Engine Management


I am a huge fan of this publication and read it cover to cover every month. Thank you for this valuable contribution to aviation safety.


The recent article by Amy Laboda (“Engine-Related,” February 2012) was excellent. I have a Cessna 182 with an engine monitor, but feel I need an education in using it properly. I do not find it in the manual provided.

I recently lost a cylinder to a stuck exhaust valve but didn’t recognize the warning signs, if there were any. I know there are multiple models with different features, but a generic article on what to look for would be useful. Any help in this regard would be appreciated.

Thanks again for the great magazine!

Frank Middleton
Albany, Ga.

You raise an excellent point, Frank: The manuals accompanying engine monitors don’t do a good job of presenting various problem indications we might encounter. We’ll definitely put on our list of upcoming articles one going into some detail on this question.

In the meantime, we strongly recommend the engine-management training conducted in-person and online by Advanced Pilot Seminars, www.advancedpilot.com.

IFR Emergencies
In the event of an in-flight attitude indicator failure while in instrument conditions (“IFR Emergencies,” January 2012), we have a backup electric attitude indicator with a simple toggle switch that allows the backup to be primary to the autopilot. It’s inexpensive and potentially life-saving.

David Shepherd
via e-mail

More on Slips
Thanks for the excellent article on slips (“Slips…Who Needs ‘Em?”) in the December 2011 issue. Thanks also for publishing Rich Stowell’s follow-up letter in the January issue. Some good points were brought up in both. It was the diagram accompanying Mr. Stowell’s letter on which I wish to comment however.
In short, the diagram is misleading. It would have been more accurate to label the diagram “slip” rather than “forward slip.” Let me explain why.

As Mr. Stowell pointed out, a forward slip and side slip are the same thing, aerodynamically speaking. A slip is a slip. The words “side” and “forward” refer to the position of the airplane’s ground track with respect to the extended runway centerline (assuming no wind).

In a “forward” slip, the ground track coincides with the centerline, while in a “side” slip, it is at an angle to it. For both types of slips, the flight path/relative wind is at an angle to the longitudinal axis of the airplane (as shown in the diagram), but it is impossible to call the slip in the diagram a forward or side slip without knowing the orientation of the runway relative to the aircraft.

Now, regarding a side slip, I’m sure many are now asking, “How can the ground track be at an angle to the runway?” This is an excellent question, and shows precisely why a side slip is a great way to correct for a crosswind. In an (opposing) crosswind, that angle is eliminated, therefore the airplane stays on centerline.

I also wanted to point out a subtlety in the diagram that some may not have noticed. The airplane is in a left-wing-low attitude, as indicated by the shadow on the left wing. It might also have been a good idea to have added the rudder, deflected to the right of course.

Thanks for an excellent magazine! It is always thought-provoking and makes for some great discussion!

David Gill, CFII, MEI
Charlotte, N.C.

Flight Service
Just a brief response to your comment on Lockheed Martin Flight Service in the August issue.

I have been using FSS services since I started flying in the early 60s and believe I have had the best service since Lockheed Martin took over (minus some problems in the first year). I experience very few phone holds and can’t remember the last time I had a lengthy one.

Mike Gorno
Pompano Beach, Fla.

We’d agree: The initial “takeover” of Flight Service by Lockheed Martin was rocky. In recent months/years, we’ve been very pleased.


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