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GrassStripFlyBoy

Flying into Friends Yard

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Went out today, an absolutely perfect day in Michigan for mid Nov, 40's / sun / nearly no wind.  Started by setting up camera on my strip and GoPro in plane, flew "standard" 15 degree / 60N approach, 30 degree 55N approach, and 40 degree 45N, along with similar take off's to show the performance differences, had the SD card in GoPro / low battery / corrupt files again - I'm so pissed, need to buy a new camera.  Decided I'd salvage what I can of the day and stuck my old cell phone on the bulkhead and flew into my pals yard / strip.   ~ 60' tall trees once clear then slip it in, this was with 40 degrees on both the landing and the take off.  45N approach with slip at end.  Camera focus hunts a bit, took a couple snippets and tossing up here, enjoy:

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That's cool.  I noticed on takeoff you were off the ground before your airspeed was registering.  Were you light on gas?  Also did you hold it in ground effect for a bit?

When do you start to take out flaps?

Great video.  Keep them coming!

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Half tanks, read 9-10 per side in the sight tubes when I left home, probably burned ~4 by the time I arrived his place, call it 16-17 onboard at time of these clips.  For my SW this equates to loaded weight ~ 950lbs range.

I don't hold ground effect intentionally, typically fly take off's looking entirely out windows, have sense of speed and when things look right I'll pitch up and let it if fly off - which you see happens quick in these cooler temps.  The ASI has lag to it in these initial accelerations, the static port is feeling prop blast and the pitot tube has to transfer pressure a good length too. (You ever try drinking a milk shake through a stir stick - it's not that crazy but still a dynamic).  For take offs once I'm maybe 15' or so up I'll then glance at ASI and confirm speed trending at an increasing rate. 

Flaps are typically moved to 15 in middle of white arc 50ish, then 0 maybe 60-70, and -6 soon thereafter maybe 80ish.  The main note on flaps is don't remove them right away, establish positive rate of climb and build airspeed well into the white arc, no reason to remove flaps quickly.  The 15 degree swings can bite you if flying lower speeds.

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I too mostly fly by feel.  Recently I flew out of my field with winds southerly, which means big trees to clear on departure. 
I took off, 15 flaps,  full fuel, I see those trees coming at me.  Over the trees I glance at my airspeed and I’m at 38 knots. 
I didn’t realize how much I was pulling. 
Today I recalibrated my audio stall warning and did some stall practice at altitude. Tried to duplicate conditions 3000 agl. Full power stall was down in the 20s Indicated and even then it was with a gentle event. 
Still learning.
 

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That is amazing.  It looks like there is only about 700ft of strip there?   What was your takeoff roll?  

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Here I thought I was gonna need to find some land with room for 2500 ft runway!   I bought my CTSW in March and have not attempted soft field landings.   Definitely a learning curve with this one coming from a tecnam p92.  I just now am confident with landings on pavement after 40 some hours. Geeze!   The wife in onboard with the future home with a grass strip and there are plenty of homes with 1000ft strips but trees on both ends.  Glad to see the right skills can make that work.  Time to practice

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Understand this is solo, half tanks, and cold weather.  My home strip is 2k' turf and I get in and out, any season, any loading, without issue.  1500' strip with decent approaches would work if you are smart about things, 1000' with trees would not be a workable situation.  Taking off short distance is fairly easy.  Landing short is developing skills and being very vigilant on winds (low or steady wind is ok, gusting is caution).  And if you base your airplane at a strip less than 2k' insurance companies are not hip with that.

When it comes to landing short, every extra knot of airspeed you carry is another 100' past the numbers in landing distance.   I have spent a lot of time building up to these short landings, proceed with caution.  It's very rewarding to develop these skills, and I find the 'normal' landings improve greatly when you learn higher flap / lower speed approaches. 

Suggest doing lots of slow flight, stalls, in various flap conditions.  Understand how your plane behaves, learn what the controls feel like, rates of decent, stall and then stall some more.  Then slowly work in backing down into slower approach speeds.  Also helps to learn how to slip, that is a big part of this as well.

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Thank you, best advice for a new low time pilot like myself.  I'd love a strip like yours.  I have not been able to get my approach speeds that slow.  During my transition training we used 55 knots at 30 and 40 flaps.  It's been hard to convince my brain and nerves of any approach speed below 55.  I do float a lot down the runway because I'm carrying that extra speed.  Took me a long time to figure out how to land without ballooning which has turned into long flairs wait for airspeed to bleed off.  

