Private Pilot Resources - Aviation Blog

I obtained my private pilot license in 2006. This site is dedicated to capturing little gems of knowlege I collected during training. Periodically I add items I find during research so that others might benefit from them. Please review the disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

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Location: San Jose, CA, United States

In 1999 a friend invited me to go flying and I was hooked. I live in the Bay Area about an hour south of San Francisco and fly out of Reid Hillview (KRHV). Please do get in touch and lets go fly!!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Density Altitude Chart

Take off and landing performance figures are based on sea level air density at standard temperature (59`F). As elevation increases, temperature decreases at a standard rate. Air becomes less dense, resulting in lower performance figures. Temperatures varying from standard can have drastic additional effects on take off, landing, and climb out performance. A 5,000 ft. elevation airport can suddenly become a 10,000 ft. elevation airport as far as air density is concerned. This is operational or density altitude-the calculated altitude of the air in which the airplane operates and is very important when using high elevation and/or short runway airports.

(Dashed lines on chart above illustrate example.)

To determine conditions at airport you plan to use:

  1. Enter actual airport altitude on diagonal lines marked "Pressure Altitude" (example: 5,500 ft.).
  2. Enter airport temperature along horizontal lines (example: 77`F.).
  3. Carry temperature line to right until it crosses diagonal line (airport altitude).
  4. From this point, drop a vertical line to bottom of chart. Read operational or density altitude (example: 7,700 ft.).