View Full Version : Air speed, air speed, air speed
01-21-2004, 05:21 PM
Well, I got to fly again today. It got up to 60 degrees here. I took off about 5 pm and flew around the airport for 15 to 20 minutes. All went well until I landed. I made my worst landing ever. I fell to the runway from at least 3, maybe 4 feet. I slightly damaged my rudder tab and slightly bent one axle. My mistake: I never looked at my air speed. Totally pilot error. I hope this will help at least one person.
01-22-2004, 10:28 AM
What do you estimate your airspeed as being? Were you too slow on approach, or did you just flare too high? I'm sorry to hear about the damage but it sounds like it can be fixed fairly quickly.
01-22-2004, 04:55 PM
Thanks for your note and concern. I normally fly to within 3 to 4 feet of the runway at 55 mph, then just nudge the stick back slightly just to slow the descent, then start my flair about a foot from the runway. Since I never looked at the airspeed, I really don't know what it was. It must have been pretty slow though because when I nudged the stick back, I fell shortly thereafter.
I went to the airport today to fix the machine and discovered that one prop blade hit the keel pretty hard and the one right behind it hit slightly. There was quite a bit of damage to the first blade and very little to the second. The third one never hit. The engine never stopped, so it never dawned on me that the prop had hit anything. I only had about a half inch clearance between the prop and the keel and I still have that much clearance now. So evidently when I hit the runway, the main wheels and the rear wheel all hit about the same time, thus the keel sprung up toward the engine and it sprung down toward the keel.
I got everything fixed except for the prop. I ordered two new blades for it. Until they come in, I'll just stay close to the airport with my flying using some nicked spare blades.
It was a good lesson for me. I'll certainly pay attention to the air speed when approaching the runway from now own. It could have been much worse.
01-22-2004, 05:03 PM
I like to make a fast approach at idle - 60-70 mph - and then get it right off the ground and pull back as fast and far as I can without the gyro going back up in the air - this helps load the blades even more - then I let it settle onto the mains.
If you get too slow to high just add power to cushion the touchdown.
01-25-2004, 09:21 AM
I know you're right. I knew better than to do what I did. I just was too relaxed, maybe. I'll certainly be more careful in the future.
Thanx for your input.
02-04-2004, 02:26 PM
as a new member and a new pilot , I want to thank you for the good advice. Dave
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