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Thread: Dead Stick!

  1. #1
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Dead Stick!

    It finally happened after 45 plus years of flying. Catastrophic failure in a friend's 182. Luckily we were able to put it into KPHK. All is well after I extracted the seat cushion from my clenched cheeks. Engine totally seized on 1/2 mile final.

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    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"
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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    You used up another one of your lives Eddie.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  3. #3
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Still more left than you!


    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    You used up another one of your lives Eddie.
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"
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    n40ff's Avatar
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    Ouch. At least seat cushions are cheap. The engine? Anyone need a anchor. Glade you guys got down alright, engines are just money.
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    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Continental has a promotion going where they will take any core towards a factory reman. The engine is a Texas Skyways 250 HP. Not casting any disparage until the post mortem. Just glad we didn't end up in a sugar cane field. The choice, until I spied Pahokee, was Okachobee levee or a cane field. The engine stayed running just long enough to reach the airport. If it had stopped dead we would have been screwed.

    I will say an extra prayer tonight!
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"
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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n40ff View Post
    The engine? Anyone need a anchor.
    Not quite.
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    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  7. #7
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Yikes! Been practicing some dead-sticks and turn-backs lately. You've reinforced the decision to do so.

    Good job!
    Gordon

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

  8. #8
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Now that I have had time to reflect, I thought of several things we could have done. When the engine started to go South, we were not in range of Pahokee. I immediately started looking for potential landing sites. We were South bound along the Lake Okeechobee Levee. The lake to the right was out. The top of the levee is only about 6-8 ft wide. My first choice was a big sugar cane field to the left. I then spied KPHK at two o'clock. Luckily, the engine held together long enough to put us within gliding distance. I was very busy coaching as we ended up high and had to S turn and slip with 40 flaps.

    What else could I have done.
    1. Crack door
    2. Master off
    3. Fuel off.
    4. Pray!

    Next time I fly I am going to put my 180 above the 6300 ft of grass at X58 and dead stick it in. What is a good power setting to simulate a seized engine other than actually stopping the prop?




    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Misch View Post
    Yikes! Been practicing some dead-sticks and turn-backs lately. You've reinforced the decision to do so.

    Good job!
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"
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  9. #9
    kestrel's Avatar
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    I've heard suggested idle with the prop control full back/course pitch.
    --
    Bearhawk, RV-4

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    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Dead Stick!

    Or do like Mark Murphy does, and just stop the prop. Seems unnerving until you do it a few times. There is an element of risk. Personally I probably wouldn’t do it alone at this point.


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    Cubus Maximus's Avatar
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    ...regardless if its condition...?

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    phdigger123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Foy View Post
    What is a good power setting to simulate a seized engine other than actually stopping the prop?
    That is the same question you asked about your Super Cub.

  13. #13
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Foy View Post
    ...Next time I fly I am going to put my 180 above the 6300 ft of grass at X58 and dead stick it in. What is a good power setting to simulate a seized engine other than actually stopping the prop?
    Over the years different people have told me different power settings for the simulation. None of them in my view matched the real thing. With your nice long grass strip, just do what you did with your Cub. Go up high, pull the mixture, find the best glide speed for your situation leaving enough excess to make a comfortable flair and just do it. You can always use the starter if you start feeling uncomfortable.
    N1PA
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    kestrel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    Or do like Mark Murphy does, and just stop the prop. Seems unnerving until you do it a few times. There is an element of risk. Personally I probably wouldn’t do it alone at this point.
    I used to do it all the time in a J-3 and a C-172 with my father. One time we caught a thermal with the the J-3 and climbed 700 ft with the prop stopped. We then returned for our usual dead-stick landing.

    He always said I wasn't allowed to do it in his planes solo until I had a glider rating. I never earned the glider rating and it took so long for me to get my own plane that I no longer feel the confidence I did then. I need to go do some practice on a long runway.

    ...and for those that haven't tried an air restart of a 65 hp J-3 (no starter), at least with this one it took a dive just about at red-line (122mph?) to get the prop turning again. We rarely did the restart choosing the deadstick landing instead.
    --
    Bearhawk, RV-4

  15. #15
    Doug Budd's Avatar
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    Twin landed one day at the airport the engine seized up right over the threshold that Rod was laying on top of the case the rest of the rods not much better


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  16. #16
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Another thing Eddie, While the prop is windmilling change the pitch from full low pitch to full high pitch and notice the difference in rate of descent. Then compare that to the prop being stopped altogether. You may need to almost stall the plane to get slow enough to stop the prop.
    N1PA

  17. #17
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    It will be something to do that appeals to the engineer/test pilot in me. I plan to conduct tests in various conditions. 1.Windmilling prop with engine in idle and course pitch. 2. Windmilling prop in fine pitch. 3. Windmilling prop with mixture at cutoff. 4. Prop stopped. All this will be done overhead X58 in case Murphy rears his head. I also will try different glide speeds and note the descent rates.

