Pilot’s Operating Handbook 101

August 31st, 2011

As Featured On EzineArticles

The term Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH), originated from the US General Aviation Manufacturer’s Association who introduced the ‘GAMA Specification No. 1′ format for the ‘Pilot’s Operating Handbook’ in 1975.

The ‘GAMA Specification No. 1′ format for the ‘Pilot’s Operating Handbook’ (POH) was adopted in 1991 by ICAO in their Document 9516: Guidance on the Preparation of a Pilot’s Operating Handbook for Light Aeroplanes, and is now required for all newly certified aircraft by ICAO member states. Most light aircraft listed initially registered in 1976 or later, have Pilot’s Operating Handbooks (POHs) in this format.

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Cessna Training Manuals

Cessna 210 Short Field Performance

August 16th, 2011

Ths following post is an exert from the Cessna 210 Training Manual (http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/cessna-210-training-manual/5342141), by Oleg Roud and Danielle Bruckert

Short Field Takeoff

For the minimum takeoff distance to clear a 50ft obstacle, the recommended procedure for a short field take-off in the AFM specifies:
Wing flaps 10 degrees;
Apply maximum power against brakes, full throttle, 2850RPM;
Elevator should be slightly low, lift off early;
Maintain 75kts / 85mph until obstacles are cleared;
Retract flaps once obstacles are cleared, and after safe retraction speed of 80kts/90mph is reached.

Note there is no speed specified for lift off in the short field procedure. With a tail low attitude the aircraft will become airborne as it gains flying speed. This technique is recommended as the sooner the aircraft is airborne frictional drag is removed, however the aircraft needs to be accelerated over the high contributing induced drag at low speed before it will climb away. Another drag curve related affect of the C210 is that precise control is required for this acceleration phase, and very little or no climb performance will be obtained until this is achieved.

If the aircraft is loaded with an aft centre of gravity limit, or when taking off from an uneven runway, it may become airborne well before the recommended lift off speed. This is very dangerous situation as the aircraft will fail to overcome the induced drag, maintain a very slow speed (often well below gear retraction speed) and fail to climb. To overcome this, the aircraft needs to be accelerated in ‘ground effect’ until sufficient speed is regained to enable gear retraction and safe climb out. If insufficient clearway is available for acceleration this method will lead to an inadvertent impact with terrain, therefore it is very important to guard against early lift off.

Because of the complexity of the handling after takeoff at too low speed, werever sufficient runway is available, it is advisable to rather keep the aircraft on the ground longer for a clean lift off, which will significantly improve the climb handling, similar to the improved climb technique used in multi-engine aircraft.

The figures and procedure above, are those prescribed in the flight manual for the maximum performance takeoff at maximum weight. Any deviation from the recommended procedure should be expected to give a decrease in performance.

Soft Field Takeoff

Soft or rough field takeoffs are performed with 10 degrees wing flaps by lifting the aeroplane off the ground as soon as practical in a slightly tail-low attitude. If no obstacles are ahead, the aeroplane should be leveled off immediately to accelerate to Vy (best rate of climb) for best initial climb performance. If there are obstacles, the aircraft should be accelerated to Vx (best angle of climb) and this speed should be maintained until all obstacles are cleared.

Short Field Landing

For a short field operation the exact speed is specified in the flight manual for the weight and conditions applicable. Positive control of the approach speed and descent should be made to ensure accuracy of the touchdown point.

The landing should be positive, with a high nose attitude (on the main wheels) and as close as possible to the stall.

In early models there is only one speed specified for landing, at maximum weight. At lower weights the aircraft will tend to float in the flare, and it is advisable to be prepared for this. Err towards the lower side of the speed, and begin reducing the power and speed early during the flare for landing. However when at the correct weight, the correct speed must be maintained, see further below regarding low speed handling.

Low Speed Handling

The Cessna 210 contains a relatively sharp drag curve, often blamed on the laminar flow wing. This characteristic means it is much less forgiving than most Cessna single engine types in low speed operations.

