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DJ Todd B

Help with Landings

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So.... I have about 8 hours now flying my new (used) CTLS and my landings are all over the board.  Some are good, some are... Less than good.  I received some great reference materials from Eric Swisher (thanks Eric)  regarding the airspeed numbers for downwind, Base, and Final.  My question /poll is to find out from others the REAL numbers they use including their Flap settings.  My past flying has been with a Zenith 701, Zenith 601 and Titan Tornado which are pretty draggy. I usually flew them a bit high and a bit fast and just "chopped" the throttle 2' above the ground and they just settle in.  This approach has me WAY High and fast with 15 Deg flaps in the CT and I am landing pretty long.  Also, What are the Max Speeds allowed for the 15, 30 and 35  Deg Flap deployment?

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your on the right path, just give yourself enough room in the circuit, I think your doing all things right CT's you have to drive them in, right to the ground so to speak, on final hold 60 to 62, once the plane settles round out and flare. Alot of the time when your high on final it can be a case with not giving yourself enough room, work on your set up base and final legs, turning out of base into final leg its your 500 foot mark , this is the Ozzie way.

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Flap speeds are 80kt. for 15 deg. 62 kt. for 30 and  35 (or 40 for sw). Talk to a CT experienced instructor. Personally I close the throttle on late downwind use a glide approach and set the last stage of flap to adjust final touchdown point/glide path. I come over the fence at 50kt. No more. Everyone is different and has their own way, not wrong just different. I land with full flap, others don't. I use lower touchdown speed than some. I roll to a stop in about 300m. and don't use brakes. You will find lots of people that land on long sealed runways configure differently because they always have lots of runway. In the US a short runway is 3000 feet in parts of Europe 1000 is long.

 

Ps I am not an instructor, just giving my ideas. I have got about 2000 landings in CT aircraft. 

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Everybody has their own opinion and technique on landing the CT, but I generally agree with ct9000.  I have around 1000 landings on my CTSW, and when I look back at the bad landings I have made, almost all of them share a common element:  too much speed into the roundout.  You can make a good landing screaming into the flare at 70kt, but it is a LOT harder.  The most common bad landings in a CT usually go like this:

1) You come into the roundout carrying too much speed;

2) As you pitch for landing attitude, the aircraft starts to climb (balloon);

3) You don't add power as speed & energy bleed off;

4) The airplane speed decays well behind the power curve and into the stall, and a high sink rate ensues;

5) The airplane "drops in" for a high impact landing that would make an aircraft carrier pilot blush.

I know the above sequence well, because I have lived through it many times.  <_<  My landings vastly improved when I learned to slow the airplane down and not carry excess energy into the landing.  60kt can work at gross weight on a gusty day, but when I'm solo in calm winds on short final I think 55kt at 15° flaps, or 50kt at 30° flaps works well (I rarely use 40° flaps, I think they add a lot more difficulty without much speed reduction).  Those numbers are a good starting point, I actually personally use 52kt at 15° and 48kt at 30° as my targets.

The lower speeds actually help you "stick" the landing a bit better, with less energy available to balloon or float down the runway.  Here's an example of a 48kt approach into a 2000ft grass strip.  I easily make the turnout into the parking area which is about halfway down the runway, so total landing distance less than 1000ft:

 

 

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I have almost 3000 landings on my 2006 CTsw, and my experience (and airspeeds) is (are) just like Andy's, above.  I have virtually no landing experience with any other airplane.  

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Thanks Everyone.  I think Andy's assessment is SPOT on.  In my attempt to not get too close to stall speed, I have not let the plane slow down enough to STOP flying when I land.  I think I need to do some straight and level flights about 3000' AGL and do some SLOW FLIGHT and STALL approaches so I can convince myself that the bottom won't fall out at speeds under 55 Knots and also be sure that the stall warning horn is working and is accurate.  I also think I need the HULA DANCER to help me celebrate my good landings with me.

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If it 'won't come down' at 15 and you are used to draggier very light designs then use your flaps and it will come down nicely.  Limit your approach to 1.3x Vso (53kts) when using flaps and the adjustments your are trying to make won't be needed as much if at all.

