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#106131 - 12/22/12 04:28 PM Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts?
Firewalker Offline
Safety Pilot

Registered: 12/20/12
Posts: 36
Loc: West Texas
I have a question regarding the steps you were taught when landing. I was talking with a friend of mine who also spent some time in flight training and it was odd how much differently he was taught compared to how I was. One thing I really struggled with was being too high on final and coming in way too hot after dropping the excess altitude. (like 95kias) frown I was at 1200' on downwind (1000 agl) Abeam the numbers 10 deg of flap/ carb heat on. Turn base another 10 deg... Power to 1500 RPM. Once runway is "made" power to idle. That is how my primary instructor taught it. I flew with another CFI who had power to 1500 on downwind and 25 deg of flaps. My friend said he was taught power to idle and full flaps on downwind.

One way I have found to make it easier for me to not have 4 white on the PAPI is to extend downwind. (seemed odd to spend so much energy to get to 1200' and get back down to appropriate altitude before final. I started playing with the flaps and I really like how it behaves with 30 deg of flaps in the 152 and 25 deg in the 172. It feels really sluggish to have 30 deg flap on the 172 to me anyway.

This may sound silly but I am trying to get a wide range of opinions and form my own technique I really like. It certainly looks like more than one way to skin a cat as they say. So far I have only tried forward slip twice and it looked like crap and I had to abort that technique and just land long. It was a 11,600 runway so not a huge issue.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Forgive me if this has been covered a million times. TIA

Scott

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#106144 - 12/22/12 06:00 PM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: Firewalker]
Don Tedrow Offline
Platinum Pilot

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 3659
Loc: Bastrop, TX
Before we all start offering advice, where are you in training? Pre/post solo? Newly minted Private?

Landing is all about energy management. If you keep coming in High and fast, you can do four things, less throttle, more flaps, extend pattern, and slip. Maybe a little bit of two or three of above. Instructors teach new students a set procedure to try to get them in a reasonable position for landing, since the new student doesn't have any experience to draw from. But what you'll find after you get your ticket is you're going to have to be flexible enough to fly a base entry or straight in, short and long approaches to accomodate other traffic, strange winds and a thousand different airport, airspace and runway layouts. Your instructor wants a new student to feel comfortable and confident, but as you progress, you might be better off trying different things so you feel confident in a variety of configurations. You need to feel confident with a full-flap approach to a 2000' runway, and a no flap approach to a longer runway.
_________________________
1972 F33A Bonanza


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#106145 - 12/22/12 06:06 PM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: Don Tedrow]
Firewalker Offline
Safety Pilot

Registered: 12/20/12
Posts: 36
Loc: West Texas
Hello there Don,
I am still in training for PPL..... post solo. Total of 25 hours 17 of which is solo. Congrats on your triple 7 post. Would have been better used on a slot machine or black jack table but you spent it on me. Very kind! laugh


Edited by Firewalker (12/22/12 06:08 PM)

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#106161 - 12/22/12 08:41 PM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: Firewalker]
Don Tedrow Offline
Platinum Pilot

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 3659
Loc: Bastrop, TX
Well Scott, I used to teach similar to what your original CFI taught. Abeam the numbers, power back, 10 deg, base leg when the threshold is between your 7:00-8:00 position and another 10 deg of flaps. From that point, you do what is necessary to keep the approach on path and stabilised. More flaps, less throttle, whatever it takes. Most of my students landed with between 30-40 deg flaps. I wonder if the fact that you're training at an 11,000' runway is influencing your problems. Perhaps a half dozen approaches to a much narrower 2-3000' runway would give you a better defined sight picture. Ever hear the quote "Aim small, miss small." It's from a movie, but it's good advice. You can't be precise when aiming at a huge target. You may just need a smaller, well defined one.
_________________________
1972 F33A Bonanza


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#106193 - 12/23/12 03:05 AM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: Don Tedrow]
Captain Sam Offline
Pilot in Command

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 470
Loc: KGKY
Here's how we do it.

