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Ed Cesnalis

30° flaperon landings - can be fun - or not

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@JLang said:

Some CT pilots find that control authority decreases with increased flaps.

Some CT pilots find the opposite.

 

The difference is a choice of energy source that you use to load your flaperons. 

A CTSW can run out of energy very rapidly and as Roger points out it results in bent gear :( It happens with 30° of flaperons because that is an extremely dirty configuration, with 30° loss of energy can be rapid and problematic. Roger is a bit of a speed guy now and its true that extra energy protects from rapid and problematic energy loss but at a price.

Our options for loading our flaperons are:

  1. Throttle
  2. Pitch attitude

To benefit from your 30° flaperon approach and landing :)  you want to keep your flaperons loaded all the way to contact with the runway.

Conversely, to realize diminished control from  your 30° flaperon use just unload them (its easy to do).  When you unload them you loose the buoyant feeling and wings want to drop or the plane wants to stop flying or drift takes a lot of input to control. :(

To get a bad result just fly the approach similarly to an approach with 15° and there will be points in your approach / landing where the flaps unload.

With practice you can do any kind of approach you want and keep your flaperons loaded but until that becomes 2nd nature here is an approach/landing method that I generally use for consistency and ease. 

The idea is to load the flaps early by lowering the nose till drooped wing tips are level and trimming for that speed. Use the trim to maintain the speed all the way till roundout so that the flaperons remain loaded, don't hold pressure.  Approach with a closed throttle again so the flaperons remain loaded. 

Do not begin your round out high in order to conserve energy.

Combine your roundout with your flare (no need to bleed of speed with a closed throttle and 30° flaperon) 

Your wingtip is no longer level and and no longer keeping your flaperons loaded so move your stick to the aft stop as soon as you can without ballooning.  This will keep your flaperons loaded and your level of control high.

Advance the throttle a very small amount to soften that final settling for a while.  As your timing improves you won't need this much.

 

 

 

 

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WmInce   
1 hour ago, Ed Cesnalis said:

The difference is a choice of energy source that you use to load your flaperons. 

A CTSW can run out of energy very rapidly and as Roger points out it results in bent gear :( It happens with 30° of flaperons because that is an extremely dirty configuration, with 30° loss of energy can be rapid and problematic. Roger is a bit of a speed guy now and its true that extra energy protects from rapid and problematic energy loss but at a price.

Our options for loading our flaperons are:

  1. Throttle
  2. Pitch attitude

To benefit from your 30° flaperon approach and landing :)  you want to keep your flaperons loaded all the way to contact with the runway.

Conversely, to realize diminished control from  your 30° flaperon use just unload them (its easy to do).  When you unload them you loose the buoyant feeling and wings want to drop or the plane wants to stop flying or drift takes a lot of input to control. :(

To get a bad result just fly the approach similarly to an approach with 15° and there will be points in your approach / landing where the flaps unload.

With practice you can do any kind of approach you want and keep your flaperons loaded but until that becomes 2nd nature here is an approach/landing method that I generally use for consistency and ease. 

The idea is to load the flaps early by lowering the nose till drooped wing tips are level and trimming for that speed. Use the trim to maintain the speed all the way till roundout so that the flaperons remain loaded, don't hold pressure.  Approach with a closed throttle again so the flaperons remain loaded. 

Do not begin your round out high in order to conserve energy.

Combine your roundout with your flare (no need to bleed of speed with a closed throttle and 30° flaperon) 

Your wingtip is no longer level and and no longer keeping your flaperons loaded so move your stick to the aft stop as soon as you can without ballooning.  This will keep your flaperons loaded and your level of control high.

Advance the throttle a very small amount to soften that final settling for a while.  As your timing improves you won't need this much.

Strictly pilot technique.

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Stacy   

Today I used 30 for the first time, with a passenger on board. I’ve landed many times with flaps at 30, by myself. 

Part of the reason I wanted to try it, was I thought with the xtra drag, I would be able to keep a little power in it and have more rudder authority. I made 3 landings, and was please with all 3.

The one thing I have not like about the CTSW, is the way it hangs in ground effect. Every plane I’ve owned or flew in the past, I’ve been able to kiss them on at speeds much higher than the stall speed. With the CTSW, I have a hard time getting the plane to stay on the ground with excess speed. 

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28 minutes ago, Stacy said:

Today I used 30 for the first time, with a passenger on board. I’ve landed many times with flaps at 30, by myself. 

Part of the reason I wanted to try it, was I thought with the xtra drag, I would be able to keep a little power in it and have more rudder authority. I made 3 landings, and was please with all 3.

The one thing I have not like about the CTSW, is the way it hangs in ground effect. Every plane I’ve owned or flew in the past, I’ve been able to kiss them on at speeds much higher than the stall speed. With the CTSW, I have a hard time getting the plane to stay on the ground with excess speed. 

If you keep a little power in remember to cut it to avoid the unwanted float.  It only takes a tiny amount to keep you 'hanging'

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38 minutes ago, Roger Lee said:

Who cares if you go another 50' - 75' so long as it is a smooth touchdown.

Who cares if your touchdown is smooth so long as you don't go floating down the field.

