Density Altitude

One of the most notorious killers of pilots is the density altitude trap. Lets say a pilot in a 172 is at Columbia California, in the famous Amador county near to where gold was first discovered before the Gold Rush. Columbia is a tiny Western town with unpaved streets hardly changed since the turn of two centuries. Its near Jamestown with its railroad used in western movies and its famous saloon.

Its also a killer airport. The reason is, while only 2100 feet above sea level, it has very hot afternoons, where the hot thin air can increase the apparent aviation altitude, called the Density Altitude, to more than 10,000 feet. Thats why this tiny airport into this tiny town has a 5000 foot runway, because the DA can rapidly go beyond the ability of the planes to climb out.

I myself, while a student pilot, did my long cross country into 022, spending a few hours in town. When I went to depart, in a 152, the density altitude had climbed to 9000 feet, which means that it as if the airport elevation had climbed 7000 in two hours.

Lucky for me, I had a 5000 foot runway and a specially modified Cessna 152, called the Sparrowhawk, that had a 110hp engine and a high tech prop,

It would be easy and helpful to add DA to the displays.



This would be a simple yet great feature! I’m a student pilot at KAPA and with a field elevation of 5880 we get DA’s upwards of 9000 on any given day in the summer! This would definitely add a good touch of realism to the game.

Are you asking for density altitude to be displayed on the bottom bar?

On the bottom bar would be good. Another place could be the Wx tab for the airport. ASOS automated weather and ATIS supply it regularly.

Is pressure even modeled in the game? If you put pressure on the bottom bar it is always standard pressure regardless of weather. It will even stay standard pressure as you climb.

Pressure is modeled.

Pressure as you change altitude is modeled, but I don’t think pressure as it relates to weather is. That’s why the pressure on the bottom bar doesn’t change, regardless of the weather at your location.

Pressure and density altitudes are already modeled, just not displayed on the bottom bar.

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As a test, i ran a C172 out of O22 today at a temperature of 36°C. The plane would not climb. I estimate the DA was about 11000.

Its a critical safety datapoint 99% already delivered.

Pressure is modelled with temp and altitude. The only missing element is humidity (displayed but not effective so far).

It would be cool to have this, eventhough it is pretty easy to find a calculator online or make one oneself with excel.

The calculator for this in aviation is called an E6B. And yes, temp + humidity, elevation, and pressure combine to create a density altitude. All the data is there in IF.

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