bank angle as the airspeed
is nursed to VYSE. Assuming flawless airmanship thus
far, the airplane has now arrived at a point little more
than one wingspan above the terrain, assuming it was
absolutely level and without obstructions.
With (for the purpose of illustration) a net 150 f.p.m.
rate of climb at a 90-knot VYSE, it will take approximately 3 minutes to climb an additional 450 feet to reach
500 feet AGL. In doing so, the airplane will have
traveled an additional 5 nautical miles beyond the
original accelerate-go distance, with a climb gradient
of about 1.6 percent. A turn of any consequence, such
as to return to the airport, will seriously degrade the
already marginal climb performance.
Not all multiengine airplanes have published accelerate-go distances in their AFM/POH, and fewer still
publish climb gradients. When such information is
published, the figures will have been determined under
ideal flight testing conditions. It is unlikely that this
performance will be duplicated in service conditions.
The point of the foregoing is to illustrate the marginal
climb performance of a multiengine airplane that
suffers an engine failure shortly after takeoff, even
under ideal conditions. The prudent multiengine
pilot should pick a point in the takeoff and climb
sequence in advance. If an engine fails before this point,
the takeoff should be rejected, even if airborne, for a
landing on whatever runway or surface lies essentially
ahead. If an engine fails after this point, the pilot should
promptly execute the appropriate engine failure procedure and continue the climb, assuming the performance
capability exists. As a general recommendation, if the
landing gear has not been selected up, the takeoff
should be rejected, even if airborne.
As a practical matter for planning purposes, the option
of continuing the takeoff probably does not exist unless
the published single-engine rate-of-climb performance
is at least 100 to 200 f.p.m. Thermal turbulence, wind
gusts, engine and propeller wear, or poor technique in
airspeed, bank angle, and rudder control can easily
negate even a 200 f.p.m. rate of climb.
WEIGHT AND BALANCE
The weight and balance concept is no different than
that of a single-engine airplane. The actual execution,
however, is almost invariably more complex due to a
12-10
number of new loading areas, including nose and aft
baggage compartments, nacelle lockers, main fuel
tanks, aux fuel tanks, nacelle fuel tanks, and numerous
seating options in a variety of interior configurations.
The flexibility in loading offered by the multiengine
airplane places a responsibility on the pilot to address
weight and balance prior to each flight.
The terms “empty weight, licensed empty weight,
standard empty weight, and basic empty weight” as
they appear on the manufacturer’s original weight and
balance documents are sometimes confused by pilots.
In 1975, the General Aviation Manufacturers
Association (GAMA) adopted a standardized format
for AFM/POHs. It was implemented by most
manufacturers in model year 1976. Airplanes whose
manufacturers conform to the GAMA standards utilize
the following terminology for weight and balance:
Standard empty weight
+ Optional equipment
= Basic empty weight
Standard empty weight is the weight of the standard
airplane, full hydraulic fluid, unusable fuel, and full
oil. Optional equipment includes the weight of all
equipment installed beyond standard. Basic empty
weight is the standard empty weight plus optional
equipment. Note that basic empty weight includes no
usable fuel, but full oil.
Airplanes manufactured prior to the GAMA format
generally utilize the following terminology for weight
and balance, although the exact terms may vary somewhat:
Empty weight
+ Unusable fuel
= Standard empty weight
Standard empty weight
+ Optional equipment
= Licensed empty weight
Empty weight is the weight of the standard airplane,
full hydraulic fluid and undrainable oil. Unusable fuel
is the fuel remaining in the airplane not available to
the engines. Standard empty weight is the empty
weight plus unusable fuel. When optional equipment
is added to the standard empty weight, the result is
licensed empty weight. Licensed empty weight,
therefore, includes the standard airplane, optional
equipment, full hydraulic fluid, unusable fuel, and
undrainable oil.
The major difference between the two formats
(GAMA and the old) is that basic empty weight
includes full oil, and licensed empty weight does not.
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Oil must always be added to any weight and balance
utilizing a licensed empty weight.
Basic empty weight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -3,200 lb.
Payload . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,200 lb.
When the airplane is placed in service, amended
weight and balance documents are prepared by appropriately rated maintenance personnel to reflect changes
in installed equipment. The old weight and balance
documents are customarily marked “superseded” and
retained in the AFM/POH. Maintenance personnel are
under no regulatory obligation to utilize the GAMA
terminology, so weight and balance documents
subsequent to the original may use a variety of
terms. Pilots should use care to determine whether
or not oil has to be added to the weight and balance
calculations or if it is already included in the figures
provided.
The payload is the maximum combination of passengers, baggage, and cargo that the airplane is capable
of carrying. A zero fuel weight, if published, is the
limiting weight.
The multiengine airplane is where most pilots
encounter the term “zero fuel weight” for the first time.
Not all multiengine airplanes have a zero fuel weight
limitation published in their AFM/POH, but many do.
Zero fuel weight is simply the maximum allowable
weight of the airplane and payload, assuming there is
no usable fuel on board. The actual airplane is not
devoid of fuel at the time of loading, of course. This is
merely a calculation that assumes it was. If a zero fuel
weight limitation is published, then all weight in
excess of that figure must consist of usable fuel. The
purpose of a zero fuel weight is to limit load forces on
the wing spars with heavy fuselage loads.
Assuming maximum payload, the only weight permitted in excess of the zero fuel weight must consist of
usable fuel. In this case, 133.3 gallons.
3. Calculate the fuel capacity at maximum payload
(1,200 lb.):
Maximum takeoff weight . . . . . . . . . . . . .5,200 lb.
Zero fuel weight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .-4,400 lb.
Fuel allowed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .800 lb.
4. Calculate the payload at maximum fuel capacity
(180 gal.):
Basic empty weight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3,200 lb.
Maximum usable fuel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .+1,080 lb.
Weight with max. fuel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4,280 lb.
Maximum takeoff weight . . . . . . . . . . . . .5,200 lb.
Weight with max. fuel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .-4,280 lb.
Payload allowed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .920 lb.
Assume a hypothetical multiengine airplane with the
following weights and capacities:
Basic empty weight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3,200 lb.
Assuming maximum fuel, the payload is the difference
between the weight of the fueled airplane and the maximum takeoff weight.
Zero fuel weight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4,400 lb.
Maximum takeoff weight . . . . . . . . . . . . .5,200 lb.
Maximum usable fuel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .180 gal.
1. Calculate the useful load:
Some multiengine airplanes have a ramp weight,
which is in excess of the maximum takeoff weight. The
ramp weight is an allowance for fuel that would be
burned during taxi and runup, permitting a takeoff at
full maximum takeoff weight. The airplane must
weigh no more than maximum takeoff weight at the
beginning of the takeoff roll.
Maximum takeoff weight . . . . . . . . . . . . .5,200 lb.
Basic empty weight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .-3,200 lb.
Useful load . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2,000 lb.
The useful load is the maximum combination of usable
fuel, passengers, baggage, and cargo that the airplane
is capable of carrying.
2. Calculate the payload:
Zero fuel weight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4,400 lb.
A maximum landing weight is a limitation against
landing at a weight in excess of the published value.
This requires preflight planning of fuel burn to ensure
that the airplane weight upon arrival at destination will
be at or below the maximum landing weight. In the
event of an emergency requiring an immediate landing, the pilot should recognize that the structural
margins designed into the airplane are not fully
available when over landing weight. An overweight
landing inspection may be advisable—the service
manual or manufacturer should be consulted.
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Although the foregoing problems only dealt with
weight, the balance portion of weight and balance
is equally vital. The flight characteristics of the
multiengine airplane will vary significantly with
shifts of the center of gravity (CG) within the
approved envelope.
At forward CGs, the airplane will be more stable, with
a slightly higher stalling speed, a slightly slower
cruising speed, and favorable stall characteristics.
At aft CGs, the airplane will be less stable, with a
slightly lower stalling speed, a slightly faster cruising
speed, and less desirable stall characteristics. Forward
CG limits are usually determined in certification by
elevator/stabilator authority in the landing roundout. Aft CG limits are determined by the minimum
acceptable longitudinal stability. It is contrary to the
airplane’s operating limitations and the Code of
Federal Regulations (CFR) to exceed any weight
and balance parameter.
Some multiengine airplanes may require ballast to
remain within CG limits under certain loading conditions. Several models require ballast in the aft baggage
compartment with only a student and instructor on
board to avoid exceeding the forward CG limit.
When passengers are seated in the aft-most seats of
some models, ballast or baggage may be required in
the nose baggage compartment to avoid exceeding
the aft CG limit. The pilot must direct the seating of
passengers and placement of baggage and cargo to
achieve a center of gravity within the approved
envelope. Most multiengine airplanes have general
loading recommendations in the weight and balance
section of the AFM/POH. When ballast is added, it
must be securely tied down and it must not exceed
the maximum allowable floor loading.
Some airplanes make use of a special weight and
balance plotter. It consists of several movable parts
that can be adjusted over a plotting board on which
the CG envelope is printed. The reverse side of the
typical plotter contains general loading recommendations for the particular airplane. A pencil line plot
can be made directly on the CG envelope imprinted
on the working side of the plotting board. This plot
can easily be erased and recalculated anew for each
flight. This plotter is to be used only for the make
and model airplane for which it was designed.
GROUND OPERATION
Good habits learned with single-engine airplanes are
directly applicable to multiengine airplanes for preflight and engine start. Upon placing the airplane in
motion to taxi, the new multiengine pilot will notice
several differences, however. The most obvious is
the increased wingspan and the need for even
12-12
greater vigilance while taxiing in close quarters.
Ground handling may seem somewhat ponderous
and the multiengine airplane will not be as nimble
as the typical two- or four-place single-engine airplane.
As always, use care not to ride the brakes by keeping
engine power to a minimum. One ground handling
advantage of the multiengine airplane over singleengine airplanes is the differential power capability.
Turning with an assist from differential power minimizes both the need for brakes during turns and the
turning radius.
The pilot should be aware, however, that making a
sharp turn assisted by brakes and differential power
can cause the airplane to pivot about a stationary
inboard wheel and landing gear. This is abuse for
which the airplane was not designed and should be
guarded against.
Unless otherwise directed by the AFM/POH, all
ground operations should be conducted with the cowl
flaps fully open. The use of strobe lights is normally
deferred until taxiing onto the active runway.
NORMAL AND CROSSWIND
TAKEOFF AND CLIMB
With the “before takeoff” checklist complete and
air traffic control (ATC) clearance received, the airplane should be taxied into position on the runway
centerline. If departing from an airport without an
operating control tower, a careful check for
approaching aircraft should be made along with a
radio advisory on the appropriate frequency. Sharp
turns onto the runway combined with a rolling
takeoff are not a good operating practice and may
be prohibited by the AFM/POH due to the possibility
of “unporting” a fuel tank pickup. (The takeoff itself
may be prohibited by the AFM/POH under any circumstances below certain fuel levels.) The flight controls
should be positioned for a crosswind, if present.
Exterior lights such as landing and taxi lights, and
wingtip strobes should be illuminated immediately
prior to initiating the takeoff roll, day or night. If
holding in takeoff position for any length of time,
particularly at night, the pilot should activate all
exterior lights upon taxiing into position.
Takeoff power should be set as recommended in the
AFM/POH. With normally aspirated (non-turbocharged) engines, this will be full throttle. Full
throttle is also used in most turbocharged engines.
There are some turbocharged engines, however,
that require the pilot to set a specific power setting,
usually just below red line manifold pressure. This
yields takeoff power with less than full throttle travel.
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Turbocharged engines often require special consideration. Throttle motion with turbocharged engines
should be exceptionally smooth and deliberate. It is
acceptable, and may even be desirable, to hold the
airplane in position with brakes as the throttles are
advanced. Brake release customarily occurs after significant boost from the turbocharger is established. This
prevents wasting runway with slow, partial throttle
acceleration as the engine power is increased. If runway
length or obstacle clearance is critical, full power should
be set before brake release, as specified in the performance charts.
As takeoff power is established, initial attention should
be divided between tracking the runway centerline and
monitoring the engine gauges. Many novice multiengine pilots tend to fixate on the airspeed indicator
just as soon as the airplane begins its takeoff roll.
Instead, the pilot should confirm that both engines
are developing full-rated manifold pressure and
r.p.m., and that the fuel flows, fuel pressures, exhaust
gas temperatures (EGTs), and oil pressures are matched
in their normal ranges. A directed and purposeful scan
of the engine gauges can be accomplished well before
the airplane approaches rotation speed. If a crosswind is
present, the aileron displacement in the direction of the
crosswind may be reduced as the airplane accelerates.
The elevator/stabilator control should be held neutral
throughout.
Full rated takeoff power should be used for every takeoff. Partial power takeoffs are not recommended.
There is no evidence to suggest that the life of modern
reciprocating engines is prolonged by partial power
takeoffs. Paradoxically, excessive heat and engine
wear can occur with partial power as the fuel metering
system will fail to deliver the slightly over-rich
mixture vital for engine cooling during takeoff.
There are several key airspeeds to be noted during the
takeoff and climb sequence in any twin. The first speed
to consider is VMC. If an engine fails below VMC while
the airplane is on the ground, the takeoff must be
rejected. Directional control can only be maintained by
promptly closing both throttles and using rudder and
brakes as required. If an engine fails below VMC while
airborne, directional control is not possible with the
remaining engine producing takeoff power. On takeoffs, therefore, the airplane should never be airborne
before the airspeed reaches and exceeds VMC. Pilots
should use the manufacturer’s recommended rotation
speed (VR) or lift-off speed (VLOF). If no such speeds
are published, a minimum of VMC plus 5 knots should
be used for VR.
The rotation to a takeoff pitch attitude is done
smoothly. With a crosswind, the pilot should ensure
that the landing gear does not momentarily touch the
runway after the airplane has lifted off, as a side drift
will be present. The rotation may be accomplished
more positively and/or at a higher speed under these
conditions. However, the pilot should keep in mind
that the AFM/POH performance figures for acceleratestop distance, takeoff ground roll, and distance to clear
an obstacle were calculated at the recommended VR
and/or VLOF speed.
After lift-off, the next consideration is to gain altitude as rapidly as possible. After leaving the ground,
altitude gain is more important than achieving an
excess of airspeed. Experience has shown that
excessive speed cannot be effectively converted into
altitude in the event of an engine failure. Altitude
gives the pilot time to think and react. Therefore, the
airplane should be allowed to accelerate in a shallow
climb to attain VY, the best all-engine rate-of-climb
speed. V Y should then be maintained until a safe
single-engine maneuvering altitude, considering
terrain and obstructions, is achieved.
To assist the pilot in takeoff and initial climb profile,
some AFM/POHs give a “50-foot” or “50-foot barrier”
speed to use as a target during rotation, lift-off, and
acceleration to VY.
Landing gear retraction should normally occur after a
positive rate of climb is established. Some
AFM/POHs direct the pilot to apply the wheel brakes
momentarily after lift-off to stop wheel rotation prior
to landing gear retraction. If flaps were extended for
takeoff, they should be retracted as recommended in
the AFM/POH.
Once a safe single-engine maneuvering altitude has
been reached, typically a minimum of 400-500 feet
AGL, the transition to an enroute climb speed should
be made. This speed is higher than VY and is usually
maintained to cruising altitude. Enroute climb speed
gives better visibility, increased engine cooling, and a
higher groundspeed. Takeoff power can be reduced, if
desired, as the transition to enroute climb speed is
made.
Some airplanes have a climb power setting published
in the AFM/POH as a recommendation (or sometimes
as a limitation), which should then be set for enroute
climb. If there is no climb power setting published, it is
customary, but not a requirement, to reduce manifold
pressure and r.p.m. somewhat for enroute climb. The
propellers are usually synchronized after the first
power reduction and the yaw damper, if installed,
engaged. The AFM/POH may also recommend leaning
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500 ft
1. Accelerate to Cruise Climb
2. Set Climb Power
3. Climb Checklist
Positive Rate - Gear Up
Climb at VY
Lift-off
Published VR or VLOF
if not Published,
VMC + 5 Knots
Figure 12-7. Takeoff and climb profile.
the mixtures during climb. The “climb” checklist
should be accomplished as traffic and work load allow.
[Figure 12-7]
systems and AFM/POH knowledge when operating
complex aircraft.
NORMAL APPROACH AND LANDING
LEVEL OFF AND CRUISE
Upon leveling off at cruising altitude, the pilot should
allow the airplane to accelerate at climb power until
cruising airspeed is achieved, then cruise power and
r.p.m. should be set. To extract the maximum cruise
performance from any airplane, the power setting
tables provided by the manufacturer should be closely
followed. If the cylinder head and oil temperatures are
within their normal ranges, the cowl flaps may be
closed. When the engine temperatures have stabilized,
the mixtures may be leaned per AFM/POH recommendations. The remainder of the “cruise” checklist should
be completed by this point.
Fuel management in multiengine airplanes is often
more complex than in single-engine airplanes.
Depending upon system design, the pilot may need to
select between main tanks and auxiliary tanks, or
even employ fuel transfer from one tank to another.
In complex fuel systems, limitations are often found
restricting the use of some tanks to level flight only,
or requiring a reserve of fuel in the main tanks for
descent and landing. Electric fuel pump operation can
vary widely among different models also, particularly
during tank switching or fuel transfer. Some fuel
pumps are to be on for takeoff and landing; others are
to be off. There is simply no substitute for thorough
12-14
Given the higher cruising speed (and frequently, altitude) of multiengine airplanes over most single-engine
airplanes, the descent must be planned in advance. A
hurried, last minute descent with power at or near idle
is inefficient and can cause excessive engine cooling.
It may also lead to passenger discomfort, particularly
if the airplane is unpressurized. As a rule of thumb, if
terrain and passenger conditions permit, a maximum
of a 500 f.p.m. rate of descent should be planned.
Pressurized airplanes can plan for higher descent rates,
if desired.
In a descent, some airplanes require a minimum EGT,
or may have a minimum power setting or cylinder
head temperature to observe. In any case, combinations of very low manifold pressure and high
r.p.m. settings are strongly discouraged by engine
manufacturers. If higher descent rates are necessary,
the pilot should consider extending partial flaps or
lowering the landing gear before retarding the power
excessively. The “descent” checklist should be initiated
upon leaving cruising altitude and completed before
arrival in the terminal area. Upon arrival in the terminal
area, pilots are encouraged to turn on their landing
and recognition lights when operating below
10,000 feet, day or night, and especially when
operating within 10 miles of any airport or in conditions
of reduced visibility.
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Approaching Traffic Pattern
1. Descent Checklist
2. Reduce to Traffic Pattern Airspeed and Altitude
Downwind
1. Flaps - Approach Position
2. Gear Down
3. Before Landing Checklist
Base Leg
1. Gear-Check Down
2. Check for Conflicting
Traffic
Airspeed- 1.3 Vs0 or
Manufacturers Recommended
Final
1. Gear-Check Down
2. Flaps-Landing Position
Figure 12-8. Normal two-engine approach and landing.
The traffic pattern and approach are typically flown at
somewhat higher indicated airspeeds in a multiengine
airplane contrasted to most single-engine airplanes.
The pilot may allow for this through an early start on
the “before landing” checklist. This provides time for
proper planning, spacing, and thinking well ahead of
the airplane. Many multiengine airplanes have partial
flap extension speeds above VFE, and partial flaps can
be deployed prior to traffic pattern entry. Normally, the
landing gear should be selected and confirmed down
when abeam the intended point of landing as the downwind leg is flown. [Figure 12-8]
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recommends a stabilized approach concept. To the greatest
extent practical, on final approach and within 500 feet
AGL, the airplane should be on speed, in trim, configured for landing, tracking the extended centerline
of the runway, and established in a constant angle of
descent towards an aim point in the touchdown
zone. Absent unusual flight conditions, only minor
corrections will be required to maintain this approach
to the roundout and touchdown.
The final approach should be made with power and
at a speed recommended by the manufacturer; if a recommended speed is not furnished, the speed should be
no slower than the single-engine best rate-of-climb
speed (VYSE) until short final with the landing assured,
but in no case less than critical engine-out minimum
control speed (VMC). Some multiengine pilots prefer
to delay full flap extension to short final with the landing assured. This is an acceptable technique with appropriate experience and familiarity with the airplane.
In the roundout for landing, residual power is gradually reduced to idle. With the higher wing loading of
multiengine airplanes and with the drag from two
windmilling propellers, there will be minimal float.
Full stall landings are generally undesirable in twins. The
airplane should be held off as with a high performance
single-engine model, allowing touchdown of the main
wheels prior to a full stall.
Under favorable wind and runway conditions, the
nosewheel can be held off for best aerodynamic braking. Even as the nosewheel is gently lowered to the
runway centerline, continued elevator back pressure
will greatly assist the wheel brakes in stopping the
airplane.
If runway length is critical, or with a strong crosswind,
or if the surface is contaminated with water, ice or
snow, it is undesirable to rely solely on aerodynamic
braking after touchdown. The full weight of the airplane should be placed on the wheels as soon as
practicable. The wheel brakes will be more effective
than aerodynamic braking alone in decelerating the
airplane.
Once on the ground, elevator back pressure should be
used to place additional weight on the main wheels and
to add additional drag. When necessary, wing flap
retraction will also add additional weight to the wheels
and improve braking effectivity. Flap retraction during
the landing rollout is discouraged, however, unless
there is a clear, operational need. It should not be
accomplished as routine with each landing.
Some multiengine airplanes, particularly those of the
cabin class variety, can be flown through the roundout
and touchdown with a small amount of power. This is
an acceptable technique to prevent high sink rates and
to cushion the touchdown. The pilot should keep in
mind, however, that the primary purpose in landing is
to get the airplane down and stopped. This technique
should only be attempted when there is a generous
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margin of runway length. As propeller blast flows
directly over the wings, lift as well as thrust is produced.
The pilot should taxi clear of the runway as soon as
speed and safety permit, and then accomplish the “after
landing” checklist. Ordinarily, no attempt should be
made to retract the wing flaps or perform other checklist duties until the airplane has been brought to a halt
when clear of the active runway. Exceptions to this
would be the rare operational needs discussed above,
to relieve the weight from the wings and place it on the
wheels. In these cases, AFM/POH guidance should be
followed. The pilot should not indiscriminately reach
out for any switch or control on landing rollout. An
inadvertent landing gear retraction while meaning to
retract the wing flaps may result.
CROSSWIND APPROACH
AND LANDING
The multiengine airplane is often easier to land in a
crosswind than a single-engine airplane due to its
higher approach and landing speed. In any event, the
principles are no different between singles and twins.
Prior to touchdown, the longitudinal axis must be
aligned with the runway centerline to avoid landing
gear side loads.
The two primary methods, crab and wing-low, are
typically used in conjunction with each other. As
soon as the airplane rolls out onto final approach, the
crab angle to track the extended runway centerline is
established. This is coordinated flight with adjustments to heading to compensate for wind drift either
left or right. Prior to touchdown, the transition to a
sideslip is made with the upwind wing lowered and
opposite rudder applied to prevent a turn. The airplane
touches down on the landing gear of the upwind wing
first, followed by that of the downwind wing, and
then the nose gear. Follow-through with the flight
controls involves an increasing application of aileron
into the wind until full control deflection is reached.
The point at which the transition from the crab to the
sideslip is made is dependent upon pilot familiarity
with the airplane and experience. With high skill and
experience levels, the transition can be made during
the roundout just before touchdown. With lesser skill
and experience levels, the transition is made at
increasing distances from the runway. Some multiengine airplanes (as some single-engine airplanes)
have AFM/POH limitations against slips in excess of
a certain time period; 30 seconds, for example. This is
to prevent engine power loss from fuel starvation as
the fuel in the tank of the lowered wing flows towards
the wingtip, away from the fuel pickup point. This
time limit must be observed if the wing-low method
is utilized.
Some multiengine pilots prefer to use differential
power to assist in crosswind landings. The asymmetrical thrust produces a yawing moment little
different from that produced by the rudder. When
the upwind wing is lowered, power on the upwind
engine is increased to prevent the airplane from
turning. This alternate technique is completely
acceptable, but most pilots feel they can react to
changing wind conditions quicker with rudder and
aileron than throttle movement. This is especially
true with turbocharged engines where the throttle
response may lag momentarily. The differential
power technique should be practiced with an
instructor familiar with it before being attempted
alone.
SHORT-FIELD TAKEOFF AND CLIMB
The short-field takeoff and climb differs from the
normal takeoff and climb in the airspeeds and initial
climb profile. Some AFM/POHs give separate
short-field takeoff procedures and performance
charts that recommend specific flap settings and airspeeds. Other AFM/POHs do not provide separate
short-field procedures. In the absence of such specific
procedures, the airplane should be operated only as
recommended in the AFM/POH. No operations should
be conducted contrary to the recommendations in the
AFM/POH.
On short-field takeoffs in general, just after rotation
and lift-off, the airplane should be allowed to accelerate to VX, making the initial climb over obstacles at
VX and transitioning to VY as obstacles are cleared.
[Figure 12-9]
VY
VX
50 ft
Figure 12-9. Short-field takeoff and climb.
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When partial flaps are recommended for short-field
takeoffs, many light-twins have a strong tendency to
become airborne prior to VMC plus 5 knots. Attempting
to prevent premature lift-off with forward elevator
pressure results in wheelbarrowing. To prevent this,
allow the airplane to become airborne, but only a few
inches above the runway. The pilot should be prepared
to promptly abort the takeoff and land in the event of
engine failure on takeoff with landing gear and flaps
extended at airspeeds below VX.
Engine failure on takeoff, particularly with obstructions, is compounded by the low airspeeds and steep
climb attitudes utilized in short-field takeoffs. VX and
VXSE are often perilously close to VMC, leaving scant
margin for error in the event of engine failure as VXSE
is assumed. If flaps were used for takeoff, the engine
failure situation becomes even more critical due to the
additional drag incurred. If VX is less than 5 knots
higher than VMC, give strong consideration to reducing
useful load or using another runway in order to
increase the takeoff margins so that a short-field
technique will not be required.
SHORT-FIELD APPROACH
AND LANDING
The primary elements of a short-field approach and
landing do not differ significantly from a normal
approach and landing. Many manufacturers do not
publish short-field landing techniques or performance
charts in the AFM/POH. In the absence of specific
short-field approach and landing procedures, the
airplane should be operated as recommended in the
AFM/POH. No operations should be conducted
contrary to the AFM/POH recommendations.
The emphasis in a short-field approach is on configuration (full flaps), a stabilized approach with a constant
angle of descent, and precise airspeed control. As part
of a short-field approach and landing procedure,
some AFM/POHs recommend a slightly slower than
normal approach airspeed. If no such slower speed is
published, use the AFM/POH-recommended normal
approach speed.
Timely Decision to
Make Go-Around
Apply Max Power
Adjust Pitch Attitude
to Arrest Sink Rate
Full flaps are used to provide the steepest approach
angle. If obstacles are present, the approach should be
planned so that no drastic power reductions are
required after they are cleared. The power should be
smoothly reduced to idle in the roundout prior to
touchdown. Pilots should keep in mind that the propeller blast blows over the wings, providing some lift
in addition to thrust. Significantly reducing power just
after obstacle clearance usually results in a sudden,
high sink rate that may lead to a hard landing.
After the short-field touchdown, maximum stopping
effort is achieved by retracting the wing flaps, adding
back pressure to the elevator/stabilator, and applying
heavy braking. However, if the runway length permits,
the wing flaps should be left in the extended position
until the airplane has been stopped clear of the runway.
There is always a significant risk of retracting the landing gear instead of the wing flaps when flap retraction
is attempted on the landing rollout.
Landing conditions that involve either a short-field,
high-winds or strong crosswinds are just about the only
situations where flap retraction on the landing rollout
should be considered. When there is an operational
need to retract the flaps just after touchdown, it must
be done deliberately, with the flap handle positively
identified before it is moved.
GO-AROUND
When the decision to go around is made, the throttles
should be advanced to takeoff power. With adequate
airspeed, the airplane should be placed in a climb pitch
attitude. These actions, which are accomplished
simultaneously, will arrest the sink rate and place the
airplane in the proper attitude for transition to a
climb. The initial target airspeed will be VY, or VX if
obstructions are present. With sufficient airspeed, the
flaps should be retracted from full to an intermediate
position and the landing gear retracted when there is
a positive rate of climb and no chance of runway
contact. The remaining flaps should then be
retracted. [Figure 12-10]
Positive Rate
of Climb, Retract
Gear, Climb
at VY
Retract Remaining
Flaps
500'
Cruise Climb
Flaps to
Intermediate
Figure 12-10. Go-around procedure.
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If the go-around was initiated due to conflicting traffic
on the ground or aloft, the pilot should maneuver to the
side, so as to keep the conflicting traffic in sight. This
may involve a shallow bank turn to offset and then parallel the runway/landing area.
may be preferable to continue into the overrun area
under control, rather than risk directional control loss,
landing gear collapse, or tire/brake failure in an
attempt to stop the airplane in the shortest possible
distance.
If the airplane was in trim for the landing approach
when the go-around was commenced, it will soon require
a great deal of forward elevator/stabilator pressure as the
airplane accelerates away in a climb. The pilot should
apply appropriate forward pressure to maintain the
desired pitch attitude. Trim should be commenced immediately. The “balked landing” checklist should be
reviewed as work load permits.
ENGINE FAILURE AFTER LIFT-OFF
Flaps should be retracted before the landing gear for
two reasons. First, on most airplanes, full flaps produce
more drag than the extended landing gear. Secondly,
the airplane will tend to settle somewhat with flap
retraction, and the landing gear should be down in the
event of an inadvertent, momentary touchdown.
Many multiengine airplanes have a landing gear retraction speed significantly less than the extension speed.
Care should be exercised during the go-around not to
exceed the retraction speed. If the pilot desires to
return for a landing, it is essential to re-accomplish the
entire “before landing” checklist. An interruption to a
pilot’s habit patterns, such as a go-around, is a classic
scenario for a subsequent gear up landing.
The preceding discussion of go-arounds assumes that
the maneuver was initiated from normal approach
speeds or faster. If the go-around was initiated from a
low airspeed, the initial pitch up to a climb attitude must
be tempered with the necessity of maintaining adequate
flying speed throughout the maneuver. Examples of
where this applies include go-arounds initiated from the
landing roundout or recovery from a bad bounce as well
as a go-around initiated due to an inadvertent approach
to a stall. The first priority is always to maintain control
and obtain adequate flying speed. A few moments of
level or near level flight may be required as the airplane
accelerates up to climb speed.
REJECTED TAKEOFF
A takeoff can be rejected for the same reasons a takeoff
in a single-engine airplane would be rejected. Once the
decision to reject a takeoff is made, the pilot should
promptly close both throttles and maintain directional
control with the rudder, nosewheel steering, and
brakes. Aggressive use of rudder, nosewheel steering,
and brakes may be required to keep the airplane on
the runway. Particularly, if an engine failure is not
immediately recognized and accompanied by
prompt closure of both throttles. However, the primary objective is not necessarily to stop the airplane
in the shortest distance, but to maintain control of
the airplane as it decelerates. In some situations, it
12-18
A takeoff or go-around is the most critical time to suffer an engine failure. The airplane will be slow, close
to the ground, and may even have landing gear and
flaps extended. Altitude and time will be minimal.
Until feathered, the propeller of the failed engine will
be windmilling, producing a great deal of drag and
yawing tendency. Airplane climb performance will be
marginal or even non-existent, and obstructions may
lie ahead. Add the element of surprise and the need for
a plan of action before every takeoff is obvious.
With loss of an engine, it is paramount to maintain
airplane control and comply with the manufacturer’s
recommended emergency procedures. Complete failure of one engine shortly after takeoff can be broadly
categorized into one of three following scenarios.
1.
Landing gear down. [Figure 12-11] If the
engine failure occurs prior to selecting the landing gear to the UP position, close both throttles
and land on the remaining runway or overrun.
Depending upon how quickly the pilot reacts to
the sudden yaw, the airplane may run off the
side of the runway by the time action is taken.
There are really no other practical options. As
discussed earlier, the chances of maintaining
directional control while retracting the flaps (if
extended), landing gear, feathering the propeller,
and accelerating are minimal. On some airplanes
with a single-engine-driven hydraulic pump,
failure of that engine means the only way to
raise the landing gear is to allow the engine to
windmill or to use a hand pump. This is not a
viable alternative during takeoff.
2.
Landing gear control selected up, singleengine climb performance inadequate.
[Figure 12-12] When operating near or above
the single-engine ceiling and an engine failure is
experienced shortly after lift-off, a landing must
be accomplished on whatever essentially lies
ahead. There is also the option of continuing
ahead, in a descent at VYSE with the remaining
engine producing power, as long as the pilot
is not tempted to remain airborne beyond the
airplane’s performance capability. Remaining
airborne, bleeding off airspeed in a futile
attempt to maintain altitude is almost invariably
fatal. Landing under control is paramount. The
greatest hazard in a single-engine takeoff is
attempting to fly when it is not within the per-
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If Failure of Engine Occurs After Lift-off:
1. Maintain Directional Control
2. Close Both Throttles
If Engine Failure Occurs at
or Before Lift-off, Abort the
Takeoff.
Figure 12-11. Engine failure on takeoff, landing gear down.
formance capability of the airplane to do so. An
accident is inevitable.
3.
Analysis of engine failures on takeoff reveals a very
high success rate of off-airport engine inoperative
landings when the airplane is landed under control.
Analysis also reveals a very high fatality rate in stallspin accidents when the pilot attempts flight beyond
the performance capability of the airplane.
•
As mentioned previously, if the airplane’s landing gear
retraction mechanism is dependent upon hydraulic
pressure from a certain engine-driven pump, failure
of that engine can mean a loss of hundreds of feet of
altitude as the pilot either windmills the engine to
provide hydraulic pressure to raise the gear or raises
it manually with a backup pump.
Engine Failure
Landing gear control selected up, singleengine climb performance adequate. [Figure
12-13] If the single-engine rate of climb is
adequate, the procedures for continued flight
should be followed. There are four areas of
concern: control, configuration, climb, and
checklist.
CONTROL— The first consideration following
engine failure during takeoff is control of the airplane. Upon detecting an engine failure, aileron
should be used to bank the airplane and rudder
pressure applied, aggressively if necessary, to
counteract the yaw and roll from asymmetrical
thrust. The control forces, particularly on the
rudder, may be high. The pitch attitude for VYSE
will have to be lowered from that of VY.
Descend at VYSE
Land Under Control
On or Off Runway
Liftoff
Over Run Area
Figure 12-12. Engine failure on takeoff, inadequate climb performance.
12-19
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Obstruction Clearance
Altitude or Above
3. Drag - Reduce - Gear, Flaps
4. Identify - Inoperative Engine
5. Verify - Inoperative Engine
6. Feather - Inoperative Engine
If Failure of Engine Occurs After Liftoff:
1. Maintain Directional Control - VYSE,
Heading, Bank into Operating Engine
2. Power - Increase or Set for Takeoff
At 500' or Obstruction Clearance Altitude:
7. Engine Failure Checklist
Circle and Land
Figure 12-13. Landing gear up—adequate climb performance.
At least 5° of bank should be used, if necessary,
to stop the yaw and maintain directional control.
This initial bank input is held only momentarily,
just long enough to establish or ensure directional control. Climb performance suffers when
bank angles exceed approximately 2 or 3°, but
obtaining and maintaining VYSE and directional
control are paramount. Trim should be adjusted
to lower the control forces.
•
CONFIGURATION—The memory items from
the “engine failure after takeoff” checklist
[Figure 12-14] should be promptly executed to
configure the airplane for climb. The specific
procedures to follow will be found in the
AFM/POH and checklist for the particular airplane. Most will direct the pilot to assume VYSE,
set takeoff power, retract the flaps and landing
gear, identify, verify, and feather the failed
engine. (On some airplanes, the landing gear is
to be retracted before the flaps.)
The “identify” step is for the pilot to initially
identify the failed engine. Confirmation on the
engine gauges may or may not be possible,
depending upon the failure mode. Identification
should be primarily through the control inputs
required to maintain straight flight, not the
engine gauges. The “verify” step directs the pilot
to retard the throttle of the engine thought to have
failed. No change in performance when the suspected throttle is retarded is verification that the
correct engine has been identified as failed. The
corresponding propeller control should be
brought fully aft to feather the engine.
12-20
ENGINE FAILURE AFTER TAKEOFF
Airspeed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maintain VYSE
Mixtures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RICH
Propellers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HIGH RPM
Throttles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FULL POWER
Flaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UP
Landing Gear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UP
Identify . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Determine failed
engine
Verify . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Close throttle of
failed engine
Propeller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FEATHER
Trim Tabs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ADJUST
Failed Engine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SECURE
As soon as practical . . . . . . . . . . LAND
Bold - faced items require immediate action and
are to be accomplished from memory.
Figure 12-14. Typical “engine failure after takeoff” emergency
checklist.
•
CLIMB—As soon as directional control is established and the airplane configured for climb, the
bank angle should be reduced to that producing
best climb performance. Without specific
guidance for zero sideslip, a bank of 2° and
one-third to one-half ball deflection on the
slip/skid indicator is suggested. VYSE is maintained with pitch control. As turning flight
reduces climb performance, climb should be
made straight ahead, or with shallow turns to
avoid obstacles, to an altitude of at least 400
feet AGL before attempting a return to
the airport.
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•
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CHECKLIST—Having accomplished the
memory items from the “engine failure after
takeoff” checklist, the printed copy should be
reviewed as time permits. The “securing failed
engine” checklist [Figure 12-15] should then be
accomplished. Unless the pilot suspects an
engine fire, the remaining items should be
accomplished deliberately and without undue
haste. Airplane control should never be sacrificed
to execute the remaining checklists. The priority
items have already been accomplished from
memory.
SECURING FAILED ENGINE
Mixture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IDLE CUT OFF
Magnetos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . OFF
Alternator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . OFF
Cowl Flap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CLOSE
Boost Pump . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . OFF
Fuel Selector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . OFF
Prop Sync . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . OFF
Electrical Load . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reduce
Crossfeed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Consider
Figure 12-15. Typical “securing failed engine” emergency
checklist.
Other than closing the cowl flap of the failed engine,
none of these items, if left undone, adversely affects
airplane climb performance. There is a distinct possibility
of actuating an incorrect switch or control if the procedure is rushed. The pilot should concentrate on flying
the airplane and extracting maximum performance. If
ATC facilities are available, an emergency should be
declared.
The memory items in the “engine failure after takeoff”
checklist may be redundant with the airplane’s existing
configuration. For example, in the third takeoff scenario,
the gear and flaps were assumed to already be retracted,
yet the memory items included gear and flaps. This is
not an oversight. The purpose of the memory items is
to either initiate the appropriate action or to confirm
that a condition exists. Action on each item may not
be required in all cases. The memory items also
apply to more than one circumstance. In an engine
failure from a go-around, for example, the landing
gear and flaps would likely be extended when the
failure occurred.
The three preceding takeoff scenarios all include the
landing gear as a key element in the decision to land or
continue. With the landing gear selector in the DOWN
position, for example, continued takeoff and climb is
not recommended. This situation, however, is not justification to retract the landing gear the moment the
airplane lifts off the surface on takeoff as a normal
procedure. The landing gear should remain selected
down as long as there is usable runway or overrun
available to land on. The use of wing flaps for takeoff
virtually eliminates the likelihood of a single-engine
climb until the flaps are retracted.
There are two time-tested memory aids the pilot may
find useful in dealing with engine-out scenarios. The
first, “Dead foot–dead engine” is used to assist in identifying the failed engine. Depending on the failure
mode, the pilot won’t be able to consistently identify
the failed engine in a timely manner from the engine
gauges. In maintaining directional control, however,
rudder pressure will be exerted on the side (left or right)
of the airplane with the operating engine. Thus, the
“dead foot” is on the same side as the “dead engine.”
Variations on this saying include “Idle foot–idle
engine” and “Working foot–working engine.”
The second memory aid has to do with climb performance. The phrase “Raise the dead” is a reminder that
the best climb performance is obtained with a very
shallow bank, about 2° toward the operating engine.
Therefore, the inoperative, or “dead” engine should be
“raised” with a very slight bank.
Not all engine power losses are complete failures.
Sometimes the failure mode is such that partial power
may be available. If there is a performance loss when
the throttle of the affected engine is retarded, the pilot
should consider allowing it to run until altitude and airspeed permit safe single-engine flight, if this can be
done without compromising safety. Attempts to save a
malfunctioning engine can lead to a loss of the entire
airplane.
ENGINE FAILURE DURING FLIGHT
Engine failures well above the ground are handled
differently than those occurring at lower speeds and
altitudes. Cruise airspeed allows better airplane control, and altitude may permit time for a possible
diagnosis and remedy of the failure. Maintaining
airplane control, however, is still paramount.
Airplanes have been lost at altitude due to apparent
fixation on the engine problem to the detriment of
flying the airplane.
Not all engine failures or malfunctions are catastrophic
in nature (catastrophic meaning a major mechanical
failure that damages the engine and precludes further
engine operation). Many cases of power loss are
related to fuel starvation, where restoration of power
may be made with the selection of another tank. An
orderly inventory of gauges and switches may reveal
the problem. Carburetor heat or alternate air can be
selected. The affected engine may run smoothly on just
one magneto or at a lower power setting. Altering the
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mixture may help. If fuel vapor formation is suspected,
fuel boost pump operation may be used to eliminate
flow and pressure fluctuations.
Although it is a natural desire among pilots to save an
ailing engine with a precautionary shutdown, the
engine should be left running if there is any doubt as to
needing it for further safe flight. Catastrophic failure
accompanied by heavy vibration, smoke, blistering
paint, or large trails of oil, on the other hand, indicate
a critical situation. The affected engine should be
feathered and the “securing failed engine” checklist
completed. The pilot should divert to the nearest suitable airport and declare an emergency with ATC for
priority handling.
Fuel crossfeed is a method of getting fuel from a tank
on one side of the airplane to an operating engine on
the other. Crossfeed is used for extended single-engine
operation. If a suitable airport is close at hand, there is
no need to consider crossfeed. If prolonged flight on a
single-engine is inevitable due to airport non-availability, then crossfeed allows use of fuel that would
otherwise be unavailable to the operating engine. It
also permits the pilot to balance the fuel consumption
to avoid an out-of-balance wing heaviness.
AFM/POH procedures for crossfeed vary widely.
Thorough fuel system knowledge is essential if crossfeed is to be conducted. Fuel selector positions and fuel
boost pump usage for crossfeed differ greatly among
multiengine airplanes. Prior to landing, crossfeed
should be terminated and the operating engine returned
to its main tank fuel supply.
If the airplane is above its single-engine absolute
ceiling at the time of engine failure, it will slowly
lose altitude. The pilot should maintain VYSE to minimize the rate of altitude loss. This “drift down” rate
will be greatest immediately following the failure
and will decrease as the single-engine ceiling is
approached. Due to performance variations caused
by engine and propeller wear, turbulence, and pilot
technique, the airplane may not maintain altitude
even at its published single-engine ceiling. Any further
rate of sink, however, would likely be modest.
An engine failure in a descent or other low power
setting can be deceiving. The dramatic yaw and performance loss will be absent. At very low power
settings, the pilot may not even be aware of a failure.
If a failure is suspected, the pilot should advance both
engine mixtures, propellers, and throttles significantly,
to the takeoff settings if necessary, to correctly identify
the failed engine. The power on the operative engine
can always be reduced later.
12-22
ENGINE INOPERATIVE APPROACH
AND LANDING
The approach and landing with one engine inoperative
is essentially the same as a two-engine approach and
landing. The traffic pattern should be flown at similar
altitudes, airspeeds, and key positions as a two-engine
approach. The differences will be the reduced power
available and the fact that the remaining thrust is
asymmetrical. A higher-than-normal power setting
will be necessary on the operative engine.
With adequate airspeed and performance, the landing
gear can still be extended on the downwind leg. In
which case it should be confirmed DOWN no later
than abeam the intended point of landing. Performance
permitting, initial extension of wing flaps (10°, typically) and a descent from pattern altitude can also be
initiated on the downwind leg. The airspeed should be
no slower than VYSE. The direction of the traffic pattern, and therefore the turns, is of no consequence as
far as airplane controllability and performance are
concerned. It is perfectly acceptable to make turns
toward the failed engine.
On the base leg, if performance is adequate, the flaps
may be extended to an intermediate setting (25°, typically). If the performance is inadequate, as measured
by a decay in airspeed or high sink rate, delay further
flap extension until closer to the runway. VYSE is still
the minimum airspeed to maintain.
On final approach, a normal, 3° glidepath to a landing
is desirable. VASI or other vertical path lighting aids
should be utilized if available. Slightly steeper
approaches may be acceptable. However, a long, flat,
low approach should be avoided. Large, sudden power
applications or reductions should also be avoided.
Maintain VYSE until the landing is assured, then slow
to 1.3 VSO or the AFM/POH recommended speed. The
final flap setting may be delayed until the landing is
assured, or the airplane may be landed with partial
flaps.
The airplane should remain in trim throughout. The
pilot must be prepared, however, for a rudder trim
change as the power of the operating engine is reduced
to idle in the roundout just prior to touchdown. With
drag from only one windmilling propeller, the airplane
will tend to float more than on a two-engine approach.
