Author Archives: madoxairsports

About madoxairsports

Madox Air Sports was established in The Gambia in 1996 as a Microlight Training School. Today it’s an Aero Club aiming to give Madox pilots and flying enthusiasts an opportunity to fly while on holiday in The Gambia. Over the years Madox has introduced sport flying to thousands of holiday makers who have booked a trial flight while on holiday and taken to the skies over the beautiful country. Many tourist have returned to train with Madox and now fly all over the World. The diverse flying experience offered in The Gambia coupled with the advantage of cheaper costs continues to attract Madox pilots and flying enthusiasts to return. Flying in West Africa is a great experience and a nice enjoyable way to keep your privileges current during the cold winter months in the UK.

Flying in The Gambia

Flying in The Gambia, was and will always be, simply fantastic!!!

The seasonal Harmattan weather made it a little hazy but the flying was fantastic.

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7 Steps will guide you from final approach to touchdown.

Thanks to Boldmethod for sharing…

Crosswind landings can be intimidating, but these 7 steps will guide you from final approach to touchdown.

1) Wind Check

When you’re on final at a towered airport, ask ATC for a wind check. An instantaneous wind reading gives you a good idea of what you’re correcting for. And if you’re at a non-towered airport, look for the wind sock. There’s at least one visible from the end of each runway.

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2) Monitor Your Speed

You should be established on your final approach speed (-0/+5 knots). When you fly the right speeds, you can spend more time focusing on the landing, and less on worrying about getting slow or fast on final.

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3) Flying A High Wing Plane? Less Flaps Might Be The Key.

Some aircraft manufacturers recommend using partial flaps in strong crosswinds. Check your POH. If they recommend it, you’ll have an easier time managing your touchdown.

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4) Transition From Crab To Slip

Initially on final, you’re pointed into the wind, wings-level, to maintain a straight ground track on the extended centerline of the runway. But as you approach the threshold, you’ll enter a side-slip for touchdown. Use rudder to align the nose with the runway, and use ailerons to prevent drifting upwind or downwind. It takes some practice, but we have great examples of what it should look like here.

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5) As You Flare, Increase Control Inputs

As you flare, you’re slowing down, and that makes your flight controls less effective. Slowly add more rudder and aileron during the flare to keep yourself aligned with the runway, all the way to touchdown.

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6) Upwind Wheel First

In the perfect crosswind landing, you’ll touch down on the upwind wheel first, followed by the downwind wheel, and then finally the nose wheel.

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7) Wind Correction After Landing

Once the aircraft is on the runway, don’t release the controls. Gradually increase your ailerons into the wind, so that a gust of wind doesn’t lift your upwind wing.

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Two Easy Rules of Thumb For Calculating a Three Degree Glide Slope

Source: Two Easy Rules-of-Thumb For Calculating a Three-Degree Glide Slope | Boldmethod (Thanks to boldmethod for sharing and keeping us safe)

Two Easy Rules-of-Thumb For Calculating a Three-Degree Glide Slope

 Have you ever found yourself chasing the glideslope on an ILS approach? There’s an easier way to do it.Groundspeed has a significant effect on descent rate, and there’s a formula you can use to ballpark your feet per minute (FPM) descent, even before you get on glideslope.

One of the most important parts of instrument flying is getting ahead of the airplane. The following formulas are a great way to do just that. In many glass cockpit aircraft, wind vectors and ground track diamonds mean you’ll have a easily visible references to use. GPS groundspeed will make the following equations extremely easy to use…

primary1Boldmethod
Option 1: Multiply Your Groundspeed By 5

If you’re flying your aircraft on a roughly 3 degree glideslope, try multiplying your groundspeed by 5 to estimate your descent rate. The result will be a FPM value for descent that you should target. As you capture the glideslope, make adjustments as necessary.

gs x 5
Option 2: Divide Ground speed In Half, Add “0”

Divide your ground speed in half, add a zero to the end, and you’ll have an approximate FPM of descent. This is another easy way to target an initial descent rate for a 3-degree precision approach, or even a VFR descent into an airport.

divide in half

Both formulas leave you with the same result. Choosing which formula to use comes down to which mental math you’re more comfortable with.

