Flying the Piper Pawnee

Lindberg

Final Approach
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Lindberg
I may get to fly a Pawnee for the first time. Obviously will have to get checked out without dual. Give me your tips.
 
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Jealous!
keep us posted, svp
 
I may get to fly a Pawnee for the first time. Obviously will have to get checked out without dial. Give me your tips.
One of my biggest things when I'm jumping into a single-seat or anything tailwheel without dual is to get a a really, really good impression of your pitch attitude on taxi. You can even cheat with a grease pin or dry-erase marker (Make sure to erase it afterwards) so you have some visual references when you're coming in for landing. Also, go over where EVERYTHING is in the cockpit three or four times. Blindfolded is best, but know where to find stuff before you need to. Oh, and actually read the flight manual.
 
One of my biggest things when I'm jumping into a single-seat or anything tailwheel without dual is to get a a really, really good impression of your pitch attitude on taxi. You can even cheat with a grease pin or dry-erase marker (Make sure to erase it afterwards) so you have some visual references when you're coming in for landing. Also, go over where EVERYTHING is in the cockpit three or four times. Blindfolded is best, but know where to find stuff before you need to. Oh, and actually read the flight manual.
All good tips! Thanks!
 
Never flew the Pawnee, but I have a lot of time in a c188. If you Cobb the power sitting still be prepared for full right rudder and a little differential braking to keep it straight.
 
I think it's really a pretty easy airplane to fly, and quite a lot of fun. The sight picture is weird, since you sit nearly in the middle of the fuselage. In a tail low attitude it feels like you're sitting with your chin on the edge of a long dining room table. :)

s-l1600.jpg
 
Unlike the majority of taildraggers, the nose is quite flat in the 3-point attitude. It looked To me like I was in a dive during the round-out.

Oh, and actually read the flight manual.
Bwaaahahahahahahaha! A flight manual in a Pawnee! Hahahahahahha!
;)

I flew/towed gliders in Maryland…we’d have Pentagon guys come out on the weekends to tow.

we used to tell the Air Force guys to climb at takeoff at 70, climb at 80, and land at 75.

We told the Navy guys to takeoff at 70, climb at 80, and land at 80.

Marines could only handle one number, so we just to them to put the needle at 80. ;)
 
Just remember that when that long snout out front is parallel to the ground, (see picture in previous response) that is your 3 point attitude. Any higher and its a tailwheel first landing.
Get the tail up on takeoff, remember that picture out the window, that is the wheel landing attitude.

If you fly a C model, the fuel tank is up front behind the firewall. A full tank makes for forward CG, real easy to lift the tail on takeoff and harder to get the tail down on landing.

If you fly a D model, the fuel tanks are in the wings. If one drains faster than the other, you are not maintaining coordinated flight. There is no L/R/B fuel selector. The wing tanks on a D model feed to a single tank below your seat, then one line forward through a single shut off valve to dual electric fuel pumps and a mechanical fuel pump. Study the fuel system, open the panels and put your hands on the hoses to really understand the fuel flow.

No fuel pumps on a C model.

If you can fly a Super Cub, you can fly a Pawnee. You just sit higher, have more HP, and get a stronger right arm and right leg.
Pawnee's don't like landing with a tailwind. It will just stop flying and plant you on the ground. You best be close to the ground when that happens if trying to land 3-point with a tailwind.
 
Pawnee's don't like landing with a tailwind. It will just stop flying and plant you on the ground.
I think it's a good idea to avoid landing with a tailwind in any tailwheel aircraft. You lose rudder and aileron control sooner on the rollout and have to depend on differential braking or tailwheel steering to avoid ground looping, at least in theory. A little crosswind gust can swing the tail (and the CG) around the wheels.
 
I'm comfortable in the super cub, so that's good to know.
I'm curious WHY you're flying a Pawnee in the first place. Not that there's anything wrong with flying one just for the hell of it, but they do have limited utility.
 
I'm curious WHY you're flying a Pawnee in the first place. Not that there's anything wrong with flying one just for the hell of it, but they do have limited utility.
Yeah…they don’t have enough room for your wife‘s luggage or your wife. ;)
 
Glider towing
Somehow, I just LOVE towing gliders in the Pawnee. I'm guessing you will too.

