Tom Haines

Flying lean of peak: Such heresy!

June 14, 2010 by Thomas B. Haines, Editor in Chief

It seems that at least in some parts of the world, advocating for flying lean of peak is like advocating for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, in the seventeenth century. You’re going to be persecuted, and perhaps running out of town or worse.

Massimo Levi, secretary general of AOPA Italy, is living proof. During the IAOPA World Assembly in Tel Aviv in mid June, he related to the crowd how he successfully flew lean of peak a few years ago for several hundred hours in a Cessna 172. But whenever he spoke to other pilots about the fuel savings and other benefits he was scoffed at to the point that he finally quit flying LOP, feeling that he must be wrong.

I assured Massimo that pioneers are often persecuted before they are proven right. Hang in there!

While the tide has turned somewhat in the United States, especially with Teledyne Continental Engines and now even Lycoming Engines endorsing LOP flying, there are still plenty of uninformed skeptics who believe old wives tales. The truth is that, a properly equipped airplane flown by a well trained and careful pilot can successfully fly LOP in almost all cases, saving significant fuel and making left easier for the engine.

Massimo wants to learn more. How about you?

For more on busting the LOP myth, see the feature and video we did in AOPA Pilot.

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