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JLang

Practice Maneuvers

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Having my license for about a year now, I still try to semi-frequently practice at least some of the checkride maneuvers, mostly steep turns, stalls, "emergency descent" spirals, and, of course, working on landing proficiency.  I will admit not much work on ground reference maneuvers, figuring that is effectively practiced each time in the pattern.

What maneuvers do you practice?

Beyond ACS/PTS maneuvers, what do you find worthwhile?  I have messed around with chandelles, and can see where this would be useful.  How are falling leaf stalls in the CT?

The default answer is to get up with a CFI and practice as many as possible, but the one I trained with has moved away, and I harbor some prejudice against the one local instructor.  I met him once, when he happened to walk by when I was speaking to another pilot before I purchased my CT.  He overheard my mention of a light sport and scoffed, "why not get a real plane?"  Having flown 20+hrs in a plane similar to his old Warrior, I assume he's either hopelessly living in the past, or, having often been caught behind the huge bomber patterns he seems to teach, not that sharp.

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1 hour ago, JLang said:

What maneuvers do you practice?

I practice canyon exit maneuvers.  In fact I do several per week.  I mostly practice maneuvers that work well in the type (steep) of canyons that you find in these parts.

I also practice dead stick / min speed landings by approaching and landing with a closed throttle routinely.

I practice rolling out on 1 wheel and similar (requires throttle)

 

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1 hour ago, Ed Cesnalis said:

I practice rolling out on 1 wheel and similar (requires throttle)

 

I'm interested -- could you expand on this?

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Most here land the CT flat and the plane wants to settle on all 3 almost immediately.  In a gusty crosswind if you need to stay on the upwind main alone for a bit, you might want to hesitate if you are being cross blasted and getting that 2nd main down will mean skidding this same balance on one main is used.   If you can put it up on one wheel and then the other at will as you roll out or fast taxi then you have the skill down.

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Another good practice technique is to occasionally just pull power to idle and then setup for an off-airport landing (or on airport if you are in glide range).  Don't look first, pull the power and THEN look around and decide where you would land.  You can set it up and then you'll know pretty quickly if you'd make your landing spot or not.

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Ed and Andy, those are good ideas.

Have you tried falling leaf stalls?  Of course one of the points of practicing them is to get it ingrained to use the rudder, not aileron, when a wing drops.  I'm assuming that the CT is pretty benign doing this, but I know the very first power-off stall I did in the CT resulted in a wing drop.  HARD.  Of course, coming from a Cherokee with its footrests instead of rudder pedals (well, that's how I flew it, anyway), I was completely uncoordinated, with the ball way the hell off to the side.  It got my attention.  Fortunately, I did indeed "step on the high wing".  Anyway, I was hoping for some words of experience before trying for myself.

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14 minutes ago, JLang said:

Ed and Andy, those are good ideas.

Have you tried falling leaf stalls?  Of course one of the points of practicing them is to get it ingrained to use the rudder, not aileron, when a wing drops.  I'm assuming that the CT is pretty benign doing this, but I know the very first power-off stall I did in the CT resulted in a wing drop.  HARD.  Of course, coming from a Cherokee with its footrests instead of rudder pedals (well, that's how I flew it, anyway), I was completely uncoordinated, with the ball way the hell off to the side.  It got my attention.  Fortunately, I did indeed "step on the high wing".  Anyway, I was hoping for some words of experience before trying for myself.

I have used that opposite rudder to counter the wing drop a number of times when landing in wind sheer. 

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33 minutes ago, JLang said:

Ed and Andy, those are good ideas.

Have you tried falling leaf stalls?  Of course one of the points of practicing them is to get it ingrained to use the rudder, not aileron, when a wing drops.  I'm assuming that the CT is pretty benign doing this, but I know the very first power-off stall I did in the CT resulted in a wing drop.  HARD.  Of course, coming from a Cherokee with its footrests instead of rudder pedals (well, that's how I flew it, anyway), I was completely uncoordinated, with the ball way the hell off to the side.  It got my attention.  Fortunately, I did indeed "step on the high wing".  Anyway, I was hoping for some words of experience before trying for myself.

I don't think I would try them with full flaps, especially in a CTSW. -6° through 15° flaps should be no issue. The only time I have ever had a CT drop a wing hard was in a CTSW with full flaps doing a power off stall. A little un-coordination stalling with full flaps will drop a wing.

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Practice approach and landing with different flap settings than your normally use (including no flaps or negative flaps). Otherwise, one day when your flaps decide NOT to move, you'll be doing it for the very first time (in a while).

Been there, done that.

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3 hours ago, Tom Baker said:

The only time I have ever had a CT drop a wing hard was in a CTSW with full flaps doing a power off stall. A little un-coordination stalling with full flaps will drop a wing.

That was my situation exactly.

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On 29/01/2018 at 6:46 PM, FlyingMonkey said:

Another good practice technique is to occasionally just pull power to idle and then setup for an off-airport landing (or on airport if you are in glide range).  Don't look first, pull the power and THEN look around and decide where you would land.  You can set it up and then you'll know pretty quickly if you'd make your landing spot or not.

I personally train myself once a quarter on the following procedure to check if I can make an airport landing when engine is off:

  • When an airfield is in the Skydemon gliding range (software widely use un Europe), I stop the engine, and see how I manage to land safely on the targeted airfield
  • Glide ratio needs to be set in Skydemon: It turns out that 9:1 is the right setting for a CTSW

This helps me in my emergency procedure if engine die:

- Check if any airfield are in the blue circle: if yes, fly straight there with flaps at 0° and speed at 63 knots. If not, then I target a field.

Capture d’écran 2018-02-06 à 07.10.28.png

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To follow up, since I mentioned wanting to try falling leaf stalls, on my last flight I did play around with this, with 15deg flaps.  I was expecting (hoping?) for balancing falling off to either side with changing rudder application, but the plane simply mushed increasingly to the left, needing constant full right rudder to keep the wing up.  It was pretty anticlimactic, and the plane seemed generally unhappy with the whole exercise.

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A good  maneuver, not easy to master without lots of practice, is the Dutch Roll. This is an excellent maneuver to hone stick and rudder skills. Start out with gentle angles of bank. Slowly increase the angle as you gain ability and feel to maintain your nose on a point on the horizon. Get to the point where you can roll 60 degree banks left to right and back as quickly as you can input the control all the while keeping your nose locked on a “pivot point” on the horizon with no yawing or pitch change and you will have gained an excellent feel for control using all control inputs.  The WWII fighter ace Joe Foss emphsized training in this maneuver as an important one to learning mastery of good aircraft control. 

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My CTSW instructor had me do Dutch rolls on our first training flight (I was already a Sport Pilot).  NOT an easy maneuver the first time you try it.

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