Pressure what? Density what?
As pilots, we love altitude. So much that we've created a bunch of different kinds of altitude: true altitude, absolute altitude, indicated altitude, assigned altitude, and two kinds of confusing ones - pressure altitude and density altitude. For many pilots, this can lead to a mental overload. Many pilots don't have a working understanding of pressure and density altitude. Are they even real altitudes at all?
In this seminar, SCFC Chief Pilot Dan Dyer introduces and explains the terms "pressure altitude" and "density altitude" and demystifies their meaning. Although the word "altitude" is used, these are clearly not measures of altitude. In fact, they are measures of atmospheric pressure and density just converted into units that pilots can understand. Confusing at first, yes, but once understood they serve a valuable purpose in determining aircraft performance.
Although few things are as important to a pilot as knowing the performance capability of the aircraft before taking to the skies, measuring the critical factor - atmospheric density - is not something that pilots can do directly. Instead we use rules of thumb, conversion factors, and our best understanding of how elevation, pressure, temperature, and humidity are interrelated. If you've ever opened your aircraft POH to the performance section and felt humbled, this seminar is for you.
Dan Dyer is Chief Pilot of San Carlos Flight Center and has been instructing for 11 years, first in helicopter and now in airplanes. He has almost 4,000 flight hours and is the Bay Area's local expert in crosswind landing instruction. For years, he has taught a highly regarded Private Pilot ground school in San Carlos and is known for finding simple and innovative ways to explain complex topics. He regularly speaks on advanced ground school topics, and was one of the founders of the Bay Area FlyOutGroup - a social club of over 350 pilots that meet for lunches, dinners, and other fun aerial adventures. Find out more about Dan at www.sancarlosflight.com or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
San Carlos Flight Center was voted Best Flight School in the US in the 2013 AOPA Flight Training Excellence Awards. We are committed to promoting safety in general aviation through our evening safety seminar programs. For more information about this and any of our weekly seminars, please visit http://sancarlosflight.com/activities-and-events.