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True Air Speed

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Well-Known Member
Apr 21, 2010
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I was traveling a couple of weeks ago at 12,500 feet, 22F and had a good tailwind over South Dakota and Nebraska. I didn't think much of it at the time, but got to thinking about Vne after reading some letters in the March Aviation Safety magazine (I need to find the reference article in Jan issue if I still have it). I had a TAS of 150-155 kts in my 180. This is the first long haul I have done in my plane since my speed mods and I have not approached this speed before. I have seen 140 KTAS, but not any speeds this high before. Since Vne is 171 MPH, the question I have is: Was I exceeding Vne? An instructor friend of mine that has been teaching since about 1974 said no I didn't since I didn't exceed IAS. I have looked in all my books and my AFM and I am not so sure This is not specifically addressed in any of the educational material I have. The AFM just says "Airspeed Limitations". The explanation I was reading in Aviation safety was basically a CYA response: "When confronted with 2 different values for Vne. expressed as IAS or TAS, we'll take the safer one every time." Using that as a guide, maybe I need to throttle back a little. :D

The arguement I am thinking of is exceeding Vne may cause flutter to occur if exceeded due to the air flow over the wings is excessive. In the thin air, there is really not as much air flow over the wings, so flutter should not be an issue in the thinner air.

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