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Thread: PA-18 Flaps Use Crosswind and/or Gusts

  1. #1

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    PA-18 Flaps Use Crosswind and/or Gusts

    I did most my xwind training in a citabria with no flaps. The crosswinds were generally not gusting.

    I need to book sometime to fly with an instructor but wanted to solicit advice here.

    I am now flying in an airport that has a crosswind daily and is gusting most generally. Windshear is also common.

    My question is- is the preferred method in a crosswind no flaps or 10 degrees? What about a gusting crosswind? What about a crosswind with windshear? What about a gusting headwind? Primarily asking about landing- as i would imagine no flaps for takeoff if can be avoided.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    SJ's Avatar
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    Most PA18s are 20 or 40 degrees of flaps unless you have filed in some new notches.

    I use full flaps 90% of the time when landing the cub in all conditions. I may sometimes dump them on touchdown in a strong crosswind. Get with an instructor that knows Supercubs...not just anybody.

    sj

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    Sj- good to know 20 or 40 degrees

    didnt see it listed in handbook. This is a 1950 cub

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    It does say best climb is achieved with full flaps (not a crosswind question)- i thought it was one notch?
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  5. #5

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    I'm not a CFI, but I prefer to limit flap use for crosswinds and do a wheel landing, especially a crosswind from the left as on my cub the flap handle limits left stick travel when in the full up position.
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  6. #6

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    The middle notch is really handy for cross winds, easy to add...
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

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    Cub Crafters will return a Cub with flaps adjusted to 40. I like them at 50, plus whatever I can get away with for "tolerance." Let me check . . .

    But to your question - work your way up. Go easy at first. Really gusty, go with a wheel landing. Nice and steady practice full stall with flaps.

    Best angle is 50 degrees flaps and pointed skyward. Might try that at altitude first. It is a deck angle of around 45 degrees in a good 160 Cub, and if your engine so much as coughs in the first two hundred feet you might not survive.
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  8. #8

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    Type Certificate 1A2 page 6

    https://dyzz9obi78pm5.cloudfront.net...2534/n/1a2.pdf

    Flaps 0-50 +/-2

    I flew one adjusted to 60 - loved it. Just as illegal as 40.
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    Towed gliders for years with a PA-18A-150. Likely over 12,000 tows. I think every landing was full flaps in all wind conditions all the way to about 28 kt crosswind. Every landing was 3 or 2 point (tail and one main) (or as close to it as possible). I don't like wheel landings, only do them when asked to demonstrate or when training someone for tailwheel sign off.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    Type Certificate 1A2 page 6

    https://dyzz9obi78pm5.cloudfront.net...2534/n/1a2.pdf

    Flaps 0-50 +/-2

    I flew one adjusted to 60 - loved it. Just as illegal as 40.

    so this means fmax flap is 50 degress? Is stock 50 or 40 like sj said?
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  11. #11

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    The nice thing about a cub is if it’s too stiff of a crosswind you can usually find a solution that is into the wind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskadrifter View Post
    The nice thing about a cub is if it’s too stiff of a crosswind you can usually find a solution that is into the wind.
    The difference between checkrides and real world flying.
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    Mark - use my link, or just go to Univair's TCDS library. Select 1A2, and go to page 6. Or, you can believe me - it is 50 +/- 2.
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  14. #14
    stewartb's Avatar
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    How much practice do you have landing in normal conditions with little or no flaps? Why would you choose to use an unfamiliar configuration when conditions become more challenging? .

    I use full flaps for 100% of my landings in the planes I fly. And for me, gusty crosswinds and mechanical turbulence are the norm.
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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Yes, the certificated full flap position is 50 degrees for a Super Cub.

    As to the configuration that’s best for crosswinds: I treat a STEADY crosswind the same as a headwind or no wind. Generally no flaps. That said, as you’re finding, most winds aren’t “steady”.

    In gusty conditions, I prefer half flaps in a SC. That’s crosswind OR headwind. In gusty conditions, I prefer a LITTLE less drag, so that excursions from my target approach speed are smaller, and easier to recover from. With full flaps, you can get into some pretty big decelerations, that require bags of power to correct.

    BUT, the technique that works for YOU is the one that you have explored with an experienced instructor, and found both effective and comfortable for YOU. If that’s full flaps, that’s fine with me.