    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Another thing Eddie, While the prop is windmilling change the pitch from full low pitch to full high pitch and notice the difference in rate of descent. Then compare that to the prop being stopped altogether. You may need to almost stall the plane to get slow enough to stop the prop.
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"
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  18. #18
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Pete,
    Give me your input on a test profile. I will take a second pilot to record data. Hopefully the same one I was flying with in the incident.
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Budd View Post
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    Twin landed one day at the airport the engine seized up right over the threshold that Rod was laying on top of the case the rest of the rods not much better


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    Somebody picked that rib bone clean.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

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    Wow great job getting on the ground in one piece! I gotta say you’ve been blessed all that time and no engine failures. I’ve had 5, three in single engine. One fire and numerous precautionary returns. That, that doesn’t kill us makes us smarter I always say! I think of those guys on YouTube waterskiing their aircraft and often think what would happen if the time for them is wrong........I guess it’s the old vs bold pilot thing.
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  21. #21
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Foy View Post
    Pete,
    Give me your input on a test profile. I will take a second pilot to record data. Hopefully the same one I was flying with in the incident.
    How about something like this on a spread sheet. You could calculate the distance over ground.

    Throttle closed, Mixture rich, Propeller low pitch, Flaps up
    IAS, Rate of Descent, (or altitude lost /minute, this is more accurate), Distance over ground/minute
    100
    90
    80
    70
    60
    50
    Throttle closed, Mixture rich, Propeller high pitch, Flaps up
    IAS, Rate of Descent, (or altitude lost /minute), Distance over ground/minute
    100
    90
    80
    70
    60
    50
    Throttle closed, Mixture idle cutoff, Propeller low pitch, Flaps up
    IAS, Rate of Descent, (or altitude lost /minute), Distance over ground/minute
    100
    90
    80
    70
    60
    50
    Throttle closed, Mixture idle cutoff, Propeller high pitch, Flaps up
    IAS, Rate of Descent, (or altitude lost /minute), Distance over ground/minute
    100
    90
    80
    70
    60
    50
    Propeller stopped, Flaps up
    IAS, Rate of Descent, (or altitude lost /minute), Distance over ground/minute
    100
    90
    80
    70
    60
    50
    You will likely find that the maximum prop stopped speed is rather low. This varies from plane to plane, different propeller designs and with differing compression ratios

    Preferably done in smooth air. The objective would be the best speed for the most distance over ground/minute.
    You could do one with the flaps 10 degrees for comparison. I suspect that clean would be optimum.

    For recording purposes, you could make two columns for the altitude lost. One for the starting altitude and the the other for the ending altitude for each speed. This may be more convenient for the data taker.

    You also may learn that the propeller in high pitch is better. Thereby eliminating the low pitch tests, though completing the entire profile may prove to be eyeopening.

    I await the results. This will be interesting. This will also show another advantage to the use of a constant speed prop in any airplane. It will also show the braking action (high drag) of the propeller being in low pitch.
    Last edited by skywagon8a; 09-14-2019 at 07:20 AM.
    N1PA
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  22. #22

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    Just a point of view but why is it called a "dead stick"? The stick is the only thing that is working!
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  23. #23
    txpacer's Avatar
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    When I saw the thread, I thought maybe Eddie was asking Doc Randy for help.
    Quote Originally Posted by GeeBee View Post
    Just a point of view but why is it called a "dead stick"? The stick is the only thing that is working!

  24. #24
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Here is a spreadsheet I started some time ago, but never got around to collecting data. I'ts crude still, needs some fine tuning, but perhaps a start. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing
    Gordon

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    PerryB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Misch View Post
    I'ts crude still, needs some fine tuning,https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing
    As does it's creator.
    After Monday and Tuesday, even the calendar says WTF !

  26. #26
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Shoulda known - that dang guy has too much time on his hands. Good thing too; took him over a day to think of that.
    Gordon

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    PerryB's Avatar
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    If it weren't for you I'd have nothing to keep me entertained here.
    After Monday and Tuesday, even the calendar says WTF !

