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Thread: Wheel Landing a 180

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    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Wheel Landing a 180

    What is the secret. Any tips.
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"

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    Slow it down (they skip like a rock if you try to drive them on fast), trim neutral all the way down final, approach sink rate about 500fpm with a bit of power in, gentle pull back on the yoke over the fence for a 3 count (to partially arrest the sink), yoke back where it was, touch down, and a prompt moderate push on the yoke will give you a tail low wheelie, now add a big smile while your feet do their thing, put the tail down easy and clean the airplane up
    Last edited by OLDCROWE; 04-26-2019 at 03:06 PM.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

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    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    I have been trying to landing it like a Cub. The springy gear is a bitch. I have 8.00 tires on now. Think it is time for the 29 ABWs that I have ready to go. Luckily I have 6300 ft of grass to play on.
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    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    SJ,
    If you are going the be at Gaston's I would like to buy an hour or two of your famous instruction.
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"

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    I find that it helps to have a little nose down trim so that you are holding back pressure on the yoke, slow it down and bring it in tail low (tailwheel just a few inches above the ground when the mains touch), with full flaps. When the mains make contact you release the back pressure and and roll up onto the mains. The key of course is to make contact with the ground with as little energy as possible.
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    What's your touchdown speed? Bouncing is usually pilot induced using elevator with excessive speed.

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    I liked to secure my left arm from moving too much, either against my chest or nearby support. Same for throttle hand by grabbing the friction lock ring with finger tips and squeeze-unsqueeze to adjust the throttle. Any bounce can move the hands upsetting elevator and throttle adjustments. Forward CG makes it harder to control the tail. Add some temporary ballast aft. The rest is grease it on practice.

    Edit: I liked flaps 20 to keep dirty air off the tail.

    Gary
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    Bill White technique works best. I've used it for years, easy peezy, loaded or light.

    https://bwifly.com/aircraft-insurance/wheel-landing-by-the-numbers/
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    PerryB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLDCROWE View Post
    Slow it down (they skip like a rock if you try to drive them on fast), trim neutral all the way down final, approach sink rate about 500fpm with a bit of power in, gentle pull back on the yoke over the fence for a 3 count (to partially arrest the sink), yoke back where it was, touch down, and a prompt moderate push on the yoke will give you a tail low wheelie, now add a big smile while your feet do their thing, put the tail down easy and clean the airplane up
    That's it. Carrying that bit of power flattens things out and gives you a little more of a fightin' chance to grease it. The second you touch, stick it with a little forward yoke. If you come in cold turkey power off its a much greater challenge in energy management, a one-shot deal. If you blow the flare and bounce, DON'T try to stick it. Yoke it back and milk the wing dry (of lift). It might plop back down with another bounce, but it'll be done flying.
    The ol' Cub hides a lot of sins and lets us get away with somewhat sloppy techniques, and will allow us to get a lot farther out of shape before it tries to bite. The Skywagon makes you get your sh** together.
    After Monday and Tuesday, even the calendar says WTF !
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    Long approaches, short approaches, steep over obstacles in a raging crosswind..... always 40* flaps. Always the same speed. If you're bouncing landings you probably need to do more slow flight to learn to trust the airplane. Learn how to bring it in steep with power off and shallow with power on. And everything in between. The gear isn't responsible for bouncing.
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    Teaching them and doing them properly in the field might be separable, at least at first. When I teach wheel landings we start fast, with power, and go for slower and without power as the student gets better. It takes me an hour to get an experienced Cub pilot to be competent in 180 wheel landings. Not really good, but competent.

