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  #1  
Old 04-30-2006, 10:03 PM
Larry Larry is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Rosamond Ca L00
Posts: 82
Default Flying By the Numbers

Does anyone have, by the numbers, how to take off and how to land the RV-9A?. I am getting ready for first flight and would like to know what a good conservative takeoff and landing procedure should be for the 9A. I recently flew a 9A from the right seat and was told to fly it different than a 150/172. Especially the landing. I am used to little or no power all the way to landing, however, I was told to carry no power into over the numbers and than just apply power to stop sink rate just at the flare. I know there are many ways to land and take off but whats the best for a newbe. I will not do first flight, my test pilot will be Greg Nelson who has a Rocket and plenty of hours as a AF test pilot. Transition training is planned but I would like to know the numbers now in case I get a chance to fly a 9A again.
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  #2  
Old 04-30-2006, 10:53 PM
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flyeyes flyeyes is offline
 
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Quote:
I was told to carry no power into over the numbers and than just apply power to stop sink rate just at the flare. I know there are many ways to land and take off but whats the best for a newbe
Hi Larry.

I'm not an instructor, and I have never landed a -9, but IMHO a power off approach with a planned shot of power in the flare is poor technique.

As a newbie, it's easier to learn it right from the beginning, rather than fix it later.

Most airplanes, especially ones that are highly wing-loaded and/or have constant speed props, are easier to land if you carry a touch of power all the way into the flare and gradually reduce power to idle as you flare. It allows a flatter approach and makes timing of the flare less critical for a smooth touchdown. It also greatly increases your runway requirements, although for RVs that's really not an issue at most airports.

Most people approach and land multi-engine planes with some power, and a lot of people land heavier singles (e.g. bonanzas) this way. It's easier when transitioning to a new type, and easier to make a smooth touchdown.

This is a reasonable approach to transitioning into an RV with a CS prop, as long as you have plenty of runway and avoid getting sloppy and touching down too fast. As you gain experience in the airplane however, I would make most approaches power off.

You can add power if you misjudge, but hopefully these corrections will be infrequent and small. You shouldn't add power on every landing, as that keeps you from learning how to fly and land properly.

In RVs with a FP prop, carrying power on the approach can make the airplane very difficult to land, as they don't slow down easily. Carrying 5-10 knots too much approach speed and a touch of power might make the difference between a good landing and a forced go-around, even on a reasonable length runway.

Good transition training should make all this a non-event, but I would get at least one more (CFI) opinion on the use of power in the flare.

HTH

James Freeman
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  #3  
Old 04-30-2006, 11:11 PM
mdredmond mdredmond is offline
 
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I'm not an instructor, and I have never landed a -9, but IMHO a power off approach with a planned shot of power in the flare is poor technique

How so? I always did that in 152s. A tiny shot of power at the end can make for a realllly nice landing. Not your cup of tea maybe, but hardly 'poor technique'.

Now - planning on an excessive sink rate and recovering in the end would be poor technique... So if that's what you're getting at then I take it all back :-)
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  #4  
Old 04-30-2006, 11:27 PM
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N916K N916K is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry
, I was told to carry no power into over the numbers and than just apply power to stop sink rate just at the flare.
Now be fare and tell the whole story, Larry. I said I use no power at all at lower density altitudes but at the higher density altitudes, (it was over 6000 feet density altitude when we were flying) that I used a little power to arrest the higher sink in the thinner air. You can land at high density altitudes without any power but you would have to be going a little fast to keep the sink rate down. I think you'll find that you will end up flying something very close to my numbers for the approach, anything faster and you will be landing long every time.

Final approach: 60-65 knots
over the numbers: 55 knots
start flare <50 knots
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  #5  
Old 04-30-2006, 11:38 PM
Bryan Wood's Avatar
Bryan Wood Bryan Wood is offline
 
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Default By the numbers

Larry, I'll try but you don't give enough information about your plane. I'll tell you the procedures taught to me by Van's factory instructor Mike Seager in the factory 9A. This will assume a constant speed prop. Maybe somebody else can chime in for fixed pitch.

First remember the number 80! 80mph is everything to you in this plane!!!!!
Above all else protect the nose wheel and do every landing as you would a soft field landing, and also do every take off as a soft field departure. The nose gear is the weak link and you need to respect it and it will serve you well for many years, but land nose first one time and you can kiss your airplane goodbye. If you bounce and there is a chance of coming down hard go around, and do this every time! Forget about messing with the flaps when intiating a go around if you have an 0-320 because it is so over powered for the airframe. Just slam the throttle forward and go. Once you have started climbing you can worry about the flaps.