How Wind Affects Descent Rate

A tailwind on final will result in a higher groundspeed, thus requiring a higher descent rate to maintain glideslope. The opposite is true for headwinds. Let’s take a look at a few examples:

Example 1: Headwind of 25 Knots, Final Approach Speed of 100 Knots Indicated Airspeed.

example1

Example 2: Tailwind of 25 Knots, Final Approach Speed of 100 Knots.

example 2
Useful For More Than Just ILS Approaches

Looking for a good way to plan out your 3 degree glideslope? These formulas are great references for LPV approaches, LNAV+V, or even long VFR straight in approaches.

primarygc232

Have you used these formulas before? Tell us how you use them in the comments below.

 

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The Sounds of Nature

Thanks to snapshotsincursive for sharing.

“The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.” ~ Henry Beston

via The Sounds of Nature — snapshotsincursive

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9 Things That Can Be Easily Overlooked During Preflight 

Source: 9 Things That Can Be Easily Overlooked During Preflight | Boldmethod

(Thanks to Boldmethod for sharing)

1) Mandatory inspections

It’s important to verify that all required inspections are met for the aircraft you’re flying. You don’t want to compromise the safety of you and your passengers by flying an aircraft outside of its inspection windows, and you don’t want to have to explain why you flew an aircraft outside of mandatory inspections to the FAA, either.

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2) Required documents

At the start of each preflight, make sure your aircraft has all the required documents on board. Remember the acronym ARROW which stands for Airworthiness, Registration, Radio Station License, Operating Manual, and Weight and Balance.

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3) Fuel quantity

Never rely solely on the fuel quantity indicators. Make sure you visually check your fuel tanks to make sure you have enough gas for your flight.

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4) Pitot tube drain hole

You should always make sure that the pitot tube is open, as well as the drain hole. If you end up flying through precipitation, you want to make sure that your pitot tube is draining properly, so your indicated airspeed isn’t affected.

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5) Landing gear condition

Instead of skimming over the tire and saying “It looks good to me!”, make sure you actually check that the tire has proper inflation and that the tread isn’t worn down. It’s also important to make sure that the brake pads are intact, and that there isn’t any hydraulic fluid leaking.

5Anne Worner

6) Bottom of the fuselage

While it may seem unneeded, it helps you make sure there aren’t any dents on the bottom of the aircraft, tail strikes, or debris from prop blast. You also want to make sure there isn’t any excessive oil dripping, and that the avionics antennas are still intact before you go.

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7) Contaminants on the wings

When it’s below freezing, it can be easy to overlook contaminants on the wing like frost and clear ice, which both have adverse effects to your aircraft’s performance.

NTSB Frosted Wing

8) The propeller

Take your time to do a thorough inspection of the propeller. Make sure that both the leading and trailing edges of the propeller are smooth, and don’t have nicks or cracks. In addition to the visual inspection, you can also perform an audible test on composite props. Gently tap on the propeller from the hub to the propeller tip with a metal coin. If the tapping sounds hollow or dead, your prop could be delaminated, and you should have a mechanic check it out.

8RM Bulseco

9) Fuel filler caps

Double check them before you fly! If they’re not properly attached, you could risk fuel leakage from the top of the wing, which could make for a bad day.

primaryjay-jerry

What else is easy to miss on preflight? Tell us in the comments below.

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Why Do Your Wings Have Dihedral? | Boldmethod

Why Do Your Wings Have Dihedral? – Bothmethod
If you look closely at the wings on most aircraft, they’re tilted up slightly. Why would they ever do that? It’s not because you pulled too many Gs on your last flight. It’s because of a design feature called dihedral.