Precise airspeed control therefore is essential, especially
when landing on a short, wet and/or slippery surface.
Some pilots favor resetting the rudder trim to neutral
on final and compensating for yaw by holding rudder
pressure for the remainder of the approach. This eliminates the rudder trim change close to the ground as
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the throttle is closed during the roundout for landing.
This technique eliminates the need for groping for the
rudder trim and manipulating it to neutral during final
approach, which many pilots find to be highly distracting. AFM/POH recommendations or personal
preference should be used.
Single-engine go-arounds must be avoided. As a practical matter in single-engine approaches, once the airplane is on final approach with landing gear and flaps
extended, it is committed to land. If not on the intended
runway, then on another runway, a taxiway, or grassy
infield. The light-twin does not have the performance
to climb on one engine with landing gear and flaps
extended. Considerable altitude will be lost while
maintaining VYSE and retracting landing gear and
flaps. Losses of 500 feet or more are not unusual. If the
landing gear has been lowered with an alternate means
of extension, retraction may not be possible, virtually
negating any climb capability.
ENGINE INOPERATIVE
Three different scenarios of airplane control inputs are
presented below. Neither of the first two is correct.
They are presented to illustrate the reasons for the zero
sideslip approach to best climb performance.
1.
Engine inoperative flight with wings level and
ball centered requires large rudder input towards
the operative engine. [Figure 12-16] The result is
a moderate sideslip towards the inoperative
engine. Climb performance will be reduced by
the moderate sideslip. With wings level, VMC will
be significantly higher than published as there is
no horizontal component of lift available to help
the rudder combat asymmetrical thrust.
Yaw
String
FLIGHT PRINCIPLES
Best single-engine climb performance is obtained at
VYSE with maximum available power and minimum
drag. After the flaps and landing gear have been
retracted and the propeller of the failed engine feathered, a key element in best climb performance is
minimizing sideslip.
Slipstream
With a single-engine airplane or a multiengine airplane
with both engines operative, sideslip is eliminated
when the ball of the turn and bank instrument is centered. This is a condition of zero sideslip, and the
airplane is presenting its smallest possible profile to
the relative wind. As a result, drag is at its minimum.
Pilots know this as coordinated flight.
Fin Effect
Due to Sideslip
Rudder Force
In a multiengine airplane with an inoperative engine,
the centered ball is no longer the indicator of zero
sideslip due to asymmetrical thrust. In fact, there is no
instrument at all that will directly tell the pilot the
flight conditions for zero sideslip. In the absence of a
yaw string, minimizing sideslip is a matter of placing
the airplane at a predetermined bank angle and ball
position. The AFM/POH performance charts for single-engine flight were determined at zero sideslip. If
this performance is even to be approximated, the zero
sideslip technique must be utilized.
There are two different control inputs that can be used
to counteract the asymmetrical thrust of a failed
engine: (1) yaw from the rudder, and (2) the horizontal
component of lift that results from bank with the
ailerons. Used individually, neither is correct. Used
together in the proper combination, zero sideslip and
best climb performance are achieved.
Wings level, ball centered, airplane slips toward dead engine.
Results: high drag, large control surface deflections required,
and rudder and fin in opposition due to sideslip.
Figure 12-16. Wings level engine-out flight.
12-23
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2.
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Page 12-24
Engine inoperative flight using ailerons alone
requires an 8 - 10° bank angle towards the operative engine. [Figure 12-17] This assumes no
rudder input. The ball will be displaced well
towards the operative engine. The result is a
large sideslip towards the operative engine.
Climb performance will be greatly reduced by
the large sideslip.
result is zero sideslip and maximum climb performance. [Figure 12-18] Any attitude other
than zero sideslip increases drag, decreasing
performance. VMC under these circumstances
will be higher than published, as less than the
5° bank certification limit is employed.
Yaw
String
Yaw
String
Rudder Force
Excess bank toward operating engine, no rudder input.
Result: large sideslip toward operating engine and greatly
reduced climb performance.
Figure 12-17. Excessive bank engine-out flight.
3.
12-24
Rudder and ailerons used together in the proper
combination will result in a bank of approximately 2° towards the operative engine. The
ball will be displaced approximately one-third
to one-half towards the operative engine. The
Bank toward operating engine, no sideslip. Results: much
lower drag and smaller control surface deflections.
Figure 12-18. Zero sideslip engine-out flight.
The precise condition of zero sideslip (bank angle and
ball position) varies slightly from model to model, and
with available power and airspeed. If the airplane is
not equipped with counter-rotating propellers, it will
also vary slightly with the engine failed due to P-factor.
The foregoing zero sideslip recommendations apply to
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reciprocating engine multiengine airplanes flown at
VYSE with the inoperative engine feathered. The zero
sideslip ball position for straight flight is also the zero
sideslip position for turning flight.
When bank angle is plotted against climb performance
for a hypothetical twin, zero sideslip results in the best
(however marginal) climb performance or the least rate
of descent. Zero bank (all rudder to counteract yaw)
degrades climb performance as a result of moderate
sideslip. Using bank angle alone (no rudder) severely
degrades climb performance as a result of a large
sideslip.
The actual bank angle for zero sideslip varies among
airplanes from one and one-half to two and one-half
degrees. The position of the ball varies from one-third
to one-half of a ball width from instrument center.
For any multiengine airplane, zero sideslip can be confirmed through the use of a yaw string. A yaw string is
a piece of string or yarn approximately 18 to 36 inches
in length, taped to the base of the windshield, or to the
nose near the windshield, along the airplane centerline.
In two-engine coordinated flight, the relative wind will
cause the string to align itself with the longitudinal axis
of the airplane, and it will position itself straight up the
center of the windshield. This is zero sideslip.
Experimentation with slips and skids will vividly display
the location of the relative wind. Adequate altitude and
flying speed must be maintained while accomplishing
these maneuvers.
With an engine set to zero thrust (or feathered) and the
airplane slowed to VYSE, a climb with maximum power
on the remaining engine will reveal the precise bank
angle and ball deflection required for zero sideslip and
best climb performance. Zero sideslip will again be
indicated by the yaw string when it aligns itself vertically on the windshield. There will be very minor
changes from this attitude depending upon the
engine failed (with noncounter-rotating propellers),
power available, airspeed and weight; but without
more sensitive testing equipment, these changes are
difficult to detect. The only significant difference
would be the pitch attitude required to maintain VYSE
under different density altitude, power available, and
weight conditions.
If a yaw string is attached to the airplane at the time
of a V MC demonstration, it will be noted that V MC
occurs under conditions of sideslip. V MC was not
determined under conditions of zero sideslip during
aircraft certification and zero sideslip is not part of a
VMC demonstration for pilot certification.
To review, there are two different sets of bank angles
used in one-engine-inoperative flight.
•
To maintain directional control of a multiengine
airplane suffering an engine failure at low speeds
(such as climb), momentarily bank at least 5°,
and a maximum of 10° towards the operative
engine as the pitch attitude for VYSE is set. This
maneuver should be instinctive to the proficient
multiengine pilot and take only 1 to 2 seconds to
attain. It is held just long enough to assure directional control as the pitch attitude for VYSE is
assumed.
•
To obtain the best climb performance, the airplane must be flown at VYSE and zero sideslip,
with the failed engine feathered and maximum
available power from the operating engine. Zero
sideslip is approximately 2° of bank toward the
operating engine and a one-third to one-half ball
deflection, also toward the operating engine. The
precise bank angle and ball position will vary
somewhat with make and model and power
available. If above the airplane’s single-engine
ceiling, this attitude and configuration will result
in the minimum rate of sink.
In OEI flight at low altitudes and airspeeds such as the
initial climb after takeoff, pilots must operate the airplane
so as to guard against the three major accident factors:
(1) loss of directional control, (2) loss of performance,
and (3) loss of flying speed. All have equal potential to
be lethal. Loss of flying speed will not be a factor,
however, when the airplane is operated with due regard
for directional control and performance.
SLOW FLIGHT
There is nothing unusual about maneuvering during
slow flight in a multiengine airplane. Slow flight may
be conducted in straight-and-level flight, turns, in the
clean configuration, landing configuration, or at any
other combination of landing gear and flaps. Pilots
should closely monitor cylinder head and oil temperatures during slow flight. Some high performance
multiengine airplanes tend to heat up fairly quickly
under some conditions of slow flight, particularly in
the landing configuration.
Simulated engine failures should not be conducted during slow flight. The airplane will be well below VSSE
and very close to VMC. Stability, stall warning or stall
avoidance devices should not be disabled while
maneuvering during slow flight.
STALLS
Stall characteristics vary among multiengine airplanes
just as they do with single-engine airplanes, and
therefore, it is important to be familiar with them. The
application of power upon stall recovery, however,
has a significantly greater effect during stalls in a
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twin than a single-engine airplane. In the twin, an
application of power blows large masses of air from
the propellers directly over the wings, producing a
significant amount of lift in addition to the expected
thrust. The multiengine airplane, particularly at light
operating weights, typically has a higher thrust-toweight ratio, making it quicker to accelerate out of a
stalled condition.
In general, stall recognition and recovery training in
twins is performed similar to any high performance
single-engine airplane. However, for twins, all stall
maneuvers should be planned so as to be completed at
least 3,000 feet AGL.
Single-engine stalls or stalls with significantly more
power on one engine than the other should not be
attempted due to the likelihood of a departure from
controlled flight and possible spin entry. Similarly,
simulated engine failures should not be performed during stall entry and recovery.
POWER-OFF STALLS
(APPROACH AND LANDING)
Power-off stalls are practiced to simulate typical
approach and landing scenarios. To initiate a power-off
stall maneuver, the area surrounding the airplane
should first be cleared for possible traffic. The airplane
should then be slowed and configured for an approach
and landing. A stabilized descent should be established
(approximately 500 f.p.m.) and trim adjusted. The pilot
should then transition smoothly from the stabilized
descent attitude, to a pitch attitude that will induce a
stall. Power is reduced further during this phase, and
trimming should cease at speeds slower than takeoff.
When the airplane reaches a stalled condition, the
recovery is accomplished by simultaneously reducing
the angle of attack with coordinated use of the flight
controls and smoothly applying takeoff or specified
power. The flap setting should be reduced from full to
approach, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
Then with a positive rate of climb, the landing gear is
selected up. The remaining flaps are then retracted as a
climb has commenced. This recovery process should
be completed with a minimum loss of altitude, appropriate to the aircraft characteristics.
angle of attack should be reduced prior to leveling the
wings. Flight control inputs should be coordinated.
It is usually not advisable to execute full stalls in
multiengine airplanes because of their relatively high
wing loading. Stall training should be limited to
approaches to stalls and when a stall condition occurs.
Recoveries should be initiated at the onset, or decay of
control effectiveness, or when the first physical
indication of the stall occurs.
POWER-ON STALLS
(TAKEOFF AND DEPARTURE)
Power-on stalls are practiced to simulate typical
takeoff scenarios. To initiate a power-on stall
maneuver, the area surrounding the airplane should
always be cleared to look for potential traffic. The
airplane is slowed to the manufacturer’s recommended
lift-off speed. The airplane should be configured in the
takeoff configuration. Trim should be adjusted for this
speed. Engine power is then increased to that recommended in the AFM/POH for the practice of power-on
stalls. In the absence of a recommended setting, use
approximately 65 percent of maximum available
power while placing the airplane in a pitch attitude that
will induce a stall. Other specified (reduced) power
settings may be used to simulate performance at higher
gross weights and density altitudes.
When the airplane reaches a stalled condition, the
recovery is made by simultaneously lowering the
angle of attack with coordinated use of the flight
controls and applying power as appropriate.
However, if simulating limited power available for
high gross weight and density altitude situations, the
power during the recovery should be limited to that
specified. The recovery should be completed with a
minimum loss of altitude, appropriate to aircraft characteristics.
The landing gear should be retracted when a positive
rate of climb is attained, and flaps retracted, if flaps
were set for takeoff. The target airspeed on recovery is
VX if (simulated) obstructions are present, or VY. The
pilot should anticipate the need for nosedown trim as
the airplane accelerates to VX or VY after recovery.
The airplane should be accelerated to VX (if simulated
obstacles are present) or VY during recovery and climb.
Considerable forward elevator/stabilator pressure will
be required after the stall recovery as the airplane accelerates to VX or VY. Appropriate trim input should be
anticipated.
Power-on stalls may be performed from straight flight
or from shallow and medium banked turns. When
recovering from a power-on stall performed from turning flight, the angle of attack should be reduced prior
to leveling the wings, and the flight control inputs
should be coordinated.
Power-off stalls may be performed with wings level, or
from shallow and medium banked turns. When recovering from a stall performed from turning flight, the
SPIN AWARENESS
No multiengine airplane is approved for spins, and
their spin recovery characteristics are generally very
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poor. It is therefore necessary to practice spin avoidance and maintain a high awareness of situations that
can result in an inadvertent spin.
In order to spin any airplane, it must first be stalled. At
the stall, a yawing moment must be introduced. In a
multiengine airplane, the yawing moment may be
generated by rudder input or asymmetrical thrust. It
follows, then, that spin awareness be at its greatest
during V MC demonstrations, stall practice, slow
flight, or any condition of high asymmetrical thrust,
particularly at low speed/high angle of attack. Singleengine stalls are not part of any multiengine training
curriculum.
A situation that may inadvertently degrade into a spin
entry is a simulated engine failure introduced at an
inappropriately low speed. No engine failure should
ever be introduced below safe, intentional one-engineinoperative speed (VSSE). If no VSSE is published, use
VYSE. The “necessity” of simulating engine failures
at low airspeeds is erroneous. Other than training
situations, the multiengine airplane is only operated
below V SSE for mere seconds just after lift-off or
during the last few dozen feet of altitude in preparation
for landing.
For spin avoidance when practicing engine failures,
the flight instructor should pay strict attention to the
maintenance of proper airspeed and bank angle as the
student executes the appropriate procedure. The
instructor should also be particularly alert during stall
and slow flight practice. Forward center-of-gravity
positions result in favorable stall and spin avoidance
characteristics, but do not eliminate the hazard.
When performing a VMC demonstration, the instructor
should also be alert for any sign of an impending stall.
The student may be highly focused on the directional
control aspect of the maneuver to the extent that
impending stall indications go unnoticed. If a VMC
demonstration cannot be accomplished under existing
conditions of density altitude, it may, for training purposes, be done utilizing the rudder blocking technique
described in the following section.
full rudder opposite the direction of rotation, and
applying full forward elevator/stabilator pressure (with
ailerons neutral). These actions should be taken as near
simultaneously as possible. The controls should then
be held in that position. Recovery, if possible, will take
considerable altitude. The longer the delay from entry
until taking corrective action, the less likely that recovery will be successful.
ENGINE INOPERATIVE—LOSS OF
DIRECTIONAL CONTROL
DEMONSTRATION
An engine inoperative—loss of directional control
demonstration, often referred to as a “VMC demonstration,” is a required task on the practical test for a
multiengine class rating. A thorough knowledge of
the factors that affect VMC, as well as its definition,
is essential for multiengine pilots, and as such an
essential part of that required task. V MC is a speed
established by the manufacturer, published in the
AFM/POH, and marked on most airspeed indicators
with a red radial line. The multiengine pilot must
understand that VMC is not a fixed airspeed under all
conditions. VMC is a fixed airspeed only for the very
specific set of circumstances under which it was
determined during aircraft certification. [Figure 12-19]
In reality, V MC varies with a variety of factors as
outlined below. The V MC noted in practice and
demonstration, or in actual single-engine operation,
could be less or even greater than the published
value, depending upon conditions and technique.
In aircraft certification, VMC is the sea level calibrated
airspeed at which, when the critical engine is suddenly
made inoperative, it is possible to maintain control of
the airplane with that engine still inoperative and then
maintain straight flight at the same speed with an angle
of bank of not more than 5°.
The foregoing refers to the determination of VMC under
“dynamic” conditions. This technique is only used by
highly experienced flight test pilots during aircraft certification. It is never to be attempted outside of these
circumstances.
As very few twins have ever been spin-tested (none
are required to), the recommended spin recovery
techniques are based only on the best information
available. The departure from controlled flight may
be quite abrupt and possibly disorienting. The direction of an upright spin can be confirmed from the turn
needle or the symbolic airplane of the turn coordinator,
if necessary. Do not rely on the ball position or other
instruments.
In aircraft certification, there is also a determination of
VMC under “static,” or steady-state conditions. If there
is a difference between the dynamic and static speeds,
the higher of the two is published as VMC. The static
determination is simply the ability to maintain straight
flight at VMC with a bank angle of not more than 5°. This
more closely resembles the VMC demonstration required
in the practical test for a multiengine class rating.
If a spin is entered, most manufacturers recommend
immediately retarding both throttles to idle, applying
The AFM/POH-published VMC is determined with the
“critical” engine inoperative. The critical engine is the
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Arm
Operative
Engine
Arm
Inoperative
Engine
Inoperative
Engine
Operative
Engine
(Critical Engine)
CL
CL
D1
D2
Figure 12-19. Forces created during single-engine operation.
engine whose failure has the most adverse effect on
directional control. On twins with each engine rotating
in conventional, clockwise rotation as viewed from the
pilot’s seat, the critical engine will be the left engine.
Multiengine airplanes are subject to P-factor just as
single-engine airplanes are. The descending propeller
blade of each engine will produce greater thrust than
the ascending blade when the airplane is operated
under power and at positive angles of attack. The
descending propeller blade of the right engine is also
a greater distance from the center of gravity, and
therefore has a longer moment arm than the descending propeller blade of the left engine. As a result,
failure of the left engine will result in the most
asymmetrical thrust (adverse yaw) as the right
engine will be providing the remaining thrust.
[Figure 12-19]
the engine can no longer maintain 100 percent
power). Above the critical altitude, VMC
decreases just as it would with a normally aspirated engine, whose critical altitude is sea level.
VMC tests are conducted at a variety of altitudes.
The results of those tests are then extrapolated to
a single, sea level value.
•
Windmilling propeller. VMC increases with
increased drag on the inoperative engine. VMC is
highest, therefore, when the critical engine propeller is windmilling at the low pitch, high
r.p.m. blade angle. VMC is determined with the
critical engine propeller windmilling in the
takeoff position, unless the engine is equipped
with an autofeather system.
•
Most unfavorable weight and center-of-gravity
position. VMC increases as the center of gravity
is moved aft. The moment arm of the rudder is
reduced, and therefore its effectivity is reduced,
as the center of gravity is moved aft. At the same
time, the moment arm of the propeller blade is
increased, aggravating asymmetrical thrust.
Invariably, the aft-most CG limit is the most
unfavorable CG position. Currently, 14 CFR
part 23 calls for V MC to be determined at the
most unfavorable weight. For twins certificated under CAR 3 or early 14 CFR part 23,
the weight at which VMC was determined was
not specified. V MC increases as weight is
reduced. [Figure 12-20]
•
Landing gear retracted. VMC increases when
the landing gear is retracted. Extended landing
gear aids directional stability, which tends to
decrease VMC.
Many twins are designed with a counter-rotating right
engine. With this design, the degree of asymmetrical
thrust is the same with either engine inoperative. No
engine is more critical than the other, and a VMC
demonstration may be performed with either engine
windmilling.
In aircraft certification, dynamic VMC is determined
under the following conditions.
•
12-28
Maximum available takeoff power. VMC
increases as power is increased on the operating
engine. With normally aspirated engines, VMC is
highest at takeoff power and sea level, and
decreases with altitude. With turbocharged
engines, takeoff power, and therefore VMC,
remains constant with increases in altitude up to
the engine’s critical altitude (the altitude where
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•
Wing flaps in the takeoff position. For most
twins, this will be 0° of flaps.
•
Cowl flaps in the takeoff position.
•
Airplane trimmed for takeoff.
•
Airplane airborne and the ground effect negligible.
•
Maximum of 5° angle of bank. VMC is highly
sensitive to bank angle. To prevent claims of
an unrealistically low V MC speed in aircraft
certification, the manufacturer is permitted to
use a maximum of a 5° bank angle toward the
operative engine. The horizontal component of
lift generated by the bank assists the rudder in
counteracting the asymmetrical thrust of the
operative engine. The bank angle works in the
manufacturer’s favor in lowering VMC.
VMC is reduced significantly with increases in bank
angle. Conversely, VMC increases significantly with
decreases in bank angle. Tests have shown that VMC
may increase more than 3 knots for each degree of
bank angle less than 5°. Loss of directional control
may be experienced at speeds almost 20 knots above
published VMC when the wings are held level.
The 5° bank angle maximum is a regulatory limit
imposed upon manufacturers in aircraft certification.
The 5° bank does not inherently establish zero sideslip
or best single-engine climb performance. Zero sideslip,
and therefore best single-engine climb performance,
occurs at bank angles significantly less than 5°. The
determination of VMC in certification is solely concerned with the minimum speed for directional control
under a very specific set of circumstances, and has
nothing to do with climb performance, nor is it the
optimum airplane attitude or configuration for climb
performance.
During dynamic VMC determination in aircraft certification, cuts of the critical engine using the mixture
control are performed by flight test pilots while
gradually reducing the speed with each attempt. VMC
is the minimum speed at which directional control
could be maintained within 20° of the original entry
heading when a cut of the critical engine was made.
During such tests, the climb angle with both engines
operating was high, and the pitch attitude following
the engine cut had to be quickly lowered to regain
the initial speed. Pilots should never attempt to
demonstrate V MC with an engine cut from high
power, and never intentionally fail an engine at
speeds less than VSSE.
The actual demonstration of VMC and recovery in flight
training more closely resembles static VMC determination in aircraft certification. For a demonstration,
the pilot should select an altitude that will allow
completion of the maneuver at least 3,000 feet AGL.
The following description assumes a twin with
noncounter-rotating engines, where the left engine
is critical.
With the landing gear retracted and the flaps set to the
takeoff position, the airplane should be slowed to
approximately 10 knots above VSSE or VYSE
(whichever is higher) and trimmed for takeoff. For the
remainder of the maneuver, the trim setting should not
be altered. An entry heading should be selected and
high r.p.m. set on both propeller controls. Power on the
left engine should be throttled back to idle as the right
engine power is advanced to the takeoff setting. The
landing gear warning horn will sound as long as a
T
Inoperative
Engine
T
Operative
Engine
Inoperative
Engine
Operative
Engine
A
A
B
BxR=AxT
R
B
R
Figure 12-20. Effect of CG location on yaw.
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throttle is retarded. The pilots should continue to carefully listen, however, for the stall warning horn, if so
equipped, or watch for the stall warning light. The left
yawing and rolling moment of the asymmetrical thrust
is counteracted primarily with right rudder. A bank
angle of 5° (a right bank, in this case) should also be
established.
While maintaining entry heading, the pitch attitude is
slowly increased to decelerate at a rate of 1 knot per
second (no faster). As the airplane slows and control
effectivity decays, the increasing yawing tendency
should be counteracted with additional rudder pressure. Aileron displacement will also increase in order
to maintain 5° of bank. An airspeed is soon reached
where full right rudder travel and a 5° right bank can
no longer counteract the asymmetrical thrust, and the
airplane will begin to yaw uncontrollably to the left.
The moment the pilot first recognizes the uncontrollable yaw, or experiences any symptom associated
with a stall, the operating engine throttle should be
sufficiently retarded to stop the yaw as the pitch
attitude is decreased. Recovery is made with a minimum
loss of altitude to straight flight on the entry heading at
VSSE or VYSE, before setting symmetrical power. The
recovery should not be attempted by increasing power
on the windmilling engine alone.
To keep the foregoing description simple, there were
several important background details that were not
covered. The rudder pressure during the demonstration
can be quite high. In certification, 150 pounds of force
is permitted before the limiting factor becomes rudder
pressure, not rudder travel. Most twins will run out of
rudder travel long before 150 pounds of pressure is
required. Still, it will seem considerable.
Maintaining altitude is not a criterion in accomplishing this maneuver. This is a demonstration of
controllability, not performance. Many airplanes will
lose (or gain) altitude during the demonstration. Begin
the maneuver at an altitude sufficient to allow completion
by 3,000 feet AGL.
As discussed earlier, with normally aspirated engines,
VMC decreases with altitude. Stalling speed (VS),
however, remains the same. Except for a few models,
published VMC is almost always higher than VS. At
sea level, there is usually a margin of several knots
between VMC and VS, but the margin decreases with
altitude, and at some altitude, V MC and V S are the
same. [Figure 12-21]
Should a stall occur while the airplane is under asymmetrical power, particularly high asymmetrical power,
a spin entry is likely. The yawing moment induced
from asymmetrical thrust is little different from that
12-30
Stall
Occurs
First
Density Altitude
Ch 12.qxd
Recovery
May Be
Difficult
Engine-Out
Power-On
Stall Speed (VS)
Altitude Where
VMC = Stall Speed
V
M
Yaw C
Occurs
First
Indicated Airspeed
Figure 12-21. Graph depicting relationship of VMC to VS.
induced by full rudder in an intentional spin in the
appropriate model of single-engine airplane. In this
case, however, the airplane will depart controlled
flight in the direction of the idle engine, not in the
direction of the applied rudder. Twins are not required
to demonstrate recoveries from spins, and their spin
recovery characteristics are generally very poor.
Where VS is encountered at or before VMC, the departure from controlled flight may be quite sudden, with
strong yawing and rolling tendencies to the inverted
position, and a spin entry. Therefore, during a VMC
demonstration, if there are any symptoms of an
impending stall such as a stall warning light or horn,
airframe or elevator buffet, or rapid decay in control
effectiveness, the maneuver should be terminated
immediately, the angle of attack reduced as the throttle
is retarded, and the airplane returned to the entry
airspeed. It should be noted that if the pilots are
wearing headsets, the sound of a stall warning horn
will tend to be masked.
The VMC demonstration only shows the earliest onset
of a loss of directional control. It is not a loss of control of the airplane when performed in accordance with
the foregoing procedures. A stalled condition should
never be allowed to develop. Stalls should never be
performed with asymmetrical thrust and the VMC
demonstration should never be allowed to degrade into
a single-engine stall. A VMC demonstration that is
allowed to degrade into a single-engine stall with high
asymmetrical thrust is very likely to result in a loss of
control of the airplane.
An actual demonstration of VMC may not be possible
under certain conditions of density altitude, or with
airplanes whose VMC is equal to or less than VS. Under
those circumstances, as a training technique, a demonstration of VMC may be safely conducted by artificially
limiting rudder travel to simulate maximum available
rudder. Limiting rudder travel should be accomplished
at a speed well above VS (approximately 20 knots).
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The rudder limiting technique avoids the hazards of
spinning as a result of stalling with high asymmetrical
power, yet is effective in demonstrating the loss of
directional control.
The VMC demonstration should never be performed
from a high pitch attitude with both engines operating
and then reducing power on one engine. The preceding
discussion should also give ample warning as to why
engine failures are never to be performed at low airspeeds. An unfortunate number of airplanes and pilots
have been lost from unwarranted simulated engine
failures at low airspeeds that degenerated into loss of
control of the airplane. VSSE is the minimum airspeed
at which any engine failure should be simulated.
MULTIENGINE TRAINING
CONSIDERATIONS
Flight training in a multiengine airplane can be safely
accomplished if both the instructor and the student are
cognizant of the following factors.
•
No flight should ever begin without a thorough
preflight briefing of the objectives, maneuvers,
expected student actions, and completion standards.
•
A clear understanding must be reached as to how
simulated emergencies will be introduced, and
what action the student is expected to take.
The introduction, practice, and testing of emergency
procedures has always been a sensitive subject.
Surprising a multiengine student with an emergency
without a thorough briefing beforehand has no place
in flight training. Effective training must be carefully
balanced with safety considerations. Simulated engine
failures, for example, can very quickly become actual
emergencies or lead to loss of the airplane when
approached carelessly. Pulling circuit breakers can
lead to a subsequent gear up landing. Stall-spin accidents in training for emergencies rival the number of
stall-spin accidents from actual emergencies.
All normal, abnormal, and emergency procedures can
and should be introduced and practiced in the airplane
as it sits on the ground, power off. In this respect, the
airplane is used as a cockpit procedures trainer (CPT),
ground trainer, or simulator. The value of this training
should never be underestimated. The engines do not
have to be operating for real learning to occur. Upon
completion of a training session, care should be taken
to return items such as switches, valves, trim, fuel selectors, and circuit breakers to their normal positions.
Pilots who do not use a checklist effectively will be at
a significant disadvantage in multiengine airplanes.
Use of the checklist is essential to safe operation of
airplanes and no flight should be conducted without
one. The manufacturer’s checklist or an aftermarket
checklist for the specific make, model, and model year
should be used. If there is a procedural discrepancy
between the checklist and AFM/POH, then the
AFM/POH always takes precedence.
Certain immediate action items (such as the response
to an engine failure in a critical phase of flight) should
be committed to memory. After they are accomplished,
and as work load permits, the pilot should verify the
action taken with a printed checklist.
Simulated engine failures during the takeoff ground
roll should be accomplished with the mixture control.
The simulated failure should be introduced at a speed
no greater than 50 percent of VMC. If the student does
not react promptly by retarding both throttles, the
instructor can always pull the other mixture.
The FAA recommends that all in-flight simulated
engine failures below 3,000 feet AGL be introduced
with a smooth reduction of the throttle. Thus, the
engine is kept running and is available for instant use,
if necessary. Throttle reduction should be smooth
rather than abrupt to avoid abusing the engine and possibly causing damage. All inflight engine failures must
be conducted at VSSE or above.
If the engines are equipped with dynamic crankshaft
counterweights, it is essential to make throttle reductions
for simulated failures smoothly. Other areas leading to
dynamic counterweight damage include high r.p.m. and
low manifold pressure combinations, overboosting, and
propeller feathering. Severe damage or repetitive abuse
to counterweights will eventually lead to engine failure.
Dynamic counterweights are found on larger, more
complex engines—instructors should check with
maintenance personnel or the engine manufacturer to
determine if their engines are so equipped.
When an instructor simulates an engine failure, the
student should respond with the appropriate memory
items and retard the propeller control towards the
FEATHER position. Assuming zero thrust will be set,
the instructor should promptly move the propeller
control forward and set the appropriate manifold
pressure and r.p.m. It is vital that the student be kept
informed of the instructor’s intentions. At this point
the instructor may state words to the effect, “I have the
right engine; you have the left. I have set zero thrust
and the right engine is simulated feathered.” There
should never be any ambiguity as to who is operating
what systems or controls.
Following a simulated engine failure, the instructor
should continue to care for the “failed” engine just as
the student cares for the operative engine. If zero thrust
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is set to simulate a feathered propeller, the cowl flap
should be closed and the mixture leaned. An occasional
clearing of the engine is also desirable. If possible,
avoid high power applications immediately following
a prolonged cool-down at a zero-thrust power setting.
The flight instructor must impress on the student multiengine pilot the critical importance of feathering the
propeller in a timely manner should an actual engine
failure situation be encountered. A windmilling propeller,
in many cases, has given the improperly trained
multiengine pilot the mistaken perception that the
failed engine is still developing useful thrust, resulting
in a psychological reluctance to feather, as feathering
results in the cessation of propeller rotation. The flight
instructor should spend ample time demonstrating
the difference in the performance capabilities of the
airplane with a simulated feathered propeller (zero
thrust) as opposed to a windmilling propeller.
All actual propeller feathering should be performed at
altitudes and positions where safe landings on established airports could be readily accomplished.
Feathering and restart should be planned so as to be
completed no lower than 3,000 feet AGL. At certain
elevations and with many popular multiengine training
airplanes, this may be above the single-engine service
ceiling, and level flight will not be possible.
Repeated feathering and unfeathering is hard on the
engine and airframe, and should be done only as
absolutely necessary to ensure adequate training. The
FAA’s practical test standards for a multiengine class
rating requires the feathering and unfeathering of one
propeller during flight in airplanes in which it is safe to
do so.
While much of this chapter has been devoted to the
unique flight characteristics of the multiengine airplane with one engine inoperative, the modern,
well-maintained reciprocating engine is remarkably
reliable. Simulated engine failures at extremely low
altitudes (such as immediately after lift-off) and/or
below VSSE are undesirable in view of the non-existent
safety margins involved. The high risk of simulating
an engine failure below 200 feet AGL does not warrant
practicing such maneuvers.
For training in maneuvers that would be hazardous in
flight, or for initial and recurrent qualification in an
advanced multiengine airplane, a simulator training
center or manufacturer’s training course should be
12-32
given consideration. Comprehensive training manuals
and classroom instruction are available along with system training aids, audio/visuals, and flight training
devices and simulators. Training under a wide variety
of environmental and aircraft conditions is available
through simulation. Emergency procedures that would
be either dangerous or impossible to accomplish in an
airplane can be done safely and effectively in a flight
training device or simulator. The flight training device
or simulator need not necessarily duplicate the specific make and model of airplane to be useful. Highly
effective instruction can be obtained in training
devices for other makes and models as well as generic
training devices.
The majority of multiengine training is conducted in
four to six-place airplanes at weights significantly less
than maximum. Single-engine performance, particularly at low density altitudes, may be deceptively good.
To experience the performance expected at higher
weights, altitudes, and temperatures, the instructor
should occasionally artificially limit the amount of
manifold pressure available on the operative engine.
Airport operations above the single-engine ceiling can
also be simulated in this manner. Loading the airplane
with passengers to practice emergencies at maximum
takeoff weight is not appropriate.
The use of the touch-and-go landing and takeoff in
flight training has always been somewhat controversial.
The value of the learning experience must be weighed
against the hazards of reconfiguring the airplane for
takeoff in an extremely limited time as well as the loss
of the follow-through ordinarily experienced in a full
stop landing. Touch and goes are not recommended
during initial aircraft familiarization in multiengine
airplanes.
If touch and goes are to be performed at all, the student
and instructor responsibilities need to be carefully
briefed prior to each flight. Following touchdown, the
student will ordinarily maintain directional control
while keeping the left hand on the yoke and the right
hand on the throttles. The instructor resets the flaps
and trim and announces when the airplane has been
reconfigured. The multiengine airplane needs considerably more runway to perform a touch and go than a
single-engine airplane. A full stop-taxi back landing is
preferable during initial familiarization. Solo touch
and goes in twins are strongly discouraged.
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TAILWHEEL AIRPLANES
Tailwheel airplanes are often referred to as
conventional gear airplanes. Due to their design and
structure, tailwheel airplanes exhibit operational and
handling characteristics that are different from those of
tricycle gear airplanes. Tailwheel airplanes are not
necessarily more difficult to takeoff, land, and/or taxi
than tricycle gear airplanes; in fact under certain
conditions, they may even handle with less difficulty.
This chapter will focus on the operational differences
that occur during ground operations, takeoffs, and
landings.
LANDING GEAR
The main landing gear forms the principal support of
the airplane on the ground. The tailwheel also supports
the airplane, but steering and directional control are its
primary functions. With the tailwheel-type airplane, the
two main struts are attached to the airplane slightly
ahead of the airplane’s center of gravity (CG).
The rudder pedals are the primary directional controls
while taxiing. Steering with the pedals may be
accomplished through the forces of airflow or propeller
slipstream acting on the rudder surface, or through a
mechanical linkage to the steerable tailwheel. Initially,
the pilot should taxi with the heels of the feet resting on
the cockpit floor and the balls of the feet on the bottom
of the rudder pedals. The feet should be slid up onto the
brake pedals only when it is necessary to depress the
brakes. This permits the simultaneous application of
rudder and brake whenever needed. Some models of
tailwheel airplanes are equipped with heel brakes rather
than toe brakes. In either configuration the brakes are
used primarily to stop the airplane at a desired point, to
slow the airplane, or as an aid in making a sharp
controlled turn. Whenever used, they must be applied
smoothly, evenly, and cautiously at all times.
TAXIING
When beginning to taxi, the brakes should be tested
immediately for proper operation. This is done by first
applying power to start the airplane moving slowly
forward, then retarding the throttle and simultaneously
applying pressure smoothly to both brakes. If braking
action is unsatisfactory, the engine should be shut down
immediately.
To turn the airplane on the ground, the pilot should
apply rudder in the desired direction of turn and use
whatever power or brake that is necessary to control
the taxi speed. The rudder should be held in the
direction of the turn until just short of the point where
the turn is to be stopped, then the rudder pressure
released or slight opposite pressure applied as needed.
While taxiing, the pilot will have to anticipate the
movements of the airplane and adjust rudder pressure
accordingly. Since the airplane will continue to turn
slightly even as the rudder pressure is being released,
the stopping of the turn must be anticipated and the
rudder pedals neutralized before the desired heading is
reached. In some cases, it may be necessary to apply
opposite rudder to stop the turn, depending on the taxi
speed.
The presence of moderate to strong headwinds and/or a
strong propeller slipstream makes the use of the
elevator necessary to maintain control of the pitch
attitude while taxiing. This becomes apparent when
considering the lifting action that may be created on
the horizontal tail surfaces by either of those two
factors. The elevator control should be held in the aft
position (stick or yoke back) to hold the tail down.
When taxiing in a quartering headwind, the wing on
the upwind side will usually tend to be lifted by the
wind unless the aileron control is held in that direction
(upwind aileron UP). Moving the aileron into the UP
position reduces the effect of wind striking that wing,
thus reducing the lifting action. This control movement
will also cause the opposite aileron to be placed in the
DOWN position, thus creating drag and possibly some
lift on the downwind wing, further reducing the
tendency of the upwind wing to rise.
When taxiing with a quartering tailwind, the elevator
should be held in the full DOWN position (stick or
yoke full forward), and the upwind aileron down. Since
the wind is striking the airplane from behind, these
control positions reduce the tendency of the wind to get
under the tail and the wing possibly causing the
airplane to nose over. The application of these
crosswind taxi corrections also helps to minimize the
weathervaning tendency and ultimately results in
increased controllability.
13-1
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An airplane with a tailwheel has a tendency to
weathervane or turn into the wind while it is being
taxied. The tendency of the airplane to weathervane is
greatest while taxiing directly crosswind;
consequently, directional control is somewhat difficult.
Without brakes, it is almost impossible to keep the
airplane from turning into any wind of considerable
velocity since the airplane’s rudder control capability
may be inadequate to counteract the crosswind. In
taxiing downwind, the tendency to weathervane is
increased, due to the tailwind decreasing the
effectiveness of the flight controls. This requires a
more positive use of the rudder and the brakes,
particularly if the wind velocity is above that of a light
breeze.
Unless the field is soft, or very rough, it is best when
taxiing downwind to hold the elevator control in the
forward position. Even on soft fields, the elevator
should be raised only as much as is absolutely
necessary to maintain a safe margin of control in case
there is a tendency of the airplane to nose over.
On most tailwheel-type airplanes, directional control
while taxiing is facilitated by the use of a steerable
tailwheel, which operates along with the rudder. The
tailwheel steering mechanism remains engaged when
the tailwheel is operated through an arc of about 16 to
18° each side of neutral and then automatically
becomes full swiveling when turned to a greater angle.
On some models the tailwheel may also be locked in
place. The airplane may be pivoted within its own
length, if desired, yet is fully steerable for slight turns
while taxiing forward. While taxiing, the steerable
tailwheel should be used for making normal turns and
the pilot’s feet kept off the brake pedals to avoid
unnecessary wear on the brakes.
Since a tailwheel-type airplane rests on the tailwheel
as well as the main landing wheels, it assumes a
nose-high attitude when on the ground. In most cases
this places the engine cowling high enough to restrict
the pilot’s vision of the area directly ahead of the
airplane. Consequently, objects directly ahead of the
airplane are difficult, if not impossible, to see. To
observe and avoid colliding with any objects or
hazardous surface conditions, the pilot should
alternately turn the nose from one side to the
other—that is zigzag, or make a series of short S-turns
while taxiing forward. This should be done slowly,
smoothly, positively, and cautiously.
NORMAL TAKEOFF ROLL
After taxiing onto the runway, the airplane should be
carefully aligned with the intended takeoff direction,
and the tailwheel positioned straight, or centered. In
airplanes equipped with a locking device, the tailwheel
should be locked in the centered position. After
13-2
releasing the brakes, the throttle should be smoothly
and continuously advanced to takeoff power. As the
airplane starts to roll forward, the pilot should slide
both feet down on the rudder pedals so that the toes or
balls of the feet are on the rudder portions, not on the
brake portions.
An abrupt application of power may cause the airplane
to yaw sharply to the left because of the torque effects
of the engine and propeller. Also, precession will be
particularly noticeable during takeoff in a tailwheeltype airplane if the tail is rapidly raised from a three
point to a level flight attitude. The abrupt change of
attitude tilts the horizontal axis of the propeller, and
the resulting precession produces a forward force on
the right side (90° ahead in the direction of rotation),
yawing the airplane’s nose to the left. The amount of
force created by this precession is directly related to
the rate the propeller axis is tilted when the tail is
raised. With this in mind, the throttle should always be
advanced smoothly and continuously to prevent any
sudden swerving.
Smooth, gradual advancement of the throttle is very
important in tailwheel-type airplanes, since
peculiarities in their takeoff characteristics are
accentuated in proportion to how rapidly the takeoff
power is applied.
As speed is gained, the elevator control will tend to
assume a neutral position if the airplane is correctly
trimmed. At the same time, directional control should
be maintained with smooth, prompt, positive rudder
corrections throughout the takeoff roll. The effects of
torque and P-factor at the initial speeds tend to pull the
nose to the left. The pilot must use what rudder
pressure is needed to correct for these effects or for
existing wind conditions to keep the nose of the
airplane headed straight down the runway. The use of
brakes for steering purposes should be avoided, since
they will cause slower acceleration of the airplane’s
speed, lengthen the takeoff distance, and possibly
result in severe swerving.
When the elevator trim is set for takeoff, on
application of maximum allowable power, the airplane
will (when sufficient speed has been attained)
normally assume the correct takeoff pitch attitude on
its own—the tail will rise slightly. This attitude can
then be maintained by applying slight back-elevator
pressure. If the elevator control is pushed forward
during the takeoff roll to prematurely raise the tail, its
effectiveness will rapidly build up as the speed
increases, making it necessary to apply back-elevator
pressure to lower the tail to the proper takeoff attitude.
This erratic change in attitude will delay the takeoff
and lead to directional control problems. Rudder
pressure must be used promptly and smoothly to
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counteract yawing forces so that the airplane continues
straight down the runway.
While the speed of the takeoff roll increases, more and
more pressure will be felt on the flight controls,
particularly the elevators and rudder. Since the tail
surfaces receive the full effect of the propeller
slipstream, they become effective first. As the speed
continues to increase, all of the flight controls will
gradually become effective enough to maneuver the
airplane about its three axes. It is at this point, in the
taxi to flight transition, that the airplane is being flown
more than taxied. As this occurs, progressively smaller
rudder deflections are needed to maintain direction.
TAKEOFF
Since a good takeoff depends on the proper takeoff
attitude, it is important to know how this attitude
appears and how it is attained. The ideal takeoff
attitude requires only minimum pitch adjustments
shortly after the airplane lifts off to attain the speed for
the best rate of climb.
The tail should first be allowed to rise off the ground
slightly to permit the airplane to accelerate more
rapidly. At this point, the position of the nose in
relation to the horizon should be noted, then elevator
pressure applied as necessary to hold this attitude. The
wings are kept level by applying aileron pressure as
necessary.
The airplane may be allowed to fly off the ground
while in normal takeoff attitude. Forcing it into the air
by applying excessive back-elevator pressure would
result in an excessively high pitch attitude and may
delay the takeoff. As discussed earlier, excessive and
rapid changes in pitch attitude result in proportionate
changes in the effects of torque, making the airplane
more difficult to control.
Although the airplane can be forced into the air, this is
considered an unsafe practice and should be avoided
under normal circumstances. If the airplane is forced
to leave the ground by using too much back-elevator
pressure before adequate flying speed is attained, the
wing’s angle of attack may be excessive, causing the
airplane to settle back to the runway or even to stall.
On the other hand, if sufficient back-elevator pressure
is not held to maintain the correct takeoff attitude after
becoming airborne, or the nose is allowed to lower
excessively, the airplane may also settle back to the
runway. This occurs because the angle of attack is
decreased and lift is diminished to the degree where it
will not support the airplane. It is important to hold the
attitude constant after rotation or lift-off.
As the airplane leaves the ground, the pilot must
continue to maintain straight flight, as well as holding
the proper pitch attitude. During takeoffs in strong,
gusty wind, it is advisable that an extra margin of speed
be obtained before the airplane is allowed to leave the
ground. A takeoff at the normal takeoff speed may
result in a lack of positive control, or a stall, when the
airplane encounters a sudden lull in strong, gusty wind,
or other turbulent air currents. In this case, the pilot
should hold the airplane on the ground longer to attain
more speed, then make a smooth, positive rotation to
leave the ground.
CROSSWIND TAKEOFF
It is important to establish and maintain the proper
amount of crosswind correction prior to lift-off; that is,
apply aileron pressure toward the wind to keep the
upwind wing from rising and apply rudder pressure as
needed to prevent weathervaning.
