The Dangerous Departure

J. Mac McClellan tells us about the most dangerous stall. And it isn’t the one most instructors think it is:

“If you have been flying for more than a few years you probably believe most stall/spin accidents happen in the traffic pattern. And you are likely convinced that the base-to-final turn is the deadliest spot for stall accidents. And I don’t blame you. That’s what you have been told by instructors and other “industry” types. It just doesn’t happen to be true. And hasn’t been true for many years.

Richard Collins and I have written many times that the takeoff and initial climb is the most common phase of flight for a serious stall accident. And the departure stall is the deadliest. But pilots either don’t believe us, or the myth of the base-to-final stall is simply too enormous for anybody to dethrone…..”

Read the whole article here.

True Airspeed for Fuel Management

Here’s an interesting post on Air Facts from a gentleman that studiously reviews his fuel requirements so he never comes up short:

“If you look in your POH, there should be a graph describing True Airspeed, Density Altitude and Engine Power. It takes so much power to push an airplane through the air at a given speed. The faster you cruise the more power it takes, and the power demand increases much more then the airspeed does. Engine Power produced is proportional to fuel flow, so if you know your speed, then you can also know the fuel flow for your type aircraft. The trick here is to know your TRUE airspeed, because the ASI lies to you as you go higher. This means you must correct your airspeed reading to true airspeed while you are flying the plane, and trim the airplane for the true airspeed desired to properly manage fuel flow.

For the first few years, we flew 86F with open wheels and cruised along at around 100 kts on our long trips. We nearly always burned 7.5 GPH on these trips, but even a slight headwind meant we would be stopping for fuel. At first we stopped anyway, just to be safe. Over time I was able to confidently extend our range safely, so we completed a 400 nm leg and landed with our desired 1-hour fuel reserve left in the tanks. The airplane’s performance was predictable and reliable.”

Read the whole post here.

Starting an approach at the IF

AOPA fills instrument pilots in on how to start an approach at the Intermediate Fix.

“Instrument pilots know that there are two ways to start an instrument approach: they can get vectors or fly direct to an initial approach fix (IAF). Last month, I wrote about the “new” third way to start an approach, by flying to the intermediate fix (IF). This month I planned to write about the challenges in requesting to start an approach at an IF. Coincidentally, the day this article was due, the problem I planned to describe occurred…again….”

Read the whole post here.

Are you up to the approach?

Air Facts Journal has a great post on some of the most interesting approaches:

“Everybody loves a good approach plate. At least Air Facts readers do. After we shared seven bizarre instrument approach charts last year, we had hundreds of positive comments and numerous requests for more. As we like to say, the readers are PIC at Air Facts, so here we will indulge your desire for more torturous procedures.

In the initial article, we limited ourselves to airports in the United States. But given the recently concluded Olympics, we thought it only appropriate to include airports from all over the world. So buckle up for a whirlwind tour of the globe’s most interesting approach charts. As usual, these charts are for fun only, and not to be used for navigation.”

Find the whole post here.

Flight Planning Apps

AOPA gives a roundup of flight planning apps for IOS and Android:

“Before taking off, a pilot must complete myriad planning duties. The five apps listed below, sent in by members, help with many of those functions, including FBO/airport information, in-flight computations, filing pireps, and weather. These are not endorsements of any app.

FltPlan Go (free in iTunes): This iPad app has added more features to the company’s legacy FltPlan app, originally created to provide pilots with airport information and approach charts. The new app is still integrated with FltPlan’s website for one-stop flight planning in one centralized user account. App features include breadcrumb trails on the screen that show where the user has flown; rubber-banding of routing in flight planning; ability to create and edit routes offline; and expanded FBO airport information including fuel prices. The company will continue maintain and support the legacy app.

Aviation Calculations (free on Google Play): This smartphone app helps pilots and student pilots learn, practice, and review the 60 to 1 rule calculations used to provide quick approximations for many in-flight computations. It walks through the computations by leaving spaces where the user can enter data. The answers are computed upon pressing the calculate button on each page. Long pages may have multiple calculate buttons between different calculation methods or steps for convenience….”

Read the whole list here.

RAIM Failure

For those pilots using GPS, RAIM is essential. John D. Collins gives a tremendous explanation of how RAIM works and the possible failures on the Ask A Flight Instructor blog:

“RAIM is a calculation that a GPS receiver makes to determine if the position information is suitable for the navigation mode the receiver is using. It works on the principal that a position takes 4 satellites in view. If more satellites are in view, then one of the four satellites being used for the position can be substituted one at a time with one of the extra unused satellites. This generates 5 possible positions or more. The difference in the positions can be used to estimate the integrity of the position. This calculated value can be compared to the required integrity for the phase of flight and if it is not acceptable, warn the pilot. For enroute mode the RAIM value should be under 2 NM, terminal mode under 1 NM, and approach mode 0.3 NM.

Not all geometries of satellites provide the same accuracy of position. This is similar to determining a position with two intersecting VOR radials. If they cross at 90 degrees and are close to the station, the position error is small, whereas if they cross at 20 degrees and are far from both stations, the position error is large….”

Read the rest of the post here.

Thanks, John!