I find chopping power abeam the numbers and getting right to 30* flaps while still on downwind works very nicely and allows a neat, tight little pattern.

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1 hour ago, FlyingMonkey said:

3) You don't add power as speed & energy bleed off;

here's my fix.

I always move my throttle lever forward at this point, not quite enough to begin increasing RPM but enough to begin the response.  This makes it much harder to miss it when you need it.

I have always told myself that unlike others I see when my plane begins rapidly sinking in the final stages I am the pilot and not an observer.  There is something about this moment that results in a lot of pilots just watching and doing nothing.

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Good, bad or indifferent, I usually add a bit of throttle just before touchdown too. THIS may be contributing to my fast landings also.

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5 minutes ago, DJ Todd B said:

Good, bad or indifferent, I usually add a bit of throttle just before touchdown too. THIS may be contributing to my fast landings also.

That's good, then you already have the habit that will keep the 30* flap landings from biting you.

If you are landing fast then you are not getting your stick to the aft stop by the time you contact.

 

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In addition to the excellent advice above, one other thing that helped me was a more gradual roundout.  At least for me, a crisp transition was satisfying when I nailed it, but more often than not it led to slightly more pitch up than needed, and a frustrating balloon (or not enough pitch up, and a bounce).  A bit earlier and slower flare makes it easier to judge and allows it to settle in right above the runway until speed is bled, which happens quickly if you get the speed down, as mentioned above.  This especially helps me with 30deg flaps.

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1 hour ago, DJ Todd B said:

I also think I need the HULA DANCER to help me celebrate my good landings with me.

The correct term is "Precision Turbulence Indicator"  :D

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52 minutes ago, Ed Cesnalis said:

I find chopping power abeam the numbers and getting right to 30* flaps while still on downwind works very nicely and allows a neat, tight little pattern.

Agreed.  I sometimes have to add power if I misjudge it a little, but it forces tight patterns and is good engine out practice reinforced on every landing.

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40 minutes ago, Ed Cesnalis said:

That's good, then you already have the habit that will keep the 30* flap landings from biting you.

If you are landing fast then you are not getting your stick to the aft stop by the time you contact.

 

My CT instructor did teach adding a small amount of power at higher flap settings just before touchdown.  Personally I don't, but I'm always ready to in case of a balloon.

Once you get used to the fact that you might need a small amount of power if you are too aggressive on the round out, it become second nature when it happens.  If you are pulling the stick back and the descent has reversed into a slight climb, add a couple hundred rpm.  When learning and this happens, a go around might be warranted until you get the feel.

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11 hours ago, FlyingMonkey said:

Everybody has their own opinion and technique on landing the CT, but I generally agree with ct9000.  I have around 1000 landings on my CTSW, and when I look back at the bad landings I have made, almost all of them share a common element:  too much speed into the roundout.  You can make a good landing screaming into the flare at 70kt, but it is a LOT harder.  The most common bad landings in a CT usually go like this:

1) You come into the roundout carrying too much speed;

2) As you pitch for landing attitude, the aircraft starts to climb (balloon);

3) You don't add power as speed & energy bleed off;

4) The airplane speed decays well behind the power curve and into the stall, and a high sink rate ensues;

5) The airplane "drops in" for a high impact landing that would make an aircraft carrier pilot blush.

I know the above sequence well, because I have lived through it many times.  <_<  My landings vastly improved when I learned to slow the airplane down and not carry excess energy into the landing.  60kt can work at gross weight on a gusty day, but when I'm solo in calm winds on short final I think 55kt at 15° flaps, or 50kt at 30° flaps works well (I rarely use 40° flaps, I think they add a lot more difficulty without much speed reduction).  Those numbers are a good starting point, I actually personally use 52kt at 15° and 48kt at 30° as my targets.

The lower speeds actually help you "stick" the landing a bit better, with less energy available to balloon or float down the runway.  Here's an example of a 48kt approach into a 2000ft grass strip.  I easily make the turnout into the parking area which is about halfway down the runway, so total landing distance less than 1000ft:

Nice job, Andy!

Good footage also.

