Tuesday, June 19, 2012
From The Editor: Lights, Camera, Action!
Wherever you fly this summer, Bill Cox's article on understanding density altitude is sure to be of help. With summer's warm temperatures come extra considerations for flying. Bill takes an in-depth look at DA, with subtle-but-crucial tips, such as calculating aircraft performance based on actual runway surface temperature, not the reported OAT. He provides techniques to save time before takeoff—and engine overheat—and to handle turbulence, often unavoidable on a hot summer day.
Flying, especially in conditions such as high density altitude, involves a decision-making process. In this issue, Airbus captain Mike McEllhiney applies training and safety tools he has learned through crew resource management in the airline world to the smaller GA cockpit. McEllhiney even dispels the notion that CRM principles can only apply to multiple-pilot cockpits, so even if you're flying single pilot, there are actions you can do better to increase your safety.
Also this month, Senior Editor Bill Cox flies a new Diamond DA40 XLS with Mike Fabianac of KCAC West, a Diamond Aircraft distributor for California that's growing with locations in Hayward, Long Beach and soon, Van Nuys. They put the "Star Wars-design" airplane through its paces over southern California's Catalina Island. Bill also interviews Peter Maurer, president of Diamond Aircraft in Canada, for an update on Diamond programs including the D-Jet and the DA52.
Over on the East Coast, James Lawrence flies the Rans S-7LS Courier with Rans pilot Jana Morenz. The sporty LSA taildragger has been reworked with upgrades for 2012, including increased fuel capacity, greater payload and more responsive handling.
We've launched a new blog! Keep up to date with our contributors, such as Patty Wagstaff—who's spending the summer flying OV-10s in northern California for the state forestry department—and James Lawrence—our LSA editor who shares the latest news on the world of light-sport aviation. Go to www.planeandpilotmag.com/blog.