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Doc Bryant

Short Final for Feb. 27, 2007

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From Avweb.com's ezine of aviation news....Heard at Gainesville, Florida Airport:Cessna: Gainesville tower, Cessna Three Four Five, seven west with Tango.Tower: Cessna One Two Three Four Five, cleared to land Runway six.Cessna: We'd prefer Runway one zero, we have some passengers to drop off at the terminal.Tower: Cessna Three Four Five, you can't do that, you have to use the general aviation FBO.Cessna: We called ahead and they said we could drop them off as long as we stayed clear of the gate.Tower: I don't know who told you that, but I'll ask the airport manager.Tower (a short time later): Cessna Three Four Five. I'm sorry, but you can't taxi to the terminal. However, if you'd like I can clear you for a low approach, and your passengers can jump out as you fly by.Cessna: (Laughs) How about I just use Runway six?Doc Bryant

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Good to see Doc back here now and again. How's work, Doc?Here's one for Jerry and all the other pilots:Early in my flying career, I had my first night flight. Looking down in the darkness, I asked my instructor what we would do if the engine failed. "Get the plane gliding in a controlled descent, attempt to restart the engine, and make a Mayday call," he explained. "The only difference between day and night flying is that the terrain below will not be clearly visible, so the aircraft should be headed toward whatever looks most like a clear area, and it should be approaching into the wind. Conserve the battery, turn on the landing light when you get close to the ground, and if you like what you see, land." "All right, but what if I don't like what I see?" My instructor gave me a compassionate look in the dim cockpit, and said softly, "Turn off the landing light."Best regards.Luis

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"All right, but what if I don't like what I see?" The first time my friend George gave me the "Sedona red rock tour" in his 172,I said, as we passed between and WAY BELOW the top of two "big red buttes", with NOTHING under us except rocks and brush a 100 feet below,"what do we do if the engine quits?".He made the "sign of the cross".VERY interesting, since he is a fellow Methodist.:-) Dan

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Whenever a pilot in a small plane has a passenger who has never, or seldom, flown in a small plane, and the engine quits, the passenger usually says/thinks "we're gonna die!!!", whilst the pilot says/thinks "I wonder how much this is gonna cost me?"I've taken up two adult passengers separately in the past year (a friend who'd never been in a small plane, and youngest son-25, and told them this before we took off (as well as all the other pre-takeoff briefing items), just to let them know I'm not planning to panic should the engine quit.I've finally taken a grandson (almost 8) up in Feb for 30 min (1/2 of which was taking 3 attempts to land - oh, well - I wasn't ready to quit flying after just 15 min anyway). Best compliment I've had to date, on a "takeoff", was as we had already lifted off and passing over the other end of the runway, he said "have we taken off yet?" Keep in mind he sat low in the seat and couldn't see over the panel! But the winds were brisk (almost direct crosswind at 8 G16), and it really wasn't that smooth of a takeoff, but he was just taking it in stride. The winds made for the 2 go-arounds. I knew it wasn't going to be standard pattern, but still I was just way too high and close the first time, and just too close the 2nd. 3rd time I stretched everything out and we landed all right. He was so nonchalant about the whole thing, but was impressed at how quickly we got to a couple of landmarks he knew. We flew over a local small racetrack, and I tipped the wings a little and asked him if he saw any cars, and he said "nope - nobody racing today."He sat in front of all the circuit breakers and fuel/pressure gauges, and he thought all the breakers were pretty neat. I told him what they were, pulled one out, and asked him what do you think we do when one pops out? He said "I push it back in!" I said, "well, not right away - I need to know which one it is first, and then maybe you can."What did I learn (or was reminded of)?1) The crosswind limit matches what's in the book (well, already knew this from another windy day, but it was good practice.)2) Easy to get distracted when talking to the passenger (hmmm... already knew this too). Not that there was much to do, but still ...3) I got just a little more nervous than I thought I would with grandson #1 being on board - it wasn't him, he was great - it was just a mental thing. So, verify mental status before flight.4) The pattern was flown clockwise on RWY 13, with winds from 190-220. So, when doing downwind we were being blown towards the runway. Was very aware, on base to final, to be very careful when rolling right to be on final, to not use much, if any, right rudder to keep on centerline. This is cross-controlling, meaning the plane could easily keep rolling right, and roll over and head to the ground. So, how do you keep on centerline if you can't use rudder? Well, just don't use rudder while rolling. Make sure the plane's not quite to centerline yet when you roll out on final, then level the wings, then you'll get blown into position, then use all the rudder you want to line it up. Crossed the centerline and drifting away from it? Well, take out the right rudder and roll right which moves the plane back to the right, but add a little left rudder to keep the longitudinal axis pointed in line with the runway, otherwise the plane's heading will go to the right of the runway. Keep just enough right roll (right aileron) to cancel the drift, land on just the right wheel first if you have to, then gently level wings but keep some right aileron in upon touchdown (you know you have to if when leveling the wings out just before touchdown the plane starts drifting left again - not good for the gear to land like that - increased side load). I didn't have to. Adjust to taste.5) Grandson didn't mind going around twice - and he looked just smashing in a headset.Cheers,Dave H.Fayetteville, GA

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Dave,Back to basics, as usual. If the crosswind is pushing you on base leg, fly a little wider pattern on downwind, more than the usual 1/2-mile offset from the runway.Basics for a landing:Abeam the numbers, pull the power back to approach RPM and put in some flaps while 1000 AGL (or pattern altitude if lower).Continue downwind until the end of the runway is over your shoulder at a 45-degree position behind the airplane. The altitude should be approximately 750 feet above runway elevation as the turn to base leg begins.While flying the base leg, add flaps as needed to landing configuration while decending to 500 feet as you intercept the extended runway center line approximately 1/2 mile from the end of the runway.When on final, set power and trim as needed for best glide speed, 80 MPH (or 70 knots) for the Cessna 172 and RV-9A.Grease one in for "The Gipper" while holding rudder and aileron as needed for crosswind component.Jerry K. ThorneEast Ridge, TN

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"Back to basics, as usual. If the crosswind is pushing you on base leg, fly a little wider pattern on downwind, more than the usual 1/2-mile offset from the runway."You're right, of course - that's exactly what I had to do - the 2nd attempt I did not do this just to see how close I could come to making a good approach by adjusting other things instead - closer, but no cigar. I was planning on going around on the first attempt anyway so my grandson could experience another pseudo-takeoff, but not because of a botched approach. But that's how it turned out.Thanks - Dave H.

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Yeah, I know - I've been planning on staging a re-enactment photo - I think we can get together this Sat. His first ride indeed needs to be documented!Cheers, Dave H.Fayetteville, GA

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