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Thread: Mountain Flying

  1. #1
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Mountain Flying

    I met Alyssa Cobb at Sun & Fun this year. She is the Director of eMedia at AOPA. She is the one flying the AOPA give-away Super Cub around the country. We had a couple of good conversations at S&F and her being a Cessna 170 pilot and only having flown the Super Cub from Baker Montana to Lakeland Florida we talked about flying Super Cubs. She gave me her card and I found it while cleaning my desk off recently so I decided to shoot her an email and see how it was going. Having gotten some more time in the airplane and completing Lori MacNichol's canyon flying course she is a lot more comfortable in the airplane and really enjoying it. She sent me a link to a recent article that she wrote that conjured up some questions in my mind about indicated air speeds. The "Aircraft Performance Work Sheet" linked in the following article got me to questioning the way I fly my airplane. I honestly never look at the airspeed indicator, well I guess on occasion but I couldn't tell you any speeds I regularly fly. Flying regularly here in Texas at 1000' MSL in and out of gravel bars and such to the mountains in Idaho and areas in Utah I have always adjusted to load, wind and density altitude without paying attention to my air speed. I wonder if this is something I should be more in tuned to or have I adapted the "seat of my pants" method and if so is this a bad way of doing it. Curious to others methods and techniques.

    https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/...-of-a-lifetime
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
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  2. #2
    S2D's Avatar
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    I looked at mine once when I was in a steep turn chasing something or other. It was reading zero. Not sure I've looked at it since


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    I may be wrong but that probably won't stop me from arguing about it.

  3. #3
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    I want to know if you found Jimmy Hoffa when you cleaned that desk!
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  4. #4
    SJ's Avatar
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    I look at my airspeed when in high elevation areas that I am not normally used to as your "sense" is different regarding speeds, etc. However, the cub airspeed is so inaccurate with flaps deployed...
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  5. #5
    Cub Special Ed's Avatar
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    Steve, sounds to me like youve got the art of flying perfected. Mabe you should be training. In my opinion airspeed is a reference for the folks that dont know how to feel de plane. Go to a 141 school for a bfr, throw an instrument blockout cup on airspeed. I bet your instructor will be more uncomfrortable than you.
    "There are 3 kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." Will Rogers
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  6. #6
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    I have spent too much time flying on instruments to leave airspeed out of my crosscheck. Does that make me a wussy?
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  7. #7
    Cub Special Ed's Avatar
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    Heres a thought: how many lives could we save by replacing the airspeed indicator with an aoa indicator. Then replace the stall horn with a vne horn? A commanche we sold a few years ago just wrecked a couple months ago departing Scottsdale. Was caught on street camera. Yep, stall/spin.
    "There are 3 kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." Will Rogers
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  8. #8
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Doesn't help if you fly by your arse.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cub Special Ed View Post
    Heres a thought: how many lives could we save by replacing the airspeed indicator with an aoa indicator. Then replace the stall horn with a vne horn? A commanche we sold a few years ago just wrecked a couple months ago departing Scottsdale. Was caught on street camera. Yep, stall/spin.
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  9. #9
    Doug Budd's Avatar
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    I donít look at airspeed and I donít adjust trim once it is set. I like to feel the stick and if you trim for airspeed you lose the right ďfeelĒ. And when low banking around windmills checking water and cows or landing short i think itís a must . But thatís the way my Dad taught me many years ago


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  10. #10
    txpacer's Avatar
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    I look at everything - airspeed, groundspeed, attitude, and the way the airplane feels. It's free information, why waste it.

  11. #11
    DJ's Avatar
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    Numbers are a lot easier to teach.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalms 19:1
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  12. #12
    Doug Budd's Avatar
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    Anyway that doesnít kill you works. But for me in a steep turn at 50í looking at something on the ground, it takes my eyes and brain too long to transition from inside the cockpit to outside, but thatís me. Everyone is different.


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  13. #13
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Budd View Post
    Anyway that doesn’t kill you works. But for me in a steep turn at 50’ looking at something on the ground, it takes my eyes and brain too long to transition from inside the cockpit to outside, but that’s me. Everyone is different.


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    The very best plan is to NOT BE in a steep turn at 50 feet, actually.

    MTV
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  14. #14
    Doug Budd's Avatar
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    Part of the job


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  15. #15
    spinner2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJ View Post
    I look at my airspeed when in high elevation areas that I am not normally used to as your "sense" is different regarding speeds, etc. However, the cub airspeed is so inaccurate with flaps deployed...
    This comment caught my eye. For me it is just the opposite. When I fly near sea level it seems like I’ve got an extra 5 mph headwind on every landing.

    I cross check between airspeed and ground speed when I’m landing. That tells me what the wind is doing.
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp
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  16. #16

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    A friend of mine bought a Tecnam 2008 equipped with a Garmin 3x touch (or whatever it is called) with AOA indication. I really liked it. It was both visual and audible. I flew the airplane home for him from North Carolina to Fort Worth so I got some time with the system. With AOA, you can ignore airspeed and “fly the wing.” The wing stalls at the same angle of attack regardless of density altitude, speed, g-load, and weight. I wish I had AOA indiction in the cub.

