STOL approaches

Discussion in 'Rules and Regulations / Flight Safety / Better Pil' started by PTAirco, Sep 14, 2019.

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  1. Sep 15, 2019 #21

    Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas

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    It also was an Auster MK6. It originally belong to a local glider club and I flew it for them for two seasons. I loved it. Wonderful short-field performance. I could land and stop in the length of the 200' tow rope. But it wasn't well-maintained and it quit on me in the descent to pattern altitude after a tow when the un-safetied bolts holding the carb on the manifold backed out and the carb tipped back off the manifold when I closed the throttle to descend. Had to dead-stick it. I gave up flying it soon after that. The next pilot had it quit at maybe 200' with a glider on the rope, and had to stick it into a hillside, bending it some. The guys had replaced the leaky right fuel tank with a surplus tank that had no sump drain valve, and water accumulated until the gascolator got a big mouthtful and the carb got nothing but water. They started rebuilding it but lost interest. I bought it and did a bunch of work, until my wife quit her job to look after our baby son. Reality does things. I sold it and lost track of it. I think the new owner parted it out.

    I found the right rear wing spar cracked most of the way through, from the top down, at an angle though the strut attach area. I had been flying it like that! It was an old crack, not the result of the accident. The logs showed that the airplane had been blown over on its back in a windstorm, about 15 years before. They hadn't caught that crack. Landing upside-down on the wingtips will do that. The flying loads closed the crack, but if I had done some maneuver to the structural limit it probably would have failed.

    Stuff like the above makes one a careful mechanic later on.
     
  2. Sep 15, 2019 #22

    flyrite

    flyrite

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    Most all places I land I would get wet if the engine quit, lest I was at 2000’ to 3000’ . :D. Most guys who play a lot in the Backcountry use the power all the way to touch down. The video your referencing is good for no wind approaches over obstacles. Good to have it mastered as a technique in your toolbox. But will be used very little in practical daily Backcountry play’n .
    So little difference in the speeds of no power behind the drag curve to caring 5 mph with a little power anyway.
    Below is what my little mount looks like with that technique.

     
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  3. Sep 15, 2019 #23

    TFF

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    I think loosing an engine on any of these approaches would be a ditch. You are not going to make the field or you would not be caring about any power settings. Pushing the nose over may get you airspeed back if you loose the engine, but in the mountains, you better be lucky. You are probably going into the side.

    You really need to be able to do all types of landings. Low and flat onto a sandbar sounds right to me because you don’t want to dig in. I have been in an Aircam that main gear dug in and it went on it’s nose. You want it rolling.
    On a landing that you pitch for speed and engine for attitude, technically you are dragging it in some or you would not need the engine. It’s at the minimum side of of dragging. You are managing power and speed to closer tolerance than V 1.3 but you are flying it the same without the cushion.
    High power, tail low means you have to really get in short. If all your obstacles are scrub and you have lots of overrun for obstacles, you don’t need it. 50 ft pine trees all around and you have to drop it in.
    I would imagine the traditional flair would be handy if you had to make an uphill landing. You are going to want to rotate and fly up the hill. Once you flair going up, you will stop quick.

    All this sounds like flying a carrier landing with a biplane. You are trying to hit a small strip so you have to be on it. Your aircraft also has so much drag, it’s going to plop about where the sight picture would be if you lost an engine if you could see through the foot well.

    Backwoods flying is as precise as aerobatics. The game is different. And like any game you build skills and have to adapt when up against better players.
     
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  4. Sep 15, 2019 #24

    Rockiedog2

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    I've always liked STOL since I was a teenager. Over the years I've developed my simple techniques that work for me; not much different than some already talked about in this thread. My 2 planes are a well worn Legal Eagle and a Zenith 701. Many are familiar with both and have watched the utube videos. Both have big engines and low EW so high thrust/weight and a teeny bit of power is a lot. The wing loading, while not particularly light is about as light as these 2 planes can be built. Stall speeds are low and so approach speeds too and at those speeds the drag isn't very high; there's none of that dragged in feeling. Both will fly 35 TAS idle approaches with no problem but I prefer to carry just a tad of power.
    Before any STOL approaches I do an approach to stall and see what today's IAS is for the "break"; there really isn't any on either plane it just falls out from under you. No prior warning either but if the PIC is proficient he knows before it happens. That stall IAS is all I care about; none of the L/D Max stuff or any other theory at this stage of my game. So 1.1Vso works fine on either plane; that's about 3 mph pad over the stall. Not much. We're on the edge but we know that going in. Power just off idle purely for glide path adjustment and like the IP's teach pitch for speed but in my world one usually requires the other and that comes automatically at this point. If it quits we're gonna land short; we accept that as well. Once we got the speed it's all caveman primitive from there on; pure eyeball and seat of the pants and stick and rudder. No/very little conscious thought required; second nature. Carry the tad of power til we're directly over the touchdown point and power idle and stick all the way back and that's where it's gonna hit. There's no energy for a flare...yeah it's rough but that's ok, the gear on both my planes will stand it. So far. My 250" strip is as short as either plane is capable of with just a small pad. There's no margin for error on the touch down point it's gotta be in the first few feet. It's all great fun!
    I'll post a few of my old videos for this new discussion.



    the tailwheel steering broke on this landing, you can see the tailwheel having a fit back there. Near ran off the side.



    pretty easy in this particular plane. Not so in a stock 701



    back when it was in perfect tune for short takeoffs. It won't do that anymore. It's a beater now.



    one of my favorites

    I think most STOL planes are capable of a lot more than most STOL pilots are.
    Thx for the interesting thread!

