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Cactus521

My first "Trike" lesson

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Last year, a friend who flies both fixed wing and trikes suggested I give flying a trike a try. I also heard similar suggestions from forum members, although few share their experiences so I am unsure how many Trike Pilots we have.Finally, I took an hour lesson (on the hobbs) this weekend.I am hooked. It was incredible, the sense of flight and sense of control. Also, I was surprised at how comparable the "basics" were to flying fixed wing, other than the absence of rudder. What I found most enjoyable though was the sheer sense of visibility.Long did I feel the "fun" of flying had to do with speed, but after flying a trike, just the sense of being airborne--I could have been flying at FL350 and 480KTS, the thrill was the same. Our airspeed was only 32 kts, but with our altitude being only 1000 ft. AGL tops the sensation of speed was still there. You'd have to fly over 1000kts in the flight levels to feel the same sense of speed.My instructor was a no nonsense guy used to handling fixed wing pilots like myself. Hopefully I didn't embarrass myself (or my fixed wing peers here at Avsim) too much by reversing his instructions and my inputs. But wow, what an experience! We had a beautiful day for flying and I found my first experience in a Trike amazing!One other surprise, is you'd think controlling a trike requires a great shift in weight. But just a tad of pressure, merely an inch offset of the trapeze, is enough to initiate a good turn. And even less pressure was required to apply pitch changes. The strip I flew out of was at Brenda, AZ, just built this year. Along with us we had several PPC's in the pattern. What a blast it was! Anyone who loves flying would enjoy what I experienced, IMHO.Regards,John

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Sounds like fun. I'd like to give it a try sometime, maybe. :-) I read this article in Wikipedia. It mentioned some have ballistic parachutes. Do you know anything about that or any other safety-related info?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultralight_trike--Roger

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"I read this article in Wikipedia. It mentioned some have ballistic parachutes."Some do, since most were built from kits quite often finding one with a BRS is hit 'n miss. The Wikipedia article applies one common distortion regarding weight shift control which implies the shift in COG alone initiates the roll. Left out of the article is the shifting of the weight/pressure on the trapeze induces warping of the wing, much like the Wright Brothers controlled their aircraft. Only an inch of lateral movement on the trapeze in one direction or another can initiate a bank. While the roll rate wasn't as crisp as my experience in fixed wing aircraft, it was quite good. Early in my lesson I learned just fingertip pressure can perform all but the most aggressive maneuvers. But the article otherwise is pretty good in its description of triking. If I kept my pressure relaxed on the bar in the fore/aft axis, we stayed right at trim speed to within a mile or two. Of course in terms of safety, a helmet is important. As well as a hand-held radio--even if you're flying under Part 103, if you're in a busy area with possible GA traffic a radio is a help. I learned one interesting tidbit of info. We landed off field as my CFI was demonstrating engine out performance and procedures. We turned 180 degrees on landing to take off in the opposite direction. My CFI waited for a couple of moments there on the ground, as he said otherwise we'd be flying through our own wake turbulence. The biggest safety factor is being taught. My CFI says all too often fixed wing pilots think they can fly with the best of 'em without training, and they get themselves killed. There's habits that must be broken--one needs to be in a "trike" frame of mind.Regards,John

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