Abeam the numbers: power to 1500, airspeed under 100kt flaps 10. Trim for 75kt
45degrees from threshold: start base turn, flaps 20
turning final: flaps 30
runway made (usually over or just short of the road at the approach end of the runway: power to idle
10-20ft: level flight attitude, float it down to the runway with progressive back pressure as speed bleeds off.

nowadays my landings sound like SCREEchirp instead of THUD.

most frustrating approach was calm winds. I like 10-15kt in my face for landing.
_________________________
Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man.


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#106199 - 12/23/12 03:55 AM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: Firewalker]
XP Driver Offline
Club Sponsor
Gold Pilot

Registered: 01/08/11
Posts: 2407
Loc: Fairfax, Virginia
This is the way I was taught, and what I still do by the way.

Entering the downwind leg at pattern altitude pull throttle back to 1800 rpm to drop the speed down below 100kts. Abeam the numbers drop rpms to 1500, add 10 degrees of flaps and maintain 75kts. Keep pressure on the yoke to avoid ballooning when the flaps go in. After turning base go to 20 degrees of flaps and 70 kts. Turn final and once the runway is made go to 30 degrees of flaps and 65kts on final. Rpms should stay at 1500 throughout. Cross the threshold at 60kts and then hold her off as she bleeds energy and settles down to a nice landing on the mains. This method works well for me.
_________________________


Once you go XP you never go back!

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#106201 - 12/23/12 04:33 AM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: XP Driver]
Peedie Montgomery Offline
Platinum Pilot

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 3480
Loc: Hickory, NC
I was taught the way XP Driver was. Now I use whats needed to land safely. At my home strip its 40* of flaps always ,Grass and short. Just keep working on it you will fine a Happy Happy in there somewhere.Fly safe and often
_________________________
Ya'll Fly Safe and Often

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#106219 - 12/23/12 12:54 PM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: Peedie Montgomery]
vettdvr Offline
Club Sponsor
Diamond Pilot

Registered: 06/25/10
Posts: 7724
Loc: Slidell La
I get to the runway also but slightly different.

I enter the pattern at 100 mph

Slow to 80 / power 2000 (remember this varies with hp prop and engine)

20% flaps at the numbers hold 80 mph solid retrim for zero yoke pressure

at turn to base leg engine to idle lower nose maintain 80

roll out on final not less than 1/4 mile

power still at idle

maintain 80 until landing can be made

flaps 40 slow to 65 to the numbers

Round out and I normally have the stall horn a second or so before the wheels touch.
_________________________
Vettdvr

Single/Multi/instrument/type/commercial But then I am still learning.

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#106221 - 12/23/12 01:00 PM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: Peedie Montgomery]
Firewalker Offline
Safety Pilot

Registered: 12/20/12
Posts: 36
Loc: West Texas
Hello again and good morning to all. I appreciate the replies. I agree the 11,600 runway was fantastic to learn on but after I was flying solo I wanted to have more of a challenge with smaller runways. The last couple of landings I made were at MLT in Maine. The landings felt more put together than some of the previously described ones at KBGR. The VASI was good.....speed was closer to what I needed. I thought they were going to be a chirp (I really did) Ended up with a "swim porpoise swim" frown

I know they can't all be jems but man, that is frustrating to me to do a three hopper. Makes me look like the rookie I am!

It is good to hear the methods from a handful of different people. Thanks again

Scott

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#106242 - 12/23/12 04:20 PM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: Firewalker]
vettdvr Offline
Club Sponsor
Diamond Pilot

Registered: 06/25/10
Posts: 7724
Loc: Slidell La
just never dump the nose and keep constant back pressure,, it might settle thump on the mains but it is the back pressure that keeps the nose off
_________________________
Vettdvr

Single/Multi/instrument/type/commercial But then I am still learning.

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#106262 - 12/23/12 06:39 PM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: Firewalker]
Awkward Bird Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1060
Loc: San Jose, CA
My CFI used to tell me over and over: "No matter how badly you want to land, never, ever, push the nose forward after the round out. No good can come of it." I used to do that a lot and it caused me all kinds of problems. When I finally started listening to him, I've done a couple bounced landings, everyone does, but they've all been safe. And most of them are smooth, some get the little tire chirp, some don't.

