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Airplane Performance Daniel R. Bower, Ph.D. Airplane Performance Specialist Single Engine Climb Performance Cessna climb rate information for the accident conditions: airplane weight outside air temperature winds altitude + 200 feet per minute (fpm) Airplane Performance Data Available

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airplane performance

Airplane Performance

Daniel R. Bower, Ph.D.

Airplane Performance Specialist

single engine climb performance
Single Engine Climb Performance
  • Cessna climb rate information for the accident conditions:
    • airplane weight
    • outside air temperature
    • winds
    • altitude

+ 200 feet per minute (fpm)

airplane performance data available
Airplane Performance Data Available
  • No radar, FDR, or CVR data
  • Statements from pilot and Air Sunshine station manager
    • Point 1
      • Engine damage occurs at an altitude of 3,500 feet
      • About 20 to 25 nautical miles from Treasure Cay Airport
      • Airspeed reduced to 105 knots
    • Point 2
      • About 15 nautical miles from Treasure Cay Airport
      • 2,000 feet altitude
      • About 200 fpm descent rate
      • Airspeed reduced to 95 knots
    • Airplane wreckage was located about 7.35 nautical miles from Treasure Cay Airport
slide4

Average Descent Rates

Starting 25 nautical miles from

Treasure Cay Airport

3,500 feet

212 to

280 fpm

2,000 feet

250 fpm

360 to

429 fpm

Accident Site

Treasure

Cay

factors contributing to descent rate
Factors Contributing to Descent Rate
  • Rotating propeller (versus feathered):400 fpm
  • Flaps extended to 15 degrees (versus flaps at 0 degrees): 165 to 145 fpm
  • Cowl flap open on inoperative engine (versus closed): 9 fpm
  • Exposed magnetos (versus undamaged engine): 4 fpm

All of these factors combined would have contributed between 558 and 578 feet per minute to the descent rate.

slide6

Factors Contributing to Descent Rate

  • Other operational factors:
    • Operating in nonsteady descent
    • Operating at bank angle other than 5 degrees toward operative engine
    • Operating at sideslip angle other than ½-ball slip on the turn and bank indicator
airplane performance conclusions
Airplane Performance Conclusions
  • Average descent rate of about 250 fpm would have resulted in airplane reaching Treasure Cay.
  • Average descent rate of accident airplane below 2,000 feet was between 360 and 429 fpm.
  • Maximum flight performance was not maintained because of operational factors.
airplane performance8

Airplane Performance

Daniel R. Bower, Ph.D.

Airplane Performance Specialist