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Thread: Need a book on C-180 / C-185 flying technique

  1. #1
    Speedo's Avatar
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    Need a book on C-180 / C-185 flying technique

    I know that you can't fly a C-180 or a C-185 using Cub techniques, but that's about all I know. Can anyone recommend a book (or DVD) that describes Skywagon technique?
    Speedo

  2. #2
    SteveE's Avatar
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    Eric,,

    Is this the first step?

  3. #3
    pzinck's Avatar
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    Here is a good little quick synopsis. I don't know of much more than this and also FE pots website. http://www.skywagon.info/newsletter/...ssna%20185.pdf Here is Fe potts site. http://www.fepco.com/Bush_Flying.html

  4. #4
    Speedo's Avatar
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    Steve: No this isn't the first step to defecting to the dark side. I may have an opportunity to do some flying in a C-180 and I'd like to have a sense of how it differs from flying a PA-12.

    Phil: Thanks for both links!

    Eric
    Speedo

  5. #5
    irishfield's Avatar
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    I still miss my old 182A Eric... just remember.. full rudder and opposite stick(yoke) side slips with 40 degrees of flap down can be a NO NO... .. but I'm still here! lol

  6. #6
    T.J.'s Avatar
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    They land/takeoff just like a Pacer with 220 HP. I use the same technique with both.

  7. #7
    pzinck's Avatar
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    The only thing obnoxious i have found on a 185 is a short field go around. If you have the trim all the way back (nose up), you better start trimming fast (nose down). With full aft trim and full power the skywagon wants to nose up real fast. You will have to exert alot of forward pressure and learn to trim . Possibly this is worse on robertson skywagons, but ours is a handfull. I think they are a wonderfull plane and more like a cub than other cessnas. I like to leave the trim more forward than i did when i first started flying 180/185's. i prefer wheel landings now.

  8. #8
    Crash's Avatar
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    Avgas, LOTS of avgas. You can't "read it" done.

    Crash

  9. #9
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Number one: Check before any flight that the seat is LOCKED in place.

    Number two: Double check to see that the seat is locked in place.

    Number three: it will go left when power is put in

    Number four: use full flaps to lift the tail, then raise them until you get to flying speed and pull them again

    Number five: flaps at one notch to start takeoff run, they are way down there to try and reach at full up.

    Number six: trim is between the seats, use it, set it before takeoff or you will be sorry.

    Number seven: check fuel selector before sitting down, and study it

    Number 8: easy on x-wind until you get some time

    Number 9: What crash said
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  10. #10
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    When landing on pavement make sure that the main wheels are pointed in the same direction as they are tracking. Do not touch down in a crab.
    N1PA

  11. #11
    SJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a
    When landing on pavement make sure that the main wheels are pointed in the same direction as they are tracking. Do not touch down in a crab.
    That should be true of ANY airplane (that does not have crosswind gear).

    I had some pretty knarly gusty x-winds in the 180 yesterday, and I don't have my chops up quite where I would like them since I just got the plane back after a two year hiatus. I "got it done" but it could have been a lot prettier. I do need to go out and practice.

    Once you get the hang of the 180 it is an easy airplane to fly in any conditions in my opinion.

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  12. #12
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a
    When landing on pavement make sure that the main wheels are pointed in the same direction as they are tracking. Do not touch down in a crab.
    That should be true of ANY airplane (that does not have crosswind gear).

    I had some pretty knarly gusty x-winds in the 180 yesterday, and I don't have my chops up quite where I would like them since I just got the plane back after a two year hiatus. I "got it done" but it could have been a lot prettier. I do need to go out and practice.

    Once you get the hang of the 180 it is an easy airplane to fly in any conditions in my opinion.

    sj
    True Steve. My point is that with any flat spring gear tail dragger, the gear will tend to bend inboard, winding up the spring so to speak, before the pilot recognizes what is happening. Then the spring rebounds launching the plane in an unanticipated direction. Since the tire grips pavement better than grass the rebound is more pronounced. The gear on the PA-12 which Speedo plans to transition from will not wind up in this same manner.
    N1PA

  13. #13
    StewartB
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    An hour or two with a good Skywagon instructor would be my best advice. Most of what I've read isn't worth the time it takes to read it.

    SB

  14. #14
    mvivion's Avatar
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    I think Stewart hit the nail right on the head. A few hours flying one of hte things with an instructor who has a good bit of Skywagon time would be the best medicine. I haven't seen anything written about flying the things that would be very helpful.