As the tailwheel is raised off the runway, the holding
of aileron control into the wind may result in the
downwind wing rising and the downwind main wheel
lifting off the runway first, with the remainder of the
takeoff roll being made on one main wheel. This is
acceptable and is preferable to side-skipping.
If a significant crosswind exists, the main wheels
should be held on the ground slightly longer than in a
normal takeoff so that a smooth but definite lift-off can
be made. This procedure will allow the airplane to
leave the ground under more positive control so that it
will definitely remain airborne while the proper
amount of drift correction is being established. More
importantly, it will avoid imposing excessive side
loads on the landing gear and prevent possible damage
that would result from the airplane settling back to the
runway while drifting.
As both main wheels leave the runway, and ground
friction no longer resists drifting, the airplane will be
slowly carried sideways with the wind until adequate
drift correction is maintained.
SHORT-FIELD TAKEOFF
Wing flaps should be lowered prior to takeoff if
recommended by the manufacturer. Takeoff power
should be applied smoothly and continuously, (there
should be no hesitation) to accelerate the airplane as
rapidly as possible. As the takeoff roll progresses, the
airplane’s pitch attitude and angle of attack should be
adjusted to that which results in the minimum amount
of drag and the quickest acceleration. The tail should
be allowed to rise off the ground slightly, then held in
this tail-low flight attitude until the proper lift-off or
rotation airspeed is attained. For the steepest climb-out
and best obstacle clearance, the airplane should be
allowed to roll with its full weight on the main wheels
and accelerated to the lift-off speed.
13-3
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SOFT-FIELD TAKEOFF
Wing flaps may be lowered prior to starting the takeoff
(if recommended by the manufacturer) to provide
additional lift and transfer the airplane’s weight from
the wheels to the wings as early as possible. The
airplane should be taxied onto the takeoff surface
without stopping on a soft surface. Stopping on a soft
surface, such as mud or snow, might bog the
airplane down. The airplane should be kept in
continuous motion with sufficient power while lining
up for the takeoff roll.
As the airplane is aligned with the proposed takeoff
path, takeoff power is applied smoothly and as rapidly
as the powerplant will accept it without faltering. The
tail should be kept low to maintain the inherent
positive angle of attack and to avoid any tendency of
the airplane to nose over as a result of soft spots, tall
grass, or deep snow.
When the airplane is held at a nose-high attitude
throughout the takeoff run, the wings will, as speed
increases and lift develops, progressively relieve the
wheels of more and more of the airplane’s weight,
thereby minimizing the drag caused by surface
irregularities or adhesion. If this attitude is accurately
maintained, the airplane will virtually fly itself off the
ground. The airplane should be allowed to accelerate
to climb speed in ground effect.
TOUCHDOWN
The touchdown is the gentle settling of the airplane
onto the landing surface. The roundout and touchdown
should be made with the engine idling, and the airplane
at minimum controllable airspeed, so that the airplane
will touch down at approximately stalling speed. As
the airplane settles, the proper landing attitude must be
attained by applying whatever back-elevator pressure
is necessary. The roundout and touchdown should be
timed so that the wheels of the main landing gear and
tailwheel touch down simultaneously (three-point
landing). This requires proper timing, technique, and
judgment of distance and altitude. [Figure 13-1]
When the wheels make contact with the ground, the
elevator control should be carefully eased fully back
to hold the tail down and to keep the tailwheel on the
ground. This provides more positive directional
control of the airplane equipped with a steerable
tailwheel, and prevents any tendency for the airplane
to nose over. If the tailwheel is not on the ground,
easing back on the elevator control may cause the
airplane to become airborne again because the change
in attitude will increase the angle of attack and
produce enough lift for the airplane to fly.
It is extremely important that the touchdown occur
with the airplane’s longitudinal axis exactly parallel to
the direction the airplane is moving along the runway.
Failure to accomplish this not only imposes severe
side loads on the landing gear, but imparts
groundlooping (swerving) tendencies. To avoid these
side stresses or a ground loop, the pilot must never
allow the airplane to touch down while in a crab or
while drifting.
AFTER-LANDING ROLL
The landing process must never be considered
complete until the airplane decelerates to the normal
taxi speed during the landing roll or has been brought
to a complete stop when clear of the landing area. The
pilot must be alert for directional control difficulties
immediately upon and after touchdown due to the
ground friction on the wheels. The friction creates a
pivot point on which a moment arm can act. This is
because the CG is behind the main wheels.
[Figure 13-2]
Any difference between the direction the airplane is
traveling and the direction it is headed will produce a
moment about the pivot point of the wheels, and the
airplane will tend to swerve. Loss of directional
control may lead to an aggravated, uncontrolled, tight
turn on the ground, or a ground loop. The combination
of inertia acting on the CG and ground friction of the
main wheels resisting it during the ground loop may
cause the airplane to tip or lean enough for the outside
Normal
Glide
Start Roundout
to Landing Attitude
Main Gear and Tailwheel
Touch Down Simultaneously
Figure 13-1. Tailwheel touchdown.
13-4
Hold Elevator
Full Up
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Point of
Wheel Pivoting
the friction and drag of the wheels on the ground.
Brakes may be used if needed to help slow the airplane.
After the airplane has been slowed sufficiently and has
been turned onto a taxiway or clear of the landing area,
it should be brought to a complete stop. Only after this
is done should the pilot retract the flaps and perform
other checklist items.
CROSSWIND LANDING
C.G.
If the crab method of drift correction has been used
throughout the final approach and roundout, the crab
must be removed before touchdown by applying
rudder to align the airplane’s longitudinal axis with its
direction of movement. This requires timely and
accurate action. Failure to accomplish this results in
severe side loads being imposed on the landing gear
and imparts ground looping tendencies.
Figure 13-2. Effect of CG on directional control.
wingtip to contact the ground, and may even impose a
sideward force that could collapse the landing gear.
The airplane can ground loop late in the after-landing
roll because rudder effectiveness decreases with the
decreasing flow of air along the rudder surface as the
airplane slows. As the airplane speed decreases and the
tailwheel has been lowered to the ground, the steerable
tailwheel provides more positive directional control.
To use the brakes, the pilot should slide the toes or feet
up from the rudder pedals to the brake pedals (or apply
heel pressure in airplanes equipped with heel brakes).
If rudder pressure is being held at the time braking
action is needed, that pressure should not be released
as the feet or toes are being slid up to the brake pedals,
because control may be lost before brakes can be
applied. During the ground roll, the airplane’s
direction of movement may be changed by carefully
applying pressure on one brake or uneven pressures on
each brake in the desired direction. Caution must be
exercised, when applying brakes to avoid
overcontrolling.
If a wing starts to rise, aileron control should be
applied toward that wing to lower it. The amount
required will depend on speed because as the forward
speed of the airplane decreases, the ailerons will
become less effective.
The elevator control should be held back as far as
possible and as firmly as possible, until the airplane
stops. This provides more positive control with
tailwheel steering, tends to shorten the after-landing
roll, and prevents bouncing and skipping.
If available runway permits, the speed of the airplane
should be allowed to dissipate in a normal manner by
If the wing-low method is used, the crosswind
correction (aileron into the wind and opposite rudder)
should be maintained throughout the roundout, and the
touchdown made on the upwind main wheel.
During gusty or high-wind conditions, prompt
adjustments must be made in the crosswind correction
to assure that the airplane does not drift as it touches
down.
As the forward speed decreases after initial contact,
the weight of the airplane will cause the downwind
main wheel to gradually settle onto the runway.
An adequate amount of power should be used to
maintain the proper airspeed throughout the approach,
and the throttle should be retarded to idling position
after the main wheels contact the landing surface. Care
must be exercised in closing the throttle before the
pilot is ready for touchdown, because the sudden or
premature closing of the throttle may cause a sudden
increase in the descent rate that could result in a hard
landing.
CROSSWIND AFTER-LANDING ROLL
Particularly during the after-landing roll, special
attention must be given to maintaining directional
control by the use of rudder and tailwheel steering,
while keeping the upwind wing from rising by the use
of aileron. Characteristically, an airplane has a greater
profile, or side area, behind the main landing gear than
forward of it. [Figure 13-3] With the main wheels
acting as a pivot point and the greater surface area
exposed to the crosswind behind that pivot point, the
airplane will tend to turn or weathervane into the wind.
This weathervaning tendency is more prevalent in the
tailwheel-type because the airplane’s surface area
behind the main landing gear is greater than in
nosewheel-type airplanes.
13-5
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SHORT-FIELD LANDING
Upon touchdown, the airplane should be firmly held in
a three-point attitude. This will provide aerodynamic
braking by the wings. Immediately upon touchdown,
and closing the throttle, the brakes should be applied
evenly and firmly to minimize the after-landing roll.
The airplane should be stopped within the shortest
possible distance consistent with safety.
Profile
Behind Pivot Point
N
E
W
S
Figure 13-3. Weathervaning tendency.
Pilots should be familiar with the crosswind component
of each airplane they fly, and avoid operations in
wind conditions that exceed the capability of the
airplane, as well as their own limitations.
While the airplane is decelerating during the
after-landing roll, more aileron must be applied to keep
the upwind wing from rising. Since the airplane is
slowing down, there is less airflow around the ailerons
and they become less effective. At the same time, the
relative wind is becoming more of a crosswind and
exerting a greater lifting force on the upwind wing.
Consequently, when the airplane is coming to a stop,
the aileron control must be held fully toward the wind.
WHEEL LANDING
Landings from power approaches in turbulence or in
crosswinds should be such that the touchdown is made
with the airplane in approximately level flight attitude.
The touchdown should be made smoothly on the main
wheels, with the tailwheel held clear of the runway.
This is called a “wheel landing” and requires careful
timing and control usage to prevent bouncing. These
wheel landings can be best accomplished by holding
the airplane in level flight attitude until the main
wheels touch, then immediately but smoothly
retarding the throttle, and holding sufficient forward
elevator pressure to hold the main wheels on the
ground. The airplane should never be forced onto the
ground by excessive forward pressure.
If the touchdown is made at too high a rate of descent
as the main wheels strike the landing surface, the tail is
forced down by its own weight. In turn, when the tail is
forced down, the wing’s angle of attack increases
resulting in a sudden increase in lift and the airplane
may become airborne again. Then as the airplane’s
speed continues to decrease, the tail may again lower
onto the runway. If the tail is allowed to settle too
quickly, the airplane may again become airborne. This
process, often called “porpoising,” usually intensifies
even though the pilot tries to stop it. The best
corrective action is to execute a go-around procedure.
13-6
SOFT-FIELD LANDING
The tailwheel should touch down simultaneously with
or just before the main wheels, and should then be held
down by maintaining firm back-elevator pressure
throughout the landing roll. This will minimize any
tendency for the airplane to nose over and will provide
aerodynamic braking. The use of brakes on a soft field
is not needed because the soft or rough surface itself
will provide sufficient reduction in the airplane’s
forward speed. Often it will be found that upon
landing on a very soft field, the pilot will need to
increase power to keep the airplane moving and from
becoming stuck in the soft surface.
GROUND LOOP
A ground loop is an uncontrolled turn during ground
operation that may occur while taxiing or taking off,
but especially during the after-landing roll. It is not
always caused by drift or weathervaning, although
these things may cause the initial swerve. Careless use
of the rudder, an uneven ground surface, or a soft spot
that retards one main wheel of the airplane may also
cause a swerve. In any case, the initial swerve tends to
cause the airplane to ground loop.
Due to the characteristics of an airplane equipped with
a tailwheel, the forces that cause a ground loop
increase as the swerve increases. The initial swerve
develops inertia and this, acting at the CG (which is
located behind the main wheels), swerves the airplane
even more. If allowed to develop, the force produced
may become great enough to tip the airplane until one
wing strikes the ground.
If the airplane touches down while drifting or in a crab,
the pilot should apply aileron toward the high wing
and stop the swerve with the rudder. Brakes should be
used to correct for turns or swerves only when the
rudder is inadequate. The pilot must exercise caution
when applying corrective brake action because it is
very easy to overcontrol and aggravate the situation. If
brakes are used, sufficient brake should be applied on
the low-wing wheel (outside of the turn) to stop the
swerve. When the wings are approximately level, the
new direction must be maintained until the airplane
has slowed to taxi speed or has stopped.
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GENERAL
The turbopropeller-powered airplane flies and handles
just like any other airplane of comparable size and
weight. The aerodynamics are the same. The major
differences between flying a turboprop and other
non-turbine-powered airplanes are found in the powerplant and systems. The powerplant is different and
requires operating procedures that are unique to gas
turbine engines. But so, too, are other systems such as
the electrical system, hydraulics, environmental, flight
control, rain and ice protection, and avionics. The
turbopropeller-powered airplane also has the advantage
of being equipped with a constant speed, full feathering
and reversing propeller—something normally not
found on piston-powered airplanes.
THE GAS TURBINE ENGINE
Both piston (reciprocating) engines and gas turbine
engines are internal combustion engines. They have a
similar cycle of operation that consists of induction,
compression, combustion, expansion, and exhaust. In a
piston engine, each of these events is a separate distinct
occurrence in each cylinder. Also, in a piston engine an
ignition event must occur during each cycle, in each
INTAKE
Air Inlet
COMPRESSION
Compression
Cold Section
cylinder. Unlike reciprocating engines, in gas turbine
engines these phases of power occur simultaneously
and continuously instead of one cycle at a time.
Additionally, ignition occurs during the starting cycle
and is continuous thereafter.
The basic gas turbine engine contains four sections:
intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust.
[Figure 14-1]
To start the engine, the compressor section is rotated by
an electrical starter on small engines or an air driven
starter on large engines. As compressor r.p.m.
accelerates, air is brought in through the inlet duct,
compressed to a high pressure, and delivered to the
combustion section (combustion chambers). Fuel is
then injected by a fuel controller through spray
nozzles and ignited by igniter plugs. (Not all of the
compressed air is used to support combustion. Some of
the compressed air bypasses the burner section and circulates within the engine to provide internal cooling.) The
fuel/air mixture in the combustion chamber is then burned
in a continuous combustion process and produces a very
high temperature, typically around 4,000°F, which heats
COMBUSTION
Combustion Chambers
EXHAUST
Turbine
Exhaust
Hot Section
Figure 14-1. Basic components of a gas turbine engine.
14-1
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Page 14-2
the entire air mass to 1,600 – 2,400°F. The mixture of
hot air and gases expands and is directed to the turbine
blades forcing the turbine section to rotate, which in
turn drives the compressor by means of a direct shaft.
After powering the turbine section, the high velocity
excess exhaust exits the tail pipe or exhaust section.
Once the turbine section is powered by gases from the
burner section, the starter is disengaged, and the
igniters are turned off. Combustion continues until the
engine is shut down by turning off the fuel supply.
High-pressure exhaust gases can be used to provide
jet thrust as in a turbojet engine. Or, the gases
can be directed through an additional turbine to drive a
propeller through reduction gearing, as in a
turbopropeller (turboprop) engine.
TURBOPROP ENGINES
The turbojet engine excels the reciprocating engine in
top speed and altitude performance. On the other hand,
the turbojet engine has limited takeoff and initial climb
performance, as compared to that of a reciprocating
engine. In the matter of takeoff and initial climb
performance, the reciprocating engine is superior to
the turbojet engine. Turbojet engines are most efficient
at high speeds and high altitudes, while propellers are
most efficient at slow and medium speeds (less than
400 m.p.h.). Propellers also improve takeoff and climb
performance. The development of the turboprop
engine was an attempt to combine in one engine the
best characteristics of both the turbojet, and propeller
driven reciprocating engine.
The turboprop engine offers several advantages over
other types of engines such as:
•
Light weight.
•
Mechanical reliability due to relatively few
moving parts.
•
Simplicity of operation.
•
Minimum vibration.
•
High power per unit of weight.
•
Use of propeller for takeoff and landing.
Turboprop engines are most efficient at speeds
between 250 and 400 m.p.h. and altitudes between
18,000 and 30,000 feet. They also perform well at the
slow speeds required for takeoff and landing, and are
fuel efficient. The minimum specific fuel consumption
of the turboprop engine is normally available in the
altitude range of 25,000 feet up to the tropopause.
The power output of a piston engine is measured in
horsepower and is determined primarily by r.p.m. and
manifold pressure. The power of a turboprop engine,
however, is measured in shaft horsepower (shp). Shaft
14-2
horsepower is determined by the r.p.m. and the torque
(twisting moment) applied to the propeller shaft. Since
turboprop engines are gas turbine engines, some jet
thrust is produced by exhaust leaving the engine. This
thrust is added to the shaft horsepower to determine
the total engine power, or equivalent shaft horsepower
(eshp). Jet thrust usually accounts for less than
10 percent of the total engine power.
Although the turboprop engine is more complicated
and heavier than a turbojet engine of equivalent size
and power, it will deliver more thrust at low subsonic
airspeeds. However, the advantages decrease as flight
speed increases. In normal cruising speed ranges, the
propulsive efficiency (output divided by input) of a
turboprop decreases as speed increases.
The propeller of a typical turboprop engine is
responsible for roughly 90 percent of the total thrust
under sea level conditions on a standard day. The
excellent performance of a turboprop during takeoff
and climb is the result of the ability of the propeller to
accelerate a large mass of air while the airplane is
moving at a relatively low ground and flight speed.
“Turboprop,” however, should not be confused with
“turbosupercharged” or similar terminology. All
turbine engines have a similarity to normally aspirated
(non-supercharged) reciprocating engines in that
maximum available power decreases almost as a direct
function of increased altitude.
Although power will decrease as the airplane climbs
to higher altitudes, engine efficiency in terms of
specific fuel consumption (expressed as pounds of fuel
consumed per horsepower per hour) will be increased.
Decreased specific fuel consumption plus the
increased true airspeed at higher altitudes is a definite
advantage of a turboprop engine.
All turbine engines, turboprop or turbojet, are defined
by limiting temperatures, rotational speeds, and (in the
case of turboprops) torque. Depending on the
installation, the primary parameter for power setting
might be temperature, torque, fuel flow or r.p.m.
(either propeller r.p.m., gas generator (compressor)
r.p.m. or both). In cold weather conditions, torque
limits can be exceeded while temperature limits are
still within acceptable range. While in hot weather
conditions, temperature limits may be exceeded
without exceeding torque limits. In any weather, the
maximum power setting of a turbine engine is usually
obtained with the throttles positioned somewhat aft of
the full forward position. The transitioning pilot must
understand the importance of knowing and observing
limits on turbine engines. An overtemp or overtorque
condition that lasts for more than a very few seconds
can literally destroy internal engine components.
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Planetary
Reduction Gears
Reverse-Flow
Annular Combustion
Chamber
Three-Stage
Axial Turbine
Igniter
Exhaust
Outlet
Air
Inlet
First-Stage
Centrifugal
Compressor
Second-Stage
Centrifugal
Compressor
Fuel
Nozzle
Figure 14-2. Fixed shaft turboprop engine.
TURBOPROP ENGINE TYPES
FIXED SHAFT
One type of turboprop engine is the fixed shaft
constant speed type such as the Garrett TPE331.
[Figure 14-2] In this type engine, ambient air is
directed to the compressor section through the engine
inlet. An acceleration/diffusion process in the twostage compressor increases air pressure and directs it
rearward to a combustor. The combustor is made up of
a combustion chamber, a transition liner, and a turbine
plenum. Atomized fuel is added to the air in the
combustion chamber. Air also surrounds the
combustion chamber to provide for cooling and
insulation of the combustor.
The gas mixture is initially ignited by high-energy
igniter plugs, and the expanding combustion gases
flow to the turbine. The energy of the hot, high
velocity gases is converted to torque on the main shaft
by the turbine rotors. The reduction gear converts the
high r.p.m.—low torque of the main shaft to low
r.p.m.—high torque to drive the accessories and the
propeller. The spent gases leaving the turbine are
directed to the atmosphere by the exhaust pipe.
Only about 10 percent of the air which passes through
the engine is actually used in the combustion process.
Up to approximately 20 percent of the compressed air
may be bled off for the purpose of heating, cooling,
cabin pressurization, and pneumatic systems. Over
half the engine power is devoted to driving the
compressor, and it is the compressor which can
potentially produce very high drag in the case of a
failed, windmilling engine.
In the fixed shaft constant-speed engine, the engine
r.p.m. may be varied within a narrow range of 96
percent to 100 percent. During ground operation, the
r.p.m. may be reduced to 70 percent. In flight, the
engine operates at a constant speed, which is
maintained by the governing section of the propeller.
Power changes are made by increasing fuel flow and
propeller blade angle rather than engine speed. An
increase in fuel flow causes an increase in temperature
and a corresponding increase in energy available to the
turbine. The turbine absorbs more energy and
transmits it to the propeller in the form of torque. The
increased torque forces the propeller blade angle to be
increased to maintain the constant speed. Turbine
temperature is a very important factor to be considered
in power production. It is directly related to fuel flow
and thus to the power produced. It must be limited
because of strength and durability of the material in the
combustion and turbine section. The control system
schedules fuel flow to produce specific temperatures
and to limit those temperatures so that the temperature
tolerances of the combustion and turbine sections are
not exceeded. The engine is designed to operate for its
entire life at 100 percent. All of its components, such
as compressors and turbines, are most efficient when
operated at or near the r.p.m. design point.
14-3
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Power Levers
Condition Levers
Figure 14-3. Powerplant controls—fixed shaft turboprop engine.
Powerplant (engine and propeller) control is achieved
by means of a power lever and a condition lever for
each engine. [Figure 14-3] There is no mixture control
and/or r.p.m. lever as found on piston engine airplanes.
On the fixed shaft constant-speed turboprop engine,
the power lever is advanced or retarded to increase or
decrease forward thrust. The power lever is also used
to provide reverse thrust. The condition lever sets the
desired engine r.p.m. within a narrow range between
that appropriate for ground operations and flight.
Propeller feathering in a fixed shaft constant-speed
turboprop engine is normally accomplished with the
condition lever. An engine failure in this type engine,
however, will result in a serious drag condition due to
the large power requirements of the compressor being
absorbed by the propeller. This could create a serious
airplane control problem in twin-engine airplanes
unless the failure is recognized immediately and the
Powerplant instrumentation in a fixed shaft turboprop
engine typically consists of the following basic
indicator. [Figure 14-4]
•
Torque or horsepower.
•
ITT – interturbine temperature.
•
Fuel flow.
•
RPM.
Torque developed by the turbine section is measured
by a torque sensor. The torque is then reflected on a
cockpit horsepower gauge calibrated in horsepower
times 100. Interturbine temperature (ITT) is a
measurement of the combustion gas temperature
between the first and second stages of the turbine
section. The gauge is calibrated in degrees Celsius.
Propeller r.p.m. is reflected on a cockpit tachometer as
a percentage of maximum r.p.m. Normally, a vernier
indicator on the gauge dial indicates r.p.m. in 1 percent
graduations as well. The fuel flow indicator indicates
fuel flow rate in pounds per hour.
14-4
Figure 14-4. Powerplant instrumentation—fixed shaft
turboprop engine.
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Page 14-5
affected propeller feathered. For this reason, the fixed
shaft turboprop engine is equipped with negative
torque sensing (NTS).
Negative torque sensing is a condition wherein
propeller torque drives the engine and the propeller is
automatically driven to high pitch to reduce drag. The
function of the negative torque sensing system is to
limit the torque the engine can extract from the
propeller during windmilling and thereby prevent large
drag forces on the airplane. The NTS system causes a
movement of the propeller blades automatically
toward their feathered position should the engine
suddenly lose power while in flight. The NTS system
is an emergency backup system in the event of sudden
engine failure. It is not a substitution for the feathering
device controlled by the condition lever.
SPLIT SHAFT/ FREE TURBINE ENGINE
In a free power-turbine engine, such as the Pratt &
Whitney PT-6 engine, the propeller is driven by a
separate turbine through reduction gearing. The
propeller is not on the same shaft as the basic engine
turbine and compressor. [Figure 14-5] Unlike the fixed
shaft engine, in the split shaft engine the propeller can
be feathered in flight or on the ground with the basic
engine still running. The free power-turbine design
allows the pilot to select a desired propeller governing
r.p.m., regardless of basic engine r.p.m.
A typical free power-turbine engine has two
independent counter-rotating turbines. One turbine
drives the compressor, while the other drives
Centrifugal
Compressor
Exhaust Outlet
Igniter
Reduction
Gearbox
Propeller
Drive Shaft
the propeller through a reduction gearbox. The
compressor in the basic engine consists of three axial
flow compressor stages combined with a single centrifugal compressor stage. The axial and centrifugal
stages are assembled on the same shaft, and operate as
a single unit.
Inlet air enters the engine via a circular plenum near
the rear of the engine, and flows forward through the
successive compressor stages. The flow is directed
outward by the centrifugal compressor stage through
radial diffusers before entering the combustion
chamber, where the flow direction is actually reversed.
The gases produced by combustion are once again
reversed to expand forward through each turbine stage.
After leaving the turbines, the gases are collected in a
peripheral exhaust scroll, and are discharged to the
atmosphere through two exhaust ports near the front of
the engine.
A pneumatic fuel control system schedules fuel flow to
maintain the power set by the gas generator power
lever. Except in the beta range, propeller speed within
the governing range remains constant at any selected
propeller control lever position through the action of a
propeller governor.
The accessory drive at the aft end of the engine
provides power to drive fuel pumps, fuel control, oil
pumps, a starter/generator, and a tachometer
transmitter. At this point, the speed of the drive (N1) is
the true speed of the compressor side of the engine,
approximately 37,500 r.p.m.
Three Stage
Axial Flow
Compressor
Fuel Nozzle
Free (Power)
Turbine
Accessory
Gearbox
Igniter
Fuel Nozzle
Air Inlet
Compressor
Turbine
(Gas Producer)
Figure 14-5. Split shaft/free turbine engine.
14-5
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Page 14-6
•
Propeller tachometer.
•
N1 (gas generator) tachometer.
•
Fuel flow indicator.
•
Oil temperature/pressure indicator.
Figure 14-6. Powerplant controls—split shaft/free turbine
engine.
Powerplant (engine and propeller) operation is
achieved by three sets of controls for each engine: the
power lever, propeller lever, and condition lever.
[Figure 14-6] The power lever serves to control engine
power in the range from idle through takeoff power.
Forward or aft motion of the power lever increases or
decreases gas generator r.p.m. (N1) and thereby
increases or decreases engine power. The propeller
lever is operated conventionally and controls the
constant-speed propellers through the primary
governor. The propeller r.p.m. range is normally from
1,500 to 1,900. The condition lever controls the flow
of fuel to the engine. Like the mixture lever in a
piston-powered airplane, the condition lever is located
at the far right of the power quadrant. But the condition lever on a turboprop engine is really just an on/off
valve for delivering fuel. There are HIGH IDLE and
LOW IDLE positions for ground operations, but condition levers have no metering function. Leaning is not
required in turbine engines; this function is performed
automatically by a dedicated fuel control unit.
Engine instruments in a split shaft/free turbine engine
typically consist of the following basic indicators.
[Figure 14-7]
•
ITT (interstage turbine temperature) indicator.
•
Torquemeter.
14-6
Figure 14-7. Engine instruments—split shaft/free turbine
engine.
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Page 14-7
The ITT indicator gives an instantaneous reading of
engine gas temperature between the compressor
turbine and the power turbines. The torquemeter
responds to power lever movement and gives an
indication, in foot-pounds (ft/lb), of the torque being
applied to the propeller. Because in the free turbine
engine, the propeller is not attached physically to the
shaft of the gas turbine engine, two tachometers are
justified—one for the propeller and one for the gas
generator. The propeller tachometer is read directly in
revolutions per minute. The N1 or gas generator is read
in percent of r.p.m. In the Pratt & Whitney PT-6
engine, it is based on a figure of 37,000 r.p.m. at 100
percent. Maximum continuous gas generator is limited
to 38,100 r.p.m. or 101.5 percent N1.
The ITT indicator and torquemeter are used to set
takeoff power. Climb and cruise power are established
with the torquemeter and propeller tachometer while
observing ITT limits. Gas generator (N1) operation is
monitored by the gas generator tachometer. Proper
observation and interpretation of these instruments
provide an indication of engine performance
and condition.
Flt
Idle
Pull
Up
Idle
Beta
Reverse Feather
Power
Prop
Condition
Fuel
Cut
Off
Reverse
Feather
"Maximum Forward
Pitch"
Flt
Idle
Low
Idle
Reverse Feather
So called “flat pitch” is the blade position offering
minimum resistance to rotation and no net thrust for
moving the airplane. Forward pitch produces forward
thrust—higher pitch angles being required at higher
airplane speeds.
In the “reverse” pitch position, the engine/propeller
turns in the same direction as in the normal (forward)
pitch position, but the propeller blade angle is
positioned to the other side of flat pitch. [Figure 14-8]
In reverse pitch, air is pushed away from the airplane
rather than being drawn over it. Reverse pitch results
in braking action, rather than forward thrust of the airplane. It is used for backing away from obstacles when
taxiing, controlling taxi speed, or to aid in bringing the
airplane to a stop during the landing roll. Reverse pitch
does not mean reverse rotation of the engine. The
engine delivers power just the same, no matter which
side of flat pitch the propeller blades are positioned.
Normal
"Forward" Pitch
Low
Idle
OPERATIONS
The “feathered” position is the highest pitch angle
obtainable. [Figure 14-8] The feathered position
produces no forward thrust. The propeller is generally
placed in feather only in case of in-flight engine failure
to minimize drag and prevent the air from using the
propeller as a turbine.
Fuel
Cut
Off
Flt
Idle
REVERSE THRUST AND BETA RANGE
The thrust that a propeller provides is a function of the
angle of attack at which the air strikes the blades, and
the speed at which this occurs. The angle of attack
varies with the pitch angle of the propeller.
Low
Idle
Fuel
Cut
Off
Flat Pitch
Flt
Idle
Low
Idle
Feather
Fuel
Cut
Off
Reverse Pitch
Figure 14-8. Propeller pitch angle characteristics.
With a turboprop engine, in order to obtain enough
power for flight, the power lever is placed somewhere
between flight idle (in some engines referred to as
“high idle”) and maximum. The power lever directs
signals to a fuel control unit to manually select fuel.
The propeller governor selects the propeller pitch
needed to keep the propeller/engine on speed. This is
referred to as the propeller governing or “alpha” mode
of operation. When positioned aft of flight idle, however, the power lever directly controls propeller blade
angle. This is known as the “beta” range of operation.
The beta range of operation consists of power lever
positions from flight idle to maximum reverse.
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Page 14-8
Beginning at power lever positions just aft of flight
idle, propeller blade pitch angles become progressively
flatter with aft movement of the power lever until they
go beyond maximum flat pitch and into negative pitch,
resulting in reverse thrust. While in a fixed shaft/
constant-speed engine, the engine speed remains
largely unchanged as the propeller blade angles
achieve their negative values. On the split shaft PT-6
engine, as the negative 5° position is reached, further
aft movement of the power lever will also result in a
progressive increase in engine (N1) r.p.m. until a
maximum value of about negative 11° of blade angle
and 85 percent N1 are achieved.
accomplished by an electrical component called an
inverter.
The distribution of DC and AC power throughout the
system is accomplished through the use of power distribution buses. These “buses” as they are called are
actually common terminals from which individual
electrical circuits get their power. [Figure 14-9]
Buses are usually named for what they power (avionics bus, for example), or for where they get their power
(right generator bus, battery bus). The distribution of
DC and AC power is often divided into functional
groups (buses) that give priority to certain equipment
Operating in the beta range and/or with reverse thrust
requires specific techniques and procedures depending
on the particular airplane make and model. There are
also specific engine parameters and limitations for
operations within this area that must be adhered to. It
is essential that a pilot transitioning to turboprop
airplanes become knowledgeable and proficient in
these areas, which are unique to turbine-enginepowered airplanes.
5
GEAR WARN
5
TRIM INDICATOR
3
TRIM ELEVATOR
TURBOPROP AIRPLANE ELECTRICAL
5
TRIM AILERON
SYSTEMS
5
STALL WARNING
5
ACFT ANN-1
5
L TURN & BANK
5
TEMP OVRD
5
HP EMER L & R
5
FUEL QUANTITY
5
L ENGINE GAUGE
5
R ENGINE GAUGE
5
MISC ELEC
5
LDG LT MOTOR
5
BLEED L
3
WSHLD L
3
LIGHTS AUX
5
FUEL FLOW
The typical turboprop airplane electrical system is a
28-volt direct current (DC) system, which receives
power from one or more batteries and a starter/
generator for each engine. The batteries may either be
of the lead-acid type commonly used on pistonpowered airplanes, or they may be of the
nickel-cadmium (NiCad) type. The NiCad battery
differs from the lead-acid type in that its output
remains at relatively high power levels for longer
periods of time. When the NiCad battery is depleted,
however, its voltage drops off very suddenly. When
this occurs, its ability to turn the compressor for engine
start is greatly diminished and the possibility of engine
damage due to a hot start increases. Therefore, it is
essential to check the battery’s condition before every
engine start. Compared to lead-acid batteries, highperformance NiCad batteries can be recharged very
quickly. But the faster the battery is recharged, the
more heat it produces. Therefore, NiCad battery
equipped airplanes are fitted with battery overheat
annunciator lights signifying maximum safe and
critical temperature thresholds.
The DC generators used in turboprop airplanes double
as starter motors and are called “starter/generators.”
The starter/generator uses electrical power to produce
mechanical torque to start the engine and then uses the
engine’s mechanical torque to produce electrical power
after the engine is running. Some of the DC power
produced is changed to 28 volt 400 cycle alternating
current (AC) power for certain avionic, lighting,
and indicator synchronization functions. This is
14-8
POWER DISTRIBUTION BUS
Ch 14.qxd
Figure 14-9. Typical individual power distribution bus.
Ch 14.qxd
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Page 14-9
during normal and emergency operations. Main buses
serve most of the airplane’s electrical equipment.
Essential buses feed power to equipment having top
priority. [Figure 14-10]
Multiengine turboprop airplanes normally have
several power sources—a battery and at least one
generator per engine. The electrical systems are
usually designed so that any bus can be energized by
any of the power sources. For example, a typical
system might have a right and left generator buses
powered normally by the right and left engine-driven
generators. These buses will be connected by a
normally open switch, which isolates them from each
other. If one generator fails, power will be lost to its
PRIMARY
INVERTER
bus, but power can be restored to that bus by closing a
bus tie switch. Closing this switch connects the buses
and allows the operating generator to power both.
Power distribution buses are protected from short
circuits and other malfunctions by a type of fuse called
a current limiter. In the case of excessive current
supplied by any power source, the current limiter will
open the circuit and thereby isolate that power source
and allow the affected bus to become separated from
the system. The other buses will continue to operate
normally. Individual electrical components are
connected to the buses through circuit breakers. A
circuit breaker is a device which opens an electrical
circuit when an excess amount of current flows.
LEFT
MAIN
BUS
SECONDARY
INVERTER
RIGHT
MAIN
BUS
LEFT
ESSENTIAL
BUS
RIGHT
ESSENTIAL
BUS
200
200
300
100
0
28
0
400
AMPS
REGULATOR
LEFT
GENERATOR
BUS
LEFT
GENERATOR/
STARTER
0
DC 35
VOLTS
BATTERY
CHARGING
BUS
300
100
400
AMPS
RIGHT
GENERATOR
BUS
REGULATOR
LEFT
GENERATOR/
STARTER
OVER
VOLTAGE
CUTOUT
Current Limiter
Circuit Breaker
LEFT
BATTERY
G.P.U.
RIGHT
BATTERY
Bus
Figure 14-10. Simplified schematic of turboprop airplane electrical system.
14-9
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Page 14-10
power unit (GPU) of adequate output.
OPERATIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
As previously stated, a turboprop airplane flies just like
any other piston engine airplane of comparable size
and weight. It is in the operation of the engines and
airplane systems that makes the turboprop airplane
different from its piston engine counterpart. Pilot
errors in engine and/or systems operation are the most
common cause of aircraft damage or mishap. The time
of maximum vulnerability to pilot error in any gas
turbine engine is during the engine start sequence.
Turbine engines are extremely heat sensitive. They
cannot tolerate an overtemperature condition for more
than a very few seconds without serious damage being
done. Engine temperatures get hotter during starting
than at any other time. Thus, turbine engines have
minimum rotational speeds for introducing fuel into
the combustion chambers during startup. Hypervigilant temperature and acceleration monitoring on
the part of the pilot remain crucial until the engine is
running at a stable speed. Successful engine starting
depends on assuring the correct minimum battery
voltage before initiating start, or employing a ground
PRESSURE CLIMB
ALTITUDE SPEED
FT
KIAS
Sea Level
5,000
10,000
15,000
20,000
25,000
30,000
31,000
139
139
134
128
123
118
113
112
After fuel is introduced to the combustion chamber
during the start sequence, “light-off” and its associated
heat rise occur very quickly. Engine temperatures may
approach the maximum in a matter of 2 or 3 seconds
before the engine stabilizes and temperatures fall into
the normal operating range. During this time, the pilot
must watch for any tendency of the temperatures to
exceed limitations and be prepared to cut off fuel to
the engine.
An engine tendency to exceed maximum starting
temperature limits is termed a hot start. The temperature rise may be preceded by unusually high initial fuel
flow, which may be the first indication the pilot has
that the engine start is not proceeding normally.
Serious engine damage will occur if the hot start is
allowed to continue.
A condition where the engine is accelerating more
slowly than normal is termed a hung start or false
start. During a hung start/false start, the engine may
11. Climb Speed – Set
Climb Checks –
Completed
9. Climb Power – Set
850 ITT / 650 HP
98 – 99% RPM
12. Cruise Checks – Completed
10. Prop Sync – On
NOTE: These are merely typical procedures. The
7. Ign Ovrd – Off
pilot maintains his or her prerogative to
modify configuration and airspeeds as
6. Gear Up
required by existing conditions, as long as
compliance with the FAA approved Airplane
5. Rotate at 96 – 100 KIAS
Flight Manual is assured.
4. Annunciators – Check
Engine Inst. – Check
3. Power – Set
850 ITT / 650 HP
Max: 923 ITT / 717.5 HP
2. Lineup Checks – Completed
Heading Bug – Runway Heading
Command Bars – 10 Degrees Up
1. Before Takeoff
Checks – Completed
Figure 14-11. Example—typical turboprop airplane takeoff and departure profile.
14-10
8. After T/O
Checklist
Yaw Damp
– On
Ch 14.qxd
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stabilize at an engine r.p.m. that is not high enough for
the engine to continue to run without help from the
starter. This is usually the result of low battery power
or the starter not turning the engine fast enough for it
to start properly.
Takeoffs in turboprop airplanes are not made by
automatically pushing the power lever full forward to
the stops. Depending on conditions, takeoff power may
be limited by either torque or by engine temperature.
Normally, the power lever position on takeoff will be
somewhat aft of full forward.
Takeoff and departure in a turboprop airplane
(especially a twin-engine cabin-class airplane) should
be accomplished in accordance with a standard takeoff
and departure “profile” developed for the particular
make and model. [Figure 14-11] The takeoff and
departure profile should be in accordance with the
airplane manufacturer’s recommended procedures as
outlined in the FAA-approved Airplane Flight Manual
and/or the Pilot’s Operating Handbook (AFM/POH).
The increased complexity of turboprop airplanes
makes the standardization of procedures a necessity
for safe and efficient operation. The transitioning pilot
should review the profile procedures before each
takeoff to form a mental picture of the takeoff and
departure process.
8. Short Final
110 KIAS
Gear – Recheck
Down
For any given high horsepower operation, the pilot can
expect that the engine temperature will climb as
altitude increases at a constant power. On a warm or
hot day, maximum temperature limits may be reached
at a rather low altitude, making it impossible to
maintain high horsepower to higher altitudes. Also, the
engine’s compressor section has to work harder with
decreased air density. Power capability is reduced by
high-density altitude and power use may have to be
modulated to keep engine temperature within limits.
In a turboprop airplane, the pilot can close the
throttles(s) at any time without concern for cooling the
engine too rapidly. Consequently, rapid descents with
the propellers in low pitch can be dramatically steep.
Like takeoffs and departures, approach and landing
should be accomplished in accordance with a standard
approach and landing profile. [Figure 14-12]
A stabilized approach is an essential part of the
approach and landing process. In a stabilized approach,
the airplane, depending on design and type, is placed
in a stabilized descent on a glidepath ranging from 2.5
to 3.5°. The speed is stabilized at some reference from
the AFM/POH—usually 1.25 to 1.30 times the stall
speed in approach configuration. The descent rate is
stabilized from 500 feet per minute to 700 feet per
minute until the landing flare.
9. Threshold
96 – 100 KIAS
10. Landing
Cond. Levers – Keep Full Fwd.
Power – Beta/Reverse
11. After Landing Checklist
1. Leaving Cruise Altitude
Descent/Approach
Checklist
7. Final
120 KIAS
Flaps – As Desired
2. Arrival 160 KIAS
250 HP Level Flt –
Clean Config.
3. Begin Before
Landing Checklist
NOTE: These are merely typical procedures. The
pilot maintains his or her prerogative to
modify configuration and airspeeds as
required by existing conditions, as long as
compliance with the FAA approved Airplane
Flight Manual is assured.
4. Midfield Downwind
140 – 160 KIAS
250 HP
Gear – Down
Flaps – Half
5. 130 – 140 KIAS
6. Base
Before Landing Checklist
120 – 130 KIAS
Figure 14-12. Example—typical turboprop airplane arrival and landing profile.
14-11
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Landing some turboprop airplanes (as well as some
piston twins) can result in a hard, premature
touchdown if the engines are idled too soon. This is
because large propellers spinning rapidly in low pitch
create considerable drag. In such airplanes, it may be
preferable to maintain power throughout the landing
flare and touchdown. Once firmly on the ground,
propeller beta range operation will dramatically reduce
the need for braking in comparison to piston airplanes
of similar weights.
TRAINING CONSIDERATIONS
The medium and high altitudes at which turboprop
airplanes are flown provide an entirely different
environment in terms of regulatory requirements,
airspace structure, physiological requirements, and
even meteorology. The pilot transitioning to turboprop
airplanes, particularly those who are not familiar with
operations in the high/medium altitude environment,
should approach turboprop transition training with this
in mind. Thorough ground training should cover all
aspects of high/medium altitude flight, including the
flight environment, weather, flight planning and
navigation, physiological aspects of high-altitude
flight, oxygen and pressurization system operation,
and high-altitude emergencies.
Flight training should prepare the pilot to demonstrate
a comprehensive knowledge of airplane performance,
systems, emergency procedures, and operating
limitations, along with a high degree of proficiency in
performing all flight maneuvers and in-flight
emergency procedures.
The training outline below covers the minimum
information needed by pilots to operate safely at high
altitudes.
a. Ground Training
(1) The High-Altitude Flight Environment
(a) Airspace
(b) Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations
(14 CFR) section 91.211, requirements for
use of supplemental oxygen
(2) Weather
(a) The atmosphere
(b) Winds and clear air turbulence
(c) Icing
(3) Flight Planning and Navigation
(a) Flight planning
(b) Weather charts
(c) Navigation
(d) Navaids
14-12
(4) Physiological Training
(a) Respiration
(b) Hypoxia
(c) Effects of prolonged oxygen use
(d) Decompression sickness
(e) Vision
(f) Altitude chamber (optional)
(5) High-Altitude Systems and Components
(a) Oxygen and oxygen equipment
(b) Pressurization systems
(c) High-altitude components
(6) Aerodynamics and Performance Factors
(a) Acceleration
(b) G-forces
(c) MACH Tuck and MACH Critical (turbojet
airplanes)
(7) Emergencies
(a) Decompression
(b) Donning of oxygen masks
(c) Failure of oxygen mask, or complete loss of
oxygen supply/system
(d) In-flight fire
(e) Flight into severe turbulence or thunderstorms
b. Flight Training
(1) Preflight Briefing
(2) Preflight Planning
(a) Weather briefing and considerations
(b) Course plotting
(c) Airplane Flight Manual
(d) Flight plan
(3) Preflight Inspection
(a) Functional test of oxygen system, including
the verification of supply and pressure, regulator operation, oxygen flow, mask fit, and
cockpit and air traffic control (ATC)
communication using mask microphones
(4) Engine Start Procedures, Runup, Takeoff, and
Initial Climb
(5) Climb to High Altitude and Normal Cruise
Operations While Operating Above 25,000
Feet MSL
(6) Emergencies
(a) Simulated rapid decompression, including
the immediate donning of oxygen masks
(b) Emergency descent
(7) Planned Descents
(8) Shutdown Procedures
(9) Postflight Discussion
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Page 15-1
GENERAL
This chapter contains an overview of jet powered
airplane operations. It is not meant to replace any
portion of a formal jet airplane qualification course.
Rather, the information contained in this chapter is
meant to be a useful preparation for and a supplement
to formal and structured jet airplane qualification
training. The intent of this chapter is to provide
information on the major differences a pilot will
encounter when transitioning to jet powered airplanes.
In order to achieve this in a logical manner, the major
differences between jet powered airplanes and piston
powered airplanes have been approached by
addressing two distinct areas: differences in
technology, or how the airplane itself differs; and
differences in pilot technique, or how the pilot deals
with the technological differences through the
application of different techniques. If any of the
information in this chapter conflicts with information
contained in the FAA-approved Airplane Flight
Manual for a particular airplane, the Airplane Flight
Manual takes precedence.
