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iaw4

500fpm, 60 knots, 15 degrees flaps

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Like on approach I'm all about forward stick and Andy is back.  Same on slips I use a lot of stick both flaperon and forward stab.  I don't have the speed control warning that Andy does.  I like my forward pressure better because my controls aren't positioned like I want to snap roll.

Other than snap rolls I see slips as spin protection and skids as asking for it.

Passengers aren't used to slips so flaps are the better choice.  You do need one or the other, or to modify your approach (my flaps where stuck at -12 for 4 months) or you have the getting/slowing down issue.

The other approach that I used when stuck at neg 12 is to simply fly for the numbers with cruise speed, allowing for some float and simply retarding the throttle to slow down to landing speed.  I'm talking about pointing the nose down to descend and not worrying about speed till I'm at the runway.

In the end, no matter what your config / approach if you can't get down, just put the nose down and get down first and slow down 2nd.

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BTW, for the final length question, I took this picture yesterday, just as I was about to turn base at my home airport, to give you an idea of how long my final is.  I estimate it's 1/4 to 1/3 mile or so:

OL4N5jX.jpg

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1 hour ago, Ed Cesnalis said:

Like on approach I'm all about forward stick and Andy is back.  Same on slips I use a lot of stick both flaperon and forward stab.  I don't have the speed control warning that Andy does.  I like my forward pressure better because my controls aren't positioned like I want to snap roll.

 

I'm not sure what you mean here.  Since I removed the additional pitch control spring that was installed in my CT, I need to trim the airplane very little, and I'm at pretty much neutral trim on final, so it doesn't take pressure one way or another.  That said, if I do have some bias in the trim I prefer to have to hold a little back pressure instead of forward pressure, it just feels more comfortable and natural to me.  If you mean in the slip, then yes you have to use back pressure or you'll be at 65kt by the time you get to the runway. 

What "speed control warning" are you referring to?  If you mean the wing drop in the slip, I guess so...but as I said I've never had that happen.  I watch the airspeed like a hawk when I'm doing low speed approaches (under 55kt at 15° or under 52kt at 30°).  I usually quit looking at airspeed and fly by feel in last 50ft or so. 

BTW, I never go to 30° flaps or more until I'm on final.  The glide distance at those high flaps settings really goes to hell, and I want to make sure I can make the runway if the big fan stops turning.  The airplane slows so fast at idle when you go from 15° to 30° that you don't lose anything by waiting.  

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20 minutes ago, FlyingMonkey said:

I'm not sure what you mean here.  Since I removed the additional pitch control spring that was installed in my CT, I need to trim the airplane very little, and I'm at pretty much neutral trim on final, so it doesn't take pressure one way or another.  That said, if I do have some bias in the trim I prefer to have to hold a little back pressure instead of forward pressure, it just feels more comfortable and natural to me.  If you mean in the slip, then yes you have to use back pressure or you'll be at 65kt by the time you get to the runway. 

What "speed control warning" are you referring to?  If you mean the wing drop in the slip, I guess so...but as I said I've never had that happen.  I watch the airspeed like a hawk when I'm doing low speed approaches (under 55kt at 15° or under 52kt at 30°).  I usually quit looking at airspeed and fly by feel in last 50ft or so. 

BTW, I never go to 30° flaps or more until I'm on final.  The glide distance at those high flaps settings really goes to hell, and I want to make sure I can make the runway if the big fan stops turning.  The airplane slows so fast at idle when you go from 15° to 30° that you don't lose anything by waiting.  

The approach trim difference came from before your spring removal.  That said, in a CTSW there is a pretty big trim change from 15 to 30 so I can't see how you can be pretty neutral.  For me to trim for 55kts and 30 its a big pitch change and a big trim change.

The speed warning I'm referring to is that when slipping you need back pressure.  On final at 30 and idle when I slip it takes a lot of forward stick.  

30* from downwind simplifies things, one pitch change, one trim change, hands off all the way in.  To insure you make the runway just adjust your pattern size like you would in any landing configuration in any plane.  Flaps don't make you come up short, that's judgement.

