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Hard to land

Old 22nd Jan 2017, 23:10
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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+1 for everything Step Turn says. Flying an approach faster than you need to isn't "safer", it's inviting various kinds of mishaps. I once saw an SR20 coming over the threshold, and thought "wow, he's fast". Then I had a 20 minute delay while they figured out how to get an aircraft with a collapsed nosegear off the runway...

If you can't fly 1.3Vs safely and without risk of stalling/spinning, get some instruction until you can. Sure, at LAX I could cross the threshold at 140 KIAS (Vle), float halfway to Hawaii, and still land safely. Not such a good idea at my usual airport with its 2300 foot runway.

It's the old "superior pilot" hack. A good pilot can save a too-fast landing, but also has the sense not to do it. I did once meet an instructor (in the UK) who insisted on flying a 172 down short final at 75 (about 1.6Vs0). We floated forever. I thought he was crazy.

As for KayPam's comments, if you teach people how to land on a short field at 1.3Vs, why is it good to then insist people land at 1.5Vs+? Better that they know how to land at a reasonable speed when one day they need to. Otherwise the day they have to get into a 2000' runway, or need it put it down in a field, it's MUCH more likely that they will stall or otherwise mess up seriously.
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Old 23rd Jan 2017, 06:01
  #42 (permalink)  
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It is very standard for clubs to create their own checklists with the parameters they assume best fit the operations of this airclub.
This seems to be the beginning point of some failings in pilot skill. Groups of people who think they know better, (based upon their own possible heritage of inexperience) than the aircraft manufacturer who wrote, and had approved as a part of the type design, a Flight Manual. This important document describes how to best fly the aircraft. Government regulation which will state that the pilot shall refer to this manual while flying the aircraft.

I entirely agree that sometimes a pilot must fly an airplane faster to the point at which a final approach is made. The fact that you're over a suitable landing surface does not mean that you have to do a STOL landing onto it. You may choose to fly a faster initial approach for distance or traffic reasons, but when you begin the final approach to the intended landing area, that should be flown as described in the flight manual, and standard flight training, which will be at about 1.3Vs. I may overfly 2/3 of a 3km runway, to land at the far end, and clear quickly. In that case, the final 1000m was my selected landing area, and I will fly an on speed final approach to that place.

To prevent a stall/spin during an on speed approach to land, lower the nose, and perhaps add power, if you feel that the aircraft is approaching a stall. A speed increase is only required if you find yourself flying significantly slower than 1.3Vs.

It is a certainty that if I were training a pilot who insisted on flying an aircraft at approach speeds faster than flight manual/1.3Vs speeds during normal landings, I would not sign them off. (I handle some forced approaches differently, in harmony with flight manual information).
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Old 23rd Jan 2017, 07:53
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Speed on approach??

A while back, rented a Piper TriPacer from an Annapolis, Maryland airport, and was being checked out by the owner.....

Some of you may know Annapolis is the home of the United States Naval Academy. Gung ho guys, flying onto aircraft carriers, that sort of stuff.

Anyway the Piper TriPacer is sort of a fat Supercub with 4 seats - some have tailwheel, some nose wheel. I forget where the small wheel was in this case.
But flying on short approach into wind, our ground speed was probably about 30 mph. Certainly we had been consistently overtaken by cars on the ground.....

Suddenly (no rear view mirror in the TriPacer) we were overtaken by a very annoyed Navy flier in a light plane, who was planning to do a short landing at the small airport. Where did he come from?!

I hate to say it, but there was a certain amount of satisfaction felt by the two of us in the TriPacer when the Navy pilot landed and his undercarriage collapsed! We overflew the wreckage and decided to return to home base as it seemed the Navy light plane might take some time to clear the runway....
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Old 23rd Jan 2017, 11:41
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by n5296s View Post
[..]
If you can't fly 1.3Vs safely and without risk of stalling/spinning, get some instruction until you can. Sure, at LAX I could cross the threshold at 140 KIAS (Vle), float halfway to Hawaii, and still land safely. Not such a good idea at my usual airport with its 2300 foot runway.
[..]

