Getting my Private Pilot Certificate in a Luscombe.

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by birdus, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. bluerooster

    bluerooster Pattern Altitude

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    Trim is your friend. Let him help you. I like the idea of introduction to stall early on in lessons. Not just approach to stall, ie; "there's the buffet, now recover." But full stall, recover after the break. That way, early on you'll have an idea as to what to do if it should progress too far.
    My instructors idea of fast taxi was wheel landing, and keep the tail up for the length of the runway, then taxi back for takeoff.

    Sounds like you are progressing well, and learning in a Luscombe from the start is the "cat daddy". Keep up the good work.
     
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  2. Dana

    Dana Cleared for Takeoff

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    Fair enough, it's personal preference. It works for me... if I'm in level flight I'm at cruise speed and I'm trimmed (my plane is slow enough that I don't need to slow down for the traffic pattern). Without flaps, a "stabilized approach" really isn't a thing because I plan to be high and slip as necessary on final to hit the spot. In a faster cleaner modern airplane than my biplane that may not be appropriate, but it worked in my Taylorcraft as well. But really, I suggested it as an experiment, a way to get a feel for what the plane is doing, even if you or your instructor don't like it as a regular thing.
     
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  3. bluerooster

    bluerooster Pattern Altitude

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    There ya go, do what works for you. I'm in the habit to trim for every phase of flight. I don't even think about it, it just happens. ;)
     
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  4. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    Oy, flying the PAPI down.
     
  5. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    That is pretty much right on, you will likely find that going around the pattern you may not need to adjust the trim much. Many airplanes don’t require trim changes for just going around the pattern but there are significant exceptions Like the C-120 I fly requires about 5 turns (not full turns, just rotate it 5 times) between takeoff and landing. Some planes like 172s like some flap to trim it between take-off trim and landing trim depending on what configuration of flap you opt to take-off and land with.

    The issue I usually see with new students is they get used to not trimming when going around the pattern and then they don’t trim when coming into the pattern from the cruise configuration and instead of being at pattern altitude at pattern (approach) speed we end up at cruise speed 500 ft below pattern altitude.

    I don’t recall what the Luscombe likes, been a year or so since I have flown one.

    Brian
    CFIIIG/ASEL
     
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  6. Tusayan

    Tusayan Pre-Flight

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    Luscombes are a bit limited in aft elevator trim capability... most (especially those with heavier 85 or 90 HP engines) require full aft trim to remove stick force with power off at 70 mph or so approach speed. Some have non-approved enlarged trim tabs for that reason.

    When executing a Luscombe touch and go and adding full power in landing configuration (i.e. with full aft trim), it takes a substantial but manageable forward stick force to keep the nose down so the plane can accelerate (Luscombes do not accelerate well with tail low), combined with some fancy footwork to keep plane going straight until reaching liftoff airspeed. My practice was to get the plane airborne with positive ROC before winding on some nose down trim to remove stick force at roughly 75 mph clImb speed.

    Slips in a Luscombe are a standard part of the landing approach, I liked to stay a little high and then slip down, and slips have very little effect on elevator forces to maintain the trimmed approach speed. If the plane has wing tanks, make sure you don’t slip too long with the selected fuel tank on the wing down side.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
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  7. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Lots of great advice in there! Thanks!

    On final, even with full up elevator trim, I have to apply back pressure on the stick, and I had read from other Luscombe pilots to expect that.

    Thanks for the tip about the fuel tanks while slipping. I hadn't heard that, but it makes sense.

    Jay
     
  8. j1b3h0

    j1b3h0 Line Up and Wait

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    Yes, Luscombes are quite limited in UP trim — I’m always at the full up stop at anything below 80mph, but my airplane has an O-200. I’ve never flown a real light weight, fabric-winged 8A, with the tank in the fuselage. Some were just over 600lbs. Bet they were delightful. But since then, every change made moved the CG forward: Tank(s) in the wing, forward. Metal (heavier) prop, forward. Bigger engine, forward. Not enough trim, go figure.
    One of the ways I get my students to trim alot is by urging them to fly with just their fingertips — easy to do, so long as the airplane is in trim. It’s one of the marks of a skilled pilot, that even a tank like a DC-3 can be flown with fingertips,...because the airplane is kept in trim.
     
