Results 1 to 37 of 37

Thread: Ground handling on skis; tight turns

  1. #1
    spinner2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    1,824
    Post Thanks / Like

    Ground handling on skis; tight turns

    Rather than hijack the no-chains thread, I started this one. Courierguy made this comment that prompted this: “I could be fooling myself, wishful thinking, but I think having a steerable tw when on skis lets me make a tighter turn around, when I goose it with stick back and full rudder.”

    I’d like to hear what others have to say on turning tight on the ground. My experience with both straight board skis and Airglas LW2500s is that I can make my tightest turn when I put in full left rudder, gas it and put in some forward stick to lighten the tail. Depending on the conditions it’ll swish around pretty darn quick like this. Especially with the board skis.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	E625460C-EBD8-48D6-AA65-2CEBF658BF0D.jpeg 
Views:	71 
Size:	275.5 KB 
ID:	53726

    This picture is from this winter on the LW2500s and shows somewhat how the turn went. There is a lot of snow here, probably 6’ or so but there’s a hard crust where the sun had worked on it.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	01571175-02A5-467E-82BA-50B5806D9DAA.jpeg 
Views:	85 
Size:	217.5 KB 
ID:	53727

    This is my tail wheel setup. No ski needed on the crust but I like it when there’s a lot of powder. And a steerable tail wheel is a must on skis.
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp

  2. #2
    irishfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Penetanguishene, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    3,002
    Post Thanks / Like
    Left turn to use the P factor, full left rudder, stick forward, tail in the air and give'r..
    Likes Dave Calkins liked this post

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,284
    Post Thanks / Like
    I have AWB 2500 B Skis with 2 inch plastic and tail ski on my cub. If I power on too hard they will dig in and stop sideways. For a tight turn it is proper trim, tail just off the snow, start with full power full right or left rudder and modulate power trough the turn as you come back to the track give the rudder a double kick to make sure tailwheel locks in. Left is tighter then right but not by that much.
    DENNY
    Edit: Got to thinking about this and I do unweight the tail but keep the tire/ski on the snow to help with the turn. Especially the start and finish.
    Last edited by DENNY; 01-24-2021 at 11:09 PM.
    Likes 40m liked this post

  4. #4
    mvivion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Bozeman,MT
    Posts
    11,343
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by DENNY View Post
    I have AWB 2500 B Skis with 2 inch plastic and tail ski on my cub. If I power on too hard they will dig in and stop sideways. For a tight turn it is proper trim, tail just off the snow, start with full power full right or left rudder and modulate power trough the turn as you come back to the track give the rudder a double kick to make sure tailwheel locks in. Left is tighter then right but not by that much.
    DENNY
    As the others implied, full left rudder, stick forward and BLASTS of power. Of course if you hold that power in, your skis may dig in. So quick blasts of power. It sounds rude. I once asked a Lycoming tech rep whether he thought this was abusing the engine. He asked two questions:

    1. Is the engine warm? I answered yes
    2. What’s the alternative? I answered “Lots of digging, shoving etc

    His response: blast away.

    But turning with the tail wheel or ski on the surface: Better have lots of room.

    MTV
    Likes Hardtailjohn liked this post

  5. #5
    sub3's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    KANE
    Posts
    124
    Post Thanks / Like
    Plan Ahead, manage your energy, left rudder, stick forward to lighten the tail and like the above said, bursts of power
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_3044.jpg 
Views:	55 
Size:	68.1 KB 
ID:	53734  
    Likes courierguy liked this post

  6. #6
    jrussl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    616
    Post Thanks / Like
    What others have said above

    Get tail up and use short blasts of power.