As for KayPam's comments, if you teach people how to land on a short field at 1.3Vs, why is it good to then insist people land at 1.5Vs+? Better that they know how to land at a reasonable speed when one day they need to. Otherwise the day they have to get into a 2000' runway, or need it put it down in a field, it's MUCH more likely that they will stall or otherwise mess up seriously.
This above is exactly my opinion.
The problem with airclubs asking us PPL pilots to land at 1.5Vs is that we don't train for shorter airfield. And what is their solution ? Mandatory specific training with an FI before landing at a short airfield
This is why proper PPL pilots should take a step back and think for themselves : why is my airclub asking me to land at 1.5Vs, which problems does it cause, and what can I do to solve them ?
And following this type of reasoning, I decided to train for all situations during my solo hours building.
(Actually, this sort of thinking started for me when I first flew at an airclub who did not have any minimum fuel policy after having flown at an airclub that had a full tanks takeoff policy. I wondered what were the reasons for these rules and figured out the basic ones)
Originally Posted by Step Turn View Post
This seems to be the beginning point of some failings in pilot skill. Groups of people who think they know better, (based upon their own possible heritage of inexperience) than the aircraft manufacturer who wrote, and had approved as a part of the type design, a Flight Manual. This important document describes how to best fly the aircraft. Government regulation which will state that the pilot shall refer to this manual while flying the aircraft.
Well I would have to agree with that.
As I said, in my first airclub, we had a full tank takeoffs policy.
When I first flew at another airfield, with different available means for refuelling, this fuel policy was rather the opposite. And even though I knew there was enough fuel, I was not at ease with the legal minimums.

So obviously the reason for the full tanks policy was to reduce the likeliness of fuel exhaustion. But the negative side-effect is to train pilots who won't be at ease flying with normal amounts of fuel !

So I did what I had to do, I got used to flying with the legal minimums (+ margins if required), as should be normally done.

I have to admit I would be shocked at the speed figure getting out of a perfect 1.3 Vs calculation for the mass of the day..
On the aircraft I fly, the usual landing speed is 120km/h (robin DR400-120)
The stalling speed for full flaps 0 and MTOW is 83km/h. So that is 1.45Vs
If I fly at a mass 20% lower than MTOW, my stalling speed is 10% lower than the figure above : 75 km/h. So 120 is 1.6Vs (here is the value I was talking about!)
So 100 km/h would be 1.33Vs : an appropriate multiplication of Vs.
However this value sounds tremendously low for me.
It is under the "short landing speed" given by the airclub. And I even believe that the stall indicator would ring almost constantly during the approach at this speed. (it rings higher on my club's aircraft than on my previous one)

I started to train at age 14 believing that this aircraft could not approach below 110km/h. Or 100km/h in case of emergency. So it is hard to get that idea out of my head.
Plus, what happens if the ASI is wrong ? People who would reproach a pilot with overrunning a runway will also reproach a pilot for stalling on approach to a long airfield. They are going to say that they had good reasons for recommending 1.5Vs approaches (such as ASI imprecision) on their long home-airfield.

Would you agree on taking into account the Vs reduction due to mass ?
If not, then you end up with 110km/h, which is the "short landing speed".

I fly another type at the correct 1.3Vs speed (even though my airclub recommends 1.5), and unsurprisingly, it is much easier to land with the proper pitch up attitude.
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Old 23rd Jan 2017, 12:30
  #45 (permalink)  
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So it is hard to get that idea out of my head.
A seriously important problem! Training simply wrong from the beginning, then requires detraining at some future time, which is even more effort, and introduces more opportunity for damaging errors as skills must be learned. Train it correctly the first time! If the club instructors cannot train new pilots who can fly a safe approach at 1.3Vs, best replace or retrain those instructors!

Plus, what happens if the ASI is wrong ?
Ignore it! The 'plane does not know or care the indicated airspeed, it depends upon not exceed the critical AoA. Unlikely that the airplane is equipped to measure and indicate this, so you have to learn to feel what the controls are telling you. ALL light GA 'planes can be safely flown and landed by feel alone, by a pilot practiced in doing it. When I was checking out a new pilot in the Super Cub on skis two weeks ago, he asked me what approach speed to fly. I told him that I did not know, and just fly by feel. I think he did, and he flew very well. 'Best to learn to not need ASI....



We have too many instruments in 'planes anyway!
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Old 23rd Jan 2017, 13:50
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Step Turn View Post
A seriously important problem! Training simply wrong from the beginning, then requires detraining at some future time, which is even more effort, and introduces more opportunity for damaging errors as skills must be learned. Train it correctly the first time! If the club instructors cannot train new pilots who can fly a safe approach at 1.3Vs, best replace or retrain those instructors!



Ignore it! The 'plane does not know or care the indicated airspeed, it depends upon not exceed the critical AoA. Unlikely that the airplane is equipped to measure and indicate this, so you have to learn to feel what the controls are telling you. ALL light GA 'planes can be safely flown and landed by feel alone, by a pilot practiced in doing it. When I was checking out a new pilot in the Super Cub on skis two weeks ago, he asked me what approach speed to fly. I told him that I did not know, and just fly by feel. I think he did, and he flew very well. 'Best to learn to not need ASI....



We have too many instruments in 'planes anyway!
No, you don't ignore your ASI if you're trying to stick to 1.3Vs
If you hide it under a post-it note, and fly with your feels, you may very well land (part of my initial training so no problem) but you may very well fly anywhere between 1.15 and 1.5 Vs.


