Very few pilots will have experienced flutter. It can present as a small vibration associated with, for example, a trim tab as it reacts with a control surface. Or it can present as violent shaking of the airframe which can destroy an aircraft in a very short time, potentially in a fraction of a second. This is one reason why VNE is so important.

You must know what your aircraft’s VNE is, and whether it is defined by the aircraft manufacturer or designer as Calibrated Air speed (CAS) or True Air Speed (TAS). If you are not sure of the definition – play it safe – assume it is TAS.

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