View Full Version : Patience is an overrated virtue.

07-01-2006, 10:42 PM
Hi, I'm Logan...
I moved to this stunning country (the Chilcotin) in BC, Canada 3 yrs ago from Vancouver Island. A little place named Nimpo Lake. Lots'a folks around here own floatplanes & they all offered rides (I now realize I was just an excuse to go for a fly) and I jumped at every opportunity to go up. It was apparent that it is a waste to live in this country & NOT own a floatplane.

My next-door neighbor (Terry) is a Cub enthusiast (he owns 6 of 'em) and I went up often with him on floats & skiis. From the start, I sensed the advantages of a SuperCub. No other plane jumped off the lake like a mallard, nor would they fly slow enough to track a moose. I was always asking questions about flying, the airplane, what he was doing/thinking, what-ifs, etc, just interest stuff. I was fascinated as well as excited.

One day we met out on the ice, & as I prepared to do my contortionist impression getting into the back seat, Terry said "You get in the front today." My look of disbelief made him smile, and he assured me I could do this, and I was aware that he could fly it just fine from the back seat.

He told me what to do/expect, and just like he said, with 2 notches of flaps & 40 mph it just lifted off & we were flying. My heart was 1000' above our chord line but my brain stayed with me & we climbed out over the trees & toward the mtns. It occured to me to stay away from the mtns, as I just wanted to get the feel of her in calm air. After nearly an hour of turns, fig-8s I felt quite comfy, & Terry said "I'm bored w/this, let's go somewhere."

I flew around, asked questions, he explained & brought up lots'a other stuff which made me even more anxious to "know it all right now". I started thinking "I gotta have me one of these."

When we turned final over Nimpo Lake, I fully expected him to take over for the landing, because I know that's the hard/dangerous part (from flying RC models). He just told me what to do & just watched me do it. Damned if it didn't work!! I never felt any input from the aft stick, nor did I hear any shouting. Guess I did good.

I was absolutely hooked. I know just what Leonardo meant about flight. I wanna do it again!!

I had already been innocently perusing the aircraft classified ads, but $100K for a Cub on floats was just too many $$ for a toy for me. Once in awhile I'd see something cheaper that seemed like it would work, but my (predjudiced) mentor said no, for whatever reason. We have a remote cabin in the mtns @ ~6000' & that would be about 20% of the reason to have our own plane.

I had pretty much given up the idea of owning a floatplane, as I didn't want something that would not do, besides, we're building a new (log) house. Then, a neighbor down the lake decided to sell his ratty, timed-out (read: cheap), SuperCub as he could do just fine with his C-185 & his Beaver.

I lusted after this opportunity but still, it was not a good time for another major expense, so I waffled. Wife-unit saw me gazing at a floatplane going over, and announced "The house can wait, buy your damn airplane." I thought about that for about a nanosecond & called & made a deal. Whoa! I own a SuperCub on floats!! No sleep that night.

Oh, there is one other minor problem... I'm such a noob that I have no licence. Well as luck will have it, another part-time neighbor is a flight instructor. Seems like this is coming together. Well, kinda.

It was last month when I bought the plane, and immediately thereafter, this would-be instructor had to go back home to Wash. Still not back here. So, here I am with my new toy sitting on the ramp softly calling my name, and all I can do is sit in it & make vroom noises. I'm ecstatic about having it, and at the same time depressed about having no adult supervision.

I'm close... I'm sooo close... I've read almost all the mess's here, looked at all the pix, and still I'm convinced that patience is a grossly overrated virtue. One of these days I'll have some better news for ya's.

Thus endeth my first Tale of a PA-18.

07-02-2006, 01:20 AM
Welcome, I am jealous of your wifely support :) My airplane purchase was met with much more...displeasure.

Patience is not overrated, though. My ex-girlfriend's father and a friend were killed in a PA-12 crash on the edge of Nimpo Lake in 2003. Flying is more fun than should be legal, but don't ever allow your desire to fly affect your judgement on whether you should fly. Good luck with your training.

07-02-2006, 09:13 AM
I had newly rebuilt J4 and two lessons when my instructer was killed installing bungees on a taylorcraft, fell on him. Very depressing in lots of ways. One of which I did not know any other taildragger inst. Finally after months of looking and asking I found Jim Taylor. He charter flew too so wasn't always available but we got it done. So look around for another instructor, There is bound to be one somewhere close to you.

07-02-2006, 11:52 AM
Greetings, and good on ya!

One of the things I will recommend is that you resist the urge to go take it for a ride before you've learned enough. Don't assume that you have - so many have done just that with tragic consequences. The danger is that you aren't aware of the skills that you don't have yet - or what they might be. As hard as it is, wait until someone with the necessary experience signs you off. Take a bit of time now, and enjoy this for many years to come, and ALWAYS consider how serious the matter at hand is - while still having fun doing so.

Many happy landings!