    MTV

  15. #15
    pzinck's Avatar
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    I agree totally that in flight training is by far the best training. I also think that reading and being aware of beforehand is a great practice. I have learned many things from reading posts here about cub techniques and operating practices. I learned to fly a cub without instruction. I never even had a tailwheel lesson in my life. My piloting skill have improved (most of the times) greatly by reading, hangar flying and listening to cub pilots. I also have learned alot about short field techniques in a 185 by this site. I guess we would not need this website if everyone just went out and learned by flying. I also don't think we would gain multiple perspectives and techniques by just going by what our checkout flight instructor told us. I think the original poster will be a much more rounded skywagon pilot by using all the tools available. Same as maintaining planes. If mechanic just learned by their original maintenance instructor, they would not have the knowledge of some of our cub gurus.

  16. #16

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    Any" pernters" on flying a 180 on 2870's ???
    Steve J

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    It's sort of moot now anyway - all the insurers are demanding a lot of instruction before they cover you. Ten years ago it was ten hours, but now it is 25!

    I agree that the 180 is one of the best all around lightplanes. Took the Robertson factory course in a 300 hp 185, but do not remember any serious trim issues. Signed a guy off today in a 180 - he did a beautiful crosswind landing - but no worries, because the insurer will never let him go until we do 20 more hours.

    My first 180 flight was solo IFR out of Vero Beach. I don't do that kind of stuff anymore.

  18. #18
    mvivion's Avatar
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    One thing you could do is acquire a copy of a POH for the particular model you're considering. I realize you may not be able to be specific, but any POH will be helpful.

    That will enable you to at least become familiar with systems and procedures ahead of time. A thought.

    Bob,

    The "trim issue" he was referring to was a go-around from a full flap glide, with the airplane trimmed for the full flap glide. Then push up full power, and welcome to a deeply moving religious experience . The forward force required on the yoke to level the airplane until you can reduce the flap setting is "interesting", and an eye opener for most folks.

    But, they're a great airplane.

    MTV

  19. #19
    Speedo's Avatar
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    Thanks to all who have shared their thoughts. Phil's quote below pretty much sums up my thinking when I made the original post.

    Quote Originally Posted by pzinck
    I agree totally that in flight training is by far the best training. I also think that reading and being aware of beforehand is a great practice.
    The plan is to acquaint myself with some of the basic info that's available in books and from forums, and then get plenty of instruction. That is, of course, assuming that the opportunity to fly the plane really does materialize; it's been dangled out there, but is not a firm commitment.

    Eric
    Speedo

  20. #20

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    Mike - I get it. I still haven't noticed any problem, but maybe that is because I do not put full aft trim in lightplanes for landing. Most 180s that I have flown need no trim change while in the pattern, from full flaps to flaps up.

    Speedo - the 180 is predominately motor skill. You just need to get in there and do it. Start out with full stall landings, and master them before you start wheel landings. The airplane flies off the deck just fine in the 3-point attitude, although most are now teaching flaps 20, hold it on the deck until 60. Dunno why . . .

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve J
    Any" pernters" on flying a 180 on 2870's ???
    Steve J
    the 180 on 2870's is a pretty decent floatplane, the floats like to dig a little bit on landing and you usually need to roll a float when its hot, glassy and fully loaded... i prefer them over the 2960's.

  22. #22
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Actually, the 180 on 2870's is a GREAT setup. They'll perform well and can carry a load.

    MTV

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    I spent a bit of time in a mates 185 ,before I had heard about how tricky they were,,,,geez I'm glad i just went out and flew/landed it the way the owner said to if I'd read up I might have tried to over think it all, I fell in love with the big bird though,,, and yes to the damn seats,do the cessna wriggle! and yes to the damn avgas ,very thirsty!

  24. #24
    Dough Head's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=bob turner;461586] Start out with full stall landings, and master them before you start wheel landings.QUOTE]

    I disagree, I think the 180/185 is too blind in a three point attitude for someone who doesn't have any time in one. It's a simple plane to wheel land between 55 and 65 mph (depending on weight, and assuming a fairly long runway), just hold it off, don't rush it, slowly come back on the power, and dance on the pedals.

  25. #25

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    I am not a high time 180 driver, but most of my time has been teaching, and almost all of that is in the pattern. Wheel landing a Cub is trivial, but for most of us, wheel landing a 180 requires some finesse. However, for the guy who asked for the advice, take all of it, absorb it, and make your own choices. Good 180 instructors are not all that plentiful, and you may wind up doing your 25 hours of insurance time with somebody who knows less about taildraggers than you do. Your Cub experience will stand you in good stead.