    I would highly recommend flying in those conditions with someone experienced in Cubs.

    MTV
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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Whatever works out safely most of the time in crosswinds or gusts. I prefer no flaps when I may need the tail of the plane to fully respond...rudder mainly but also the elevators. Anything that might partially disrupt airflow back there - like flaps or side slips - I avoid when possible. And keep the speed up.

    Gary
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  17. #17

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    Always full flap for me except with drooping ailerons in gusty crosswinds then I used half flap to gain better roll control to counter gusts. I generally maintained a fairly high level of proficiency too. I agree with the above, whatever you’ve practiced and works best in your cub.

    Ive also found the extra clicks of flaps to not be needed for me. 0, 1/2, full pretty much covered anything i ever needed.


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  18. #18
    TurboBeaver's Avatar
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    I am with Gary on this one, if I have nasty puffing X wind last thing I need is flaps to help blow me back up into the air. If it's bad it's always no flaps, wheel landing on one tire till it falls down by itself onto the other, as you decelerate. Stick way forward to "pin it to the ground".
    Your mileage will vary. Seen lots of guys wallering around with lots of flaps down; in gusty X winds that wound up with a wing in the runway: or groundlooped.
    Like Gary says, last thing you want is the tail blanketed out
    But to each his own........
    E
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  19. #19

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    You can always land diagonal on the runway, or if it is blowing strong enough, across the runway.

    My dad always said if it’s blowing crosswind strong enough that you aren’t comfortable, find another runway! “Get-home-it is” has killed more people. Find another runway, if necessary, at another airport.
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  20. #20
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Here's some advice from a source that's easy to follow. They usually do a good job making a case for their recommendations>

    https://www.boldmethod.com/learn-to-...-day-landings/
    https://www.boldmethod.com/learn-to-...nding-rollout/

    Gary

  21. #21
    stewartb's Avatar
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    The best tools for managing unfavorable winds are full flaps and a steep final. Cubs, slat wing Cubs, Skywagons… it works.
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  22. #22

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    Seems to be a consensus here������.

  23. #23

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    I always use 1/2 flaps for takeoff sometimes full flaps depending on the performance I want. Flaps lower my stall speed so I look at it as a safety issue. Same with landing usually full flaps sometimes 1/2 never no flap landing. No crab and kick on final wing low forward slip all the way down so I know I have good control once tires touch. Land with upwind wheel first then adjust to wheel or three point as needed. Once on the ground I dump flaps, stick into the wind and use brakes if needed to steer. No real right or wrong just how I do it. DENNY
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  24. #24
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    Whatever works out safely most of the time in crosswinds or gusts. I prefer no flaps when I may need the tail of the plane to fully respond...rudder mainly but also the elevators. Anything that might partially disrupt airflow back there - like flaps or side slips - I avoid when possible. And keep the speed up.

    Gary
    Gary,
    How do you land in a crosswind without a side slip at some point?

    MTV

  25. #25
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    I prefer to let the plane have its head and crab into the crosswind until imminent ground or water contact, then briefly slip and at the same time drop the upwind tire or float. Some prefer a constant slip to landing into the wind. Just a personal choice from 5400 hrs in Cessna's some with limited rudder authority or flat float sides to fight on rivers. Edit: Probably from staring at this placard: "In floatplane, amphibian and skiplane avoid slips with flaps extended."

    For example: https://www.boldmethod.com/learn-to-...ime-touchdown/

    Gary
    Last edited by BC12D-4-85; 05-19-2022 at 12:48 PM.
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  26. #26

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    I shouldve also mentioned I also retract flaps at touchdown. I believe you can get a little more effective crosswind capability with a wheel landing because you can fly the upwind wheel to the ground and then use differential braking to assist in directional control as the airplane slows and loses aerodynamic effectiveness. So I’ll chuck this age old grenade out there… wheel landings are better! ….unless youre trying for the shortest possible landing…


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  27. #27
    frequent_flyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercub83a View Post
    So I’ll chuck this age old grenade out there… wheel landings are better! ….unless youre trying for the shortest possible landing…
    Most who have flown tailwheel for a while will know the argument is futile and will run faster than that grenade can be thrown.