    EDIT: WTH. Dunno what's going on with the vids. The correct one comes up when clicking the title at the top but the thumbnail is some kinda utube generated BS. Can you fix that Dana?
    Well, it looks ok now the thumbnail is back up. Dunno.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
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  5. Sep 15, 2019 #25

    BBerson

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    250 inches? You can do a full stop on that bridge :D. Gotta love that putt.. putt... sound.
     
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  6. Sep 16, 2019 #26

    Rockiedog2

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    uhoh typo.
    PuttPutt is a hero. He's got heart and soul.
     
  7. Sep 16, 2019 #27

    flyrite

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    Rockiedog ....Those vids are just to danged COOL!
    Like Bberson sed ....The putt putt is the Bombditty man!
     
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  8. Sep 16, 2019 #28

    Pops

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    Just normal flying in the mountains and steep hollows of WV.
     
  9. Sep 16, 2019 #29

    Rockiedog2

    Rockiedog2

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    Pops when i was goin to NYC(right up the middle of the mountains lengthwise) in this here Zenith I mostly followed the bottoms instead of the ridges. Bad territory on top of the ridges.
     
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  10. Sep 16, 2019 #30

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

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    I'm not a high time STOL pilot, no Super Cub time, I never flew 1500 pound moose carcasses out of the Brooks Range in Alaska, etc. etc.

    But I do have a little time doing strange short field landings in gliders under mildly stressful circumstance, and I've put a couple of powered aircraft tire tracks on a few dirt roads out in the Mojave desert.

    So from my own unique and strange viewpoint, a "stabilized approach" is probably a luxury in real-world Maule STOL work. As such, I'm pretty sure a lot of "rules of thumb" and "data driven" techniques are often irrelevant when you are not flying at an airport.

    "One size fits all" and "there's only one right way to do it" has pretty much never worked in anything. It doesn't work in education, it doesn't work in government, it doesn't work in medicine, and it doesn't work in business. For my way of thinking it doesn't work that way in aviation either.

    So with all of that fanfare I would like to add the following thought to this discussion:

    On a minimum distance short-field landing, if you are at the minimum energy level (both kinetic and potential) just at the point of touchdown, then the landing roll distance fairy doesn't care how you got there. You could have been dragging it in at 1.001 VSO at high power for three miles at 6 inches AGL.. like Mr. Hoover in the F-86, or you could have been doing aerobatics gliding down from 3000 feet AGL with the props feathered... like Mr. Hoover in the Aero Commander. (Or you could have been stupidly doing a vertical downward roll from 1000 feet over the numbers in a sailplane, with Vne limiting dive brakes extended, trying to impress a girl on the ground... wasn't worth it, BTW).

    The resulting landing rollout distance is of course solely determined by the energy left in the aircraft at the point of touchdown.

    How you do the approach can have much more to do with terrain, or safety margin, or reduction in risk (dragging it in over a gator-infested swamp), or having enough pitch control reserve to flare the airplane. Or it could be winding through a narrow river valley like they have to do up in Idaho.

    So, for whatever my opinion is worth, learn and practice stabilized approaches, and un-stabilized approaches, and approaches that dive over the trees at the end of the runway, and approaches that have to go under a set of wires, and approaches that start off at 70 knots and then scrub off 25-30 knots on short final, and forward slips, and drag it in on the propeller approaches, and dead stick approaches, and on and on.

    When you have the luxury of being able to do a stable approach at 1.3 VSO using VASI lights and a nice paved runway, then enjoy it. When the situation requires or rewards another technique, have that capability available just as quickly.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  11. Sep 16, 2019 #31

    BBerson

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    Real bush flying normally is over obstacles (trees).
    The Valdez show should have a 50 foot obstacle string. Then the flights would be somewhat different.
     
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  12. Sep 16, 2019 #32

    Pops

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    You are correct. There are over 25 airplanes that has never been found in this state. I know a man that retired and bought a powered parachute and he spent all of his time researching and looking for a Cessna 421 that came up missing one winter. I remember the day. Found it about 15 years after is was missing. He seen a reflection down in the forest. Took him and his brother most of the day to hike in and didn't find anything, camped for the night and hiked out the next day. Weeks latter he saw the reflection again, they hiked back in and found the tail fin sticking out of the tree leaves leaning against the tree. Also found some human bones and cloth. The first time they camped within couple hundred feet from the crash site and never saw it. What didn't burn was covered up with tree leaves. I have camped in that area and after the second night I left, to many bears. That is where I pissed on a sleeping bear one night. Another story.

    Another time a Tailwind went down on a mountain top and within site of the town below. The pilot survived the crash but couldn't climb down the top of the trees where the airplane was, and froze to death the first night.

    Fly the valleys, that is where the people and help is at and you might get lucky and find a 200' or 300' long field or a rockie mountain stream down under the tree limbs.


    Coming up on Oct 19 th. Interesting to watch from the bridge.
    https://officialbridgeday.com/
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  13. Sep 16, 2019 #33

    Rockiedog2

    Rockiedog2

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    :DThat cracked me up
     
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  14. Sep 16, 2019 #34

    Pops

    Pops

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    After telling that story, I received an " Honorary Citizen of Alaska " certificate . Framed and proudly displayed on my bedroom wall.

    The bear didn't like it and ran for the river to wash off.
     
  15. Sep 17, 2019 #35

    pictsidhe

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    I bet that you were glad he didn't retaliate!
     
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