    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Likes dstr59, scout88305 liked this post

  7. #7
    JP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    The Big Woods of Maine
    Posts
    3,267
    Post Thanks / Like
    Get it moving. Keep it going. Tail up. Power as needed. Left turns preferred. Inside aileron down. Full rudder. Power. Power. Once you get the hang of it you can make very tight turns.
    JP Russell--The Cub Therapist
    1947 PA-11 Cub Special

  8. #8
    Farmboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Glens Falls, NY
    Posts
    2,589
    Post Thanks / Like
    I got the hang of turning JP. I went around 4 times this morning on the ice covered grass we have due to lack of snow. Stopping the turn is the hard part. LOL!
    Likes DENNY, courierguy, Hardtailjohn liked this post

  9. #9
    aktango58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    18AA
    Posts
    9,453
    Post Thanks / Like
    On the 180 I found if I lifted the tail and kept it flying it would turn tight, but I would gain speed and extend the diameter.

    My best turn radius was to go full left rudder, power up where if I push the yoke forward it would lift the tail, not full power, but enough, (used full flaps on the 180 to assist this), then I would bump the yoke forward just enough to get the tailwheel to clear the snow and let it back down. The tail would move just a short ways, so I would not get momentum to put side loads on the plane, or cause the turn to get wide.

    Took some practice, but worked good. FYI: this was done in 2' of fresh snow or more usually.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
    Likes BC12D-4-85 liked this post

  10. #10
    courierguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Inkom, Idaho
    Posts
    1,796
    Post Thanks / Like
    Some nice tight turnarounds shown above! I just shot a dozen or so landings right before sunset, and now I feel the need to backup, or not, my statement that tail down /stick back is better. Looking at a lot of pics of mine, I see it appears i keep the tail UP a lot. These two shots are my typical areas I operate in, I land on level snow rarely, and most of the upslopes have a camber left/right, just to keep things interesting. Whatever I'm doing, I'm going to keep doing it...., but the next time I'm out and the conditions are good I'll do some comparative turnarounds using both techniques. The one thing we all agree on is POWER! I think the answer may be something along the lines of "it depends on the conditions." Flat ice V steep hill powder, etc.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2-4-14 002.jpg 
Views:	58 
Size:	162.1 KB 
ID:	53737   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	8640'.jpg 
Views:	74 
Size:	124.3 KB 
ID:	53738  
    Last edited by courierguy; 01-25-2021 at 08:40 AM.
    Likes sub3, Dave Calkins liked this post

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Talkeetna Alaska
    Posts
    281
    Post Thanks / Like
    Be careful with high power tight turns with spring landing gear. It is possible to tuck the outside leg. Not good....
    Likes mam90, Dave Calkins liked this post

  12. #12
    Kodiakmack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    winters in Utah, Summers in Idaho
    Posts
    113
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Randyk View Post
    Be careful with high power tight turns with spring landing gear. It is possible to tuck the outside leg. Not good....
    Haven’t seen that but have seen the inside gear endure pilot assisted realignment as it didn’t have forward movement during a tight turn.


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    HAVE FUN. DON'T DIE.

  13. #13
    Kodiakmack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    winters in Utah, Summers in Idaho
    Posts
    113
    Post Thanks / Like
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0708.JPG 
Views:	86 
Size:	117.4 KB 
ID:	53739

    This is myself firmly stuck 90 degrees to the takeoff run at this strip. Had to unload everybody, tramp a turnout, and full power, full forward stick, some flaps, and some working back and forth of all of the above to get out.


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    HAVE FUN. DON'T DIE.
    Thanks A very stick puppy, windy thanked for this post
    Likes DENNY, sub3 liked this post

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Talkeetna Alaska
    Posts
    281
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Kodiakmack View Post
    Haven’t seen that but have seen the inside gear endure pilot assisted realignment as it didn’t have forward movement during a tight turn.


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    Interesting - more than once I've seen the inside gear attachment assembly FAIL during pilot assisted realignment as it didn’t have forward movement during a tight turn. The sound of breaking bolts 100 miles from the nearest settlement is eerie.
    Last edited by Randyk; 01-25-2021 at 07:58 AM.

