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Aircraft Performance

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Aircraft Performance

Old 6th May 2009, 22:00
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Aircraft Performance

A question for aircrew and operations staff-do you believe your training in aircraft performance is or has been adequate and thorough? I'm doing some research on this subject and appreciate all feedback.

Thank you,

Jon Caples
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Old 7th May 2009, 02:23
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adequate and thorough
Yes, no problems...on any of the several types that I have flown.
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Old 7th May 2009, 04:50
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Most major airlines address aircraft performance at several levels:

(1) Initial pilot intake course.
(2) Initial aircraft type rating.
(3) Initial aircraft line training.

Performance is also reviewed during base and line check flights.

In answer to your question - Yes, more than adequate.
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Old 7th May 2009, 09:50
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It depends upon the operator, and the culture.

My background is from the Australian Airline system where Performance knowledge was sacred, understood well by most pilots, and deeply embedded in the airline culture. I can say the same of some other operators whom I've observed - QANTAS (superb), Australian Airlines, Ansett, South African Airways, Indian Airlines, Lufthansa to name a few. I'm sure that there are numerous other operators who take Performance understanding amongst pilots very seriously. SOME DON'T.

It is my opinion that Performance UNDERSTANDING amongst pilots with my present employer is ABYSSMAL, and that's a compliment to them.

I will be the first to concede that application of performance data available, and application of company policy is very good, but deeper knowledge of the Performance BASICs is almost non-existant. They know how to do it, but don't know WHY.

When charged with doing the Performance Engineering for one of the company's subsidiaries, I wrote a Performance Training manual, I called it "Performance for Dummies". The company only showed luke-warm interest, but did publish it, and did programme 2 day courses on Performance basics for intake pilots with yours truly running it. This was well received, which surprised me a bit, it seems that the trainees did Performance 'A', got a tick in the box, and bulk erased the learning.

After I left that division, the Training Manual went out of print, and no more training courses were scheduled. Instead, a half day training of "How to use the Data" was introduced, no deeper understanding required.

Now, I spend line flights with F/Os who ask never ending questions en-route about performance. They understand the HOW, but have a strong yearning to know the WHY

I'm usually a strong supporter of my airline, but, in this area, they stink.

It depends upon the airline, and it's culture!

Regards,

Old Smokey (who will be looking for a new job soon)
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Old 8th May 2009, 00:31
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I just came from a place in which the performance calculations were the bailywick of the flight engineer. All crewmembers were expected to maintain proficiency and to demonstrate regularly use of the performance calculating programs and documents. Wise crewmembers always took it to heart that while the flight engineer might be a consummate professional, he may also make a mistake. Accordingly, we always verified what was given us. I always do.

I find with my current, temporary position, performance training given at the company level has been lacking. As a check airman and company instructor, I have an opportunity to correct that, and have been working hard to do so. I firmly believe all crewmembers (flight deck crewmembers, that is) should be 100% proficient and understanding in their approach to performance calculations.

It's important stuff.
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Old 8th May 2009, 07:05
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Talking Wow-Thanks for the response!

Thanks to everyone who responded! Let me take a look at everyone's responses then I'll come back with a short list of questions about performance. Again thank you to everyone who has responded and thanks in advance to those of you who respond to the questions that will be posted in a few days.

Everyone have a safe and success filled future!

Jon
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Old 8th May 2009, 08:13
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You can just delete your double posting yourself.

Yes, training is thorough and complete, and set for the lowest common denominator.
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Old 8th May 2009, 16:59
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And these are the reasons I try to wash'em out in ground school


Lester


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Old 12th May 2009, 05:49
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Angel Questions will be posted within two days

Hello all,

Weekend didn't go as planned, spent most of it in bed with a cold so a little behind. I'll have the questions posted within two days. The answers should be fairly obvious and hopefully not too biased toward the FAA ways of doing things.

Looking forward to every one's comments as several of the questions should generate some discussion (they have when asked to other folks).

