I’ll never forget going into my first lesson in ground school. Unfortunately I had missed the very first lesson so I was already about 60 pages behind.
It was one of those things that felt pretty overwhelming.I remember sitting down and we begin to talk about Pitot static information. It is used for determining things like airspeed and altitude.
They delved in even farther and said that there are four different types of airspeed. This blew my socks off because I thought…how can there possibly be for different types of airspeed?
It’s so funny up until then I have believed that an airplane was just like a car. You were going as fast as the speedometer said you were going.
I mean it’s logical right? A police officer with radar gun doesn’t pull you over and say you were going faster than what your speedometer said does he.
But then I realized that speedometers are calibrated to the size wheels that you have and the revolutions per minute.
Whereas, and an airplane you don’t have such luxuries.
So the type of speed really depends on what you were looking for.
Here are the four airspeeds:
Indicated airspeed: this is sort of the raw data of your airspeed. It stands uncorrected for variables that are natural to flying such as atmospheric pressure.
Calibrated airspeed: this is the airspeed that is corrected against the variables listed above.
True airspeed is airspeed that has been corrected for pressure altitude and temperature.
Groundspeed: this is the speed at which your airplane is moving across the ground. I kind of think of this as if the airplane were on the ground and there were no trees in the way this is how fast I would be driving. Essentially this is my speedometer on the ground.
What really comes in the play is that once you’re off the ground things like wind, pressure, temperature, atmospheric density and so on muck around with how your instruments read the information.
You have to know that your instruments are naturally going to be off. The speeds allow you to have a conceptualized image of what is transpiring around your airplane.
These types of things become very important in a relationship to how well your airplane will perform. It also is something you want to be mindful of because your airplane may have certain tolerances that when exceeded can cause damage to your plane.
Obviously a damaged plane won’t fly.
I remember sitting in the first class thinking that I may not ever be able to learn all of this information. I wondered what the application was. Further one of the biggest things I was concerned with was how much knowledge I would have to acquire in order to be a good pilot. I remember being afraid that the wormhole goes so deep and I have so little information in my mind that I would not be able to build associations well.
In other words I was concerned that I didn’t already have enough information to even categorize the information that I was going to be taught. This kind of scared me. It made me think that I was embarking on a task that was so large that I did not know the beginning or end of the information that I would need to understand.
It is so important to be able to categorize the information that you learn.
For example if I told you you needed to learn English, you would understand that there are basic concepts within the language that you would have to understand and learn first.
So that was the big question on my mind was how much information is involved in aviation.
What do I need to know to be safe and reliable.
I think I have it covered. My friends son who is 16 years old just flew an airplane to have breakfast in another city.
It’s amazing that he can fly an airplane but doesn’t have a drivers license to drive a car.