Thursday, December 10, 2015

Takeoff, Eh?

Outside Air Temperature and altitude of the airfield above sea level combine to create density altitude, and density altitude can have drastic effects on the performance of aircraft.

It can also have drastic effects on your written test scores if you don't know how to calculate it -- sadly my written test didn't have a single density altitude question even though I studied it intensively. I was almost going to complain and demand some density altitude questions from the exam proctor....well, almost. But I digress.

Density altitude basically mean that you're on the ground but the aircraft acts like it's already at high altitude with all the decrease in performance that entails. With light aircraft at airports located at certain levels above sea level such as in mountainous terrain with high outside temperatures, you likely will not be able to safely takeoff.

This Russian pilot demonstrates the fun involved with density altitude with a heavily-laden IL-76 jet on a hot day in Australia, complete with some very Australian color commentary.

Well, since he's paying for the use of the runway, he might as well use all of it, right?


juvat said...

Thanks. Story for Monday!

Aaron said...

Cool! I look forward to reading it.