Have a great week all!

Jon
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Old 13th May 2009, 04:42
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The answers should be fairly obvious and hopefully not too biased toward the FAA ways of doing things.
You have got to be joking me... The FAA way of doing things doesnt teach you performance, you just have to remember the answers!

Mutt
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Old 13th May 2009, 05:28
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Here's two samples...

Here's two sample questions to hopefully whet your appetite:

1-Which climb segment(s) is always most limiting?
A) Second Segment
B) Third Segment
C) Answers A and B
D) Not enough information or there is no correct answer given

2-What is the difference between clearway and stopway?
A) There is no difference, other than one is at the arrival end of the runway and the other at the departure end
B) Clearway must be paved
C) Stopway must be as strong as the associated runway
D) Not enough information or there is no correct answer given

Back tomorrow with more...

Jon
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Old 13th May 2009, 14:18
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D and D. Did I pass?

Regards,

Old Smokey
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Old 14th May 2009, 03:18
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Smile Here's eight more for a total of 10 questions...

3-Maximum weight for take-off is always the ____ of runway limit weight, climb limit weight, obstruction limit weight, and maximum structural take-off weight.
A) Largest
B) Least
C) Greatest correct for temperature, field elevation, and wind
D) Not enough information or no correct answer given

4-Maximum structural take-off weight varies with?
A) Temperature, field elevation, and altimeter setting
B) Flap setting and wind
C) All of the above
D) Not enough information or no correct answer given

5-Using more flaps/slats for take-off will?
A) Increase ground roll and increase climb gradient
B) Decrease ground roll and increase climb gradient
C) Increase ground roll and decrease climb gradient
D) Decrease ground roll and decrease climb gradient

6-Since we know performance figures (weights and speeds) are conservative it is ok to take-off or land as long as our weight and planned speeds are close to the calculated figures.
A) True
B) False

7-How much climb capability is lost after one engine on a twin engine aircraft fails?
A) Less than 20%
B) Less than 50%
C) 50%
D) More than 50%

8-Airport AAA has three parallel runways all oriented 13/31. 31L has 11,150 feet available for take-off, 31C has 9,750 feet available for take-off, and 31R has 9,500 available for take-off. 31R has the largest take-off weights, why?
A) Dispatch didn't calculate the weights correctly.
B) The other pilot or engineer didn't calculate the weights correctly.
C) Poor take-off technique.
D) Obstacles

9-Using maximum engine thrust for take-off will always result in larger take-off weights?
A) True
B) False

10-Obstacle data obtained from two different vendors will match.
A) True
B) False

Hope this sparks some discussion and thought. I'll post answers and short explanation Monday 5/18.

Jon
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Old 14th May 2009, 06:31
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Seejonfly...

What are you attempting to achieve?? This isnt a wannabee forum !!

Mutt
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Old 14th May 2009, 17:21
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because performance is so complicated a subject,...all of these questions have more than one possible answer depending on the day,...for example the second segment is normally limting,...but not ALWAYS

so these are all ambiguous questions and I go with my friend OLD Smokeys' answer,...
D and D

and yes I know what the FAA is looking for,..but their books are not detailed enough for this field the FAA books are for pilots,..but this subject is immensely complicated that neither the AIRPLANE FLYING HANDBOOK,. or PILOTS HANDBOOK Of AERONAUTICAL KNOWLEDGE ,...cover this subject entirely nor Gleim nor Jeppessen,.......

PA
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Old 14th May 2009, 19:44
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Hi Mutt!

My goals are:

1-See if there is enough interest in this topic to continue a business built around providing aviation training and engineering services especially in the area of performance but also including CRM and some other allied topics. And I promise that I will not hound anyone who responds to the quiz with solicitations...in fact I won't solicit anyone on here. If anyone is interested in discussing business please send an e-mail to [email protected] . If this violates any of the rules of this forum I apologize and will take corrective action.