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    808
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Randyk View Post
    Be careful with high power tight turns with spring landing gear. It is possible to tuck the outside leg. Not good....
    Yep, for sure... Years ago we had a 185 go to Teslin to help recover an Apache that had made an emergency landing on a frozen lake. Ferrying equipment in, the pilot made a tight “step turn” and promptly folded the outside gear. Luckily, a local native man they had hired to help was savvy enough to jump out and start gathering wood and setup a camp. Took 4 days to get them all out to Teslin. This was in the mid 70’s. Fast forward to last year, I’m flying my Cub to Alaska. Stop in Teslin to wait for weather to improve and a guy drives up who saw me land and wants to know if I need anything. He takes me to town for coffee, and on a whim I ask if he knew anything about the double plane rescue in the 70’s. He smiles and said “I was in the right front seat of the 185, how are Steve and Barney?”
    Likes Farmboy, spinner2 liked this post

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Wolf Lake, AK
    Posts
    5,930
    Post Thanks / Like
    Turns depend on snow (or ice) conditions and airplane load. I spend much of my ski time on a creek too narrow to do a 180° turn so I hook a rope on the tail spring and pull it around. Walking back and forth from tail to skis to unload the torque load on the skis can wear me out in deep snow. When there's adequate space and suitable snow, like no big drifts or pools of overflow or water on smooth ice, and no unfavorable winds, turning is no big deal. The years parked at the end of finger 5 at Hood come to mind. Easy on some days, impossible on others.
    Likes mam90, Dave Calkins liked this post

  17. #17
    mvivion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Bozeman,MT
    Posts
    11,343
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Randyk View Post
    Interesting - more than once I've seen the inside gear attachment assembly FAIL during pilot assisted realignment as it didn’t have forward movement during a tight turn. The sound of breaking bolts 100 miles from the nearest settlement is eerie.
    True story that.....

    MTV

  18. #18
    cubdriver2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    upstate NY
    Posts
    10,494
    Post Thanks / Like
    I turn left when I can. My place is narrow and I turn to the right so that I'm turning towards the hill and not the slope to a swamp on the left. So most times I turn away from the hazards.

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  19. #19
    mvivion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Bozeman,MT
    Posts
    11,343
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by mam90 View Post
    Yep, for sure... Years ago we had a 185 go to Teslin to help recover an Apache that had made an emergency landing on a frozen lake. Ferrying equipment in, the pilot made a tight “step turn” and promptly folded the outside gear. Luckily, a local native man they had hired to help was savvy enough to jump out and start gathering wood and setup a camp. Took 4 days to get them all out to Teslin. This was in the mid 70’s. Fast forward to last year, I’m flying my Cub to Alaska. Stop in Teslin to wait for weather to improve and a guy drives up who saw me land and wants to know if I need anything. He takes me to town for coffee, and on a whim I ask if he knew anything about the double plane rescue in the 70’s. He smiles and said “I was in the right front seat of the 185, how are Steve and Barney?”
    Aviation is a very small world.

    MTV
    Likes mam90 liked this post

  20. #20
    JP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    The Big Woods of Maine
    Posts
    3,267
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    I got the hang of turning JP. I went around 4 times this morning on the ice covered grass we have due to lack of snow. Stopping the turn is the hard part. LOL!
    What is this stopping thing you speak of? We 90 hp people learn early and often that an object in motion likely will stay in motion and not get stuck or "turned out".

    I have a whole new learning experience ahead of me as I transition to the new footware. They are a lot wider in the front than the Feds so it will be interesting to see how they turn.

    Now, we just need snow. And lots of it.
    JP Russell--The Cub Therapist
    1947 PA-11 Cub Special
    Likes BC12D-4-85 liked this post

  21. #21

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Wolf Lake, AK
    Posts
    5,930
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Randyk View Post
    Interesting - more than once I've seen the inside gear attachment assembly FAIL during pilot assisted realignment as it didn’t have forward movement during a tight turn. The sound of breaking bolts 100 miles from the nearest settlement is eerie.
    The tightest snow turn I saw was when my neighbor asked to to be a human dead-man anchor on the left strut so he could power the plane around in deep snow. In the glimpses I got of the skis amidst being blasted with snow the torque in the inside ski was scary. I can't imagine duplicating that with a power turn alone. I used to think about tying one wing to an ice screw and power turning around it. I dismissed that idea. I never split my hydraulics to drop just one ski, either.