I've long since retired and don't really need the money so I donate most of it to our youth program at Sugarbush and really do the towing mostly for fun.

With the right person in the glider I can thermal on tow and take advantage of wave and/or ridge when it's active. For the past few years I'm doing around 500 tows per year (we have three and sometimes four active tow pilots) and I dread the day when I'm no longer able to continue.
 
With the right person in the glider I can thermal on tow and take advantage of wave and/or ridge when it's active.
We had a house thermal half a mile from the runway one day…lift off, left turn, enter thermal.

The cross country guys would release when we hit the thermal at about 400 feet. Some guys would hang on to 1000 or 2000 feet while I thermaled the towplane. Some would hang on just long enough to recover from their panic and find the release knob. ;)

And some I just kept flying figure 8s that intersected at the thermal, because they weren’t experienced enough on tow.
 
Nobody asked, but…

I learned tailwheel in a Cub.Then bought a Citabria, and even taught in it.

I was asked if I could ferry a Cessna cropduster. AgTruck or AgHusky as I recall. No way to get checked out, of course.

On first takeoff, I got up some speed and pushed the stick forward to lift the tail. The plane swung hard to the left - at least 30 to 40 degrees - and I barely got it in the air before taking out some runway lights or signage. Lesson learned.

One such cropduster:

15009396532_58036015ba.jpg


I think this was Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, refueling after the leg from South Caicos.
 
On first takeoff, I got up some speed and pushed the stick forward to lift the tail. The plane swung hard to the left - at least 30 to 40 degrees - and I barely got it in the air before taking out some runway lights or signage. Lesson learned.
My 1st Take off on a Kitfox Model I with Dan Denny was a Right Turn off the runway and launch. OHHHH, that's right the prop turns the other way and it has Right turning tendencies. Along with that an my 100hrs of dealing with Left Turning tenancies. Fortunately by the edge of the runway we had flying speed and Dan just pulled back on the stick for me. I think he was sort of expecting it to happen, and was a good demonstration of how short it could get off the ground.

Brian
 
My 1st Take off on a Kitfox Model I with Dan Denny was a Right Turn off the runway and launch. OHHHH, that's right the prop turns the other way and it has Right turning tendencies. Along with that an my 100hrs of dealing with Left Turning tenancies. Fortunately by the edge of the runway we had flying speed and Dan just pulled back on the stick for me. I think he was sort of expecting it to happen, and was a good demonstration of how short it could get off the ground.

Brian
My first stall in a glider was like that…turns out you don’t need to add right rudder as you slow down. ;)
 
Somehow, I just LOVE towing gliders in the Pawnee. I'm guessing you will too.
I love towing them in the super cub, so I hope so. Although my only experience is with that and an L19, which some people like more but I don't.
 
I' towed quite a bit in a Super Cub and a Citabria. The Pawnee is pleasantly "different".
 
You will love the Pawnee - at our club we set the tail up on milk crates so you can see what a level pitch attitude is. Lots of rudder - the engine sticks way out front. I always got the tail up as soon as possible and you just have to counteract the precession with a bunch of rudder and you will be fine. Coming back down, I usually rolled into a 60 deg bank to load up some drag and spiraled down. I always thought the Pawnee was one of the most fun airplanes I have flown....
 
We had a house thermal half a mile from the runway one day…lift off, left turn, enter thermal.

The cross country guys would release when we hit the thermal at about 400 feet. Some guys would hang on to 1000 or 2000 feet while I thermaled the towplane. Some would hang on just long enough to recover from their panic and find the release knob. ;)

And some I just kept flying figure 8s that intersected at the thermal, because they weren’t experienced enough on tow.
On one of my best tows last year we hit lift at about 300 to 400 hundred feet with an instructor and student in the glider. I made a fairly sharp left turn and after 360 degrees remaining in the lift I just kept circling in the same turn, climbing at about 1,000 feet per minute, which about twice the rate in no lift. My next turn on the entire flight was in the pattern.
 
I love towing them in the super cub, so I hope so. Although my only experience is with that and an L19, which some people like more but I don't.
Incidentally, since we're on the topic, I'll share our engine-sparing management on tow. First, above around 4,000 feet MSL we lean the mixture even in the climb. On release we pull the mixture back to mid-point and maintain about 2400 RPM during the initial descent and then dropping the RPMs a hundred at a time during the descent, keeping the airspeed at around 100 mph to avoid excessive cooling.