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  9. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Very nice post. Thanks. Although I know it's not the same, it's cool to think of controlling something like a 747 or A380 with just your fingertips. Crazy.

    Jay
     
  10. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Lesson #6 — 1.3 hours (7.3 total)

    I'm getting used to checking ASOS (and the web cam!) for the weather before I go to the airport, and I did so today. It was quite cloudy—par for the course here in the Puget Sound area. Unfortunately, when I called the instructor, he thought the weather would probably us to go. You read that right. I admit to being anxious. I was really into music in high-school and college, as in I played trombone and piano and sang and started college as a music major. Before performing, I would sometimes almost feel sick. However, after getting on stage and getting going, everything was okay. I felt fine. Likewise, after I get to the airport and get flying, I'm okay. Hopefully, the nerves will calm down. The weather gradually improved, and we did go up.

    There were some low clouds, 600, 800, 1200, gradually increasing in altitude and with growing gaps between them. Despite my nerves, it ended up being good experience flying among the clouds, avoiding the clouds, and adjusting our altitude to either stay below them in the pattern or to climb above them for some other work.

    We began by doing some more Dutch Rolls. I noticed I was sometimes coming off the rudder prematurely when releasing aileron, so put extra effort into correcting that, and coordinating not only the beginning of the roll, but the end as well. I also need to maintain my altitude better, as I got a bit off during the Dutch Rolls. My instructor then showed me the effect on the compass of turning left and right while flying north and south, and east and west. He also demonstrated the effect of accelerating and decelerating on the compass. A dive and then a steep climb made the point nicely. I had read about it, so, as with many things, I had the knowledge in my head, but it sticks better and really starts to sink in when actually performed and not merely looked at on paper. After practicing some basic flying skills, the instructor told me my airplane handling skills are really good. I feel like those skills are coming, but I know I'm just a neophyte in the grand scheme of things.

    Then, he told me to find the airport. Time for some more landings and takeoffs. At first, I wasn't sure. Thankfully, he didn't say anything. That forced me to think it through. More good experience. We had gone to the northeast for practice, so I looked at the compass and figured roughly the direction we'd need to head to get back—southwest—ish. I looked at some of the hills—through the clouds—and tried to remember how we'd returned home before. I looked at the sun and tried to use it as a rough guide. I also had to avoid some clouds while trying to get back. I remember we'd used a water tower as a point at which to fly the 45 to downwind. I didn't end up finding the airport on my own, but it was a really good exercise.

    Takeoffs and landings. I think we did around a half dozen today (forgot the iPad in the car and so didn't have it counting for me). I may have slight PTSD from our first foray onto the runway a few weeks back. However—miraculously—I am now consistently staying on the center-line during takeoffs. After the first few high-speed taxis those several lessons ago, it seemed as if it would be impossible and I didn't know how I could ever do it, but now, after a dozen or so additional attempts, I am. Additionally, on the last few takeoffs, I got the tail up just about the right amount so that the plane just flew off with little input on my part. It's a Christmas miracle!

    Landings are harder. Some of my approaches were off, a bit high, or low, or off center. A few of them required corrections as I got close to the ground. Those didn't all work out that well. On one, we flew through the wake turbulence of a Cessna, maybe a 172. It was interesting how such a small plane could generate enough disturbance to bounce us around like that. I had to feed in some bigger corrections to keep us on track. That was moderately exciting. There were a few crazy landings that I botched. The instructor demonstrated one for me. I'm not sure it helped that much, because I set us up high, and he slipped it in, so it was quite a bit different than what I was working on. In any event, it was interesting.

    I brought us in on the last one. I adjusted power and back pressure to keep us on a good glide path and at a good speed. I centered us on the runway and used rudder to make sure we were lined up with the direction of travel. As usual, I ballooned, albeit quite a small amount. Then, I set it down gently, full stall, and kept us moving more-or-less straight down the runway. Another small miracle.

    I am under no illusion that I've got the landings. However, I am under the illusion that there is hope. Okay. Maybe it's not an illusion. I hope, as with the takeoffs, I will now begin to gain some consistency on landings. It was an encouraging way to end the day. Maybe there was no reason to feel anxious after all.