    I am one of a very few 180 pilots who believes that 3-point takeoffs and landings are more efficient. Most 180 pilots pull two notches of flaps, raise thetail and accelerate to 60, then rotate and climb at 90 until a thousand feet. Makes my performance engineer brain dizzy.
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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Check the sink and roll it on like a B-727. Perfect the three point landings on 8:00-6s before you try the wheelies and move to big tires. You have a lot of learning to do before you go into the rough stuff where the big tires would be helpful. The 8:00s are adequate for most any "airport" turf runway.
    N1PA
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    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randyk View Post
    Bill White technique works best. I've used it for years, easy peezy, loaded or light.
    https://bwifly.com/aircraft-insurance/wheel-landing-by-the-numbers/
    Bill White's article is not necessarily gospel but it is a helluva good place to start.
    Practice it as described, then (if required) modify the technique to suit you.
    Here's the crux of it:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Lots of good advice here. One thing I do initially is start them landing with 30 flaps as opposed to 40. That reduces the drag just enough that pitch doesn’t increase the drag as quickly. So work 3 points first with flaps 30. Once that’s done, start tail low wheel landings. I too suggest initially rolling in a bit of nose down trim. Now as you flare, the airplane settles, and at the touch, instead of having to initially push on the home to stick it, you just release that back pressure, and THEN push the yoke forward. That helps to catch the bounce a bit and speeds your response time about a half nano second.

    Once you get a handle on things, you can stop with the nose down trim, and start playing with 40 flaps, and 20 flaps. Also, at some point, practice no flap landings, not because you’ll need them, but as a skill building excercise.

    mostly have fun. Grass is good to start, but get onto pavement when you start getting the hang of it.

    Its a great idea to get dual with an experienced instructor.

    And finally, be prepared to be humbled a bit. FantAstic planes, but a lapse on your part can get your attention,

    MTV
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    SJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Foy View Post
    SJ,
    If you are going the be at Gaston's I would like to buy an hour or two of your famous instruction.
    Your mileage may vary...

    Lots of good advice here, there is more than one way to skin this cat. Most of the time the springy problems come from trying to force a wheel landing, you still have to flare and arrest the descent rate. You don't need power to do that, but it takes work on your timing. Also, put one (front) wheel down first and it will take the spring out of the gear.

    We do plan to be at Gaston's!

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

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    Get it slowed up! When you think it might be a 3 point and you're within 2 ft of the ground. Just push yoke ahead to level attitude. That's all folks...

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    So the real question is why? I’ve never had the desire or need to do wheel landings beyond meeting the FAA requirements when training a new tailwheel pilot.


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    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Did eight wheel landings today with a 10 kt right cross. No bad ones and three greasers. It's coming. 10 hrs in the plane so far.

    Slightly heavy yoke and relax back pressure when it touches.

    Brakes are light years better than the Cub. New ABI units and overhauled masters.
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"

  19. #19
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    I think it is a Chevy/Ford thing. I plan to be proficient at both.

    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    So the real question is why? I’ve never had the desire or need to do wheel landings beyond meeting the FAA requirements when training a new tailwheel pilot.


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    I think being proficient at all flap settings and landing/takeoff modes is important. That said, I stress tail low takeoffs and full stall landings.

    It takes finesse to get a good wheel landing in a spring steel gear airplane. Finesse is a good thing.

    But when I discover that my Cub or Stearman students are doing 90% wheel landings, I insist that they return to 90% full stall. Well, maybe 80%.

    I briefly encountered a Husky pilot who was taught 60 mph approaches and wheel landings. He enlisted my aid to figure out why a Husky needed 2000' to land! Easy fix.
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    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Not a Chevy/Ford thing at all.

    Wheel landings are an absolute necessary skill

    Dga, I am surprised at you statement.


    Three point full stall landing a Skywagon with a 15 knot crosswind on pavement with 29" tires and you will be lost!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Calkins View Post
    Not a Chevy/Ford thing at all.

    Wheel landings are an absolute necessary skill

    Dga, I am surprised at you statement.


    Three point full stall landing a Skywagon with a 15 knot crosswind on pavement with 29" tires and you will be lost!!
    Haven’t flown with 29” tires, 8.50x6 on 180s and 185s. 8.50x10s on the Howard. Something approaching 8-9000 glider tows with Super Cubs and Pawnees, 600 hours in the Howard in everything up to 28 kt crosswind at 90 degrees. Perhaps about 2000 hours towing signs in L-19s. Never had the need or desire to do wheel landings.

    To each their own.


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    What was the question?

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    I bet soft 29" tires will have you in the weeds with a 15 kt crosswind no matter what kind of landing you make.