Now for the technique per the factory. On the take off roll hold back pressure as you apply throttle. As soon as the nosewheel becomes light release pressure after the nose is just off of the ground and try to hold it about 3 inches off and let the speed build and the plane will fly itself off. What ever you do, "Do not hold forward stick and try to hold the nose down on your take off roll." Your steepest climbs with serious intent on leaving in a hurry will be around 80 mph. On the first flight my plane climbed out at 1800fpm at 100mph indicated on a hot afternoon in August. Slow the prop down to 2500 and leave the throttle full open for extra richness as you break in your engine on the intitial climbouts. (Leave the wheel pants off so you don't go super fast during your first 10 hours or so when running higher power settings to break in your engine. (If you have a constant speed prop you will likely seldom need flaps to take off. If you do they are so draggy that once airborne they actually hurt the climb rate. Clean it up and go)

Landing... Pull the manifold pressure back to around 17 inches prior to entering the 45 with the prop at around 2300. This will slow you down enough to kind of fit into the pattern if there are any other airplanes there. your speed will be around 135mph indicated with this power setting. As you turn downwind pull the manifold pressure to 15" and this will slow you down to around 120mph indicated by the numbers. At this point you will pull the throttle all the way back to idle and shove the prop forward and you might hear some popping as the airplane backfires a bit. Hold back pressure to hold altitude as the speed bleeds off to get you down to 90mph indicated so you can start to lower the flaps. As the flaps go down the trim goes out fast and you'll have to be on it. Trim for 80mph. Mike teaches to go full flaps from the start and trim for 80 and then turning base and flying at 80mph, then final at 80 mph. With the constant speed you will quit looking at the manifold pressure and go to the tach as soon as you pull the throttle back at the numbers prior to turning base. From here in the 9A flys at around 1500rpm with the MT prop, and mine with a Hartzell will require around 1700rpm. Of course you can fly tighter patterns, but the luxary of not following the guy that tours the entire county when setting up to land is not always available. Hold 80mph and 1500rpm plus or minus until you have the runway made at which time you chop the throttle and glide down holding the nose off and landing on the mains. With the 9a and the speed you will carry by flying the approach at 80mph you can hold the elevator up and hold the nosewheel off until about 25mph or so. The goal is to bleed off all of your flying speed and setting the nosewheel down just before you lose elevator authority. Taxi with back pressure and try to keep the nose light always.

The above doesn't account for your checklists, just the basic procedure to keep you safe with the nose gear that our planes have. Over time you can shave some speed off of the final approach speed, but Mike is emphatic about flying the airplane this way. It has served me well and I still do every landing the same with the exception of the final approach speed. I now vary it according to weight and have slowed it down a tad.

Be safe and good luck,
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  #6  
Old 04-30-2006, 11:56 PM
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flyeyes flyeyes is offline
 
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Quote:
I always did that in 152s. A tiny shot of power at the end can make for a realllly nice landing. Not your cup of tea maybe, but hardly 'poor technique'.
No slight intended, but I'll stand by that one. I haven't flown a 152 since Jimmy Carter was in the white house (it was a shiny new one) but I've got a fair amount of time in 150s. We actually have one in the family that I fly fairly often.

Other than "behind the power curve" short field and soft field work I probably haven't landed the 150 in years with power.

I probably fly a closer in pattern and steeper final than a lot of people, but my goal is to be able to make the runway from anywhere in the pattern. One of my primary instructors used to actually turn off the mags and pocket the keys on the downwind (this was a loong time ago and I was training out of a 5000' uncontrolled runway). If I flew tight patterns this really wasn't all that hard although it took me a couple of times to realize it.

If you carry a little extra speed into the flare, you can land smoothly every time. If you need power to make it smooth, you are either too slow (well back on the power curve), or not timing the flare right. Try carrying a couple of extra knots without power and I think it will be just as nice.

One thing I have seen a lot is that people are sometimes reluctant to get the nose down far enough in draggy airplanes to maintain a good approach speed without power. They will get the nose down as much as they are comfortable with, and maintain airspeed and glideslope with power. If you approach this way, you may not have the energy for a leisurely flare and smooth touchdown. This technique works well (and may be necessary) for a maximum performance short-field approach, but if the engine burps while you're still over the trees, you're going to wind up like Charlie Brown's kite :-P

James
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  #7  
Old 05-01-2006, 12:20 AM
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N916K N916K is offline
 
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Default speed and FP props, not always a good thing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Wood
First remember the number 80! 80mph is everything to you in this plane!!!!!
Bryan

I've also found 80mph to be a very important number in the 9A with a FP prop. If you are above that speed, you will just keep on flying. Especially if trying to land without flaps, you will burn up alot of real estate waiting for it to stop flying.

My 9A is an o320 with a FP Sensenich, same as Larry's.