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    WhiskeyMike's Avatar
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    In your glide calculations you are assuming the engine is not windmilling against a broken or damaged component which would create more drag. Plenty of dead stick landings aren't because of a fuel or ignition failure, but a broken component. It changes the math slightly, and BTW, don't forget weight at the time of occurrence, density altitude, wind - and as illustrated in the movie, "Miracle on the Hudson," how long it takes to figure out what is/was happening. From my own experiences, sometimes it isn't how far you can go, but how great an angle of descent you can accomplish without generating excess/unwanted airspeed. To rephrase that, I'm saying you might be "right on top of your spot" but too high to go straight in or too low to make a 360. Sometimes you want extra speed for maneuvering - like going around light poles, up over embankments, or over bridge abutments.
    Last edited by WhiskeyMike; 09-16-2019 at 05:15 PM.

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    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Set to do the flight test Thursday. I think it will take several flights. Thursday, we will investigate the glide with the engine shutdown and the prop windmilling and stopped. If you don't hear from me again, you will know why. My co-pilot is the one from the dead stick incident. He is an MD who does base jumping and that crazy stuff. We won't attempt any dead stick landings. Maybe later when I am solo. I think he has a little PTSD.

    If I can't dead stick into a 6300 ft runway with a good setup, I will surrender my ticket.
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"
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  30. #30
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Base jumping and PTSD???
    N1PA

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    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Here is the raw data. EDIT: 68 C-180H Two pilots, 1/2 fuel, 2330 lbs. CG 38.6
    80 degree summer Florida day. Done from 5 to 3 thousand MSL. 88 inch Black Mac prop.

    Throttle closed, Mixture rich, Propeller low pitch, Flaps up
    IAS, Rate of Descent, (or altitude lost /minute, this is more accurate), Distance over ground/minute
    100
    90 1200 FPM
    80 850 FPM
    70 800 FPM
    60 700 FPM
    50
    Throttle closed, Mixture rich, Propeller high pitch, Flaps up
    IAS, Rate of Descent, (or altitude lost /minute), Distance over ground/minute
    100
    90 910 FPM
    80 825 FPM
    70 700 FPM
    60 550 FPM
    50
    Throttle closed, Mixture idle cutoff, Propeller low pitch, Flaps up
    IAS, Rate of Descent, (or altitude lost /minute), Distance over ground/minute
    100
    90 1300 FPM
    80 1000 FPM
    70 780 FPM
    60 900 FPM (aircraft stalled and sinking)
    50
    Throttle closed, Mixture idle cutoff, Propeller high pitch, Flaps up
    IAS, Rate of Descent, (or altitude lost /minute), Distance over ground/minute
    100
    90 1300 FPM
    80 1100 FPM
    70 800 FPM
    60 900 FPM (again, stalled and mushing)
    50
    Propeller stopped, Flaps up

    Could not get the prop to stop down to 50 mph in coarse or fine pitch. Weather was closing in so we stopped there.

    Surprisingly, the prop pitch had little effect on a windmilling, dead engine.
    Here is what the POH shows.

    1968 C-180 POH

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    Last edited by Eddie Foy; 09-21-2019 at 11:11 AM.
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  32. #32
    L18C-95's Avatar
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    FWIW the difference in gliding range between coarse and full fine in a Pitts is dramatic. In full fine the Pitts feels as if it is carrying out an auto rotation


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  33. #33
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    High pitch / low pitch terminology always confused me.
    Judging from the sink rate results,
    I'm assuming "low pitch" means fine pitch (blue knob pushed in),
    "high pitch" means coarse pitch (blue knob pulled out)?
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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  34. #34
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    You assume correctly!


    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    High pitch / low pitch terminology always confused me.
    Judging from the sink rate results,
    I'm assuming "low pitch" means fine pitch (blue knob pushed in),
    "high pitch" means coarse pitch (blue knob pulled out)?
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"

  35. #35
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    I did some math with the new numbers in red. The best average distance and time from 5000 feet is at 60 mph with the engine idle and high pitch.
    With the engine shut down it is 70 mph and low pitch. It is interesting that perhaps with the engine shut down there are not enough rpms to produce enough oil pressure to move the prop to high pitch.
    I also figured the numbers for 85 mph since that is Cessna's suggestion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Foy View Post
    Here is the raw data. Two pilots, 1/2 fuel, 2330 lbs. CG 38.6
    80 degree summer Florida day. Done from 5 to 3 thousand MSL. 88 inch Black Mac prop.