We rarely if ever have to replace cylinders, while a neighboring operation (no longer in operation) seemed to go through several overhauls every season. They would chop power on release and dive down to the next tow, which might be more fun and might increase tows per hour, but it's murder on the engine.
 
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No longer an issue. :cheerswine:
If it were, Wikipedia claims that the Pawnee can carry a jump seat in the hopper, allowing a mechanic to ride along to remote operations. They don't show a picture of this configuration, so it is not clear if the jump seat is a folded (not folding but folded) lawn chair or how much legroom there is between the passenger's chin and armpits. But I figure that, with a modern noise-cancelling headset, a guy could put his wife up front and be single before he gets into the landing pattern, without even hearing a complaint.
 
Incidentally, since we're on the topic, I'll share our engine-sparing management on tow. First, above around 4,000 feet MSL we lean the mixture even in the climb. On release we pull the mixture back to mid-point and maintain about 2400 RPM during the initial descent and then dropping the RPMs a hundred at a time during the descent, keeping the airspeed at around 100 mph to avoid excessive cooling.

We rarely if ever have to replace cylinders, while a neighboring operation (no longer in operation) seemed to go through several overhauls every season. They would chop power on release and dive down to the next tow, which might be more fun and might increase tows per hour, but it's murder on the engine.
A tow to 4000 MSL would be out of the ordinary here, but I'll see if their procedures are any different from this. In the cub, I would keep it at around 2100 and 100 mph until pattern attitude and it didn't seem to cool too fast.
 
I'm comfortable in the super cub, so that's good to know.
On your first few takeoffs, without a glider in tow, to climb at 65mph IAS, the nose is high. After you are comfortable, try a couple takeoffs with the RPM limited to about 2200-2300. That will lower the nose down to about the attitude you will have with a glider on tow at 65-75mph. The long snout should be about parallel to the ground with a glider in tow at full power. I'm sure others have more Pawnee glider tow hours than I. I have about 650hrs in a Pawnee with a glider at about 4-5 tows per hour.
 
A tow to 4000 MSL would be out of the ordinary here, but I'll see if their procedures are any different from this. In the cub, I would keep it at around 2100 and 100 mph until pattern attitude and it didn't seem to cool too fast.
Consider your "Density Altitude" tow altitude in NE Texas. Out west, an airport at 2800MSL can have a DA above 5000 very easily. Towing from a 5500MSL airport, DA is approaching 9K on the ground and you will only get about 3000ft AGL before the O-540 and the Pawnee wings have met their performance ceiling.
 
Nobody asked, but…

I learned tailwheel in a Cub.Then bought a Citabria, and even taught in it.

I was asked if I could ferry a Cessna cropduster. AgTruck or AgHusky as I recall. No way to get checked out, of course.

On first takeoff, I got up some speed and pushed the stick forward to lift the tail. The plane swung hard to the left - at least 30 to 40 degrees - and I barely got it in the air before taking out some runway lights or signage. Lesson learned.

One such cropduster:

15009396532_58036015ba.jpg


I think this was Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, refueling after the leg from South Caicos.
Looks like a Cessna 188 AgWagon
 
But the limiting factor in a crosswind is grass stains on the wing tip.
This one had square tips with stall fences. Stuck down about two inches below the wing and extended back past the wing trailing edge. Yes, the bottom has been filed on the runway from max performance crosswind work. Not much green grass around to stain the tips.
1708642764098.jpeg
 
On your first few takeoffs, without a glider in tow, to climb at 65mph IAS, the nose is high. After you are comfortable, try a couple takeoffs with the RPM limited to about 2200-2300. That will lower the nose down to about the attitude you will have with a glider on tow at 65-75mph. The long snout should be about parallel to the ground with a glider in tow at full power. I'm sure others have more Pawnee glider tow hours than I. I have about 650hrs in a Pawnee with a glider at about 4-5 tows per hour.
Well I've got less than a hundred hours towing, so I am grateful to learn from anyone. :thumbsup:
 
any new model, good idea to read up on what got the other guys; NTSB report search function
 
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