3WF Avionics updated

The Garmin avionics in N513WF as well as the corresponding POH > AFMS and Product Guides links to newer version of the manuals have been updated to the latest versions (tip: hovering with the mouse over those links will show the latest revision number or letter which can speed up checking for the latest versions).

Make sure you have the latest manuals on your EFB.

Hey… remember Va..?

Va – aka design maneuvering speed: the maximum speed at which full or abrupt control movements may be used without overstressing the airframe is becoming more important again now that warmer air will inevitably lead to more turbulence.

The moment things get more than just a little bumpy, make sure you slow down to or below Va for the weight of your flight – which is likely less than max gross weight, meaning that the Va you should not exceed is also less the one on the panel:

  • C172 Va : in case of doubt reduce power and slow down to <= 90!
    • 2,250 lbs: 105 KIAS
    • 2,200 lbs: 98 KIAS
    • 1,900 lbs: 90 KIAS
  • DA42 Va : in case of doubt reduce power and slow down to <= 120!
    • Above 3,400 lbs: 126 KIAS
    • Below 3,400 lbs: 120 KIAS

Here is what happened to an aircraft that crossed a front, and suddenly hit turbulence well above Va:

OIL TEMP on departure

All engine instruments need to be in the green prior to departure. On cooler days – or on the first flight of a day – in can take several minutes all the way into the runup phase before the oil temperature is in the green.

With the Twin Star, insufficient oil temperature can also lead to the ECU TEST buttons having no effect during runup.

Please be patient, and wait that extra minute or so before proceeding with the runup so that you have a safe flight – treat any aircraft engine like your life depends on it!


3WF is equipped with Garmin’s Electronic Stability and Protection safety system which is activated by default every time you turn on the avionics.

For any and all training flights with the intention to practice flight maneuvers please make sure to deactivate ESP (see the Pre-/Postflight section at the top of the Before You Fly 3WF… page) so as to avoid ending up in a fight with the Autopilot.
The feature will turn itself back on for the next flight, so don’t worry if you forget to re-activate it.

If you intend to fly X/C without maneuver practice there is no action item; ESP will simply be automatically ready to assist should the need arise.

For more information about ESP see chapter 8.10 in the G3X Touch Pilot’s Guide.

AOPA Pilot Passport

You are encouraged to participate in AOPA’s recurring Pilot Passport program – have fun, expand your experience, and earn badges by exploring the airports in WA and beyond!

However, please do not take unnecessary risks by flying into airports with potentially insufficient runway length (a runway may be long enough to land, but takeoff distances usually require more runway), especially in combination with obstacles like trees or sharp rising terrain near the airport.

As for the surface, this is also a gentle reminder of Renter/Student Ops Manual regulation 5.6 – Runway Requirements – and 5.6E in particular: “Operations into any field other than paved surfaces (soft, gravel, sand, grass, etc.) are prohibited unless prior approval is obtained from the Director of Operations, Chief or Assistant Chief Flight Instructor.

Soft fields can hide a number of hazards like

  • potholes or rocks in the grass,
  • gravel causing very expensive prop damage
  • mud is the last thing you want to get stuck in during landing or trying to get out of on takeoff.

    These are all unnecessary problems, and therefore all soft-field exercises should be simulated on paved taxiways and runways .

Soft-field landing in our Twin Stars are not allowed at all; it’s not part of multi-engine training anyway.

Thank you for your understanding and helping keep our planes in the condition you wish to find them when you want to go fly!

Drinks in the cockpit

Two inflight engine shut downs in early 2020 have prompted Airbus and EASA to order changes to how liquids are consumed (or not) on the flight deck. A drink spilled on the center console of a Delta flight required a diversion, and an Asiana flight diverted after a similar spill. 

Hydration is important, especially on X/C flights – but needless to say, spilled drinks into or onto any cockpit components can lead to both inflight issues, major clean-up/MX costs, and aircraft downtimes.

Please be mindful only bring travel mugs or other containers that can be fully closed, and make sure passengers of yours do the same.

Non-carbonated water is still the best way stay hydrated on any flight.