  22. #22

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Talkeetna Alaska
    Posts
    281
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    The tightest snow turn I saw was when my neighbor asked to to be a human dead-man anchor on the left strut so he could power the plane around in deep snow. In the glimpses I got of the skis amidst being blasted with snow the torque in the inside ski was scary. I can't imagine duplicating that with a power turn alone. I used to think about tying one wing to an ice screw and power turning around it. I dismissed that idea. I never split my hydraulics to drop just one ski, either.
    There are about as many tips and tricks to ski flying as there are ski pilots. Holding on to a strut or raising a ski are only two. F. E. Potts suggests looping a rope around the inside ski to create drag. Some people even have short ropes tied to their wing tiedowns for the 'co-pilot' to hang on to. In all cases it is imperative to have forward motion during the maneuver so the axle is not torqued. And it is not just tight turns - occasionally the plane resists turning in the width of a football field without external 'help'. BTDT
    Likes BC12D-4-85, mam90, alaskaoe liked this post

  23. #23
    skukum12's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    The Last Frontier
    Posts
    1,182
    Post Thanks / Like
    Leaving your baby Bush wheel on and not raising the tail will get you that football field turnaround in a hurry.
    "Always looking up"
    Likes DENNY, WillieD liked this post

  24. #24
    courierguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Inkom, Idaho
    Posts
    1,796
    Post Thanks / Like
    I've never used the drop one wheel trick, but it's in the mental toolbox.

  25. #25

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Valdez, Alaska
    Posts
    661
    Post Thanks / Like
    Tailwheel up also helps prevent the tail from taking damage and getting bent...
    Likes Dave Calkins liked this post

  26. #26
    mvivion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Bozeman,MT
    Posts
    11,343
    Post Thanks / Like
    Stewart's comment reminded me of a story from an old time Alaskan who now lives in Lewistown, MT. He spent a number of years as a game warden and pilot in Alaska. I asked him if he was a pilot when he went there, and he replied: "No, but there's a story". He said the first winter he was in Fairbanks, he headed north with a warden/pilot in a Stinson Reliant on straight skis. They landed in Beaver Creek somewhere in the canyon where it flows through the White Mountains.

    And, they needed to turn around. The pilot tied a line to the tailwheel, and told the Cheechako to pull real hard to the side to help him turn.

    It was almost 30 below zero Fahrenheit.....

    Beaver Creek, by the way, is often the "home" of overflow. And, it's a pretty small stream.

    Anyway, he said the pilot blasted him over and over, but they got that big machine turned around. He climbed into the co-pilot's seat, and the old timer told him:

    "Sonny, you just learned an important lesson about Alaskan aviation: There are blasters, and there are pullers, and it is waaaay better to be a blaster than it is to be a puller."

    He learned to fly that spring.

    MTV

  27. #27
    cubflier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    1,325
    Post Thanks / Like
    Doing a little ski art helps with turns.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	aliens.jpg 
Views:	100 
Size:	43.0 KB 
ID:	53742

    Putting a cliff at the end also helps.



    Jerry
    If it looks smooth...it might be

    If it looks rough...it is!!
    Likes stewartb, mam90, jrussl, AkPA/18, skukum12 and 4 others liked this post

  28. #28

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Wolf Lake, AK
    Posts
    5,930
    Post Thanks / Like
    Nice. I don't watch 95% of flying videos but I always watch yours. Well done! Did you ski it?

  29. #29

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    808
    Post Thanks / Like
    Love the “heartbeat” on short final..
    Likes Kid Durango liked this post

  30. #30
    cubflier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    1,325
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Nice. I don't watch 95% of flying videos but I always watch yours. Well done! Did you ski it?
    Not yet but it's on the list. I'm not sure about skiing this one alone. You definitely want to have your stability guess correct and I haven't always been correct with my guesses.