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    Not even close.
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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    I bet soft 29" tires will have you in the weeds with a 15 kt crosswind no matter what kind of landing you make.
    Nah, in my experience at least, I much prefer big tires in crosswinds. Put upwind tire down, stick it and now use it as the fulcrum to do what you want with the plane.

    MTV
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  27. #27
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    I agree based on my time in the Cub with 31s.

    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Nah, in my experience at least, I much prefer big tires in crosswinds. Put upwind tire down, stick it and now use it as the fulcrum to do what you want with the plane.

    MTV
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  28. #28
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    I agree on the tail low takeoff. Picking the tail up is much harder verses the Cub. I have been letting it fly off when it is ready. The plane is light and leaps off with the 88 prop.

    I am starting to develop a flow and feeling more comfortable. It is a great airplane but does not forgive mediocre pilot skills. It demands that you fly it with your best game.

    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    I think being proficient at all flap settings and landing/takeoff modes is important. That said, I stress tail low takeoffs and full stall landings.

    It takes finesse to get a good wheel landing in a spring steel gear airplane. Finesse is a good thing.

    But when I discover that my Cub or Stearman students are doing 90% wheel landings, I insist that they return to 90% full stall. Well, maybe 80%.

    I briefly encountered a Husky pilot who was taught 60 mph approaches and wheel landings. He enlisted my aid to figure out why a Husky needed 2000' to land! Easy fix.
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"

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    You guys are ignoring basic physics. First recognize how easy it is to move a 180 on level pavement with 8:00s at 35 psi. Then try the same trick with any big tire at 8 psi. If you don't notice a vast difference you are delusional, and the rest of my argument will make no sense.

    A crosswind does not affect you until the first wheel touches down. At that point, the wind wants to turn the aircraft - assuming you touched down going straight. Also the tire you touch down on wants to turn you in the same direction. Both of these forces are overcome by top rudder. A large soft tire will simply want to turn you with much more force. That limits your crosswind capability - at least until you get the other main on the ground and apply brakes on that side.

    The 180 with hard 8:00s can handle 25 kts direct crosswind. That is practically full control authority. Add drag in the wrong direction and your crosswind capability decreases.

    For once, not opinion.
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    My use of big tires is to reduce rolling resistance on soft and uneven terrain. You seem to believe everyone flies from and to pavement. You're mistaken.

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    I have to agree with Bob,s logic on the tires. I would say sidewall stiffness/PSI can have as as much effect as size. A soft bushwheel can try to tuck under and the Cessna gear can want to follow. Even on a cub a 3 psi bushwheel will get mushy when you try to run on one wheel. Much better at 6-8 Psi. Hopefully we can get the 31 inch Desser STC soon. I prefer to wheel land, I would argue you have more control due to the better visibility and braking action. Go taxi down the entire length of the runway with the tail down at landing speed, then do it with the tail up, see which you like better.
    DENNY

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    As far a wheel landings go I'm with dga and others on the dark side. My first tail wheel experience was in a O1D(L19) in a military flying club as a 200 hour spam can pilot. It was fresh from a IRAN with new engine and was my personal airplane(almost) for a couple 100 hours until I got stupid and bought an airplane(C120). This was before tail wheel endorsements. My CFI was an old AF IP taught me wheel landings because they were part of my education but stressed that they served no practical purpose in most aircraft, BUT that they really served to make you become "one" with the aircraft, especially the Cessna's. I don't have tons of time like many of you but almost all of it has been in tail draggers from cubs, Pitts etc........and while practicing wheel landings will sharpen your skills, when the wind blows hard enough to scare me I'm 3-point all the way. That said I still do an occasional wheelie.......at least one a year. (BTW, been in a 180 once when I was 6 sitting on dad's lap and it was on floats)

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    You guys are ignoring basic physics. First recognize how easy it is to move a 180 on level pavement with 8:00s at 35 psi. Then try the same trick with any big tire at 8 psi. If you don't notice a vast difference you are delusional, and the rest of my argument will make no sense.

