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Thread: Short field(s) for a 185

  1. #1

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    Short field(s) for a 185

    Realize it's an open-ended question, but, presuming reasonably competent pilots, is it realistic to routinely work a 185 off of a 900'-ish dirt strip (plus say 400' more that's suitable for staying in ground effect of dragging in, not good for rolling on,...with lots of good approach room on either end)?

    Thinking of letting some folks use the cabin with their rip-snorter 185's.....not sure if my if-I-do-my-part-I-taxi-1/2-the-length-after-landing-strip I use for the -12 is well suited for the 185.
    Back In Alaska

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    For a guy with good skills and decent judgement regarding weight and weather? 900' is plenty.
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    FdxLou's Avatar
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    Open approaches is the key. Even a heavy 185 shouldn't use more than 600+ ft to roll out. Like Stewart said, good skills are required.1
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    Never met him but in the past I have been referred to Leigh Smith who bases out of his own 950' strip. http://www.techflying.com/leigh-smith.html


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org

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    Charlie Longley's Avatar
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    900’ is fine as long as skills are good. We used to go into a lot shorter when I was flying out of Yakutat.
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    I am on a 1000’ strip with trees on either end. Most of the 185’s use about half of the strip for landing, and a lot less for departure. This is with the density altitude at sea level, and with a decent load.
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  7. #7

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    I regularly fly my (bit heavy, late model 180 with an IO520) off my strip 1250 x 40 @ 725 MSL, has bluff approaches and is uphill both ways and with cuts in the trees on the ends and never use more than half to get stopped without heavy breaking and about 1/3 to half for take off depending on temp and load. For landing just be on the numbers and get good at hitting your spot and make sure it’s done flying when you do and life is good.
    Last edited by OLDCROWE; 09-17-2019 at 08:10 AM.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!
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    algonquin's Avatar
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    The numbers work for any wagon, but a 900’ strip look really short the first few time into one. Just ask them to fly light until they get used to landing there.
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    SJ's Avatar
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    Remember: 900 feet in Alaska at sea level is a whole lot longer than 900 feet in the mountains in the summer. There are places where 900 feet is NOT enough, and places where it is plenty.

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------
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    I’ve flown with Leigh Smith into his back yard strip. It seemed like a non-event but I had an expert in the right seat, we were light, the winds were light, the density altitude was pretty low, etc.

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    Speedo's Avatar
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    Leigh is a particularly good stick who really understands planes. Someone who spends some time flying with him is bound to come out the better for it.
    Speedo

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    Colorguns's Avatar
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    I have watched a guy with a C185AM on 2790 EDO do TO n LNDings on a 900’ grass strip, but he flew all day long out of 1200’ and could spot land that plane like a STOL plane. Incredible/impressive to watch. It all come down to knowing your bird and what it can and what you can do.

    Doug

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    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa12drvr View Post
    Realize it's an open-ended question, but, presuming reasonably competent pilots, is it realistic to routinely work a 185 off of a 900'-ish dirt strip (plus say 400' more that's suitable for staying in ground effect of dragging in, not good for rolling on,...with lots of good approach room on either end)?

    Thinking of letting some folks use the cabin with their rip-snorter 185's.....not sure if my if-I-do-my-part-I-taxi-1/2-the-length-after-landing-strip I use for the -12 is well suited for the 185.
    "I only need 600 feet of my 2500' runway" is not the same as "I can go into a 900' long strip"

    Somebody can land 100 times on the first half of our 2000' strip here. Then park a truck in the middle and see how they do.

    Its all about perspective.


    Tim

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    The OP lives in Alaska. It's unlikely that any local Skywagon driver isn't familiar with what 900' looks like. Better yet that somebody already defined 900' so they don't have to guestimate. At any rate the permission comes from the OP, the decision comes from the pilot. I believe his concern is with the permission. RL, most of the Skywagon guys I know wouldn't use half of your 900' at average weights in decent weather. Getting in is always easier than getting out, and 900' is plenty for leaving with a good margin for safety.
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    The OP lives in Alaska. It's unlikely that any local Skywagon driver isn't familiar with what 900' looks like. Better yet that somebody already defined 900' so they don't have to guestimate. At any rate the permission comes from the OP, the decision comes from the pilot. I believe his concern is with the permission. RL, most of the Skywagon guys I know wouldn't use half of your 900' at average weights in decent weather. Getting in is always easier than getting out, and 900' is plenty for leaving with a good margin for safety.

    Thanks for all the replies and thanks, Stewart for this one in particular.

    Both myself and the potential user are Alaska pilots and harking back to the first landing of the -12 on a paced off 800' river bar, I understand how small stuff looks when setting up an approach.....

    My buddy who is contemplating using the place (stress he's now contemplating "Oh, I have to go to the creek to get water after freezeup?...") alleges pretty strongly that he can work out of 600'. I'll take a grain of salt with that.....but the old man used to routinely fly his often overloaded 180 in and out of this strip (in heavy, not out )

    In any case, the approaches are good...perfectly clear on one end, if one drops over the trees on the other end, that leaves about 300' to drag it in before the strip, and if one goes by the roller stick measure, the good part of the strip is more like 1000' and the strip is at 1160' elevation.

    Thanks for the info and insight.
    Back In Alaska

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