    Jay
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  11. swingwing

    swingwing Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Birdus,
    Thank you for the posts. I am throughly enjoying your honesty and the play by play as you learn to fly. Please keep them coming! It is taking me back to my first days in the air.

    Not many of the old school cool instructors left. Sounds like you found one of the “greats” The lessons learned and experience will be priceless. Keep up the good work!
     
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  12. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks so much for the kind words. One never knows if it's worth the time and effort of writing the posts without at least a bit of feedback. I'll keep 'em coming.

    Jay
     
  13. swingwing

    swingwing Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Since you are in Washington, I hope to see an Alaska Highway trip report in the future you got a good plane for it
     
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  14. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Interesting that you would suggest that. This post from this thread I started explains my plans for my first major outing after getting my certificate. For your convenience, here's the gist of it, copied from that post.

    "I live in Tacoma and am planning a series of flights where I fly (and video) the entire Cascade mountain range. Definitely VFR. The first segment of the trip would be a couple days where I fly from Tacoma to Port Hardy (and spend a night there), then make a couple trips among the northern part of the Cascades (starting around the Silverthrone Caldera), refueling back at Port Hardy between flights, possibly spending a second night in some place like Pemberton (if it's open), then flying along the remainder of the Canadian Cascades before heading back home. On another day, I would fly back up to the border and fly the Cascades back down to Tacoma. Next, maybe Mount Rainier down to Hood, or something like that. Then, I'd probably do another weekend where I go straight down to Mt. Hood, then continue filming from there all the way down to Lassen Peak near Redding. That's the idea, anyway."

    Jay
     
  15. j1b3h0

    j1b3h0 Line Up and Wait

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    I’m enjoying your posts, Birdus. Its’s good you’re listening to the ASOS. With a little experience you’ll learn how the weather affects your flight, or more precisely when it will limit you. Anyone who flys a Luscombe develops a healthy respect for the wind direction and velocity, for instance. Another thought I had was that now that you’re becoming consistently able to straddle the centerline with the main tire during landings, you might focus your efforts on being able to touchdown where you want on the runway.
     
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  16. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm doing pretty well on takeoffs, but I'm still all over the map on landings. Hopefully, another few lessons and I'll be consistently keeping it on the centerline during landings. Then on to touchdown point!
     
  17. Bill Greenwood

    Bill Greenwood Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Gosh, I feel sorry for all you folks with the wheel still on the trailing end like all those old fashioned planes you see in the movies. You don't have the privilege of flying something really cool like a Cirrus or a Mustang ( Cessna jet with air conditioning and an autopilot). Think of all the thousands of dollars of cool avionics you are going to miss out on. Heck, you may even have to spend your time looking out the window, rather than watching the big game on your panel tv screen.
    If you fly with that little wheel in the back, you'll be so limited to a few old relics like a J3 Cub, Tiger Moth,Stearman, T-6/SNJ, P-40, P-51, Zero, Wildcat, Hellcat, Bearcat, Hurricane, Spitfire, and if you are real brave maybe even an Me 109. And all the history and big reputation of something like a Spitfire, ok so its got the best wing ever made, but hey doesn't even have room inside for an ipad. And most of those planes are so noisy you can't even hear your cell phone or Bluetooth. How primitive.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
  18. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Lesson #7 — 1.5 hours (8.8 total)

    Although every lesson so far has been interesting, challenging, surprising, or exciting (and not always in a good way!), today's contained a bit of a landmark.

    I was still skeptical that my takeoffs were solid. Were the last few just flukes? Apparently not. Today, they continued to be good. I stayed close to the centerline, got the tail up about the right amount and the plane flew itself off. I still need to work on nailing the climb out speed—I tended to be a bit slow initially—but takeoffs are pretty good. Landings are still lagging behind in quality. However, I'm making more positive adjustments when I see that we're high or low, adjusting throttle and pitch and getting us lined up on the runway. Before we got into the plane, I asked the instructor if we could fly the length of the runway a few times so I could practice controlling my lateral position while keeping the longitudinal axis of the plane parallel to the runway. He said he was going to suggest that anyway. That was challenging and I need to work on it more. I feel like it will reap big benefits.