2-Plumb the level of knowledge about performance demonstrated by those who respond to the questions. Frankly, my experience has shown that very few pilots really understand performance. When I was flying professionally I thought that I had a really good understanding of performance. What I found out after working as a performance engineer is that I had very little understanding of performance....and a lot of what I had been taught was either missleading or downright wrong. I knew how to run the numbers but really did not understand what they meant nor how they had been derived. And, I'd say this is true of most pilots.

3-Hopefully, provoke some thought and spirited conversation about performance.

4-Have some fun with all this!

Quickly my background includes teaching ground school and maintaining ground school programs for a major US flag carrier, CAPT and FO at commuter airlines, 5,000 hours total flight time, formal performance training at Airbus and Boeing, and multiple years experience as an Aircraft Performance Engineer. Along the way I've acquired a lot of experience in several engineering disciplines along with graduate and undergraduate degrees in engineering.

Best to all!
Jon
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Old 15th May 2009, 15:09
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Well you've been responded to by two top performance experts,...but this is kind of basic performance for what gets discussed here

we are not babies

PA
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Old 15th May 2009, 22:08
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Talking Thanks for the feedback!

Based on prior experience thought it best to start simple. Please don't think I mean any disrespect or don't believe there are some really knowlegable folks on here (friend who recommended this forum to me is one of the sharpest guys around). I'll come up with some more challenging questions over the next few days. If anyone else would like to contribute some questions please do!

Here's a quick few:

11-Why might take-off performance be better from a wet runway than a dry one with all other conditions and the aircraft unchanged?
A) It can't be, performance from a dry runway is always better you ninny !
B) "Wet" conditions change the screen height from 35 feet to 15 feet.
C) "Wet" conditions can allow credit for the use of reverse thrust.
D) B & C.

12-The take-off performance data associated with an engine failure derived during certification testing are based upon?
A) An engine failure at V1.
B) An engine failure at V1-5 knots.
C) The aircraft remaining within 35 feet of the centerline.
D) A & C.

13-A given aircraft aircraft is certified under several different regulatory schemes (i.e. FAR, TC, EASA, and CAA-UK) with no changes to equipment. Its performance will be exactly the same except for minor differences caused by conversion to different units of measure (knots to Km/hr, KG to LBS, etc.)?
A) True
B) False

14-Your company owns and operates three identical aircraft (even the empty weights are the same...a miracle for the purpose of this question). One of the aircraft has a different AFM (Aircraft Flight Manual aka Approved Flight Manual) and higher take-off and landing weights (including maximum structural take-off and landing weights). Can this be correct?
A) True
B) False

15-Briefly explain why your answer to 14 is correct. I'll provide my answer Monday when I post answers to the existing questions and also a few more complicated questions.

Best to all,

Jon
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Old 16th May 2009, 04:45
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11: A
12: C
13: A
14: A
15: We paid for higher weights!!!

Problem with asking this kind of question is that the answers are ambiguous

11: Takeoff performance software has a DRY CHECK function, so from a pilots point of view he wont see higher weights on a wet runway.

12: Engine presumed to fail at VEF.

13: Different certification requirements, just try asking about crosswinds

14/15: Money talks......

Have a good weekend.....

Mutt
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Old 16th May 2009, 09:56
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As far as A A subjects, I always insisted on reviewing the performance theory i.e. FAR 25, and FAR 121. It often happens that while pilots are perfectly able to read a performance table or graph, the detailed knowledge of performance concepts is lacking...
xxx
Personally, when I was flying, I made a difference between "hard limits", such as takeoff distances... i.e. runway length which is "physically limiting", and say a "second segment climb limit", which might be open airspace and in practice non existant obstacles...
xxx
You will not crash if you pass the end of the runway at 25 feet AGL, although performance on takeoff is based on passing the end of the runway at 35 feet AGL... So... performance - Know the meaning of the numbers you read on tables and charts.
xxx

Happy contrails
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