When flown slightly below the reference speed the aircraft seems to ‘“drop out of the sky’ and can require drastic recovery methods, for example application of full power to regain profile. Conversely if flown slightly too fast, the aircraft is difficult to slow down, tends to ‘float’ during the flare, and runway overruns can await the improperly prepared pilot. Forcing the aircraft onto the ground in response to this situation is the worst thing a pilot can do. This often leads to bounces which lead to porpoising and has resulted in many an inadequately trained pilot being left with a collapsed nose wheel or worse.

To avoid landing problems from poor approach profiles, more care should be taken in maintaining speed and slope during the approach. Crossing the ‘barrier’ at the right height and speed is half the battle in carrying out a landing you can proudly ‘walk away from’. The second part requires a smooth transition into the landing attitude allowing the speed to bleed off whilst raising the nose until the main wheels touch down at the minimum speed (for the conditions) in a nose high attitude.
Gear Retraction at Low Speed

The sharp drag curve also requires special care on takeoff, particularly where maximum performance is concerned. Retraction of flap or gear at minimum speeds will cause significant increases in drag when the aircraft is suddenly moved to the steep “back-side” of the drag curve. This can mean a marginally performing aircraft is now not performing, and assuming you are already at full power, height must be sacrificed to regain the necessary speed for climbing. Similarly lifting off at a too low speed results in little or no climb performance.

ICAO Flight Plan Codes – Reference

August 11th, 2011

Post compiled by By Danielle Bruckert
Author Cessna Training Manuals


The following list provides a nice quick reference list of the codes for ICAO flight plans.


• Use capital letters.
• Adhere closely to the prescribed format.
• Report hours in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC, or Zulu).
• Use the 24-hour clock (e.g., 1800Z, 0930Z, etc.).
• The block preceding item 3 is to be completed by air traffic facilities.
• Complete item 19 as indicated. It will facilitate help by search and rescue (SAR) services.
• Numbers should be preceded by a zero only where it is necessary for a place filler, eg N0100, M075
• Right align especially for numbers – ie if there is too many spaces leave the ones to the left blank


—Enter one of the following:

• Aircraft registration (e.g., N172B, A6-ABC, ZS-XYZ, V5-RSV, ZK-DAN).
• ICAO designator followed by the flight number if one has been assigned (e.g., KLM511, RSV007).
• Call sign assigned by military authorities.



I if IFR
V if VFR
Y if IFR first
Z if VFR first


S if scheduled air service
N if non-scheduled air transport operation
G if general aviation
M if military
X if other than any of the defined categories above.

ITEM 9: Aircraft number, type, and wake turbulence category/number

The number need only be entered if more than one aircraft, however if desired enter 01

Type of aircraft — Enter appropriate 4 digit ICAO designator (e.g., TB10, BE90, C152, etc. ) .

Note : If no designator has been assigned or if the designator is misleading (eg a modified engine or airframe) or for formation flights comprising more than one type aircraft, indicate \” Z Z Z Z\” and specify the aircraft type(s) in item 18 preceded by \”TYP / .\”


H — HEAVY, to indicate an aircraft type with a maximum certificated take-off mass of 136,000kg or more;
M — MEDIUM, to indicate an aircraft type with a maximum certificated take-off mass of less than 136,000kg but more than 7000kg;
L — LIGHT, to indicate an aircraft type with a maximum certificated take-off mass of 7000kg or less.


– Radio Communication, Navigation and Approach Aid Equipment

A (Not allocated)
B (Not allocated)
E (Not allocated)
G GNSS (Only applicable if certified for the type of flight rules applied)
I Inertial Navigation
J Data link (see Note 3)
M Omega
P (Not allocated)
Q (Not allocated)
R RNP type certification (see Note 5)
S Standard (equipped with V, F, O, L)
W* *When prescribed by ATS
Z Other equipment carried (See Note 2)

NOTE 1: Standard equipment is considered to be VHF RTF, ADF, VOR and ILS, unless another combination is prescribed by the appropriate ATS authority.
NOTE 2: If the letter Z is used, specify in Item 18 the other equipment carried, preceded by COM/ and/or NAV/, as appropriate.
NOTE 3: If the letter J is used, specify in Item 18 the equipment carried, preceded by DAT/ followed by one or more letters as appropriate.
NOTE 4: Information on navigation capability is provided to ATC for clearance and routing purposes.
NOTE 5: Inclusion of R indicates that an aircraft meets the RNP type prescribed for the route segment(s), route(s) and/or area concerned.

