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Thread: Just bought a Cub - Need instruction and Checklists

  1. #1
    Tick's Avatar
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    Just bought a Cub - Need instruction and Checklists

    Hey all, I've been a long time lurker here and BackCountryPilot.org. I just bought my first airplane, a 1952 Piper Super Cub 150hp, VGs, 35"-BWs, long gear, etc. It's really well set up for flying here in Alaska. Unfortunately, I'm not. I have a PPL, 200hrs, and a tailwheel endorsement but haven't flown in a little over two years.

    I need to find a good instructor who can help me knock the rust off, get me current with a BFR, and hopefully down the road teach me to use the Cub for what's she built to do. Airplane is parked at BCV.

    Additonally, does anyone have a good checklist for pre and in flight they'd mind sharing to help me get started?

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks!
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  2. #2
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Trim full forward, then three turns back

    Fuel on proper tank, (left tank is best for climb due to header tanks)

    Seat belts

    carb heat

    mixture

    controls

    needles in green

    seat belts on

    feet proper position



    Two different things sometimes: biannual and cub flying. Steve at Acme would do you well.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  3. #3
    Tick's Avatar
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    aktango, thanks. I actually spoke to Steve just prior to posting this. Waiting for him to call me back.

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    Yeah left tank, left is main right is aux. Right was originally an option. Like AK said left tank for critical phases of flight because of the header tanks and how the fuel flows. Get your hands on the owners manual and really read it. There is a good checklist there, usually.
    An hour with a "cub" mechanic to go over your airplane and show you stuff, i.e. how to take off the cowl (like those damn scat hoses) and how to do basic owner maint. stuff.

  5. #5
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post

    Fuel on proper tank, (left tank is best for climb due to header tanks).
    Actually, the reason you should take off, and perhaps more importantly descend and land on the left tank only is because the stock right tank did not have a forward pickup. The left has a forward and aft pickup, so flow is reliable in all attitudes, even with low fuel levels.

    MTV

  6. #6
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    so flow is reliable in all attitudes
    How 'bout narrowing that to all 'normal' pitch attitudes in coordinated flight. Here we go with some more "theory".
    Gordon

    N4328M KTDO
    My SPOT: tinyurl.com/N4328M (case sensitive)

  7. #7
    aktango58's Avatar
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    It seems we agree: Left tank!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  8. #8

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    I would take the big tires off until you have had a lot of landing practice under your belt, no use wearing off that expensive rubber. Put on some 8.50's and wear those out, not your big tires.

  9. #9
    Ruffair's Avatar
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    What the heck........

    You all are basically saying is the Super Cub will only fly on ONE tank.....

    Glad no one told me that years ago...

    Go fly the pants off that airplane..!! You'll figure it out.

  10. #10
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    A couple of checklists I use and offer for you. If you already have something you use thats fine, if not, you might memorize these. They work on just about any GA aircraft including more complex ones.


    Pre takeoff


    Ciffterss (pronounced like Sifters ie that device you sift flour with)


    C - controls = free
    I - instruments = set up and checked - (oil pressure, radios, nav aids, altimeters, etc)
    F - Flaps - set for TO
    F - fuel - have enough, pumps on, valves on, proper tank, etc
    T - trim - set for TO
    E - engine......
    R - run-up = ER goes together = Engine Runup - check mags and carb heat,
    S - seat belts
    S - safety- basically this is CLEAR, CLEAR and CLEAR again - (midairs are really bad)


    In the pattern I use a modification of the old GUMP check - CGUMPSS (pronounced ="C" GUMPS)


    C - carb heat
    G - gas - check on right tank, have plenty, pumps on, etc
    U - undercarriage - not a big deal in a cub but if you swap to your 310 or amphib floatplane.........
    M - mixture - rich
    P - prop - full forward, again not a player with fixed pitch but part of the check when you jump in a C-180
    S - seat belts
    S - safety = CLEAR, CLEAR, CLEAR (watch out for the bonehead doing a straight in)


    When instructing I will want to hear these (or whatever you use) on every single pattern.

    Hope this helps

    Bill


    Very Blessed.

