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November 11, 2009
The following stories from the June 6, 2003, edition of AOPA ePilot were provided to AOPA members who expressed an interest in the particular subject areas. Any AOPA member can receive information customized to their areas of interest by updating their member record file online.
Answer: Here are three common-sense tips: Fly early, as performance is generally better in the morning when the temperature is cooler than it will be in the afternoon. Also, fly light--if the density altitude is high and your strip is short, don't take on full fuel; land and fill up at a nearby airport with a long runway. Finally, fly lean-for density altitudes above 3,000 feet, lean the mixture to peak rpm before takeoff. Be sure to follow the engine manufacturer's recommendations for leaning. Lots of additional information is available in Density Altitude , AOPA's subject report on the topic. If you fly in the mountains, also check out A Pilot's Guide to Mountain Flying, an AOPA publication full of tips and techniques for safe mountain flying operations.
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