    After 3 takeoffs and landings, we came to a full stop. A buddy called us on the radio while we were on final and said he thought he found my fuel cap by the pumps. In fact, it was mine. We never did end up using that tank, but that's okay, because the one we were using was full and that was plenty. I don't think any fuel was siphoned because that tank was only half full to begin with, so no big deal. Another lesson learned. I told the instructor he could sit tight and I'd get the fuel cap back on the tank. He said he was going to get out because I was going to start flying out of the left seat. The plan had been for us to go up in his Cessna 140 to start me off in the left seat, because then the instructor would still have brakes. However, he clearly thought I could handle the plane okay without his having brakes. Was his faith misplaced? Would I get psyched out? Drop it in and break the gear? Get brain overload, fowl up the controls, and ground loop? My instructor no longer could save the day with brakes.

    I took off. So far so good. I stayed on the centerline and executed a good takeoff. I headed south to a practice area dodging a few clouds and doing Dutch Rolls along the way. I proceeded to do several 360s, both directions, including the steepest turns I'd done yet—around 60°—turns around a point, and s-turns along a road. I tried to fly a constant distance from a street intersection in a rectangle, and completely sucked. Couldn't keep my distance consistent. I found it hard to judge. We then proceeded to do some power-off stalls and then some power-on stalls. Not perfect, but not bad.

    Then, the moment I was dreading. We headed back towards the airport. I asked if we had to land, although I already knew the answer. There was no getting around it. I asked if we could do a couple more low passes first. I expressed a few times how strange it was, banking the wings and slipping with the rudder. I felt retarded, or drunk, or something. However, I almost felt like I was improving at the tail end of the second pass. Maintaining altitude over the runway while attempting that wasn't easy, either. In general, I was less coordinated in the left seat while using my left hand than I had been in the right seat. I almost felt like I was having to re-learn what I had just learned. I was fighting my muscle memory. On downwind at mid-field, I began to take my left hand off the stick to pull carb heat, but I caught myself. That's the hand I had been using up to that point, so that's the one that automatically went. I have a few more hours before retraining the muscle memory.

    Now, the moment of truth. "This time, let's land," Gene said to me. Crap.

    Way too high on final. "Slip it," Gene said. My first forward slip ever. Gene never lets up. I started a little timidly. I gave it left aileron and right rudder. "Give it full rudder!" After stepping all the way down on the rudder, I adjusted aileron a bit to get us a little farther to the right. I checked our airspeed. Okay. Good speed. Ease out of the slip. I'm lined up. I'd been ballooning consistently in my landings just prior to touching down. Level off a little earlier, hold it off, let it start to settle, keep pulling back. Touch the rudder, make sure we're straight.

    Hmmm. We're down. My best landing yet. Whaddya know?

    Although I knew it could ruin the good ending to the day, "let's do one more," I said, and so we did. A little high, a little fast, a little off to the right. Pull throttle, pull back on the stick, coordinate a slight turn to the left, then back to the right. That landing wasn't as good, but I made adjustments and got us down without bending or breaking anything. I actually felt good about it, not because it was good—it wasn't—but because we bounced and got a little crooked and I dealt with the issues and got us down in reasonable fashion.

    Onward and upward.

    Jay

    IMG-0003.PNG
     
  19. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    Just out of curiosity, are y'all using carb heat on takeoff?
     
  20. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Negative. We prefer MORE POWER!

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
     
  21. Bill Greenwood

    Bill Greenwood Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Jay, if you'd like some suggestions on basic tailwheel handing for takeoff and landing, phone me. Im in information, area code 970, Bill Greenwood.
    There are some very simple images or concepts that I was taught when I first learned tailwheel flying years ago and they have worked for me for a couple of thousand hours in a dozen different airplanes, from basic trainer to fighters. Its not that hard if you know what you are trying to do.
    On thing you can do on your own, no CFI needed is to taxi the plane around for an hour or more till you get used to it. A narrow taxiway is not wide enough, you want a ramp if possible. Don't need to go too fast, what you want is to see how much rudder pedal travel it takes ( maybe 1/3 to 1/2 to start a turn and the how much to stop that turn. Try not to use brakes, and I don't know Luscombs. Try it, good luck.
     
