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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
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…
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.
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.
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.
Example 2: Tailwind of 25 Knots, Final Approach Speed of 100 Knots.
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.
Have you used these formulas before? Tell us how you use them in the comments below.
“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
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What else is easy to miss on preflight? Tell us in the comments below.
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Everyone knows that crosswind landings are usually challenging for student pilots. But beyond landings (and money!), there’s a lot about learning to fly that can be pretty tough. Here’s what you should be ready for.
Everyone knows that crosswind landings are usually challenging for student pilots. But beyond landings (and money!), there’s a lot about learning to fly that can be pretty tough. Here’s what you should be ready for…
One of the toughest topics for private pilot students is aircraft systems. As less and less people grow up working on cars or around machinery, there’s diminishing knowledge behind what makes that engine turn.Want to know more about the systems and equipment in your aircraft? Dig into your POH and read section 7. Better yet, find a local A&P at your airport and have them walk you through a few systems with the cowling off. Getting hands-on with the equipment behind closed panels is a great way to learn how your airplane flies.
2) The National Airspace System
It’s more than identifying lines of airspace on a sectional chart. You’ll need to know what weather minimums exist at different altitudes (day and night), what your equipment requirements are, and what your communication requirements are.
We can help – give our National Airspace System course a try.
3) Learning Regulations
There are hundreds of FAA Regulations that govern how, where, and when you can fly. Some of them can be pretty confusing. As a student pilot, you’re just as responsible for adhering to the FARs as any fully certificated pilot. Keep yourself out of trouble and learn those regs!
A huge part of learning to fly is understanding the physics behind how it all works. But how can a strong foundation of aerodynamics save your life? One simple example is the lift to drag ratio for your airplane. At L/D max, or the best lift to drag ratio, you’ll find an approximate best glide speed.
5) Decoding Textual Weather
Whether it’s a METAR or PIREP, it’s your responsibility as a pilot to maintain your skills for decoding textual weather.
Need a refresher? Give our Aviation Weather Products course a try.
6) “Radio Talk”
Learning how to actively listen for your callsign in busy airspace with dozens of airplanes on-frequency is tough. Adding that to learning the correct verbiage provides quite the task for brand new student pilots. Here are some things you shouldn’t say over the radio.
7) Getting Into “School Mode”
First and foremost, getting your brain into a “school mode” can be tough, especially if you haven’t sat in a formal classroom setting in years. Learning to fly is undoubtedly fun, but there’s also a lot of work outside the cockpit.
2016 was a quite a year at Boldmethod, and we have readers like you to thank for it (thanks!). So to wrap up 2016 and get ready for 2017, here are our 10 most popular stories of the year. Enjoy, and Happy New Year!
10) Pitch For Airspeed, Power For Altitude? Or The Other Way Around?
You’re high on the glideslope. How do you correct? Do you pitch down, or do you reduce power? Read story…
9) How To Fly An IFR Departure Procedure With A “Climb Via”
ExpressJet gave us a flight crew and a jet for the day (how cool is that?). So we went out and flew one of the more confusing things in instrument flying: a departure procedure with a “climb via”. Read story…
8) How To Survive An Engine Failure Immediately After Takeoff
An engine failure is always something that will get your blood pumping, but there’s one place where it can be particularly pulse-pounding… Read story…
Checkrides can be scary, especially your first one. But there’s good news: a lot of other people have taken them, and you can learn from their mistakes.
1. Weather: Who loves weather reports and forecasts? Not too many people. Unfortunately, you’ll need to know it all. METARs and TAFs aren’t so bad, but when you start digging into AIRMETs, Winds Aloft forecasts and Area Forecasts, things can get ugly. Need some help getting prepped on weather for your examiner? We can help with this one too.
So whether you’re learning to fly, teaching people to fly, or just trying to keep your skills sharp, the question is still the same: should you trim in a steep turn?
First off, trimming your plane is almost always a good idea. It helps relieve your control inputs, keeps your plane going in the direction you want it to, and helps keeps your passengers from using their sick-sacks in flight (you remembered to pack those, right?!).
But steep turns aren’t normal, every day wings-level flying. They’re a specific maneuver intended to help you understand how your plane behaves when your wings aren’t level. And things like attitude control, accelerated stall, overbanking tendency, AOA/load factor, and power requirements are all part of the mix when you’re executing a steep turn.
And hopefully by learning all of those things, you’ll recognize what your plane can, and can’t, do when you get into a situation that could require a lot of bank, like a tight base-to-final turn.
So should you use trim to help yourself on your next steep turn? Before you decide, it helps to understand the most common problems when it comes to steep turns, and then figure out if trim will help you eliminate them.
Problem 1: Over Controlling The Turn
Over controlling is one of the biggest problems in steep turns. If you over control, you’ll be constantly chasing airspeed and altitude, and your flight path will look like a yo-yo…