Head: Up and locked...

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by gkainz, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    I flew 48V to KCUT to visit my dad in the hospital this weekend, who is starting to show signs of improvement in his condition. Yeah! But, instead of flying direct to Rapid City and bumming a ride to the hospital, my brother in law asked that I come to Custer so we could drive to Rapid City and discuss a number of family issues that are going to need attention soon along the way. Of course, this started the mental wheels turning and began the distractions.

    I noticed it was taking me a bit longer than usual to get my act together at home in the morning. Reading thru the weather required a number of passes on the same information to actually "get it".

    I rented a C-172RG Cutlass that I've been flying for a while, and am comfortable with this plane. Preflight went smoothly... except for "I wonder why the hydraulic reservour is not on this checklist? Did I miss it? Hmmm, nope, it's not on the list. Oh well, check it anyway."

    "Plenty of fuel to get to Custer with plenty of reserve, but I might as well fill here, since it's cheaper than Custer. Then I can do a round trip without refueling." So, we tow the plane over to the fuel pumps for a fillup, which put me a little behind my desired schedule. However, since my brother in law lives near the airport, he doesn't drive over to pick me up until he hears me go overhead, anyway.

    So, all fueled up, startup, taxi and runup are all routine and normal. "Beep, Beep, Beep...rats! GPS batteries are low. Oh well, I'll change them once I'm on my way." Everything else looks good, the weather's great and it's a good day to be flying. I announce departure, take position on 33 and give everything a quick check. All looks good, so power up and we're rolling. Cool! It sure feels good to be flying again! Airspeed's alive, everything's normal. there's 55, rotate, and accelerate to 80.

    "Oh yeah," I remember, "they want us to modify our north departures now for noise abatement for the new housing developments that are surrounding the airport. Ok, glad I remembered that for an early Saturday morning." So, I roll the RPMs back to 2400, turn west between the houses to the road, then north a little, west again and then north to my departure heading. "OK, where was I? Oh yeah, Climb checklist ... there it is, Enroute Climb: normal speed: 86-95, check. Prop: 2500, ok we're clear of houses, back to 2500 RPM. Throttle: 25", yeah right ... 23" is the best we're getting at 7000'. Carb heat: cold, check. Mixture: set for 50° ROP EGT, Cowl flaps: open, check."

    Something's still not quite right here, but I can't quite put my finger on it. So, climb up to 8500, level off, and we'll see what we get for airspeed today. Quartering tailwind at 20 knots ought to help a bit this morning, but I'm sure I'll pay it back coming home. So, Cruise checklist: Prop: 2100 - 2700 RPM, 2400 feels good so check. Power 15"-25": indicating 22", check. Trims: adjust. Cowl flaps: Closed, check. Ok, so why am I only getting 110 knots here? Ok, flow check... Throttle, check. Mixture, reset to 50° ROP EGT, check. Flaps are up, cowl flaps are closed, gear is down and green. Airspeed still indicating 110 knots. One more time, flow check... until I get to gear - down and green... DUH!!!! Aw crap! Hope nobody saw that on departure! 110 knots - still ok for gear, so "gear up" .... ka-thunk, ok, gear up and indicating... and, to quote Jackie Gleason "away we go!" Ah! 130 knots! That's more like it!

    I realized that I let the noise abatement distract me from my takeoff and climb checklist and completely missed "gear up". And then the second realization was "If you can miss 'gear up', you had better pull your head out and make a HUGE mental Post-It note to not forget the gear DOWN at Custer!" :)
     
  2. AdamZ

    AdamZ Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Good post Greg. Do you think the family issues might have distracted you as well? Its amazing what even a little stress will do to our heads.
     
  3. Michael

    Michael Pattern Altitude

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    I had that happen to me once when departing Auga Caliente. I heard a pop sound, and decided to turn downwind and land. When i reached base, the sound was gone, and all seemed fine. I was planning on a short fuel hop, maybe 25 miles, so i decided against landing and continuing on to my fuel stop. When i reached the destination airport and went to lower the gear, it was already down. DOH. The whole way there i was saying to myself, this doesnt feel right, i shouldve landed. I realized then why it didnt feel right.

    Thanks for reminding us Greg. Good post.
     
