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We’d Like to

Meet you

We’d like to meet you and have you meet us. We meet at: 
7:00 pm

the fourth Wednesday of every month
McClure Auditorium
Sarasota Bradenton Airport

We also get together at our social events.  See our Social Events page for more details.

Young Eagles

For more than 10 years we in Chapter 180 have been giving young people their very first ride in an airplane.  If you or a youngster you know wants to experience the thrill, spectacle and beauty of flying for the first time visit our Young Eagles page and find out all about how.

HomeFirst Flight Safety
First Flight Safety
Earle Swan is the Co-ordinator of First Flight Safety
Please contact him at:,      
or by cell:  941-928-6228
The function of First Flight Safety is to educate builders/pilots to the issues that must be addressed to safely conduct first flights.    This is true whether the aircraft was built by the pilot or the pilot is preparing to fly an aircraft that is new to him.
The aim of this function is to educate pilots to know how to take correct preparations to prevent accidents from occurring during first flights.    Accident statistics show that most flight fatalities occur during first flight and usually could have been prevented by proper design, proper construction techniques, proper design of test procedures to attain meaningful test-data, proper design of anticipated flight activities, and proper awareness of what to watch for (be prepared to handle) during the first flight.

Issues to be addressed on these pages include:
  • Cooper-Harper measurements to assure properly balanced flight control-handling effects
  • Fuel flow measurement procedures.
  • Sizing of fuel lines
  • Should high speed taxiing be prohibited
  • Should the builder be the pilot for first flights
  • Can the builder be a data compiler while flying with the test pilot on first flight(s)
  • How to determine the gross lifting capacity of the aircraft
  • How to determine the Vne
  • How to determine the proper cruise speed
  • How to determine the best glide speed
  • How to determine the expected glide distance during engine-out conditions
  • How to react to flutter
  • How to determine the angle of attack at the stall speed for various aircraft load-weights
  • How to create the tests and procedures for first flight
  • How to record the first flight test data
  • How to analyze the first flight test data
  • How to use electronic scales to calculate the weight and balance of the aircraft
  • How to estimate (and mark) the abort-flight location on runway being used for first flight
  • How to determine the proper quantity of fuel for first flight testing
  • When should fuel flow be gravity fed vs. electronic boost pump supplied.
  • When should there be a return fuel line in the fuel delivery system
  • How to mount a fuel flow sensor and calculate the calibration
  • Should glass panel avionics be backed up by "steam guage" instruments
  • Root causes of flutter that should be addressed before first flight
  • Influence of changing the size of tires upon flight characteristics
  • Pitot system design, heated or non-heated, accommodations for water in pitot lines, diameter of pitot lines,  selection of proper material for pitot lines
  • Carburation or fuel injection to minimize fuel starvation during take-off
  • Calculating and test procedures for determining proper air flow conductance to achieve necessary engine cooling
  • Setting ground adjustable props
  • Prop selection
  • Prop balancing: how it is done and the effects that will be derived from proper balancing
  • Proper electronic systems for tracking first flight parameters (for later analysis of the data)
  • How to clean-up drag items before first flight
  • Use of mastic adhesives instead of screws to attach windshields and canopies and thereby prevent plexiglass cracking during testing and flights
  • Should strobes and wig-wag landing lights be used during first flights
  • Should family and other bystand-observers be prohibited from watching first flights