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After 5 hours...

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After 5 hours...

Old 3rd Jan 2019, 06:15
  #121 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
Tailwheel flying, like driving manual transmission, is it's own reward in operating pleasure. Take whatever opportunity you can to gain that experience.
Sounds fun, butI think I will wait until I have reliably good directional control at touchdown - otherwise it could get expensive!

Interesting comments about student pilots not using all the rudder range they have available, but believing that they are. I may be suffering from that syndrome, will try to really kick it about on approach to make sure I have the full feel.
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 07:50
  #122 (permalink)  
 
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Only one first solo.

Only one time you are alone in the air by yourself for the first time - all subsequent solos (different types etc.) remain subsequent, ie not first...

Last edited by Sam Rutherford; 3rd Jan 2019 at 08:27.
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 19:56
  #123 (permalink)  
 
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A comment regarding flap use. I recommend you read the aircraft's pilots operating handbook or flight manual in the section labelled Normal Procedures and see what it says with respect to flap settings for a "normal" approach. Based on my rather sketchy memory of the 172M manual I think it will say something like: "flaps 0 degrees to 40 degrees as required". That means you may use any flap setting you want and not put the aircraft out of limits assuming you have the airspeed under control. Of course, your instructors word is LAW when it comes to operating your aircraft. Does your aircraft have the 3 position flap toggle switch (up travel, neutral and down travel) or the notched gate (a jagged slot with kinks for each flap setting)? If it is the former I fully understand your instructors motive for getting you to use 20 degrees. I am blessed with big hands so I use my right thumb to push and hold the throttle fully open while using the fingers to toggle the flaps up when doing touch and goes in the clubs 172M. A third hand would be nice to have in those situations but we make do.
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 21:24
  #124 (permalink)  
 
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Regarding the original poster’s comment about feeling isolated during training (#105), I think the best part of learning to fly is that you become part of a club forever. Even before finishing my PPL, I could talk to any other pilot from student to veteran, glider, fast jet, rotary, recreational, airline or whatever and still have that camaraderie and sense of belonging. It really is a very special experience. Even though I don’t fly now, I will always be a pilot- albeit a very rusty one right now!! And I am very grateful to all the instructors and other pilot friends who encouraged me to persevere and finish my training. Good luck, and enjoy every minute of it!
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 01:22
  #125 (permalink)  
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Of course, your instructors word is LAW when it comes to operating your aircraft.
You should certainly pay close attention to what your instructor tells you about flying. However, it is important to recognize that the flight manual is actually the most authoritative document about operating the aircraft. The information in the flight manual was gathered by factory or regulator test pilots, and is approved as a part of the type design. For a greater understanding of this process (and some really entertaining reading) I highly recommend "Cessna, Wings for the World" by Thompson. He was a Cessna test pilot, and the stories he relates in that book are both enlightening, and entertaining. There are many answers in there to questions most pilots have not yet thought of.

Contrary to frequent discussion, wheelplane Cessnas are easily and safely capable of a full power overshoot with full flaps extended, it's a requirement for certification. If you need to go around, even after a bounce, open the throttle, and fly the aircraft away safely. As time and workload permit, retract the flaps to the climb, then retracted settings, there's no rush. If the aircraft would not climb away with full flaps, it would not be certified. In particular, older electric flap Cessnas had a nasty habit of blowing a fuse (pre circuit breakers) when the flaps were retracted. This happened to me a couple of times, and I assure you that changing a fuse is far too high a workload to be considered during an overshoot. You just climbed away with (or nearly so) flaps, and dealt with it at a safe altitude - you did confirm the presence of spare fuses as a part of your pre flight check - right? Yes, I once did takeoff and fly home with full flaps, 'cause I did not have a replacement fuse. It was slow, but I had no problem.

