Glenluce and Galloway Flyers
Landing
I have been meaning to follow up on the positive response from club members about helping to move everyone's flying on a bit. Since the weather has not allowed us to get out much, I thought It might be of interest to some of our members to write a few training / information articles to help with certain aspects of flying that we might work on improving when we do get some flying time. I will look at specific chunks of skill and knowledge that will prove useful to people heading towards their BMFA certificates. If there are specific areas or aspects you would like me to cover, just let me know and I will write something for everyone. First area I thought might be useful to look at is landing. Next thing I thought to look at was spins unless folk want something else? So, first up is landing. It is useful to consider what landing is NOT from the outset.· Landing is not flying the aeroplane onto the ground.· Landing is not bouncing the aeroplane all over the runway.· Landing is not staggering and stalling, flopping and cartwheeling onto the strip. (The model I mean!) Landing IS......a controlled descent leading to a smooth, flared, feather like contact with the runway at exactly the right airspeed and rate of descent that allow the aeroplane to make a stress free, graceful contact with the ground....(on its wheels!) at exactly the point at which it loses the ability to maintain flight. We can see straight away that there are a lot of variables in getting landings right. What I will try to do is pass on a few tips to try to maximise your chances of success every time, no matter what the wind etc. is doing. Landing does not begin fifty feet out and twenty feet up as you approach the strip. This is the most common mistake I see, up at our field, when people don't always make the best landings. Landing begins in the landing circuit as the aeroplane locks into a descending pattern downwind where you control the rate of descent primarily with the THROTTLE ...NOT the elevator. You control the aeroplane's airspeed ( nothing to do with ground speed) as you watch for the aircraft making a linear descent at about 20 degrees in a constant rectangular descending circuit to line up with the runway from much further out than I see most people doing. Coming in like a kamikaze in a swooping dive at the strip from a hundred feet up will NEVER allow you to line up carefully with time to think and adjust your line and your descent. People comment on me making long shallow approaches....why am I doing that? ...work it out! It is all about controlling and balancing speed and descent in exactly the right blend. When the model is on line and in a controlled, gentle descent, you need to keep it flying straight as it descends at about 5% to 10% above its stall airspeed. You need to look for the model wallowing, rocking or lifting its nose and the controls feeling less sharp to help you realise that you are flying too slowly. In fact you are then barely flying and close to the stall. You need to smoothly and gently increase the power. Don't snap at it and waggle everything as you bang open the throttle. This upsets the plane and throws everything off line and puts you in a panic. A little throttle steadies the descent and keeps everything smooth and on line. The opposite of this is coming in like a freight train with no hope of slowing down for a controlled landing....it is an aeroplane we are trying to land...not a lawn dart!As the model comes over the boundary it should not be more than ten feet or so high. If it is higher, you are not right and need to go round. Don't fly it on in and hope for the best...sooner or later your luck WILL run out. Assuming your approach, height and airspeed are good, allow the model to descend slowly at a constant angle of descent WITHOUT TOUCHING THE ELEVATOR other than a hint of slight back pressure (up elevator) on the stick until it is almost skimming the ground. If you mess with the elevator at this point you will end up with a roller coaster and no hope of accurately controlling your speed or descent. At this point you need to let the model fly straight and level until you feel it lose airspeed and begin to lose the ability to continue flying. At this point and this point only, you VERY GENTLY begin to feed in...note ‘FEED IN’ (not bang in!) small amounts of up elevator. If the model balloons up and FLIES up or pitches up then obviously it is going too fast to land and your airspeed is too high. If you get it right, as you apply up elevator, the model begins to gradually raise its nose and drop its tail as it continues its gentle linear descent and loses flying speed. If it is still two feet off the runway at this point it will stall and cartwheel in! This needs to happen as the plane is literally inches off the ground. You need to observe and be thinking all the way through the process. If you get it right, the model loses the ability to fly at the exact moment it gently touches the ground on its main wheels. You allow it to roll on until it loses further forward speed...now ground speed, and the tail slowly descends until the tail wheel gently touches. When all three wheels are on the ground you use the strange object on the left of your transmitter commonly known as the RUDDER STICK (!) to steer the model on the ground and bring it to a gradual stop. Think smooth and linear, not hurried and erratic. I hope this is of some help and I am obviously happy to answer any questions on any of this. Practice makes perfect and eventually your internal computer will get better and better at recognising all these factors....well before they get out of hand and 'land' you in trouble, ( excuse the pun!)