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47 minutes ago, Ed Cesnalis said:

The approach trim difference came from before your spring removal.  That said, in a CTSW there is a pretty big trim change from 15 to 30 so I can't see how you can be pretty neutral.  For me to trim for 55kts and 30 its a big pitch change and a big trim change.

The speed warning I'm referring to is that when slipping you need back pressure.  On final at 30 and idle when I slip it takes a lot of forward stick.  

30* from downwind simplifies things, one pitch change, one trim change, hands off all the way in.  To insure you make the runway just adjust your pattern size like you would in any landing configuration in any plane.  Flaps don't make you come up short, that's judgement.

After the spring removal, I think we still have trim differences.  At this point my airplane requires very little trim change, and my trim knob travel required has become a LOT less.  The total amount of trim change from full flaps and minimum speed to -6 flaps and 120kt+ is probably less than a half turn, maybe only a quarter.  If I adjust the trim, it's usually just a tiny touch.  If I add flaps at 30° it's only a few millimeters on the trim wheel.

My airport has crossing runways, not a single one like at Mammoth, and often there are multiples in use.  I don't like to fly across the middle of potentially active runway, so my downwind leg is a bit further out.  If I go to 30° before turning base and want to make the runway power off, I'd have  to turn base at the end of the runway and basically sweep a 180° turn.  even if that were not the case, a longer glide distance gives more options, and I don't want to give that up until necessary. 

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5 hours ago, Ed Cesnalis said:

Other than snap rolls I see slips as spin protection and skids as asking for it.

https://www.boldmethod.com/learn-to-fly/aerodynamics/slip-skid-stall/

(however, the slip-skid difference seems to matter in turns, not on final when my direction is straight ahead and I want to lose altitude and speed in a hurry.)

 

I find the Dynon a bit too busy for taking a quick glance to get the airspeed and vertical speed.  This would make it safer/easier.  I wish I had a HUD with those two pieces of information---or be able to see it much more quickly---or have audible speed or AoA alerts.  This is why I am trying to build in more safety margin against a worst-case scenario than I should.

I don't believe the CTSW lends itself to stabilized approaches the same way that heavier airplanes do.  but I want to fly (smaller) corrections to the basis, not (bigger) corrections from start to end.  This is why I started this thread.  And everyone's point of view is highly appreciated.  For one, I have learned that there are many approaches to landing.

 

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I don't have as much time instructing in the CT as Eric, but I have quite a bit. You can make a stabilized approach, and it is not that hard. The biggest issue I have seen from people who have experience in other airplanes is that they try and fly the CT the same way, and most of the time it doesn't work. Unless you are flying a giant pattern you shouldn't be carrying power.

To get things sorted out I suggest that you pull the power to idle abeam the numbers. Fly the pattern with the flaps set to your desired setting. I prefer 15° for someone new to the airplane. Fly your approach. If you come in low either add power or fly a smaller pattern the next time around. If you come in high fly a bigger pattern the next time. The CT is a light clean aircraft, and you don't need to carry power in the pattern like you do with a heavier airplane. With 15° flaps use 60 kts on downwind and base. On final you can slow it to 55, especially if you are solo and light on fuel.

 

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Tom B, that is exactly what I did this eve... and your strategy, which was taught to me in the transition training, works the very best for me...

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so, I have had a few more days practicing.  (unfortunately, Southern Cal has seen lots of rain and wind over the last three weeks.)  here are my experiences and impressions so far.  they are personal---your's may be very different.  I am posting them here to help some future startup pilots.  I am also ok being corrected if I am making judgment mistakes.

for a pilot used to a "standard" airplane, the CTSW is a difficult airplane to land.  I can see why the the ground accident rate was pretty high for PPs.  A sports-licensed pilot trained in a CTSW will beat a PPL pilot any day in terms of CTSW safe and competent flying.  I have personally seen pilots with 5,000+ hours struggle.  it is not that the CTSW is intrinsically more difficult to fly than other airplanes.  But it is different.  Very different.  One's piloting skills do not transfer as easily to a CTSW than to another 1,500 lbs airplane.