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  22. Maxnr

    Maxnr Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Not required. He has an E model with wing tanks. The A model and earlier have a single fuselage tank above the baggage. With partial fill, the POH requires carb heat due to the lower head pressure. Carb then sucks harder. My 8A had 11.5 gal tanks in each wing, req went away.

    Bill's suggestion to taxi around for awhile is right on. My 8A had been wrecked by the previous owner and I wound up with it. I was a military pilot at the time flying one type with power in the left hand and pitch/roll in the right. Two other types with power in the RH and P & R (yoke) in the left. Insp & sign off for the rebuild was yet to happen. I taxied around for an hour (no fairings installed) and felt at home after 10 minutes of this. Left stick, right throttle no problem.
     
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  23. tonycondon

    tonycondon Gastons CRO (Chief Dinner Reservation Officer)

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    Cool! Looking forward to following along. My 17 year old cousin just bought a Luscombe and is taking lessons in it. He solo'd his dads Cherokee 140 last Summer but is now learning taildragging.
     
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  24. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Update: Nasty weather today in the Pacific Northwest, so no flying. Tomorrow, an A&P and I begin working on a number of mods and upgrades to the Luscombe, so no flying until after that. I hope next week, but my instructor kind of chuckled when I mentioned that time frame.

    Merry Christmas everyone, and I'll continue with the flight blog when the bird is ready to go again.

    Jay
     
  25. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Lesson #8 — 1.6 hours (10.4 total)

    After almost 5 weeks off, I didn't know how much I'd forgotten, but I quickly found out. But first, why the downtime? I had a number of things done to the plane, and did quite a bit of the work myself. In a nutshell:
    • Repainted some odds and ends externally
    • Redid some interior with the same leather as my newly upholstered seats
    • Wingtip lights, adding strobes to the nav lights, so I can do the night time training
    • Intercom in the panel (vs. the crappy portable which was falling apart and with wires interfering with the trim wheel)
    • Painted the sticks with my replacement color, and put new wooden grips with PTT switches on them
    • Multiple USB outlets
    • Stratus ESG ADSB
    • Lightweight starter (SkyTec)
    • Replace generator with alternator
    • Remote mounted oil filter
    • Have mixture arm extended by double for more precision over the original mixture control
    • Replace anti-chafe material on cowling
    The weight & balance in the log was 950 pounds (although I don't think it ever actually weighed that much), and now weighs in at 912 pounds. I'm tickled pink at that. I think that's it, although I might've missed something. Now onto the flight lesson.

    Although my rudder work on takeoff was still good (something that had haunted me after my first few horrifying high-speed taxis), my coordination had gone to pot, on liftoff, landing, and in the air. We worked on that quite a bit. The instructor had me do some dutch rolls, although I was giving heavy inputs and getting poor results, especially coming out of the rolls. He had me do gentler rolls, and I began to improve.

    Really, we just reviewed stuff we had done before. I did some climbing turns, some gliding turns, some slow-speed flight, and 6 landings. Of course, I was using my sweet new intercom and PTT button to do all the radio work, and I don't feel quite so rushed while speaking, primarily, I think, because I'm feeling a bit more comfortable just doing the flying. Originally, I felt really rushed on the radio, simply because it was stealing brain power which I couldn't spare.

    One of the landings was bad. My brain went haywire and I was doing inexplicable things with the controls. The instructor asked why I had done that, and I made it clear that it wasn't on purpose. The other 5 landings were all okay to good. By the time we wrapped up, I said that I felt like I was about back where I had been almost 5 weeks earlier, and was pretty pleased. He agreed that I had gotten back what I had lost, but that I was also generally smoother.

    After this experience, I absolutely understand how dragging out one's training with large gaps between lessons will make it take much, much longer to complete. At this point, I'm happy enough with the plane that I think I'll be able to finish up my training without having any more work done to it, although I do intend on putting a new panel in it later on. Weather permitting, we'll go up again tomorrow.

