• If You Are Having Trouble Logging In with Your Old Username and Password, Please use this Forgot Your Password link to get re-established.
  • Hey! Be sure to login or register!

Landing in snow on wheels

For winter fun? Find a hard packed, narrow, crowned runway that’s also short. Land on a near-freezing day with Bushwheels. That’ll test your rudder skills. Easy on the throttle because brakes don’t work and actually enhance slipping off the side. The things we do…. once!
 
I ride the slopes behind my place on a fat ebike with a front ski. It's educational to see how much, if any, the rear tire sinks in. Totally different not only from day to day, but hour to hour. I also ski fly these same slopes. .
.
 
Last edited:
Even better, how about not land on snow with tires if possible and instead invest in a set of skis for snow ops? Skis are much more fun than flying with wheels on snow!

Too many photos of nose overs every year, and assume we are only seeing a small number. No one likes to share photos of nose overs.

How much is a good set of skis for Cubs now a days?
 
Tva71,
Here is da man himself.....IMG_20220208_105047651~3.jpg
Actually saw Dick ding a plane back in 1980! Was following him into Shannon's Pd, in a Bristol Bay Lodge Beaver when he touched down on the pond and the Beaver he had fell down ontop of floats after the front cross wires broke .............. there it sit left wing sinking, in middle of Shannon's. He was out on right float, but jumped back in and got on radio and says , Sorry to mess ya up Earle, should be plenty of room to land behind me.....
Apparently one of his pilots had flown it in the Bay the day before, and subjected it to some enormously heavy seas
Obviously cracking the crosswires enough, that they broke on first trip out...... I think that pilot was on the Wein flight outta Dilly that evening.........
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20220208_105047651~3.jpg
    IMG_20220208_105047651~3.jpg
    177.2 KB · Views: 99
Last edited:
One time landed to pick up a yote in 2 inches of 38 degree snow. Landing in a cut wheat field the landing was intended to be on a gentle upslope aiding in the breaking. Would only be a short walk to the dog. So I make a nice touch down and hit the breaks with no appreciable slowing. Look outside and the wheels are locked and sliding along. I crest the hill and start down the other side which happens to have a gentle side slope. Now the plane starts to slide sideways coming to a stop 10 feet from the yote. Kind of like sliding into second base. Unfortunately nobody was there to witness this as I could have said I planned it that way.
 
i have come up with a personal set of rules with wheels + snow. as usual these rules are subject to change.
1. never encouredge a fellow pilot to play in snow on wheels
2. never trust the snow
3. never land or test virgin snow unless 100% sure of its condition
4. assume the conditions will only get worse at your airport
5. minimize brake use and assume your brakes have frozen if its freezing (i kinda plop the plane on dry pavement to ensure enouph traction to break the wheels free.)
6. carry as much power as possible while touching down, then add power while decelerating. it makes a huge difference in keep the tail down, keeps the plane from digging as deep, and is keeps the rudder alive.
7. assume the risk as PIC and never blame anyone else. its very very easy to screw up on snow


i flew a ton of RC's on wheels and the techniuqes and conditions seem to scale dirrectly into full size wheels on snow. i am going on winter #3 in my full size cub on 8.50X6's. record low temps and snow fall this yr.
ive managed to do this by packing the snow down on the runway with the car. you look silly doing it and takes some time with one person, and it has it own set of tricks to get a good surface but once complete provides a perfectly good surface as long as its frozen. as soon as it thaws its just as bad as any other bad snow on wheels. we have had almost 2 feet here and i did most the packing with a 80's vw. it takes about 6 hrs with 1 vw to pack 1500 ft of runway and a 200 ft taxi way. get 2 giant ass trucks with giant ass tires and it'd probably take 1-2 hrs to pack 2 ft of snow. driving slow and very very straight and 1 wingspan wide. its more important to get the edges really smooth then the middle, a soft pack edge will pull you into the side, a softer center tends to pull you back onto the runway.

bonus snow trick: when in 3-5 inches of damp snow and your only able to get up to 20-30 mph but unable to get on "step" waggle the ailerons really fast, each wing will momentarily lift a little more with each waggle and you'll feel the AOA increase, followed by acceleration to takeoff speed. landing on this same snow is another trick....lol.
 
Back
Top