    I suspect the good cub pilots are flying AOA without the indicator.
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  17. #17

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    I was in the front of the Champ, my instructor barking that I must square my shoulders to the airframe. "Just giving you a peek at the airspeed, Dickie". "Cover it up, it confuses me." He then showed me how to fly in the rocks, feeling the pebbles coming off the wing. He was an ag pilot, eyes outside in the turnarounds.
    What's a go-around?

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lasater View Post
    I suspect the good cub pilots are flying AOA without the indicator.
    You hit it on the the head.

  19. #19

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    Density altitude. A change in performance in a familiar operating environment. That’s what I pay attention to based on my own experience. In unfamiliar areas I maintain a little more margin of safety.
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  20. #20
    Doug Budd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skywalker View Post
    I was in the front of the Champ, my instructor barking that I must square my shoulders to the airframe. "Just giving you a peek at the airspeed, Dickie". "Cover it up, it confuses me." He then showed me how to fly in the rocks, feeling the pebbles coming off the wing. He was an ag pilot, eyes outside in the turnarounds.
    Dad taught me to fly and he was a spray pilot for many years and we use airplanes like a pick-up on the ranch.


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  21. #21
    Doug Budd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Density altitude. A change in performance in a familiar operating environment. Thatís what I pay attention to based on my own experience. In unfamiliar areas I maintain a little more margin of safety.
    He started the spray business with a 90hp champ


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  22. #22
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Budd View Post
    He started the spray business with a 90hp champ
    Anyone who does this successfully on a high density altitude day has good seat of the pants flying abilities. He don't need no stinking instruments!
    N1PA

  23. #23

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    I don't have a problem with density altitude, I fly the mountains all the time, and live in them, I just flew to breakfast in Afton at 9K+ most of the way, landing once at 8600', it's the rare times I get down to sea level that mess me up. That thick air takes some getting used to, looking at the issue backasswards, I can easily see how a sea level pilot gets in big trouble when high. With us living up there normally, it's like Christmas and your birthday all at once when we get down low, FUN.
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  24. #24
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Could be worse. Try a 7 G turn at 50 ft.


    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Budd View Post
    Part of the job


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  25. #25
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Perhaps an observation that is related...

    I put VGs on my cub many years ago and sometime later noted that my stall warning buzzer sometimes went off in turns even though I "felt" the aircraft was not near a stall, and it was unsettling to me and to my passenger (Julie). I noticed also that my airspeed indicator didn't show me below the white arc, either, when it went off. I was discussing this with a gentleman at NH several years ago and this fellow operated a floatplane business in SE AK for several years and he listened to my observation and told me that he would fix that by disarming the stall buzzer.

    Can someone enlighten me as to why I experienced this phenomenon? I think it relates to this discussion.

    Randy

  26. #26
    S2D's Avatar
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    Instead of disabling it which might not be totally kosher depending on the year you cub was made, you could just adjust the flipper.

    Vg installer probably bent the pitot tube when he was climbing on the wing to install the vgs

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    I may be wrong but that probably won't stop me from arguing about it.
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  27. #27
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S2D View Post
    Instead of disabling it which might not be totally kosher depending on the year you cub was made, you could just adjust the flipper.

    Vg installer probably bent the pitot tube when he was climbing on the wing to install the vgs

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    And, wink emoticons notwithstanding, that ^^ is probably really close to the truth.

    MTV
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  28. #28
    aktango58's Avatar
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    VG's allow a higher pitch angle to relative wind prior to critical angle of attack. Stall warning indicators are set for factory wing, lower relative wind angle. My entire approach with the Maule has the warning light on.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  29. #29
    Cub Special Ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S2D View Post
    I looked at mine once when I was in a steep turn chasing something or other. It was reading zero. Not sure I've looked at it since


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    540_degree_airspeed_indicator_from_a_glider.jpg
    0 or 110? I know how fast you like to get back on target!
    "There are 3 kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." Will Rogers

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    I live in the high SW CO mountains, cool mornings then it gets dang hot with gusts and cools down late evening, very little steady wind. I don’t have vg’s, just installed the tail strakes and I like them a lot. The vg’s masked the small control indicators that come from the wings saying......“We are about to dump you on your head!”
    I fly an old PA18A so it may be that configuration. But I didn’t like the vg’s for here.
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  31. #31

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    Most AOA are not true AOA systems. They are "lift reserve indicators". That is they measure pressure differential in some way shape or form. The Garmin does this as does the Aspen units. Think of it and a stall warn system as the difference between an "idiot light" and a gauge. For instance on your car the idiot light tells you when the engine is hot. The gauge tells you what temp and trend and when it gets hot shows that condition.

    A true AOA is a system with a vane that streamlines itself to the relative wind and is carefully calibrated. I have flown both and the lift reserve is better than nothing, but it is nothing compared to a true angle of attack unit. A true AOA indicator is so sensitive you can actually see your AOA increase flying into rain and decrease coming out of rain.

    Other than the difficulty of developing mounting location and calibration IMHO it is not that much more expensive to produce a true AOA but lift reserves are the "quick and dirty" way of getting a better AOA derivative into the aircraft. Just remember it is not a true AOA system just as airspeed is a derivative and not a true system. Slips, skids, ice etc can effect in much more profound ways than a true AOA system.
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