  11. #11
    cubflier's Avatar
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    As for instructors, the best in my book for cub specific training is Artic Wikel at Artics Air Academy in Palmer. Getting current with a BFR should be simple enough. Then come out to Palmer and let Artic hang out in the back seat for a bit and see what you learn.

    There is an issue with your timing in that this is the time of year where temperature differences in gravel and your tires will cause many rocks to be thrown forward through your prop. Watch out for this as I have seen props get seriously chipped up this time of year when you ignore the ramifications of gravel ops in October.

    Also I prefer to practice in normal flight configuration, as in, I would leave the big tires on.(opinion)

    Have fun - Jerry
    Last edited by cubflier; 10-04-2015 at 01:46 PM.
    If it looks smooth...it might be

    If it looks rough...it is!!

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    I am sort of with Bill Rusk on checklists. Mine is the venerable CIGAR TIPS which is essentially the same, except "fuel" is "gas", and S is seatbelts. Basic airmanship, in my opinion, should not be on a checklist, and if you need a checklist to start an engine or look for traffic, you should stick to automobiles.

    With that said, I probably need a checklist for a hot start on injected engines - but when I see a checklist that says "master on, mags both, starter depress" I tear it up and start over.

    To get a license, these days you need a checklist for everything. My DPE accepts single item or two item checklists for things like preflight, before start, after start, and shutdown.

  13. #13

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    I would suggest you contact Steve Williams with ACME Cub Training his phone 907-250-6030 he is based in Anchorage and specializes in Cub Flying.

  14. #14
    C-185's Avatar
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    I was taught, what will kill me in this plane:
    1. Flaps
    2. Fuel
    3. Trim

    Everything else is gravy............

    Enjoy the new cub.

    Mike
    My superior skills continue to get me out of where my piss poor judgement took me......

  15. #15
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruffair View Post
    What the heck........

    You all are basically saying is the Super Cub will only fly on ONE tank.....
    the fuel in tank likes to have a fuel line that it can actually get OUT of such said tank to carb to keep that noisy thing up front making lots of noise.... and only left side has that option(front tank feed outlet) nose down/power on long decent....(unless you have the headerless system that ADDS the right forward fuel outlet..)

    we still have 2 bodies floating? in inlet here this summer from I assume that(engine quit)... all I have found is a boot, some shorts and a sleeping bag... they did get the plane recovered a bit short of the land/mile(s)... and yes it still had "some" fuel in them when the NTSB disassembled it after helicoptering it out of inlet...
    Last edited by mike mcs repair; 10-06-2015 at 12:20 AM.

  16. #16
    Ruffair's Avatar
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    Thanks Mike for clarifying that left tank thing. Am sure it could be contributing factor to this summers tragedy.
    Thankfully it doesn't and hasn't happen more.

    How are the 30 gal Atlee's plumbed?

  17. #17
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Undercarriage does get important on floats also...

    Leave it in for when you want to rent that fast plane. When you say undercarriage, check your tires on both sides... you never know, and it remains in your flow prior to landing.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  18. #18
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruffair View Post
    ..
    Thankfully it doesn't and hasn't happen more.
    ..
    was taught this decades ago... from it happening...

    and them needing to go retrieve the wrecks, with fuel still in them...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Undercarriage does get important on floats also...

    Leave it in for when you want to rent that fast plane. When you say undercarriage, check your tires on both sides... you never know, and it remains in your flow prior to landing.
    Yeah, I still check and then say "three down and locked" to myself on short final even in the Racer, hahaha

  20. #20
    CubDriver218's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-185 View Post
    I was taught, what will kill me in this plane:
    1. Flaps
    2. Fuel
    3. Trim

    Everything else is gravy............

    Enjoy the new cub.

    Mike
    Mike,

    Can you elaborate on the major dangers of flaps and trim?
    I was taught no flaps in a crosswind, and trim can be a factor during a go around in a 180/185, but I've not found it to be nearly as difficult in a cub type, however I agree having your trim set properly for take off and landing is a must.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Rusk View Post
    S - safety = CLEAR, CLEAR, CLEAR (watch out for the bonehead doing a straight in)

    Bill



    Are straight in approaches really frowned upon? When flying at airports where there isn't hardly any traffic I often times save the time and fuel by coming straight in. I know they teach huge patterns these days, but isn't that more for perception, timing, and getting in line at heavily trafficked airports? I'm interested to know what others do at remote or non populated airports. Is the occasional straight in approach really a bonehead move?