    A crosswind does not affect you until the first wheel touches down. At that point, the wind wants to turn the aircraft - assuming you touched down going straight. Also the tire you touch down on wants to turn you in the same direction. Both of these forces are overcome by top rudder. A large soft tire will simply want to turn you with much more force. That limits your crosswind capability - at least until you get the other main on the ground and apply brakes on that side.

    The 180 with hard 8:00s can handle 25 kts direct crosswind. That is practically full control authority. Add drag in the wrong direction and your crosswind capability decreases.

    For once, not opinion.
    Uh, Bob, a tire touching SHOULD fix the plane to the surface. When you put a tire down, I want it to stick. A 29 at 5 psi will stick well, and I can work the plane around that tire. Yes, it imparts a bit more force on the plane to spin up a Bushwheel vs an 8.00, but that’s momentary. Where the 8.00 at 35 psi will skid, that Bushwheel stick, and gives you control. If the plane is still a bit light due to a gust, I don’t want skidding to start. The Bushwheel hangs on.

    Thats my theory. You have to deal with the yaw imparted by the one wheel touch either way, and the Bushwheel causes a little more yaw for a split second, but if you can’t manage that, you need to go somewhere else. But once that big tire is on, it’ll hold you.

    MTV
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    TurboBeaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Long approaches, short approaches, steep over obstacles in a raging crosswind..... always 40* flaps. Always the same speed. If you're bouncing landings you probably need to do more slow flight to learn to trust the airplane. Learn how to bring it in steep with power off and shallow with power on. And everything in between. The gear isn't responsible for bouncing.
    Stew,
    Is your technique when landing in "raging x-winds" ( I am assuming thats
    something over 20kts?) To ALWAYS make your approach and land a Skywagon with/ 40* \ of flaps ???
    Can you elaborate on why that would be your technique ? Would the effect of having that much flap down in high
    wind situations not raise your risk of the airplane to pivot off the tire; and
    "weathervine" you back into the wind?? ...
    When I got checked out in the 185 back in 1970's it was with the Fish & Wildlifes Chief Pilot, who told me he had acquired,15K hours in Skywagons; (Andy Stinson) that started flying Skywagons the first year they came out 1953.....
    He taught to land in ANY wind over
    15kts Xwind:
    To land the 185 on one wheel, and hold it on one wheel until the aileron wont hold it anymore; with
    NO FLAPS.......





    Sent from my LM-X210 using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    Last edited by TurboBeaver; 04-28-2019 at 04:23 AM.
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  35. #35

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    To land a Skywagon with no flaps requires either an unusually high AOA or higher than normal speed. Neither suits me for landing in challenging wind conditions. I prefer to mimimize the horizontal component of the landing. That’s best done with flaps.
    Last edited by stewartb; 04-28-2019 at 08:30 AM.
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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Foy View Post
    Did eight wheel landings today with a 10 kt right cross. No bad ones and three greasers. It's coming. 10 hrs in the plane so far.

    Slightly heavy yoke and relax back pressure when it touches.

    Brakes are light years better than the Cub. New ABI units and overhauled masters.
    Did you get the new engine broken in already?
    Steve Pierce

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  37. #37
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    I think it is. CHTs are good and only used 2 qts of oil in first 10 hours. Engine guy says that the Nickel Carbide cylinders seat the rings quickly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Did you get the new engine broken in already?
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Long approaches, short approaches, steep over obstacles in a raging crosswind..... always 40* flaps. Always the same speed. If you're bouncing landings you probably need to do more slow flight to learn to trust the airplane. Learn how to bring it in steep with power off and shallow with power on. And everything in between. The gear isn't responsible for bouncing.
    Read This, IMHO this post sums everything you need to know about landing a skywagon. If at the end of the day you're not landing sweetly, Read it again.

    Contrary to what else I am reading here, I think the 180/5 are really pussycats, and I think they land quite sweetly. If it isn't, you just need to spend a little more time on it. When I have not flown mine for a month or two, it takes me a few shots at it to get back in the game, and I fly largish T/W airplanes virtually every day. That doesn't mean the airplane is challenging, it just means I'm not as proficient in it as I could be.