the biggest differences from a Vans or Piper or Cessna are

  •  the need to become a good rudder pilot (stick alone is not enough most of the time);
  • the perspective from the cockpit is quite different (don't look towards the spinner, but straight); and
  • the airplane is very light and clean and does not want to slow down easily.  (the kind of slips that may work are a bit scary, in that they require a slow-flight nose-up attitude, obviously uncoordinated.  a little wind gust, and it may drop left or right, dependent on where it comes from.  probably quite safe, but I would rather not err and find out the hard way.)

the "easy" way to land the CTSW is to use 15 degrees flaps.  At 30 degrees flaps, the ailerons lose their "normal" characteristics and feel really mushy.  Almost like a different airplane.  Unpleasant.  Unfun.  (Not impossible, but just no longer crisp.)

I now want to fly the pattern no faster than about 60 knots.  Abeam the numbers, I don't throttle back to 3000rpm.  Instead, I begin a throttle-off approach and set 15 degrees flaps.  Really.  Most of the time, with just a little rear wind (on downwind), it takes a long time to start losing altitude.  I don't even fly a particularly close-in pattern now.  Even on a normal pattern distance, the power-off approach feels almost always just right.  On occasion, If I am getting a little slow and low on final near the runway, I add a little bit of power.  The Rotax engine is incredibly quick---nearly instant---in spinning up.

On final, I want to be at an airspeed of no more than 55 knots.  I would like 50 knots, but the airplane does not easily slow down to it even with a power-off approach.  At 50 knots, I am not in slow flight and the (throttle-off) airplane handles just like it always handles...nice and crisp.  With 50 knots speed over the threshold, I probably would get to 45 knots landing speed, which is just beautiful.

I have yet to determine how quickly the airplane bleeds off speed, at 15 degrees flaps and 50 knots (down to 45 knots), near the ground and in slow or near-slow flight.  I am still cautious.  However, I suspect that a CTSW would bleed energy so slowly on descent to final and the nose would point so high into the sky that I could not miss noticing when I get down to a slow 45 knots (10% above stall speed).  Right now, half of my attention has to be focused on the numeric display of the airspeed on the Dynon (which is way too busy in those moments for my taste).  It will become a lot easier if I knew that I did not need to watch the numeric airspeed as carefully.

[Anyone have a good guess?  How many seconds should it take to bleed speed from 50 to 45 knots, power-off, 15 degrees flaps, descending at a constant rate of 200-300 fpm on final?] 

Single-pilot behavior is even more extreme than dual-pilot behavior.  The airplane becomes even lighter.  Very noticeable...not like a 1,500 lbs airplane.  Power off, power off, power off.  The rest the same.

regards, /iaw

 

PS:  If they did not exist in real life, I would guess "motorized kite" would be good joke to make about a CTSW.  It is 100hp bolted on a sailplane without speed brakes.

 

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20 minutes ago, iaw4 said:

[Anyone have a good guess?  How many seconds should it take to bleed speed from 50 to 45 knots, power-off, 15 degrees flaps, descending at a constant rate of 200-300 fpm on final?]

Its a function of back pressure and travel, how much and how fast.  When you say 'bleed' it sounds like "if trimmed for 45 but holding 50 how long to slow if I let go)

45 isn't the bottom speed your looking for its 39 and its very easy to hit.  Its not like you have to make sure your not a hair to slow to avoid a mishap because all that happens is your sink rate increases which you can counter with throttle and even stick if its not at the aft stop.

2 turnoffs where closed today due to snow so I flew in ground effect for 3/4 mile over the runway indicating 40kts.

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I am with Tom.  Try power off a bit before you are abeam the numbers, flaps 15 and trim for 55-60 knots depending on weight.  Turn base about 700 agl.  Easy as pie!   WF

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Or even try midfield for idle. For me, any later and I have to extend downwind farther than I’d like. 

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"Most of the time, with just a little rear wind (on downwind), it takes a long time to start losing altitude."

Let's change this to, "...it takes a  long distance to start losing altitude". The wind doesn't hold you up. It just pushes you further along.

