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All aircraft have specified performance limitations that they cannot (or at least should not) exceed, for altitude, speed, weight etc.

Every aircraft's operating handbook includes the operating limitations of the aircraft. These are limits for altitude, speed weight etc. that have been tested and documented by the manufacturer. Pilots should not operate an aircraft outside its limitations for safety reasons, and doing so may be illegal under local regulations.

Limitations can apply to many areas of operation, including:

  • Airspeed, e.g. maximum airspeed with flaps extended
  • Engine, e.g. maximum RPM or manifold pressure
  • Weight and balance, e.g. maximum takeoff or landing weight
  • Maneuvers, e.g. no spinning
  • Flight rules, e.g. no IFR flights

It's important to note that performance limitations are set by the manufacturer during the testing and certification of a new aircraft type and there may be other limits set by regulation that pilots must also observe.

Use this tag for all questions about limitations on aircraft performance. Questions about limitations set by law should usually be tagged with the appropriate regulations tag as well.