– Surveillance Equipment

SSR equipment:

N Nil
A Transponder — Mode A (4 digits — 4096 codes)
C Transponder — Most C172s Mode A (4 digits — 4096 codes) and Mode C
X Transponder — Mode S without both aircraft identification and pressure-altitude transmission
P Transponder — Mode S, including pressure-altitude transmission, but no aircraft identification transmission
I Transponder — Mode S, including aircraft identification transmission, but no pressure-altitude transmission
S Transponder — DA42 and new C172 after FTP Mode S, including both pressure-altitude and aircraft identification transmission.

ADS Equipment:

D ADS capability

Item 13: Departure airport and departure time

Airport—Use the ICAO four-letter location identifier.
Note: If no identifier has been assigned,indicate \”ZZZZ\” and specify the airport name in item 18 preceded by \”DEP/.\”
Ti me—Estimated time of depart u re (ETD). Use the 24-hour clock reported in UTC.

Note : When ATC personnel receive a flight plan filed in flight, they will enter \”A F I L\” and specify the ICAO four-letter identifier of the facility’s location in item 18 preceded by \” D E P / .\” Time will be given as actual time of arrival (ATA ) or estimated time of arrival (ETA) over the first point of the route .


Cruising speed—State true airspeed (TAS). Choose appropriate term:

Kilometers per hour, shown as \”K\” followed by four numbers (e.g., K0830).
Knots, expressed as \”N\” followed by four numbers (e.g., N0250).
Mach number, using the nearest hundredths of unit preceded by \”M\” (e.g., M082).

Note: FAA air traffic facilities do not accept speeds in metric terms.

Cruising level—State planned cruising level. Choose appropriate term:

Flight level, expressed as \”F\” followed by three numbers (e.g., F085).
Altitude in hundreds of feet, expressed as \”A\” followed by three numbers (e.g., A045).
Standard metric level in tens of meters, expressed as \”S\” followed by four numbers (e.g., S1130).
Altitude in tens of meters, expressed as \”M\” followed by four numbers (e.g., M0840).

5. VFR (unspecified cruising level).

Note: FAA air traffic facilities do not accept cruising levels in metric terms.

Route—Include speed, flight level, or flight rule changes:

Along designated routes—Enter:

1. Route designator (or the letters \”DCT\” if departure airport is outside a designated route segment followed by the point of joining the first designated route).

2. Each point where speed, flight level, or flight rule changes are planned followed by the designator for the next route segment (even if the same as the previous one) or the letters \”DCT\” if the next segment will be outside a designated route.

Outside designated routes—Enter:

1. Be a ring and distance from a navigation aid for points normally not m o re than 30 minutes’ flying time or 200 nautical miles apart (or when required by ATC, define route expressed in degrees and/or minutes of longitude/latitude).

2. Each point where speed, flight level, or flight rule changes are planned. Speed or altitude change—enter the point/designator followed by a slash and new speed or altitude information (e.g., LN/N0250A045). Flight rule change—enter the point/designator followed by a space and the new flight rule (e.g., LN VFR, LN/N0250A045 IFR, etc.). Cruise climb—enter the letter \”C\” followed by a slash, then the point at which cruise climb is planned, followed by a slash and the speed to be maintained, followed by the two levels defining the layer occupied during cruise climb, or the level above which cruise is planned followed by the letters \”PLUS\” (e. g . , C/48N050W/N0250F120F180, C/48N050W/M082F290PLUS, etc. ) .

Item 16: Destination airport, alternate airport, and time enroute

Airport and alternate— Use the ICAO four-letter location identifier (limit alternate to two airports).
Note : If no identifier has been assigned, use \” Z Z Z Z\” and specify the airport name in item 18 preceded by \”DEST/.
Time—Estimated time enroute (ETE). Use the 24-hour clock reported in UTC .


