Thursday, August 16, 2012

Stick & Rudder Exercises

I attended an EAA Webinar last night entitled "Stick & Rudder Exercises".  I didn't think it was very good, but it did make me think about doing some high work. I regularly practice stalls, and do the Practice Power-off Emergency Landing (PPEL) exercise every so often, but it has been a long time since I tried some Dutch Rolls or a Chandelle.

I like this site.

All ground operations were normal. I took some extra time to preflight the nose gear as there have been some incidents reported for PiperSports about nose gear failure. It looks normal to me, but I did talk to Harry about it and we will put it on our list for the 200 hour inspection. I took off to the north, turned  east, climbed to 3500' and headed over to the farmland south of KUKT to practice. First I did some clearing turns at 30 degrees angle of bank to insure I was really alone in the airspace. Then I found a prominent landmark, the cooling towers at Limerick, and trimmed for straight and level flight at cruise speed (95Kts).

Dutch roll is easy. Keep the nose on the horizon while banking the airplane left or right. It is good practice for slips (uncoordinated flight) and provides a good feel for the use of the rudder.

Chandelles were challenging. This is a coordination maneuver (see the video) which is a decelerating climbing turn for 180 degrees. The problem is that Sally has really slow Vs1 and when you end the maneuver you should be within 5 kts of stall speed. I was always fast. This probably means I need a steeper climb angle. I guess more practice is in order.

I returned to Butter Valley to find a Cessna in the pattern. I took interval on him and called number 2 to land when established on downwind. The Cessna landed and cleared the runway by parking on the grass at the north end, giving me plenty of room. I landed then added power to climb the hill and told him I would follow him for the back taxi. He crossed the cart path, parked on the grass and shut down while I went back to the barn to put Sally away. As I was putting the covers on the two pilots from the Cessna approached with lots of questions about LSA. (I was glad to have some information post cards) I recognized the voice, he was the jump pilot from Pennridge. Turns out he is the airport manager and has been interested in LSA for awhile. I was glad to offer some information, and he invited me to stop by his airport to help others understand the pros and cons of LSA flying.

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