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9 hours ago, JLang said:

In addition to the excellent advice above, one other thing that helped me was a more gradual roundout.  At least for me, a crisp transition was satisfying when I nailed it, but more often than not it led to slightly more pitch up than needed, and a frustrating balloon (or not enough pitch up, and a bounce).  A bit earlier and slower flare makes it easier to judge and allows it to settle in right above the runway until speed is bled, which happens quickly if you get the speed down, as mentioned above.  This especially helps me with 30deg flaps.

I agree!  Creeping up on the landing attitude works better than trying to get there all at once.  Try to arrest the descent first, then work the stick back into the landing attitude.

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I might regret posting this but when I read people say that a CT lands flat I think that is because the speed is too high. Slow it down a bit increase the angle of attack the nose wheel is now higher.

I can see why some are scared of full flap landings because it is a little more demanding but that is a matter of practice.

The stall is so docile and also low speed that it is not to be feared.

Get out there and enjoy such a wonderful capable bird.

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23 hours ago, DJ Todd B said:

So.... I have about 8 hours now flying my new (used) CTLS and my landings are all over the board.  Some are good, some are... Less than good.  I received some great reference materials from Eric Swisher (thanks Eric)  regarding the airspeed numbers for downwind, Base, and Final.  My question /poll is to find out from others the REAL numbers they use including their Flap settings.  My past flying has been with a Zenith 701, Zenith 601 and Titan Tornado which are pretty draggy. I usually flew them a bit high and a bit fast and just "chopped" the throttle 2' above the ground and they just settle in.  This approach has me WAY High and fast with 15 Deg flaps in the CT and I am landing pretty long.  Also, What are the Max Speeds allowed for the 15, 30 and 35  Deg Flap deployment?

The CT is very "clean" airplane with the nose down so its very easy to get to fast on final if you are high.  Even 30-35 flaps don't yield a high rate of descent just slower speed and steeper pitch down attitude allowing more time to descend to the runway.  With 15 flaps, approach at 60KIAS and try to cross the numbers at 55KIAS for decreased floating.  With 30-35 flap approach 50-54KIAS  crossing the numbers at 50KIAS and not less than 48KIAS.  The key to landing the CT well is being on speed and be patient in the flare, it has lots of stabilator authority and can remain aloft inches above the runway for quite some time in ground effect.  If you are patient you should achieve a nose up attitude similar to a 0 flap climb at Vy, when touching down.  The rapid slope in the cowling will give you the illusion that the nose is higher than it really is so just be patient and keep adding back stick in small increments til you get that nose high attitude.  Many worry about scraping the tail but its not likely during landing unless your doing 0 flap with some power added.

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I totally agree with Eric, and his speeds are right on.  I sometimes use slightly slower speeds, but that is just an experience and feel thing.  I also agree that 48kt should be the floor for your 30° flaps approaches.  I have done them down to 46kt when landing on a 1200ft strip with high trees to land over, but honestly I don't think it bought me much and the safety margin is reduced by quite a bit.

BTW, for those afraid of of using lower speeds on final, it's not really a problem, and here's what will happen if you get too slow:  at ~45kt, the sink rate will noticeably increase, and you will start to lose pitch control authority.  The nose will start to lower -- not violently, it will just kind of start to bob down.  At that point, if you add power you will immediately start flying again and regain pitch authority as airflow increases over the tail.  It's a non-event, but it will get your attention if you're not ready for it.  And you don't want that to happen while in a turn; if you are uncoordinated you are set up for a spin entry.  

So for 30° flaps I would keep speeds above 52kt before final, and above 48kt as a hard floor once established on final.  In any case when you get down around 50kt or lower you should be watching your airspeed like a hawk, just glance at it every few seconds to confirm what the airplane is doing.  If it starts to get too slow just lower the nose, add power, or both.

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Flying Monkey,  In your landing video I see your iPad to the left of the mushroom.  What are you using to mount it there?

Phil Bailey

saltlifephil@gmail.com

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Hey Phil, there is s Ram mount ball on the side of the mushroom with a 6" arm extension (the long one Ram makes) and the Ram iPad cradle.  Search the forum a bit, I have posted detail pics of the setup in the past.

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