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garrettgee2001

Flaps for Landing

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In the last month or so, I have flown about 15-20 hours on the LS.  Love it so far, especially how it lands.  When I did my first flight in it with Tom Guttman, he told me he recommends, and that even the manual recommends, landing with (and taking off with) 15 degrees of flaps.  Well, today, I decided to try a flap 30 landing, fully prepared to go around if I was uncomfortable at any point.  I actually somewhat like the approach and landing with 30 degrees of flaps, with the biggest challenge getting the thing slowed to 60 knots before adding flaps.  I decided to add 30 flaps on final, which made for a bit steeper approach.  Crossed the numbers at about 52 knots, and basically flared and touched down all in one smooth movement.  I don't know if I like this because I fly (instruct in) several other (Part 23 certified) aircraft that have anywhere between 30-42 degrees of flaps, or what.  While the round out and flare have to be timed a little more precisely, due to the lack of much float with the profile I flew, it seemed to work well.  I will probably stick with 15 degrees of flaps for most things, but it is good to know how the plane flies and lands with greater than 15 degrees.  Anyone care to chime in on their experience with using 30 (or 35) degrees of flaps?  Why is it typically not recommended to use greater than 15?  What profile are others flying?  I am very comfortable with and have a good feel for the landings (and the airplane in general), just want to get others opinions on speeds and profiles they fly.

 

Gee

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I've been routinely landing my CTSW with 30* for 12 years now.  Higher speed landings that more often come with -6 thru 15 flaps sure can leave my CT vulnerable to being gusted while it is slowing down. I prefer the more often minimum speed landings at 30* with my stick usually full aft.

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12 minutes ago, Ed Cesnalis said:

I've been routinely landing my CTSW with 30* for 12 years now.  Higher speed landings that more often come with -6 thru 15 flaps sure can leave my CT vulnerable to being gusted while it is slowing down. I prefer the more often minimum speed landings at 30* with my stick usually full aft.

Ed,

Typically, solo, at flaps 30°, what approach speed do you carry up to the flare?

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I fly solo and light some of the time and that reduces the speed needed for the same result when 'heavy'.

I just coast in from abeam at 55kts which is sometimes too fast and never too slow.  I used to maintain that speed right into the roundout but now I allow the speed to decay from about my last 50' of descending, at that point I begin raising my nose into a landing attitude.

I'm almost always full aft with a closed throttle.

The same technique with 40* works poorly as the sink needs so much effort to arrest some of the time.  40 is too speed sensitive for the touchdown so I some times use it but back of to 30 on short final.

I guess the answer to your question is that I don't carry my approach speed into the flare at 30 any longer, I let the speed decay, I'm reading 39kts at the chirp so I'm somewhere in the mid to high 40s into the flare.

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15 for normal take off and landing for me.

Learn them all........

Learn leaving throttle in for all flap settings (try 2600-2700 rpm)  and then idle only for all flaps. They should all be second nature and easy to do. Don't get tunnel vision into just one type of landing. Your mental toolbox needs to be full and not have only one tool in it.

Failing to educate yourself is a narrow rocky path to walk.

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1 hour ago, Roger Lee said:

15 for normal take off and landing for me.

Learn them all........

Learn leaving throttle in for all flap settings (try 2600-2700 rpm)  and then idle only for all flaps. They should all be second nature and easy to do. Don't get tunnel vision into just one type of landing. Your mental toolbox needs to be full and not have only one tool in it.

Failing to educate yourself is a narrow rocky path to walk.

Now you have done it Roger, after what 11 years you have now posted a landing advisory that I completely agree with.

I will take it a step farther and say in our light sports a stabilized approach is almost a negative (if it has  you do the same landing every time).  

Our wing loading is so light that we can always get disbursed and have to do the landing from a late correction.

 

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4 hours ago, Ed Cesnalis said:

" . . . but now I allow the speed to decay from about my last 50' of descending, at that point I begin raising my nose into a landing attitude." . . . 

So Ed, just to be clear, does that mean, below 50 ft. AGL, you are well below 1.3 x Vso (stall speed) for your desired landing flap setting?

Not critical here, I am just interested in your technique.

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34 minutes ago, WmInce said:

So Ed, just to be clear, does that mean, below 50 ft. AGL, you are well below 1.3 x Vso (stall speed) for your desired landing flap setting?

Not critical here, I am just interested in your technique.

There is little precission in the LSA world but yes it looks that way.  Consider that this is expected when using 1.3 x Vso in heavier aircraft and is legitimate in VLA as well.  Playing chicken with the ground is more evident when I land the CT then when I land something heavier its just not near as evident as it was 12 years ago.

From my checkout flight forward this CT was a pitch attitude plane much more than a numbers plane.  On approach a level wingtip is my bottom line because my ASI is more of a lagging indicator. 

The sooner I raise my nose the more likely it becomes that I will advance the throttle at the last few seconds to arrest sink.  Sometimes I envision  a hangar door over the numbers and use it for a target to help keep my nose lower longer.  Perfect landing has the imaginary hangar door over the chevrons and I'm contacting on the numbers at idle and full aft.  Perfect landing has  minimal float like the distance from chevrons to numbers at my field but from a steep (LSA appropriate) approach.

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48 minutes ago, WmInce said:

So Ed, just to be clear, does that mean, below 50 ft. AGL, you are well below 1.3 x Vso (stall speed) for your desired landing flap setting?