Mike Koerner

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iaw4,

I have never been in an SW so I cannot comment on your observations.  I am new to the CT, mine is an LS.  I agree that if one were purely trained in the CT the flying would be easier than a 5,000 hours Cessna transition pilot.  The insurance companies agree with you by the way. 

I don't know how many hours you have in the type or your flying background but fortunately for me my Cessna/Piper days were/are way behind me by like 35 years.  So, I am most certainly a new pure light plane pilot.  My hunch after reading posts regarding the CT's flight characteristics is that it is def. a stick and rudder airplane.  Hell, the Cherokee has an aileron/rudder mechanical linkage for example.

So, I decided that learning in a tailwheel was smart and transitioning into a lighter plane, i.e. a Sport Pilot plane was smart too.  It worked for me.  I learned first in a Cub, received my tailwheel cert and then transitioned into a Kappa.  The Kappa has a Rotax 912 and all of the euro light sport airplane characteristics that would simulate the real CT world pretty well.  The CT transition clicked on the 10th hour and I am getting better and better each time out.  There are a lot of Youtube vids on the net regarding CT crosswind landings, etc... suggest you view them.  

You are correct about the Spinner sight line.  Which is a blessing and short term curse.  The blessing is the view... I love that view in the pattern especially, far easier to see traffic.  The curse is the sightline when landing and taking off...  So, in the CT you have to invent your own frame of reference until it becomes old hat.  Mine was a certain screw on the panel that was centerline.  I used that for a while until now I have the sight line embedded in my fat head.  

I will say this, the CT is far more forgiving in the landings than I was lead to believe.  It is more self correcting than I thought which is good for my experience level.  Once tamed, and it is solely a question of "when" and not "if", the plane is awesome.

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On 2/7/2019 at 6:28 PM, iaw4 said:

 

  • the airplane is very light and clean and does not want to slow down easily.  (the kind of slips that may work are a bit scary, in that they require a slow-flight nose-up attitude, obviously uncoordinated.  a little wind gust, and it may drop left or right, dependent on where it comes from.  probably quite safe, but I would rather not err and find out the hard way.)

Slips do not require a "nose up attitude".  With 30° flaps the attitude in a landing slip is quite nose low, even down to 45kt.  You do have to hold the nose up a bit to avoid picking up speed, but not to anywhere near a nose high attitude (which I would consider above the horizon, maybe you mean something different).

 

On 2/7/2019 at 6:28 PM, iaw4 said:

I have yet to determine how quickly the airplane bleeds off speed, at 15 degrees flaps and 50 knots (down to 45 knots), near the ground and in slow or near-slow flight.  I am still cautious.  However, I suspect that a CTSW would bleed energy so slowly on descent to final and the nose would point so high into the sky that I could not miss noticing when I get down to a slow 45 knots (10% above stall speed).  Right now, half of my attention has to be focused on the numeric display of the airspeed on the Dynon (which is way too busy in those moments for my taste).  It will become a lot easier if I knew that I did not need to watch the numeric airspeed as carefully.

[Anyone have a good guess?  How many seconds should it take to bleed speed from 50 to 45 knots, power-off, 15 degrees flaps, descending at a constant rate of 200-300 fpm on final?] 

 

IMO, 50kt is too slow for a 15° flaps approach.  It can be done, but you are going to have an "impressive" sink rate that must be arrested before touchdown.  If you miss-time the roundout too early, you can be out of energy and in for a "carrier style" landing.  Too late and you sink through ground effect for the same result.  My 15° calm wind approaches don't generally get slower than 55kt, maybe 52kt if wind is dead calm.  If I want to land slower than that, and/or land on a short runway I will use 30° flaps.

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55-60 for 15 and I prefer 60. It keeps an margin of safety. 50 is too close to having an error moment you may not recover from. It can be done, but why push the limits. Nobody is 100% so why test the day you're not.

 

I have never understood why pilots want to be on the edge and not keep a margin of error and safety built in. We see too many crashes that are caused by doing things too close to the limit.

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