Of course, fly the aircraft as stated in the flight manual, and in accordance with good training, but know that around the edges, there are still margins of safety for you - Cessnas are not fire breathers.
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 10:25
  #126 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by flyinkiwi View Post
A comment regarding flap use. I recommend you read the aircraft's pilots operating handbook or flight manual in the section labelled Normal Procedures and see what it says with respect to flap settings for a "normal" approach. Based on my rather sketchy memory of the 172M manual I think it will say something like: "flaps 0 degrees to 40 degrees as required". That means you may use any flap setting you want and not put the aircraft out of limits assuming you have the airspeed under control. Of course, your instructors word is LAW when it comes to operating your aircraft. Does your aircraft have the 3 position flap toggle switch (up travel, neutral and down travel) or the notched gate (a jagged slot with kinks for each flap setting)? If it is the former I fully understand your instructors motive for getting you to use 20 degrees. I am blessed with big hands so I use my right thumb to push and hold the throttle fully open while using the fingers to toggle the flaps up when doing touch and goes in the clubs 172M. A third hand would be nice to have in those situations but we make do.


The manual says:

Wing flaps -- as desired!


It is the 3-position toggle flap selector.
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 12:07
  #127 (permalink)  
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The manual says: Wing flaps -- as desired!
Well... the flight manual will say a little more than that, how much more depending upon the year of the 172.

Referring to the flight manual for a 172S (the more recent, and more rigorous):

In section 2, Limitations: Approved Takeoff Range - 0 to 10, Approved Landing range - 0 to 30. And, there are speed limitations for flaps. It actually is the law that you fly the aircraft within its limitations.
Section 3, Emergency Procedures, has a number of references to specific flap position for emergency situations.
Section 4, Normal Procedures, mentions flap position in several places, and has a paragraph devoted to flap settings.
And, Section 5, Performance, has many references to flap position, as it relates to performance (how much runway you're going to need).

So yes, the 172 has a lot of freedom as to the flap position you may select, and advice on how much for when - but it's not open ended, so you have to read and understand the flight manual to know.
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Old 7th Jan 2019, 06:20
  #128 (permalink)  
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Well, I seem to have made a step improvement. Landings are now reliably OK and suddenly I seem to have the thinking time and the view of the runway that I need. Use of the rudders is still not optimal - but I am hopeful that will come now. In fact now, I am heartily sick of circuits and think I would benefit from doing something different.

I don't know what changed, I am not aware of doing anything particularly different, I just seem to be more in control. However, one thing that I did which I am sure helped a great deal, was to very deliberately take time to prepare for the next session - go over check lists, and think through the process. Last year I was racing to and from lessons and not doing much in between. This may sound strange, but I am used to finding stuff coming easily to me and always being 'good' at whatever I try! Admitting that I need to put some serious work, thought and prep into flying is my 2019 resolution! I know that sounds arrogant, but I think that I just was not allocating sufficient 'life bandwidth' to making this happen, and hoping to get through by my natural genius !
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 10:28
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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Been reading this thread for a while and some very good information. I'm starting my NPPL (M) lessons in just over a week and suffice it to say I'm very excited. I've been studying the theory for over a month with the aim of getting a head start.

OP, good luck with your imminent solo!
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 07:21
  #130 (permalink)  
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How to land a C172 !!

As a student struggling to find time to fly consistently and having had something of an epiphany, I thought I would have the temerity to share my newfound understanding of how to land!!!

It seems to require:

1. Arrive at the threshold at the right speed and height
2. Chop the power
3. Fly it down the runway – do whatever you need to keep the nose up and just off the ground. The objective is to not quite land. As you slow, the control movement required to do that becomes more extreme.

That’s it. Looking back, I really don’t know why I struggled with this and why it took so long to become instinctive. I can try to blame my instructor who never really put it like that, I was being told for example, ‘pull back --- no! Not that much!’ or ‘pull back --- no, really pull back ---- more!’ I worried that I was not judging my height above the runway accurately – but it turns out that is not at all critical, and it meant I was looking down rather than forward. I worried that I should know how much control movement to put in at each point – but it turns out that is stupid, just do what is needed to hold it off.