  4. ejensen

    ejensen Pattern Altitude Gone West

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    I've never done anything like that. Just don't ask the wife why it took os long to get over RMNP a couple Christmases ago. Same thing, distractions.
     
  5. RotaryWingBob

    RotaryWingBob En-Route Gone West

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    I guess we'd be hard pressed to find a pilot who's never been distracted. The trick is, as you did, to get past it!
     
  6. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've done the same thing as well (left the gear down and wondered why the climb was less than usual) in my Bonanza and once or twice I've gone a long way in the Baron wondering why my cruise speed is a few knots below normal because the cowl flaps were open. :redface: Besides using checklists, the best advice I can give is to periodically run over the whole panel and check the position of everything. Now if I could only remember to do that everytime I forget something else.:D
     
  7. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The dump valve for the gear hydraulic system (aka emergency gear valve) on my plane is on the side of the center console, right next to my knee. I've lost count of the number of times that I've managed to dislodge that on the ground... resulting in the gear failing to retract when the gear switch is moved. Resetting the dump valve fixes the issue (one of these days, a simple rubber band is going to fix the issue...).

    Do the words "climbs like a pig" mean anything?
     
  8. AirBaker

    AirBaker Pattern Altitude

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    Well at least it just looks like another 172... :)
     
  9. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Can't be as bad as a 180 hp C-172N with 30 degrees of flaps hanging out in the breeze. :D Don't ask me how I know.
     
  10. bluesky74656

    bluesky74656 Line Up and Wait

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    If that's what a pig climbs like, then an elephant must climb like a 152 with 30 degrees of flaps out. :D
     
  11. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Greg,

    Glad you got to fly instead of drive. Just remember, even with the gear down its still faster than driving. :)
     
  12. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    Yessireee! 1.8 hrs up and 2.3 back vs 6.0 each way in the car (or worse, depending on that lovely stretch of windblown hell called I-25 between Chugwater and Orin Junction...)
    On a cool note, my dad got moved out of ICU yesterday to standard care! Wahoo!
     
  13. rpadula

    rpadula En-Route

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    Bill,

    At least you've got the turbo. I think us straight 112's might be SOL. :D

    -Rich
    /keeping eye on right knee from now on...
     
  14. deafsound

    deafsound Line Up and Wait

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    Better to leave the gear up for climbout than to leave them down for descent and landing.
    I just started flying an Arrow, and I'm having nightmares already about leavinf the gear up when I finally take the plane for my first X/C.
    GUMPS GUMPS GUMPS
     
  15. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not that much difference in HP, unless it's a high DA situation....

    For me, I gotta keep careful watch with that turbo because airspeed = airflow = cooling for the engine. The turbo makes it worse.
     
  16. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I realize you are new at this, but I think you'd better switch your thinking around:D.
     
  17. deafsound

    deafsound Line Up and Wait

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    My got the best of dyslexia me. heh.
     
  18. mattaxelrod

    mattaxelrod Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Well, I pray to Dog this never happens to me.
     
  19. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII Final Approach

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    Unless the airborne pachederm is Jumbo.
     
  20. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I thought that was Dumbo. :D
     
  21. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Midfield downwind - 3 IN THE GREEN
    Turning base - 3 IN THE GREEN
    Turning final - 3 IN THE GREEN
    Short final - 3 IN THE GREEN

    It's been 3 1/2 years since getting my complex endorsement in the Arrow and I still hear my CFI's words every time.
     
  22. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII Final Approach

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    You're right.
    Gotta catch up on my movie reviews.
     
  23. Gilbert Buettner

    Gilbert Buettner Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Back when the earth was still cooling, I was a student pilot in the US Air Force. During a formation flight in T-38s, I kept having trouble staying on the wing of the lead aircraft. I had to use short bursts of afterburner to keep up. Not good, burning way too much fuel! I finally realized I'd have a better time if I retracted the speed brakes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2023 at 7:33 PM
  24. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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  25. texasclouds

    texasclouds En-Route

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  26. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Back when I was doing my PPL, the only plane that was available one day was a 172 RG. So, we took the 172 RG. "Don't touch that gear lever!!"

    I rented one later after I got my PPL, complex and HP endorsements. Even with the gear up, it still flew like a turd.