Good Read 

“The Wet Runway Trap” (Cause & Circumstance, September 2017) was a good read and title for sure. The crew kept getting strikes against them as the flight progressed, but believe it or not my comment is in regard to your last line – “There is nothing as useless as fuel in the truck or runway behind you.” And I bet I’m not the only one to tell you.


I love using such famous phrases; I sell cranes and forklifts and use my own line:

A crane or forklift will do one of four things when trying to lift a load, it will:

1:  Tip up and not be able to lift it 

2:  Not have the strength to lift it and just sit there moaning under the load 

3:  The one that you never want is to have it structurally fail 

4:  Safely lift the load 

You forgot the 3rd item in your phrase: “air above you.”

Alan Hyman 

Baltimore, Maryland

Knowledge Is Key

“TEB’s ‘Non-Circling, Circling Approach’” (September 2017) is in the finest tradition of real aviators helping others. I just wish I could understand and comprehend a slice of James Albright’s knowledge. Thank you.

And “Update: Gulfstream G600” (September 2017) makes it tough seeing all this progress in the wind. At least my son can look forward to checking it out.

Art Dube

Sherman, Connecticut

From the Web

Comments on  “TEB’s ‘Non-Circling, Circling Approach’”by James Albright, September BCA, page 28

Great practical advice. Mr. Albright’s rhetorical ploy in conclusion is one of the most masterful encouragements of a go around maneuver I have ever read. “Do it for me, and I thank you in advance.” Brilliant! 


I always like your stuff and have followed you for years. This is a great article highlighting many pitfalls involved in circling and maneuvering when in close proximity to the ground. I think a couple of your numbers are off a bit but this doesn’t at all diminish the value of what you have written. Here’s what I come up with:

“If your Vref is based on 1.23 Vsro, you will be at 123 kt. and have a healthy margin above the stall. Now let’s throw in a level turn.

As long as we keep our bank angle to less than 30 deg. the load factor is almost negligible, only 1.15 G. But now our stall speed is 107 kt., leaving us with only a 7-kt. margin.”

While the stall speed has increased by 7 kt., you would be 16 kt. above stall (123 Vref-107 Vs).

“A 36-deg. bank angle in a level turn brings our example airplane to a stall. “

“Bank Adjusted Load Factor=1/cos [(bank angle)]”, hence g=1/.809=1.23 at 36-deg. bank.

“Stall Speed at X G’s=Stall Speed at 1G√X”, hence Vs at 36°=100√1.23=111 knots, a smaller margin but still 12 kt. from stall.

Editor’s Response: You are quite right, I was shy one calculation. You put it quite well, you will have a smaller margin, but still 12 kt. from stall. I was looking for the level flight bank angle to stall the example aircraft and that would have been nearly 50 deg., something certainly achievable when circling in a gusty wind. Thanks for the correction. — James Albright

This approach is a perfect example of why the FAA should drop their outdated rule that all circling approaches for training and testing must be at least a 90 degrees offset. This approach is an order of magnitude more difficult than KMEM 27 circle to 18R, and it is something that people actually do. This also applies to KMDW 31C circle to 22. Excellent article. 


Comment on “Cybersecurity in the Flight Department,” by David Esler, September BCA, page 46

All operators must assume that the Internet is insecure. This is a completely unsolvable problem as there are just too many weak links in the Internet chain to ever make it secure. All that is needed is one disgruntled current or ex-employee who knows how your systems work and you are potentially buggered.