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Old 05-15-2023, 07:47 AM
Roadjunkie1's Avatar
Roadjunkie1 Roadjunkie1 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Erie, Colorado
Posts: 605
Default Angling across the runway...

Originally Posted by Pat Hatch View Post
Sometimes it helps to line up into the wind as much as the runway width will allow. You may have heard of the glider pilot that landed across the runway in a 90° crosswind and stopped with plenty of room. I'm not advocating this technique for the faint of heart, but I find myself cheating a bit this way if the crosswind warrants it. Yes, and a wheel landing should be in your repertoire!
I have done this since I started flying. It is easy in the Cub to start my takeoff roll near the downwind "corner" of the runway, angling into the wind to take degrees off of the crosswind component. Landing is done the same way as long as you pay attention to how much runway you need to land at an angle. 5 degrees off a crosswind can sometimes make a difference. I have landed on a 90 degree taxiway (Durango, CO) and once, in Casper, WY, landed on the ramp with a 30 gusting to 45 breeze. I hesitated to mention those techniques here as they have been discouraged by some in pervious posts but it still applies to landing an RV and I have used it. Practice with less wind will get you used to what that looks like and how much runway you need to allow for that modified landing. OMHO; YMMV
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Old 05-15-2023, 07:54 AM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Location: Dayton, NV
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Originally Posted by JonJay View Post
Some great advice given. Wheel landings are not difficult to learn. Once you are comfortable with them, you can practice cross wind landing technique without any cross wind. Set up final wing low into your imaginary wind, cross control appropriately to keep the ship straight, and touch down on your “windward” wheel.
Practice both right and left “wind” so you don’t get handed.
While this is not a substitute for actual cross wind experience, it can help gain confidence and feel.
I did this just the other day in Florida - was doing a Multi-Engine Seaplane course, and we had dead calm winds the whole time, so mostly glassy water. Had to simulate everything, and my instructor didn’t bother with crosswinds. Of course, the examiner wanted to see a crosswind landing, so I thought about it, and just touched the “upwind” float first, and he was pleased…. So yes, landing one wheel first is great practice!
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Old 05-16-2023, 06:09 AM
BenNabors BenNabors is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Alabama
Posts: 169
Default I agree with this

Originally Posted by sailvi767 View Post
I would probably for the next 10 hours or so use a bit more conservative crosswind numbers. I stayed below 10 knots including gusts for the first 20 hours
You are being too aggressive with how good you think you are. Your landings will completely change as you gain more experience with the plane. After you have several hundred landings you will have much higher confidence and different techniques.

I fly an RV-4 and completely transitioned to wheel landings except when I want to practice three points. I had a hard time early on not bouncing. I learned that setting one front wheel down first eliminates the tendency to bounce by cutting the spring constant in half.
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Old 05-17-2023, 12:15 PM
Richard RG Richard RG is offline
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 40

Hello RayJr,
Like you, I am relatively new to the tail dragger and RV3b. Up until recently, I've only landed 3 point, as that was the only type of landing I experienced during my 4 hours of transition training.
Having replaced the rear HS spar recently due to SB-00036, headed out to do circuits at a nearby small island (Alert Bay) with a nice big paved runway at the top of the island. The down drafts, gusty crosswinds and lack of currency made the landings quite the challenge, bouncy and required several overshoots.
Approaching to land in the 3 point attitude makes it difficult for me to accurately gauge flare height, having to use peripheral vision to gauge the flare due to almost no forward visibility. The high angle of attack and slow speed prior to touch down can be a handful to try setting down gently on the pavement, especially with the gusting winds.
After a sweaty afternoon of circuits decided it was time to break my ingrained tricycle gear habit of up elevator all the way through the flare and rollout and try a wheel landing.
The next day was much calmer, so back to Alert Bay and circuits. I tried a slightly higher final approach speed of 72-75 mph for a wheel landing, keeping the runway in view the whole time, rather than pulling back on the stick and slowly have the runway in front disappear from sight.
The mains eventually settled on the pavement and as soon as they touched gently pushed forward on the stick. Wow... what a difference. I could see where I was going and it was a nice gentle landing.
I did a whole lot of wheel landings and all of them were a significant improvement over my 3 point landings.
As others in this thread with a LOT more experience than I have with tail draggers have suggested, wheel landings have been around for 100 years and in my view, easier than the 3 point. For me... I just had to get over some old tricycle gear habits and (gentle) push rather than pull on touch down.
Bonus with a wheel landing, I'll be able to see the Elk, bears, geese and other critters on the runway during rollout, rather than rolling out blindly.
Try the wheel landing its easier.
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Old 05-17-2023, 01:27 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,706

Sounds a bit like your seating position might be a little low. If you have the room, try a cushion to change your eye height.

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Old 05-18-2023, 08:29 AM
Richard RG Richard RG is offline
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 40

Thank you for the suggestion David, but having opted to wear a helmet had to reduce my eye height to avoid scuffing up the canopy. Prior to using a helmet my forward visibility was already pretty limited during the landing flare, always being an attempted 3 pointer.
For me, wheel landing is a significant improvement over my often less than perfect 3 point landings.
The RV3 is an awesome aircraft and yours is going to be exceptional when completed. Having recently replaced the rear horizontal spar on my RV under the guidance of a skillful multiple RV builder, I am in awe of yourself and all the others that undertake the painstaking project of building an airplane from scratch.
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Old 05-18-2023, 09:29 AM
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JonJay JonJay is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Battleground
Posts: 4,495

Folks could adjust their thinking a bit on what a “good” and “bad” three point is. My WWII test pilot and mentor would just scoff at me if I “greased” a three point. He wanted the airplane to be done flying and “plop” onto the runway. The antiques I flew had gear that would accept that. RV’s, especially round leg models, are so springy, a plop usually produces a bounce. This isn’t a problem as long as you bounce straight and keep the stick firmly in your lap. When you add a cross wind, keeping that bounce straight is more challenging. Keeping the stick in your lap isn’t as easy when you’re bouncing around and it is a common mistake I see in tailwheel pilots. Once you release pressure, the fight is on, oscillations and induce bounces ensue….
Regardless, you should be able to safely land in either configuration in any conditions within the airplane and your limits. A “good” three point landing may not feel good, but might be better than you think.
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