Ground 5 - Predicting Airplane Performance


The purpose of this lesson is to introduce the student to preflight planning procedures and raise awareness of risk assessment.


A trip to South Lake Tahoe

You are planning a hiking trip for you and a friend in the Sierra Nevada mountains. To get there, you plan to fly from the Palo Alto airport (KPAO) to the South Lake Tahoe airport (KTVL).

  • Study these chapters in the Jeppesen Private Pilot Textbook and answer the end-of-section reviews.
    • Chapter 8 - Airplane Performance
      • Section A: Predicting Performance
      • Section B: Weight and Balance
      • Section C: Flight Computers
  • Prepare for the knowledge test by studying these sections in the ASA Private Pilot Test Prep book.
    • Chapter 8 - Aircraft Performance
  • Study your training airplane's POH
    • Chapter 5 - Performance
    • Chapter 6 - Weight and Balance
Learning Objectives
Weight and balance
Desired Outcome Task/Knowledge
Practice Compute weight and balance using the computational, table and graph methods
Explain Center of gravity envelope
Explain Effects of adding, removing, and shifting weight
Aircraft performance
Desired Outcome Task/Knowledge
Explain Factor affecting performance
Practice Compute takeoff and landing distances
Practice Compute climb and cruise performance and fuel requirements
Completion Standards
The lesson is complete when the pilot-in-training can:
  • meet the desired outcomes listed in the learning objectives table.
  • calculate weight and balance and aircraft performance with assistance from the instructor.