I also get all the flaps in once I'm within flap speed, 78 knots. With the flaps all the way out I can drop the speed down below 70 knots and still keep going down. I then trim for 65 knots on a glide slope that will take me to where I want to land. Maybe a small correction in power to take care of any headwind or tailwind but for the most part it's power off during base and final. If the air is nice and thick no power is required because with the FP prop it will glide on and on. When the density altitude gets high the sink rate will increase quite quickly as the speed drops so a small touch of power will get the sink rate down to the greaser level (I don't support the idea that just because you walk away from it, it's a good landing).

As far as soft field take offs and landings. In 225 hours of flying my 9 that's all I've ever done. That nose is off the ground shortly after power is applied then I set it down when the ASI drops out.

I did my transition training with Sam Benjamin in Michigan. He also had a FP prop in his plane.
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  #8  
Old 05-01-2006, 12:40 AM
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N916K N916K is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyeyes
If you carry a little extra speed into the flare, you can land smoothly every time. If you need power to make it smooth, you are either too slow (well back on the power curve), or not timing the flare right. Try carrying a couple of extra knots without power and I think it will be just as nice.

A couple extra knots in the 9 can make the difference between landing safely and running off the end of a short runway. When I first started flying my 9 I flew in and out of a 2000 foot grass strip that was surrounded my trees and ditches. Coming in just a little fast was grounds for a go around. It wasn't acceptable to carry extra speed and land several hundred feet down the runway.

One more thing James, applying a little power right before the flare to arrest the sink rate in a high density altitude landing is NOT flying behind the power curve, it's making a good landing. And yes my instructor pulled the keys on downwind also, only difference was I was always under the hood when he did it.

There are a lot of ways to fly an airplane safely but trying to use the techniques of a Cessna 150 exclusively may get you in a little trouble if you are not in a 150.

I'm not a CFI, just one person with an airplane. I try very hard to fly my plane well, but in the end you should go out and get some real training and come up with a flying technique that works for you and the airports you fly into.
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  #9  
Old 05-01-2006, 09:48 AM
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vlittle vlittle is offline
 
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Location: Victoria, Canada
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Default 9A landing

Interesting posts, and good information folks.

I've been running tests on approach/landing speeds with my 9A using both AoA and airspeeds.

The best landings will occur at the speeds discussed (70 KIAS approach/65 over the fence). Plan this for your first flight and you will be surprised how gentle the touchdown is. It will also be easy to hold the nosewheel off the ground during rollout because of the elevator authority you have after touchdown. I've rolled 3000' after touchdown with my nose wheel off the ground using a touch of power.

Short field approaches are a different matter in the 9A. I have made approaches at 50 knots flying AoA, and the sink rate is surprising. You have to be on the throttle, or you will get a firm plant/bounce, and their is little energy to use for flare, and minimal elevator authority to keep the nose wheel up.

In fact, I've used this technique to lose altitude quickly. My home airport (CZBB) requires a minimum altitude until clear of an abutting control zone, then a drop down for approach to runway 25. In a fixed pitch RV, this is a challenge, because they don't like to slowdown/comedown.

On approach, I pull back to about 50-55 knots (flaps deployed) and 'parachute' the airplane down using AoA. Once on the glideslope, I then push the nose down and resume a normal approach. Caveat: don't stall the airplane! Please note: slipping an RV-9A is difficult at high airspeeds unless you have Schwarzennegger legs.

In summary, the 9A is happiest with the recommended speeds on approach/landing. Short field approaches are best practiced when you are very comfortable with the characteristics of you own aircraft.

Good luck
Vern Little
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  #10  
Old 05-01-2006, 10:40 AM
R.P.Ping R.P.Ping is offline
 
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Location: Peoria, AZ
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Default Lots of advice and variations...

I?m a little confused here. What does density altitude have to do with approach and landing speeds? Indicated airspeed is what you use. As altitude and density altitude increase indicated airspeed drops in relation to true airspeed. I don?t understand having to approach faster or add power in the flare due to density altitude, (you already are going faster in relation to the ground).

I fly a -9 with the wheel in the back and a C/S prop and I find it amazing at the approach speeds that are discussed by tricycle gear 9s. I fly my approaches at 56kts, full flaps, and 8 to 10 inches MAP (just about closed throttle). I flair and full stall land at land 35 to 43kts, depending on weight. I never, and I repeat never, add power in the flair. If I did I would never get on the ground. I?m wondering if the tricycle gear guys are really setting down at a full stall or just greasing it on with a little power and holding the nose off. I wish someone could give some good numbers ao a full stall landing in a 9A. (or I guess that's not done?)
Vern... Flying your AOA at 50kts is by far the slowest I have ever heard of.
Sounds like fun and proof that 56kts is very doable. When I am light and want a short landing I am down to 52 on short final.

My advice to Larry is to get some training before you fly. I flew with Mike Seager in Scappoose OR and highly recommend mike!

Roger Ping
-9
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