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Old 10-06-2011, 07:40 PM
David-aviator David-aviator is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Chesterfield, Missouri
Posts: 4,514
Default The Reward Factor...

...in Dan's equation always comes out the winner when flying an RV. But sometimes in ways you don't expect.

(RISK=<REWARD in another thread)

Blasted off in beautiful fall weather this morning. The mission was to find some cheap fuel (no luck) and drop in on a few friends at one of the local airports.

The air was smooth as glass at 1500' to start with, almost surreal. Such conditions are rare and last only as long as the sun hasn't heated the surface. By 11 a squirrelly wind ranging from 160 to 190 began to change things from the surreal to a real normal flying day.

After the fuel stop, lunch and airborne again, the GPS revealed 20 knots of south wind at 1500', with almost none on the surface. The ride was rougher 'n a cob, one of those times when its best to pull the air speed back to those 2 little blue lines on the ASI.

I knew the landing on our skinny 2200x25' runway with its trees to clear would be interesting - and it was. The ride down final was a lot rougher than I care to sit through and at about 20' the bottom dropped out as a quartering head wind must have ceased. It was one of those OH SHxT deals, haul back on the stick and try to catch it before hitting the runway. There wasn't time to come in with power and as it turned out the aircraft did hit the runway and immediately was airborne again as full elevator finally took over. Not what? Cob power to it or salvage a landing? The machine began to sink again even before power came up, this time aft stick caught it for a second, squeaker landing. Whew! Glad that's over.

The reward factor here is a decent airplane that responds about as fast as your brain can compute - which sometimes takes a few micro seconds - from sensing a sinking sensation to doing something about it. They say instinctive reaction time is best when you're young, could be true, hate to admit it, but it could be true.

Well, I walked (taxied) away from the double arrival. You can go for weeks with nothing but admirable landings and then one day it all hits the fan just that quick.
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