  21. #21
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CubDriver218 View Post
    ...... Are straight in approaches really frowned upon? When flying at airports where there isn't hardly any traffic I often times save the time and fuel by coming straight in. I know they teach huge patterns these days, but isn't that more for perception, timing, and getting in line at heavily trafficked airports? I'm interested to know what others do at remote or non populated airports. Is the occasional straight in approach really a bonehead move?
    About the only time I do straight-ins is at towered airports when I'm directed to. I much prefer an upwind (aka overhead) entry, crossing over at midfield into a standard (close-in) traffic pattern. That gives me a chance to look for other traffic as well as eyeball the runway environment to make sure there's not a deer, dead cow, or disabled airplane on the runway.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  22. #22
    CubDriver218's Avatar
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    When crossing mid field do you always stay 1000 feet above pattern altitude or 2,000 feet AGL? Or is it acceptable to make a radio call and enter that way without climbing an extra 1000 feet if there's no known other traffic and you know the airport to be relatively quiet?

  23. #23
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CubDriver218 View Post
    When crossing mid field do you always stay 1000 feet above pattern altitude or 2,000 feet AGL? Or is it acceptable to make a radio call and enter that way without climbing an extra 1000 feet if there's no known other traffic and you know the airport to be relatively quiet?
    Richard,

    Traffic patterns are advisory, according to the FAA, EXCEPT that: all turns in the pattern must be to the left unless specified otherwise (ie: the traffic pattern is specified as RP on the chart....for right pattern.

    That said, the FAA provides advice on what they consider "Proper" and safe traffic pattern procedures. They are found in Section 3 of the AIM (hence they are advisory in nature). Here: http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publi...ic_4-03-14.pdf

    Look at Section 3, in the section that describes operations at uncontrolled airports: Click image for larger version. 

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    Looks something like this picture.

    So, the point is, as long as all your turns are to the left unless otherwise specified, you can enter the traffic pattern any way you like, INCLUDING a straight in approach....no turns, hence "all turns are to the left". BUT, if anything bad happens, like you cut someone off in the pattern because you didn't follow the recommended procedures, you may find yourself talking to a nice FAA Inspector.

    Straight in approaches: Bill's advise is good. In the last ten years, we've seen a MASSIVE increase in the number of uncontrolled airports that have instrument approaches, with the advent of GPS approaches. And, most instrument approaches conclude with a straight in approach. In training, they often result in a miss, and low approach. And, in those cases, a straight in is about the only practical means of demonstrating a proper approach, even though under the hood.

    So, you may in fact encounter someone flying practice approaches at an uncontrolled airport, and they may be flying straight in approaches....and there's nothing wrong or unprofessional about that. Doesn't make them a bonehead at all.

    That said, the person flying the practice approach must have a safety pilot, and that person should have their head on a swivel. Also, the simulated IFR airplane should absolutely be communicating their position and intentions.....as should everyone else, whether we think there might be someone out there besides us or not.

    Finally, be aware that there is no requirement to HAVE a radio in an airplane operating at an uncontrolled airport......and I know at least one gent who is a working sprayer who is deaf....no radio. But, he's got a hell of a set of eyes on him.

    Be careful out there.

    MTV

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by CubDriver218 View Post
    When crossing mid field do you always stay 1000 feet above pattern altitude or 2,000 feet AGL? Or is it acceptable to make a radio call and enter that way without climbing an extra 1000 feet if there's no known other traffic and you know the airport to be relatively quiet?
    Best to be 500-1000 above pattern altitude when you cross as you never know what else may be blazing in. I had a near miss with a biz jet on the runway once who never made a local call and who's excuse was "Center cleared him for the approach." For idiots like that (and by the way he landed down wind) I avoid straight in's and approaching any airport on the extended runway centerlines with a passion unless the airport is towered and even then I'm not real thrilled.
    Last edited by OLDCROWE; 10-06-2015 at 11:36 AM.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  25. #25

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    Straight-in approaches are poor form, and discouraged. My reference is a really good AOPA handout that mimics the AIM.