JET ENGINE BASICS
A jet engine is a gas turbine engine. A jet engine
develops thrust by accelerating a relatively small mass
of air to very high velocity, as opposed to a propeller,
which develops thrust by accelerating a much larger
mass of air to a much slower velocity.
As stated in Chapter 14, both piston and gas turbine
engines are internal combustion engines and have a
similar basic cycle of operation; that is, induction,
compression, combustion, expansion, and exhaust. Air
is taken in and compressed, and fuel is injected and
burned. The hot gases then expand and supply a
surplus of power over that required for compression,
and are finally exhausted. In both piston and jet
engines, the efficiency of the cycle is improved by
increasing the volume of air taken in and the
compression ratio.
Part of the expansion of the burned gases takes place in
the turbine section of the jet engine providing the
necessary power to drive the compressor, while the
remainder of the expansion takes place in the nozzle of
the tail pipe in order to accelerate the gas to a high
velocity jet thereby producing thrust. [Figure 15-1]
In theory, the jet engine is simpler and more directly
converts thermal energy (the burning and expansion of
gases) into mechanical energy (thrust). The piston or
reciprocating engine, with all of its moving parts, must
convert the thermal energy into mechanical energy and
then finally into thrust by rotating a propeller.
One of the advantages of the jet engine over the piston
engine is the jet engine’s capability of producing much
greater amounts of thrust horsepower at the high
altitudes and high speeds. In fact, turbojet engine
efficiency increases with altitude and speed.
TURBOJET ENGINE
Direction of Flight
Air
Enters
Inlet
Duct
Combustion
Drive Shaft
Six-Stage Compressor
Exhaust
Two-Stage
Turbine
Figure 15-1. Basic turbojet engine.
15-1
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Page 15-2
Direction of Flight
Fan Air
Combustion
Fan Air
Inlet
Air
Exhaust
Combustion
Figure 15-2. Turbofan engine.
Although the propeller driven airplane is not nearly as
efficient as the jet, particularly at the higher altitudes
and cruising speeds required in modern aviation, one
of the few advantages the propeller driven airplane has
over the jet is that maximum thrust is available almost
at the start of the takeoff roll. Initial thrust output of the
jet engine on takeoff is relatively lower and does not
reach peak efficiency until the higher speeds. The fanjet or turbofan engine was developed to help compensate for this problem and is, in effect, a compromise
between the pure jet engine (turbojet) and the propeller
engine.
bypass air produces between 30 percent and 70 percent of the thrust produced by a turbofan engine.
Like other gas turbine engines, the heart of the turbofan engine is the gas generator—the part of the engine
that produces the hot, high-velocity gases. Similar to
turboprops, turbofans have a low pressure turbine section that uses most of the energy produced by the gas
generator. The low pressure turbine is mounted on a
concentric shaft that passes through the hollow shaft of
the gas generator, connecting it to a ducted fan at the
front of the engine. [Figure 15-2]
In a jet engine, thrust is determined by the amount of
fuel injected into the combustion chamber. The power
controls on most turbojet and turbofan powered airplanes consist of just one thrust lever for each engine,
because most engine control functions are automatic.
The thrust lever is linked to a fuel control and/or electronic engine computer that meters fuel flow based
upon r.p.m., internal temperatures, ambient conditions,
and other factors. [Figure 15-3]
Air enters the engine, passes through the fan, and splits
into two separate paths. Some of it flows around—
bypasses—the engine core, hence its name, bypass
air. The air drawn into the engine for the gas generator
is the core airflow. The amount of air that bypasses
the core compared to the amount drawn into the gas
generator determines a turbofan’s bypass ratio.
Turbofans efficiently convert fuel into thrust because
they produce low pressure energy spread over a large
fan disk area. While a turbojet engine uses all of the
gas generator’s output to produce thrust in the form of
a high-velocity exhaust gas jet, cool, low-velocity
15-2
The fan-jet concept increases the total thrust of the jet
engine, particularly at the lower speeds and altitudes.
Although efficiency at the higher altitudes is lost (turbofan engines are subject to a large lapse in thrust with
increasing altitude), the turbofan engine increases
acceleration, decreases the takeoff roll, improves initial climb performance, and often has the effect of
decreasing specific fuel consumption.
OPERATING THE JET ENGINE
In a jet engine, each major rotating section usually has
a separate gauge devoted to monitoring its speed of
rotation. Depending on the make and model, a jet
engine may have an N1 gauge that monitors the low
pressure compressor section and/or fan speed in
turbofan engines. The gas generator section may be
monitored by an N2 gauge, while triple spool engines
may have an N3 gauge as well. Each engine section
rotates at many thousands of r.p.m. Their gauges
therefore are calibrated in percent of r.p.m. rather than
actual r.p.m., for ease of display and interpretation.
[Figure 15-4]
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CONTINUOUS IGNITION
An engine is sensitive to the flow characteristics of the
air that enters the intake of the engine nacelle. So long
as the flow of air is substantially normal, the engine
will continue to run smoothly. However, particularly
with rear mounted engines that are sometimes in a
position to be affected by disturbed airflow from the
wings, there are some abnormal flight situations that
could cause a compressor stall or flameout of the
engine. These abnormal flight conditions would usually be associated with abrupt pitch changes such as
might be encountered in severe turbulence or a stall.
Figure 15-3. Jet engine power controls.
The temperature of turbine gases must be closely
monitored by the pilot. As in any gas turbine engine,
exceeding temperature limits, even for a very few
seconds, may result in serious heat damage to turbine
blades and other components. Depending on the make
and model, gas temperatures can be measured at a
number of different locations within the engine. The
associated engine gauges therefore have different
names according to their location. For instance:
•
Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT)—the temperature of the exhaust gases as they enter the tail
pipe, after passing through the turbine.
•
Turbine Inlet Temperature (TIT)—the temperature of the gases from the combustion section of
the engine as they enter the first stage of the turbine. TIT is the highest temperature inside a gas
turbine engine and is one of the limiting factors
of the amount of power the engine can produce.
TIT, however, is difficult to measure. EGT
therefore, which relates to TIT, is normally the
parameter measured.
•
Interstage Turbine Temperature (ITT)—the
temperature of the gases between the high
pressure and low pressure turbine wheels.
•
Turbine Outlet Temperature (TOT)—like EGT,
turbine outlet temperature is taken aft of the
turbine wheel(s).
JET ENGINE IGNITION
Most jet engine ignition systems consist of two igniter
plugs, which are used during the ground or air starting
of the engine. Once the start is completed, this ignition
either automatically goes off or is turned off, and from
this point on, the combustion in the engine is a
continuous process.
In order to avoid the possibility of engine flameout
from the above conditions, or from other conditions
that might cause ingestion problems such as heavy
rain, ice, or possible bird strike, most jet engines are
equipped with a continuous ignition system. This system can be turned on and used continuously whenever
the need arises. In many jets, as an added precaution,
this system is normally used during takeoffs and landings. Many jets are also equipped with an automatic
ignition system that operates both igniters whenever
the airplane stall warning or stick shaker is activated.
FUEL HEATERS
Because of the high altitudes and extremely cold outside air temperatures in which the jet flies, it is possible to supercool the jet fuel to the point that the small
Figure 15-4. Jet engine r.p.m. gauges.
15-3
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particles of water suspended in the fuel can turn to ice
crystals and clog the fuel filters leading to the engine.
For this reason, jet engines are normally equipped with
fuel heaters. The fuel heater may be of the automatic
type which constantly maintains the fuel temperature
above freezing, or they may be manually controlled by
the pilot from the cockpit.
blade angle, with manifold pressure being the most
dominant factor. At a constant r.p.m., thrust is
proportional to throttle lever position. In a jet engine,
however, thrust is quite disproportional to thrust lever
position. This is an important difference that the pilot
transitioning into jet powered airplanes must become
accustomed to.
SETTING POWER
On some jet airplanes, thrust is indicated by an engine
pressure ratio (EPR) gauge. Engine pressure ratio can
be thought of as being equivalent to the manifold
pressure on the piston engine. Engine pressure ratio is
the difference between turbine discharge pressure and
engine inlet pressure. It is an indication of what the
engine has done with the raw air scooped in. For
instance, an EPR setting of 2.24 means that the
discharge pressure relative to the inlet pressure is
2.24 : 1. On these airplanes, the EPR gauge is the
primary reference used to establish power settings.
[Figure 15-5]
On a jet engine, thrust is proportional to r.p.m. (mass
flow) and temperature (fuel/air ratio). These are
matched and a further variation of thrust results from
the compressor efficiency at varying r.p.m. The jet
engine is most efficient at high r.p.m., where the
engine is designed to be operated most of the time. As
r.p.m. increases, mass flow, temperature, and efficiency also increase. Therefore, much more thrust is
produced per increment of throttle movement near the
top of the range than near the bottom.
Figure 15-5. EPR gauge.
Fan speed (N1) is the primary indication of thrust on
most turbofan engines. Fuel flow provides a secondary
thrust indication, and cross-checking for proper fuel
flow can help in spotting a faulty N1 gauge. Turbofans
also have a gas generator turbine tachometer (N2).
They are used mainly for engine starting and some
system functions.
In setting power, it is usually the primary power
reference (EPR or N1) that is most critical, and will be
the gauge that will first limit the forward movement of
the thrust levers. However, there are occasions where
the limits of either r.p.m. or temperature can be
exceeded. The rule is: movement of the thrust levers
must be stopped and power set at whichever the limits
of EPR, r.p.m., or temperature is reached first.
THRUST TO THRUST LEVER
RELATIONSHIP
In a piston engine propeller driven airplane, thrust is
proportional to r.p.m., manifold pressure, and propeller
15-4
One thing that will seem different to the piston pilot
transitioning into jet powered airplanes is the rather
large amount of thrust lever movement between the
flight idle position and full power as compared to the
small amount of movement of the throttle in the piston
engine. For instance, an inch of throttle movement on
a piston may be worth 400 horsepower wherever the
throttle may be. On a jet, an inch of thrust lever
movement at a low r.p.m. may be worth only 200
pounds of thrust, but at a high r.p.m. that same inch of
movement might amount to closer to 2,000 pounds of
thrust. Because of this, in a situation where
significantly more thrust is needed and the jet engine
is at low r.p.m., it will not do much good to merely
“inch the thrust lever forward.” Substantial thrust lever
movement is in order. This is not to say that rough or
abrupt thrust lever action is standard operating
procedure. If the power setting is already high, it may
take only a small amount of movement. However,
there are two characteristics of the jet engine that work
against the normal habits of the piston engine pilot.
One is the variation of thrust with r.p.m., and the other
is the relatively slow acceleration of the jet engine.
VARIATION OF THRUST WITH RPM
Whereas piston engines normally operate in the range
of 40 percent to 70 percent of available r.p.m., jets
operate most efficiently in the 85 percent to 100
percent range, with a flight idle r.p.m. of 50 percent to
60 percent. The range from 90 percent to 100 percent
in jets may produce as much thrust as the total
available at 70 percent. [Figure 15-6]
SLOW ACCELERATION OF THE JET
ENGINE
In a propeller driven airplane, the constant speed
propeller keeps the engine turning at a constant r.p.m.
within the governing range, and power is changed by
varying the manifold pressure. Acceleration of the
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100
Percent Maximum Thrust
Page 15-5
VARIATION OF THRUST WITH R.P.M.
(Constant Altitude & Velocity)
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
0
10
20
30 40 50 60 70 80
Percent Maximum R.P.M.
90
100
mary reason for operating in the high altitude environment. The specific fuel consumption of jet engines
decreases as the outside air temperature decreases for
constant engine r.p.m. and true airspeed (TAS). Thus,
by flying at a high altitude, the pilot is able to operate
at flight levels where fuel economy is best and with the
most advantageous cruise speed. For efficiency, jet airplanes are typically operated at high altitudes where
cruise is usually very close to r.p.m or exhaust gas temperature limits. At high altitudes, little excess thrust
may be available for maneuvering. Therefore, it is
often impossible for the jet airplane to climb and turn
simultaneously, and all maneuvering must be accomplished within the limits of available thrust and without sacrificing stability and controllability.
Figure 15-6. Variation of thrust with r.p.m.
piston from idle to full power is relatively rapid,
somewhere on the order of 3 to 4 seconds. The
acceleration on the different jet engines can vary
considerably, but it is usually much slower.
Efficiency in a jet engine is highest at high r.p.m.
where the compressor is working closest to its
optimum conditions. At low r.p.m. the operating cycle
is generally inefficient. If the engine is operating at
normal approach r.p.m. and there is a sudden
requirement for increased thrust, the jet engine will
respond immediately and full thrust can be achieved in
about 2 seconds. However, at a low r.p.m., sudden full
power application will tend to overfuel the engine
resulting in possible compressor surge, excessive
turbine temperatures, compressor stall and/or
flameout. To prevent this, various limiters such as
compressor bleed valves are contained in the system
and serve to restrict the engine until it is at an r.p.m. at
which it can respond to a rapid acceleration demand
without distress. This critical r.p.m. is most noticeable
when the engine is at idle r.p.m. and the thrust lever is
rapidly advanced to a high power position. Engine
acceleration is initially very slow, but changes to
very fast after about 78 percent r.p.m. is reached.
[Figure 15-7]
Even though engine acceleration is nearly
instantaneous after about 78 percent r.p.m., total time
to accelerate from idle r.p.m. to full power may take as
much as 8 seconds. For this reason, most jets are
operated at a relatively high r.p.m. during the final
approach to landing or at any other time that
immediate power may be needed.
ABSENCE OF PROPELLER EFFECT
The absence of a propeller has a significant effect on
the operation of jet powered airplanes that the transitioning pilot must become accustomed to. The effect is
due to the absence of lift from the propeller slipstream,
and the absence of propeller drag.
ABSENCE OF PROPELLER
SLIPSTREAM
A propeller produces thrust by accelerating a large
mass of air rearwards, and (especially with wing
mounted engines) this air passes over a comparatively
large percentage of the wing area. On a propeller
driven airplane, the lift that the wing develops is the
sum of the lift generated by the wing area not in the
wake of the propeller (as a result of airplane speed) and
the lift generated by the wing area influenced by the
propeller slipstream. By increasing or decreasing the
speed of the slipstream air, therefore, it is possible to
increase or decrease the total lift on the wing without
changing airspeed.
8
Time to Achieve Full Thrust (sec.)
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6
4
78%
2
JET ENGINE EFFICIENCY
Maximum operating altitudes for general aviation
turbojet airplanes now reach 51,000 feet. The
efficiency of the jet engine at high altitudes is the pri-
60%
R.P.M.
100%
Figure 15-7. Typical Jet engine acceleration times.
15-5
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For example, a propeller driven airplane that is allowed
to become too low and too slow on an approach is very
responsive to a quick blast of power to salvage the
situation. In addition to increasing lift at a constant
airspeed, stalling speed is reduced with power on. A jet
engine, on the other hand, also produces thrust by
accelerating a mass of air rearward, but this air does
not pass over the wings. There is therefore no lift bonus
at increased power at constant airspeed, and no
significant lowering of power-on stall speed.
In not having propellers, the jet powered airplane is
minus two assets.
•
It is not possible to produce increased lift
instantly by simply increasing power.
•
It is not possible to lower stall speed by simply
increasing power. The 10-knot margin (roughly
the difference between power-off and power-on
stall speed on a propeller driven airplane for a
given configuration) is lost.
Add the poor acceleration response of the jet engine
and it becomes apparent that there are three ways in
which the jet pilot is worse off than the propeller pilot.
For these reasons, there is a marked difference between
the approach qualities of a piston engine airplane and a
jet. In a piston engine airplane, there is some room for
error. Speed is not too critical and a burst of power will
salvage an increasing sink rate. In a jet, however, there
is little room for error.
ABSENCE OF PROPELLER DRAG
When the throttles are closed on a piston powered
airplane, the propellers create a vast amount of drag,
and airspeed is immediately decreased or altitude lost.
The effect of reducing power to idle on the jet engine,
however, produces no such drag effect. In fact, at an
idle power setting, the jet engine still produces
forward thrust. The main advantage is that the jet pilot
is no longer faced with a potential drag penalty of a
runaway propeller, or a reversed propeller. A
disadvantage, however, is the “free wheeling” effect
forward thrust at idle has on the jet. While this
occasionally can be used to advantage (such as in a
long descent), it is a handicap when it is necessary to
lose speed quickly, such as when entering a terminal
area or when in a landing flare. The lack of propeller
drag, along with the aerodynamically clean airframe
of the jet, are new to most pilots, and slowing the
airplane down is one of the initial problems
encountered by pilots transitioning into jets.
SPEED MARGINS
The typical piston powered airplane had to deal with
two maximum operating speeds.
•
VNO—Maximum structural cruising speed,
represented on the airspeed indicator by the
upper limit of the green arc. It is, however,
permissible to exceed VNO and operate in the
caution range (yellow arc) in certain flight
conditions.
If an increasing sink rate develops in a jet, the pilot
must remember two points in the proper sequence.
•
VNE—Never-exceed speed, represented by a red
line on the airspeed indicator.
1.
Increased lift can be gained only by accelerating
airflow over the wings, and this can be
accomplished only by accelerating the entire
airplane.
These speed margins in the piston airplanes were
never of much concern during normal operations
because the high drag factors and relatively low cruise
power settings kept speeds well below these maximum
limits.
2.
The airplane can be accelerated, assuming
altitude loss cannot be afforded, only by a rapid
increase in thrust, and here, the slow acceleration
of the jet engine (possibly up to 8 seconds)
becomes a factor.
Salvaging an increasing sink rate on an approach in a
jet can be a very difficult maneuver. The lack of ability
to produce instant lift in the jet, along with the slow
acceleration of the engine, necessitates a “stabilized
approach” to a landing where full landing
configuration, constant airspeed, controlled rate of
descent, and relatively high power settings are
maintained until over the threshold of the runway. This
allows for almost immediate response from the engine
in making minor changes in the approach speed or rate
of descent and makes it possible to initiate an
immediate go-around or missed approach if necessary.
15-6
Maximum speeds in jet airplanes are expressed
differently, and always define the maximum operating
speed of the airplane which is comparable to the VNE
of the piston airplane. These maximum speeds in a jet
airplane are referred to as:
•
VMO—Maximum operating speed expressed in
terms of knots.
•
MMO—Maximum operating speed expressed in
terms of a decimal of Mach speed (speed of
sound).
To observe both limits VMO and MMO, the pilot of a jet
airplane needs both an airspeed indicator and a
Machmeter, each with appropriate red lines. In some
general aviation jet airplanes, these are combined into
5/7/04
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Page 15-7
a single instrument that contains a pair of concentric
indicators, one for the indicated airspeed and the other
for indicated Mach number. Each is provided with an
appropriate red line. [Figure 15-8]
Maximum Local Velocity
Is Less Than Sonic
M=.72 (Critical Mach Number)
Normal Shock Wave
Supersonic
Flow
Possible
Separation
Subsonic
M=.77
Supersonic
Flow
Normal Shock
Separation
M=.82
Normal Shock
Figure 15-9. Transonic flow patterns.
If allowed to progress well beyond the MMO for the
airplane, this separation of air behind the shock wave
can result in severe buffeting and possible loss of
control or “upset.”
Figure 15-8. Jet airspeed indicator.
A more sophisticated indicator is used on most
jetliners. It looks much like a conventional airspeed
indicator but has a “barber pole” that automatically
moves so as to display the applicable speed limit at all
times.
Because of the higher available thrust and very low
drag design, the jet airplane can very easily exceed its
speed margin even in cruising flight, and in fact in
some airplanes in a shallow climb. The handling
qualities in a jet can change drastically when the
maximum operating speeds are exceeded.
High speed airplanes designed for subsonic flight are
limited to some Mach number below the speed of
sound to avoid the formation of shock waves that begin
to develop as the airplane nears Mach 1.0. These shock
waves (and the adverse effects associated with them)
can occur when the airplane speed is substantially
below Mach 1.0. The Mach speed at which some
portion of the airflow over the wing first equals Mach
1.0 is termed the critical Mach number (MACHCRIT).
This is also the speed at which a shock wave first
appears on the airplane.
There is no particular problem associated with the
acceleration of the airflow up to the point where Mach
1.0 is encountered; however, a shock wave is formed at
the point where the airflow suddenly returns to
subsonic flow. This shock wave becomes more severe
and moves aft on the wing as speed of the wing is
increased, and eventually flow separation occurs
behind the well-developed shock wave. [Figure 15-9]
Because of the changing center of lift of the wing
resulting from the movement of the shock wave, the
pilot will experience pitch change tendencies as the
airplane moves through the transonic speeds up to and
exceeding MMO. [Figure 15-10]
70
60
Stick Force in Pounds
Ch 15.qxd
50
40
30
20
10
0
10
Pull
Push
20
0
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
Mach Number
0.8
0.9
Figure 15-10. Example of Stick Forces vs. Mach Number in a
typical jet airplane.
For example, as the graph in figure 15-10 illustrates,
initially as speed is increased up to Mach .72 the wing
develops an increasing amount of lift requiring a nosedown force or trim to maintain level flight. With
increased speed and the aft movement of the shock
wave, the wing’s center of pressure also moves aft
causing the start of a nosedown tendency or “tuck.” By
Mach .83 the nosedown forces are well developed to a
point where a total of 70 pounds of back pressure are
required to hold the nose up. If allowed to progress
unchecked, Mach tuck may eventually occur.
Although Mach tuck develops gradually, if it is
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Page 15-8
allowed to progress significantly, the center of
pressure can move so far rearward that there is no
longer enough elevator authority available to
counteract it, and the airplane could enter a steep,
sometimes unrecoverable dive.
An alert pilot would have observed the high airspeed
indications, experienced the onset of buffeting, and
responded to aural warning devices long before
encountering the extreme stick forces shown.
However, in the event that corrective action is not
taken and the nose allowed to drop, increasing airspeed
even further, the situation could rapidly become
dangerous. As the Mach speed increases beyond the
airplane’s MMO, the effects of flow separation and
turbulence behind the shock wave become more
severe. Eventually, the most powerful forces causing
Mach tuck are a result of the buffeting and lack of
effective downwash on the horizontal stabilizer
because of the disturbed airflow over the wing. This is
the primary reason for the development of the T-tail
configuration on some jet airplanes, which places the
horizontal stabilizer as far as practical from the
turbulence of the wings. Also, because of the critical
aspects of high-altitude/high-Mach flight, most jet
airplanes capable of operating in the Mach speed
ranges are designed with some form of trim and
autopilot Mach compensating device (stick puller) to
alert the pilot to inadvertent excursions beyond its
certificated MMO.
RECOVERY FROM OVERSPEED
CONDITIONS
The simplest remedy for an overspeed condition is to
ensure that the situation never occurs in the first place.
For this reason, the pilot must be aware of all the
conditions that could lead to exceeding the airplane’s
maximum operating speeds. Good attitude instrument
flying skills and good power control are essential.
The pilot should be aware of the symptoms that will be
experienced in the particular airplane as the VMO or
MMO is being approached. These may include:
•
Nosedown tendency and need for back pressure
or trim.
•
Mild buffeting as airflow separation begins to
occur after critical Mach speed.
•
Actuation of an aural warning device/stick puller
at or just slightly beyond VMO or MMO.
The pilot’s response to an overspeed condition should
be to immediately slow the airplane by reducing the
power to flight idle. It will also help to smoothly and
easily raise the pitch attitude to help dissipate speed (in
fact this is done automatically through the stick puller
device when the high speed warning system is
15-8
activated). The use of speed brakes can also aid in
slowing the airplane. If, however, the nosedown stick
forces have progressed to the extent that they are
excessive, some speed brakes will tend to further
aggravate the nosedown tendency. Under most
conditions, this additional pitch down force is easily
controllable, and since speed brakes can normally be
used at any speed, they are a very real asset. A final
option would be to extend the landing gear. This will
create enormous drag and possibly some noseup pitch,
but there is usually little risk of damage to the gear
itself. The pilot transitioning into jet airplanes must be
familiar with the manufacturers’ recommended procedures for dealing with overspeed conditions contained
in the FAA-approved Airplane Flight Manual for the
particular make and model airplane.
MACH BUFFET BOUNDARIES
Thus far, only the Mach buffet that results from
excessive speed has been addressed. The transitioning
pilot, however, should be aware that Mach buffet is a
function of the speed of the airflow over the wing—
not necessarily the airspeed of the airplane. Anytime
that too great a lift demand is made on the wing,
whether from too fast an airspeed or from too high an
angle of attack near the MMO, the “high speed buffet”
will occur. However, there are also occasions when the
buffet can be experienced at much slower speeds
known as “low speed Mach buffet.”
The most likely situations that could cause the low
speed buffet would be when an airplane is flown at too
slow a speed for its weight and altitude causing a high
angle of attack. This very high angle of attack would
have the same effect of increasing airflow over the
upper surface of the wing to the point that all of the
same effects of the shock waves and buffet would
occur as in the high speed buffet situation.
The angle of attack of the wing has the greatest effect
on inducing the Mach buffet at either the high or low
speed boundaries for the airplane. The conditions that
increase the angle of attack, hence the speed of the
airflow over the wing and chances of Mach buffet are:
•
High altitudes—The higher the airplane flies,
the thinner the air and the greater the angle of
attack required to produce the lift needed to
maintain level flight.
•
Heavy weights—The heavier the airplane, the
greater the lift required of the wing, and all other
things being equal, the greater the angle of
attack.
•
“G” loading—An increase in the “G” loading of
the wing results in the same situation as
increasing the weight of the airplane. It makes
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Page 15-9
no difference whether the increase in “G” forces
is caused by a turn, rough control usage, or turbulence. The effect of increasing the wing’s
angle of attack is the same.
When this phenomenon is encountered, serious consequences may result causing loss of airplane control.
Increasing either gross weight or load factor (G factor)
will increase the low speed buffet and decrease Mach
buffet speeds. A typical jet airplane flying at 51,000
feet altitude at 1.0 G may encounter Mach buffet
slightly above the airplane’s MMO (.82 Mach) and low
speed buffet at .60 Mach. However, only 1.4 G (an
increase of only 0.4 G) may bring on buffet at the optimum speed of .73 Mach and any change in airspeed,
bank angle, or gust loading may reduce this straightand-level flight 1.4 G protection to no protection at all.
Consequently, a maximum cruising flight altitude must
be selected which will allow sufficient buffet margin
for necessary maneuvering and for gust conditions
likely to be encountered. Therefore, it is important for
pilots to be familiar with the use of charts showing
cruise maneuver and buffet limits. [Figure 15-11]
An airplane’s indicated airspeed decreases in relation
to true airspeed as altitude increases. As the indicated
airspeed decreases with altitude, it progressively
merges with the low speed buffet boundary where prestall buffet occurs for the airplane at a load factor of
1.0 G. The point where the high speed Mach indicated
airspeed and low speed buffet boundary indicated airspeed merge is the airplane’s absolute or aerodynamic
ceiling. Once an airplane has reached its aerodynamic
ceiling, which is higher than the altitude stipulated in
the FAA-approved Airplane Flight Manual, the airplane can neither be made to go faster without activating the design stick puller at Mach limit nor can it be
made to go slower without activating the stick shaker
or stick pusher. This critical area of the airplane’s
flight envelope is known as “coffin corner.”
The transitioning pilot must bear in mind that the
maneuverability of the jet airplane is particularly critical, especially at the high altitudes. Some jet airplanes
have a very narrow span between the high and low
speed buffets. One airspeed that the pilot should have
firmly fixed in memory is the manufacturer’s recommended gust penetration speed for the particular make
and model airplane. This speed is normally the speed
that would give the greatest margin between the high
and low speed buffets, and may be considerably higher
Mach buffet occurs as a result of supersonic airflow on
the wing. Stall buffet occurs at angles of attack that
produce airflow disturbances (burbling) over the upper
surface of the wing which decreases lift. As density
altitude increases, the angle of attack that is required to
produce an airflow disturbance over the top of the wing
is reduced until the density altitude is reached where
Mach buffet and stall buffet converge (coffin corner).
00
,0
20
0
,00
15
000
10,
l
Leve
17,000
5,0
18,000
00
19,000 Lbs.
Sea
re
16,000
15,000
e
ud
tit
l
A
–
Pr
es
su
Ch 15.qxd
14,000
00
,0
25
30
,00
Ft
.
MMO
0
13,000
C
B
12,000
11,000
35,0
00
00
40,0
00
45,0
D
1
2
A
3
.1
Load Factor – G
.2
.3
.4
.5
.6
.7
.8
Indicated Mach Number
Figure 15-11. Mach buffet boundary chart.
15-9
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Page 15-10
than design maneuvering speed (VA). This means that,
unlike piston airplanes, there are times when a jet
airplane should be flown in excess of VA during
encounters with turbulence. Pilots operating airplanes
at high speeds must be adequately trained to operate
them safely. This training cannot be complete until
pilots are thoroughly educated in the critical aspects of
the aerodynamic factors pertinent to Mach flight at
high altitudes.
LOW SPEED FLIGHT
The jet airplane wing, designed primarily for high
speed flight, has relatively poor low speed
characteristics. As opposed to the normal piston
powered airplane, the jet wing has less area, a lower
aspect ratio (long chord/short span), and thin airfoil
shape—all of which amount to less lift. The sweptwing
is additionally penalized at low speeds because the
effective lift, which is perpendicular to the leading
edge, is always less than the airspeed of the airplane
itself. In other words, the airflow on the sweptwing has
the effect of persuading the wing into believing that it
is flying slower than it actually is, but the wing consequently suffers a loss of lift for a given airspeed at a
given angle of attack.
The first real consequence of poor lift at low speeds is
a high stall speed. The second consequence of poor lift
at low speeds is the manner in which lift and drag vary
with speed in the lower ranges. As a jet airplane is
slowed toward its minimum drag speed (VMD or
L/DMAX), total drag increases at a much greater rate
than lift, resulting in a sinking flightpath. If the pilot
attempts to increase lift by increasing pitch attitude,
airspeed will be further reduced resulting in a further
increase in drag and sink rate as the airplane slides up
the back side of the power curve. The sink rate can be
arrested in one of two ways:
•
Pitch attitude can be substantially reduced to
reduce the angle of attack and allow the airplane
to accelerate to a speed above VMD, where steady
flight conditions can be reestablished. This
procedure, however, will invariably result in a
substantial loss of altitude.
•
Thrust can be increased to accelerate the airplane
to a speed above VMD to reestablish steady flight
conditions. It should be remembered that the
amount of thrust required will be quite large. The
amount of thrust must be sufficient to accelerate
the airplane and regain altitude lost. Also, if the
airplane has slid a long way up the back side of
the power required (drag) curve, drag will be
very high and a very large amount of thrust will
be required.
In a typical piston engine airplane, VMD in the clean
configuration is normally at a speed of about 1.3 VS.
[Figure 15-12] Flight below VMD on a piston engine
airplane is well identified and predictable. In contrast,
in a jet airplane flight in the area of VMD (typically 1.5
– 1.6 VS) does not normally produce any noticeable
changes in flying qualities other than a lack of speed
stability—a condition where a decrease in speed leads
to an increase in drag which leads to a further decrease
in speed and hence a speed divergence. A pilot who is
not cognizant of a developing speed divergence may
find a serious sink rate developing at a constant power
setting, and a pitch attitude that appears to be normal.
The fact that drag increases more rapidly than lift,
causing a sinking flightpath, is one of the most
important aspects of jet airplane flying qualities.
STALLS
The stalling characteristics of the sweptwing jet
airplane can vary considerably from those of the
L/DMAX
Minimum
Power
Required
Figure 15-12. Thrust and power required curves.
15-10
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Page 15-11
normal straight wing airplane. The greatest difference
that will be noticeable to the pilot is the lift developed
vs. angle of attack. An increase in angle of attack of the
straight wing produces a substantial and constantly
increasing lift vector up to its maximum coefficient of
lift, and soon thereafter flow separation (stall) occurs
with a rapid deterioration of lift.
By contrast, the sweptwing produces a much more
gradual buildup of lift with no well defined maximum
coefficient and has the ability to fly well beyond this
maximum buildup even though lift is lost. The drag
curves (which are not depicted in figure 15-13) are
approximately the reverse of the lift curves shown, in
that a rapid increase in drag component may be
expected with an increase in the angle of attack of a
sweptwing airplane.
the airplane into a deeper stall. [Figure 15-14] The
conventional straight wing airplane conforms to the
familiar nosedown pitching tendency at the stall and
gives the entire airplane a fairly pronounced nosedown
pitch. At the moment of stall, the wing wake passes
more or less straight rearward and passes above the
tail. The tail is now immersed in high energy air where
it experiences a sharp increase in positive angle of
attack causing upward lift. This lift then assists the
nosedown pitch and decrease in wing angle of attack
essential to stall recovery.
Straight
Wing
Lift Coefficient
Ch 15.qxd
Sweptwing
Figure 15-14. Stall progression—typical straight wing
airplane.
Angle of Attack
Figure 15-13. Stall vs. angle of attack—sweptwing vs. straight
wing.
The differences in the stall characteristics between a
conventional straight wing/low tailplane (non T-tail)
airplane and a sweptwing T-tail airplane center around
two main areas.
•
The basic pitching tendency of the airplane at
the stall.
•
Tail effectiveness in stall recovery.
On a conventional straight wing/low tailplane airplane,
the weight of the airplane acts downwards forward of
the lift acting upwards, producing a need for a
balancing force acting downwards from the tailplane.
As speed is reduced by gentle up elevator deflection,
the static stability of the airplane causes a nosedown
tendency. This is countered by further up elevator to
keep the nose coming up and the speed decreasing. As
the pitch attitude increases, the low set tail is immersed
in the wing wake, which is slightly turbulent, low
energy air. The accompanying aerodynamic buffeting
serves as a warning of impending stall. The reduced
effectiveness of the tail prevents the pilot from forcing
In a sweptwing jet with a T-tail and rear fuselage
mounted engines, the two qualities that are different
from its straight wing low tailplane counterpart are the
pitching tendency of the airplane as the stall develops
and the loss of tail effectiveness at the stall. The
handling qualities down to the stall are much the same
as the straight wing airplane except that the high, T-tail
remains clear of the wing wake and provides little or
no warning in the form of a pre-stall buffet. Also, the
tail is fully effective during the speed reduction
towards the stall, and remains effective even after the
wing has begun to stall. This enables the pilot to drive
the wing into a deeper stall at a much greater angle
of attack.
At the stall, two distinct things happen. After the stall,
the sweptwing T-tail airplane tends to pitch up rather
than down, and the T-tail is immersed in the wing
wake, which is low energy turbulent air. This greatly
reduces tail effectiveness and the airplane’s ability to
counter the noseup pitch. Also, the disturbed,
relatively slow air behind the wing may sweep across
the tail at such a large angle that the tail itself stalls. If
this occurs, the pilot loses all pitch control and will be
unable to lower the nose. The pitch up just after the
stall is worsened by large reduction in lift and a large
increase in drag, which causes a rapidly increasing
15-11
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Page 15-12
tendency for separation of airflow, and the subsequent
stall, to occur at the wingtips first. [Figure 15-16] The
tip first stall, results in a shift of the center of lift of the
wing in a forward direction relative to the center of
gravity of the airplane, causing the nose to pitch up.
Another disadvantage of a tip first stall is that it can
involve the ailerons and erode roll control.
Pre-Stall
descent path, thus compounding the rate of increase of
the wing’s angle of attack. [Figure 15-15]
As previously stated, when flying at a speed in the area
of VMD, an increase in angle of attack causes drag to
increase faster than lift and the airplane begins to sink.
It is essential to understand that this increasing sinking
tendency, at a constant pitch attitude, results in a rapid
increase in angle of attack as the flightpath becomes
deflected downwards. [Figure 15-17] Furthermore,
once the stall has developed and a large amount of lift
has been lost, the airplane will begin to sink rapidly
and this will be accompanied by a corresponding rapid
increase in angle of attack. This is the beginning of
what is termed a deep stall.
The pitch up tendency after the stall is a characteristic
of a swept and/or tapered wings. With these types of
wings, there is a tendency for the wing to develop a
strong spanwise airflow towards the wingtip when the
wing is at high angles of attack. This leads to a
As an airplane enters a deep stall, increasing drag
reduces forward speed to well below normal stall
speed. The sink rate may increase to many thousands
of feet per minute. The airplane eventually stabilizes
in a vertical descent. The angle of attack may approach
Stall
Figure 15-15. Stall progression sweptwing airplane.
Spanwise Flow of Boundary
Layer Develops at High CL
Initial Flow Separation
at or Near Tip
Area of Tip
Stall Enlarges
Figure 15-16. Sweptwing stall characteristics.
15-12
Stall Area Progresses
Inboard
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Page 15-13
Pre-Stall
Relative Wind
Initial Stall
e Wind
Relativ
Deep Stall
nd
Wi
e
v
i
lat
Pitch Attitude
Re
Flightpath Angle to the Horizontal
Angle of Attack
Figure 15-17. Deep stall progression.
90° and the indicated airspeed may be reduced to zero.
At a 90° angle of attack, none of the airplane’s control
surfaces are effective. It must be emphasized that this
situation can occur without an excessively nose-high
pitch attitude. On some airplanes, it can occur at an
apparently normal pitch attitude, and it is this quality
that can mislead the pilot because it appears similar to
the beginning of a normal stall recovery.
Deep stalls are virtually unrecoverable. Fortunately,
they are easily avoided as long as published limitations
are observed. On those airplanes susceptible to deep
stalls (not all swept and/or tapered wing airplanes are),
sophisticated stall warning systems such as stick
shakers and stick pushers are standard equipment. A
stick pusher, as its name implies, acts to automatically
reduce the airplane’s angle of attack before the airplane
reaches a fully stalled condition.
Unless the Airplane Flight Manual procedures
stipulate otherwise, a fully stalled condition in a jet
airplane is to be avoided. Pilots undergoing training in
jet airplanes are taught to recover at the first sign of an
impending stall. Normally, this is indicated by aural
stall warning devices and/or activation of the airplane’s
stick shaker. Stick shakers normally activate around
107 percent of the actual stall speed. At such slow
speeds, very high sink rates can develop if the
airplane’s pitch attitude is decreased below the
horizon, as is normal recovery procedure in most
piston powered straight wing, light airplanes.
Therefore, at the lower altitudes where plenty of
engine thrust is available, the recovery technique in
many sweptwing jets involves applying full available
power, rolling the wings level, and holding a slightly
positive pitch attitude. The amount of pitch attitude
should be sufficient enough to maintain altitude or
begin a slight climb.
At high altitudes, where there may be little excess
thrust available to effect a recovery using power alone,
it may be necessary to lower the nose below the
horizon in order to accelerate away from an impending
stall. This procedure may require several thousand feet
or more of altitude loss to effect a recovery. Stall
recovery techniques may vary considerably from
airplane to airplane. The stall recovery procedures for
a particular make and model airplane, as
recommended by the manufacturer, are contained in
the FAA-approved Airplane Flight Manual for
that airplane.
DRAG DEVICES
To the pilot transitioning into jet airplanes, going faster
is seldom a problem. It is getting the airplane to slow
down that seems to cause the most difficulty. This is
because of the extremely clean aerodynamic design
and fast momentum of the jet airplane, and also
because the jet lacks the propeller drag effects that the
pilot has been accustomed to. Additionally, even with
the power reduced to flight idle, the jet engine still
produces thrust, and deceleration of the jet airplane is a
slow process. Jet airplanes have a glide performance
that is double that of piston powered airplanes, and jet
pilots often cannot comply with an air traffic control
request to go down and slow down at the same time.
Therefore, jet airplanes are equipped with drag devices
such as spoilers and speed brakes.
The primary purpose of spoilers is to spoil lift. The
most common type of spoiler consists of one or more
rectangular plates that lie flush with the upper surface
of each wing. They are installed approximately
parallel to the lateral axis of the airplane and are hinged
along the leading edges. When deployed, spoilers
deflect up against the relative wind, which interferes
with the flow of air about the wing. [Figure 15-18] This
both spoils lift and increases drag. Spoilers are usually
installed forward of the flaps but not in front of the
ailerons so as not to interfere with roll control.
Figure 15-18. Spoilers.
15-13
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Page 15-14
Deploying spoilers results in a substantial sink rate
with little decay in airspeed. Some airplanes will
exhibit a noseup pitch tendency when the spoilers are
deployed, which the pilot must anticipate.
When spoilers are deployed on landing, most of the
wing’s lift is destroyed. This action transfers the
airplane’s weight to the landing gear so that the wheel
brakes are more effective. Another beneficial effect of
deploying spoilers on landing is that they create
considerable drag, adding to the overall aerodynamic
braking. The real value of spoilers on landing, however, is creating the best circumstances for using
wheel brakes.
The primary purpose of speed brakes is to produce
drag. Speed brakes are found in many sizes, shapes,
and locations on different airplanes, but they all have
the same purpose—to assist in rapid deceleration. The
speed brake consists of a hydraulically operated board
that when deployed extends into the airstream.
Deploying speed brakes results in a rapid decrease in
airspeed. Typically, speed brakes can be deployed at
any time during flight in order to help control airspeed,
but they are most often used only when a rapid deceleration must be accomplished to slow down to landing
gear and flap speeds. There is usually a certain amount
of noise and buffeting associated with the use of speed
brakes, along with an obvious penalty in fuel consumption. Procedures for the use of spoilers and/or
speed brakes in various situations are contained in the
FAA-approved Airplane Flight Manual for the particular airplane.
THRUST REVERSERS
Jet airplanes have high kinetic energy during the
landing roll because of weight and speed. This energy
is difficult to dissipate because a jet airplane has low
drag with the nosewheel on the ground and the engines
continue to produce forward thrust with the power
levers at idle. While wheel brakes normally can cope,
there is an obvious need for another speed retarding
method. This need is satisfied by the drag provided by
reverse thrust.
A thrust reverser is a device fitted in the engine
exhaust system which effectively reverses the flow of
the exhaust gases. The flow does not reverse through
180°; however, the final path of the exhaust gases is
about 45° from straight ahead. This, together with the
losses in the reverse flow paths, results in a net efficiency of about 50 percent. It will produce even less if
the engine r.p.m. is less than maximum in reverse.
Normally, a jet engine will have one of two types of
thrust reversers, either a target reverser or a cascade
reverser. [Figure 15-19] Target reversers are simple
clamshell doors that swivel from the stowed position at
15-14
TARGET OR CLAMSHELL REVERSER
CASCADE REVERSER
Figure 15-19. Thrust reversers.
the engine tailpipe to block all of the outflow and
redirect some component of the thrust forward.
Cascade reversers are more complex. They are
normally found on turbofan engines and are often
designed to reverse only the fan air portion. Blocking
doors in the shroud obstructs forward fan thrust and
redirects it through cascade vanes for some reverse
component. Cascades are generally less effective than
target reversers, particularly those that reverse only
fan air, because they do not affect the engine core,
which will continue to produce forward thrust.
On most installations, reverse thrust is obtained with
the thrust lever at idle, by pulling up the reverse lever
to a detent. Doing so positions the reversing
mechanisms for operation but leaves the engine at idle
r.p.m. Further upward and backward movement of the
reverse lever increases engine power. Reverse is
cancelled by closing the reverse lever to the idle
reverse position, then dropping it fully back to the
forward idle position. This last movement operates the
reverser back to the forward thrust position.
Reverse thrust is much more effective at high airplane
speed than at low airplane speeds, for two reasons:
first, the net amount of reverse thrust increases with
speed; second, the power produced is higher at higher
speeds because of the increased rate of doing work. In
other words, the kinetic energy of the airplane is being
destroyed at a higher rate at the higher speeds. To get
maximum efficiency from reverse thrust, therefore, it
should be used as soon as is prudent after touchdown.
When considering the proper time to apply reverse
thrust after touchdown, the pilot should remember that
Ch 15.qxd
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some airplanes tend to pitch noseup when reverse is
selected on landing and this effect, particularly when
combined with the noseup pitch effect from the
spoilers, can cause the airplane to leave the ground
again momentarily. On these types, the airplane must
be firmly on the ground with the nosewheel down,
before reverse is selected. Other types of airplanes
have no change in pitch, and reverse idle may be
selected after the main gear is down and before the
nosewheel is down. Specific procedures for reverse
thrust operation for a particular airplane/engine
combination are contained in the FAA-approved
Airplane Flight Manual for that airplane.
There is a significant difference between reverse pitch
on a propeller and reverse thrust on a jet. Idle reverse
on a propeller produces about 60 percent of the reverse
thrust available at full power reverse and is therefore
very effective at this setting when full reverse is not
needed. On a jet engine, however, selecting idle
reverse produces very little actual reverse thrust. In a
jet airplane, the pilot must not only select reverse as
soon as reasonable, but then must open up to full power
reverse as soon as possible. Within Airplane Flight
Manual limitations, full power reverse should be held
until the pilot is certain the landing roll will be
contained within the distance available.
