Lecture Materials

Lecture 8: Aircraft Performance

posted Apr 19, 2011, 12:00 PM by Francis Esmonde-White   [ updated Apr 19, 2011, 1:02 PM ]

Here are the notes from the lecture from Monday 4-18.

Lecture 7: Aviation Weather Services and Briefings

posted Apr 10, 2011, 8:01 AM by Francis Esmonde-White   [ updated Apr 10, 2011, 8:06 AM ]

We will have David Durakovich, guest lecturer on Monday April 11.

Read FAA Glider Flying Handbook 9-25 through 9-40

Below is the assignment, a duplication of the Word Document attached. Don't
get toooooo caught up the scintillating text of AC 00-45G...:-) which is
attached as an authoritative material for the extreme over achievers....

Lecture 10: Aeronautical Decision Making

posted Apr 2, 2011, 3:17 PM by Francis Esmonde-White   [ updated Apr 10, 2011, 8:07 AM ]

For Monday April 4:

Please read Glider Flying Handbook Chapter 1


Also take advantage of the AOPA interactive course:

Do the Right Thing: Decision Making for Pilots http://flash.aopa.org/asf/decisionmaking/dtrt.cfm?

Lecture 6: Weather Theory

posted Mar 29, 2011, 6:58 AM by Francis Esmonde-White   [ updated Mar 30, 2011, 8:49 PM ]

note: in addition to the material attached below, also see the Glider flying handbook (Ch. 9), and the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (Ch. 11).

Please read Glider Flying Handbook Chapter 9 up to 9-25

Post class:

As follow up to this evening's lecture, attached (see below) is the lecture Power Point,
Pilot Handbook of Aviation Knowledge Ch 11; QuizMaster Key and Quiz as well
as Thunderstorm notes.

Lecture 5: Air Traffic Control Communications

posted Mar 29, 2011, 6:56 AM by Francis Esmonde-White   [ updated Mar 30, 2011, 8:45 PM ]

Read FAR/AIM Chapter Sections:
  • 4-1-1 through 4-1-20

  • 4-2-1 through 4-2-13

  • 4-3-1 through 4-3-26

AOPA Interactive Course: SAY IT RIGHT http://flash.aopa.org/asf/radiocomm/swf/flash.cfm?

See lesson 5 "Communications" Power Point (as an attachment below)

PLEASE BRING YOUR FAR/AIM AND MICHIGAN CHARTS as well as your best pilot communication voice

Lecture 4: Airports and Airspace

posted Mar 29, 2011, 6:52 AM by Francis Esmonde-White   [ updated Mar 30, 2011, 8:44 PM ]

For Class on Monday MARCH 14, 2011

  1. Please take the Know Before You Go AOPA ASF Interactive Course and finish the test at the end to obtain Wings Credit: http://flash.aopa.org/asf/kbyg/swf/flash.cfm?

  2. Print the interactive course AIRSPACE QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE: http://flash.aopa.org/asf/kbyg/downloads/a3s4_Wx_Equip_Entry-reqs.pdf

  3. Read Aeronautical Information Manual CHAPTER 2 AND CHAPTER 3

  4. Bring your chart to class

  5. Bring your FAR/AIM to class

  6. We will be reviewing these materials in class as part of the lecture so bring your highlighters.

Post Class Material:

Lecture 3: Basic Aerodynamics

posted Mar 29, 2011, 6:46 AM by Francis Esmonde-White   [ updated Mar 29, 2011, 6:52 AM ]

note: in addition to the attached materials below, see the glider flying handbook chapter 3.

Lecture 2: Aircraft Components and Flight Instruments

posted Mar 29, 2011, 6:41 AM by Francis Esmonde-White   [ updated Mar 30, 2011, 8:59 PM ]

note: in addition to the attached materials below, see the glider flying handbook chapters 2 and 4.

We’ll start the review of the aircraft components and flight instruments as we would encounter them on a pre-flight inspection


  • Main / central portion of aircraft
  • Left/Right forward of wing and Left/Right rearward of wing 
  • Canopy
  • Tow Hooks: Nose & c/g
  • Motor/jet 
  • Ailerons 
  • Flaps 
  • Spoilers
  • Fuel tanks 
  • Water tanks 
  • Vertical Stabilizer and Rudder 
  • Horizontal Stabilizer and Elevator 

Landing Gear
  • Main, usually located near the c/g or balancing point 
  • Outrigger located at the tips or under the wing 
  • Tail 
  • Skids: nose, tail, wingtip 


Yaw String
  • Least Expensive, most useful for efficient flying which is ‘coordinated flight’ 
  • Yaw string ‘points to’ the rudder to step on to correct for yaw 