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    Shortest possible landing is much easer with a wheel landing. 3 point and you wing is still producing lift and the brakes are very ineffective (skidding/hopping) with hard braking until the plane slows. Not a simple task but it it works if you don't mind living on the edge hard braking with the tail up is much more effective. DENNY
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  29. #29
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Shortest possible no wind landing I’ve experienced (Skywagon)? Classic short field technique to a three point. If you’re good enough to hit the spot? Very impressive. Cub? Watch some Jeremy Pepperd videos. That SQ-12 is a performer and Jeremy wrings it out.
    Last edited by stewartb; 05-20-2022 at 10:45 PM.

  30. #30
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    How about a thumb activated hinged spoiler over the forward fuel tank cover? Pop it up to kill some lift.

    One Fall I helped others on the Big River NE of McGrath who were looking for pre-spawning Sheefish. 500' sloped gravel bars in a C-185 w/8:50's. I could hit the mark or water's edge tail up for a wheels landing but not always safely transition to tail down in time. Probably more me than the ship. 3-point got it done.

    Gary

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post

    One Fall I helped others on the Big River NE of McGrath who were looking for pre-spawning Sheefish.
    Sheefish out of McGrath? Catching a sheefish on a fly is definitely at the top of my fishing bucket list, but I figured I'd have to fly up to the Kotzebue region. As a teacher, taking that kind of time in the fall is difficult. But McGrath?? Not sure if you're willing to share details, but...my ears are open.

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    Valdez 2014 wheel landing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjwCcQq38i8 54:30 That is how it is done!!
    DENNY
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    TurboBeaver's Avatar
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    BrianM.
    Try Sleetmute area about mid July.
    Good Luck
    E
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    mvivion's Avatar
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    We had big radio tagged Sheefish well upstream in the Kuskokwim. Many more in the Yukon, but that was the population we were looking at.

    VERY cool fish!

    MTV
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    TurboBeaver's Avatar
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    How far up will they go Mike.???

  36. #36
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Sheefish out of McGrath?...my ears are open.
    Hate to drift the thread....but for fish in the Kuskokwim River it's sometimes worth a break in the action and commentary>

    https://afspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley....002/tafs.10069
    https://www.arlis.org/docs/vol1/M/990786182.pdf
    https://seagrant.uaf.edu/events/wais...ions/Stuby.pdf


    Gary

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    Hate to drift the thread....but for fish in the Kuskokwim River it's sometimes worth a break in the action and commentary>

    https://afspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley....002/tafs.10069
    https://www.arlis.org/docs/vol1/M/990786182.pdf
    https://seagrant.uaf.edu/events/wais...ions/Stuby.pdf


    Gary
    Thank you! I just spent the last hour going down this rabbit hole. Looks like I'll be making a trip out that way this summer!

    Oh, and to keep things on topic - I'll likely do a wheel landing with full flaps if I figure out a place to touch down along the Holitna.
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  38. #38
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    The deflected flap drag likely shortens the transition time between landing and stopping. Not my idea as many have mentioned that benefit. Without flaps they can float some before settling down especially if gusty. Taylorcraft developed spoilers for their Liaison tandem models to combat that problem. I'd like to try some on a Piper.

    Gary

  39. #39

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    I have flown the L2M Taylorcraft with spoilers. It is an honorary J3.
    The spoilers are placarded - do not use below 500'. As far as I can tell, they are useless above 500', but can turn a Taylorcraft landing into a Cub landing in about a quarter of a second.
    Only thing wrong (other than a slightly ungainly appearance) is the lack of a clamshell door.

    The owner of that particular bird had an altercation about five years ago - and after about three years I offered to recover the remains. The agreement was that my labor was free so long as it was painted yellow or some other visible color..

    It is going together now - yellow wings, light grey fuselage with a red stripe. I get to fly it!
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  40. #40
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    ^^^^Thanks Bob for the great info! Will look forward to pics and flight experiences. I bet they can help with the floating....for starters on a Piper I'd try a hinged plate attached to the leading edge of the metal wing tank covers. Maybe interconnect them and offer some sort of mechanical or electrically activated pivot arm to briefly raise and cut some lift inboard on the wing.

    Taylorcraft also experimented with fixed slots like first Piper then later Dakota Cub developed. Tuft testing by Weick: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/citations/19930083935 Not sure they did much testing for T/O and landing as the goal was improving inflight control and stall/spin resistance.

    Gary

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