Inadvertent deployment of thrust reversers is a very
serious emergency situation. Therefore, thrust reverser
systems are designed with this prospect in mind. The
systems normally contain several lock systems: one to
keep reversers from operating in the air, another to
prevent operation with the thrust levers out of the idle
detent, and/or an “auto-stow” circuit to command
reverser stowage any time unwanted motion is
detected. It is essential that pilots understand not only
the normal procedures and limitations of thrust
reverser use, but also the procedures for coping with
uncommanded reverse. Those emergencies demand
immediate and accurate response.
PILOT SENSATIONS IN JET FLYING
There are usually three general sensations that the pilot
transitioning into jets will immediately become aware
of. These are: inertial response differences, increased
control sensitivity, and a much increased tempo
of flight.
The varying of power settings from flight idle to full
takeoff power has a much slower effect on the change
of airspeed in the jet airplane. This is commonly called
lead and lag, and is as much a result of the extremely
clean aerodynamic design of the airplane as it is the
slower response of the engine.
The lack of propeller effect is also responsible for the
lower drag increment at the reduced power settings and
results in other changes that the pilot will have to
become accustomed to. These include the lack of
effective slipstream over the lifting surfaces and
control surfaces, and lack of propeller torque effect.
The aft mounted engines will cause a different reaction
to power application and may result in a slightly nosedown pitching tendency with the application of power.
On the other hand, power reduction will not cause the
nose of the airplane to drop to the same extent the pilot
is used to in a propeller airplane. Although neither of
these characteristics are radical enough to cause
transitioning pilots much of a problem, they must be
compensated for.
Power settings required to attain a given performance
are almost impossible to memorize in the jets, and the
pilot who feels the necessity for having an array of
power settings for all occasions will initially feel at a
loss. The only way to answer the question of “how
much power is needed?” is by saying, “whatever is
required to get the job done.” The primary reason that
power settings vary so much is because of the great
changes in weight as fuel is consumed during the
flight. Therefore, the pilot will have to learn to use
power as needed to achieve the desired performance.
In time the pilot will find that the only reference to
power instruments will be that required to keep from
exceeding limits of maximum power settings or to
synchronize r.p.m.
Proper power management is one of the initial problem
areas encountered by the pilot transitioning into jet
airplanes. Although smooth power applications are still
the rule, the pilot will be aware that a greater physical
movement of the power levers is required as compared
to throttle movement in the piston engines. The pilot
will also have to learn to anticipate and lead the power
changes more than in the past and must keep in mind
that the last 30 percent of engine r.p.m. represents the
majority of the engine thrust, and below that the
application of power has very little effect. In slowing
the airplane, power reduction must be made sooner
because there is no longer any propeller drag and the
pilot should anticipate the need for drag devices.
Control sensitivity will differ between various
airplanes, but in all cases, the pilot will find that they
are more sensitive to any change in control
displacement, particularly pitch control, than are the
conventional propeller airplanes. Because of the higher
speeds flown, the control surfaces are more effective
and a variation of just a few degrees in pitch attitude in
a jet can result in over twice the rate of altitude change
that would be experienced in a slower airplane. The
sensitive pitch control in jet airplanes is one of the first
flight differences that the pilot will notice. Invariably
the pilot will have a tendency to over-control pitch
15-15
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during initial training flights. The importance of
accurate and smooth control cannot be overemphasized, however, and it is one of the first techniques the
transitioning pilot must master.
The pilot of a sweptwing jet airplane will soon become
adjusted to the fact that it is necessary and normal to
fly at higher angles of attack. It is not unusual to have
about 5° of noseup pitch on an approach to a landing.
During an approach to a stall at constant altitude, the
noseup angle may be as high as 15° to 20°. The higher
deck angles (pitch angle relative to the ground) on
takeoff, which may be as high as 15°, will also take
some getting used to, although this is not the actual
angle of attack relative to the airflow over the wing.
The greater variation of pitch attitudes flown in a jet
airplane are a result of the greater thrust available and
the flight characteristics of the low aspect ratio and
sweptwing. Flight at the higher pitch attitudes requires
a greater reliance on the flight instruments for airplane
control since there is not much in the way of a useful
horizon or other outside reference to be seen. Because
of the high rates of climb and descent, high airspeeds,
high altitudes and variety of attitudes flown, the jet
airplane can only be precisely flown by applying
proficient instrument flight techniques. Proficiency in
attitude instrument flying, therefore, is essential to
successful transition to jet airplane flying.
Most jet airplanes are equipped with a thumb operated
pitch trim button on the control wheel which the pilot
must become familiar with as soon as possible. The jet
airplane will differ regarding pitch tendencies with the
lowering of flaps, landing gear, and drag devices. With
experience, the jet airplane pilot will learn to anticipate
the amount of pitch change required for a particular
operation. The usual method of operating the trim
button is to apply several small, intermittent
applications of trim in the direction desired rather than
holding the trim button for longer periods of time
which can lead to over-controlling.
JET AIRPLANE TAKEOFF AND CLIMB
All FAA certificated jet airplanes are certificated under
Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR)
part 25, which contains the airworthiness standards for
transport category airplanes. The FAA certificated jet
airplane is a highly sophisticated machine with proven
levels of performance and guaranteed safety margins.
The jet airplane’s performance and safety margins can
only be realized, however, if the airplane is operated in
strict compliance with the procedures and limitations
contained in the FAA-approved Airplane Flight
Manual for the particular airplane.
The following information is generic in nature and,
since most civilian jet airplanes require a minimum
15-16
flight crew of two pilots, assumes a two pilot crew. If
any of the following information conflicts with FAAapproved Airplane Flight Manual procedures for a
particular airplane, the Airplane Flight Manual
procedures take precedence. Also, if any of the
following procedures differ from the FAA-approved
procedures developed for use by a specific air operator
and/or for use in an FAA-approved training center or
pilot school curriculum, the FAA-approved
procedures for that operator and/or training
center/pilot school take precedence.
V-SPEEDS
The following are speeds that will affect the jet
airplane’s takeoff performance. The jet airplane pilot
must be thoroughly familiar with each of these speeds
and how they are used in the planning of the takeoff.
•
VS—Stall speed.
•
V1—Critical engine failure speed or decision
speed. Engine failure below this speed should
result in an aborted takeoff; above this speed the
takeoff run should be continued.
•
VR—Speed at which the rotation of the airplane
is initiated to takeoff attitude. This speed cannot
be less than V1 or less than 1.05 x VMCA
(minimum control speed in the air). On a
single-engine takeoff, it must also allow for the
acceleration to V2 at the 35-foot height at the end
of the runway.
•
VLO—The speed at which the airplane first
becomes airborne. This is an engineering term
used when the airplane is certificated and must
meet certain requirements. If it is not listed in the
Airplane Flight Manual, it is within
requirements and does not have to be taken into
consideration by the pilot.
•
V2—The takeoff safety speed which must be
attained at the 35-foot height at the end of the
required runway distance. This is essentially the
best single-engine angle of climb speed for the
airplane and should be held until clearing
obstacles after takeoff, or at least 400 feet above
the ground.
PRE-TAKEOFF PROCEDURES
Takeoff data, including V1/VR and V2 speeds, takeoff
power settings, and required field length should be
computed prior to each takeoff and recorded on a
takeoff data card. These data will be based on airplane
weight, runway length available, runway gradient,
field temperature, field barometric pressure, wind,
icing conditions, and runway condition. Both pilots
should separately compute the takeoff data and
cross-check in the cockpit with the takeoff data card.
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coordination procedures for takeoff, which is always
the most critical portion of a flight.
CAPTAIN'S BRIEFING
The takeoff and climb-out should be accomplished in
accordance with a standard takeoff and departure
profile developed for the particular make and model
airplane. [Figure 15-21]
I will advance the thrust levers.
Follow me through on the thrust levers.
Monitor all instruments and warning lights on the takeoff
roll and call out any discrepancies or malfunctions
observed prior to V1, and I will abort the takeoff. Stand by
to arm thrust reversers on my command.
Give me a visual and oral signal for the following:
• 80 knots, and I will disengage nosewheel
steering.
• V1, and I will move my hand from thrust to yoke.
• VR, and I will rotate.
In the event of engine failure at or after V1, I will continue
the takeoff roll to VR, rotate and establish V2 climb speed.
I will identify the inoperative engine, and we will both
verify. I will accomplish the shutdown, or have you do it on
my command.
I will expect you to stand by on the appropriate
emergency checklist.
I will give you a visual and oral signal for gear retraction
and for power settings after the takeoff.
Our VFR emergency procedure is to.............................
Our IFR emergency procedure is to..............................
Figure 15-20. Sample captain’s briefing.
A captain’s briefing is an essential part of cockpit
resource management (CRM) procedures and should
be accomplished just prior to takeoff. [Figure 15-20]
The captain’s briefing is an opportunity to review crew
TAKEOFF ROLL
The entire runway length should be available for
takeoff, especially if the pre-calculated takeoff
performance shows the airplane to be limited by
runway length or obstacles. After taxing into position
at the end of the runway, the airplane should be aligned
in the center of the runway allowing equal distance on
either side. The brakes should be held while the thrust
levers are brought to a power setting beyond the bleed
valve range (normally the vertical position) and the
engines allowed to stabilized. The engine instruments
should be checked for proper operation before the
brakes are released or the power increased further. This
procedure assures symmetrical thrust during the
takeoff roll and aids in preventing overshooting the
desired takeoff thrust setting. The brakes should then
be released and, during the start of the takeoff roll, the
thrust levers smoothly advanced to the pre-computed
takeoff power setting. All final takeoff thrust
adjustments should be made prior to reaching 60 knots.
The final engine power adjustments are normally made
by the pilot not flying. Once the thrust levers are set for
takeoff power, they should not be readjusted after 60
knots. Retarding a thrust lever would only be
necessary in case an engine exceeds any limitation
such as ITT, fan, or turbine r.p.m.
NORMAL TAKEOFF
Rollout:
• V2 + 20 Minimum
• Set Climb Thrust
• Accelerate
• Retract Flaps
• Complete After-Takeoff Climb Checklist
Close-In Turn
Maintain:
• Flaps T.O. & Appr.
• V2 + 20 Knots
Minimum
• Maximum
Bank 30°
• Set Takeoff Thrust Prior
to 60 Knots
• 70 Knots Check
• V1/VR
• Rotate Smoothly
to 10° Nose Up
• Positive Rate
of Climb
• Gear Up
Straight Climbout:
• V2 + 10 Knots
• Retract Flaps
• Set Climb Thrust
• Complete After-Takeoff
Climb Checklist
Altitude Selected to Flap Retraction
(400 Ft. FAA Minimum)
(or Obstacle Clearance Altitude)
• V2 + 10 Knots
Minimum
Figure 15-21. Takeoff and departure profile.
15-17
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Page 15-18
If sufficient runway length is available, a “rolling”
takeoff may be made without stopping at the end of the
runway. Using this procedure, as the airplane rolls onto
the runway, the thrust levers should be smoothly
advanced to the vertical position and the engines
allowed to stabilize, and then proceed as in the static
takeoff outlined above. Rolling takeoffs can also be
made from the end of the runway by advancing the
thrust levers from idle as the brakes are released.
During the takeoff roll, the pilot flying should
concentrate on directional control of the airplane. This
is made somewhat easier because there is no torqueproduced yawing in a jet as there is in a propeller
driven airplane. The airplane must be maintained
exactly on centerline with the wings level. This will
automatically aid the pilot when contending with an
engine failure. If a crosswind exists, the wings should
be kept level by displacing the control wheel into the
crosswind. During the takeoff roll, the primary
responsibility of the pilot not flying is to closely
monitor the aircraft systems and to call out the proper
V speeds as directed in the captain’s briefing.
Slight forward pressure should be held on the control
column to keep the nosewheel rolling firmly on the
runway. If nosewheel steering is being utilized, the
pilot flying should monitor the nosewheel steering to
about 80 knots (or VMCG for the particular airplane)
while the pilot not flying applies the forward pressure.
After reaching VMCG, the pilot flying should bring
his/her left hand up to the control wheel. The pilot’s
other hand should be on the thrust levers until at least
V1 speed is attained. Although the pilot not flying
maintains a check on the engine instruments
throughout the takeoff roll, the pilot flying (pilot in
command) makes the decision to continue or reject a
takeoff for any reason. A decision to reject a takeoff
will require immediate retarding of thrust levers.
The pilot not flying should call out V1. After passing
V1 speed on the takeoff roll, it is no longer mandatory
for the pilot flying to keep a hand on the thrust levers.
The point for abort has passed, and both hands may be
placed on the control wheel. As the airspeed
approaches VR, the control column should be moved to
a neutral position. As the pre-computed VR speed is
attained, the pilot not flying should make the
appropriate callout and the pilot flying should
smoothly rotate the airplane to the appropriate takeoff
pitch attitude.
ROTATION AND LIFT-OFF
Rotation and lift-off in a jet airplane should be considered a maneuver unto itself. It requires planning, precision, and a fine control touch. The objective is to
initiate the rotation to takeoff pitch attitude exactly at
VR so that the airplane will accelerate through VLOF
15-18
and attain V2 speed at 35 feet at the end of the runway.
Rotation to the proper takeoff attitude too soon may
extend the takeoff roll or cause an early lift-off, which
will result in a lower rate of climb, and the predicted
flightpath will not be followed. A late rotation, on the
other hand, will result in a longer takeoff roll,
exceeding V2 speed, and a takeoff and climb path
below the predicted path.
Each airplane has its own specific takeoff pitch
attitude which remains constant regardless of weight.
The takeoff pitch attitude in a jet airplane is normally
between 10° and 15° nose up. The rotation to takeoff
pitch attitude should be made smoothly but
deliberately, and at a constant rate. Depending on the
particular airplane, the pilot should plan on a rate of
pitch attitude increase of approximately 2.5° to 3° per
second.
In training it is common for the pilot to overshoot VR
and then overshoot V2 because the pilot not flying will
call for rotation at, or just past VR. The reaction of the
pilot flying is to visually verify VR and then rotate. The
airplane then leaves the ground at or above V2. The
excess airspeed may be of little concern on a normal
takeoff, but a delayed rotation can be critical when
runway length or obstacle clearance is limited. It
should be remembered that on some airplanes, the
all-engine takeoff can be more limiting than the engine
out takeoff in terms of obstacle clearance in the initial
part of the climb-out. This is because of the rapidly
increasing airspeed causing the achieved flightpath to
fall below the engine out scheduled flightpath unless
care is taken to fly the correct speeds. The
transitioning pilot should remember that rotation at the
right speed and rate to the right attitude will get the
airplane off the ground at the right speed and within
the right distance.
INITIAL CLIMB
Once the proper pitch attitude is attained, it must be
maintained. The initial climb after lift-off is done at
this constant pitch attitude. Takeoff power is
maintained and the airspeed allowed to accelerate.
Landing gear retraction should be accomplished after
a positive rate of climb has been established and
confirmed. Remember that in some airplanes gear
retraction may temporarily increase the airplane drag
while landing gear doors open. Premature gear
retraction may cause the airplane to settle back
towards the runway surface. Remember also that
because of ground effect, the vertical speed indicator
and the altimeter may not show a positive climb until
the airplane is 35 to 50 feet above the runway.
The climb pitch attitude should continue to be held and
the airplane allowed to accelerate to flap retraction
speed. However, the flaps should not be retracted until
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Page 15-19
obstruction clearance altitude or 400 feet AGL has
been passed. Ground effect and landing gear drag
reduction results in rapid acceleration during this phase
of the takeoff and climb. Airspeed, altitude, climb rate,
attitude, and heading must be monitored carefully.
When the airplane settles down to a steady climb,
longitudinal stick forces can be trimmed out. If a turn
must be made during this phase of flight, no more than
15° to 20° of bank should be used. Because of spiral
instability, and because at this point an accurate trim
state on rudder and ailerons has not yet been achieved,
the bank angle should be carefully monitored throughout the turn. If a power reduction must be made, pitch
attitude should be reduced simultaneously and the
airplane monitored carefully so as to preclude entry
into an inadvertent descent. When the airplane has
attained a steady climb at the appropriate en route
climb speed, it can be trimmed about all axes and the
autopilot engaged.
times the minimum dry air and ground distance
needed.
JET AIRPLANE APPROACH AND
Certified landing field length requirements are
computed for the stop made with speed brakes
deployed and maximum wheel braking. Reverse thrust
is not used in establishing the certified FAR landing
distances. However, reversers should definitely be
used in service.
LANDING SPEEDS
As in the takeoff planning, there are certain speeds that
must be taken into consideration during any landing in
a jet airplane. The speeds are as follows.
•
VSO—Stall speed in the landing configuration.
•
VREF—1.3 times the stall speed in the landing
configuration.
•
Approach climb—The speed which guarantees
adequate performance in a go-around situation
with an inoperative engine. The airplane’s weight
must be limited so that a twin-engine airplane
will have a 2.1 percent climb gradient capability.
(The approach climb gradient requirements for 3
and 4 engine airplanes are 2.4 percent and 2.7
percent respectively.) These criteria are based on
an airplane configured with approach flaps, landing gear up, and takeoff thrust available from the
operative engine(s).
•
Landing climb—The speed which guarantees
adequate performance in arresting the descent
and making a go-around from the final stages of
landing with the airplane in the full landing configuration and maximum takeoff power available
on all engines.
LANDING
LANDING REQUIREMENTS
The FAA landing field length requirements for jet
airplanes are specified in 14 CFR part 25. It defines the
minimum field length (and therefore minimum
margins) that can be scheduled. The regulation
describes the landing profile as the distance required
from a point 50 feet above the runway threshold,
through the flare to touchdown, and then stopping
using the maximum stopping capability on a dry
runway surface. The actual demonstrated distance is
increased by 67 percent and published in the FAAapproved Airplane Flight Manual as the FAR dry
runway landing distance. [Figure 15-22] For wet
runways, the FAR dry runway distance is increased by
an additional 15 percent. Thus the minimum dry
runway field length will be 1.67 times the actual
minimum air and ground distance needed and the wet
runway minimum landing field length will be 1.92
The appropriate speeds should be pre-computed prior
to every landing, and posted where they are visible to
both pilots. The VREF speed, or threshold speed, is used
VREF = 1.3 VS
50 Ft.
TD
Actual Distance 60%
FAR (Dry) Runway Field Length Required
1.67 x Actual Distance
40%
15%
FAR (Wet) Runway Field Length Required
1.15 x FAR (Dry)
or
1.92 x Actual Distance
Figure 15-22. FAR landing field length required.
15-19
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Page 15-20
as a reference speed throughout the traffic pattern. For
example:
Downwind leg—VREF plus 20 knots.
The transitioning pilot must understand that, in spite
of their impressive performance capabilities, there are
six ways in which a jet airplane is worse than a piston
engine airplane in making an approach and in
correcting errors on the approach.
Base leg—VREF plus 10 knots.
•
The absence of the propeller slipstream in
producing immediate extra lift at constant
airspeed. There is no such thing as salvaging a
misjudged glidepath with a sudden burst of
immediately available power. Added lift can
only be achieved by accelerating the airframe.
Not only must the pilot wait for added power but
even when the engines do respond, added lift
will only be available when the airframe has
responded with speed.
•
The absence of the propeller slipstream in
significantly lowering the power-on stall speed.
There is virtually no difference between poweron and power-off stall speed. It is not possible in
a jet airplane to jam the thrust levers forward to
avoid a stall.
•
Poor acceleration response in a jet engine from
low r.p.m. This characteristic requires that the
approach be flown in a high drag/high power
Final approach—VREF plus 5 knots.
50 feet over threshold—VREF.
The approach and landing sequence in a jet airplane
should be accomplished in accordance with an
approach and landing profile developed for the particular airplane. [Figure 15-23]
SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES
A safe approach in any type of airplane culminates in a
particular position, speed, and height over the runway
threshold. That final flight condition is the target
window at which the entire approach aims. Propeller
powered airplanes are able to approach that target from
wider angles, greater speed differentials, and a larger
variety of glidepath angles. Jet airplanes are not as
responsive to power and course corrections, so the
final approach must be more stable, more deliberate,
more constant, in order to reach the window accurately.
Abeam Runway Midpoint
• Flaps T/O Approach
• VREF + 20 Minimum
Abeam Touchdown Point
• Gear Down
Turning Base
• Flaps Land
• Initially Set Fuel Flow to 400 Lb./Engine
• Start Descent
• VREF + 10 Minimum on Base
• Complete Before
Landing Checklist
• Maximum Bank 30°
• Clear Final Approach
DO NOT MAKE FLAT
APPROACH
Rollout
• Reduce Speed to VREF
• Altitude Callouts
• Stabilized in Slot
Figure 15-23. Typical approach and landing profile.
15-20
1500' Above
Field Elevation
APPROACH PREPARATIONS
1. Reset Bug to VREF
2. Review Airport Characteristics
3. Complete Descent and Begin
Before Landing Checklist
Fly VREF
Touchdown
• Extend Speed
Brake
• Apply Brakes
• Thrust reverser or
Drag Chute as
Required
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•
•
10:22 AM
Page 15-21
configuration so that sufficient power will be
available quickly if needed.
1,000 feet down the runway, after which maximum
stopping capability will be used.
The increased momentum of the jet airplane
making sudden changes in the flightpath
impossible. Jet airplanes are consistently heavier
than comparable sized propeller airplanes. The
jet airplane, therefore, will require more indicated airspeed during the final approach due to a
wing design that is optimized for higher speeds.
These two factors combine to produce higher
momentum for the jet airplane. Since force is
required to overcome momentum for speed
changes or course corrections, the jet will be far
less responsive than the propeller airplane and
require careful planning and stable conditions
throughout the approach.
There are five basic elements to the stabilized
approach.
The lack of good speed stability being an
inducement to a low speed condition. The drag
curve for many jet airplanes is much flatter than
for propeller airplanes, so speed changes do not
produce nearly as much drag change. Further, jet
thrust remains nearly constant with small speed
changes. The result is far less speed stability.
When the speed does increase or decrease, there
is little tendency for the jet airplane to re-acquire
the original speed. The pilot, therefore, must
remain alert to the necessity of making speed
adjustments, and then make them aggressively in
order to remain on speed.
Drag increasing faster than lift producing a high
sink rate at low speeds. Jet airplane wings
typically have a large increase in drag in the
approach configuration. When a sink rate does
develop, the only immediate remedy is to
increase pitch attitude (angle of attack). Because
drag increases faster than lift, that pitch change
will rapidly contribute to an even greater sink
rate unless a significant amount of power is
aggressively applied.
These flying characteristics of jet airplanes make a
stabilized approach an absolute necessity.
THE STABILIZED APPROACH
The performance charts and the limitations contained
in the FAA-approved Airplane Flight Manual are
predicated on momentum values that result from
programmed speeds and weights. Runway length
limitations assume an exact 50-foot threshold height at
an exact speed of 1.3 times VSO. That “window” is
critical and is a prime reason for the stabilized
approach. Performance figures also assume that once
through the target threshold window, the airplane will
touch down in a target touchdown zone approximately
•
The airplane should be in the landing
configuration early in the approach. The landing
gear should be down, landing flaps selected, trim
set, and fuel balanced. Ensuring that these tasks
are completed will help keep the number of
variables to a minimum during the final
approach.
•
The airplane should be on profile before
descending below 1,000 feet. Configuration,
trim, speed, and glidepath should be at or near
the optimum parameters early in the approach to
avoid distractions and conflicts as the airplane
nears the threshold window. An optimum
glidepath angle of 2.5° to 3° should be
established and maintained.
•
Indicated airspeed should be within 10 knots of
the target airspeed. There are strong relationships
between trim, speed, and power in most jet
airplanes and it is important to stabilize the speed
in order to minimize those other variables.
•
The optimum descent rate should be 500 to 700
feet per minute. The descent rate should not be
allowed to exceed 1,000 feet per minute at any
time during the approach.
•
The engine speed should be at an r.p.m. that
allows best response when and if a rapid power
increase is needed.
Every approach should be evaluated at 500 feet. In a
typical jet airplane, this is approximately 1 minute
from touchdown. If the approach is not stabilized at
that height, a go-around should be initiated. (See
figure 15-24 on the next page.)
APPROACH SPEED
On final approach, the airspeed is controlled with
power. Any speed diversion from VREF on final
approach must be detected immediately and corrected.
With experience the pilot will be able to detect the very
first tendency of an increasing or decreasing airspeed
trend, which normally can be corrected with a small
adjustment in thrust. The pilot must be attentive to poor
speed stability leading to a low speed condition with
its attendant risk of high drag increasing the sink rate.
Remember that with an increasing sink rate an apparently normal pitch attitude is no guarantee of a normal
angle of attack value. If an increasing sink rate is
detected, it must be countered by increasing the angle
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1,000'
Window
500'
Window
Threshold
Window
Flare
1,000'
Stop
Rollout
Check for
Stabilized
Approach
Touchdown
50' VREF
Stabilized Approach
on Course on Speed
2.5° - 3° Glidepath
500 - 700 FPM
Descent
Figure 15-24. Stabilized approach.
of attack and simultaneously increasing thrust to
counter the extra drag. The degree of correction
required will depend on how much the sink rate needs
to be reduced. For small amounts, smooth and gentle,
almost anticipatory corrections will be sufficient. For
large sink rates, drastic corrective measures may be
required that, even if successful, would destabilize
the approach.
A common error in the performance of approaches in
jet airplanes is excess approach speed. Excess
approach speed carried through the threshold window
and onto the runway will increase the minimum
stopping distance required by 20 – 30 feet per knot of
excess speed for a dry runway and 40 – 50 feet for a
wet runway. Worse yet, the excess speed will increase
the chances of an extended flare, which will increase
the distance to touchdown by approximately 250 feet
for each excess knot in speed.
Proper speed control on final approach is of primary
importance. The pilot must anticipate the need for
speed adjustment so that only small adjustments are
required. It is essential that the airplane arrive at the
approach threshold window exactly on speed.
GLIDEPATH CONTROL
On final approach, at a constant airspeed, the glidepath
angle and rate of descent is controlled with pitch
attitude and elevator. The optimum glidepath angle is
2.5° to 3° whether or not an electronic glidepath
reference is being used. On visual approaches, pilots
may have a tendency to make flat approaches. A flat
approach, however, will increase landing distance and
should be avoided. For example, an approach angle of
15-22
2° instead of a recommended 3° will add 500 feet to
landing distance.
A more common error is excessive height over the
threshold. This could be the result of an unstable
approach, or a stable but high approach. It also may
occur during an instrument approach where the missed
approach point is close to or at the runway threshold.
Regardless of the cause, excessive height over the
threshold will most likely result in a touchdown
beyond the normal aiming point. An extra 50 feet of
height over the threshold will add approximately 1,000
feet to the landing distance. It is essential that the
airplane arrive at the approach threshold window
exactly on altitude (50 feet above the runway).
THE FLARE
The flare reduces the approach rate of descent to a
more acceptable rate for touchdown. Unlike light
airplanes, a jet airplane should be flown onto the
runway rather than “held off” the surface as speed
dissipates. A jet airplane is aerodynamically clean
even in the landing configuration, and its engines still
produce residual thrust at idle r.p.m. Holding it off
during the flare in a attempt to make a smooth landing
will greatly increase landing distance. A firm landing
is normal and desirable. A firm landing does not mean
a hard landing, but rather a deliberate or positive
landing.
For most airports, the airplane will pass over the end
of the runway with the landing gear 30 – 45 feet above
the surface, depending on the landing flap setting and
the location of the touchdown zone. It will take 5 – 7
seconds from the time the airplane passes the end of
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the runway until touchdown. The flare is initiated by
increasing the pitch attitude just enough to reduce the
sink rate to 100 – 200 feet per minute when the landing
gear is approximately 15 feet above the runway
surface. In most jet airplanes, this will require a pitch
attitude increase of only 1° to 3°. The thrust is
smoothly reduced to idle as the flare progresses.
The normal speed bleed off during the time between
passing the end of the runway and touchdown is 5
knots. Most of the decrease occurs during the flare
when thrust is reduced. If the flare is extended (held
off) while an additional speed is bled off, hundreds or
even thousands of feet of runway may be used up.
[Figure 15-25] The extended flare will also result in
additional pitch attitude which may lead to a tail strike.
It is, therefore, essential to fly the airplane onto the
runway at the target touchdown point, even if the
speed is excessive. A deliberate touchdown should be
planned and practiced on every flight. A positive
touchdown will help prevent an extended flare.
Pilots must learn the flare characteristics of each model
of airplane they fly. The visual reference cues observed
from each cockpit are different because window
geometry and visibility are different. The geometric
relationship between the pilot’s eye and the landing
gear will be different for each make and model. It is
essential that the flare maneuver be initiated at the
proper height—not too high and not too low.
Beginning the flare too high or reducing the thrust too
early may result in the airplane floating beyond the
target touchdown point or may include a rapid pitch up
as the pilot attempts to prevent a high sink rate
touchdown. This can lead to a tail strike. The flare that
is initiated too late may result in a hard touchdown.
Proper thrust management through the flare is also
important. In many jet airplanes, the engines produce a
noticeable effect on pitch trim when the thrust setting
is changed. A rapid change in the thrust setting requires
a quick elevator response. If the thrust levers are
moved to idle too quickly during the flare, the pilot
must make rapid changes in pitch control. If the thrust
levers are moved more slowly, the elevator input can
be more easily coordinated.
Touchdown
On Target
10 Knots Deceleration
on Ground (Maximum Braking)
200 Ft. (Dry Runway)
500 Ft. (Wet Runway)
Extended
Flare
10 Knots Deceleration
in Flare
2,000 Ft. (Air)
Figure 15-25. Extended flare.
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TOUCHDOWN AND ROLLOUT
A proper approach and flare positions the airplane to
touch down in the touchdown target zone, which is
usually about 1,000 feet beyond the runway threshold.
Once the main wheels have contacted the runway, the
pilot must maintain directional control and initiate the
stopping process. The stop must be made on the
runway that remains in front of the airplane. The
runway distance available to stop is longest if the
touchdown was on target. The energy to be dissipated
is least if there is no excess speed. The stop that begins
with a touchdown that is on the numbers will be the
easiest stop to make for any set of conditions.
At the point of touchdown, the airplane represents a
very large mass that is moving at a relatively high
speed. The large total energy must be dissipated by the
brakes, the aerodynamic drag, and the thrust reversers.
The nosewheel should be flown onto the ground
immediately after touchdown because a jet airplane
decelerates poorly when held in a nose-high attitude.
Placing the nosewheel tire(s) on the ground will assist
in maintaining directional control. Also, lowering the
nose gear decreases the wing angle of attack,
decreasing the lift, placing more load onto the tires,
thereby increasing tire-to-ground friction. Landing
distance charts for jet airplanes assume that the
nosewheel is lowered onto the runway within 4
seconds of touchdown.
There are only three forces available for stopping the
airplane. They are wheel braking, reverse thrust, and
aerodynamic braking. Of the three, the brakes are most
effective and therefore the most important stopping
force for most landings. When the runway is very
slippery, reverse thrust and drag may be the dominant
forces. Both reverse thrust and aerodynamic drag are
most effective at high speeds. Neither is affected by
runway surface condition. Brakes, on the other hand,
are most effective at low speed. The landing rollout
distance will depend on the touchdown speed and what
forces are applied and when they are applied. The pilot
15-24
controls the what and when factors, but the maximum
braking force may be limited by tire-to-ground
friction.
The pilot should begin braking as soon after
touchdown and wheel spin-up as possible, and to
smoothly continue the braking until stopped or a safe
taxi speed is reached. However, caution should be used
if the airplane is not equipped with a functioning
anti-skid system. In such a case, heavy braking can
cause the wheels to lock and the tires to skid.
Both directional control and braking utilize tire ground
friction. They share the maximum friction force the
tires can provide. Increasing either will subtract from
the other. Understanding tire ground friction, how
runway contamination affects it, and how to use the
friction available to maximum advantage is important
to a jet pilot.
Spoilers should be deployed immediately after
touchdown because they are most effective at high
speed. Timely deployment of spoilers will increase
drag by 50 to 60 percent, but more importantly, they
spoil much of the lift the wing is creating, thereby
causing more of the weight of the airplane to be loaded
onto the wheels. The spoilers increase wheel loading
by as much as 200 percent in the landing flap
configuration. This increases the tire ground friction
force making the maximum tire braking and cornering
forces available.
Like spoilers, thrust reversers are most effective at
high speeds and should be deployed quickly after
touchdown. However, the pilot should not command
significant reverse thrust until the nosewheel is on the
ground. Otherwise, the reversers might deploy
asymmetrically resulting in an uncontrollable yaw
towards the side on which the most reverse thrust is
being developed, in which case the pilot will need
whatever nosewheel steering is available to maintain
directional control.
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EMERGENCY SITUATIONS
This chapter contains information on dealing with
non-normal and emergency situations that may occur in
flight. The key to successful management of an
emergency situation, and/or preventing a non-normal
situation from progressing into a true emergency, is
a thorough familiarity with, and adherence to, the
procedures developed by the airplane manufacturer and
contained in the FAA-approved Airplane Flight Manual
and/or Pilot’s Operating Handbook (AFM/POH). The
following guidelines are generic and are not meant to
replace the airplane manufacturer’s recommended
procedures. Rather, they are meant to enhance the
pilot’s general knowledge in the area of non-normal and
emergency operations. If any of the guidance in this
chapter conflicts in any way with the manufacturer’s
recommended procedures for a particular make and
model airplane, the manufacturer’s recommended
procedures take precedence.
A precautionary landing, generally, is less hazardous
than a forced landing because the pilot has more time
for terrain selection and the planning of the approach.
In addition, the pilot can use power to compensate for
errors in judgment or technique. The pilot should be
aware that too many situations calling for a precautionary landing are allowed to develop into immediate
forced landings, when the pilot uses wishful thinking
instead of reason, especially when dealing with a
self-inflicted predicament. The non-instrument rated
pilot trapped by weather, or the pilot facing imminent
fuel exhaustion who does not give any thought to the
feasibility of a precautionary landing accepts an
extremely hazardous alternative.
PSYCHOLOGICAL HAZARDS
There are several factors that may interfere with a
pilot’s ability to act promptly and properly when faced
with an emergency.
•
Reluctance to accept the emergency situation.
A pilot who allows the mind to become paralyzed
at the thought that the airplane will be on the
ground, in a very short time, regardless of the
pilot’s actions or hopes, is severely handicapped
in the handling of the emergency. An unconscious
desire to delay the dreaded moment may lead to
such errors as: failure to lower the nose to maintain flying speed, delay in the selection of the
most suitable landing area within reach, and
indecision in general. Desperate attempts to
correct whatever went wrong, at the expense of
airplane control, fall into the same category.
•
Desire to save the airplane. The pilot who has
been conditioned during training to expect to find
a relatively safe landing area, whenever the flight
instructor closed the throttle for a simulated
forced landing, may ignore all basic rules of
airmanship to avoid a touchdown in terrain where
airplane damage is unavoidable. Typical consequences are: making a 180° turn back to the
runway when available altitude is insufficient;
stretching the glide without regard for minimum
control speed in order to reach a more appealing
field; accepting an approach and touchdown
situation that leaves no margin for error. The
desire to save the airplane, regardless of the risks
involved, may be influenced by two other factors:
the pilot’s financial stake in the airplane and the
EMERGENCY LANDINGS
This section contains information on emergency landing techniques in small fixed-wing airplanes. The
guidelines that are presented apply to the more adverse
terrain conditions for which no practical training is
possible. The objective is to instill in the pilot the
knowledge that almost any terrain can be considered
“suitable” for a survivable crash landing if the pilot
knows how to use the airplane structure for self-protection
and the protection of passengers.
TYPES OF EMERGENCY LANDINGS
The different types of emergency landings are defined
as follows.
•
Forced landing. An immediate landing, on or off
an airport, necessitated by the inability to continue further flight. A typical example of which is
an airplane forced down by engine failure.
•
Precautionary landing. A premeditated landing,
on or off an airport, when further flight is possible but inadvisable. Examples of conditions that
may call for a precautionary landing include
deteriorating weather, being lost, fuel shortage,
and gradually developing engine trouble.
•
Ditching. A forced or precautionary landing on
water.
16-1
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certainty that an undamaged airplane implies no
bodily harm. There are times, however, when a
pilot should be more interested in sacrificing the
airplane so that the occupants can safely walk
away from it.
•
Undue concern about getting hurt. Fear is a
vital part of the self-preservation mechanism.
However, when fear leads to panic, we invite that
which we want most to avoid. The survival
records favor pilots who maintain their composure and know how to apply the general concepts
and procedures that have been developed through
the years. The success of an emergency landing is
as much a matter of the mind as of skills.
BASIC SAFETY CONCEPTS
GENERAL
A pilot who is faced with an emergency landing in terrain that makes extensive airplane damage inevitable
should keep in mind that the avoidance of crash
injuries is largely a matter of: (1) keeping vital
structure (cockpit/cabin area) relatively intact by using
dispensable structure (such as wings, landing gear, and
fuselage bottom) to absorb the violence of the stopping
process before it affects the occupants, (2) avoiding
forceful bodily contact with interior structure.
The advantage of sacrificing dispensable structure is
demonstrated daily on the highways. A head-on car
impact against a tree at 20 miles per hour (m.p.h.) is
less hazardous for a properly restrained driver than a
similar impact against the driver’s door. Accident
experience shows that the extent of crushable structure
between the occupants and the principal point of
impact on the airplane has a direct bearing on the
severity of the transmitted crash forces and, therefore,
on survivability.
Avoiding forcible contact with interior structure is a
matter of seat and body security. Unless the occupant
decelerates at the same rate as the surrounding
structure, no benefit will be realized from its relative
intactness. The occupant will be brought to a stop violently in the form of a secondary collision.
Dispensable airplane structure is not the only available
energy absorbing medium in an emergency situation.
Vegetation, trees, and even manmade structures may
be used for this purpose. Cultivated fields with dense
crops, such as mature corn and grain, are almost as
effective in bringing an airplane to a stop with
repairable damage as an emergency arresting device
on a runway. [Figure 16-1] Brush and small trees
provide considerable cushioning and braking effect
without destroying the airplane. When dealing with
natural and manmade obstacles with greater strength
than the dispensable airplane structure, the pilot must
16-2
Figure 16-1. Using vegetation to absorb energy.
plan the touchdown in such a manner that only nonessential structure is “used up” in the principal
slowing down process.
The overall severity of a deceleration process is
governed by speed (groundspeed) and stopping
distance. The most critical of these is speed; doubling
the groundspeed means quadrupling the total destructive energy, and vice versa. Even a small change in
groundspeed at touchdown—be it as a result of wind
or pilot technique—will affect the outcome of a
controlled crash. It is important that the actual
touchdown during an emergency landing be made at
the lowest possible controllable airspeed, using all
available aerodynamic devices.
Most pilots will instinctively—and correctly—look
for the largest available flat and open field for an emergency landing. Actually, very little stopping distance
is required if the speed can be dissipated uniformly;
that is, if the deceleration forces can be spread evenly
over the available distance. This concept is designed
into the arresting gear of aircraft carriers that provides
a nearly constant stopping force from the moment of
hookup.
The typical light airplane is designed to provide
protection in crash landings that expose the occupants
to nine times the acceleration of gravity (9 G) in a
forward direction. Assuming a uniform 9 G deceleration, at 50 m.p.h. the required stopping distance is
about 9.4 feet. While at 100 m.p.h. the stopping distance is about 37.6 feet—about four times as great.
[Figure 16-2] Although these figures are based on an
ideal deceleration process, it is interesting to note what
can be accomplished in an effectively used short stopping distance. Understanding the need for a firm
but uniform deceleration process in very poor terrain
enables the pilot to select touchdown conditions that
will spread the breakup of dispensable structure over a
short distance, thereby reducing the peak deceleration
of the cockpit/cabin area.
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The only time the pilot has a very limited choice is during the low and slow portion of the takeoff. However,
even under these conditions, the ability to change the
impact heading only a few degrees may ensure a
survivable crash.
9g Deceleration
37.6 ft.
9.4 ft.
50 m.p.h.
100 m.p.h.
Figure 16-2. Stopping distance vs. groundspeed.
ATTITUDE AND SINK RATE CONTROL
The most critical and often the most inexcusable error
that can be made in the planning and execution of an
emergency landing, even in ideal terrain, is the loss of
initiative over the airplane’s attitude and sink rate at
touchdown. When the touchdown is made on flat, open
terrain, an excessive nose-low pitch attitude brings the
risk of “sticking” the nose in the ground. Steep bank
angles just before touchdown should also be avoided,
as they increase the stalling speed and the likelihood of
a wingtip strike.
Since the airplane’s vertical component of velocity will
be immediately reduced to zero upon ground contact, it
must be kept well under control. A flat touchdown at a
high sink rate (well in excess of 500 feet per minute
(f.p.m.)) on a hard surface can be injurious without
destroying the cockpit/cabin structure, especially during
gear up landings in low-wing airplanes. A rigid bottom
construction of these airplanes may preclude adequate
cushioning by structural deformation. Similar impact
conditions may cause structural collapse of the overhead
structure in high-wing airplanes. On soft terrain, an
excessive sink rate may cause digging in of the lower
nose structure and severe forward deceleration.
If beyond gliding distance of a suitable open area, the
pilot should judge the available terrain for its energy
absorbing capability. If the emergency starts at a
considerable height above the ground, the pilot should
be more concerned about first selecting the desired
general area than a specific spot. Terrain appearances
from altitude can be very misleading and considerable
altitude may be lost before the best spot can be
pinpointed. For this reason, the pilot should not
hesitate to discard the original plan for one that is obviously better. However, as a general rule, the pilot
should not change his or her mind more than once; a
well-executed crash landing in poor terrain can be less
hazardous than an uncontrolled touchdown on an
established field.
AIRPLANE CONFIGURATION
Since flaps improve maneuverability at slow speed,
and lower the stalling speed, their use during final
approach is recommended when time and circumstances permit. However, the associated increase in
drag and decrease in gliding distance call for caution in
the timing and the extent of their application;
premature use of flap, and dissipation of altitude,
may jeopardize an otherwise sound plan.
A hard and fast rule concerning the position of a
retractable landing gear at touchdown cannot be given.
In rugged terrain and trees, or during impacts at high
sink rate, an extended gear would definitely have a
protective effect on the cockpit/cabin area. However,
this advantage has to be weighed against the possible
side effects of a collapsing gear, such as a ruptured fuel
tank. As always, the manufacturer’s recommendations
as outlined in the AFM/POH should be followed.
When a normal touchdown is assured, and ample stopping distance is available, a gear up landing on level, but
soft terrain, or across a plowed field, may result in less
airplane damage than a gear down landing. [Figure 16-3]
TERRAIN SELECTION
A pilot’s choice of emergency landing sites is governed
by:
•
The route selected during preflight planning.
•
The height above the ground when the emergency
occurs.
•
Excess airspeed (excess airspeed can be converted into distance and/or altitude).
Figure 16-3. Intentional gear up landing.
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Deactivation of the airplane’s electrical system before
touchdown reduces the likelihood of a post-crash fire.
However, the battery master switch should not be
turned off until the pilot no longer has any need for
electrical power to operate vital airplane systems.
Positive airplane control during the final part of the
approach has priority over all other considerations,
including airplane configuration and cockpit checks.
The pilot should attempt to exploit the power available
from an irregularly running engine; however, it is generally better to switch the engine and fuel off just
before touchdown. This not only ensures the pilot’s
initiative over the situation, but a cooled down engine
reduces the fire hazard considerably.
APPROACH
When the pilot has time to maneuver, the planning of
the approach should be governed by three factors.
•
Wind direction and velocity.
•
Dimensions and slope of the chosen field.
•
Obstacles in the final approach path.
These three factors are seldom compatible. When compromises have to be made, the pilot should aim for a
wind/obstacle/terrain combination that permits a final
approach with some margin for error in judgment or
technique. A pilot who overestimates the gliding range
may be tempted to stretch the glide across obstacles in
the approach path. For this reason, it is sometimes
better to plan the approach over an unobstructed area,
regardless of wind direction. Experience shows that a
collision with obstacles at the end of a ground roll, or
slide, is much less hazardous than striking an obstacle
at flying speed before the touchdown point is reached.
water or creek bed can be reached without snagging
the wings. The same concept applies to road landings
with one additional reason for caution; manmade
obstacles on either side of a road may not be visible
until the final portion of the approach.
When planning the approach across a road, it should
be remembered that most highways, and even rural
dirt roads, are paralleled by power or telephone lines.
Only a sharp lookout for the supporting structures, or
poles, may provide timely warning.
TREES (FOREST)
Although a tree landing is not an attractive prospect,
the following general guidelines will help to make the
experience survivable.
•
Use the normal landing configuration (full flaps,
gear down).
•
Keep the groundspeed low by heading into the
wind.
•
Make contact at minimum indicated airspeed, but
not below stall speed, and “hang” the airplane in
the tree branches in a nose-high landing attitude.
Involving the underside of the fuselage and both
wings in the initial tree contact provides a more
even and positive cushioning effect, while preventing penetration of the windshield. [Figure
16-4]
•
Avoid direct contact of the fuselage with heavy
tree trunks.
