Lesson 15

Had a lesson from Dave again, he’s back from holiday.

More of what I have been doing with Easwaran, circuits. Did a whole lot of them , including 3 or 4 glide landings, without engine, well engine at idle speed.

For a glide landing, you don’t apply flaps until you are absolutely sure you can glide to the strip at the perfect glide speed, 55 mph for my plane, you If I remember well that’s 1.4 or so times the stall speed.

Then you apply full flap and land normal basically…

Still need to practice the round out a bit more. This is when you pull the stick to stop the drop and fly just a few feet horizontal. I usually do this to early, and then I stall the plane and fall the last bit and land sort of rough. Ideally the plane stalls when you are only just above the ground….

More practice next time

Lesson 14

Hello, back again. Tonight more circuits, using the same short strip here in Rangiora, runway 22.

This is going to require some practice I feel. Especially today were we had a bit of a Southerly blowing, ah no , just a breeze.  But yes every change in wind creates changes in the glide path.

Had a few, 1 or 2 good nice soft landings, but needs more ……….

Also a few landing attempts failed as I was to high, just didn’t want to drop fast enough. So at some stage you need to decide to abort the landing and power up again:

  • full power (most important thing)
  • raise flaps
  • keep nose down to raise speed
  • and slowly pull stick

Also I need to be very careful with the speed. When dropping engine power, slightly drop the nose so I continue at the same speed which is about 55 mph for ZK-JOR. So yes, I think its good to use this good old little runway, makes you really practice accurate landings !!!!

I noticed a number of people tonight tried to avoid this short runway and want to use the long one, runway 25, even if there is a considerable side wind.

Keep on practicing Gert !!!  It will be good for me  🙂

Lesson 13

More circuits tonight. With the wind direction and the low sun, we, well Easwaran decided, to use runway 22, a short and narrow strip here in Rangiora (NZRT). Because you really need to pinpoint your landing spot , there is no room for error. The first few landings were no landings at all, I was getting in to high. Because I was looking to much at my instruments, he blocked the altimeter and at some stage my speed gauge.

I need to be more aware of my altitude in relation to the strip, and pay more attention to my attitude (horizontal flying), so I don’t have to keep an eye on the air speed all the time. But coming back to height, yes its so important to get the height right during your approach. Its probably better to be a bit to low then to high, as loosing height is not easy (I am not side slipping yet).

And same old thing more getting used to rounding out in time, not to early, and flaring when only a few feet above the ground. All in all a good lesson again !!!!

First taxi at home without wings

Have been taxing the Bleriot at home, getting it ready to go to the Rangiora airfield. The engine runs nice at idle, but something’s not right as it doesn’t want to go faster then 30% of its power…..
I will do a bit of taxing at home to get used to “driving” a tail dragger.

The two ply front panels are not on here at the moment, but that’s the only thing missing apart from the wings obviously…..
I have a bag of sheep nuts on the fuselage to give it the same “weight” at the stick as when the wings are mounted
Look how well the stick is absorbing the bumbs in the grass 🙂

Two short movie clips at probably 30% power:

Into the wind, the rudder is nicely working I can “drive” in a nice straight line. Only going slow, maybe 10 – 20 km/h max, will go faster sometime soon, when I have more guts 🙂