  26. #26

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    During your preflight and while loading, remember the trailing edges of the flaps HURT real bad when you plant your forehead into them. Don't ask!

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by 68D View Post
    During your preflight and while loading, remember the trailing edges of the flaps HURT real bad when you plant your forehead into them. Don't ask!
    mmmm the Cessna diamond tattoo,,,popular in some circles!!

  28. #28
    texmex's Avatar
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    Agree with StewartB.
    Ah those steel spring legs! My first solo was in our family C-180, the only guy around who probably did close to 100hrs before Dad would send me solo. Anyway he use to talk about the spring in those gear legs but when I flew the old model 182 with the same or similar legs there was no spring. Barry Schiff provided the answer in that the bouncing C-180's CoG pulls the tail down and increases the AoA. Therefore more lift and the aeroplane flies again. I figure the moment arm between the wheels and CoG on different tailwheelers is the reason some bounce more readily then others.(looking for correction here)
    In the C-182 the CoG pulls the wing down, decreasing the AoA, ie lift, and planting it more firmly on the runway.

  29. #29

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    A entertaining read of Skywagon Flying from Down Under:

    http://www.dh82.com/index.php/compon.../161-c185.html
    Last edited by jmkota; 09-11-2011 at 08:36 AM.

  30. #30
    StewartB
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    I wish some of you were with me last Friday. The final 5 minutes into the strip was so rough the dog was bouncing around like a ball. The strip was under the trees so the 35 mph crosswind at 60* off heading assured it would be a circus ride at the treetops. The approach took two attempts. Going around was a handful. If I'd have missed the second try we'd have turned and ran. Taking off three days later saw more of the same. Up near the treetops and wham. Can't learn that stuff from a book. Gotta build up to it over several years. The level of a pilot's competence is related to the pilot's experience with the conditions of the day. Weather, short strips, obstacles, you get good at things you do on a regular basis. Coming home found Lake Hood strip closed due to an accident. We were rerouted to Anch International and the huge runway 32. I botched that landing to an enormous runway with benign conditions. Unfamiliarity with the approach and environment. Distracted. Out of my comfort zone. I got behind the airplane. Lesson learned. I'll be better prepared next time because I can reflect on experience. It all adds up. That's the thing I recognize as the biggest difference between anateur and professional pilots. Adapting to variables. Pros are better at it than I am. It's the sum of their experience.

    SB

  31. #31

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    Listening to these words is better than POH. Here's another. In the early 60s, I traded my 65hp Taylorcraft on a 180, not knowing that the company was near bankruptcy. When I learned of what was going on, I appeared at Toronto airport where the company was located. "That's the only aircraft (a 180) without a lien on it," the scammer said, "and you have to take it out of here before the sheriff padlocks everything in a couple hours." Dear god: flaps, CS prop, 230hp, taking off from Toronto International, darkness coming on. I felt like a sparrow launched on a Titan rocket and somehow made it down Lake Ontario to home base in Hamilton. Anyone who can fly a Cub or Taylorcraft reasonably well will have no trouble in a 180. Keep it biblically straight on landing. Never found dirt in any of them, nor the 185s.

  32. #32

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    After doing various checkouts in past years to guys who transition from nose wheel to tail wheel a/c, one glaring characteristic has stuck with me that I try to pass along. You cannot quit flying a tail wheel a/c when you contact the runway. Have seen several people seem to relax at this point in the flight and that can get you in trouble. Keep in your head to keep flying it until the prop stops and that may save you some grief sometime. Ground loops can occur very quickly and can ruin your day.

    Try pushing a childs tricycle front ways to see how far it will go, then turn it around and push it backwards, will not go very far. This same phenomenon is occurring on every flight with a tail wheel, so the adage about keeping it straight cannot be emphasized enough.

  33. #33
    akcplanes's Avatar
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    And LOTS-LOTS MORE AVGAS!!
    My experience in PA-14 and C-180, (float operation only), is there are many similarities here. But the biggest diff is the takeoff run (C-180 on 2960's) is going to scare hell out of you for length and technique required! Slowing the thing up for ground approach is another difference, plan ahead, Wow where did all that airspeed come from--ah that blue gas I just varorized. Make touchdown with full flaps in both machines and be ready to yank the stick to your lap or you will impress your friends with your short rollout. Economy in either machine is similar in MPG but the choice of which to drive to Seattle is moot.
    Last edited by akcplanes; 09-13-2011 at 08:54 PM.

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