07-02-2006, 05:12 PM
TripSlip, thanks, I know what'cha mean. I'm not too bright but seem to know better than to jump in over my head...
...the guys who crashed were apparently both high-time pilots, no one could believe they made a sharp downwind turn @ just above treetop level (right beside the hiway). The crash/burned Cub belonged to my bud, (same guy who sold me my CF-XNG) and had no hull insurance. He later bought XNG from a NWT rancher as a fixer-investment & put near new EDOs on & intercom in, then sold it to me for what he had in it.

Dan 2+2, yeah there's tons of good bushpilots around here but none licenced (insured?) to instruct in Canaduh, and won't take any risks. Don't blame 'em, so here I sit with my "Patience". UGH.

Mike, I could feel the caring in your fatherly advice & I admit to being tempted to "just do it" but have learned that the more we learn, the more we realize we don't know. Seems s'pecially true/important for these flying machines.

One of my fav taglines reads something like:
It's not what you don't know that will get'cha, it's what you know that just ain't so.

Logan... the patient one

07-03-2006, 03:21 AM
Say Nimpo Cub,

Lot of great folks at the lake, Terry is a real talent and cub nut! You are definetly hooked on the right plane! Was that intructo named Jim S.???


07-04-2006, 08:48 PM

Nice story. Puts us right in the drivers seat. Thanks!!

07-05-2006, 06:48 PM
TripSlipno one could believe they made a sharp downwind turn @ just above treetop level

Logan, My deepest sympathies for the families of the deceased in this tragic accident. But I must point out that the airplane does not "know" it is in a "downwind turn" and therefore be in additional danger of stalling by virtue of its "losing the wind". The airplane is moving with the current of air (wind) and there in no such thing as the "downwind" stall. If it was very gusty out that may have played a factor but in a steady wind the airplane flies in calm winds the same as it is does in a 100 knot wind. The track over the ground is way different obviously!! However, the airplane does "know"it is in a sharp turn and the stall speeds go up as the bank angle "G" forces go up. The myth of the "downwind" turn/stall should be stopped.


Gordon Misch
07-05-2006, 10:49 PM
Yes, but the PERCEPTION is that the turn isn't happening, so the stick comes back and - - -

07-06-2006, 12:04 AM
I agree/understand that the aircraft is operating in a given mass of air, whether that air mass is moving or stationary. I'm certainly no aviator (yet) but I'm thinking that if you turn sharply downwind, you are losing some of that airflow over the wing until it has time to regain the relative airspeed again, no?

If you make a long, gradual downwind turn then I can understand maintaining the same airspeed over the wing. Maybe I need to read some more opinions... are there any of those out there? :)

Another (cowboy) pilot flying fisher-tourists here made a sharp downwind turn in a beaver & killed a bunch of them. I think that making a sharp turn vs. a gradual turn is the difference. Am I missing something? (be polite)

Logan... still being patient

07-06-2006, 02:16 AM
I think you're missing the point - the wing (and you, your fishing pole, your stinky hip boots, etc.) is moving through the air, and, once off the ground, doesn't care which way you're going. As long as the airplane is rigged properly and you aren't doing something with your feet, the thing will always think it's flying straight into the wind.

What happens, is thus: Pilot is flying with a tailwind looking at a point on the ground (say, a landing spot), flys along a bit and then begins a normal turn to come around and land. Since the wind is pushing him along, the turn track over the ground doesn't seem to progress as quickly as expected, so pilot turns tighter, either by banking more, or adding too much rudder. More bank will raise the stall speed - and the wing will stall without you and those stinky boots slowing down at all, if you're holding altitude. Any turbulence will compound the problem, as will an un-coordinated turn - too much rudder to "help" the turn along is a skid - the slow wing (the low one in this scenario) will stall first - damn! There's all kinds of things that could gang up on ya! Do you think that might be how that downwind turn story got started?

So - the thing is - you can turn as sharp as you want, as long as the angle of attack is low enough to support you, your fishing pole, stinky boots, and all, and you keep enough margin above the stall speed for the conditions. If you're slow, that might not be much of a bank at all. The more the bank, the more you have to pull back the stick to hold altitude - until you reach a point where you either have to relax a bit and start down, or you stall. Tight turns while pulling back hard on the stick should raise the hairs on the back of your neck. This is a good time to pay close attention to what you are doing.

There - I've completely overdone it!


07-07-2006, 12:27 AM
[quote="moneyburner"]I think you're missing the point -

I think my (X) mentioned that once or twice.

There - I've completely overdone it!

Thank you. Now it sinks in that it's not the airplane's fault, but the pilot's reference to the ground makes him overreact & make the airplane do a stupid thing. Yes, my hair follicles have an erection when I think of the tail coming around alongside.

Same as Bruce said, & Gordon tried to clear up, but NOW I understand the faulty perception & overcorrection is what is blamed on "downwind turn". I'll not mention it again.

I'm lernin'.
Logan... stick time challenged

07-07-2006, 01:23 AM
I'm lernin'.
Logan... stick time challenged

Mee tooo!