Remember... A good landing is one you can walk away from. A great landing is one you can walk away from and the plane can be used again without repairing it. A spectacular landing is one no one sees, no one ever sees our spectacular landings smile
_________________________
"I fly because I wouldn't want to do anything else." ~ A. Cluff
http://www.aoaflight.com/

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#106287 - 12/24/12 12:54 AM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: Awkward Bird]
Firewalker Offline
Safety Pilot

Registered: 12/20/12
Posts: 36
Loc: West Texas
Thanks for the advice all. I wonder if the porpoise landings are a result of once I set the mains down too hard I think "well that pretty much sucked" then let the nose down too fast too. My CFI had to remind me a lot to keep the nose up... what felt very unnaturally high but I know he was right.

Awkward isn't that the honest truth. I did set one down smooth as a gravy sammich with my CFI on board.... he said "wow, it looks like someone taught you how to do that"

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#106296 - 12/24/12 01:25 AM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: Firewalker]
vettdvr Offline
Club Sponsor
Diamond Pilot

Registered: 06/25/10
Posts: 7724
Loc: Slidell La
Originally Posted By: Firewalker
Thanks for the advice all. I wonder if the porpoise landings are a result of once I set the mains down too hard I think "well that pretty much sucked" then let the nose down too fast too. My CFI had to remind me a lot to keep the nose up... what felt very unnaturally high but I know he was right.

Awkward isn't that the honest truth. I did set one down smooth as a gravy sammich with my CFI on board.... he said "wow, it looks like someone taught you how to do that"


Check my post. DON"T DUMP THE NOSE. It will do damage and cause porpoising. I was a USAF instructor and taught don't dump the nose hold back pressure. You now have this from your instructor and 3 post.
_________________________
Vettdvr

Single/Multi/instrument/type/commercial But then I am still learning.

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#106336 - 12/24/12 02:30 PM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: vettdvr]
akfox Offline
New Member

Registered: 12/23/12
Posts: 8
Loc: NY
I've found myself doing what XP driver described almost exactly.
The 172 I've been flying has a 180hp conversion and when I took my checkride it was suggested to keep the approach speed around 70 on final, but I've found that she floats too much if I come in over the numbers at the speed, especially if I don't have a passenger. So for me, it's become: slow down in downwind using 2000rpm, then abeam the numbers 1500 while slowing down to around 75 and getting 10deg flap in. Turn base, put in 20deg and slow down to 70, final either go in with 20deg or put in full 30 if not windy day and slow down to around 65. If I feel I'm too high at any point I just pull the power back and adjust pitch as necessary.

Also I've noticed that at times it just doesn't want to descend as easily, esp on a cold day and if you don't pay attention to it, you may not even realize that you're not losing the altitude that quickly, so I've managed that by pulling some extra power out as needed.

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#106339 - 12/24/12 03:07 PM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: vettdvr]
Firewalker Offline
Safety Pilot

Registered: 12/20/12
Posts: 36
Loc: West Texas
Originally Posted By: vettdvr
Originally Posted By: Firewalker
Thanks for the advice all. I wonder if the porpoise landings are a result of once I set the mains down too hard I think "well that pretty much sucked" then let the nose down too fast too. My CFI had to remind me a lot to keep the nose up... what felt very unnaturally high but I know he was right.

Awkward isn't that the honest truth. I did set one down smooth as a gravy sammich with my CFI on board.... he said "wow, it looks like someone taught you how to do that"


Check my post. DON"T DUMP THE NOSE. It will do damage and cause porpoising. I was a USAF instructor and taught don't dump the nose hold back pressure. You now have this from your instructor and 3 post.

Oh it's definately on my bad habits to break list for sure. I was trying to figure out why it was happening. My next flight I plan on holding her up so much you would think I was riding a wheelie. laugh

Thanks for your interest in this post everyone.

Scott

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#106346 - 12/24/12 04:14 PM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: Firewalker]
oilwell1415 Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 09/20/12
Posts: 1906
Loc: Tulsa, OK
One thing that helped me a lot when I was stuggling with landings was to try to do touch and goes without ever letting the nose touch. Just try to land and do a wheelie as far as you can.