Not critical here, I am just interested in your technique.

I just realized that there is a major difference between using ASI and wingtip for approach speed.  ASI does not compensate for stall speed changing with weight but wing tip does.  Wing tip is more like and AOA reading.

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Very helpful for us new to the CT... does anyone know of a YouTube video showing a "good case" CT landing technique whether it be no-crosswind or crosswind situation?

Thanks all, Andrew

 

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I appreciate everyone's input.  I am somewhat happy to hear Ed that you do land a little differently than how you would heavier aircraft.  I have found that if I approach other the threshold at 1.3 Vso, I will very likely float a little bit.  I am getting a little more comfortable fly by the "AOA" method as you mentioned, and I basically stop looking at the ASi once I cross the threshold.

Roger, I do typically keep power in until about the last 10-20 feet above the runway, but a little more than you recommended, but it typically isn't more than about much above idle throttle.  I will give that RPM setting a try next time I fly, perhaps it will help me fly a little tighter pattern.  I begin to close the throttle just as i cross the threshold, and then completely idle just before flaring.  I have tried a couple of "power off 180s", and while not my best landings, they were not bad.  The approach was a little bit tighter, which I like, rather than flying a "747" pattern.  My biggest adjustment is getting the thing to slow down well before entering the pattern.  It just doesn't slow down like a constant speed propeller airplane, that's for sure.

I did very much find myself very "squirrely" the first time I landing with a decent crosswind, as I tried to fly at a higher speed than normal.  After touchdown, the airplane very much wanted to "skip" laterally across the runway.

Thank for the help and insight everyone!

Gee

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34 minutes ago, garrettgee2001 said:

After touchdown, the airplane very much wanted to "skip" laterally across the runway.

This is why I advocate minimum speed landings.  I have no control to counter 'skipping' as I slow. Its not intuitive to be on one wheel for long but its a far better option than skipping at a higher speed.

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Since my training days, as I was trained, I always start with power off abeam the numbers and glide to the runway - if I need to add power then of course but , unless it is due to gusting winds or some external factors etc , if I have to add power , I consider that a failure in my judgement 😀 and try to get better next time around.

I am not sure how useful this is in terms of preparing me for some kind of engine-off emergency , never had one and hope not to have one , but I figured it can’t hurt to practice every landing as if it was an emergency ...

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I use 30 when the wind is mild and there is little crosswind, when it gets gusty I like 15.  I do occasional 40 landings, and 30 when gusty, to stay proficient.

I do find with the CT to fly truly power off to the runway, I need to start my base barely off the end of the runway.

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5 minutes ago, ZZ Top said:

Can anyone share the most appropriate time to use 40?  

Any time 30 is appropriate, 40 is as well.  I usually use 30 because you maintain a little bit better roll authority and you don’t run out of energy quite as fast.  It’s a preference thing, choose whichever you like.

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I fly a modified j3 cub and a CTSW, two opposites , one with very high drag and one with very low drag. That lets me make very short turns to final in the cub (like almost over the numbers still turning) but never in the CT. Always interesting.

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Although maybe not as high drag as a Cub, the CT can be configured to be hi drag by using 40 flaps.  When in full flaps, the CT is able to do very low speed maneuvering with a good safety margin.  For those new to flying always remember that banked aircraft have higher stall speeds.  The CT can be flown very low speeds that allow very short turns to final with full flaps.

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9 minutes ago, Runtoeat said:

...  The CT can be flown very low speeds that allow very short turns to final with full flaps.

Would that be a turn to very short final or a very 'tight' turn that prevents overshooting final?

Assuming its the latter I'm confused, by the time I know I'm overshooting its too late to change configuration to prevent overshooting.

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Neither.  I describe a very short and "tight" turn to circle in to a landing.  No base leg and almost no final.  A power off  path which takes me in a descending arc from downwind to over the numbers and then touchdown.  Good practice for engine out after just departing during take off!  In a "real life" situation, one only gets one chance at doing this.  If I'm practicing with operating engine and mess up, the CT allows recovery by applying engine power to climb and retract flaps and try again.  The CT can be flown safely with good maneuverability at 40 flaps and 40kts if engine power is available.  Repeat, IF ENGINE POWER IS AVAILABLE! 

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Honestly, at our approach speeds I never found overshooting to be a big issue.  If it happens I just go into a shallow left bank (if making left traffic) and bring things back to centerline.  If flying a very tight pattern you might land a bit past the numbers, but it's no biggie unless the runway is very short.

Where pilots get into trouble is with a 'panic' correction when too close to stall, or skidding around the turn to try to minimize the problem.  This is especially dangerous in an airplane with a fast and unforgiving wing.  That should be a go-around.

I have found in the CT that if you just use a normal coordinated bank up to 30° or so (you probably only need half that unless you overshot into the next county), it usually works out fine.  And go-around is always in you back pocket.

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Right Andy.  Our CT's have what I call "get out of jail" lever should we misjudge our landing and need to abort and go 'round.   This is "The throttle".  The CT climbs with load when flaps are deployed by application of throttle.

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21 minutes ago, Runtoeat said:

Right Andy.  Our CT's have what I call "get out of jail" lever should we misjudge our landing and need to abort and go 'round.   This is "The throttle".  The CT climbs with load when flaps are deployed by application of throttle.

Yeah, power to weight and the wing/flaps design makes it easy to throw the power to it and correct some problems quickly.

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