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Hot and High - A look at why aircraft performance decreases rapidly with altitude and/or hot conditions


Andrew Taylor
Babcock Mission Critical Services, Adelaide, SA, Australia



Andrew Taylor has been an EMS pilot with Babcock since March 2007. He originally studied Electrical Engineering, before seeking out an electrical apprenticeship to hone his practical knowledge. After winning the 1996 South Australian apprentice of the year, he changed paths to fulfil his childhood dream of becoming a helicopter pilot. He joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1997, training on PC9s and Squirrels before transitioning to ship-embarked Seahawk helicopters. He finished up his military service with an Air Force posting flying King Airs.


As an aeromedical specialist, you may have heard more than once a pilot blaming the heat or altitude for not being able to carry out a task. Are they for real? Or is this pilot just looking for an excuse? This presentation will look at why aircraft performance decreases with increasing altitude and ambient temperatures. It will also look at just how much performance is lost, and how we as a crew can circumnavigate this problem.



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