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Performance charts are used to determine the takeoff, climb, cruise, and landing performance of any aircraft. All charts or tables provided by the manufacturer are provided in all aircraft Airplane Flight Manuals/Pilot Operating Handbook (AFM/POH). As part of the preflight, pilots should calculate the aircraft performance prior to each flight and determine the runway length needed for takeoff and landing, and more.

Types of Performance Chart’s

There are different types of charts created by aircraft manufacture to figure out performance:

  • Table charts

  • Graph charts

Both types of charts give use the same information. Some aircraft manufactures may only use the table chart, whereas others might only use the graph, or they may use both at the same time.

  • NOTE: Whatever the manufacture provides we have to use.

Pay close attention to the notes and conditions that are written on the either type of chart or table.

Key to figuring out performance charts is to give yourself a little extra. Always, make sure you have enough runway plus a little more, don’t want to end up short.

What altitude do we use?

Pressure altitude (PA) is used to calculate, it is important as a basis for determining aircraft performance. If the altimeter is set for 29.92"Hg Standard datum plane (SDP). Find this by setting the Kollsman scale of the altimeter to 29.92"Hg in the aircraft and reading the indicated altitude.

  • Standard datum plane (SDP) – is the theoretical level in the atmosphere where the weight of the atmosphere is 29.92” Hg as measured by a barometer. As the atmosphere pressure changes, the SDP changes to be either below, above, or at sea level. The SDP is used to determine pressure altitude.


Aircraft POH charts

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