Follow the VASI

VASI
VASI

SHOULD YOU FOLLOW THE VASI ON FINAL APPROACH?

It’s a question debated by flight instructors and pilots around the country… after flying a traffic pattern, should you use the VASI as a descent aid for final approach, or should you land close to the numbers to avoid wasting valuable runway?

The short answer? Use the VASI when you can, and here’s why…

PAPI VS. VASI

Before diving into how you should plan a descent using visual guidance systems, it’s important to know a little bit about how they work. For the purpose of this article, we’ll use “VASI” as a synonymous term for any vertical guidance lighting system.

According to the AIM, the Visual Approach Slope Indicator (VASI) is a system of lights arranged to provide visual descent guidance information during the approach to a runway. These lights are visible from 3-5 miles during the day and up to 20 miles or more at night. The visual glide path of the VASI provides safe obstruction clearance within plus or minus 10 degrees of the extended runway centerline and to 4 NM from the runway threshold.

Read More

Best Glide or Minimum Sink

Best Glide or Minimum Sink
Best Glide or Minimum Sink

IF YOUR ENGINE FAILS, SHOULD YOU FLY BEST GLIDE OR MINIMUM SINK?

When you think about power off landings, there are probably a lot of things that go through your head, like finding an airport within gliding distance, finding an off-field landing site if there aren’t any airports, and last-ditch efforts to get your engine running again before you’re out of altitude.

In 2013, there were thirteen fatal accidents related to power off landings, according to the NTSB. You’re faced with some very serious decisions during a power off landing. But after you’ve run your checklists and determined your engine isn’t coming back to life, handling a power-off landing really comes down to three simple things: aviate, navigate, and communicate.

MAXIMIZING GLIDE RANGE, OR TIME ALOFT?

Read More

Confused in the clouds

Clouds
Clouds

6 WAYS PILOTS GET CONFUSED IN THE CLOUDS (AND HOW TO PREVENT IT)

As fall approaches, we’ll start seeing more gray, IFR days. And that’s important, because 5-10% of all general aviation accidents result from spatial disorientation, and of those accidents, 90% of them are fatal.

WHY DISORIENTATION HAPPENS IN THE CLOUDS

Your eyes are your primary sensory input when you’re flying. You look outside, you see which way the sky is pointing, and you adjust your airplane. But all of that falls apart when you’re in the clouds.

Read More

Carbureted vs Fuel Injected

Carb vs Fuel Injected
Carb vs Fuel Injected

THE PROS AND CONS OF CARBURETED VS. FUEL INJECTED ENGINES

There are two main types of fuel induction systems in airplanes: carburetors, fuel injectors. Each system has benefits and drawbacks – here’s why.

Let’s start with a basic systems overview.

CARBURETED ENGINES

Carburetors house a float-type chamber, where fuel is collected and distributed to the induction system.

Read More

Wing Washout

Wing Washout
Wing Washout

HOW WING WASHOUT MAKES YOUR AIRPLANE MORE STABLE

At first glance, it looks like the wings are straight on most light aircraft. But that’s not actually the case. Almost all aircraft have something called washout built into their wings, and it makes them more stable in a stall.

WHAT IS WASHOUT?

So what is washout? It’s a change in an airfoil’s angle of incidence, measured from the root to the tip. If you look closely at a wing with washout, you’ll see that it twists from the root to the tip, with the root having a higher angle of incidence than the tip.

Read More