•
Low, closely spaced trees with wide, dense
crowns (branches) close to the ground are much
better than tall trees with thin tops; the latter
allow too much free fall height. (A free fall from
75 feet results in an impact speed of about 40
knots, or about 4,000 f.p.m.)
•
Ideally, initial tree contact should be symmetrical; that is, both wings should meet equal
resistance in the tree branches. This distribution
of the load helps to maintain proper airplane
attitude. It may also preclude the loss of one
wing, which invariably leads to a more rapid and
less predictable descent to the ground.
•
If heavy tree trunk contact is unavoidable once
the airplane is on the ground, it is best to involve
both wings simultaneously by directing the airplane between two properly spaced trees. Do not
attempt this maneuver, however, while still
airborne.
TERRAIN TYPES
Since an emergency landing on suitable terrain resembles a situation in which the pilot should be familiar
through training, only the more unusual situation will
be discussed.
CONFINED AREAS
The natural preference to set the airplane down on the
ground should not lead to the selection of an open spot
between trees or obstacles where the ground cannot be
reached without making a steep descent.
Once the intended touchdown point is reached, and the
remaining open and unobstructed space is very limited, it may be better to force the airplane down on the
ground than to delay touchdown until it stalls (settles).
An airplane decelerates faster after it is on the ground
than while airborne. Thought may also be given to the
desirability of ground-looping or retracting the landing
gear in certain conditions.
A river or creek can be an inviting alternative in otherwise rugged terrain. The pilot should ensure that the
16-4
WATER (DITCHING) AND SNOW
A well-executed water landing normally involves less
deceleration violence than a poor tree landing or a
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proper glide attitude, and select a field directly ahead
or slightly to either side of the takeoff path.
Figure 16-4. Tree landing.
touchdown on extremely rough terrain. Also an
airplane that is ditched at minimum speed and in a normal landing attitude will not immediately sink upon
touchdown. Intact wings and fuel tanks (especially
when empty) provide floatation for at least several
minutes even if the cockpit may be just below the
water line in a high-wing airplane.
Loss of depth perception may occur when landing on a
wide expanse of smooth water, with the risk of flying
into the water or stalling in from excessive altitude. To
avoid this hazard, the airplane should be “dragged in”
when possible. Use no more than intermediate flaps on
low-wing airplanes. The water resistance of fully
extended flaps may result in asymmetrical flap failure
and slowing of the airplane. Keep a retractable gear up
unless the AFM/POH advises otherwise.
A landing in snow should be executed like a ditching,
in the same configuration and with the same regard for
loss of depth perception (white out) in reduced visibility and on wide open terrain.
ENGINE FAILURE AFTER TAKEOFF
(SINGLE-ENGINE)
The altitude available is, in many ways, the controlling
factor in the successful accomplishment of an emergency landing. If an actual engine failure should occur
immediately after takeoff and before a safe maneuvering
altitude is attained, it is usually inadvisable to attempt
to turn back to the field from where the takeoff was
made. Instead, it is safer to immediately establish the
The decision to continue straight ahead is often
difficult to make unless the problems involved in
attempting to turn back are seriously considered. In the
first place, the takeoff was in all probability made into
the wind. To get back to the takeoff field, a downwind
turn must be made. This increases the groundspeed and
rushes the pilot even more in the performance of
procedures and in planning the landing approach.
Secondly, the airplane will be losing considerable
altitude during the turn and might still be in a bank
when the ground is contacted, resulting in the airplane
cartwheeling (which would be a catastrophe for the
occupants, as well as the airplane). After turning downwind, the apparent increase in groundspeed could
mislead the pilot into attempting to prematurely slow
down the airplane and cause it to stall. On the other
hand, continuing straight ahead or making a slight turn
allows the pilot more time to establish a safe landing
attitude, and the landing can be made as slowly as
possible, but more importantly, the airplane can be
landed while under control.
Concerning the subject of turning back to the runway
following an engine failure on takeoff, the pilot should
determine the minimum altitude an attempt of such a
maneuver should be made in a particular airplane.
Experimentation at a safe altitude should give the pilot
an approximation of height lost in a descending 180°
turn at idle power. By adding a safety factor of about
25 percent, the pilot should arrive at a practical decision height. The ability to make a 180° turn does not
necessarily mean that the departure runway can be
reached in a power-off glide; this depends on the wind,
the distance traveled during the climb, the height
reached, and the glide distance of the airplane without
power. The pilot should also remember that a turn back
to the departure runway may in fact require more than
a 180° change in direction.
Consider the following example of an airplane which
has taken off and climbed to an altitude of 300 feet
AGL when the engine fails. [Figure 16-5 on next
page]. After a typical 4 second reaction time, the pilot
elects to turn back to the runway. Using a standard rate
(3° change in direction per second) turn, it will take 1
minute to turn 180°. At a glide speed of 65 knots, the
radius of the turn is 2,100 feet, so at the completion of
the turn, the airplane will be 4,200 feet to one side of
the runway. The pilot must turn another 45° to head the
airplane toward the runway. By this time the total
change in direction is 225° equating to 75 seconds plus
the 4 second reaction time. If the airplane in a poweroff glide descends at approximately 1,000 f.p.m., it
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300 Ft. AGL
4,480 Ft.
180°
1,016 Ft.
225°
Figure 16-5. Turning back to the runway after engine failure.
will have descended 1,316, feet placing it 1,016 feet
below the runway.
EMERGENCY DESCENTS
An emergency descent is a maneuver for descending
as rapidly as possible to a lower altitude or to the
ground for an emergency landing. [Figure 16-6] The
need for this maneuver may result from an uncontrollable fire, a sudden loss of cabin pressurization, or any
other situation demanding an immediate and rapid
descent. The objective is to descend the airplane as
soon and as rapidly as possible, within the structural
limitations of the airplane. Simulated emergency
descents should be made in a turn to check for other air
traffic below and to look around for a possible
emergency landing area. A radio call announcing
descent intentions may be appropriate to alert other
aircraft in the area. When initiating the descent, a bank
of approximately 30 to 45° should be established to
maintain positive load factors (“G” forces) on the
airplane.
Emergency descent training should be performed as
recommended by the manufacturer, including the configuration and airspeeds. Except when prohibited by
the manufacturer, the power should be reduced to idle,
and the propeller control (if equipped) should be
placed in the low pitch (or high revolutions per minute
16-6
(r.p.m.)) position. This will allow the propeller to act
as an aerodynamic brake to help prevent an excessive
airspeed buildup during the descent. The landing gear
and flaps should be extended as recommended by the
manufacturer. This will provide maximum drag so that
the descent can be made as rapidly as possible, without excessive airspeed. The pilot should not allow the
airplane’s airspeed to pass the never-exceed speed
(VNE), the maximum landing gear extended speed
(VLE), or the maximum flap extended speed (VFE), as
applicable. In the case of an engine fire, a high
airspeed descent could blow out the fire. However, the
weakening of the airplane structure is a major concern
and descent at low airspeed would place less stress on
the airplane. If the descent is conducted in turbulent
conditions, the pilot must also comply with the design
maneuvering speed (VA) limitations. The descent
should be made at the maximum allowable airspeed
consistent with the procedure used. This will provide
increased drag and therefore the loss of altitude as
quickly as possible. The recovery from an emergency
descent should be initiated at a high enough altitude to
ensure a safe recovery back to level flight or a
precautionary landing.
When the descent is established and stabilized during
training and practice, the descent should be terminated.
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If the engine compartment fire is oil-fed, as evidenced
by thick black smoke, as opposed to a fuel-fed fire
which produces bright orange flames, the pilot should
consider stopping the propeller rotation by feathering
or other means, such as (with constant-speed propellers) placing the pitch control lever to the minimum
r.p.m. position and raising the nose to reduce airspeed
until the propeller stops rotating. This procedure will
stop an engine-driven oil (or hydraulic) pump from
continuing to pump the flammable fluid which is
feeding the fire.
Figure 16-6. Emergency descent.
In airplanes with piston engines, prolonged practice of
emergency descents should be avoided to prevent
excessive cooling of the engine cylinders.
IN-FLIGHT FIRE
A fire in flight demands immediate and decisive action.
The pilot therefore must be familiar with the procedures
outlined to meet this emergency contained in the
AFM/POH for the particular airplane. For the purposes
of this handbook, in-flight fires are classified as: inflight engine fires, electrical fires, and cabin fires.
ENGINE FIRE
An in-flight engine compartment fire is usually caused
by a failure that allows a flammable substance such as
fuel, oil or hydraulic fluid to come in contact with a hot
surface. This may be caused by a mechanical failure of
the engine itself, an engine-driven accessory, a
defective induction or exhaust system, or a broken
line. Engine compartment fires may also result from
maintenance errors, such as improperly installed/fastened lines and/or fittings resulting in leaks.
Engine compartment fires can be indicated by smoke
and/or flames coming from the engine cowling area.
They can also be indicated by discoloration, bubbling,
and/or melting of the engine cowling skin in cases
where flames and/or smoke is not visible to the pilot.
By the time a pilot becomes aware of an in-flight
engine compartment fire, it usually is well developed.
Unless the airplane manufacturer directs otherwise in
the AFM/POH, the first step on discovering a fire
should be to shut off the fuel supply to the engine by
placing the mixture control in the idle cut off position
and the fuel selector shutoff valve to the OFF position.
The ignition switch should be left ON in order to use
up the fuel that remains in the fuel lines and components between the fuel selector/shutoff valve and
the engine. This procedure may starve the engine
compartment of fuel and cause the fire to die naturally.
If the flames are snuffed out, no attempt should be
made to restart the engine.
Some light airplane emergency checklists direct the
pilot to shut off the electrical master switch. However,
the pilot should consider that unless the fire is electrical
in nature, or a crash landing is imminent, deactivating
the electrical system prevents the use of panel radios
for transmitting distress messages and will also cause
air traffic control (ATC) to lose transponder returns.
Pilots of powerless single-engine airplanes are left
with no choice but to make a forced landing. Pilots of
twin-engine airplanes may elect to continue the flight
to the nearest airport. However, consideration must be
given to the possibility that a wing could be seriously
impaired and lead to structural failure. Even a brief but
intense fire could cause dangerous structural damage.
In some cases, the fire could continue to burn under
the wing (or engine cowling in the case of a singleengine airplane) out of view of the pilot. Engine
compartment fires which appear to have been
extinguished have been known to rekindle with
changes in airflow pattern and airspeed.
The pilot must be familiar with the airplane’s emergency descent procedures. The pilot must bear in mind
that:
•
The airplane may be severely structurally damaged to the point that its ability to remain under
control could be lost at any moment.
•
The airplane may still be on fire and susceptible
to explosion.
•
The airplane is expendable and the only thing that
matters is the safety of those on board.
ELECTRICAL FIRES
The initial indication of an electrical fire is usually the
distinct odor of burning insulation. Once an electrical
fire is detected, the pilot should attempt to identify the
faulty circuit by checking circuit breakers, instruments,
avionics, and lights. If the faulty circuit cannot be readily detected and isolated, and flight conditions permit,
the battery master switch and alternator/generator
switches should be turned off to remove the possible
source of the fire. However, any materials which have
been ignited may continue to burn.
16-7
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If electrical power is absolutely essential for the flight,
an attempt may be made to identify and isolate the
faulty circuit by:
FLIGHT CONTROL
MALFUNCTION/FAILURE
1.
Turning the electrical master switch OFF.
2.
Turning all individual electrical switches OFF.
3.
Turning the master switch back ON.
4.
Selecting electrical switches that were ON before
the fire indication one at a time, permitting a short
time lapse after each switch is turned on to check
for signs of odor, smoke, or sparks.
TOTAL FLAP FAILURE
The inability to extend the wing flaps will necessitate
a no-flap approach and landing. In light airplanes a noflap approach and landing is not particularly difficult
or dangerous. However, there are certain factors which
must be considered in the execution of this maneuver.
A no-flap landing requires substantially more runway
than normal. The increase in required landing distance
could be as much as 50 percent.
This procedure, however, has the effect of recreating
the original problem. The most prudent course of
action is to land as soon as possible.
CABIN FIRE
Cabin fires generally result from one of three sources:
(1) careless smoking on the part of the pilot and/or
passengers; (2) electrical system malfunctions; (3)
heating system malfunctions. A fire in the cabin presents the pilot with two immediate demands: attacking
the fire, and getting the airplane safely on the ground
as quickly as possible. A fire or smoke in the cabin
should be controlled by identifying and shutting down
the faulty system. In many cases, smoke may be
removed from the cabin by opening the cabin air vents.
This should be done only after the fire extinguisher (if
available) is used. Then the cabin air control can be
opened to purge the cabin of both smoke and fumes. If
smoke increases in intensity when the cabin air vents
are opened, they should be immediately closed. This
indicates a possible fire in the heating system, nose
compartment baggage area (if so equipped), or that the
increase in airflow is feeding the fire.
On pressurized airplanes, the pressurization air system
will remove smoke from the cabin; however, if the
smoke is intense, it may be necessary to either depressurize at altitude, if oxygen is available for all
occupants, or execute an emergency descent.
In unpressurized single-engine and light twin-engine
airplanes, the pilot can attempt to expel the smoke
from the cabin by opening the foul weather windows.
These windows should be closed immediately if the
fire becomes more intense. If the smoke is severe, the
passengers and crew should use oxygen masks if available, and the pilot should initiate an immediate
descent. The pilot should also be aware that on some
airplanes, lowering the landing gear and/or wing flaps
can aggravate a cabin smoke problem.
16-8
When flying in the traffic pattern with the wing flaps
retracted, the airplane must be flown in a relatively
nose-high attitude to maintain altitude, as compared to
flight with flaps extended. Losing altitude can be more
of a problem without the benefit of the drag normally
provided by flaps. A wider, longer traffic pattern may
be required in order to avoid the necessity of diving to
lose altitude and consequently building up excessive
airspeed.
On final approach, a nose-high attitude can make it
difficult to see the runway. This situation, if not anticipated, can result in serious errors in judgment of
height and distance. Approaching the runway in a
relatively nose-high attitude can also cause the
perception that the airplane is close to a stall. This may
cause the pilot to lower the nose abruptly and risk
touching down on the nosewheel.
With the flaps retracted and the power reduced for
landing, the airplane is slightly less stable in the pitch
and roll axes. Without flaps, the airplane will tend to
float considerably during roundout. The pilot should
avoid the temptation to force the airplane onto the runway at an excessively high speed. Neither should the
pilot flare excessively, because without flaps this
might cause the tail to strike the runway.
ASYMMETRIC (SPLIT) FLAP
An asymmetric “split” flap situation is one in which
one flap deploys or retracts while the other remains in
position. The problem is indicated by a pronounced
roll toward the wing with the least flap deflection
when wing flaps are extended/retracted.
The roll encountered in a split flap situation is countered with opposite aileron. The yaw caused by the
additional drag created by the extended flap will
require substantial opposite rudder, resulting in a
cross-control condition. Almost full aileron may be
required to maintain a wings-level attitude, especially
at the reduced airspeed necessary for approach and
landing. The pilot therefore should not attempt to land
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with a crosswind from the side of the deployed flap,
because the additional roll control required to counteract the crosswind may not be available.
The pilot must be aware of the difference in stall
speeds between one wing and the other in a split flap
situation. The wing with the retracted flap will stall
considerably earlier than the wing with the deployed
flap. This type of asymmetrical stall will result in an
uncontrollable roll in the direction of the stalled (clean)
wing. If altitude permits, a spin will result.
The approach to landing with a split flap condition
should be flown at a higher than normal airspeed. The
pilot should not risk an asymmetric stall and subsequent loss of control by flaring excessively. Rather, the
airplane should be flown onto the runway so that the
touchdown occurs at an airspeed consistent with a safe
margin above flaps-up stall speed.
LOSS OF ELEVATOR CONTROL
In many airplanes, the elevator is controlled by two
cables: a “down” cable and an “up” cable. Normally,
a break or disconnect in only one of these cables will
not result in a total loss of elevator control. In most
airplanes, a failed cable results in a partial loss of
pitch control. In the failure of the “up” elevator cable
(the “down” elevator being intact and functional) the
control yoke will move aft easily but produce no
response. Forward yoke movement, however, beyond
the neutral position produces a nosedown attitude.
Conversely, a failure of the “down” elevator cable,
forward movement of the control yoke produces no
effect. The pilot will, however, have partial control of
pitch attitude with aft movement.
When experiencing a loss of up-elevator control, the
pilot can retain pitch control by:
•
Applying considerable nose-up trim.
•
Pushing the control yoke forward to attain and
maintain desired attitude.
•
Increasing forward pressure to lower the nose and
relaxing forward pressure to raise the nose.
•
Releasing forward pressure to flare for landing.
When experiencing a loss of down-elevator control,
the pilot can retain pitch control by:
•
Applying considerable nosedown trim.
•
Pulling the control yoke aft to attain and maintain
attitude.
•
Releasing back pressure to lower the nose and
increasing back pressure to raise the nose.
•
Increasing back pressure to flare for landing.
Trim mechanisms can be useful in the event of an
in-flight primary control failure. For example, if the
linkage between the cockpit and the elevator fails in
flight, leaving the elevator free to weathervane in the
wind, the trim tab can be used to raise or lower the
elevator, within limits. The trim tabs are not as effective as normal linkage control in conditions such as
low airspeed, but they do have some positive effect—
usually enough to bring about a safe landing.
If an elevator becomes jammed, resulting in a total loss
of elevator control movement, various combinations of
power and flap extension offer a limited amount of
pitch control. A successful landing under these conditions, however, is problematical.
LANDING GEAR MALFUNCTION
Once the pilot has confirmed that the landing gear has
in fact malfunctioned, and that one or more gear legs
refuses to respond to the conventional or alternate
methods of gear extension contained in the AFM/POH,
there are several methods that may be useful in
attempting to force the gear down. One method is to
dive the airplane (in smooth air only) to VNE speed (red
line on the airspeed indicator) and (within the limits of
safety) execute a rapid pull up. In normal category
airplanes, this procedure will create a 3.8 G load on the
structure, in effect making the landing gear weigh 3.8
times normal. In some cases, this may force the landing gear into the down and locked position. This
procedure requires a fine control touch and good feel
for the airplane. The pilot must avoid exceeding the
design stress limits of the airplane while attempting to
lower the landing gear. The pilot must also avoid an
accelerated stall and possible loss of control while
attention is directed to solving the landing gear
problem.
Another method that has proven useful in some cases
is to induce rapid yawing. After stabilizing at or
slightly less than maneuvering speed (VA), the pilot
should alternately and aggressively apply rudder in one
direction and then the other in rapid sequence. The
resulting yawing action may cause the landing gear to
fall into place.
If all efforts to extend the landing gear have failed, and
a gear up landing is inevitable, the pilot should select
an airport with crash and rescue facilities. The pilot
should not hesitate to request that emergency equipment be standing by.
When selecting a landing surface, the pilot should consider that a smooth, hard-surface runway usually
causes less damage than rough, unimproved grass
strips. A hard surface does, however, create sparks that
can ignite fuel. If the airport is so equipped, the pilot
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can request that the runway surface be foamed. The
pilot should consider burning off excess fuel. This will
reduce landing speed and fire potential.
If the landing gear malfunction is limited to one main
landing gear leg, the pilot should consume as much
fuel from that side of the airplane as practicable,
thereby reducing the weight of the wing on that side.
The reduced weight makes it possible to delay the
unsupported wing from contacting the surface during
the landing roll until the last possible moment.
Reduced impact speeds result in less damage.
If only one landing gear leg fails to extend, the pilot
has the option of landing on the available gear legs, or
landing with all the gear legs retracted. Landing on
only one main gear usually causes the airplane to veer
strongly in the direction of the faulty gear leg after
touchdown. If the landing runway is narrow, and/or
ditches and obstacles line the runway edge, maximum
directional control after touchdown is a necessity. In
this situation, a landing with all three gear retracted
may be the safest course of action.
If the pilot elects to land with one main gear retracted
(and the other main gear and nose gear down and
locked), the landing should be made in a nose-high
attitude with the wings level. As airspeed decays, the
pilot should apply whatever aileron control is necessary to keep the unsupported wing airborne as long as
possible. [Figure 16-7] Once the wing contacts the
surface, the pilot can anticipate a strong yaw in that
direction. The pilot must be prepared to use full
opposite rudder and aggressive braking to maintain
some degree of directional control.
Figure 16-7. Landing with one main gear retracted.
When landing with a retracted nosewheel (and the
main gear extended and locked) the pilot should hold
the nose off the ground until almost full up-elevator
has been applied. [Figure 16-8] The pilot should then
release back pressure in such a manner that the nose
settles slowly to the surface. Applying and holding full
up-elevator will result in the nose abruptly dropping to
the surface as airspeed decays, possibly resulting in
burrowing and/or additional damage. Brake pressure
should not be applied during the landing roll unless
absolutely necessary to avoid a collision with obstacles.
16-10
Figure 16-8. Landing with nosewheel retracted.
If the landing must be made with only the nose gear
extended, the initial contact should be made on the aft
fuselage structure with a nose-high attitude. This
procedure will help prevent porpoising and/or wheelbarrowing. The pilot should then allow the nosewheel
to gradually touch down, using nosewheel steering as
necessary for directional control.
SYSTEMS MALFUNCTIONS
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
The loss of electrical power can deprive the pilot of
numerous critical systems, and therefore should not
be taken lightly even in day/VFR conditions. Most
in-flight failures of the electrical system are located
in the generator or alternator. Once the generator or
alternator system goes off line, the electrical source
in a typical light airplane is a battery. If a warning
light or ammeter indicates the probability of an alternator or generator failure in an airplane with only one
generating system, however, the pilot may have very
little time available from the battery.
The rating of the airplane battery provides a clue to how
long it may last. With batteries, the higher the amperage
load, the less the usable total amperage. Thus a 25-amp
hour battery could produce 5 amps per hour for 5 hours,
but if the load were increased to 10 amps, it might last
only 2 hours. A 40-amp load might discharge the battery
fully in about 10 or 15 minutes. Much depends on the
battery condition at the time of the system failure. If the
battery has been in service for a few years, its power may
be reduced substantially because of internal resistance.
Or if the system failure was not detected immediately,
much of the stored energy may have already been used. It
is essential, therefore, that the pilot immediately shed
non-essential loads when the generating source fails.
[Figure 16-9] The pilot should then plan to land at the
nearest suitable airport.
What constitutes an “emergency” load following a
generating system failure cannot be predetermined,
because the actual circumstances will always be
somewhat different—for example, whether the flight
is VFR or IFR, conducted in day or at night, in clouds
or in the clear. Distance to nearest suitable airport can
also be a factor.
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Electrical Loads for
Light Single
Number
of Units
Total
Amperes
A. Continuous Load
Pitot Heating (Operating)
Wingtip Lights
Heater Igniter
**Navigation Receivers
**Communications Receivers
Fuel Indicator
Instrument Lights (overhead)
Engine Indicator
Compass Light
Landing Gear Indicator
Flap Indicator
1
4
1
1-4
1-2
1
2
1
1
1
1
3.30
3.00
1-20
1-2 each
1-2 each
0.40
0.60
0.30
0.20
0.17
0.17
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
100.00
17.80
14.00
13.00
10.00
7.50
5-7
2.00
1.00
1.50
B. Intermittent Load
Starter
Landing Lights
Heater Blower Motor
Flap Motor
Landing Gear Motor
Cigarette Lighter
Transceiver (keyed)
Fuel Boost Pump
Cowl Flap Motor
Stall Warning Horn
** Amperage for radios varies with equipment. In general,
the more recent the model, the less amperage required.
NOTE: Panel and indicator lights usually draw less than
one amp.
Figure 16-9. Electrical load for light single.
The pilot should remember that the electrically powered
(or electrically selected) landing gear and flaps will not
function properly on the power left in a partially
depleted battery. Landing gear and flap motors use up
power at rates much greater than most other types of
electrical equipment. The result of selecting these
motors on a partially depleted battery may well result in
an immediate total loss of electrical power.
If the pilot should experience a complete in-flight loss
of electrical power, the following steps should be
taken:
•
Shed all but the most necessary electricallydriven equipment.
•
Understand that any loss of electrical power is
critical in a small airplane—notify ATC of the situation immediately. Request radar vectors for a
landing at the nearest suitable airport.
•
If landing gear or flaps are electrically controlled
or operated, plan the arrival well ahead of time.
Expect to make a no-flap landing, and anticipate
a manual landing gear extension.
PITOT-STATIC SYSTEM
The source of the pressure for operating the airspeed
indicator, the vertical speed indicator, and the altimeter
is the pitot-static system. The major components of the
pitot-static system are the impact pressure chamber
and lines, and the static pressure chamber and lines,
each of which are subject to total or partial blockage
by ice, dirt, and/or other foreign matter. Blockage of
the pitot-static system will adversely affect instrument
operation. [Figure 16-10 on next page]
Partial static system blockage is insidious in that it
may go unrecognized until a critical phase of flight.
During takeoff, climb, and level-off at cruise altitude
the altimeter, airspeed indicator, and vertical speed
indicator may operate normally. No indication of
malfunction may be present until the airplane begins
a descent.
If the static reference system is severely restricted, but
not entirely blocked, as the airplane descends, the
static reference pressure at the instruments begins to
lag behind the actual outside air pressure. While
descending, the altimeter may indicate that the airplane
is higher than actual because the obstruction slows the
airflow from the static port to the altimeter. The
vertical speed indicator confirms the altimeter’s information regarding rate of change, because the reference
pressure is not changing at the same rate as the outside
air pressure. The airspeed indicator, unable to tell
whether it is experiencing more airspeed pitot pressure
or less static reference pressure, indicates a higher
airspeed than actual. To the pilot, the instruments
indicate that the airplane is too high, too fast, and
descending at a rate much less than desired.
If the pilot levels off and then begins a climb, the
altitude indication may still lag. The vertical speed
indicator will indicate that the airplane is not climbing
as fast as actual. The indicated airspeed, however, may
begin to decrease at an alarming rate. The least amount
of pitch-up attitude may cause the airspeed needle to
indicate dangerously near stall speed.
Managing a static system malfunction requires that the
pilot know and understand the airplane’s pitot-static
system. If a system malfunction is suspected, the pilot
should confirm it by opening the alternate static
source. This should be done while the airplane is
climbing or descending. If the instrument needles
move significantly when this is done, a static pressure
problem exists and the alternate source should be used
during the remainder of the flight.
ABNORMAL ENGINE INSTRUMENT
INDICATIONS
The AFM/POH for the specific airplane contains information that should be followed in the event of any
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Effect of Blocked
Pitot/Static
Sources on Airspeed,
Altimeter and
Vertical Speed Indications
Indicated Airspeed
Pitot Source Blocked
Increases with altitude
gain; decreases
with altitude loss.
One Static
Source Blocked
Both Static
Sources Blocked
Indicated Altitude
Unaffected
Indicated
Vertical Speed
Unaffected
Inaccurate while sideslipping; very sensitive in turbulence.
Decreases with altitude
gain; increases
with altitude loss.
Both Static and
Pitot Sources Blocked
Does not change
with actual gain or
loss of altitude.
Does not change
with actual variations
in vertical speed.
All indications remain constant, regardless of actual changes
in airspeed, altitude and vertical speed.
Figure 16-10. Effects of blocked pitot-static sources.
abnormal engine instrument indications. The table on
the next page offers generic information on some of
the more commonly experienced in-flight abnormal
engine instrument indications, their possible causes,
and corrective actions. [Table 1]
•
Do not release the seat belt and shoulder harness
in an attempt to reach the door. Leave the door
alone. Land as soon as practicable, and close the
door once safely on the ground.
•
Remember that most doors will not stay wide
open. They will usually bang open, then settle
partly closed. A slip towards the door may cause
it to open wider; a slip away from the door may
push it closed.
•
Do not panic. Try to ignore the unfamiliar noise
and vibration. Also, do not rush. Attempting to
get the airplane on the ground as quickly as possible may result in steep turns at low altitude.
•
Complete all items on the landing checklist.
•
Remember that accidents are almost never
caused by an open door. Rather, an open door
accident is caused by the pilot’s distraction or
failure to maintain control of the airplane.
DOOR OPENING IN FLIGHT
In most instances, the occurrence of an inadvertent
door opening is not of great concern to the safety of a
flight, but rather, the pilot’s reaction at the moment the
incident happens. A door opening in flight may be
accompanied by a sudden loud noise, sustained noise
level and possible vibration or buffeting. If a pilot
allows himself or herself to become distracted to the
point where attention is focused on the open door
rather than maintaining control of the airplane, loss of
control may result, even though disruption of airflow
by the door is minimal.
In the event of an inadvertent door opening in flight or
on takeoff, the pilot should adhere to the following.
•
•
16-12
Concentrate on flying the airplane. Particularly in
light single- and twin-engine airplanes; a cabin
door that opens in flight seldom if ever compromises the airplane’s ability to fly. There may be
some handling effects such as roll and/or yaw, but
in most instances these can be easily overcome.
If the door opens after lift-off, do not rush to land.
Climb to normal traffic pattern altitude, fly a normal traffic pattern, and make a normal landing.
INADVERTENT VFR FLIGHT INTO IMC
GENERAL
It is beyond the scope of this handbook to incorporate a course of training in basic attitude instrument
flying. This information is contained in FAA-H8083-15, Instrument Flying Handbook. Certain
pilot certificates and/or associated ratings require
training in instrument flying and a demonstration of
specific instrument flying tasks on the practical test.
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MALFUNCTION
Loss of r.p.m. during cruise flight
(non-altitude engines)
PROBABLE CAUSE
Carburetor or induction icing or air filter
clogging
Loss of manifold pressure during cruise
flight
Same as above
Turbocharger failure
Gain of manifold pressure during cruise
flight
High oil temperature
Throttle has opened, propeller control has
decreased r.p.m., or improper method of
power reduction
Oil congealed in cooler
Inadequate engine cooling
Detonation or preignition
Forth coming internal engine faiure
Defective thermostatic oil cooler control
Low oil temperature
High oil pressure
Low oil pressure
Fluctuating oil pressure
High cylinder head temperature
Engine not warmed up to operating
temperature
Cold oil
Possible internal plugging
Broken pressure relief valve
Insufficient oil
Burned out bearings
Low oil supply, loose oil lines, defective
pressure relief valve
Improper cowl flap adjustment
Insufficient airspeed for cooling
Improper mixture adjustment
Detonation or preignition
Low cylinder head temperature
Excessive cowl flap opening
Excessively rich mixture
Exteneded glides without clearing engine
Ammeter indicating discharge
Alternator or generator failure
Load meter indicating zero
Surging r.p.m. and overspeeding
Same as above
Defective propeller
Defective engine
Defective propeller governor
Loss of airspeed in cruise flight with
manifold pressure and r.p.m. constant
Rough running engine
Loss of fuel pressure
Defective tachometer
Improper mixture setting
Possible loss of one or more cylinders
Improper mixture control setting
Defective ignition or valves
Detonation or preignition
Induction air leak
Plugged fuel nozzle (Fuel injection)
Excessive fuel pressure or fuel flow
Engine driven pump failure
No fuel
CORRECTIVE ACTION
Apply carburetor heat. If dirty filter is
suspected and non-filtered air is available,
switch selector to unfiltered position.
Same as above.
Possible exhaust leak. Shut down engine
or use lowest practicable power setting.
Land as soon as possible.
Readjust throttle and tighten friction lock.
Reduce manifold pressure prior to
reducing r.p.m.
Reduce power. Land. Preheat engine.
Reduce power. Increase airspeed.
Observe cylinder head temperatures for
high reading. Reduce manifold pressure.
Enrich mixture.
Land as soon as possible or feather
propeller and stop engine.
Land as soon as possible. Consult
maintenance personnel.
Warm engine in prescribed manner.
Same as above.
Reduce power. Land as soon as possible.
Land as soon as possible or feather
propeller and stop engine.
Same as above.
Same as above.
Same as above.
Adjust cowl flaps.
Increase airspeed.
Adjust mixture.
Reduce power, enrich mixture, increase
cooling airflow.
Adjust cowl flaps.
Adjust mixture control.
Clear engine long enough to keep
temperatures at minimum range.
Shed unnecessary electrical load. Land
as soon as practicable.
Same as above.
Adjust propeller r.p.m.
Consult maintenance.
Adjust propeller control. Attempt to
restore normal operation.
Consult maintenance.
Readjust mixture for smooth operation.
Land as soon as possible.
Adjust mixture for smooth operation.
Consult maintenance personnel.
Reduce power, enrich mixture, open cowl
flaps to reduce cylinder head temp. Land
as soon as practicable.
Reduce power. Consult maintenance.
Same as above.
Lean mixture control.
Turn on boost tanks.
Switch tanks, turn on fuel.
Table 1.
Pilots and flight instructors should refer to FAA-H8083-15 for guidance in the performance of these
tasks, and to the appropriate practical test standards
for information on the standards to which these
required tasks must be performed for the particular
certificate level and/or rating. The pilot should
remember, however, that unless these tasks are practiced on a continuing and regular basis, skill erosion
begins almost immediately. In a very short time, the
pilot’s assumed level of confidence will be much
higher than the performance he or she will actually
be able to demonstrate should the need arise.
Accident statistics show that the pilot who has not
been trained in attitude instrument flying, or one
whose instrument skills have eroded, will lose control of the airplane in about 10 minutes once forced
to rely solely on instrument reference. The purpose
of this section is to provide guidance on practical
emergency measures to maintain airplane control for
a limited period of time in the event a VFR pilot
encounters IMC conditions. The main goal is not
precision instrument flying; rather, it is to help the
VFR pilot keep the airplane under adequate control
until suitable visual references are regained.
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The first steps necessary for surviving an encounter
with instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) by a
VFR pilot are:
•
Recognition and acceptance of the seriousness of
the situation and the need for immediate remedial
action.
•
Maintaining control of the airplane.
•
Obtaining the appropriate assistance in getting the
airplane safely on the ground.
RECOGNITION
A VFR pilot is in IMC conditions anytime he or she is
unable to maintain airplane attitude control by reference
to the natural horizon, regardless of the circumstances
or the prevailing weather conditions. Additionally, the
VFR pilot is, in effect, in IMC anytime he or she is inadvertently, or intentionally for an indeterminate period of
time, unable to navigate or establish geographical
position by visual reference to landmarks on the
surface. These situations must be accepted by the pilot
involved as a genuine emergency, requiring appropriate
action.
The pilot must understand that unless he or she is
trained, qualified, and current in the control of an airplane solely by reference to flight instruments, he or she
will be unable to do so for any length of time. Many
hours of VFR flying using the attitude indicator as a
reference for airplane control may lull a pilot into a false
sense of security based on an overestimation of his or
her personal ability to control the airplane solely by
instrument reference. In VFR conditions, even though
the pilot thinks he or she is controlling the airplane by
instrument reference, the pilot also receives an overview
of the natural horizon and may subconsciously rely on it
more than the cockpit attitude indicator. If the natural
horizon were to suddenly disappear, the untrained
instrument pilot would be subject to vertigo, spatial
disorientation, and inevitable control loss.
MAINTAINING AIRPLANE CONTROL
Once the pilot recognizes and accepts the situation, he
or she must understand that the only way to control the
airplane safely is by using and trusting the flight instruments. Attempts to control the airplane partially by
reference to flight instruments while searching outside
the cockpit for visual confirmation of the information
provided by those instruments will result in inadequate
airplane control. This may be followed by spatial
disorientation and complete control loss.
The most important point to be stressed is that the pilot
must not panic. The task at hand may seem overwhelming, and the situation may be compounded by
extreme apprehension. The pilot therefore must make
a conscious effort to relax.
16-14
The pilot must understand the most important concern—in fact the only concern at this point—is to keep
the wings level. An uncontrolled turn or bank usually
leads to difficulty in achieving the objectives of any
desired flight condition. The pilot will find that good
bank control has the effect of making pitch control
much easier.
The pilot should remember that a person cannot feel
control pressures with a tight grip on the controls.
Relaxing and learning to “control with the eyes and
the brain” instead of only the muscles, usually takes
considerable conscious effort.
The pilot must believe what the flight instruments
show about the airplane’s attitude regardless of what
the natural senses tell. The vestibular sense (motion
sensing by the inner ear) can and will confuse the pilot.
Because of inertia, the sensory areas of the inner ear
cannot detect slight changes in airplane attitude, nor
can they accurately sense attitude changes which occur
at a uniform rate over a period of time. On the other
hand, false sensations are often generated, leading the
pilot to believe the attitude of the airplane has changed
when, in fact, it has not. These false sensations result
in the pilot experiencing spatial disorientation.
ATTITUDE CONTROL
An airplane is, by design, an inherently stable platform
and, except in turbulent air, will maintain approximately straight-and-level flight if properly trimmed
and left alone. It is designed to maintain a state of
equilibrium in pitch, roll, and yaw. The pilot must be
aware, however, that a change about one axis will
affect the stability of the others. The typical light
airplane exhibits a good deal of stability in the yaw
axis, slightly less in the pitch axis, and even lesser still
in the roll axis. The key to emergency airplane attitude
control, therefore, is to:
•
Trim the airplane with the elevator trim so that it
will maintain hands-off level flight at cruise airspeed.
•
Resist the tendency to over control the airplane.
Fly the attitude indicator with fingertip control.
No attitude changes should be made unless the
flight instruments indicate a definite need for a
change.
•
Make all attitude changes smooth and small, yet
with positive pressure. Remember that a small
change as indicated on the horizon bar corresponds to a proportionately much larger change
in actual airplane attitude.
•
Make use of any available aid in attitude control
such as autopilot or wing leveler.
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The primary instrument for attitude control is the attitude indicator. [Figure 16-11] Once the airplane is
trimmed so that it will maintain hands-off level flight
at cruise airspeed, that airspeed need not vary until the
airplane must be slowed for landing. All turns, climbs
and descents can and should be made at this airspeed.
Straight flight is maintained by keeping the wings level
using “fingertip pressure” on the control wheel. Any
pitch attitude change should be made by using no more
than one bar width up or down.
Figure 16-12. Level turn.
Figure 16-11. Attitude indicator.
TURNS
Turns are perhaps the most potentially dangerous
maneuver for the untrained instrument pilot for two
reasons.
•
The normal tendency of the pilot to over control,
leading to steep banks and the possibility of a
“graveyard spiral.”
•
The inability of the pilot to cope with the instability resulting from the turn.
than one bar width and apply power. [Figure 16-13]
The pilot should not attempt to attain a specific climb
speed but accept whatever speed results. The objective is to deviate as little as possible from level flight
attitude in order to disturb the airplane’s equilibrium
as little as possible. If the airplane is properly
trimmed, it will assume a nose-up attitude on its own
commensurate with the amount of power applied.
Torque and P-factor will cause the airplane to have a
When a turn must be made, the pilot must anticipate
and cope with the relative instability of the roll axis.
The smallest practical bank angle should be used—in
any case no more than 10° bank angle. [Figure 16-12]
A shallow bank will take very little vertical lift from
the wings resulting in little if any deviation in altitude.
It may be helpful to turn a few degrees and then return
to level flight, if a large change in heading must be
made. Repeat the process until the desired heading is
reached. This process may relieve the progressive
overbanking that often results from prolonged turns.
CLIMBS
If a climb is necessary, the pilot should raise the
miniature airplane on the attitude indicator no more
Figure 16-13. Level climb.
16-15
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Page 16-16
tendency to bank and turn to the left. This must be
anticipated and compensated for. If the initial power
application results in an inadequate rate of climb,
power should be increased in increments of 100 r.p.m.
or 1 inch of manifold pressure until the desired rate of
climb is attained. Maximum available power is
seldom necessary. The more power used the more the
airplane will want to bank and turn to the left.
Resuming level flight is accomplished by first
decreasing pitch attitude to level on the attitude
indicator using slow but deliberate pressure, allowing
airspeed to increase to near cruise value, and then
decreasing power.
DESCENTS
Descents are very much the opposite of the climb
procedure if the airplane is properly trimmed for
hands-off straight-and-level flight. In this configuration, the airplane requires a certain amount of thrust to
maintain altitude. The pitch attitude is controlling the
airspeed. The engine power, therefore, (translated into
thrust by the propeller) is maintaining the selected
altitude. Following a power reduction, however slight,
there will be an almost imperceptible decrease in
airspeed. However, even a slight change in speed
results in less down load on the tail, whereupon the
designed nose heaviness of the airplane causes it to
pitch down just enough to maintain the airspeed for
which it was trimmed. The airplane will then descend
at a rate directly proportionate to the amount of thrust
that has been removed. Power reductions should be
made in increments of 100 r.p.m. or 1 inch of manifold
pressure and the resulting rate of descent should never
exceed 500 f.p.m. The wings should be held level on
the attitude indicator, and the pitch attitude should not
exceed one bar width below level. [Figure 16-14]
COMBINED MANEUVERS
Combined maneuvers, such as climbing or descending
turns should be avoided if at all possible by an
untrained instrument pilot already under the stress of
an emergency situation. Combining maneuvers will
only compound the problems encountered in individual
maneuvers and increase the risk of control loss.
Remember that the objective is to maintain airplane
control by deviating as little as possible from straightand-level flight attitude and thereby maintaining as
much of the airplane’s natural equilibrium as possible.
When being assisted by air traffic controllers from the
ground, the pilot may detect a sense of urgency as he
or she is being directed to change heading and/or altitude. This sense of urgency reflects a normal concern
for safety on the part of the controller. But the pilot
must not let this prompt him or her to attempt a maneuver
that could result in loss of control.
16-16
Figure 16-14. Level descent.
TRANSITION TO VISUAL FLIGHT
One of the most difficult tasks a trained and qualified
instrument pilot must contend with is the transition
from instrument to visual flight prior to landing. For
the untrained instrument pilot, these difficulties are
magnified.
The difficulties center around acclimatization and
orientation. On an instrument approach the trained
instrument pilot must prepare in advance for the
transition to visual flight. The pilot must have a
mental picture of what he or she expects to see once
the transition to visual flight is made and quickly
acclimatize to the new environment. Geographical
orientation must also begin before the transition as the
pilot must visualize where the airplane will be in relation to the airport/runway when the transition occurs
so that the approach and landing may be completed by
visual reference to the ground.
In an ideal situation the transition to visual flight is
made with ample time, at a sufficient altitude above
terrain, and to visibility conditions sufficient to
accommodate acclimatization and geographical
orientation. This, however, is not always the case. The
untrained instrument pilot may find the visibility still
limited, the terrain completely unfamiliar, and altitude
above terrain such that a “normal” airport traffic
pattern and landing approach is not possible.
Additionally, the pilot will most likely be under
considerable self-induced psychological pressure to
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get the airplane on the ground. The pilot must take this
into account and, if possible, allow time to become
acclimatized and geographically oriented before
attempting an approach and landing, even if it means
flying straight and level for a time or circling the
airport. This is especially true at night.
16-17
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100-HOUR INSPECTION—
An inspection, identical in scope to an
annual inspection. Must be conducted
every 100 hours of flight on aircraft of
under 12,500 pounds that are used
for hire.
ABSOLUTE ALTITUDE—
The vertical distance of an airplane
above the terrain, or above ground
level (AGL).
ABSOLUTE CEILING—
The altitude at which a climb is no
longer possible.
ACCELERATE-GO DISTANCE—
The distance required to accelerate to
V1 with all engines at takeoff power,
experience an engine failure at V1 and
continue the takeoff on the remaining
engine(s). The runway required
includes the distance required to
climb to 35 feet by which time V2
speed must be attained.
ACCELERATE-STOP
DISTANCE—The distance required
to accelerate to V1 with all engines at
takeoff power, experience an engine
failure at V1, and abort the takeoff and
bring the airplane to a stop using braking action only (use of thrust reversing is not considered).
ACCELERATION—Force involved
in overcoming inertia, and which may
be defined as a change in velocity per
unit of time.
ACCESSORIES—Components that
are used with an engine, but are not a
part of the engine itself. Units such as
magnetos, carburetors, generators,
and fuel pumps are commonly
installed engine accessories.
ADJUSTABLE STABILIZER—
A stabilizer that can be adjusted in
flight to trim the airplane, thereby
allowing the airplane to fly hands-off
at any given airspeed.
ADVERSE YAW—A condition of
flight in which the nose of an airplane
tends to yaw toward the outside of the
turn. This is caused by the higher
induced drag on the outside wing,
which is also producing more lift.
Induced drag is a by-product of the lift
associated with the outside wing.
AERODYNAMIC CEILING—
The point (altitude) at which, as the
indicated airspeed decreases with altitude, it progressively merges with the
low speed buffet boundary where prestall buffet occurs for the airplane at a
load factor of 1.0 G.
AERODYNAMICS—The science of
the action of air on an object, and with
the motion of air on other gases.
Aerodynamics deals with the
production of lift by the aircraft, the
relative wind, and the atmosphere.
AILERONS—Primary flight control
surfaces mounted on the trailing edge
of an airplane wing, near the tip.
Ailerons control roll about the longitudinal axis.
AIR START—The act or instance of
starting an aircraft’s engine while in
flight, especially a jet engine after
flameout.
AIRCRAFT LOGBOOKS—
Journals containing a record of total
operating time, repairs, alterations or
inspections performed, and all
Airworthiness Directive (AD) notes
complied with. A maintenance
logbook should be kept for the
airframe, each engine, and each
propeller.
