Originally Posted by Jerry Cochran
Did you use a higher landing speed? Looked like a long rollout...What speed did you glide at?
Caution! Caution! Caution!
This is NOT a how to procedure on how to do this safely.
Don't try this is you are not a consummate aviation expert in your aircraft and the landing conditions are as close to perfect as possible. Observe and follow all FAR's , applicable regulations, and consult a CFI before attempting any flight activities referred to here
Remember, assume in this setting you are miles away from 'help' so ultimate caution is advised. Perhaps the best approach is with a several other pilots as a team for safety reasons. You can each take turns and document landings...
DA is also something to be cognizant of since this
lakebed is at 4K'. I generally practice in the cool, still morning air to keep the DA as low as possible. Also, don't try 'nuthin' stupid either...
OK back to the flying...
I first defined several different drag parameters and landing configs in which to fly the practice approaches. Obviously the first goal is to be very consistent at just normal landings to establish a good/safe landing procedure baseline. There will be a couple of additional steps included in your emergency landing checklist (which you should develop and use) that you will want to brief on the ground before trying this for the first go. Drill it as many times as it takes on the ground to get perfect there. What you actually end up doing on the ground is what you will habitually tend to do in the air. Bad habits should be corrected on the ground...
Flying the tests:
Here are some of the configurations that I've played with over time. I couldn't identify any additional that would change drag and airspeed profiles, but I may have missed one or two.
- Prop windmillling-Flat pitch
- Prop windmillling-Course Pitch
- Prop stopped
- Full Flaps
- Full stall-3 point landing
- Wheel landing
All of the drag profiles will produce different 'best glide' speeds, so it will take some playing with to define them all. Of course if you have an EFIS, it will record the data for you and you can study/correlate the data at a later time. By pulling the power up at higher altitudes you can have some time to play with the different conditions. I've probably shot 15-20 of these and continued to refine the technique. The theory, in a real emergency, you can use all of the techniques to maximize your performance for a safe landing. There are different techniques to 'add or bleed energy' from a situation but best to practice this up high. Reaching for the throttle is not one of them (with a dead engine). I think the KISS principle certainly applies here though and increases safety and that's the ultimate goal.
The ultimate goal of the exercise, I think, is to be able to land as close to a prescribed 'target' on the desert floor with enough airspeed margin to not cause an excessive sink rate or ground roll.
With that said, do not risk a landing bounce or lack of energy in the bottom of the flare
since you don't have any power reserves available to correct it. Short span, fat profile airfoils like what RV's use, quickly bleed a lot
of energy in this flight regime. Be careful!
Most of my approaches tend to be flown with a VREF around 75 IAS mph in a RV-6 weighing ~1,400 lbs. In this case, TAS was probably around 80 mph. (Like I said, don't get it too slow too soon) Once in ground effect I can reduce/finesse the speeds to effect a touchdown speed that is low as possible.
In the associated video the other parameters were prop-stopped, full flaps, wheel landing, no braking used. You can easily 'step off' your ground roll distance once you're stopped.
Remember to turn the Master Off though, or the walk could get a lot longer...