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Certainly a stable approach at the right airspeed is important. 
 

For the right speed, 1.3 Vso usually works well, reserving 1.2 Vso for “short fields”. For the latter, with a 40 kt stall speed, 48 kts is about right, still giving a 20% margin over the stall. That said, the recommended speeds in the POH should take precedent if different, and don’t forget to add 1/2 of the gust speed if gusty.

That said, the key to not floating is not so much how fast you are on final, but how fast you are when you enter ground effect. “Swooping” into ground effect, even at 1.3 or 1.2 Vso will cause a lot of float, especially in a low wing. Getting slower is the purpose of the roundout, which should begin about one wingspan above the ground - roughly 50’ in most of our little planes. If timed right, bleeding off airspeed in the roundout will put you in ground effect barely above stall speed, and result in very little float. In my plane, full flap stall is about 40kts. But instead of short-fielding at the computed 48 kts, I usually settle in at roughly 55 kts on final, and use the roundout to slow down appropriately and get very little float. Works for me!

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3 hours ago, FastEddieB said:

how fast you are when you enter ground effect

That's a damned good point.  you got a like for that...

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On 1/11/2021 at 8:25 AM, FastEddieB said:

Certainly a stable approach at the right airspeed is important. 
 

For the right speed, 1.3 Vso usually works well, reserving 1.2 Vso for “short fields”. For the latter, with a 40 kt stall speed, 48 kts is about right, still giving a 20% margin over the stall. That said, the recommended speeds in the POH should take precedent if different, and don’t forget to add 1/2 of the gust speed if gusty.

That said, the key to not floating is not so much how fast you are on final, but how fast you are when you enter ground effect. “Swooping” into ground effect, even at 1.3 or 1.2 Vso will cause a lot of float, especially in a low wing. Getting slower is the purpose of the roundout, which should begin about one wingspan above the ground - roughly 50’ in most of our little planes. If timed right, bleeding off airspeed in the roundout will put you in ground effect barely above stall speed, and result in very little float. In my plane, full flap stall is about 40kts. But instead of short-fielding at the computed 48 kts, I usually settle in at roughly 55 kts on final, and use the roundout to slow down appropriately and get very little float. Works for me!

48kt is what I like for short final with 30° flaps into a short field and/or over obstacles.  I often couple it with a slip to get in steep.  For very short fields I have used speeds as low as 46kt, but usually keep a little power in at that speed and you have to be ready to add power based on what you're seeing out the window.  We sometimes land at a local sod farm that is 800-900ft long with good approaches at those speeds.  I'd consider less than 50kt in the CT to be "advanced techniques" that you can develop over time with experience, but shooting for 50kt at 30° flaps will usually give you very good short field performance.

I'll try to get some video of the sod farm landings, it's pretty cool.  Here's another local farm field we landed in recently, I think the little CT does pretty well considering the company in the picture!  BTW that grass length is about at the limit for my little non-tundra CT tires.

ACtC-3fTQyDBLA2x2ZqOFuC3M_OXzkFmh5oNI9il

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1 hour ago, FlyingMonkey said:

get some video of the sod farm landings

Please do.  I have to remember that your plane is about 70-100 lbs lighter than mine and a slightly different wing shape.  With that said, I will dial in the landing speeds down after practicing aloft.

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I like this illustration from Kershner:

7966212268_e30bb21314_z.jpg

The upper is how I think most land, where there’s a lot of float since most of the speed is being bled off in the flare, with ground effect reducing the drag that slows you down.

The lower I call the “stall down” method, and results in little if any float, since most of the speed is bled off out of ground effect. Downside is that if the timing is too far off, a pilot can stall while the plane is still too high.

I think my technique is somewhere between the two.

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Here’s one of mine - complete with deer - that shows how little float I manage.

As an aside, I have to make do with 5” mains and a wheelbarrow tire on the front.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, FastEddieB said:

I like this illustration from Kershner:

7966212268_e30bb21314_z.jpg

The upper is how I think most land, where there’s a lot of float since most of the speed is being bled off in the flare, with ground effect reducing the drag that slows you down.

The lower I call the “stall down” method, and results in little if any float, since most of the speed is bled off out of ground effect. Downside is that if the timing is too far off, a pilot can stall while the plane is still too high.

I think my technique is somewhere between the two.

Same, my technique is in the middle and I shift to one side or another depending on conditions. 

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