As others have alluded to, excess speed in the pattern will do you no favors. At big airports where I have to come down final at 100-120 kias to keep people happy I do what I have to do, but if I'm not in anybody's way I don't get above 90 kias in the pattern. Abeam the numbers on downwind it's power to 1500 and hold pattern altitude until I'm at 70, then add 10 degrees. Adding flaps with too much speed upsets the airplane. Once I'm trimmed for 70 with 10 degrees it gives me 65 at 20 degrees and 60 at 30 degrees. Once I've got the first 10 degrees in I may or may not add any more, I just do whatever it takes to make the approach smooth and controlled. A good approach is 75% of a good landing.
_________________________
1947 North American Navion N8747H. It isn't the fastest, doesn't have the biggest payload, burns gas almost as fast as I can pour it in the tank and requires lots of TLC, but it's cool as hell and that's why we play the game.

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#106402 - 12/24/12 10:27 PM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: oilwell1415]
David G Offline
Safety Pilot

Registered: 11/25/12
Posts: 89
Loc: New York
I will add my two cents: 172N with 180 conversion:

1800 RPM on downwind....80 knots

1500 RPM 10 degrees at the numbers 70 -75 knots

1500 RPM +10 degrees on base 70 knots

Manage power and flaps as needed to come over the fence and numbers at 60-65 knots.

I try and fly the airspeeds more than the power settings but those numbers are usually pretty close, depending on the conditions, to give me the airspeeds I want. I had all kinds of issues with my landings as a student until I switched instructors and began flying "by the numbers." For me the key was managing airspeed and working to keep the speeds in the parameters I wanted. This means knowing what combinations of pitch and power will get you where you want to be. Once I began to put that part together and have my airspeed consistant as I got to the numbers everything came together for me.

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#106419 - 12/25/12 03:22 AM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: David G]
Firewalker Offline
Safety Pilot

Registered: 12/20/12
Posts: 36
Loc: West Texas
Thanks again. I am hoping a lot of this comes with more practice and getting settled in a little better. I don't know how many landings I have done and there have been some I am proud of. I know a lot of the time when I am abeam the numbers I am probably going in the neighborhood of 80-90kias (reason that sticks in my brain is I have to pitch it to get into the arc for flaps.) It is getting easier as time goes by. Will keep at it. Today would have been a beauty to fly! Hope each of you are doing well. Merry Christmas

Scott

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#106788 - 12/27/12 01:29 AM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: Firewalker]
David G Offline
Safety Pilot

Registered: 11/25/12
Posts: 89
Loc: New York
Scott,
We all have days where it comes together and we grease them in, then there are those other days when you get her down and it isn't as eloquent.

David

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#106913 - 12/27/12 10:28 AM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: David G]
Nightowl Offline
Club Sponsor/Speed Demon
Gold Pilot

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 1826
Loc: Northwest lower Michigan
I've been flying too long, but still depend on the advice from my aged CFI of the 60s. I don't spend much time worrying about rpm, but instead concentrate on altitude and airspeed. I hate to hear "I was taught", but I was taught to fly a steep approach and to heck with the rpms - keep the airspeed where you need it (in my Skyhawk, that's 60-65 kts) and keep the glide path on target to land on the numbers or just beyond - adjust power as necessary. If I'm high, I'll cut power, add flaps, and pull back toward 60 kts to increase rate of descent and adjust power if I find myself descending too quickly. Pushing the nose down if you're high will only encourage porpoising and floating - you do NOT want excess speed on landing at any time.

We recently landed at Minneapolis Flying Cloud at night on the shorter of the two E-W runways. We got a last minute switch to the shorter of the two runways (10L rather than 10R) and found ourselves high, so I chopped power, dumped flaps (I usually use only 20 degrees, since our max is 30, and I save 30 in case we really need it) and decreased speed to 60 kts. Maintaining 60-65 kts, we nursed the throttle to put us on the numbers for a very satisfying touchdown. Learn to deal with what you're seeing and don't rely on rote numbers. That's what works for me, but I've been flying since 1967, so I don't expect you folks with a little less stick time to be this comfortable in the pattern just yet. This is what you should strive for though - I'm very comfortable with it, and you will be too if you keep working at it.

