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  #1  
Old 09-05-2020, 08:30 PM
Lemos Lemos is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Julian, California
Posts: 80
Default Landing an A model RV

In preparation to buy an RV, I have done a few demo flights. One today was in an RV-9A. Beautiful aircraft. One noticeable difference relating to the flying characteristics that I noticed with an RV is that in the landing flare the nose is so high that one has to look out the left side of the aircraft to see the runway ahead, and judge height above the runway. Is this normal for RVs, or is this the pilot over-flaring?

I guess you get used to the landing attitude, but it felt pretty weird to me.
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2020, 08:40 PM
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Vlad Vlad is offline
 
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Location: Utah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemos View Post
In preparation to buy an RV, I have done a few demo flights. One today was in an RV-9A. Beautiful aircraft. One noticeable difference relating to the flying characteristics that I noticed with an RV is that in the landing flare the nose is so high that one has to look out the left side of the aircraft to see the runway ahead, and judge height above the runway. Is this normal for RVs, or is this the pilot over-flaring?

I guess you get used to the landing attitude, but it felt pretty weird to me.
Your seat was too low Al.
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  #3  
Old 09-05-2020, 08:41 PM
SPX SPX is offline
 
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Location: San Diego
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This is a really great question, and in short, the nose being high in the flare, to the point that you need to look to the side, isn't really an RV only thing but it's what the landing attitude may be in many single engine aircraft. If you go to the "school of Mike Seager" in Vernonia, he will really try to get you to flare to the point that it is impossible to see over the nose, forcing you to look off to the side to judge height above the runway, and alignment.

The Student Pilot's Flight Manual by William K. Kershner has a short section that describes the landing flare quite well:

"... It will be impossible to see the ground over the nose in some airplanes in the last stage of the landing transition, as you will see during the landing demonstrations in the early part of your training. Some trainers have "low nose" and it is possible to look directly ahead during the landing. But getting into the habit of looking along the left side of the nose works in all airplanes. You will be sitting on the left in a side by side airplane; the stick and throttle arrangement in a tandem plane also makes it easier for you to turn your head to the left. So you will look out this side after the transition begins."
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  #4  
Old 09-05-2020, 08:50 PM
mrreddick mrreddick is offline
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Location: Hangar/home at Hicks Airfield (T67), Fort Worth, TX
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Default RV6A Landings

Iíve got 1900 hours in a 6A and I canít recall ever losing sight of the runway and Iím not three-pointing it. Normally I have just enough flare to keep the nose wheel from touching until I bleed off some ground speed. As mentioned, you may need the booster cushion to get you high enough to see over the nose.
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  #5  
Old 09-05-2020, 10:07 PM
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BlackhawkSP BlackhawkSP is offline
 
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Location: Indianapolis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemos View Post
In preparation to buy an RV, I have done a few demo flights. One today was in an RV-9A. Beautiful aircraft. One noticeable difference relating to the flying characteristics that I noticed with an RV is that in the landing flare the nose is so high that one has to look out the left side of the aircraft to see the runway ahead, and judge height above the runway. Is this normal for RVs, or is this the pilot over-flaring?

I guess you get used to the landing attitude, but it felt pretty weird to me.
I sort of chuckled wean I read this. "Back in the day" as they say, when I was doing autorotations in an AH-1S through "F" model Cobra Helicopters, the only way you know if you were lined up with the runway on the initial flare, was if you couldn't see the runway !! That was business as normal. We got very comfortable with watching the sides of the runway..........
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  #6  
Old 09-05-2020, 10:20 PM
Earl Findlay Earl Findlay is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Sandpoint, Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrreddick View Post
Iíve got 1900 hours in a 6A and I canít recall ever losing sight of the runway and Iím not three-pointing it. Normally I have just enough flare to keep the nose wheel from touching until I bleed off some ground speed. As mentioned, you may need the booster cushion to get you high enough to see over the nose.
You are underflaring. To properly fly a nosewheel rv you MUST have the nose up on landing such that you are unable to see over the nose. Anything less and the nose is too low to the ground.

Source- Dick VanGrunsven in Oshkosh
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  #7  
Old 09-05-2020, 11:28 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is online now
 
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Location: Livermore, CA
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+1 Truth is, you can get away with a lot in a nose wheel airplane on landing, from nose barely off to tail barely off! And some models (-10, at forward cg and full flaps) wonít get really nose high even with full up elevator. But for slowest touchdown speed (less wear on tires and brakes, or really short fields) you want the nose high.
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  #8  
Old 09-06-2020, 04:29 AM
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plehrke plehrke is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Defiance, MO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPX View Post
This is a really great question, and in short, the nose being high in the flare, to the point that you need to look to the side, isn't really an RV only thing but it's what the landing attitude may be in many single engine aircraft. If you go to the "school of Mike Seager" in Vernonia, he will really try to get you to flare to the point that it is impossible to see over the nose, forcing you to look off to the side to judge height above the runway, and alignment.
After a few landings you won’t even know you are doing it and it becomes second nature to determine your height above ground based on peripheral vision.
If on speed coming over fence (most issues are due to coming in too fast) you should get good at timing the flare just above the runway and only be nose high, with mains off the runway, for a few seconds. You should remain nose high with mains on the runway until you turn off onto the taxiway but once rolling you are not worried about judging altitude, just at staying on centerline.
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  #9  
Old 09-06-2020, 06:33 AM
Capt Capt is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 703
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There's one sure way of removing the issue of not seeing the Rwy over the bonnet, remove the 'A'
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  #10  
Old 09-06-2020, 08:40 AM
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scrollF4 scrollF4 is offline
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Default 7A landings

Al,
I haven't landed a 9A but can tell you about the 7A landing. I have my seat height as high as possible, giving me better vis over the nose. With full flaps and around 62-65 KIAS entering the flare and slowing, I ALWAYS touch down on the mains and maintain that nose-high attitude as long as the elevator will keep the nosewheel off the runway surface. I can still see the runway and runway centerline ahead of me over the nose, if only by about two or three inches of clearance over the spinner.

Now, for no-flap landings, it's all the same except I add a few more knots. The flare is steeper in pitch by a couple of degrees, but the mains-only nose-high touchdown technique is unchanged, and I STILL can just see the runway centerline.

Again, not a 9A pilot, but here are my thoughts:
- Check and raise your sitting height (get a wedge cushion for under the seat).
- Check your speeds approaching and entering the flare. If you're losing sight of the runway, you may be flaring at too slow a speed. Still, I urge you to check with an experienced 9A pilot like Vlad or Scott and Tanya Card.
- Whatever you do, please DO NOT decrease your pitch to the point of making 3-point landings in an A-model. That nose strut really is an Achilles heel: It's not meant to absorb the impact of landing. It's a prop for holding up the nose on takeoff and landing after the elevator can't do the job.

Let us know what adjustments you make and how well it works.
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