Safety: What Goes Up Must Come Down

Welcome to the Safety Section of the Flying Clubs Newsletter, Club Connector!

Each month we provide resources for flying club safety officers so that they can keep their clubs informed and safe.   We also include links to the PowerPoint slides that we use for our own club meetings, so that you always have a topic for your club’s next safety meeting.  Along with the slides, we often provide links to relevant articles, videos, and other media that you may also find useful.

Alright then, let’s get on with this month’s safety topic!

April 2023 Safety Topic of the Month: Best Glide Speed

  • If distance is what you want, you’ll need a speed and configuration that will get you the most distance forward for each increment of altitude lost. This speed is often referred to as best glide speed and, on most airplanes it’ll be roughly half way between Vx and Vy. The speed will increase with weight so most manufacturers will establish the best glide speed at gross weight for the aircraft. That means your best glide speed will be a little lower for lower aircraft weights.


  • The glide ratio of an airplane is the distance the airplane travels in relation to the altitude it loses. For example, if an airplane travels 10,000 feet forward while descending 1,000 feet, its glide ratio is 10 to 1.


  • Since the highest glide ratio occurs at maximum L/D, certain considerations should be given for drag-producing components of the airplane, such as flaps, landing gear, and cowl flaps. When drag increases, a corresponding decrease in pitch attitude is required to maintain airspeed. As the pitch is lowered, the glide path steepens and reduces the distance traveled. To maximize the distance traveled during a glide, all drag-producing components need to be eliminated if possible.


  • Frequent forced landing practice at typical mission weights is an excellent way to maintain proficiency and peace of mind.Forced landing skills diminish rapidly over time but with practice, you’ll be able to consistently land on your chosen touchdown spot regardless of wind.

April 2023 Safety Topic of the Month: Best Glide Speed



Other Safety Resources:

Here is a quick reminder of just some of the resources available to all pilots:

  1. The FAASTeam website is the portal to a vast array of courses, videos, links, and much more.Remember that WINGS not only encompasses “knowledge” activities, but also flight activities.Use the various search options to narrow done, to, say flight activities for a basic phase of WINGS and you’ll be able to find a syllabus and often a worksheet for each flight activity.


  2. AOPA’s own Air Safety Institute, which by the way, is funded by the AOPA Foundation just like the Flying Clubs Initiative, is packed with amazing content, including exceptional videos, podcasts, accident analysis, online courses, recorded webinars and more.Completing these activities may also earn WINGS credits.Of particular interest to flying club safety officers is the recently updated Safety to Go section.Here, you can download a selection of topics, each coming with PowerPoint slides and speaker’s notes!

WINGS for Clubs:

If you are interested in using the FAASTeam WINGS program with your flying club, feel free to contact Steve, who is a Lead Representative and WINGSPro, and uses the program in his club.  More on WINGS for Clubs can be found here in Flying Clubs Radio Episode 8 and the May 2020 Question of the Month.

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