John
_________________________
CP-ASEL-IA
'77 C172N, AirPlains 180 hp conversion

Our sigmap has been flown entirely using aircraft with capabilities at or below those of the C-172.


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#106923 - 12/27/12 02:19 PM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: Nightowl]
Dr Nick Offline
Bronze Pilot

Registered: 04/27/11
Posts: 721
Loc: Nebraska
Originally Posted By: Nightowl
I don't spend much time worrying about rpm, but instead concentrate on altitude and airspeed.




Second this post.
I couldn't tell you what my RPM was at all during a landing.
_________________________
Life is tough, I got your back!

1969 C~172K N79105

http://www.linnchiro.com


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#106996 - 12/27/12 11:32 PM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: Dr Nick]
vettdvr Offline
Club Sponsor
Diamond Pilot

Registered: 06/25/10
Posts: 7724
Loc: Slidell La
RPM?? what that I fly on airspeed and for pitot failure rpm is a nice to know.
_________________________
Vettdvr

Single/Multi/instrument/type/commercial But then I am still learning.

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#107059 - 12/28/12 04:57 AM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: vettdvr]
Awkward Bird Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1060
Loc: San Jose, CA
Airspeed and track. Airspeed and track. Over and over. Airspeed and Track are the two most important things at all points in the pattern. That's what was pounded into my thick skull. Make whatever modifications are necessary to pitch and power to maintain the correct airspeed and track. Like the last 3 posters, I couldn't tell you what RPM I'm using after I'm abeam the numbers.

My process for landing a 172 - adjusted as needed. Pull power to idle abeam the numbers, slow down to 85kts without losing altitude, 10 degrees of flaps, pitch for 70, trim for 65, fly 65 kts all the way down. (Adjust airspeed for gusts if needed). Use whatever flaps, forward slips, or power are needed to maintain glide slope on final while maintaining those 65 kts. If I haven't put in 20 degrees of flaps by the time I'm over the fence I set flaps for 20.

This way every VFR pattern I fly is practice for an engine out landing. Sometimes I have to add power. However, when I adjust for the winds right and fly the right airspeeds and manage the track well, I don't have to adjust the throttle once until after the landing.

If I maintain the right airspeed - 65 knots is what I use unless I'm going for a short field or soft field landing. I have the very best chance for a very nice landing. (I can still screw it up over the runway, but its less likely!)

PS. This doesn't mean fly staring at the ASI - I tried that too. It doesn't work. It means establish a pitch, quick glance at the ASI to see if its the right airspeed, if not, modify the pitch, glance at ASI. etc. Flying the pattern is a constant dance of adjustments, its nice to think there are specific RPMs and flap settings that will work every time, but there aren't. At least, not for me there aren't. When I stopped trying to figure out what the RIGHT setting was and focused on making the right adjustment when needed, I started to have some success at flying the pattern. Not perfect by any means, but safe.

Your mileage may vary, but this is what worked for me. Find what works for you.


Edited by Awkward Bird (12/28/12 05:06 AM)
Edit Reason: added more stuff.
_________________________
"I fly because I wouldn't want to do anything else." ~ A. Cluff
http://www.aoaflight.com/

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#107098 - 12/28/12 05:21 PM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: Awkward Bird]
Bigdoggh Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 05/26/11
Posts: 2000
Loc: Georgia
My "guide" is a little different that Nissa's, but the approach (pardon the pun) is the same. I was taught a framework for pattern and landing, but as I accumulate more experience I have found what AB and many many others have...I feel and tweak my way to the numbers.
_________________________
George - 1972 C-172L


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#107152 - 12/29/12 02:52 AM Re: Landing procedures... RPM... Flaps..... Altitude... Your thoughts? [Re: Bigdoggh]
vettdvr Offline
Club Sponsor
Diamond Pilot

Registered: 06/25/10
Posts: 7724
Loc: Slidell La
If you fly over the speeds on landing you will be long,, and have a tendency to bounce. Let it slow over the numbers and settle hold it off until the stall harn then hold stable and it will settle because when it reaches stall speed it becomes a car and everyone knows a car can't fly.
_________________________
Vettdvr

Single/Multi/instrument/type/commercial But then I am still learning.

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