August 2007 Issue

Cruise Flight Dynamics

We spend most of our time in cruise flight, yet little training time is devoted to the finer points of savvy straight and level.

Unless youíre someone like Sean Tucker or Patty Wagstaff, or one of the Blue Angels, you probably spend most of your time in the left seat of an airplane flying it straight and level. I know I do, since Iím usually going somewhere, even if itís only a quick flight to and from a nearby airport to warm the oil before changing it. Meanwhile, we spend a lot of time worrying about the aerodynamics associated with stalls, slips, spins and such, even though we rarely find ourselves performing those maneuvers.

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