AIRFOIL—An airfoil is any surface,
such as a wing, propeller, rudder, or
even a trim tab, which provides
aerodynamic force when it interacts
with a moving stream of air.
AIRMANSHIP SKILLS—The skills
of coordination, timing, control touch,
and speed sense in addition to the
motor skills required to fly an aircraft.
AIRMANSHIP—
A sound acquaintance with the
principles of flight, the ability to
operate an airplane with competence
and precision both on the ground and
in the air, and the exercise of sound
judgment that results in optimal
operational safety and efficiency.
AIRPLANE FLIGHT MANUAL
(AFM)—A document developed by
the airplane manufacturer and
approved by the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA). It is specific to
a particular make and model airplane
by serial number and it contains
operating procedures and limitations.
AIRPLANE OWNER/
INFORMATION MANUAL—A
document developed by the airplane
manufacturer containing general
information about the make and
model of an airplane. The airplane
owner’s manual is not FAA-approved
and is not specific to a particular serial
numbered airplane. This manual is not
kept current, and therefore cannot be
substituted for the AFM/POH.
AIRPORT/FACILITY
DIRECTORY—
A publication designed primarily as a
pilot’s operational manual containing
all airports, seaplane bases, and
heliports open to the public including
communications data, navigational
facilities, and certain special notices
and procedures. This publication is
issued in seven volumes according to
geographical area.
G-1
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AIRWORTHINESS—A condition
in which the aircraft conforms to its
type certificated design including
supplemental type certificates, and
field approved alterations. The
aircraft must also be in a condition for
safe flight as determined by annual,
100 hour, preflight and any other
required inspections.
AIRWORTHINESS
CERTIFICATE—
A certificate issued by the FAA to all
aircraft that have been proven to meet
the minimum standards set down by
the Code of Federal Regulations.
AIRWORTHINESS
DIRECTIVE—A regulatory notice
sent out by the FAA to the registered
owner of an aircraft informing the
owner of a condition that prevents the
aircraft from continuing to meet
its conditions for airworthiness.
Airworthiness Directives (AD notes)
must be complied with within the
required time limit, and the fact of
compliance, the date of compliance,
and the method of compliance must be
recorded in the aircraft’s maintenance
records.
ALPHA MODE OF
OPERATION—The operation of a
turboprop engine that includes all of
the flight operations, from takeoff to
landing. Alpha operation is typically
between 95 percent to 100 percent of
the engine operating speed.
ALTERNATE AIR—A device
which opens, either automatically
or manually, to allow induction airflow to continue should the primary
induction air opening become
blocked.
ALTERNATE STATIC SOURCE—
A manual port that when opened
allows the pitot static instruments to
sense static pressure from an alternate
location should the primary static port
become blocked.
ALTERNATOR/GENERATOR—A
device that uses engine power to generate electrical power.
ALTIMETER—A flight instrument
that indicates altitude by sensing
pressure changes.
G-2
ALTITUDE (AGL)—The actual
height above ground level (AGL) at
which the aircraft is flying.
ALTITUDE (MSL)—The actual
height above mean sea level (MSL) at
which the aircraft is flying.
ALTITUDE CHAMBER—A device
that simulates high altitude conditions
by reducing the interior pressure. The
occupants will suffer from the same
physiological conditions as flight at
high altitude in an unpressurized
aircraft.
ALTITUDE ENGINE—
A reciprocating aircraft engine having
a rated takeoff power that is
producible from sea level to an
established higher altitude.
ANGLE OF ATTACK—The acute
angle between the chord line of the
airfoil and the direction of the relative
wind.
ANGLE OF INCIDENCE—
The angle formed by the chord line of
the wing and a line parallel to the
longitudinal axis of the airplane.
ANNUAL INSPECTION—
A complete inspection of an aircraft
and engine, required by the Code
of Federal Regulations, to be
accomplished every 12 calendar
months on all certificated aircraft.
Only an A&P technician holding an
Inspection Authorization can conduct
an annual inspection.
ANTI-ICING—The prevention of
the formation of ice on a surface. Ice
may be prevented by using heat or by
covering the surface with a chemical
that prevents water from reaching the
surface. Anti-icing should not be confused with deicing, which is the
removal of ice after it has formed on
the surface.
ATTITUDE INDICATOR—
An instrument which uses an artificial
horizon and miniature airplane to
depict the position of the airplane in
relation to the true horizon. The
attitude indicator senses roll as well as
pitch, which is the up and down
movement of the airplane’s nose.
ATTITUDE— The position of an
aircraft as determined by the
relationship of its axes and a reference, usually the earth’s horizon.
AUTOKINESIS—This is caused by
staring at a single point of light
against a dark background for more
than a few seconds. After a few
moments, the light appears to move
on its own.
AUTOPILOT—An automatic flight
control system which keeps an aircraft
in level flight or on a set course.
Automatic pilots can be directed by
the pilot, or they may be coupled to a
radio navigation signal.
AXES OF AN AIRCRAFT—Three
imaginary lines that pass through an
aircraft’s center of gravity. The axes
can be considered as imaginary axles
around which the aircraft turns. The
three axes pass through the center of
gravity at 90° angles to each other.
The axis from nose to tail is the
longitudinal axis, the axis that passes
from wingtip to wingtip is the lateral
axis, and the axis that passes vertically
through the center of gravity is the
vertical axis.
AXIAL FLOW COMPRESSOR—
A type of compressor used in a turbine
engine in which the airflow through
the compressor is essentially linear.
An axial-flow compressor is made up
of several stages of alternate rotors
and stators. The compressor ratio is
determined by the decrease in area of
the succeeding stages.
BACK SIDE OF THE POWER
CURVE— Flight regime in which
flight at a higher airspeed requires a
lower power setting and a lower
airspeed requires a higher power
setting in order to maintain altitude.
BALKED LANDING—
A go-around.
BALLAST—Removable or permanently installed weight in an aircraft
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used to bring the center of gravity into
the allowable range.
BALLOON—The result of a too
aggressive flare during landing
causing the aircraft to climb.
BUFFETING—The beating of an
aerodynamic structure or surface by
unsteady flow, gusts, etc.; the irregular shaking or oscillation of a vehicle
component owing to turbulent air or
separated flow.
BASIC EMPTY WEIGHT
(GAMA)—Basic empty weight
includes the standard empty weight
plus optional and special equipment
that has been installed.
BUS BAR—An electrical power
distribution point to which several
circuits may be connected. It is often a
solid metal strip having a number of
terminals installed on it.
BEST ANGLE OF CLIMB (VX)—
The speed at which the aircraft will
produce the most gain in altitude in a
given distance.
BUS TIE—A switch that connects
two or more bus bars. It is usually
used when one generator fails and
power is lost to its bus. By closing the
switch, the operating generator
powers both busses.
BEST GLIDE—The airspeed in
which the aircraft glides the furthest
for the least altitude lost when in
non-powered flight.
BEST RATE OF CLIMB (VY)—
The speed at which the aircraft will
produce the most gain in altitude in
the least amount of time.
BLADE FACE—The flat portion of a
propeller blade, resembling the
bottom portion of an airfoil.
BLEED AIR—Compressed air
tapped from the compressor stages of
a turbine engine by use of ducts and
tubing. Bleed air can be used for
deice, anti-ice, cabin pressurization,
heating, and cooling systems.
BLEED VALVE—In a turbine
engine, a flapper valve, a popoff
valve, or a bleed band designed to
bleed off a portion of the compressor
air to the atmosphere. Used to
maintain blade angle of attack and
provide stall-free engine acceleration
and deceleration.
BOOST PUMP—An electrically
driven fuel pump, usually of the
centrifugal type, located in one of the
fuel tanks. It is used to provide fuel to
the engine for starting and providing
fuel pressure in the event of failure of
the engine driven pump. It also
pressurizes the fuel lines to prevent
vapor lock.
BYPASS AIR—The part of a
turbofan’s induction air that bypasses
the engine core.
BYPASS RATIO—The ratio of the
mass airflow in pounds per second
through the fan section of a turbofan
engine to the mass airflow that passes
through the gas generator portion of
the engine. Or, the ratio between fan
mass airflow (lb/sec.) and core engine
mass airflow (lb/sec.).
CABIN PRESSURIZATION—A
condition where pressurized air is
forced into the cabin simulating
pressure conditions at a much lower
altitude and increasing the aircraft
occupants comfort.
CALIBRATED AIRSPEED
(CAS)—Indicated airspeed corrected
for installation error and instrument
error. Although manufacturers attempt
to keep airspeed errors to a minimum,
it is not possible to eliminate all errors
throughout the airspeed operating
range. At certain airspeeds and with
certain flap settings, the installation
and instrument errors may total
several knots. This error is generally
greatest at low airspeeds. In the
cruising and higher airspeed ranges,
indicated airspeed and calibrated
airspeed are approximately the same.
Refer to the airspeed calibration chart
to correct for possible airspeed errors.
CAMBERED—The camber of an
airfoil is the characteristic curve of its
upper and lower surfaces. The upper
camber is more pronounced, while the
lower camber is comparatively flat.
This causes the velocity of the airflow
immediately above the wing to be
much higher than that below the wing.
CARBURETOR ICE— Ice that
forms inside the carburetor due to the
temperature drop caused by the
vaporization of the fuel. Induction
system icing is an operational hazard
because it can cut off the flow of the
fuel/air charge or vary the fuel/air
ratio.
CARBURETOR—1. Pressure: A
hydromechanical device employing a
closed feed system from the fuel
pump to the discharge nozzle. It
meters fuel through fixed jets
according to the mass airflow through
the throttle body and discharges it
under a positive pressure. Pressure
carburetors are distinctly different
from float-type carburetors, as they do
not incorporate a vented float
chamber or suction pickup from a
discharge nozzle located in the venturi
tube.
2. Float-type:
Consists
essentially of a main air passage
through which the engine draws its
supply of air, a mechanism to control
the quantity of fuel discharged in
relation to the flow of air, and a means
of regulating the quantity of fuel/air
mixture delivered to the engine
cylinders.
CASCADE REVERSER—A thrust
reverser normally found on turbofan
engines in which a blocker door and a
series of cascade vanes are used to
redirect exhaust gases in a forward
direction.
CENTER OF GRAVITY (CG)—
The point at which an airplane would
balance if it were possible to suspend
it at that point. It is the mass center of
the airplane, or the theoretical point at
which the entire weight of the airplane
is assumed to be concentrated. It may
be expressed in inches from the reference datum, or in percent of mean
aerodynamic chord (MAC). The location depends on the distribution of
weight in the airplane.
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CENTER-OF-GRAVITY
LIMITS—The specified forward and
aft points within which the CG must
be located during flight. These limits
are indicated on pertinent airplane
specifications.
CENTER-OF-GRAVITY
RANGE—The distance between the
forward and aft CG limits indicated on
pertinent airplane specifications.
CENTRIFUGAL
FLOW COMPRESSOR—
An impeller-shaped device that receives
air at its center and slings air outward at
high velocity into a diffuser for increased
pressure. Also referred to as a radial outflow compressor.
CHORD LINE—An imaginary
straight line drawn through an airfoil
from the leading edge to the trailing
edge.
CIRCUIT BREAKER—
A circuit-protecting device that opens
the circuit in case of excess current
flow. A circuit breakers differs from a
fuse in that it can be reset without
having to be replaced.
CLEAR AIR TURBULENCE—
Turbulence not associated with any
visible moisture.
CLIMB GRADIENT—The ratio
between distance traveled and altitude
gained.
COCKPIT RESOURCE
M A NAG E M E N T — Te c h n i q u e s
designed to reduce pilot errors and
manage errors that do occur utilizing
cockpit human resources. The
assumption is that errors are going to
happen in a complex system with
error-prone humans.
COEFFICIENT OF LIFT—See
LIFT COEFFICIENT.
COFFIN CORNER—The flight
regime where any increase in airspeed
will induce high speed mach buffet
and any decrease in airspeed will
induce low speed mach buffet.
G-4
COMBUSTION CHAMBER— The
section of the engine into which fuel
is injected and burned.
COMMON TRAFFIC
ADVISORY FREQUENCY—The
common frequency used by airport
traffic to announce position reports in
the vicinity of the airport.
COMPLEX AIRCRAFT—
An aircraft with retractable landing
gear, flaps, and a controllable-pitch
propeller, or is turbine powered.
COMPRESSION RATIO—1. In a
reciprocating engine, the ratio of the
volume of an engine cylinder with the
piston at the bottom center to the
volume with the piston at top center.
2. In a turbine engine, the ratio of the
pressure of the air at the discharge to
the pressure of air at the inlet.
COMPRESSOR BLEED AIR—
See BLEED AIR.
COMPRESSOR BLEED
VALVES—See BLEED VALVE.
COMPRESSOR SECTION— The
section of a turbine engine that
increases the pressure and density of
the air flowing through the engine.
COMPRESSOR STALL—In gas
turbine engines, a condition in an
axial-flow compressor in which one
or more stages of rotor blades fail to
pass air smoothly to the succeeding
stages. A stall condition is caused by a
pressure ratio that is incompatible
with the engine r.p.m. Compressor
stall will be indicated by a rise in
exhaust temperature or r.p.m.
fluctuation, and if allowed to
continue, may result in flameout and
physical damage to the engine.
COMPRESSOR SURGE—A severe
compressor stall across the entire
compressor that can result in severe
damage if not quickly corrected. This
condition occurs with a complete
stoppage of airflow or a reversal of
airflow.
CONDITION LEVER—In a turbine
engine, a powerplant control that controls the flow of fuel to the engine.
The condition lever sets the desired
engine r.p.m. within a narrow range
between that appropriate for ground
and flight operations.
CONFIGURATION—This is a
general term, which normally refers to
the position of the landing gear
and flaps.
CONSTANT SPEED
PROPELLER— A controllablepitch propeller whose pitch is
automatically varied in flight by a
governor to maintain a constant r.p.m.
in spite of varying air loads.
CONTROL TOUCH—The ability to
sense the action of the airplane and its
probable actions in the immediate
future, with regard to attitude and
speed variations, by sensing and
evaluation of varying pressures and
resistance of the control surfaces
transmitted through the cockpit flight
controls.
CONTROLLABILITY—A measure
of the response of an aircraft relative
to the pilot’s flight control inputs.
CONTROLLABLE PITCH
PROPELLER—A propeller in which
the blade angle can be changed during
flight by a control in the
cockpit.
CONVENTIONAL LANDING
GEAR—Landing gear employing a
third rear-mounted wheel. These
airplanes are also sometimes referred
to as tailwheel airplanes.
COORDINATED FLIGHT—
Application of all appropriate flight
and power controls to prevent slipping
or skidding in any flight condition.
COORDINATION—The ability to
use the hands and feet together
subconsciously and in the proper
relationship to produce desired results
in the airplane.
CORE AIRFLOW—Air drawn into
the engine for the gas generator.
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COWL FLAPS—Devices arranged
around certain air-cooled engine
cowlings which may be opened or
closed to regulate the flow of air
around the engine.
CRAB—A flight condition in which
the nose of the airplane is pointed into
the wind a sufficient amount to counteract a crosswind and maintain a
desired track over the ground.
CRAZING—Small fractures in
aircraft windshields and windows
caused from being exposed to the
ultraviolet rays of the sun and
temperature extremes.
CRITICAL ALTITUDE—
The maximum altitude under standard
atmospheric conditions at which a
turbocharged engine can produce its
rated horsepower.
CRITICAL ANGLE
OF ATTACK—The angle of attack at
which a wing stalls regardless of
airspeed, flight attitude, or weight.
CRITICAL ENGINE—The engine
whose failure has the most adverse
effect on directional control.
CROSS CONTROLLED—
A condition where aileron deflection
is in the opposite direction of rudder
deflection.
CROSSFEED—A system that allows
either engine on a twin-engine
airplane to draw fuel from any fuel
tank.
CROSSWIND COMPONENT—
The wind component, measured in
knots, at 90° to the longitudinal axis
of the runway.
CURRENT LIMITER—A device
that limits the generator output to a
level within that rated by the
generator manufacturer.
DATUM (REFERENCE
DATUM)—An imaginary vertical
plane or line from which all
measurements of moment arm are
taken. The datum is established by the
manufacturer. Once the datum has
been selected, all moment arms and
the location of CG range are measured
from this point.
DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS—
A condition where the low pressure at
high altitudes allows bubbles of
nitrogen to form in the blood and
joints causing severe pain. Also
known as the bends.
DEICER BOOTS—Inflatable rubber
boots attached to the leading edge of
an airfoil. They can be sequentially
inflated and deflated to break away ice
that has formed over their surface.
DEICING—Removing ice after it
has formed.
DELAMINATION—The separation
of layers.
DENSITY ALTITUDE—
This altitude is pressure altitude corrected for variations from standard
temperature. When conditions are
standard, pressure altitude and density
altitude are the same. If the temperature is above standard, the density altitude is higher than pressure altitude. If
the temperature is below standard, the
density altitude is lower than pressure
altitude. This is an important altitude
because it is directly related to the
airplane’s performance.
DESIGNATED PILOT
EXAMINER (DPE)—An individual
designated by the FAA to administer
practical tests to pilot applicants.
DETONATION—
The sudden release of heat energy
from fuel in an aircraft engine caused
by the fuel-air mixture reaching its
critical pressure and temperature.
Detonation occurs as a violent
explosion rather than a smooth
burning process.
DEWPOINT—The temperature at
which air can hold no more water.
DIFFERENTIAL AILERONS—
Control surface rigged such that the
aileron moving up moves a greater
distance than the aileron moving
down. The up aileron produces extra
parasite drag to compensate for the
additional induced drag caused by the
down aileron. This balancing of the
drag forces helps minimize adverse
yaw.
DIFFUSION—Reducing the velocity
of air causing the pressure to increase.
DIRECTIONAL STABILITY—
Stability about the vertical axis of an
aircraft, whereby an aircraft tends to
return, on its own, to flight aligned
with the relative wind when disturbed
from that equilibrium state. The
vertical tail is the primary contributor
to directional stability, causing an
airplane in flight to align with the
relative wind.
DITCHING—Emergency landing in
water.
DOWNWASH—
Air deflected perpendicular to the
motion of the airfoil.
DRAG—An aerodynamic force on a
body acting parallel and opposite to
the relative wind. The resistance of
the atmosphere to the relative motion
of an aircraft. Drag opposes thrust and
limits the speed of the airplane.
DRAG CURVE—
A visual representation of the amount
of drag of an aircraft at various
airspeeds.
DRIFT ANGLE—Angle between
heading and track.
DUCTED-FAN ENGINE—
An engine-propeller combination that
has the propeller enclosed in a radial
shroud. Enclosing the propeller
improves the efficiency of the
propeller.
DUTCH ROLL—A combination of
rolling and yawing oscillations that
normally occurs when the dihedral
effects of an aircraft are more
powerful than the directional stability.
Usually dynamically stable but
objectionable in an airplane because
of the oscillatory nature.
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DYNAMIC HYDROPLANING—A
condition that exists when landing on
a surface with standing water deeper
than the tread depth of the tires. When
the brakes are applied, there is a
possibility that the brake will lock up
and the tire will ride on the surface of
the water, much like a water ski.
When the tires are hydroplaning,
directional control and braking action
are virtually impossible. An effective
anti-skid system can minimize the
effects of hydroplaning.
DYNAMIC STABILITY—
The property of an aircraft that causes
it, when disturbed from straight-andlevel flight, to develop forces or
moments that restore the original
condition of straight and level.
ELECTRICAL BUS—
See BUS BAR.
ELECTROHYDRAULIC—
Hydraulic control which is electrically
actuated.
ELEVATOR—
The horizontal, movable primary
control surface in the tail section, or
empennage, of an airplane. The
elevator is hinged to the trailing edge
of the fixed horizontal stabilizer.
EMERGENCY LOCATOR
TRANSMITTER—A small, selfcontained radio transmitter that will
automatically, upon the impact of a
crash, transmit an emergency signal
on 121.5, 243.0, or 406.0 MHz.
EMPENNAGE—The section of the
airplane that consists of the vertical
stabilizer, the horizontal stabilizer,
and the associated control surfaces.
ENGINE PRESSURE RATIO
(EPR)—The ratio of turbine
discharge pressure divided by
compressor inlet pressure that is used
as an indication of the amount of
thrust being developed by a turbine
engine.
ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS—
In an aircraft, the systems, including
the supplemental oxygen systems, air
conditioning systems, heaters, and
G-6
pressurization systems, which make it
possible for an occupant to function at
high altitude.
EQUILIBRIUM—A condition that
exists within a body when the sum of
the moments of all of the forces acting
on the body is equal to zero. In
aerodynamics, equilibrium is when all
opposing forces acting on an aircraft
are balanced (steady, unaccelerated
flight conditions).
EQUIVALENT SHAFT
HORSEPOWER (ESHP)—
A measurement of the total horsepower of a turboprop engine, including that provided by jet thrust.
EXHAUST GAS TEMPERATURE
(EGT)—The temperature of the
exhaust gases as they leave the
cylinders of a reciprocating engine or
the turbine section of a turbine engine.
EXHAUST MANIFOLD—The part
of the engine that collects exhaust
gases leaving the cylinders.
EXHAUST—The rear opening of a
turbine engine exhaust duct. The
nozzle acts as an orifice, the size of
which determines the density and
velocity of the gases as they emerge
from the engine.
FALSE HORIZON—An optical
illusion where the pilot confuses a row
of lights along a road or other straight
line as the horizon.
FALSE START—
See HUNG START.
FEATHERING PROPELLER
(FEATHERED)—A controllable
pitch propeller with a pitch range
sufficient to allow the blades to be
turned parallel to the line of flight to
reduce drag and prevent further
damage to an engine that has been
shut down after a malfunction.
FIXATION—
A psychological condition where the
pilot fixes attention on a single source
of information and ignores all
other sources.
FIXED SHAFT TURBOPROP
ENGINE—A turboprop engine
where the gas producer spool is
directly connected to the output shaft.
FIXED-PITCH PROPELLERS—
Propellers with fixed blade angles.
Fixed-pitch propellers are designed as
climb propellers, cruise propellers, or
standard propellers.
FLAPS—Hinged portion of the
trailing edge between the ailerons and
fuselage. In some aircraft, ailerons
and flaps are interconnected to
produce full-span “flaperons.” In
either case, flaps change the lift and
drag on the wing.
FLAT PITCH—
A propeller configuration when the
blade chord is aligned with the direction of rotation.
FLICKER VERTIGO—
A disorientating condition caused
from flickering light off the blades of
the propeller.
FLIGHT DIRECTOR—An automatic flight control system in which
the commands needed to fly the airplane are electronically computed and
displayed on a flight instrument. The
commands are followed by the human
pilot with manual control inputs or, in
the case of an autopilot system, sent to
servos that move the flight controls.
FLIGHT IDLE—Engine speed,
usually in the 70-80 percent range, for
minimum flight thrust.
FLOATING—A condition when
landing where the airplane does not
settle to the runway due to excessive
airspeed.
FORCE (F)—The energy applied to
an object that attempts to cause the
object to change its direction, speed,
or motion. In aerodynamics, it is
expressed as F, T (thrust), L (lift), W
(weight), or D (drag), usually in
pounds.
FORM DRAG—The part of parasite
drag on a body resulting from the
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integrated effect of the static pressure
acting normal to its surface resolved
in the drag direction.
FORWARD SLIP—A slip in which
the airplane’s direction of motion continues the same as before the slip was
begun. In a forward slip, the airplane’s
longitudinal axis is at an angle to its
flightpath.
FREE POWER TURBINE
ENGINE—A turboprop engine
where the gas producer spool is on a
separate shaft from the output shaft.
The free power turbine spins
independently of the gas producer and
drives the output shaft.
FRICTION DRAG—The part of
parasitic drag on a body resulting
from viscous shearing stresses over its
wetted surface.
FRISE-TYPE AILERON—Aileron
having the nose portion projecting
ahead of the hinge line. When the
trailing edge of the aileron moves up,
the nose projects below the wing’s
lower surface and produces some
parasite drag, decreasing the amount
of adverse yaw.
FUEL CONTROL UNIT—
The fuel-metering device used on a
turbine engine that meters the proper
quantity of fuel to be fed into the
burners of the engine. It integrates the
parameters of inlet air temperature,
compressor speed, compressor
discharge pressure, and exhaust gas
temperature with the position of the
cockpit power control lever.
FUEL EFFICIENCY—Defined as
the amount of fuel used to produce a
specific thrust or horsepower divided
by the total potential power contained
in the same amount of fuel.
FUEL HEATERS—A radiator-like
device which has fuel passing through
the core. A heat exchange occurs to
keep the fuel temperature above the
freezing point of water so that
entrained water does not form ice
crystals, which could block fuel flow.
FUEL INJECTION—
A fuel metering system used on some
aircraft reciprocating engines in
which a constant flow of fuel is fed to
injection nozzles in the heads of all
cylinders just outside of the intake
valve. It differs from sequential fuel
injection in which a timed charge of
high-pressure fuel is sprayed directly
into the combustion chamber of the
cylinder.
FUEL LOAD—The expendable part
of the load of the airplane. It includes
only usable fuel, not fuel required to
fill the lines or that which remains
trapped in the tank sumps.
FUEL TANK SUMP—A sampling
port in the lowest part of the fuel tank
that the pilot can utilize to check for
contaminants in the fuel.
FUSELAGE—The section of the
airplane that consists of the cabin
and/or cockpit, containing seats for
the occupants and the controls for the
airplane.
GAS GENERATOR—The basic
power producing portion of a gas
turbine engine and excluding such
sections as the inlet duct, the
fan section, free power turbines,
and tailpipe. Each manufacturer
designates what is included as the gas
generator, but generally consists of
the compressor, diffuser, combustor,
and turbine.
GAS TURBINE ENGINE—A form
of heat engine in which burning fuel
adds energy to compressed air and
accelerates the air through the
remainder of the engine. Some of the
energy is extracted to turn the air
compressor, and the remainder
accelerates the air to produce thrust.
Some of this energy can be converted
into torque to drive a propeller or a
system of rotors for a helicopter.
GLIDE RATIO—The ratio between
distance traveled and altitude lost
during non-powered flight.
GLIDEPATH—The path of an
aircraft relative to the ground while
approaching a landing.
GLOBAL POSITION SYSTEM
(GPS)—A satellite-based radio positioning, navigation, and time-transfer
system.
GO-AROUND—
Terminating a landing approach.
GOVERNING RANGE—The range
of pitch a propeller governor can
control during flight.
GOVERNOR—A control which
limits the maximum rotational speed
of a device.
GROSS WEIGHT—
The total weight of a fully loaded
aircraft including the fuel, oil, crew,
passengers, and cargo.
GROUND ADJUSTABLE TRIM
TAB—A metal trim tab on a control
surface that is not adjustable in flight.
Bent in one direction or another while
on the ground to apply trim forces to
the control surface.
GROUND EFFECT—A condition
of improved performance encountered when an airplane is operating
very close to the ground. When an
airplane’s wing is under the influence
of ground effect, there is a reduction
in upwash, downwash, and wingtip
vortices. As a result of the reduced
wingtip vortices, induced drag is
reduced.
GROUND IDLE—Gas turbine
engine speed usually 60-70 percent of
the maximum r.p.m. range, used as a
minimum thrust setting for ground
operations.
GROUND LOOP—A sharp, uncontrolled change of direction of an
airplane on the ground.
GROUND POWER UNIT (GPU)—
A type of small gas turbine whose
purpose is to provide electrical power,
and/or air pressure for starting aircraft
engines. A ground unit is connected to
the aircraft when needed. Similar to
an aircraft-installed auxiliary power
unit.
GROUNDSPEED (GS)—The actual
speed of the airplane over the ground.
It is true airspeed adjusted for
wind. Groundspeed decreases with a
headwind, and increases with
a tailwind.
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GROUND TRACK—The aircraft’s
path over the ground when in flight.
GUST PENETRATION SPEED—
The speed that gives the greatest
margin between the high and low
mach speed buffets.
GYROSCOPIC PRECESSION—
An inherent quality of rotating bodies,
which causes an applied force to be
manifested 90º in the direction of
rotation from the point where the
force is applied.
HAND PROPPING—Starting an
engine by rotating the propeller by
hand.
HEADING—The direction in which
the nose of the aircraft is pointing
during flight.
HEADING BUG—A marker on the
heading indicator that can be rotated
to a specific heading for reference
purposes, or to command an autopilot
to fly that heading.
HEADING INDICATOR—
An instrument which senses airplane
movement and displays heading based
on a 360º azimuth, with the final zero
omitted. The heading indicator, also
called a directional gyro, is fundamentally a mechanical instrument
designed to facilitate the use of the
magnetic compass. The heading indicator is not affected by the forces that
make the magnetic compass difficult
to interpret.
HEADWIND COMPONENT—The
component of atmospheric winds that
acts opposite to the aircraft’s flightpath.
HIGH PERFORMANCE
AIRCRAFT—An aircraft with an
engine of more than 200 horsepower.
HORIZON—The line of sight
boundary between the earth and the
sky.
HORSEPOWER—
The term, originated by inventor
James Watt, means the amount of
work a horse could do in one second.
G-8
One horsepower equals 550
foot-pounds per second, or 33,000
foot-pounds per minute.
HOT START—In gas turbine
engines, a start which occurs with
normal engine rotation, but exhaust
temperature exceeds prescribed
limits. This is usually caused by an
excessively rich mixture in the
combustor. The fuel to the engine
must be terminated immediately to
prevent engine damage.
HUNG START—In gas turbine
engines, a condition of normal light
off but with r.p.m. remaining at some
low value rather than increasing to the
normal idle r.p.m. This is often the
result of insufficient power to the
engine from the starter. In the event of
a hung start, the engine should be shut
down.
HYDRAULICS—The branch of
science that deals with the
transmission of power by incompressible fluids under pressure.
HYDROPLANING—A condition
that exists when landing on a surface
with standing water deeper than the
tread depth of the tires. When the
brakes are applied, there is a
possibility that the brake will lock up
and the tire will ride on the surface of
the water, much like a water ski.
When the tires are hydroplaning,
directional control and braking action
are virtually impossible. An effective
anti-skid system can minimize the
effects of hydroplaning.
HYPOXIA—A lack of sufficient
oxygen reaching the body tissues.
IFR (INSTRUMENT FLIGHT
RULES)—Rules that govern the
procedure for conducting flight in
weather conditions below VFR
weather minimums. The term “IFR”
also is used to define weather
conditions and the type of flight plan
under which an aircraft is operating.
IGNITER PLUGS—The electrical
device used to provide the spark for
starting combustion in a turbine
engine. Some igniters resemble spark
plugs, while others, called glow plugs,
have a coil of resistance wire that
glows red hot when electrical current
flows through the coil.
IMPACT ICE—Ice that forms on the
wings and control surfaces or on the
carburetor heat valve, the walls of the
air scoop, or the carburetor units
during flight. Impact ice collecting on
the metering elements of the
carburetor may upset fuel metering or
stop carburetor fuel flow.
INCLINOMETER—An instrument
consisting of a curved glass tube,
housing a glass ball, and damped with
a fluid similar to kerosene. It may be
used to indicate inclination, as a level,
or, as used in the turn indicators, to
show the relationship between gravity
and centrifugal force in a turn.
INDICATED AIRSPEED (IAS)—
The direct instrument reading
obtained from the airspeed indicator,
uncorrected for variations in atmospheric density, installation error, or
instrument error. Manufacturers use
this airspeed as the basis for determining airplane performance. Takeoff,
landing, and stall speeds listed in the
AFM or POH are indicated airspeeds
and do not normally vary with altitude
or temperature.
INDICATED ALTITUDE—
The altitude read directly from the
altimeter (uncorrected) when it is set
to the current altimeter setting.
INDUCED DRAG—That part of
total drag which is created by the
production of lift. Induced drag
increases with a decrease in airspeed.
INDUCTION MANIFOLD—The
part of the engine that distributes
intake air to the cylinders.
INERTIA—The opposition which a
body offers to a change of motion.
INITIAL CLIMB—This stage of the
climb begins when the airplane leaves
the ground, and a pitch attitude has
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been established to climb away from
the takeoff area.
INTEGRAL FUEL TANK—
A portion of the aircraft structure,
usually a wing, which is sealed off and
used as a fuel tank. When a wing is
used as an integral fuel tank, it is
called a “wet wing.”
INTERCOOLER—A device used to
reduce the temperature of the
compressed air before it enters the
fuel metering device. The resulting
cooler air has a higher density, which
permits the engine to be operated with
a higher power setting.
INTERNAL COMBUSTION
ENGINES—An engine that produces
power as a result of expanding hot
gases from the combustion of fuel and
air within the engine itself. A steam
engine where coal is burned to heat up
water inside the engine is an example
of an external combustion engine.
INTERSTAGE TURBINE
TEMPERATURE (ITT)—The temperature of the gases between the high
pressure and low pressure turbines.
INVERTER—An electrical device
that changes DC to AC power.
ISA (INTERNATIONAL
STANDARD ATMOSPHERE)—
Standard atmospheric conditions
consisting of a temperature of 59°F
(15°C), and a barometric pressure of
29.92 in. Hg. (1013.2 mb) at sea level.
ISA values can be calculated for
various altitudes using a standard
lapse rate of approximately 2°C per
1,000 feet.
JET POWERED AIRPLANE—An
aircraft powered by a turbojet or
turbofan engine.
KINESTHESIA—The sensing of
movements by feel.
LATERAL AXIS—An imaginary
line passing through the center of
gravity of an airplane and extending
across the airplane from wingtip
to wingtip.
LATERAL STABILITY
(ROLLING)—The stability about the
longitudinal axis of an aircraft.
Rolling stability or the ability of an
airplane to return to level flight due to
a disturbance that causes one of the
wings to drop.
LEAD-ACID BATTERY—
A commonly used secondary cell
having lead as its negative plate and
lead peroxide as its positive plate.
Sulfuric acid and water serve as the
electrolyte.
LEADING EDGE DEVICES—
High lift devices which are found on
the leading edge of the airfoil. The
most common types are fixed slots,
movable slats, and leading edge flaps.
LEADING EDGE—The part of an
airfoil that meets the airflow first.
LEADING EDGE FLAP—
A portion of the leading edge of an
airplane wing that folds downward to
increase the camber, lift, and drag of
the wing. The leading-edge flaps are
extended for takeoffs and landings to
increase the amount of aerodynamic
lift that is produced at any given
airspeed.
LICENSED EMPTY WEIGHT—
The empty weight that consists of the
airframe, engine(s), unusable fuel,
and undrainable oil plus standard and
optional equipment as specified in the
equipment list. Some manufacturers
used this term prior to GAMA
standardization.
LIFT—One of the four main forces
acting on an aircraft. On a fixed-wing
aircraft, an upward force created by
the effect of airflow as it passes over
and under the wing.
LIFT COEFFICIENT— A coefficient representing the lift of a given
airfoil. Lift coefficient is obtained by
dividing the lift by the free-stream
dynamic pressure and the representative area under consideration.
LIFT/DRAG RATIO—
The efficiency of an airfoil section. It
is the ratio of the coefficient of lift to
the coefficient of drag for any given
angle of attack.
LIFT-OFF—The act of becoming
airborne as a result of the wings
lifting the airplane off the ground, or
the pilot rotating the nose up,
increasing the angle of attack to start a
climb.
LIMIT LOAD FACTOR—Amount
of stress, or load factor, that an aircraft
can withstand before structural
damage or failure occurs.
LOAD FACTOR—The ratio of the
load supported by the airplane’s wings
to the actual weight of the aircraft and
its contents. Also referred to as
G-loading.
LONGITUDINAL AXIS—
An imaginary line through an aircraft
from nose to tail, passing through its
center of gravity. The longitudinal
axis is also called the roll axis of the
aircraft. Movement of the ailerons
rotates an airplane about its
longitudinal axis.
LONGITUDINAL
STABILITY
(PITCHING)—Stability about the
lateral axis. A desirable characteristic
of an airplane whereby it tends to
return to its trimmed angle of attack
after displacement.
MACH—Speed relative to the speed
of sound. Mach 1 is the speed of
sound.
MACH BUFFET—
Airflow separation behind a
shock-wave pressure barrier caused
by airflow over flight surfaces
exceeding the speed of sound.
MACH COMPENSATING
DEVICE—A device to alert the pilot
of inadvertent excursions beyond its
certified maximum operating speed.
MACH CRITICAL—The MACH
speed at which some portion of the
airflow over the wing first equals
MACH 1.0. This is also the speed at
which a shock wave first appears on
the airplane.
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MACH TUCK—A condition that can
occur when operating a swept-wing
airplane in the transonic speed range.
A shock wave could form in the root
portion of the wing and cause the
air behind it to separate. This
shock-induced separation causes the
center of pressure to move aft. This,
combined with the increasing amount
of nose down force at higher speeds to
maintain left flight, causes the nose to
“tuck.” If not corrected, the airplane
could enter a steep, sometimes
unrecoverable dive.
MAGNETIC COMPASS—A device
for determining direction measured
from magnetic north.
MAIN GEAR—The wheels of an
aircraft’s landing gear that supports
the major part of the aircraft’s weight.
MANEUVERABILITY—Ability of
an aircraft to change directions along
a flightpath and withstand the stresses
imposed upon it.
MANEUVERING SPEED (VA) —
The maximum speed where full,
abrupt control movement can be used
without overstressing the airframe.
MANIFOLD PRESSURE (MP)—
The absolute pressure of the fuel/air
mixture within the intake manifold,
usually indicated in inches of
mercury.
MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE
TAKEOFF POWER—The maximum power an engine is allowed to
develop for a limited period of time;
usually about one minute.
MAXIMUM LANDING
WEIGHT—The greatest weight that
an airplane normally is allowed to
have at landing.
MAXIMUM RAMP WEIGHT—
The total weight of a loaded aircraft,
including all fuel. It is greater than the
takeoff weight due to the fuel that will
be burned during the taxi and runup
operations. Ramp weight may also be
referred to as taxi weight.
G-10
MAXIMUM TAKEOFF
WEIGHT—The maximum allowable
weight for takeoff.
allows air to continue flowing over the
top of the wing and delays airflow
separation.
MAXIMUM WEIGHT—
The maximum authorized weight of
the aircraft and all of its equipment as
specified in the Type Certificate Data
Sheets (TCDS) for the aircraft.
MUSHING—A flight condition
caused by slow speed where the
control surfaces are marginally
effective.
MAXIMUM ZERO FUEL
WEIGHT (GAMA)—The maximum
weight, exclusive of usable fuel.
MINIMUM CONTROLLABLE
AIRSPEED—An airspeed at which
any further increase in angle of attack,
increase in load factor, or reduction in
power, would result in an immediate
stall.
MINIMUM DRAG SPEED
(L/DMAX)—The point on the total
drag curve where the lift-to-drag ratio
is the greatest. At this speed, total drag
is minimized.
MIXTURE—The ratio of fuel to air
entering the engine’s cylinders.
MMO—Maximum operating speed
expressed in terms of a decimal of
mach speed.
MOMENT ARM—The distance
from a datum to the applied force.
MOMENT INDEX (OR INDEX)—
A moment divided by a constant such
as 100, 1,000, or 10,000. The purpose
of using a moment index is to simplify
weight and balance computations of
airplanes where heavy items and long
arms result in large, unmanageable
numbers.
MOMENT—The product of the
weight of an item multiplied by its
arm. Moments are expressed in
pound-inches (lb-in). Total moment is
the weight of the airplane multiplied
by the distance between the datum and
the CG.
MOVABLE SLAT—A movable
auxiliary airfoil on the leading edge of
a wing. It is closed in normal flight but
extends at high angles of attack. This
N1, N2, N3—Spool speed expressed in
percent rpm. N1 on a turboprop is the
gas producer speed. N1 on a turbofan
or turbojet engine is the fan speed or
low pressure spool speed. N2 is the
high pressure spool speed on engine
with 2 spools and medium pressure
spool on engines with 3 spools with
N3 being the high pressure spool.
NACELLE—
A streamlined enclosure on an aircraft
in which an engine is mounted.
On multiengine propeller-driven
airplanes, the nacelle is normally
mounted on the leading edge of the
wing.
NEGATIVE STATIC
STABILITY—The initial tendency
of an aircraft to continue away from
the original state of equilibrium after
being disturbed.
NEGATIVE TORQUE SENSING
(NTS)— A system in a turboprop
engine that prevents the engine from
being driven by the propeller. The
NTS increases the blade angle when
the propellers try to drive the engine.
NEUTRAL STATIC
STABILITY—The initial tendency
of an aircraft to remain in a new
condition after its equilibrium has
been disturbed.
NICKEL-CADMIUM BATTERY
(NICAD)— A battery made up of
alkaline secondary cells. The positive
plates are nickel hydroxide, the
negative plates are cadmium
hydroxide, and potassium hydroxide
is used as the electrolyte.
NORMAL CATEGORY—
An airplane that has a seating
configuration, excluding pilot seats,
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Page G-11
of nine or less, a maximum
certificated takeoff weight of 12,500
pounds or less, and intended for
nonacrobatic operation.
NORMALIZING
(TURBONORMALIZING)—
A turbocharger that maintains sea
level pressure in the induction manifold at altitude.
OCTANE—The rating system of
aviation gasoline with regard to its
antidetonating qualities.
OVERBOOST—A condition in
which a reciprocating engine has
exceeded the maximum manifold
pressure allowed by the manufacturer.
Can cause damage to engine
components.
OVERSPEED—A condition in
which an engine has produced more
r.p.m. than the manufacturer
recommends, or a condition in which
the actual engine speed is higher than
the desired engine speed as set on the
propeller control.
OVERTEMP—A condition in which
a device has reached a temperature
above that approved by the
manufacturer or any exhaust
temperature that exceeds the
maximum allowable for a given operating condition or time limit. Can
cause internal damage to an engine.
OVERTORQUE—A condition in
which an engine has produced more
torque (power) than the manufacturer
recommends, or a condition in a
turboprop or turboshaft engine where
the engine power has exceeded the
maximum allowable for a given
operating condition or time limit. Can
cause internal damage to an engine.
descending propeller blade on the
right producing more thrust than the
ascending blade on the left. This
occurs
when
the
aircraft’s
longitudinal axis is in a climbing
attitude in relation to the relative
wind. The P-factor would be to the
right if the aircraft had a counterclockwise rotating propeller.
PILOT’S OPERATING
HANDBOOK (POH)—A document
developed
by
the
airplane
manufacturer and contains the FAAapproved Airplane Flight Manual
(AFM) information.
PISTON ENGINE—A reciprocating
engine.
PITCH—The rotation of an airplane
about its lateral axis, or on a propeller,
the blade angle as measured from
plane of rotation.
PIVOTAL ALTITUDE—A specific
altitude at which, when an airplane
turns at a given groundspeed, a projecting of the sighting reference line
to a selected point on the ground will
appear to pivot on that point.
PNEUMATIC SYSTEMS—
The power system in an aircraft used
for operating such items as landing
gear, brakes, and wing flaps with
compressed air as the operating fluid.
PORPOISING—
Oscillating around the lateral axis of
the aircraft during landing.
POSITION LIGHTS—Lights on an
aircraft consisting of a red light on the
left wing, a green light on the right
wing, and a white light on the tail.
CFRs require that these lights be
displayed in flight from sunset to
sunrise.
PARASITE DRAG—That part of
total drag created by the design or
shape of airplane parts. Parasite drag
increases with an increase in airspeed.
POSITIVE STATIC STABILITY—
The initial tendency to return to a state
of equilibrium when disturbed from
that state.
PAYLOAD (GAMA)—The weight
of occupants, cargo, and baggage.
POWER DISTRIBUTION BUS—
See BUS BAR.
P-FACTOR—A tendency for an
aircraft to yaw to the left due to the
POWER LEVER—The cockpit
lever connected to the fuel control unit
for scheduling fuel flow to the
combustion chambers of a turbine
engine.
POWER—Implies work rate or units
of work per unit of time, and as such,
it is a function of the speed at which
the force is developed. The term
“power required” is generally
associated with reciprocating engines.
POWERPLANT—
A complete engine and propeller
combination with accessories.
PRACTICAL SLIP LIMIT—The
maximum slip an aircraft is capable of
performing due to rudder travel limits.
PRECESSION—The tilting or
turning of a gyro in response to
deflective forces causing slow drifting
and erroneous indications in
gyroscopic instruments.
PREIGNITION—Ignition occurring
in the cylinder before the time of
normal ignition. Preignition is often
caused by a local hot spot in the
combustion chamber igniting the
fuel/air mixture.
PRESSURE ALTITUDE—
The altitude indicated when the
altimeter setting window (barometric
scale) is adjusted to 29.92. This is the
altitude above the standard datum
plane, which is a theoretical plane
where air pressure (corrected to 15ºC)
equals 29.92 in. Hg. Pressure altitude
is used to compute density altitude,
true altitude, true airspeed, and other
performance data.
PROFILE DRAG—The total of the
skin friction drag and form drag for a
two-dimensional airfoil section.
PROPELLER BLADE ANGLE—
The angle between the propeller chord
and the propeller plane of rotation.
