August 2000 Issue

Long and Short of It

Long trips are fundamentally different than short ones, but proper planning can even out the risk

At the end of July every summer, thousands of pilots hear the sirenís song luring them to Oshkosh. For many, the trip involves a long flight in a sport plane seldom flown cross-country. For a few, the challenge is too much.

Pilots who ignore the pilgrimage to aviationís Mecca are not immune. Family vacations and the desire to explore tap into the quality that airplanes do best: long trips.

Long trips have many advantages over short ones. You can climb higher, get above the thermals and into cooler, smoother air. The airplane consumes less fuel in the thinner air and goes faster. You may be able to catch a favorable tailwind and whisk along over the countryside watching the GPS or DME c...

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