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Old 17th Dec 2012, 15:00   #12 (permalink)
Pilot DAR
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 56
Posts: 3,380
I think that was an awesome forced landing, of which any Caravan pilot would be proud. I do not share the opinion that excess rudder was used at any point (though I have no facts to back up my opinion). I see a large yaw to align the plane with the runway, about at the instant that the left mainwheel touched - perfect! What's the worst that happens if you get that wrong? The right wing stalls first and drops and now both main wheels are on the ground, as you straighten it out? That's okay! I have used full rudder deflection in the flare of a Caravan during crosswind testing at 25 knots direct crosswind, and the aircraft is very benign - no surprises.

Up to and including the entry into the flare, I see only turns which appear to me to be reasonably coordinated and very appropriate. Bear in mind that in a Caravan, with an upgoing aileron, you also have an upgoing spoiler - which will produce drag. If you're trying to make the best glide, I'd be keeping the turns flat to reduce drag. The Caravan wing is excellently stall resistant, and roll control is excellent up to the stall (and rudder too, if you like that way of keeping wings level approaching a stall). You really have to be trying, to spin a Caravan.

I have glided Caravans many times, they glide and handle beautifully. When you feather the propeller, it windmills very gently (though I had a very serviceable engine). If you intend to glide a Caravan, particularly with the engine still running, it is important that the prop be feathered, as there is a huge reduction in drag over the normal beta range position of the blades with the power at idle and the prop in fine pitch. One of the most scary things I have been required to do is to glide a Caravan back from an engine failure at 50 after takeoff, and slower than the required climb speed - without feathering the prop. The propeller drag in beta (which is where you have left it by pulling the power off) is huge.

I can offer nothing but accolades for this skillful flying demonstration. This pilot deserves an "at a boy" from his peers.....
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