Currently I'm flying a lot and my touchdowns are smoother than ever but its not important.

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Because smooth landings save my plane's landing gear, front suspension and the engine suspension. Going another 50' - 75' does nothing to the plane. I'm not sure why you're always worried about 5 knots of speed or if you go another 50' on a landing or why you believe all landings must be at full stall. The gigantic majority here and or other LSA don't land like that and they log hundreds of thousands of hours each year without any issue. This isn't about short field landings. Just your everyday landings. Planes are damaged far more often because of being too slow over a few knots more speed or leaving some throttle in for safety and control.

You only believe in one way to land, but there are many ways to accomplish a landing and do it safely. An open mind and multi trained landing mental toolbox is better equipped to handle odd situations. Closed minds have fewer second nature response mental toolboxes. Education is king when you include all facets. 

The full stall believers are few to say the least. It was just two of you here on this site.

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Speed on the ground isn't about anything other than stick and pedal control. You can taxi this plane at 60 knots on the ground all day. The stick will determine if that plane leaves the ground not speed alone. The pedals determine if you allow it to veer off the runway not speed alone. You can steer off a runway at 10 knots. You can cross the numbers at 100 knots and still land at your normal landing speed.

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11 minutes ago, Roger Lee said:

Because smooth landings save my plane's landing gear, front suspension and the engine suspension. Going another 50' - 75' does nothing to the plane. I'm not sure why you're always worried about 5 knots of speed or if you go another 50' on a landing or why you believe all landings must be at full stall. The gigantic majority here and or other LSA don't land like that and they log hundreds of thousands of hours each year without any issue. This isn't about short field landings. Just your everyday landings. Planes are damaged far more often because of being too slow over a few knots more speed or leaving some throttle in for safety and control.

You only believe in one way to land, but there are many ways to accomplish a landing and do it safely. An open mind and multi trained landing mental toolbox is better equipped to handle odd situations. Closed minds have fewer second nature response mental toolboxes. Education is king when you include all facets. 

The full stall believers are few to say the least. It was just two of you here on this site.

I'm not always worried about 5 knots. My point is I prefer a firm contact to unwanted float like in a short field landing.  Including float makes the landing sequence imprecise.

My 11 year old CTSW gear legs are same as new with over 1,000 landings at the most difficult of fields.  I don't experience additional risk to my gear struts doing full stalls at Mammoth in fact just the opposite.

Preach to someone else about closed minds please mine remains open :)

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19 minutes ago, Roger Lee said:

Speed on the ground isn't about anything other than stick and pedal control. You can taxi this plane at 60 knots on the ground all day. The stick will determine if that plane leaves the ground not speed alone. The pedals determine if you allow it to veer off the runway not speed alone. You can steer off a runway at 10 knots. You can cross the numbers at 100 knots and still land at your normal landing speed.

That can be really bad advise.  Taxiing at 60 kts puts you at the mercy of sheer.  If / when it happens there is no control in the CT to counter with.

The pedals cannot keep you on the runway at 60kts in all conditions because the amount of  contact with the runway can be diminished by a well timed and well directed gust.  The perfect gust will only make you light and introduce sideways skidding on your gear that you can't counter.  This is the case where a minimum speed landing has you far safer.

Erin and I watched my friend Yossie take off in his CT in front of me in Alturas and he got in that same condition.  By the time he departed the runway he was losing his ability to stay on it.  That was the scariest thing I have witnessed in a CT.  I have saved myself from this same result on landings more than once  by landing at minimum speed and when the challenging gusts did hit I was well planted and slow enough to not loose control.

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At 60kts you may think you are taxiing your CT.  I think you are flying it with the wheels on the ground.

If its calm a 60kt taxi can be safe but on 2 wheels.  If its active at 60kts being on one wheel is a better deal.

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I teach my students that you are always flying the airplane by demonstrating that you can bank and turn the airplane on the ground while at or just below stall speed. My point in doing so is to prove that you can move the airplane back to the centerline even if you have already started your round out.

Roger, I am also in the full stall landing camp. I want students landing with the stick all the way back with minimum energy for the configuration. My approaches and landings differ from Ed's in that I choose to use 15° flaps as normal, with a little higher approach speed with power at idle. I teach students to make a little more gradual round out and flare to touch down, but I always want them to have the stick all the way back. I tell them the goal is to get as close to the ground as possible, but keeping the airplane in the air as long as possible. If I feel they touched down to soon I will pull the stick back to see if the airplane will rise back into the air. Starting out I am not as worried about them landing as short as possible, only smooth mechanics and touch down. By the time they are ready to solo I expect them to be able to tell me where they will touch down when they are on base.

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For you newbees reading this post, I would like to add a comment.  BOTH  Roger and Ed are precisely correct.  Their differences, as I see it, is based on skill level of the pilot.

For those new and occasional pilots, maintaining a skill level landing with 30 flaps is probably not going to happen. In this case, fewer flaps and a (little) extra speed might be easier on the plane.