Glenluce and Galloway Flyers
Landing
I have been meaning to follow up on the positive response from club members about helping to move everyone's flying on a bit. Since the weather has not allowed us to get out much, I thought It might be of interest to some of our members to write a few training / information articles to help with certain aspects of flying that we might work on improving when we do get some flying time. I will look at specific chunks of skill and knowledge that will prove useful to people heading towards their BMFA certificates. If there are specific areas or aspects you would like me to cover, just let me know and I will write something for everyone. First area I thought might be useful to look at is landing. Next thing I thought to look at was spins unless folk want something else? So, first up is landing. It is useful to consider what landing is NOT from the outset.· Landing is not flying the aeroplane onto the ground.· Landing is not bouncing the aeroplane all over the runway.· Landing is not staggering and stalling, flopping and cartwheeling onto the strip. (The model I mean!) Landing IS......a controlled descent leading to a smooth, flared, feather like contact with the runway at exactly the right airspeed and rate of descent that allow the aeroplane to make a stress free, graceful contact with the ground....(on its wheels!) at exactly the point at which it loses the ability to maintain flight. We can see straight away that there are a lot of variables in getting landings right. What I will try to do is pass on a few tips to try to maximise your chances of success every time, no matter what the wind etc. is doing. Landing does not begin fifty feet out and twenty feet up as you approach the strip. This is the most common mistake I see, up at our field, when people don't always make the best landings. Landing begins in the landing circuit as the aeroplane locks into a descending pattern downwind where you control the rate of descent primarily with the THROTTLE ...NOT the elevator. You control the aeroplane's airspeed ( nothing to do with ground speed) as you watch for the aircraft making a linear descent at about 20 degrees in a constant rectangular descending circuit to line up with the runway from much further out than I see most people doing. Coming in like a kamikaze in a swooping dive at the strip from a hundred feet up will NEVER allow you to line up carefully with time to think and adjust your line and your descent. People comment on me making long shallow approaches....why am I doing that? ...work it out! It is all about controlling and balancing speed and descent in exactly the right blend. When the model is on line and in a controlled, gentle descent, you need to keep it flying straight as it descends at about 5% to 10% above its stall airspeed. You need to look for the model wallowing, rocking or lifting its nose and the controls feeling less sharp to help you realise that you are flying too slowly. In fact you are then barely flying and close to the stall. You need to smoothly and gently increase the power. Don't snap at it and waggle everything as you bang open the throttle. This upsets the plane and throws everything off line and puts you in a panic. A little throttle steadies the descent and keeps everything smooth and on line. The opposite of this is coming in like a freight train with no hope of slowing down for a controlled landing....it is an aeroplane we are trying to land...not a lawn dart!As the model comes over the boundary it should not be more than ten feet or so high. If it is higher, you are not right and need to go round. Don't fly it on in and hope for the best...sooner or later your luck WILL run out. Assuming your approach, height and airspeed are good, allow the model to descend slowly at a constant angle of descent WITHOUT TOUCHING THE ELEVATOR other than a hint of slight back pressure (up elevator) on the stick until it is almost skimming the ground. If you mess with the elevator at this point you will end up with a roller coaster and no hope of accurately controlling your speed or descent. At this point you need to let the model fly straight and level until you feel it lose airspeed and begin to lose the ability to continue flying. At this point and this point only, you VERY GENTLY begin to feed in...note ‘FEED IN’ (not bang in!) small amounts of up elevator. If the model balloons up and FLIES up or pitches up then obviously it is going too fast to land and your airspeed is too high. If you get it right, as you apply up elevator, the model begins to gradually raise its nose and drop its tail as it continues its gentle linear descent and loses flying speed. If it is still two feet off the runway at this point it will stall and cartwheel in! This needs to happen as the plane is literally inches off the ground. You need to observe and be thinking all the way through the process. If you get it right, the model loses the ability to fly at the exact moment it gently touches the ground on its main wheels. You allow it to roll on until it loses further forward speed...now ground speed, and the tail slowly descends until the tail wheel gently touches. When all three wheels are on the ground you use the strange object on the left of your transmitter commonly known as the RUDDER STICK (!) to steer the model on the ground and bring it to a gradual stop. Think smooth and linear, not hurried and erratic. I hope this is of some help and I am obviously happy to answer any questions on any of this. Practice makes perfect and eventually your internal computer will get better and better at recognising all these factors....well before they get out of hand and 'land' you in trouble, ( excuse the pun!)
© 2020 Glenluce and Galloway Flyers
© 2020 Glenluce and Galloway Flyers