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First Off, What’s Dihedral?
Dihedral sounds like one of those words you cringed at in math class, but it’s actually pretty simple. Dihedral is the upward angle your aircraft’s wings. Here’s a great example of wing dihedral on a Boeing 777:

boeing-777-dihedral

Why Do You Need Dihedral?
It all comes down to stability. If you didn’t have dihedral, you’d spend more time keeping your wings level. Here’s why:

dihedral-stability
When you bank an airplane, the lift vector tilts in the same direction as the bank. And when that happens, your airplane starts slipping in the same direction, in this case, to the right.

The problem is, if you have a straight-wing aircraft, there’s no force that will bring the airplane back to wings-level flight without you intervening. And while that may be good for an aerobatic aircraft or fighter jet, it’s not something you want in your general aviation aircraft or airliner.
How Dihedral Fixes The Problem

When you add dihedral, you add lateral stability when your aircraft rolls left or right. Here’s how it works: let’s say you’re flying along and you accidentally bump your controls, rolling your plane to the right. When your wings have dihedral, two things happen:

1) First, your airplane starts slipping to the right. That means the relative wind is no longer approaching directly head-on to the aircraft, and instead is approaching slightly from the right. This means that there is a component of the relative wind that is acting inboard against the right wing.
dihedral-overhead
2) Second, because the relative wind has the inboard component, and because the wings are tilted up slightly, a portion of the the relative wind strikes the underside of the low wing, pushing it back up toward wings level. What’s really happening here is the low wing is flying at a higher AOA, and producing slightly more lift.
dihedral-slip-rear
The more dihedral your aircraft has, the more pronounced the effect becomes. But for most aircraft, they only have a few degrees of dihedral, which is just enough to return your wings to level during small disturbances, like turbulence, or bumping your flight controls in the cockpit.
It’s Not All Good News: Dihedral Comes At A Cost.

Dihedral isn’t always good, and like almost every design factor, it comes with a cost. In this case, there are two costs: increased drag, and decreased roll rate….

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Source: Why Do Your Wings Have Dihedral? | Boldmethod

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You Won’t Find this in the FAR-AIM

Great Stuff… Flying is FUN

KJAC Travel

Have fun.

It is easy for new pilots to get wrapped up in the daunting nature of their dream to fly. There are so many inherent dangers in the world of aviation that it becomes easy to forget how awesome flying is.

Sure, it is serious business. I’m certainly not suggesting that you throw caution to the wind and create a dangerous experience for yourself and other aviators. Instead, I suggest that you become so comfortable with the art of flying safely that you can have fun while you do it.

My dad, a lifelong aviator, likes to remind me that beginner aviators like myself, “Don’t know what we don’t know until we know.” Take a second to think about it. It’s confusing but it’s also true. The world of aviation is ever-expanding and achieving your private pilot license signifies that you have only scratched the surface.

The quote from…

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The Thunderstorm Threat

By ED BROTAK

The Thunderstorm Threat APRIL 10, 2017 BY GENERAL AVIATION NEWS STAFF 1 COMMENT By ED BROTAK With the onset of warmer weather, pilots face the increased risk of encountering thunderstorms. Although more common in the warmer months, thunderstorms can occur even in the winter, especially in the southern states. It’s estimated that 100,000 thunderstorms occur […]

via The Thunderstorm Threat General Aviation News — Peter Singhatey – Just Love Flying…

 

With the onset of warmer weather, pilots face the increased risk of encountering thunderstorms.  Although more common in the warmer months, thunderstorms can occur even in the winter, especially in the southern states. It’s estimated that 100,000 thunderstorms occur in the U.S. each year. Some locations in southwest Florida have 100 storms a year, but thunderstorms do occur in all 50 states.

Thunderstorms are most common in the late afternoon, but can occur at any time of the day.  Technically called convective cells, a thunderstorm can cover an area from 200 to 1,000 square miles. Storms can range in height from 10,000 feet to over 60,000 feet. Individual cells can last from less than a half hour to many hours.

THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF THUNDERSTORMS

There are different types of thunderstorms that develop under different conditions. “Air mass thunderstorms” typically develop in the late afternoon and evening due to the heat of the day. Development tends to be random, but they are more numerous over mountainous terrain. Although relatively weak, they can still pose problems and should be avoided. Fortunately, air mass thunderstorms tend to be slow moving.

A greater threat is posed by organized convection. These are stronger storms that often move quickly, up to 60 mph. They are often associated with fronts, especially ahead of cold fronts.

“Squall lines” form when convective cells develop in a line in response to prevailing atmospheric conditions. The line can extend for tens or even hundreds of miles. Although there are breaks between the cells, circumnavigation or remaining on the ground until the line passes is strongly recommended. Individual storms will die out only to be replaced by new cells, with the whole system lasting for hours.

MINIMIZING THE DANGER

It’s a good time to review the risks thunderstorms pose to aviators and what you can do to minimize the danger.  Many things are happening inside a thunderstorm cloud (cumulonimbus) that they pose a wide variety of threats to aircraft.

Lightning can certainly do some structural damage and affect electrical equipment inside a plane.  Hail, which can grow to the size of softballs, can damage windshields and the exterior of the aircraft. The occurrence of hail indicates sub-freezing temperatures at some height in the cloud.  Even with the warmth of summer, towering thunderstorm clouds easily reach and exceed the freezing level. This also means super-cooled water and the risk of icing is present.  One of the more subtle threats thunderstorms produce is erroneous aneroid altimeter readings due to the rapid pressure changes the storm induces. Readings may be off by 100 feet.

But by far the greatest risk is turbulence. Updrafts and downdrafts within the storm can easily reach 50 mph (73.3 feet per second) and can reach 100 mph (146.6 feet per second). Planes can literally be torn to pieces by the turbulence generated between the up drafts and down drafts.  Even if there is no structural damage to the aircraft, loss of control is a distinct possibility.  And obviously within the cloud, IMC exist and the risk of Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT), especially in uneven terrain, is great.

And keep in mind that convection can develop very quickly. What was VMC everywhere can quickly contain areas of IMC.

TROUBLE ALL AROUND

Dangerous weather conditions are not limited to within the storm cloud itself. Turbulence above the cloud top can extend upwards for thousands of feet.

Interestingly, the massive core of the storm can actually act as a solid impediment to the prevailing winds, almost like a mountain. Clear Air Turbulence (CAT) can be produced in the air flow downwind of the storm and extend tens of miles.  Beneath the storm cloud base, conditions can also be treacherous. Blinding rain and even hail can extend to the ground. IMC conditions are common.  Extreme downdrafts, called downbursts or microbursts, can occur even without precipitation. Once these downdrafts hit the ground, they can spread out, sometimes for tens of miles, producing strong, shifting winds that can exceed 100 mph, and the dreaded wind shear.

BE PREPARED

Before you start your flight, your preflight weather check, including TAFs and FAs, should highlight any convective problems.  Particularly note any CONVECTIVE SIGMETS, forecasts that warn of dangerous flying conditions due to convection in the next two hours.

But keep in mind, it is impossible to predict exactly when and where thunderstorms will develop in advance. And convection can develop rapidly, sometimes in a matter of minutes.  Closer to takeoff, you can check the latest METARs and PIREPS to see if convection has been reported.

Weather radar is the best tool for locating and tracking thunderstorms. The heavy rainfall rates associated with convection are well depicted as areas of yellow, red, or even purple if hail is present.  Movement and changes in intensity can be determined by tracking storms over time.

Major terminals are well covered by land-based radar. Terminal Doppler Weather Radar can detect thunderstorms and even wind shear near an airport. Larger airports also have specialized wind shear monitoring equipment for the runways. Smaller GA airports are often not as well equipped.

IT’S UP TO YOU

It’s up to the pilot to determine thunderstorm risk…

 

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