    Jay
     
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  26. j1b3h0

    j1b3h0 Line Up and Wait

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    Jay - Just got my own 8A in the air after the ADS-B install and alternator repair. Took up my co-owner partner (the guy who taught me to fly in the 1970s, and who flew his own Stearman for 25 years) and the Luscombe felt as strange to him as the swahili language. What I explained to my friend is that pilot who becomes skillful in a Luscombe can learn to fly anything.
     
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  27. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    Well, I had forgotten all about you Jay. Glad you’re flying again. I will try to withhold the very friendly lecture, but it sounds as if you now know that taking a break in the middle of primary training is not good. You need to fly as much and as often as possible in the beginning. After some more time under your belt you will be able to take longer breaks, but right now it will go away FAST!

    I understand perfectly the desire to improve the plane. I am constantly doing things to my planes. In your case you should be FLYING! Do what is necessary to maintain the plane and keep it safe, but FLY IT! The less flight time you have, the quicker your skills go away. I would set a goal to fly no less than three times per week if at all possible.

    Keep up the good work.

    The mods and work sound great by the way, just don’t cost yourself downtime at this point. Did you also use the Stratus IN module mounted permanently in place? That’s what I did in my 140. It not only gives me Pad IN, but also AHRS that gives me full use of synthetic vision in Foreflight. You don’t need or even want that at your stage of flying, but later on would be handy at times.

    My $0.02,
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
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  28. jallen0

    jallen0 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    All that work done and no pictures?
     
  29. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    Doc
    Yeah, the camera didn’t break too did it?
     
  30. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 En-Route

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    Meet the Fokkers
    Sounds like a pilots life already!

    Glad to see you are back on track. Long breaks are rarely a good thing but the investment in the plane for night flights etc., shows your dedication, and to me that's a good quality that helps make good pilots.
    Congrats on everything so far...

    And ditto on the pictures ;)
     
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  31. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Jay Williams
    Yes, I got the full-blown ADS-B, permanently installed. I actually plan on taking advantage of the AHRS during my training to give me an artificial horizon for the instrument/unusual attitude training.

    Thanks for the words of encouragement.

    Jay
     
  32. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    No, my camera is not broken. So as to avoid further harassment, here are some pictures. It's a work in progress. I plan on redoing the entire panel, but not until after I have my certificate and the uAvionix (Aerovonics) AV-30 has been certified, scheduled for Q2.

    DSC00049.jpg DSC00050.jpg DSC00051.jpg DSC00052.jpg DSC00053.jpg DSC00054.jpg DSC00055.jpg DSC00056.jpg DSC00060.jpg DSC00061.jpg
     
  33. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Pictures, cont'd (due to 10-shot limit per post):

    DSC00062.jpg DSC00063.jpg DSC00064.jpg DSC00065.jpg DSC00066.jpg
     
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  34. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Lesson #9 — 1.3 hours (11.7 total)

    So, after yesterday's catch-up lesson, I feel like I'm making headway again. Today, I practiced more departure stalls and approach stalls, but I also did accelerated stalls for the first time. They were at a moderate power setting and speed, so the load factor was quite low. Also, in general, this Luscombe can scarcely be made to get out of shape. At full power and at a super steep deck angle, it seems like the plane will barely stall. I can keep wings level with rudder just about all day long. I'll experiment with that more later when I'm out on my own. Just about across the board, stalls have been a non-event. Or maybe I'm just getting better at dealing with them.

    Heading back to the airport, I did a new entry into the pattern. I overflew the field at 1,000 above the pattern, then did a descending teardrop to a 45 to the downwind. That was pretty cool.

    I did 4 takeoffs and landings. On one of the takeoffs, we followed closely behind a guy (172?) that did a go-around. At maybe 100 feet above the runway, the plane banked right somewhat sharply and wouldn't respond to my inputs. We were way over the grass. The instructor wondered what in the heck I was doing. I said I had no idea what I had done. I got us back over the runway, and then it happened again. I was the first one to realize that we were flying in the wake of the guy that did the go-around. The Luscombe doesn't have a lot of aileron authority and I honestly thought we had a problem with the controls. I was a bit concerned for a moment. Another good lesson. I can't imagine flying in the wake of a 747. That would be really bad news.