So, would you recommend that from now on I fly approaches at 1.3Vs for the current weight ?


If I did that I would probably go check the ASI and alarm speed/stall speed just beforehand. Just in case.
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Old 23rd Jan 2017, 14:59
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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I once flew a Stampe from the front cockpit. The rear cockpit had the usual array of VFR instrumentation, but in the front there was a throttle, mixture, stick, and rudders.

All the instruments were cut out of a magazine and pasted onto the panel!

The chap in the back kept an eye on Ts & Ps and fuel, and I just flew the aeroplane!

It's not that we have too many instruments in simple aeroplanes, it's that we have too few pilots trained not to need them.
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Old 23rd Jan 2017, 16:47
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Part of the training for every one of my students was a circuit with the ASI covered. I remember one CPL student (not one of my regulars) who was very nervous when I told him what I wanted. He was doing quite well so on final I asked him what he thought the airspeed was. His response "65", I raised the post it note over the ASI and the indicated speed was 66.

After we landed he noted that was the single most confidence inspiring lesson he had ever had......
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Old 23rd Jan 2017, 19:47
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Instruments can be unreliable!

Three times in a glider have I realised while being pulled up by the tug plane that my instruments were telling lies! Mainly because the combination was moving along nicely and gaining height; although the Air Speed indicator was reading, at first, ZERO! Don't often see zero on an ASI, usually the lowest number is the stall speed, they don't bother with other low numbers....

Though my primary attention had to be keeping correct position behind the tug, I did notice the needle was moving round steadily in the ASI, passing all the suggested airspeeds and ending up on the stop! Oops. I must have forgotten to remove the electrician's tape, usually applied at night to keep damp out of the tubes...

OK, I planned to take a higher tow, and fly around for a bit to see what it felt like. After release, and checking my surroundings for any other aircraft, I performed a series of gentle stalls. Right, know what that feels like and the stalling speed is about 30 knots. So finding rising air, carried on not too far from the airfield for half an hour or so before deciding to do a normal circuit.
At my home airfield, no problem. In Scotland, at Aboyne, they commented that the approach was a bit lively, no different than usual. In Russia (the USSR) it was their glider - a Standard Jantar, the ASI was in kilometers anyhow so I did the same as at home port, did some stalls, felt when I had good control, came in and landed. My Russian groundcrew, all three of them, came rushing over and said "TOO FAST, TOO FAST!" So I climbed out and pointed to the tapes that had not been removed.... Apologies all round!

So instruments, who needs them? A compass is useful, seldom fails, but if you know the time of day, the position of the sun may help. You should certainly recognise a stall with no ASI. Altimeter? Cows get bigger. Certainly should be able to tell by looking at the ground if you are getting too low... Likewise, following a motorway works pretty well for getting home. But in a glider, the instrument we find most useful is the audible variometer. You don't have to look at it but it tells you if you are in lift or sink. The altimeter may help, but not a lot.

In power, much more complicated, and noisy. Good to know what fuel remains, if the donkey is getting overheated, etc. Add radio to the mix and your lookout may suffer....that is after all, your primary safety device; your eyes, and the horizon. The real one.
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Old 24th Jan 2017, 10:57
  #50 (permalink)  
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No, you don't ignore your ASI if you're trying to stick to 1.3Vs
If you hide it under a post-it note, and fly with your feels, you may very well land (part of my initial training so no problem) but you may very well fly anywhere between 1.15 and 1.5 Vs.
In a literal sense, I agree with this. However, rather than be precise about flying an actual speed in numbers on close final, it's more important to fly the 'plane suitably close to stalling on close final, though without losing control because you allowed it to stall. This can be achieved by flying by feel just fine, as most certified GA planes will have similar feel (some more pitch force than others, but the forces work the same way).

There are times when you will have to fly with no indicated airspeed, most commonly when you take off, and notice that you do not have indicated airspeed, which is nearly always because a bug has found its way into the pitot tube, you'll be landing back with no ASI reference. Or, you forgot to remove the pitot cover which you installed to keep the bugs out = poor walk around check. I've done that twice, one being a flying boat where the pitot cannot be seen from the pilot's seat, and I did not check on the ground. The other being a C-180 floatplane, (where you cannot reach to the pitot from the float). It had been re positioned at the dock, and now I did not want to risk turning it around by myself in a confined area to reach the pitot cover. I flew to the beach, and removed it there. I did not find the no ASI landings at all difficult nor worrisome.

Otherwise, both the Super Cub and C305 I have done training in, have no ASI in the back seat, so if I have to demonstrate a landing from the back, I'll usually be flying without speed reference.
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Old 24th Jan 2017, 12:43
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Beagle - as I pointed out in post #3.
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Old 24th Jan 2017, 15:17
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps, but without any explanation...

