October 2008 Issue

Aviation Questions And Comments

Referring to your September 2008 article, "Batteries Not Required"—a nice review of cross-country basics—I have a question and two comments. The question refers to the flight log: Why is "1.2" in the log’s Time box when the block time was 1+35 or 1.6? One comment involves missing a possible teaching opportunity by not discussing MOAs, the planned route and altitude, and the floor of the Lemoore C MOA. The other comment involves the sidebar, "Lift’s Horizontal Component," which discusses steep turns and includes a quote from an FAA publication on the need to create additional lift in a turn. You then add your conclusion that "Increasing angle of attack, of course, increases the stall speed." This is not the message I would want my students to gain from your article. Your statement is not true in the commonly practiced stall entries from 1G straight and level flight. There the increasing angle of attack doesn’t "increase" stall speed. In truth, even in the situation under discussion—stalls while turning—it is the increased load factor that increases the stall speed. It can be argued that increasing angle of attack does often increase load factor (pull ups, turns, etc.) but wouldn’t it be preferable to instead conclude that stall speed increases as a result of increasing load factor? That is a true statement always.

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