July 12, 2013

“In the last several years, it’s become apparent that, among Part 91, Part 91K and 135 operators, there are not real, clear understandings of some issues related to Part 25 aircraft performance, and there was a need for guidance, particularly for this group of operators,” observed Bruce McGray of the FAA Flight Technologies and Procedures Division in the opening minutes of a webinar presented last month.

The webinar, “Transport Airplane Performance – Briefing for Business Aviation Pilots & Operators,” is available online for viewing by NBAA Members. It was created to introduce a series of training videos totaling one hour, 45 minutes, which cover aircraft performance misconceptions. The videos are a product of three years of work by the FAA’s Transport Airplane Performance Planning Working Group (TAPP), of which McGray is also the FAA co-chair.

Also featured were TAPP Industry Chair Richard J. Boll II, who has worked on policy issues for the NBAA Access Committee; Diana Swanson of Jeppesen, an expert in flight information safety and auditing; and Al Gorthy of the FAA Runway Safety Group on energy management. The panel dispelled common misunderstandings about declared distances, certification parameters for turbine aircraft and the complexity of climb profiles affecting operation with one engine out.

Gorthy began his portion of the presentation by challenging assumptions on excursions.

“This may come as a surprise,” he observed, “but 75 percent of all U.S. business jet runway excursions occur on a dry runway that’s greater than 5,000 feet in length.” Gorthy then focused on aircraft speed, surface wind, threshold crossing height and aircraft braking, all identified by TAPP as areas requiring improved understanding.

The training videos produced by TAPP are also available for viewing by Members. Titles include, “Planning for Takeoff Obstacle Clearance,” “Declared Distances,” “Wet Runway Takeoff Performance” and “Landing Distance Assessment.”

Commenting on the video series, NBAA’s Bob Lamond, director of air traffic services and infrastructure, said, “The information contained in these videos is critical to pilots gaining an understanding of how performance parameters affect their ability to avoid runway excursions and other incidents and accidents.”