Inclinometer or Turn and Bank Indicator instrument panel ‘yaw string’

  • Acceleration Errors (east - west errors) 
    • North South flight no error 
    • Speed up - north turn indicated
    • Slow down – south turn indicated 
  • Turning Errors (north – south errors) 
    • Caused by compass dip
    • Turns from North LAG
    • South from South LEAD 
  • Magnetic VARIATION
    • Compass follows earth’s magnetic fields which VARY FROM TRUE NORTH
    • Aeronautical charts indicate LINES OF Variation They “VARY FROM PLACE TO PLACE” 
  • Magnetic DEVIATION 
    • Caused by other magnetic interference - aircraft related
    • Correction Card required 
  • Compass correction card required 
Flight Computer calculates various important values helpful to soaring -- later lecture

Condor Flight Simulator use builds superb skillset for the use of this instrument


Values indicated by these are related to atmospheric pressures and are connected to the pitot/static system of the aircraft 

Altimeter is an aneroid barometer which measures air pressure where it is located and converts the reading into feet ( or meters) which we call ALTITUDE 
  • Much like the hands of a clock, Big hand HUNDREDS, Small hand THOUSANDS, Smaller indicator for TENS OF THOUSANDS 
  • Adjusting knob (needed because atmospheric pressure is always changing) 
  • Kohlsmann Window used to ‘set’ the pressure altitude 
  • Approximately 1000 ft change for every 1.00”/Hg in setting 29.15 to 30.00 equals approx 850 ft increase in altitude shown 
  • Connected to the Pitot Static System 
  • Should be recalibrated/replace when varies more than 75ft 
  • Altitude is based on the fact that atmosphere higher is less dense 
  • Indicated Altitude is the altitude shown by the altimeter when set per ‘altimeter setting’ from AWOS, ATC, field elevation, etc. 
  • True Altitude is the distance above sea level 
  • 4,500 MSL 
  • Aeronautical charts are in TRUE ALT 
    • 3580 AGL 
  • Pressure Altitude is the altitude you set to get your INDICATED ALTITUDE 
    • based on a theoretical temp of 15C/59F and 29.92 “/Hg 
  • Density Altitude is Pressure Altitude corrected for non standard temp 

Variometer (Simple-Uncompensated) 
  • Measures a rate of change of atmospheric pressure and converts it into units of CLIMB OR SINK 
  • Determines if we are climbing or sinking 
  • Connected to a reference flask and the static pitot 
Air Speed Indicator
  • Measures ram air pressure and converts it to a measurement of AIRSPEED 
  • Ram air pressure changes with altitude thus giving a slower than actual speed the higher we fly 
  • INDICATED AIRSPEED is based on standard temp and pressure (15C/59F and 29.92 “/Hg)
  • TRUE AIRSPEED greater than indicated at approx 2%/1000 feet of altitude 
  • Standardized markings since 1945 to clearly mark 
    • Green arc (normal operating range, stall speed at bottom and MAX STRUCTURAL CRUISE SPEED at top 
    • Yellow arc (ONLY IN SMOOTH AIR) 
    • White arc (FLAPS SPEEDS…upper for max flap deployment; lower for stall speed with flaps and landing gear extended) 

G Meter

Outside Air Temp

Lecture 1: Pilot ratings, Aircraft Classification

posted Mar 29, 2011, 6:39 AM by Francis Esmonde-White   [ updated Mar 30, 2011, 9:01 PM ]

Ground School Lecture 1 Outline

What does it take to be a pilot? (Knowledge, Skill, Judgment).

Introductions – What do you want to get from this class

When / Where / Who had the first manned flight aboard and Aircraft? (Hot Air Balloon – 1785)

All the glorious machines we can fly: Category, Class and Types (SEL, Rotor, LTA, Glider, others).

Aircraft certification: Category Normal, Utility, Aerobatic, etc.

The Range of Aviation: Commercial – GA
  • Type of certificates: ATP, Comm, Private, Sport, Ultralight
  • How the activities require different ratings. 
How to become a pilot

How much it will cost (Rotorcraft, SEL, Glider!!)

Class structure and overview


Online supplements (ASA or Gleim Testprep, FAA materials; AOPA and others TBD)

Wrap-up / Sign-up

Course Outline

posted Mar 29, 2011, 6:36 AM by Francis Esmonde-White   [ updated Mar 30, 2011, 9:04 PM ]

Primary References

  1. FAA Glider Flying Handbook – please purchase or download ASAP
    1. AVAILABLE ONLINE (free) 
  2. 2011 FAR/AIM
    • Supplied at second session as part of course material

    • Supplied at second session as part of course material

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