    I am an always full flapper, and wind has never been reason enough for me to change that. Training / playing are about the only reasons I can see that I'd purposefully land my airplane faster than it could be landed. After all, sooner or later you are going to have to deal with slowing it down to a complete stop, regardless of where your flaps are. Why not make the bulk of your landings done in the slowest possible configuration, there by making the bulk of your experience there? If you are concerned about landing in any configuration, that infers you are concerned about a boo-boo. Why not make that boo-boo as slow as you possibly could?

    I also don't see any point in muddying this post with tire size. If you can't land a Skywagon sweetly on Bushwheels, you need more dual. Period. And preferably from someone who has been there done that. A 180/5 on big tires is pretty close to the bottom of my list of challenging airplanes to fly/land. In fact I'd say it's almost cheating. That's not meant to be condescending, or to suggest I am an extraordinary pilot. In fact I am very average at best. Proficient? yes, talented? not so much. This is just my honest opinion of the airplane.

    Lastly, I don't prefer to land an airplane with it's tail proudly flying like a kite (not really landing, but driving it on), however, I can understand why someone might want to perfect that. SIMPLE.... because he wants to MASTER that wing. He wants to OWN it. I say Kuddos to the guy who sees a deficiency and wants to polish on it, regardless of who else lands there airplane in that configuration.

    Take care, Rob
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    So the real question is why? I’ve never had the desire or need to do wheel landings beyond meeting the FAA requirements when training a new tailwheel pilot.
    Someone else might ask "why 3 point"?
    Personally I almost always wheel land my 180 on pavement,
    and almost always 3-point on grass or dirt.
    Both with flaps 40.
    Landing in a crosswind, generally I do a wheel landing and generally with flaps 40.
    Touchdown speed is slower with the 3 pointers,
    but I can still stop reasonably short wheeling it on.
    Esp if I pinch on the binders right away and keep the tail from coming up with elevator.
    FWIW I know some guys who ALWAYS 3-point it,
    and some other who ALWAYS wheel it on.
    Myself, I prefer to be current and proficient at both.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  40. #40
    gbflyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    Read This, IMHO this post sums everything you need to know about landing a skywagon. If at the end of the day you're not landing sweetly, Read it again.

    Contrary to what else I am reading here, I think the 180/5 are really pussycats, and I think they land quite sweetly. If it isn't, you just need to spend a little more time on it. When I have not flown mine for a month or two, it takes me a few shots at it to get back in the game, and I fly largish T/W airplanes virtually every day. That doesn't mean the airplane is challenging, it just means I'm not as proficient in it as I could be.

    I am an always full flapper, and wind has never been reason enough for me to change that. Training / playing are about the only reasons I can see that I'd purposefully land my airplane faster than it could be landed. After all, sooner or later you are going to have to deal with slowing it down to a complete stop, regardless of where your flaps are. Why not make the bulk of your landings done in the slowest possible configuration, there by making the bulk of your experience there? If you are concerned about landing in any configuration, that infers you are concerned about a boo-boo. Why not make that boo-boo as slow as you possibly could?

    I also don't see any point in muddying this post with tire size. If you can't land a Skywagon sweetly on Bushwheels, you need more dual. Period. And preferably from someone who has been there done that. A 180/5 on big tires is pretty close to the bottom of my list of challenging airplanes to fly/land. In fact I'd say it's almost cheating. That's not meant to be condescending, or to suggest I am an extraordinary pilot. In fact I am very average at best. Proficient? yes, talented? not so much. This is just my honest opinion of the airplane.

    Lastly, I don't prefer to land an airplane with it's tail proudly flying like a kite (not really landing, but driving it on), however, I can understand why someone might want to perfect that. SIMPLE.... because he wants to MASTER that wing. He wants to OWN it. I say Kuddos to the guy who sees a deficiency and wants to polish on it, regardless of who else lands there airplane in that configuration.

    Take care, Rob
    Pretty much. Nothing to do with bounce, but I might add that if the gear isn’t aligned, they can be a little temperamental. We had one that spent its life on floats. The shop threw it on gear right before we got it without putting it on greased plates. It was a handful until we got it aligned right. Something to check if a person is really fighting ground handling.

    Great airplane, the one that put Cessna on the map.

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