Anyway, all you instructors, please be aware that there are students out there like me who need to have the bleeding obvious explained to them in the right terms!! I sometimes wonder if someone who found a skill difficult to acquire makes a better instructor…..?
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 00:33
  #131 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by double_barrel View Post
I sometimes wonder if someone who found a skill difficult to acquire makes a better instructor…..?
Back in medieval times when I was learning to fly and spin recovery was an essential element within the training syllabus, I had considerable difficulty in maintaining an awareness of the aircraft's attitude relative to the ground. My instructor, who I considered very good in other respects, failed to acquaint me with the "bleeding obvious" and it was left to me to accidentally discover that putting my head back when inverted and focusing on the ground allowed everything to fall into place - simples! Even with block bookings at £3/17/6d per hour (which at the time was about 1/3rd of a week's wages), the failure of the instructor to teach me this elementary trick proved a needless expense.

I hope the experience made me a better instructor.
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 03:16
  #132 (permalink)  
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I was being told for example, ‘pull back --- no! Not that much!’ or ‘pull back --- no, really pull back ---- more!’ I worried that I was not judging my height above the runway accurately
When I'm teaching landings, particularly on the water, the pre-landing briefing will be that once the flare is begun there will never be a "push" on the flight controls, the the ailerons and rudder will be used to keep the plane aligned with the runway. Then, the patter at the beginning of the flare, through to touchdown will be something like: "pull, pull, hold, hold, hold, pull, pull, hold hold, pull, pull, hold, hold...." until the plane touches nicely, upon which I will remind to continue the pull. If the student is pulling too much, or too quickly, I will quickly say "hold" to stop the pull.

In the most ideal circumstances, which was a local lake, so ice for miles in all directions, I was able to talk my 18 year old cousin through several very nice landings within her first hour flying the 150. In that case though, there was no need to keep the planes aligned with any runway (it was everywhere), and I was controlling the power, so I could stretch out her flare if I needed to.

Try to prevent the aircraft from touching, while not providing enough power for it to sustain flight!
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 03:33
  #133 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
Try to prevent the aircraft from touching, while not providing enough power for it to sustain flight!
Exactly! Obvious when it's obvious. Painful when it's not.


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Old 15th Feb 2019, 19:46
  #134 (permalink)  
 
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Pilot DAR’s technique of “pull pull hold hold pull pull” is exactly what I was taught in the Dark Ages and it is what I think I do to this day - never push on the stick during landing, except of course, after the main wheels touch down during a taildragger wheel-landing.

What caused me to say “I think I do” was an experience I had last year. I flew as a passenger with a highly experienced pilot who I’ve known for years, in two different aircraft - one with a stick and one with a yoke. On both occasions, I noticed that his pitch control during the flare was extremely “twitchy” with quite noticeable fore-and-aft movements. I don’t think I do that, but then I’m not looking inside the cockpit during the flare. I’m planning to set up a camera to see what I do.

I wonder if anyone else has noticed this behaviour in themselves or other pilots?
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Old 15th Feb 2019, 20:08
  #135 (permalink)  
 
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I've often flown in a tailwheel aircraft, with a pilot who does good landings, who does that. He learned on a C150, and was taught to gently move the control to feel for the ground. At the time he converted to tailwheel, no instruction was specified.
After soloing from gliding on a taildragger, my landings got bad. I was passed to an instructor who fixed the problem in a few low-level circuits.
Keep aircraft in middle of runway, keep fuselage in line with runway. After roundout, go around, making sure the throttle is fully closed. Do NOT land.
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Old 15th Feb 2019, 20:50
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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Just what I've been saying for years - "aim at the runway, miss for as long as possible"!

FBW
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Old 9th Mar 2019, 10:00
  #137 (permalink)  
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Yay! Finally! 1st solo. Best landing of my life!
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Old 9th Mar 2019, 11:21
  #138 (permalink)  
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Very good Double Barrel! Satisfying, isn't it! Now.... the learning really begins!
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Old 9th Mar 2019, 11:33
  #139 (permalink)  
 
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Congratulations. You’ll never ever do another first solo again!
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Old 10th Mar 2019, 11:21
  #140 (permalink)  
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Thanks guys. I was very stressed during the looooong wait for take off clearance, but as soon as I released the brakes it all went beautifully.

It's been a frustrating wait to solo with constant interruptions and delays due to work travel and beurocracy. As you say, now the learning really starts.

Last edited by double_barrel; 10th Mar 2019 at 13:08.
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