    Crossing overhead used to be at 1000', with standard patterns at 800'. Recently that was changed to 1200' and 1000', but as Mike says, it is advisory. I almost always overfly an uncontrolled airport before entering the pattern, if for no other reason than to find the fuel and bathroom.

    I am now officially the only pilot in the world who thinks it is ok to ask if anybody is in the pattern at Hemet? If I do not get an answer, I make no assumptions - students are being instructed not to answer such queries. Old hands will, and then you can look for them, or use the same pattern they are using.

  26. #26

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    Oh, yeah - if a new controller wants me on the centerline, I climb! A Cub on a five mile straight in is about as vulnerable as it gets.

    Most midairs happen within four miles of an airport, and Rod Machado says that 83% of those are a faster aircraft overtaking a slower one!

  27. #27
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    I cross midfield at pattern altitude, looking carefully all the while for other traffic on the 45 or downwind (or anywhere else). I think that's safer than the often-mentioned crossing at pattern alt + 500, following which you are making a 225 degree turn onto the 45, descending, setting up for pattern speed, and looking for traffic (with one wing banked down).
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  28. #28
    CubDriver218's Avatar
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    I agree and appreciate the input. I was just trying to open some dialog so we can all learn and see what others do and have to offer. My preferred method at any airport I'm unfamiliar with is to cross midfield so I can get a look at the wind sock, and simply see how everything is laid out and get a better feel for the airport.
    I also use CIGAR TIPS for my checklist.
    As far as preflight I start at the nose and walk completely around the airplane. check the prop for chips/nicks
    check oil, look inside cowl for birds nests. I visually inspect my landing gear for any cracks or visible weak points or anything that may be amiss.
    I like to visually check the fuel from the wing tank with a fuel stick. I once dropped off my plane with full tanks at a mechanics. When I picked it up a few days later I knew I had full fuel, but nothing would come out of my sump. I looked inside at fuel sight gauge and was certain it was full, because I couldn't see the ball thinking the ball was all the way at the top where I can't see it sometimes when it's FULL. someone syphoned my fuel and the tank was in fact empty!
    check all the cotter keys and pins which hold the ailerons, flaps, elevator and rudder on. visually inspect your tail wheel assembly. I check my wing struts where they attach.

    Look the plane over well and spend enough time flying it so that you're comfortable and know your airplane.
    I feel the most important and best advise I've been offered over the years is simply stay out of the weather!
    Weather is a great killer of pilots. Don't push your luck or allow yourself to get gethomeitis

  29. #29
    mvivion's Avatar
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    And, again, that's all fine......until something bad happens.

    At my previous base, we had literally dozens of practice approaches every day, most all concluding in a straight in low approach. Nothing wrong with that.....we all should be keeping our eyes wide open all the time.

    I strongly recommend to students that they fly a standard approach, as specified in the AIM. No straight ins UNLESS they're on a practice IFR approach.

    But understand that straight in approaches are LEGAL. Don't think that just because you're flying a pattern that someone else isn't just as legal and proper to be flying a straight in.

    MTV

  30. #30

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    What do you guys do about parachutist when doing those crossings at mid field? At my home field, Thomaston, GA (KOPN), the parachuters have pretty much claimed the center of the airport. They dump out Twin Otter loads just as quickly as they can reload them. A mid field crossing there on a sunny day, regardless of the altitude, would be sporty......

  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by kg View Post
    What do you guys do about parachutist when doing those crossings at mid field? At my home field, Thomaston, GA (KOPN), the parachuters have pretty much claimed the center of the airport. They dump out Twin Otter loads just as quickly as they can reload them. A mid field crossing there on a sunny day, regardless of the altitude, would be sporty......
    Never heard a jump plane not talk on the radio, (Center and Local), may not understand 'em but they do make noise. Also the newer Garmin portables alert on drop zones.
    Last edited by OLDCROWE; 10-06-2015 at 02:11 PM.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  32. #32

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    Along with a qualified instructor, get the book 'Stick and Rudder'. This book was written when cubs were the standard trainor airplane. Read it, understand it, practice it and you will develop the skills to become a fine pilot. Skills to gain experience and judgement. Have fun.