    IAS, Rate of Descent, (or altitude lost /minute, this is more accurate), Distance over ground/minute

    Throttle closed, Mixture rich, Propeller high pitch, Flaps up
    IAS, Rate of Descent, (or altitude lost /minute), Distance over ground/minute
    100..............Time from 5000'......distance in miles
    90 910 FPM.........5.49 minutes........8.24
    85 867 FPM.........5.77 minutes........8.17
    80 825 FPM.........6.06 minutes........8.08
    70 700 FPM.........7.14 minutes........8.33
    60 550 FPM.........9.09 minutes........9.09
    50
    Throttle closed, Mixture idle cutoff, Propeller low pitch, Flaps up
    IAS, Rate of Descent, (or altitude lost /minute), Distance over ground/minute
    100..............Time from 5000'......distance in miles
    90 1300 FPM.......3.85 minutes........5.77
    85 1150 FPM.......4.35 minutes........6.16
    80 1000 FPM.......5.00 minutes........6.67
    70 780 FPM.........6.41 minutes........7.48
    60 900 FPM (aircraft stalled and sinking)

    Propeller stopped, Flaps up

    Could not get the prop to stop down to 50 mph in coarse or fine pitch. Weather was closing in so we stopped there.

    Surprisingly, the prop pitch had little effect on a windmilling, dead engine.
    Here is what the POH shows.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Not being able to stop the prop is not surprising, as the aluminum prop with it's good flywheel characteristics is very efficient. You would likely have to zoom climb at just above stall speed to get an extra low speed to get the prop to stop. Then when you picked up just a little speed it may start turning again. You would likely sacrifice time and altitude in the effort for a net loss in a real emergency. It would be an interesting experiment though.

    As a point of interest I tried this with a 727-200 once from 10,000 to sea level with the engines idle and 250 knots. It went 41 miles, twice the distance of a 185 per Cessna.

    I would suggest that if in a real situation that you trade some altitude for more speed when almost down. This will give you enough speed to flare, arresting the rate of descent for a smooth landing. That may be the reason that Cessna is recommending 85 mph?
    N1PA

  36. #36
    kestrel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    I did some math with the new numbers in red. The best average distance and time from 5000 feet is at 60 mph with the engine idle and high pitch.
    With the engine shut down it is 70 mph and low pitch.
    The accuracy of the data needs to be considered. Physics says that for a given configuration as speed increases from stall the sink rate will reduce and glide ratio will increase until reaching lowest sink speed. Then the sink rate will increase until best glide ratio speed. Then the sink rate will increase more rapidly and glide ratio gets worse. The data doesn't show that, perhaps to do air currents or other factors that couldn't be controlled. ...something to consider when planning glide distance, you may not get what you planned for.

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    As a point of interest I tried this with a 727-200 once from 10,000 to sea level with the engines idle and 250 knots. It went 41 miles, twice the distance of a 185 per Cessna.
    Airliners are very efficient, as is necessary for any high speed aircraft. The result can be very good glide ratios and typically will be if the wing aspect ratio is high enough, even if the sink rates are high.
    --
    Bearhawk, RV-4

  37. #37
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Just a thought....I remember reading a Berry Schiff article years ago where he suggested in some situations trimming to "minimum sink" airspeed might be better than trimming to "best glide" speed. The idea was to have more time in the air to sort out a problem, call ATC, whatever...
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  38. #38
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Foy View Post

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    Curious what year POH that's from.
    The owners manual for my 53 model doesn't have best glide info,
    nor does the 1956 owners manual that I have.
    Somebody was kind enough to send me this scan of the best glide chart from their later model POH, not sure what year though.
    There's a significant difference in glide ratios -- 7.9:1 for my chart & 11:1 for yours.
    FWIW I see the best glide speed for your is 85 & mine is 80.

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    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  39. #39
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    ...FWIW I see the best glide speed for your is 85 & mine is 80.
    I assume that you have a 180? Eddie has a 185. Different gross weights. Also Eddie's flight test was done at less than maximum gross. I assume that Cessna's manual was based on maximum gross weight.

    This may account for the differences you are seeing.
    N1PA
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  40. #40
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    I might add that Cessna's data would be presented at the most adverse CG as well as max gross weight.
    N1PA

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