This 'no ASI' stuff is just trick flying really - far, far more important is the insistence on flying the POH approach speed. Which isn't 'Vref', or threshold speed - it is the correct speed for the approach!

Back when I was a Flying Club CFI, we discovered that some nonsense had been creeping in to the PA28 checklist adding various non-standard increments to the approach speed. Some people were flying at 80KIAS with 3PoB and wondering why they were having problems landing. The Warrior will float for ages if too fast in the flare, as it decelerates from the trimmed approach speed, increasing back pressure will be needed - which pilots may not be able to achieve with any degree of precision, leading to the flare, balloon float and thump 1000 ft down the RW style of arrival... Worse would be an attempt to force the aeroplane onto the RW, probably leading to loss of the nosewheel.

One of our more experienced FIs dug through the POH and revised the SOP speeds. Pilots were firmly re-briefed and landings improved greatly.

Fly at the POH approach speed, idle and flare and it will land very nicely where you intended. Adopt any other technique and it won't!
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Old 24th Jan 2017, 15:30
  #53 (permalink)  
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One of our more experienced FIs dug through the POH and revised the SOP speeds. Pilots were firmly re-briefed and landings improved greatly.
Without wanting to appear at all accusatory, what could be the need for any organization operating certified aircraft for which there is an approved POH to have "SOP speeds"? Why would an SOP be anything other than "fly the POH speeds"? Surely the organization could not think itself more competent than the aircraft manufacturer in producing operating information for the type!?
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Old 24th Jan 2017, 16:51
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BEagle - I agree with you. I my GA days I was constantly amazed by the extras "added" by clubs to their checklists and speeds. The speed increments were further increased by club pilots in the name of "safety". At the same time the pilots expected to achieve the landing distances in the real aircraft manuals and couldn't work out why.

PM
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Old 24th Jan 2017, 17:00
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Step Turn View Post
Without wanting to appear at all accusatory, what could be the need for any organization operating certified aircraft for which there is an approved POH to have "SOP speeds"? Why would an SOP be anything other than "fly the POH speeds"? Surely the organization could not think itself more competent than the aircraft manufacturer in producing operating information for the type!?
As I said, its because they think club pilots are unable to keep a speed to a 5kt precision.
They think PPL pilots are idiots.

So they ask them to fly faster in fear they will stall..

Since they operate on long runways only it is not a problem.
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Old 24th Jan 2017, 20:00
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Since they operate on long runways only it is not a problem.
And what happens when said pilot looks in the manual, sees that the landing/takeoff distance required is x including safety margins, and runway available is only 150m more than the POH says, then he/she (as trained) attempts the approach at 1.5Vs....

That's a disaster waiting to happen!! Not a safety margin for the clubs!

If they are not capable of flying within normal limits, should they be allowed to solo in their planes until they have shown that they can fly accurately?

I'd say teach the POH, show at altitude WHY you follow the POH, then hopefully your students can learn to land!!

Last edited by alex90; 24th Jan 2017 at 20:01. Reason: grammar
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Old 24th Jan 2017, 21:03
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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As I said, if the landing runway is too short the airclub is going to ban its member from using it, without appropriate training with an FI.

Which is a shame I agree.

What about foreign pilots and FI spinning their DR400 ? This procedure is strictly forbidden in the country of the manufacturer of this aircraft.
Do they do this in the UK ? (I think the video I saw of a spinning DR400 was in Australia or New Zealand. I just hope they don't try with Socata airplanes next)
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Old 24th Jan 2017, 23:12
  #58 (permalink)  
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without appropriate training with an FI.
'Sounds as though there was a shortage of this already, if 1.7Vs approach is being considered!

What about foreign pilots and FI spinning their DR400 ? This procedure is strictly forbidden in the country of the manufacturer of this aircraft.
Out of curiosity, I search the DR400 flight manual. Spinning is prohibited in the representation of the limitations placard on page 2.08. So spinning is prohibited, unless there is a special authority, which is done for valid reasons. So if pilots are spinning DR400's during casual flying, they are flying outside the limitation, and not legal. Subject to enforcement action, and no insurance.

For your reference, as all certified single engine airplanes, the DR400 will have been spun during certification, but the manufacturer chose not to certify if for spinning. Likely because recovery risked exceeding limitations too easily.

If in doubt about what a particular 'plane is permitted to do, or how it should be flown, read the POH and placards.
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Old 31st Mar 2018, 08:51
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Everything going well ...then
An 18 year old newer pilot was flying in a glider competition in a Zuni sailplane and the stick broke off in his hand at around 10,000 ft!

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Old 31st Mar 2018, 10:48
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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My flying career was intermittent but I did find one or two aircraft didn't want to land. They just loved floating just above the ground. I've heard spitfire pilots sayin the same.
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