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RTC – MOD-08 – Pt.06 – Temperature

Typically temperature doesn’t play a huge role in aviation ops. However it will affect aircraft performance in something called the Density Altitude. Essentially the Density Altitude is the effective altitude an aircraft will perform at given the current air pressure and temperature. The specifics of which will not be covered here.

What is important to know is if it’s too hot, your aircraft will perform worse, maybe even to the point of not being able to take off at higher takeoff weights. A helicopter might not be able to hover (HOGE or HIGE) at a spot at a certain altitude, especially with a high weapon or fuel load.

Low temperatures on the other hand can be a sign of ice/icing or fog.

Temperature is always in Centigrade and reported in 2 parts, first is the actual temperature detected, second is the dewpoint. The Dewpoint is the temperature at which the air can no longer hold moisture as a vapor or gas, at or below this temperature the vapor will liquidize and create foggy conditions (clouds at ground level effectively). From both numbers, the relative humidity can be calculated. This is another reason why it’s important to understand temperature.

Positive temperatures are reported as just 2 digit numbers, negative temperatures are reported as a 2 digit number following a “M” to denote “minus”.


Denotes current temperature is 9C and the dewpoint is minus 2C.

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