EET/ Significant points or FIR boundary designators and accumulated estimated elapsed times to such points or FIR boundaries, when so prescribed on the basis of regional air navigation agreements, or by the appropriate ATS authority.
RIF/ The route details to the revised destination aerodrome, followed by the ICAO four-letter location indicator of the aerodrome. The revised route is subject to re-clearance in flight.
REG/ The registration markings of the aircraft, if different from the aircraft identification in Item 7.
SEL/ SELCAL Code, if so prescribed by the appropriate ATS authority.
OPR/ Name of the operator, if not obvious from the aircraft identification in Item 7.
STS/ Reason for special handling by ATS; e.g., hospital aircraft, one engine inoperative; e.g., STS/HOSP, STS/ONE ENG INOP.
TYP/ Type(s) of aircraft, preceded if necessary by number(s) of aircraft, if ZZZZ is inserted in Item 9.
PER/ Aircraft performance data, if so prescribed by the appropriate ATS authority.
COM/ Significant data related to communication equipment as required by the appropriate ATS authority; e.g., COM/UHF only.
DAT/ significant data related to data link capability, using one or more of the letters S, H, V and M; e.g., DAT/S for satellite data link; DAT/H for HF data link; DAT/V for VHF data link; DAT/M for SSR Mode S data link. For all a/c with /S at HIFA
NAV/ Significant data related to navigation equipment as required by the appropriate ATS authority.
DEP/ Name of departure aerodrome, if ZZZZ is inserted in Item 13, or the ICAO four letter location indicator of the location of the ATS unit from which supplementary flight plan data can be obtained, if AFIL is inserted in Item 13.
DEST/ Name of destination aerodrome, if ZZZZ is inserted in Item 16.
ALTN/ Name of destination alternate aerodrome(s), if ZZZZ is inserted in Item 16.
RALT/ Name of en-route alternate aerodrome(s).
CODE/ Aircraft address (expressed in the form of an alphanumerical code of six hexadecimal characters) when required by the appropriate ATS authority.
RMK/ Any other plain language remarks when required by the appropriate ATS authority or deemed necessary. Note- this can be used if requiring training at intermediate points on FPL or to indicate a special type of flight, like an initial flight test


E /—Endurance— Fuel endurance in hours and minutes. Use the 24-hour clock reported in UTC.

P/—Persons on board—Total number of persons on board.

– Emergency and Survival Equipment

CROSS OUT U if UHF on frequency 243.0 MHz is not available.
CROSS OUT V if VHF on frequency 121.5 MHz is not available.
CROSS OUT E if emergency locator transmitter (ELT) is not available.

CROSS OUT all indicators if survival equipment is not carried.
CROSS OUT P if polar survival equipment is not carried
CROSS OUT D if desert survival equipment is not carried.
CROSS OUT M if maritime survival equipment is not carried.
CROSS OUT J if jungle survival equipment is not carried.

CROSS OUT all indicators if life jackets are not carried.
CROSS OUT L if life jackets are not equipped with lights.
CROSS OUT F if life jackets are not equipped with fluorescein.
CROSS OUT U or V or both as in R/ above to indicate radio capability of jackets, if any.

CROSS OUT indicators D and C if no dinghies are carried, or
(NUMBER) INSERT number of dinghies carried; and
(CAPACITY) INSERT total capacity, in persons, of all dinghies carried; and
(COVER) CROSS OUT indicator C if dinghies are not covered; and
(COLOUR) INSERT colour of dinghies if carried.

A/ (AIRCRAFT COLOUR AND MARKINGS) INSERT colour of aircraft and significant markings.

N/ (REMARKS) CROSS OUT indicator N if no remarks, or INDICATE any other survival equipment carried and any other remarks regarding survival equipment.

C/ (PILOT) INSERT name of pilot-in-command. Adding a telephone number saves a lot of time !

Now someone tell me why they don\’t still print this stuff on the back!!!

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