    Jerry
    If it looks smooth...it might be

    If it looks rough...it is!!
    Likes stewartb liked this post

  31. #31

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Fairbanks Alaska
    Posts
    644
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    As the others implied, full left rudder, stick forward and BLASTS of power. Of course if you hold that power in, your skis may dig in. So quick blasts of power. It sounds rude. I once asked a Lycoming tech rep whether he thought this was abusing the engine. He asked two questions:

    1. Is the engine warm? I answered yes
    2. What’s the alternative? I answered “Lots of digging, shoving etc

    His response: blast away.

    But turning with the tail wheel or ski on the surface: Better have lots of room.

    MTV

    How well did your 170 turn?
    Tim

  32. #32
    mvivion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Bozeman,MT
    Posts
    11,343
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by mit greb View Post
    How well did your 170 turn?
    It turned well, Tim, mostly because of lots of power and a pretty light tail. The AWB 2500 skis were pretty heavy and didn’t float real well, but....

    MTV
    Thanks mit greb thanked for this post

  33. #33
    courierguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Inkom, Idaho
    Posts
    1,796
    Post Thanks / Like
    I've tried to play giant size tic tac toe in the snow with the plane, (without joining up the lines, like you'd draw it) but man it is harder then one would think. I never got to the point of winning or losing, it is really an exercise in precision flying, and probably why I couldn't do it. Nice cartoon cubflier!

  34. #34

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    392
    Post Thanks / Like
    Cubflier - Can you post the take off after landing on that mountain top? Nice video of the landing.

  35. #35
    mvivion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Bozeman,MT
    Posts
    11,343
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    It turned well, Tim, mostly because of lots of power and a pretty light tail. The AWB 2500 skis were pretty heavy and didn’t float real well, but....

    MTV
    Tim,

    I should probably add that we made a couple basic mods to the steering which improved same. One simple (but not cheap) one is to get rid of the “standard” steering arm on the 3200 tailwheel, and install a 3214T steering arm. Airframes calls it a “bent” steering arm. That moves the steering geometry up, and improves steering authority. An easy fix, and you’d REALLY have to hit something BIG to bend one of those steering arms, whereas a LOT of the older style arms are bent.

    MTV
    Likes DENNY liked this post

  36. #36
    courierguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Inkom, Idaho
    Posts
    1,796
    Post Thanks / Like
    We are getting the dump of the year right now, and it's about time. Walking my ski strip yesterday it was nearly 50/50 exposed grass, with some snow. This may explain why my last couple of takeoffs were somewhat "leisurely".

  37. #37
    courierguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Inkom, Idaho
    Posts
    1,796
    Post Thanks / Like
    We are getting the dump of the year right now, and about time as just yesterday I was walking my strip and it was about 40% grass and the rest snow, that explains no doubt why my last few takeoffs were a bit leisurely. This site is just dry farm high ground, but it offers numerous different angles and slopes to play on. Once again I fail to see any signs I was on my tail ski, but this turnaround isn't very tight anyway. I am looking forward to see if my so called theory that I can turn tighter, tail down, is just something I dreamed or maybe heard somewhere else, but my own picture library sure doesn't back me up.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20190131_152733608~3.jpg 
Views:	39 
Size:	92.9 KB 
ID:	53775  

Similar Threads

  1. 206 vs 182 ground handling
    By behindpropellers in forum Cessna: C180/C182/C185
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 04-08-2016, 12:11 AM
  2. 206 vs 182 ground handling
    By behindpropellers in forum Everything Else (formerly:My Other Plane Is A....)
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 04-08-2016, 12:11 AM
  3. Bushwheel Ground Handling
    By Bassackwards in forum Cafe Supercub
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 02-06-2011, 10:14 AM
  4. Ground handling - PA-18
    By Jon B. in forum The Art and Science of Flying
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-23-2003, 12:04 PM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •