Regulations re: approaches at 1.3Vs

Marc J. Zeitlin


I had some discussions with folks over the years regarding approach speeds in our (or any) aircraft, and after seeing the writeup in the latest Squadron III newsletter (Dave Orr quoted me from an email to him), I went back to find the regs that discussed approach speeds. They were:


Now, NEITHER of these is regulatory for E-AB aircraft, since they're Part 23, and not only that, but they're the PREVIOUS version of Part 23, which is no longer in force. The new version of Part 23 is not prescriptive wrt this (or anything else, for that matter).

So my statement in the newsletter, and previously in an email or two to others, re: the regulatory aspects of flying approach at 1.3 Vs was correct ONLY with respect to the design of certificated aircraft and the definition of Vref.

Part 91, however, does NOT regulate what speed the pilot must use (or must not use) during approaches, so any speed is LEGAL for the pilot to fly, whatever the aircraft may have been designed to do.

My bad on that regulatory claim. I will state, however, that flying approaches at 1.3Vs and no slower is good practice in our planes, given their characteristics, but we're not REQUIRED to do so.

Marc J. Zeitlin                      marc_zeitlin@...
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