    On one of the approaches, I just about hit the numbers. On another, the instructor told me to stay right on the glide slope, according to the PAPI. I did. On another one, he had me come in high and slip to lose altitude. I did fine, although I need to practice those more, and do some in both directions. I've done a total of 2, both banking to my side. All my touchdowns were okay. On at least one, the instructor said the landing was perfect.

    After we were done, the instructor said I'll probably be ready to solo in another flight or two, and he can see my confidence building, but we need to go over a couple more things. After I solo, he said he wanted me to fly by myself for around 5 hours before we start talking about navigation and cross countries. He said I'll improve an enormous amount just flying around alone, working on the things I've been learning.

    Jay
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
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  35. bluerooster

    bluerooster Pattern Altitude

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    shorty
    Yes, a friend managed to un-port, during slip to land. engine quit. Non-event, but still... :eek: (Luscomb 8E)
     
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  36. jallen0

    jallen0 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Nice pictures. You are going to have fun!
     
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  37. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    Great pictures! You do nice work.

    it looks as if you will confirm what I’ve been told about primary students learning in tailwheel aircraft. More than one instructor has said that starting from scratch a student will typically solo in about the same number of hours whether tailwheel or tricycle. It’s when you retrofit the tailwheel into a nose wheel pilots head that it can take a long time.
     
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  38. Matt C

    Matt C Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hey Jay. I don't log in much but I wanted to pop in and say how much I've enjoyed your thread. Keep up the great work - it looks like you are having a great time with all of this. Fair skies friend.
     
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  39. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks a lot, Matt! I sure appreciate it. Sometimes you don't know if it's worth your time to do the write ups, so the positive feedback helps.

    Jay
     
  40. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Lesson #10 — 1.1 hours (12.8 total)

    Before I confirmed with my instructor that we would go up today, the weather was super nasty at the house. My anxiety might have had something to do with that, but, as usual, once on the way, or at the airport, or up in the plane, I felt better. It wasn't raining at the airport as it was at the house, but it was windy—7 gusting to 14, but more or less down the runway.

    We'd been waiting for a windy day to do more turns around a point and S-turns, and today worked out quite well for that. We were probably seeing winds of around 15 mph at 1,000 AGL, which worked out very nicely. Both maneuvers were a challenge, and there's certainly room for improvement, but I didn't do too badly. It was really helpful to review the flight path on my iPad from Garmin Pilot after the flight. For those who might be wondering, the only thing I do with the iPad is turn it on and throw it in the back for auto-logging the flight. I'll use it for more eventually.

    Then, the moment I wasn't too excited about—landing in gusty winds. I got my bearings, figured out where the airport was, flew back and entered the pattern, all with no input from the instructor. And made a pretty awful landing. I felt like the wind lifted a wing, I tried to correct, got out of whack, and almost put us in the weeds. I thought we were toast. The instructor intervened and quickly got us straightened out. We might've put a tire in the grass, but it turned out okay. The instructor said I need to make sure and keep it straight on touchdown. Maybe I was yawing some when we touched.

    I did 3 more takeoffs and landings, for a total of 4. My approaches were kinda sloppy, partly from the wind, but partly because I just wasn't doing a good job. I think one thing I was doing was flying the approach a bit fast, possibly from fear of the wind, causing me to hit final high, and then just going downhill from there. I have plenty of runway. I shouldn't have worried too much about being high.

    A couple times, the bottom dropped out when we were on short final and I had to add a blip of power, and one of those times there were lots of others gusts, and I was all over the place, struggling to stay anywhere near the centerline. I think I was going to get it down okay (even if ugly), but the instructor called for a go-around. He had told me he would do that at some point, but I wasn't thinking about it. I pushed in the power and then immediately the carb heat. Then, after un-dialing in some of the full-up trim, I announced the go-around.

    Despite getting tossed around on a few occasions almost as much as the wake turbulence we flew through the other day, I did manage to stick a couple good landings, and, despite the stress, I came away feeling okay about my additional experience.

    Note: After inserting the images below, I noticed my horrible base legs and less-than-parallel downwinds. Thankfully, they don't give tickets for not flying square patterns. :D

    Jay

    IMG_0004.jpg IMG_0005.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020