PROPELLER LEVER—
The control on a free power turbine
turboprop that controls propeller
speed and the selection for propeller
feathering.
PROPELLER SLIPSTREAM—
The volume of air accelerated behind
a propeller producing thrust.
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PROPELLER
SYNCHRONIZATION—
A condition in which all of
the propellers have their pitch
automatically adjusted to maintain a
constant r.p.m. among all of the
engines of a multiengine aircraft.
PROPELLER—A
device
for
propelling an aircraft that, when
rotated, produces by its action on
the air, a thrust approximately
perpendicular to its plane of rotation.
It includes the control components
normally
supplied
by
its
manufacturer.
RAMP WEIGHT—The total weight
of the aircraft while on the ramp. It
differs from takeoff weight by the
weight of the fuel that will be
consumed in taxiing to the point of
takeoff.
RATE OF TURN—The rate in
degrees/second of a turn.
RECIPROCATING ENGINE—An
engine that converts the heat energy
from burning fuel into the
reciprocating movement of the pistons. This movement is converted into
a rotary motion by the connecting rods
and crankshaft.
REDUCTION GEAR—The gear
arrangement in an aircraft engine that
allows the engine to turn at a faster
speed than the propeller.
REGION OF REVERSE
COMMAND—Flight regime in
which flight at a higher airspeed
requires a lower power setting and a
lower airspeed requires a higher
power setting in order to maintain
altitude.
REGISTRATION
CERTIFICATE—A State and Federal certificate that documents
aircraft ownership.
RELATIVE WIND—The direction
of the airflow with respect to the wing.
If a wing moves forward horizontally,
the relative wind moves backward
horizontally. Relative wind is parallel
to and opposite the flightpath of
the airplane.
G-12
REVERSE THRUST—A condition
where jet thrust is directed forward
during landing to increase the rate of
deceleration.
REVERSING PROPELLER—
A propeller system with a pitch
change mechanism that includes full
reversing capability. When the pilot
moves the throttle controls to reverse,
the blade angle changes to a pitch
angle and produces a reverse thrust,
which slows the airplane down during
a landing.
ROLL—The motion of the aircraft
about the longitudinal axis. It is
controlled by the ailerons.
ROUNDOUT (FLARE)—
A pitch-up during landing approach to
reduce rate of descent and forward
speed prior to touchdown.
RUDDER—The movable primary
control surface mounted on the
trailing edge of the vertical fin of an
airplane. Movement of the rudder
rotates the airplane about its vertical
axis.
RUDDERVATOR—A pair of control
surfaces on the tail of an aircraft
arranged in the form of a V. These
surfaces, when moved together by the
control wheel, serve as elevators, and
when moved differentially by the
rudder pedals, serve as a rudder.
RUNWAY CENTERLINE
LIGHTS—Runway centerline lights
are installed on some precision
approach runways to facilitate landing
under adverse visibility conditions.
They are located along the runway
centerline and are spaced at 50-foot
intervals. When viewed from the
landing threshold, the runway
centerline lights are white until the
last 3,000 feet of the runway. The
white lights begin to alternate with red
for the next 2,000 feet, and for the last
1,000 feet of the runway, all centerline
lights are red.
RUNWAY CENTERLINE
MARKINGS—
The runway centerline identifies the
center of the runway and provides
alignment guidance during takeoff
and landings. The centerline consists
of a line of uniformly spaced stripes
and gaps.
RUNWAY EDGE LIGHTS—
Runway edge lights are used to
outline the edges of runways during
periods of darkness or restricted
visibility conditions. These light
systems are classified according to the
intensity or brightness they are
capable of producing: they are the
High Intensity Runway Lights
(HIRL), Medium Intensity Runway
Lights (MIRL), and the Low Intensity
Runway Lights (LIRL). The HIRL
and MIRL systems have variable
intensity controls, whereas the LIRLs
normally have one intensity setting.
RUNWAY END IDENTIFIER
LIGHTS (REIL)—One component
of the runway lighting system. These
lights are installed at many airfields
to provide rapid and positive
identification of the approach end of a
particular runway.
RUNWAY INCURSION—
Any occurrence at an airport
involving an aircraft, vehicle, person,
or object on the ground that creates a
collision hazard or results in loss of
separation with an aircraft taking off,
intending to takeoff, landing, or
intending to land.
RUNWAY THRESHOLD
MARKINGS—Runway threshold
markings come in two configurations. They either consist of eight
longitudinal stripes of uniform
dimensions disposed symmetrically
about the runway centerline, or the
number of stripes is related to the
runway width. A threshold marking
helps identify the beginning of the
runway that is available for landing.
In some instances, the landing
threshold may be displaced.
SAFETY (SQUAT) SWITCH—An
electrical switch mounted on one of
the landing gear struts. It is used to
sense when the weight of the aircraft
is on the wheels.
SCAN—A procedure used by the
pilot to visually identify all resources
of information in flight.
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SEA LEVEL—A reference height
used
to
determine
standard
atmospheric conditions and altitude
measurements.
SEGMENTED CIRCLE—A visual
ground based structure to provide
traffic pattern information.
SERVICE CEILING—
The maximum density altitude where
the best rate-of-climb airspeed will
produce a 100 feet-per-minute climb
at maximum weight while in a clean
configuration with maximum continuous power.
SERVO TAB—An auxiliary control
mounted on a primary control surface,
which automatically moves in the
direction opposite the primary control
to provide an aerodynamic assist in
the movement of the control.
SHAFT HORSE POWER (SHP)—
Turboshaft engines are rated in shaft
horsepower and calculated by use of
a dynamometer device. Shaft
horsepower is exhaust thrust
converted to a rotating shaft.
SHOCK WAVES—A compression
wave formed when a body moves
through the air at a speed greater than
the speed of sound.
SIDESLIP—A slip in which the
airplane’s longitudinal axis remains
parallel to the original flightpath, but the
airplane no longer flies straight ahead.
Instead, the horizontal component of
wing lift forces the airplane to move
sideways toward the low wing.
SINGLE ENGINE ABSOLUTE
CEILING—The altitude that a twinengine airplane can no longer climb
with one engine inoperative.
SINGLE ENGINE SERVICE
CEILING—The altitude that a twinengine airplane can no longer climb at
a rate greater then 50 f.p.m. with one
engine inoperative.
SKID—A condition where the tail of
the airplane follows a path outside the
path of the nose during a turn.
SLIP—An intentional maneuver to
decrease airspeed or increase rate of
descent, and to compensate for a
crosswind on landing. A slip can also
be unintentional when the pilot fails
to maintain the aircraft in coordinated
flight.
SPECIFIC FUEL
CONSUMPTION—
Number of pounds of fuel consumed
in 1 hour to produce 1 HP.
SPEED—The distance traveled in a
given time.
SPEED
BRAKES—A control
system that extends from the airplane
structure into the airstream to
produce drag and slow the airplane.
SPEED INSTABILITY—
A condition in the region of reverse
command where a disturbance that
causes the airspeed to decrease causes
total drag to increase, which in turn,
causes the airspeed to decrease
further.
SPEED SENSE—The ability to
sense instantly and react to any
reasonable variation of airspeed.
SPIN—An aggravated stall that
results in what is termed an “autorotation” wherein the airplane follows a
downward corkscrew path. As the airplane rotates around the vertical axis,
the rising wing is less stalled than the
descending wing creating a rolling,
yawing, and pitching motion.
SPIRAL INSTABILITY—
A condition that exists when the static
directional stability of the airplane is
very strong as compared to the effect
of its dihedral in maintaining lateral
equilibrium.
SPIRALING SLIPSTREAM—The
slipstream of a propeller-driven
airplane rotates around the airplane.
This slipstream strikes the left side of
the vertical fin, causing the airplane to
yaw slightly. Vertical stabilizer offset
is sometimes used by aircraft designers to counteract this tendency.
SPLIT SHAFT
TURBINE ENGINE—See FREE
POWER TURBINE ENGINE.
SPOILERS—High-drag devices that
can be raised into the air flowing over
an airfoil, reducing lift and increasing
drag. Spoilers are used for roll control
on some aircraft. Deploying spoilers
on both wings at the same time allows
the aircraft to descend without gaining speed. Spoilers are also used to
shorten the ground roll after landing.
SPOOL—A shaft in a turbine engine
which drives one or more
compressors with the power derived
from one or more turbines.
STABILATOR—A single-piece horizontal tail surface on an airplane that
pivots around a central hinge point. A
stabilator serves the purposes of both
the horizontal stabilizer and
the elevator.
STABILITY—The inherent quality
of an airplane to correct for conditions
that may disturb its equilibrium, and
to return or to continue on the original
flightpath. It is primarily an airplane
design characteristic.
STABILIZED
APPROACH—A
landing approach in which the pilot
establishes and maintains a constant
angle glidepath towards a predetermined point on the landing runway. It
is based on the pilot’s judgment of
certain visual cues, and depends on
the maintenance of a constant final
descent airspeed and configuration.
STALL—A rapid decrease in lift
caused by the separation of airflow
from the wing’s surface brought on by
exceeding the critical angle of attack.
A stall can occur at any pitch attitude
or airspeed.
STALL STRIPS—A spoiler attached
to the inboard leading edge of some
wings to cause the center section of
the wing to stall before the tips. This
assures lateral control throughout the
stall.
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STANDARD ATMOSPHERE—
At sea level, the standard atmosphere
consists of a barometric pressure of
29.92 inches of mercury (in. Hg.) or
1013.2 millibars, and a temperature of
15°C (59°F). Pressure and temperature normally decrease as altitude
increases. The standard lapse rate in
the lower atmosphere for each 1,000
feet of altitude is approximately 1 in.
Hg. and 2°C (3.5°F). For example, the
standard pressure and temperature at
3,000 feet mean sea level (MSL) is
26.92 in. Hg. (29.92 - 3) and 9°C
(15°C - 6°C).
STANDARD DAY—
See STANDARD ATMOSPHERE.
STANDARD EMPTY WEIGHT
(GAMA)—This weight consists of
the airframe, engines, and all items of
operating equipment that have fixed
locations and are permanently
installed in the airplane; including
fixed ballast, hydraulic fluid, unusable
fuel, and full engine oil.
STANDARD WEIGHTS—These
have been established for numerous
items involved in weight and balance
computations. These weights should
not be used if actual weights are
available.
STANDARD-RATE TURN—A turn
at the rate of 3º per second which
enables the airplane to complete a
360º turn in 2 minutes.
STARTER/GENERATOR—
A combined unit used on turbine
engines. The device acts as a starter
for rotating the engine, and after
running, internal circuits are shifted to
convert the device into a generator.
STICK PULLER—A device that
applies aft pressure on the control
column when the airplane is approaching the maximum operating speed.
TAXIWAY LIGHTS—
Omnidirectional lights that outline the
edges of the taxiway and are blue in
color.
STICK PUSHER—A device that
applies an abrupt and large forward
force on the control column when the
airplane is nearing an angle of attack
where a stall could occur.
TAXIWAY TURNOFF LIGHTS—
Flush lights which emit a steady green
color.
STICK SHAKER—An artificial
stall warning device that vibrates the
control column.
STRESS RISERS—
A scratch, groove, rivet hole, forging
defect or other structural discontinuity
that causes a concentration of stress.
SUBSONIC—Speed below the speed
of sound.
THROTTLE—The valve in a
carburetor or fuel control unit that
determines the amount of fuel-air
mixture that is fed to the engine.
SUPERCHARGER—An engine- or
exhaust-driven air compressor used to
provide additional pressure to the
induction air so the engine can
produce additional power.
THRUST LINE—An imaginary line
passing through the center of the
propeller hub, perpendicular to the
plane of the propeller rotation.
SUPERSONIC—Speed above the
speed of sound.
THRUST REVERSERS—Devices
which redirect the flow of jet exhaust
to reverse the direction of thrust.
SUPPLEMENTAL TYPE
CERTIFICATE (STC)—
A certificate authorizing an alteration
to an airframe, engine, or component
that has been granted an Approved
Type Certificate.
SWEPT WING—A wing planform
in which the tips of the wing are
farther back than the wing root.
TAILWHEEL AIRCRAFT—
SEE CONVENTIONAL LANDING
GEAR.
STATIC STABILITY—The initial
tendency an aircraft displays when
disturbed from a state of equilibrium.
TAKEOFF ROLL
(GROUND ROLL)—The total
distance required for an aircraft to
become airborne.
STATION—A location in the
airplane that is identified by a number
designating its distance in inches from
the datum. The datum is, therefore,
identified as station zero. An item
located at station +50 would have an
arm of 50 inches.
TARGET REVERSER—A thrust
reverser in a jet engine in which
clamshell doors swivel from the
stowed position at the engine tailpipe
to block all of the outflow and redirect
some component of the thrust
forward.
G-14
TETRAHEDRON—
A large, triangular-shaped, kite-like
object installed near the runway.
Tetrahedrons are mounted on a pivot
and are free to swing with the wind to
show the pilot the direction of the
wind as an aid in takeoffs and
landings.
THRUST—The force which imparts
a change in the velocity of a mass.
This force is measured in pounds but
has no element of time or rate. The
term, thrust required, is generally
associated with jet engines. A forward
force which propels the airplane
through the air.
TIMING—The
application
of
muscular coordination at the proper
instant to make flight, and all
maneuvers incident thereto, a constant
smooth process.
TIRE CORD—Woven metal wire
laminated into the tire to provide extra
strength. A tire showing any cord
must be replaced prior to any further
flight.
TORQUE METER—An indicator
used on some large reciprocating
engines or on turboprop engines to
indicate the amount of torque the
engine is producing.
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Page G-15
TORQUE SENSOR—
See TORQUE METER.
TORQUE—1. A resistance to turning
or twisting. 2. Forces that produce a
twisting or rotating motion. 3. In an
airplane, the tendency of the aircraft
to turn (roll) in the opposite direction
of rotation of the engine and propeller.
TOTAL DRAG—The sum of the
parasite and induced drag.
TOUCHDOWN ZONE LIGHTS—
Two rows of transverse light bars
disposed symmetrically about the
runway centerline in the runway
touchdown zone.
TRACK—The actual path made over
the ground in flight.
TRAILING EDGE—The portion of
the airfoil where the airflow over the
upper surface rejoins the lower
surface airflow.
TRANSITION LINER—
The portion of the combustor that
directs the gases into the turbine
plenum.
TRANSONIC—At the speed of
sound.
TRANSPONDER—The airborne
portion of the secondary surveillance
radar system. The transponder emits a
reply when queried by a radar facility.
TRICYCLE GEAR—Landing gear
employing a third wheel located on
the nose of the aircraft.
TRIM TAB—A small auxiliary
hinged portion of a movable control
surface that can be adjusted during
flight to a position resulting in a
balance of control forces.
TRIPLE SPOOL ENGINE—
Usually a turbofan engine design
where the fan is the N1 compressor,
followed by the N2 intermediate
compressor, and the N3 high pressure
compressor, all of which rotate on
separate shafts at different speeds.
TROPOPAUSE—The
boundary
layer between the troposphere and the
mesosphere which acts as a lid to
confine most of the water vapor, and
the associated weather, to the
troposphere.
TROPOSPHERE—The layer of the
atmosphere extending from the
surface to a height of 20,000 to 60,000
feet depending on latitude.
TRUE AIRSPEED (TAS)—
Calibrated airspeed corrected for altitude and nonstandard temperature.
Because air density decreases with an
increase in altitude, an airplane has to
be flown faster at higher altitudes to
cause the same pressure difference
between pitot impact pressure and
static pressure. Therefore, for a given
calibrated airspeed, true airspeed
increases as altitude increases; or for a
given true airspeed, calibrated airspeed decreases as altitude increases.
TRUE ALTITUDE—The vertical
distance of the airplane above sea
level—the actual altitude. It is often
expressed as feet above mean sea
level (MSL). Airport, terrain, and
obstacle elevations on aeronautical
charts are true altitudes.
T-TAIL—An aircraft with the
horizontal stabilizer mounted on the
top of the vertical stabilizer, forming
a T.
TURBINE BLADES—The portion
of the turbine assembly that absorbs
the energy of the expanding gases and
converts it into rotational energy.
TURBINE OUTLET
TEMPERATURE (TOT)—
The temperature of the gases as they
exit the turbine section.
TURBINE PLENUM—The portion
of the combustor where the gases are
collected to be evenly distributed to
the turbine blades.
TURBINE ROTORS—The portion
of the turbine assembly that mounts to
the shaft and holds the turbine blades
in place.
TURBINE SECTION—The section
of the engine that converts high
pressure high temperature gas into
rotational energy.
TURBOCHARGER—
An air compressor driven by exhaust
gases, which increases the pressure of
the air going into the engine through
the carburetor or fuel injection
system.
TURBOFAN ENGINE—A turbojet
engine in which additional propulsive
thrust is gained by extending a portion
of the compressor or turbine blades
outside the inner engine case. The
extended blades propel bypass air
along the engine axis but between the
inner and outer casing. The air is not
combusted but does provide additional thrust.
TURBOJET ENGINE—A jet
engine incorporating a turbine-driven
air compressor to take in and compress air for the combustion of fuel,
the gases of combustion being used
both to rotate the turbine and create a
thrust producing jet.
TURBOPROP ENGINE—A turbine
engine that drives a propeller through
a reduction gearing arrangement.
Most of the energy in the exhaust
gases is converted into torque, rather
than its acceleration being used to
propel the aircraft.
TURBULENCE—An occurrence in
which a flow of fluid is unsteady.
TURN COORDINATOR—A rate
gyro that senses both roll and yaw due
to the gimbal being canted. Has
largely replaced the turn-and-slip
indicator in modern aircraft.
TURN-AND-SLIP INDICATOR—
A flight instrument consisting of a rate
gyro to indicate the rate of yaw and a
curved glass inclinometer to indicate
the relationship between gravity and
centrifugal force. The turn-and-slip
indicator indicates the relationship
between angle of bank and rate of
yaw. Also called a turn-and-bank
indicator.
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TURNING ERROR—One of the
errors inherent in a magnetic compass
caused by the dip compensating
weight. It shows up only on turns to or
from northerly headings in the
Northern Hemisphere and southerly
headings in the Southern Hemisphere.
Turning error causes the compass to
lead turns to the north or south and lag
turns away from the north or south.
VAPOR LOCK—A condition in
which air enters the fuel system and it
may be difficult, or impossible, to
restart the engine. Vapor lock may
occur as a result of running a fuel tank
completely dry, allowing air to enter
the fuel system. On fuel-injected
engines, the fuel may become so hot it
vaporizes in the fuel line, not allowing
fuel to reach the cylinders.
ULTIMATE LOAD FACTOR—
In stress analysis, the load that causes
physical breakdown in an aircraft or
aircraft component during a strength
test, or the load that according to
computations, should cause such a
breakdown.
VA—The design maneuvering speed.
This is the “rough air” speed and the
maximum
speed
for
abrupt
maneuvers. If during flight, rough air
or severe turbulence is encountered,
reduce the airspeed to maneuvering
speed or less to minimize stress on the
airplane structure. It is important to
consider weight when referencing this
speed. For example, VA may be 100
knots when an airplane is heavily
loaded, but only 90 knots when the
load is light.
UNFEATHERING
ACCUMULATOR—Tanks that hold
oil under pressure which can be used
to unfeather a propeller.
UNICOM—
A nongovernment air/ground radio
communication station which may
provide airport information at public
use airports where there is no tower or
FSS.
UNUSABLE FUEL—Fuel that
cannot be consumed by the engine.
This fuel is considered part of the
empty weight of the aircraft.
USEFUL LOAD—The weight of the
pilot, copilot, passengers, baggage,
usable fuel, and drainable oil. It is the
basic empty weight subtracted from
the maximum allowable gross weight.
This term applies to general aviation
aircraft only.
UTILITY CATEGORY—
An airplane that has a seating
configuration, excluding pilot seats,
of nine or less, a maximum
certificated takeoff weight of 12,500
pounds or less, and intended for
limited acrobatic operation.
V-BARS—The
flight
director
displays on the attitude indicator that
provide control guidance to the pilot.
V-SPEEDS—Designated speeds for a
specific flight condition.
G-16
VECTOR—A force vector is a
graphic representation of a force and
shows both the magnitude and
direction of the force.
VELOCITY—The speed or rate of
movement in a certain direction.
VERTICAL AXIS—An imaginary
line passing vertically through the
center of gravity of an aircraft. The
vertical axis is called the z-axis or the
yaw axis.
VERTICAL CARD COMPASS—
A magnetic compass that consists of
an azimuth on a vertical card,
resembling a heading indicator with a
fixed miniature airplane to accurately
present the heading of the aircraft.
The design uses eddy current
damping to minimize lead and lag
during turns.
VERTICAL
SPEED INDICATOR (VSI)—
An instrument that uses static pressure
to display a rate of climb or descent in
feet per minute. The VSI can also
sometimes be called a vertical
velocity indicator (VVI).
VERTICAL STABILITY—Stability
about an aircraft’s vertical axis. Also
called yawing or directional stability.
VFE—The maximum speed with the
flaps extended. The upper limit of the
white arc.
VFO—The maximum speed that the
flaps can be extended or retracted.
VFR TERMINAL AREA
CHARTS (1:250,000)—
Depict Class B airspace which
provides for the control or
segregation of all the aircraft within
the Class B airspace. The chart depicts
topographic
information
and
aeronautical information which
includes visual and radio aids
to navigation, airports, controlled
airspace, restricted areas, obstructions, and related data.
V-G DIAGRAM—A chart that
relates velocity to load factor. It is
valid only for a specific weight,
configuration, and altitude and shows
the maximum amount of positive or
negative lift the airplane is capable of
generating at a given speed. Also
shows the safe load factor limits and
the load factor that the aircraft can
sustain at various speeds.
VISUAL APPROACH SLOPE
INDICATOR (VASI)—
The most common visual glidepath
system in use. The VASI provides
obstruction clearance within 10° of
the extended runway centerline, and
to 4 nautical miles (NM) from the
runway threshold.
VISUAL FLIGHT
RULES (VFR)—
Code of Federal Regulations that govern the procedures for conducting
flight under visual conditions.
VLE—Landing gear extended speed.
The maximum speed at which an
airplane can be safely flown with the
landing gear extended.
VLOF—Lift-off speed. The speed at
which the aircraft departs the runway
during takeoff.
VLO—Landing gear operating speed.
The maximum speed for extending or
retracting the landing gear if using an
airplane equipped with retractable
landing gear.
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Page G-17
VMC—Minimum control airspeed.
This is the minimum flight speed at
which a twin-engine airplane can be
satisfactorily controlled when an
engine suddenly becomes inoperative
and the remaining engine is at takeoff
power.
VMD—Minimum drag speed.
VMO—Maximum operating speed
expressed in knots.
VNE—Never-exceed speed. Operating
above this speed is prohibited since it
may result in damage or structural
failure. The red line on the airspeed
indicator.
VNO—Maximum structural cruising
speed. Do not exceed this speed
except in smooth air. The upper limit
of the green arc.
VP—Minimum dynamic hydroplaning speed. The minimum speed
required
to
start
dynamic
hydroplaning.
VR—Rotation speed. The speed that
the pilot begins rotating the aircraft
prior to lift-off.
VS0—Stalling speed or the minimum
steady flight speed in the landing configuration. In small airplanes, this is
the power-off stall speed at the maximum landing weight in the landing
configuration (gear and flaps down).
The lower limit of the white arc.
VS1—Stalling speed or the minimum
steady flight speed obtained in a
specified configuration. For most
airplanes, this is the power-off stall
speed at the maximum takeoff weight
in the clean configuration (gear up, if
retractable, and flaps up). The lower
limit of the green arc.
VSSE—Safe, intentional one-engine
inoperative speed. The minimum
speed to intentionally render the
critical engine inoperative.
V-TAIL—A design which utilizes
two slanted tail surfaces to perform
the same functions as the surfaces of a
conventional elevator and rudder
configuration. The fixed surfaces act
as both horizontal and vertical
stabilizers.
VX—Best angle-of-climb speed. The
airspeed at which an airplane gains the
greatest amount of altitude in a given
distance. It is used during a short-field
takeoff to clear an obstacle.
VXSE—Best angle of climb speed with
one engine inoperative. The airspeed
at which an airplane gains the greatest
amount of altitude in a given distance
in a light, twin-engine airplane
following an engine failure.
VY—Best rate-of-climb speed. This
airspeed provides the most altitude
gain in a given period of time.
VYSE—Best rate-of-climb speed with
one engine inoperative. This airspeed
provides the most altitude gain in a
given period of time in a light, twinengine airplane following an engine
failure.
WAKE TURBULENCE—Wingtip
vortices that are created when an
airplane generates lift. When an
airplane generates lift, air spills over
the wingtips from the high pressure
areas below the wings to the low
pressure areas above them. This flow
causes rapidly rotating whirlpools of
air called wingtip vortices or wake
turbulence.
WASTE GATE—A controllable
valve in the tailpipe of an aircraft
reciprocating engine equipped with a
turbocharger. The valve is controlled
to vary the amount of exhaust gases
forced through the turbocharger
turbine.
WEATHERVANE—The tendency of
the aircraft to turn into the relative
wind.
WEIGHT—A measure of the
heaviness of an object. The force by
which a body is attracted toward the
center of the Earth (or another
celestial body) by gravity. Weight is
equal to the mass of the body times
the local value of gravitational
acceleration. One of the four main
forces acting on an aircraft.
Equivalent to the actual weight of the
aircraft. It acts downward through the
aircraft’s center of gravity toward the
center of the Earth. Weight opposes
lift.
WEIGHT AND BALANCE—The
aircraft is said to be in weight and
balance when the gross weight of the
aircraft is under the max gross weight,
and the center of gravity is within
limits and will remain in limits for the
duration of the flight.
WHEELBARROWING—
A condition caused when forward
yoke or stick pressure during takeoff
or landing causes the aircraft to ride
on the nosewheel alone.
WIND CORRECTION ANGLE—
Correction applied to the course to
establish a heading so that track will
coincide with course.
WIND
DIRECTION INDICATORS—
Indicators that include a wind sock,
wind tee, or tetrahedron. Visual
reference will determine wind
direction and runway in use.
WIND SHEAR—A sudden, drastic
shift in windspeed, direction, or both
that may occur in the horizontal or
vertical plane.
WINDMILLING—When the air
moving through a propeller creates
the rotational energy.
WINDSOCK—A truncated cloth
cone open at both ends and mounted
on a freewheeling pivot that indicates
the direction from which the wind is
blowing.
WING—Airfoil attached to each side
of the fuselage and are the main
lifting surfaces that support the
airplane in flight.
G-17
Glossary.qxd
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Page G-18
WING AREA—The total surface of
the wing (square feet), which includes
control surfaces and may include
wing area covered by the fuselage
(main body of the airplane), and
engine nacelles.
WING SPAN—
The maximum distance from wingtip
to wingtip.
WINGTIP VORTICES—
The rapidly rotating air that spills over
an airplane’s wings during flight. The
intensity of the turbulence depends on
the airplane’s weight, speed, and
configuration. It is also referred to as
G-18
wake turbulence. Vortices from heavy
aircraft may be extremely hazardous
to small aircraft.
ZERO FUEL WEIGHT—
The weight of the aircraft to include
all useful load except fuel.
WING TWIST—A design feature
incorporated into some wings to
improve aileron control effectiveness
at high angles of attack during an
approach to a stall.
ZERO SIDESLIP—A maneuver in a
twin-engine airplane with one engine
inoperative that involves a small
amount of bank and slightly
uncoordinated flight to align the
fuselage with the direction of travel
and minimize drag.
YAW—Rotation about the vertical
axis of an aircraft.
YAW STRING—A string on the nose
or windshield of an aircraft in view of
the pilot that indicates any slipping or
skidding of the aircraft.
ZERO THRUST
(SIMULATED FEATHER)—
An engine configuration with a low
power setting that simulates a
propeller feathered condition.
Index.qxd
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Page I-1
180° POWER-OFF APPROACH 8-23
360° POWER-OFF APPROACH 8-24
90° POWER-OFF APPROACH 8-21
A
ABSOLUTE CEILING 12-8
ACCELERATED STALL 4-9
ACCELERATE-GO DISTANCE 12-8
ACCELERATE-STOP DISTANCE 12-8
ACCURACY APPROACH 8-21
180° power-off 8-23
360° power-off 8-24
90° power-off 8-21
ADVERSE YAW 3-8
AFTER LANDING 2-11
crosswind tailwheel 13-5
roll 8-7
tailwheel 13-4
AIMING POINT 8-8
AIRCRAFT LOGBOOKS 2-1
AIRFOIL TYPES 11-1
AIRMANSHIP 1-1
skills 1-1
AIRPLANE EQUIPMENT, Night 10-3
AIRPLANE FEEL 3-2
AIRPLANE LIGHTING, Night 10-3
AIRPORT LIGHTING 10-4
AIRPORT TRAFFIC PATTERN 7-1
base leg 7-3
crosswind leg 7-4
departure leg 7-4
downwind leg 7-3
entry leg 7-3
final approach leg 7-3
upwind leg 7-3
AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 2-1
ALTERNATOR/GENERATOR 12-7
ALTITUDE TURBOCHARGING 11-7
ANTI-ICING 12-7
APPROACH AND LANDING 8-1
after-landing roll 8-7
base leg 8-1
crosswind 8-15
emergency 8-25
estimating height and movement 8-4
faulty 8-27
final approach 8-2
go-around 8-11
multiengine 12-14
night 10-6
normal 8-1
roundout (flare) 8-5
short-field 8-17
soft-field 8-19
stabilized approach 8-7
touchdown 8-6
turbulent air 8-17
use of flaps 8-3
ATTITUDE FLYING 3-2
AUTOPILOT 12-6
AXIAL FLOW 14-5
B
BACK SIDE OF THE POWER CURVE 8-19
BALLOONING 8-3, 8-30
BANK ATTITUDE 3-2
BASE LEG 7-3, 8-1
BEFORE TAKEOFF CHECK 2-11
BEST ANGLE OF CLIMB (VX) 3-13, 12-1
one engine inoperative (VXSE) 12-1
BEST GLIDE SPEED 3-16
BEST RATE OF CLIMB 3-13, 12-1
one engine inoperative (VYSE) 12-1
BETA RANGE 14-7
BLACK HOLE APPROACH 10-2
BOUNCING 8-30
BUS BAR 14-8
BUS TIE 14-9
BYPASS AIR 15-2
BYPASS RATIO 15-2
C
CASCADE REVERSER 15-14
CENTRIFUGAL COMPRESSOR
STAGE 14-5
CHANDELLE 9-4
CHECKLISTS, Use of, 1-6
CIRCUIT BREAKER 14-9
CLEAR OF RUNWAY 2-11
CLIMB GRADIENT 12-8
I-1
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Page I-2
CLIMBS 3-13
maximum performance 5-8
night 10-5
COCKPIT MANAGEMENT 2-7
COLLISION AVOIDANCE 1-4
COMBUSTION CHAMBER 14-1
COMBUSTION HEATER 12-6
COMPLEX AIRPLANE 11-1
COMPRESSION RATIO 15-1
COMPRESSOR 14-1
CONDITION LEVER 14-4
CONES 10-1
CONFINED AREA 16-4
CONSTANT-SPEED PROPELLER 11-4
blade angle control 11-5
governing range 11-5
operation 11-5
CONTROLLABLE-PITCH PROPELLER 11-3
CONVENTIONAL GEAR AIRPLANE 13-1
CORE AIRFLOW 15-2
CRAZING 2-2
CRITICAL ALTITUDE 11-7
CRITICAL MACH 15-7
CROSS-CONTROL STALL 4-10
CROSSWIND APPROACH
AND LANDING 8-13
CROSSWIND COMPONENT 5-6
CROSSWIND LEG 7-4
CROSSWIND TAKEOFF 5-5
CURRENT LIMITER 14-9
D
DEICING 12-7
DEPARTURE LEG 7-4
DESCENTS 3-15
minimum safe airspeed 3-16
partial power 3-16
DITCHING 16-1
DOWNWASH 8-3
DOWNWIND LEG 7-3
DRAG DEVICES 15-13
DRIFT 6-2
DUCTED FAN 15-2
E
EGT 11-8
EIGHTS ACROSS A ROAD 6-11
EIGHTS ALONG A ROAD 6-9
EIGHTS AROUND PYLONS 6-11
EIGHTS-ON-PYLONS 6-12
ELEMENTARY EIGHTS 6-9
ELEVATOR TRIM STALL 4-11
ELT 2-1
I-2
EMERGENCIES
abnormal instrument indications 16-11
door open in flight 16-12
electrical system 16-10
engine failure 16-5
fires 16-7
flap failure 16-8
landing gear malfunction 16-9
loss of elevator control 16-9
night 10-8
pitot-static system 16-11
VFR flight into IMC 16-12
EMERGENCY APPROACH
AND LANDING 8-25
EMERGENCY DESCENTS 16-6
EMERGENCY GEAR
EXTENSION SYSTEM 11-10
EMERGENCY LANDINGS 16-1
airplane configuration 16-3
psychological hazards 16-1
safety concepts 16-2
terrain selection 16-3
terrain types 16-4
EMERGENCY LOCATOR
TRANSMITTER 2-1
ENGINE FAILURE AFTER TAKEOFF 16-5
ENGINE FAILURE, MULTIENGINE
approach and landing 12-22
during flight 12-21
flight principles 12-23
takeoff 12-18
ENGINE SHUTDOWN 2-12
ENGINE STARTING 2-7
ENTRY LEG 7-3
EXHAUST GAS TEMPERATURE 11-8
EXHAUST MANIFOLD 11-7
EXHAUST SECTION 14-1
F
FALSE START 14-10
FAULTY APPROACHES 8-27
ballooning 8-30
floating 8-29
high final 8-27
high roundout 8-28
low final 8-27
slow final 8-28
FEATHERING 12-3
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (FAA) 1-1
FEEL OF THE AIRPLANE 3-2
FINAL APPROACH 8-2
FINAL APPROACH LEG 7-3
FIRES
cabin 16-8
electrical 16-7
engine 16-7
Index.qxd
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10:52 AM
Page I-3
FIXED SHAFT ENGINE 14-3
FLAP EXTENSION SPEED (VFE) 12-15
FLAPS 11-1
effectiveness 11-2
function 11-1
operational procedures 11-2
use of 8-3
FLARE 8-5
FLIGHT CONTROLS 3-1
FLIGHT DIRECTOR 12-6
FLIGHT IDLE 14-7
FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR, ROLE OF 1-3
FLIGHT SAFETY 1-4
FLIGHT STANDARDS DISTRICT
OFFICE (FSDO) 1-2
FLIGHT TRAINING SCHOOLS 1-3
FLOATING 8-29
FORCED LANDING 16-1
FORWARD SLIP 8-10
FOUR FUNDAMENTALS 3-1
FREE TURBINE ENGINE 14-5
FUEL CONTROL UNIT 14-6
FUEL CONTROLLER 14-1
FUEL CROSSFEED 12-5
FUEL HEATER 15-3
G
GAS GENERATOR 15-2
GAS TURBINE ENGINE 14-1
GLIDE 3-16
GLIDE RATIO 3-16
GO-AROUND (REJECTED LANDING) 8-11, 12-17
GOVERNING RANGE 11-5
GROUND BOOSTING 11-7
GROUND EFFECT 5-7, 8-13
GROUND INSPECTION 2-1
GROUND LOOP 8-33, 13-6
GROUND OPERATIONS 2-7
GROUND REFERENCE MANEUVERS 6-1
drift and ground track control 6-2
eights across a road 6-11
eights along a road 6-9
eights around pylons 6-11
eights-on-pylons (pylon eights) 6-12
rectangular course 6-4
s-turns across a road 6-6
turns around a point 6-7
GROUND ROLL 5-1
GROUND TRACK CONTROL 6-2
GROUNDSPEED 6-3
HAND PROPPING 2-8
HAND SIGNALS 2-7
HIGH PERFORMANCE AIRPLANE 11-1
HOT START 14-10
HUNG START 14-10
HYDROPLANING 8-34
I
ILLUSIONS 10-2
INITIAL CLIMB 5-1
INTAKE MANIFOLD 11-7
INTEGRATED FLIGHT INSTRUCTION 3-3
INTENTIONAL SPIN 4-15
INVERTER 14-8
JET AIRPLANE 15-1
approach and landing 15-19
low speed flight 15-10
pilot sensations 15-15
rotation and lift-off 15-18
stalls 15-10
takeoff and climb 15-16
touchdown and rollout 15-24
J
JET ENGINE 15-1
efficiency 15-5
fuel heater 15-3
ignition 15-3
operating 15-2
K
KINESTHESIA 3-2
L
L/DMAX 3-16
LANDING GEAR
controls 11-10
electrical 11-9
electrohydraulic 11-9
emergency extension 11-10
hydraulic 11-9
malfunction 16-9
operational procedures 11-12
position indicators 11-10
retractable 11-9
safety devices 11-10
tailwheel 13-1
LATERAL AXIS 3-2
LAZY EIGHT 9-6
LEVEL FLIGHT 3-4
LIFT-OFF 5-1
LIFT-OFF SPEED (VLOF) 12-1
I-3
Index.qxd
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Page I-4
LONGITUDINAL AXIS 3-2
LOSS OF DIRECTIONAL
CONTROL DEMONSTRATION 12-27
M
MACH 15-7
MACH BUFFET BOUNDARIES 15-8
MACH TUCK 15-7
MANEUVERING SPEED 9-1
MAXIMUM OPERATING SPEED 15-6
MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE
CLIMB 5-8
MAXIMUM SAFE
CROSSWIND VELOCITIES 8-16
MINIMUM CONTROL SPEED (VMC) 12-2
MINIMUM CONTROLLABLE
AIRSPEED 4-1
MINIMUM DRAG SPEED 4-2
MULTIENGINE AIRPLANE 12-1
approach and landing 12-14
crosswind approach and landing 12-16
engine failure during flight 12-21
engine failure on takeoff 12-18
fuel crossfeed 12-5
go-around 12-17
ground operation 12-12
level off and cruise 12-14
one engine inoperative approach and
landing 12-22
propeller 12-3
propeller synchronization 12-5
rejected takeoff 12-18
short-field operations 12-16
slow flight 12-25
stalls 12-25
takeoff and climb 12-12
weight and balance 12-10
MUSHING 3-2
N
NIGHT OPERATIONS
airplane equipment 10-3
airplane lighting 10-3
airport and navigation lighting aids 10-4
approach and landing 10-6
emergencies 10-8
illusions 10-2
orientation and navigation 10-6
pilot equipment 10-3
preparation and preflight 10-4
start, taxi, and runup 10-5
takeoff and climb 10-5
I-4
NIGHT VISION 10-1
NOISE ABATEMENT 5-11
NORMAL TAKEOFF 5-2
NOSE BAGGAGE COMPARTMENT 12-7
O
ONE-ENGINE-INOPERATIVE SPEED (VSSE) 12-1
OVERBANKING TENDENCY 3-9
OVERBOOST CONDITION 11-9
OVERSPEED 15-8
P
PARALLAX ERROR 3-11
PARKING 2-11
PILOT EQUIPMENT, Night 10-3
PILOT EXAMINER, Role of 1-2
PITCH AND POWER 3-19
PITCH ATTITUDE 3-2
PIVOTAL ALTITUDE 6-14
PORPOISING 8-31
POSITION LIGHTS 10-3
POSITIVE TRANSFER OF CONTROLS 1-6
POSTFLIGHT 2-12
POWER CURVE 8-19
POWER LEVER 14-4
PRACTICAL SLIP LIMIT 8-11
PRACTICAL TEST STANDARDS (PTS) 1-4
PRECAUTIONARY LANDING 16-1
PREFLIGHT INSPECTION 2-2
PRESSURE CONTROLLER 11-7
PROPELLER 11-3, 12-3
PROPELLER BLADE ANGLE 11-4
control 11-5
PROPELLER CONTROL 11-4
PROPELLER SYNCHRONIZATION 12-5
PSYCHOLOGICAL HAZARDS 16-1
PYLON EIGHTS 6-12
R
RADIUS OF TURN 3-10
RECTANGULAR COURSE 6-4
REGION OF REVERSE COMMAND 8-19
REJECTED LANDING 8-11
REJECTED TAKEOFF 5-11, 12-18
RETRACTABLE LANDING GEAR 11-9
approach and landing 11-13
controls 11-10
electrical 11-9
electrohydraulic 11-9
emergency extension 11-10
hydraulic 11-9
Index.qxd
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10:52 AM
Page I-5
operational procedures 11-12
position indicators 11-10
safety devices 11-10
takeoff and climb 11-13
transition training 11-14
REVERSE THRUST 14-7
RODS 10-1
ROTATING BEACON 10-4
ROTATION 5-1
ROTATION SPEED (VR) 12-1
ROUGH-FIELD TAKEOFF 5-10
ROUNDOUT 8-5
ballooning 8-3
floating 8-29
high 8-28
late or rapid 8-29
RUNWAY INCURSION 1-5
RUNWAY LIGHTS 10-4
S
SAFETY CONCEPTS 16-2
SECONDARY STALL 4-9
SECURING 2-12
SEGMENTED CIRCLE 7-3
SERVICE CEILING 12-8
SERVICING 2-12
SHORT-FIELD
approach and landing 8-17
tailwheel 13-3
takeoff 5-8
SIDESLIP 5-6, 8-10
SINK RATE 16-3
SKID 3-8
SLIP 3-8, 8-10
SLOW FLIGHT 4-1, 12-25
SOFT FIELD
approach and landing 8-19
tailwheel 13-4
takeoff 5-10
SPEED BRAKE 15-13
SPEED INSTABILITY 4-2
SPIN AWARENESS 12-26
SPINS 4-12
developed phase 4-14
entry phase 4-13
incipient phase 4-13
intentional 4-15
procedures 4-13
recovery phase 4-14
weight and balance requirements 4-16
SPLIT SHAFT ENGINE 14-5
SPOILERS 15-13
SQUAT SWITCH 11-10
STABILIZED APPROACH 8-7, 15-21
STALL AWARENESS 1-6
STALLS 4-3
accelerated 4-9
characteristics 4-6
cross-control 4-10
elevator trim 4-11
imminent 4-6
jet airplane 15-10
multiengine 12-25
power-off 4-7
power-on 4-8
recognition 4-3
recovery 4-4
secondary 4-9
use of ailerons/rudders 4-5
STEEP SPIRAL 9-3
STEEP TURNS 9-1
STRAIGHT FLIGHT 3-5
STRAIGHT-AND-LEVEL FLIGHT 3-4
S-TURNS ACROSS A ROAD 6-6
T
TAILWHEEL AIRPLANES 13-1
crosswind landing 13-5
crosswind takeoff 13-3
short-field landing 13-6
short-field takeoff 13-3
soft-field landing 13-6
soft-field takeoff 13-4
takeoff 13-3
takeoff roll 13-2
taxiing 13-1
touchdown 13-4
wheel landing 13-6
TAKEOFF
crosswind 5-5
ground effect 5-7
multiengine 12-2
night 10-5
normal 5-2
rejected 5-11
roll 5-1
short field 5-8
soft/rough field 5-10
tailwheel 13-3
tailwheel crosswind 13-3
tailwheel short-field 13-3
tailwheel soft-field 13-4
TARGET REVERSER 15-14
TAXIING 2-9
tailwheel 13-1
THRUST LEVER 15-4
THRUST REVERSERS 15-14
TOUCHDOWN 8-6
bounce 8-30
crab 8-32
drift 8-32
I-5
Index.qxd
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Page I-6
ground loop 8-33
hard landing 8-32
porpoise 8-31
tailwheel 13-4
wheelbarrowing 8-32
wing rise 8-33
TRACK 6-2
TRAFFIC PATTERN INDICATOR 7-3
TRANSITION TRAINING
complex airplane 11-14
high performance airplane 11-14
jet powered airplanes 15-1
multiengine airplane 12-31
tailwheel airplanes 13-1
turbopropeller powered airplanes 14-12
TRANSONIC FLOW 15-7
TRIM CONTROL 3-6
TURBINE INLET TEMPERATURE 11-8
TURBINE SECTION 14-1
TURBOCHARGER 11-7
failure 11-9
heat management 11-8
operating characteristics 11-8
TURBOFAN ENGINE 15-2
TURBOPROP AIRPLANE 14-1
electrical system 14-8
operational considerations 14-10
TURBOPROP ENGINES 14-2
TURBULENT AIR APPROACH
AND LANDING 8-17
TURNS 3-7
climbing 3-15
coordinated 3-9
gliding 3-18
level 3-7
medium 3-7
I-6
shallow 3-7
steep 3-8
TURNS AROUND A POINT 6-7
U
UPWIND LEG 7-3
V
VFR FLIGHT INTO
IMC CONDITIONS 16-12
VISUAL GROUND INSPECTION 2-1
V-SPEEDS 12-1, 15-16, 15-19
W
WASTE GATE 11-7
WEATHERVANE 5-5
WEIGHT AND BALANCE 12-10
WHEEL LANDING 13-6
WHEELBARROWING 5-9, 8-17, 8-32
WINDSOCK 7-3
WINGTIP WASHOUT 4-5
Y
YAW 3-2
YAW DAMPER 12-6
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