Something I don't really see discussed is level of proficiency.  When I was operations officer of VT-28 (Navy advanced training squadron), If one of my instructor pilots had not flown with a student in the past two weeks, he was required to fly with another instructor to bring his scan and proficiency level back to an acceptable level.  Yes, you can lose your "edge" after only two weeks. 

For someone like Ed that flies often, 30 flap proficiency is easy.  For Joe pilot that flies once every one, two, or three weeks, 30 flap proficiency will not be there for him.

Everyone should fly within their abilities and level of proficiency and I suspect that will be different for each pilot.

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"I think you are flying it with the wheels on the ground."

You are flying it with the wheels on the ground. That's my point, you are the one in control so whether it's 45 knots or 60 knots you're doing the same You're in control or at least supposed to be until it stops.

 

Tom,

What difference does it make to pull the stick all the way back to see if it rises. You can keep it forward and on the ground to. 

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43 minutes ago, Ed Cesnalis said:

At 60kts you may think you are taxiing your CT.  I think you are flying it with the wheels on the ground.

If its calm a 60kt taxi can be safe but on 2 wheels.  If its active at 60kts being on one wheel is a better deal.

You certainly have full control authority at 60kt. Tricycle gear airplanes tend to become unstable when on the ground as speed increases beyond lift off speed. The reason is you need to decrease the angle of attack as speed increases to remain on the ground. At some point you will have the angle of attack decreased to the point that the nose wheel is the only wheel left on the ground. The airplane becomes hard if not impossible to control while still on the ground at this point.

Tail wheel airplanes are different. You can easily decrease the angle of attack to remain on the ground up to the maximum speed that power will let the airplane go. I have been on the ground with a Taylorcraft at 105 indicated. This is about 10 MPH faster than cruise speed.

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Hi Duane,

BFR was all good.

 

"BOTH  Roger and Ed are precisely correct.  Their differences, as I see it, is based on skill level of the pilot."

I would never teach a brand new person to a CT or other LSA to land at full stall to start with. Too little lack of skill level and too little knowledge on how to avoid it or fix it.

You are exactly right. teaching only one way, only doing one way and failing to learn all ways is not a well rounded education and sets people up to fail when things don't go as planned. Fly long enough and you will have some things not go as planned.

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2 minutes ago, Roger Lee said:

Tom,

What difference does it make to pull the stick all the way back to see if it rises. You can keep it forward and on the ground to. 

To prove that they are landing with to much energy. In my experience you can lose control of a CT that is on the ground to fast, if the pilot relaxes the controls. It is less likely to happen if you touch down with minimum energy for the configuration.

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"Something I don't really see discussed is level of proficiency."

 

Exactly. Newbies lack this and telling a newbie to be at stall on a landing may set them up for a smacked gear.

Full stalls have their place, but not for new people or in all situations. So proclaiming this is the only way is a good education for new people.

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"you can lose control of a CT that is on the ground to fast, if the pilot relaxes the controls."

Still the pilots fault for relaxing until stopped. He could still run off the runway or hit something at 15-20 knots.

This debate all orbits around proficiency. That should be taught first to new people and not high skilled landings.

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1 minute ago, Roger Lee said:

"Something I don't really see discussed is level of proficiency."

 

Exactly. Newbies lack this and telling a newbie to be at stall on a landing may set them up for a smacked gear.

Full stalls have their place, but not for new people or in all situations. So proclaiming this is the only way is a good education for new people.

Full stall landings don't lead to smacked gear. Misjudging your height above the ground does. I have 27 years of teaching under my belt, and have always started new students out with full stall landings. Students need to be taught the right way first before developing bad habits.

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What makes a full stall the right way? Many planes don't land at stall.

Extra speed on the ground doesn't make the plane veer off the runway either. Full stall doesn't mean a wind gust can't pick it up enough to smack a gear.

 

It all boils down to aircraft control to a stop. It isn't about speed alone.

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4 minutes ago, Roger Lee said:

"you can lose control of a CT that is on the ground to fast, if the pilot relaxes the controls."

Still the pilots fault for relaxing until stopped. He could still run off the runway or hit something at 15-20 knots.

This debate all orbits around proficiency. That should be taught first to new people and not high skilled landings.

Roger, as speed increase on the ground with a CT, or any airplane for that matter, the risk of something bad happening goes up dramatically. It is true that you can run off the runway at any speed, but the higher the speed the more energy, and the greater likelihood of doing greater damage or even death.

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8 minutes ago, Roger Lee said:

What makes a full stall the right way?

The knowledge learned over the past 100 plus years of aviation. Here is an excerpt from the FAA's Airplane Flying Handbook for a normal landing.

The round out and touchdown are normally
made with the engine idling and the airplane at minimum
controllable airspeed so that the airplane touches down on
the main gear at approximately stalling speed.

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"The knowledge learned over the past 100 plus years of aviation"

You're right better knowledge over time and not just one way.

Tradition just means thinking in the box and old ways. 

If stall is the right way why don't all aircraft land at stall? 

 

This is a no win for the full stall only guys because we know pilots and aircraft all over the world don't always do this. There are many ways to land which may require different skill sets and different situations.

 

What I learned in medical school.

There is never no never and never no always.

The more you learn the calm, confident and fluid you will be.

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