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Dillon

Piloting specifics for various aircraft hard to find on the net

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I was looking around on the net for topics as to the landing characteristics of the King Air or turbo prop aircraft in general. I was surprised I couldn't find anything. The water cooler FBO discussions we all have at the airport or in flight training seems to be void of similar discussions on the net. What I mean is where would one find the common knowledge that a high wing Cessna has more float in the flare than a low wing aircraft. Questions I have that I can't seem to find for example is:

 

1. On short final in a King Air is much throttle used (in the Aeroworx King Air the throttle is slightly above idle as the aircraft is slippery with speed so with full flaps and the ratio of thrust to weight allows for a smooth flare without out much throttle on short final decent)?

 

2. Different landing considerations for plane types. Again, some planes float more in flare others don't. Some require stepping on the ball in a turn others don't. Planes like the Cirrus don't stall in the traditional meaning where the nose goes over and you have to recover like you would in a 152. What is it like to bring a Cirrus in on short final. Is there more float for a Cirrus although it's low wing versus a Piper Archer?

 

3. What airliner do pilots prefer to fly (MD80, 737, E-Jet for example). I know if I were an airline pilot with a few types under my belt I could easily answer this question yet it's hard to find these facts online. When I went to Northwest's simulators before they merged with Delta pilots loved the 757 and hated the A320's because there was more maintenance issues with them. Something was always wrong. Flying the 744 Level-D simulator I found a noticeable delay when turning the yoke and when the aircraft decided it wanted to turn. This is not modeled in the PMDG bird without edits. When I was in the Navy it amazed me something was always wrong with an F/A-18's when they came back which needed constant care from us to prepare for the next flight out (imagine an oil change everytime you returned home or knowing your car would leak oil until you reached a certain speed). You can't find info like this on the net. The DC9 series is more nose heavy than people realize but on the net there's no mention of these little pilot facts for us in the sim world to compare to. I'd love specifics on flying the DC10 not technical write-ups but what it's actually like.

 

I hope I'm making some kind of since. There's little details about every airplane type out there especially in the care taken to get the bird back on the ground yet the net is strangely devoid of these details for those of us wanting to compare our FS models to the real thing. I remember Chuck Yeager wrote about how different aircraft flew in detail (he's flown far too many). Most pilots don't give that detail openly it seems (the old ancient water cooler story telling is where you get this info at your local FBO) in this day and age you'd think these detailed write-ups would be all over the net. Maybe not so much on airliners but GA at least.

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Interesting question indeed.   Apart from blogs by pilots who dedicate their lives to flying a certain type day in and day out and take the time to document these quirks to share with the general public, it does seem this info is hard to come by.  I'm sure this knowledge is out there, it's just a matter of finding out by intense research, or word of mouth in the wide variety of forums.   Here's one I can share, that I find special "nerd-level" dirt on some types, you may have heard of it, is a blog from an American Airlines copilot - turned captain - now back to copilot named Kent Wein.  He maintains a blog (http://www.gadling.com/bloggers/kent-wien/) and now he has a facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/CockpitChronicles)

 

You have to check his entry on the MD-80, a type he just retired from (or really, AA is starting to retire) http://www.gadling.com/2013/05/01/cockpit-chronicles-how-i-fell-in-love-with-an-airplane-video/

I just watched it earlier today, and it fits perfectly with what you are looking for regarding your question #3!

 

I sometimes wish the detailed write ups you describe were out there, or at least easy to find.  I'd think there are lots of current and retired pilots who would love to share the intimate details of the types they fly, but are unable to because they feel they are not good writers or don't have the time, who knows, but I do hope some folks can chime in here, as I'm sure some of those retired experts are avid Avsim regulars.

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Way back in the day, discussions such as you're looking for used to occur regularly on the old rec.aviation newsgroups.  If you were a pilot, and connected, you were on rec.aviation.  That, like most newsgroups has migrated and ultimately gone the way of the dinosaur, and I'm not sure where to steer you for the modern day equivalent.  You can probably glean some info from special interest groups - e.g. http://www.beechtalk.com for Beechcraft owner/pilots and so on. Some of these require registration.

 

Still and all, hangar flying is hangar flying, whether virtual or at the airport.  Listen to about half of what you hear, and take all of it with a measure of skepticism, especially those common factoids like "high wings do this, low wings do that". 

 

Way back when (in the rec.aviation days) I bought a PA28RT-201T - a Piper Turbo Arrow IV.  Pretty much everyone around the hangar (virtual and real) - mostly folks who hadn't flown them or had limited time in them and had only flown the few rentals around - warned me about what a dubious plane it was.  The T-tail and how awful it was, the turbo-charged engine that blew up at the drop of a hat, and on and on.  Well, it was a great plane.  Yes, most of what was talked about back then had some remote grain of fact deep at the root that had been blown out of proportion or misunderstood based on actual usage, but overall it was a terrific aircraft.  After a few years of owning, I stopped worrying about what "everyone knew", stopped battling the misconceptions and like other type owners, I just smiled and flew.

 

These days, no longer actively flying, I still go out to the airport cafe from time to time and listen to the stories - and I still smile and outright laugh at some of the things that pilots "know".  And, of course, marvel at others and actually learn things.  Go figure. :-)

 

Good luck finding what you're looking for.  Hopefully others have better suggestions.

 

Scott

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I was just thinking about a response to another thread for those of us who have flown in real life and thought of an experience that's more relevant to this thread. I flew in the cockpit of a DC10 and MD11 on a few jumpseat flights from KMSP to KORD and back again. What struck me on landing is as the nose is high on short final both pilots lean forward with the yoke in their chest all the way to touch down. 'Slaps forehead', I forgot when I wrote the post above that I had actually flew jumpseat a few times in these tri-jets (maybe because it was night time). The whole cockpit when darkened had the all too familiar red light an the pilots were using light pens to read charts after we were in flight. Quite the experience but things like this would be cool to read from those of us that have been there.

 

EDIT: I found this video of a daytime DC10 landing and it is nothing like what I saw. The pilots in this video look to be landing the plane like I'd drive into my driveway. Maybe night flying is different because both pilots were fully pressed forward with the joke in their chest the times I flew in the FedEx cockpit (same position by the way). Oh well, maybe the shorter runway of 27R with a heavy load had something to do with the higher nose angle on approach...

 

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