  33. #33
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kg View Post
    What do you guys do about parachutist when doing those crossings at mid field? At my home field, Thomaston, GA (KOPN), the parachuters have pretty much claimed the center of the airport. They dump out Twin Otter loads just as quickly as they can reload them. A mid field crossing there on a sunny day, regardless of the altitude, would be sporty......
    When I was jumping back in the 70s they told us the center was the safest place for us. I opened once and looked up and checked my canopy then looked down just in time to watch the sailplane pilot give me his middle finger as he passed 100' directly below me.

    Glenn

  34. #34
    WhiskeyMike's Avatar
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    CIGAR

    Controls... free no loose seat belts, or trash in cockpit or anything floating around.
    Instruments... Altimeter, oil pressure, temp, amps, electrical switches
    Gas... Quantity for mission, correct tank, mixture rich, primer locked
    Attitude... trim set for your particular plane.
    Runup... mags, carb heat, oil pressure, temp. BTW. Listening to the mags is as important as looking at the tach.

    Assumes you put your seat belt on when you get in.

  35. #35

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    On the preflight - a NASA test pilottaught me to check fluids first, then do a walk- around. I was pretty impressed, and from that day forward that is what I do - fluids first.

    My checklist is Cigar Tips, and the G part includes gas caps. If I do not remember specifically checking them, it is back to the gate.

  36. #36
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kg View Post
    What do you guys do about parachutist when doing those crossings at mid field? At my home field, Thomaston, GA (KOPN), the parachuters have pretty much claimed the center of the airport. They dump out Twin Otter loads just as quickly as they can reload them. A mid field crossing there on a sunny day, regardless of the altitude, would be sporty......
    So don't do them. Midfield crosswind entry is not a magic ticket, if the pattern is busy or something (like skydiving ops) is going on it might not work out well. If the skydiving drop zone is midfield, I would do my crosswind entry a mile or so off the departure end of the airport.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  37. #37
    574cub's Avatar
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    I would also recommend Artic he's a really good guy. As far as off airport stuff go slow and slowly work your way into more challenging spots. With playing on gravel bars check your prop for dings and your tail feathers for holes from rocks.

  38. #38
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CubDriver218 View Post
    ...Are straight in approaches really frowned upon? When flying at airports where there isn't hardly any traffic I often times save the time and fuel by coming straight in. I know they teach huge patterns these days, but isn't that more for perception, timing, and getting in line at heavily trafficked airports? I'm interested to know what others do at remote or non populated airports. Is the occasional straight in approach really a bonehead move?
    In Massachusetts a straight in approach at an uncontrolled airport is against the law. The regulations specifically say that all traffic will be left turns unless otherwise designated. These regulations have been in effect and unchanged for more than half a century. That having been said, there are a lot of pilots who have never read the State regulations including some hotshot jet pilots. It is my opinion that this is a good regulation and that those who persist in flying straight in are a hazard to other aviators. Announcing on the radio that you are doing this is a very poor excuse for violating the rules and is sloppy airmanship.
    N1PA

  39. #39
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    In Massachusetts a straight in approach at an uncontrolled airport is against the law. The regulations specifically say that all traffic will be left turns unless otherwise designated. These regulations have been in effect and unchanged for more than half a century. That having been said, there are a lot of pilots who have never read the State regulations including some hotshot jet pilots. It is my opinion that this is a good regulation and that those who persist in flying straight in are a hazard to other aviators. Announcing on the radio that you are doing this is a very poor excuse for violating the rules and is sloppy airmanship.
    Pete,

    First, it has been a long standing premise of law that a state cannot enforce "laws" which affect or contradict FAA regulation of airspace.

    And, as I noted earlier, if you're making a straight in approach, you are not making ANY turns, hence, all turns are to the left, just like in the FAR.

    I agree that straight in approaches are GENERALLY a bed idea, but there are circumstances where they are legitimate, which is why the regulation is written as it is.

    If if what you are suggestion were true, one would not be able to complete an instrument approach to minimums even in actual conditions.

    MTV

  40. #40
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    State law may rule on the ground, but the FAA has jurisdiction in the air.
    The whole "all turns to the left" phrase is kinda goofy-- what about the right turn from a 45 entry to left downwind?
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

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    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 08-18-2007, 08:52 PM

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