The FAA issued Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) CE-11-17 on January 18, 2011 to clarify the definition of design maneuvering speed and its importance vis-à-vis airplane design limits. All pilots, but especially aviation educators need to understand that this speed is not a static value. By its very definition, an airplane’s design maneuvering speed is fluid, varying with weight. It is equally important to appreciate that design limits are fluid as well, and when listed, are applicable to a specific set of conditions.

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Rich Stowell (Lifetime Member)

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