How Close Did I Come To Killing Myself on Climbout

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by Anonymous, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    PPL student pilot here with ~50 hours. Sometime earlier in my training, on a solo flight to a nearby airport to practice landings, I made a boo-boo. Flying a Cessna 152, I drop in onto final with 30 degrees of flaps in, make a nice landing, check everything (almost everything), power up for my touch-and-go, and lift off the runway. You probably know where this is headed. Something feels off, different, weird. The sight picture is wrong and my climb anemic. I check power, full. Mixture, rich. Gas, on. Carb heat, off. Everything looks fine. I look out the window. Whoops. 30 degrees of flap. I immediately went into recover-from-power-off-stall-or-slow-flight mode and start working out the flaps in increments, making sure I have the right pitch attitude to maintain airspeed and not lose too much altitude (if any). I make a successful recovery, but I'm curious now.

    How close was I to being a statistic? What would have happened if I had tried to fly the whole pattern with 30 degrees in? Would I have been unable to climb and hit the trees at the airport edge? Would I have stalled when making my normal pattern turns? Is anyone even able to answer these questions based on this information?

    I'm pretty proud of myself for TLANR-ing (That Looks About NOT Right), not panicking, running my checks, ID-ing the problem, not panicking again, and working out the flaps as I was supposed to. I just don't know how hard I should be smacking myself on the forehead for this mistake. Was it potentially deadly?
     
  2. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    You did the equivalent of a go-around with full flaps. As you noticed, the climb rate is anemic, and the pitch and in much lower, but you correctly incrementally reduced flaps, pitched for airspeed, and recovered. Go up with your instructor and get some practice and you'll feel comfortable. You'll also understand now why many CFIs don't like their students doing touch and gos.
     
  3. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you PoA Supporter

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    I am guessing If you were able to climb out of ground effect, you could have flown the whole pattern w/ flaps and if your airspeed was Vx or Vy, not close to becoming a statistic.
     
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  4. rtk11

    rtk11 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm guessing many (if not most) have forgotten to retract flaps. But it's a lesson that you won't soon forget. I've added a 200 foot check into my climb out routine and make sure I verbally announce "200 feet - Flaps Up" every time.
     
  5. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    I rehearse the go around procedure in my head when I'm on final so I'm not caught by surprise. I also like to brief my captain on the go around procedure if we need to do one. Seems like it worked out on this one. Be careful though on hot, high DA days.
     
  6. luvflyin

    luvflyin Pattern Altitude

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    Yup. Potentially in different circumstances. Hotter day, shorter runway, higher airport, heavier airplane with a passenger etc. Good job reacting calmly, you have a right to be proud. Don't do it again.
     
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  7. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yep, I found that the Navion will have an incredibly short ground roll with full power/full flaps. Doesn't climb worth crap though.

    You identified the problem and properly corrected. Rarely is one single event a cause of a crash. Now if you hadn't realized why your plane wasn't climbing, if you had left the flaps down, if you'd stalled it trying to "gain altitude" etc... then yes you may have crashed.
     
  8. luvflyin

    luvflyin Pattern Altitude

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    I have "lose ## degrees on go around" in my in the groove speech. Yeah, it was added after a oops incident.
     
  9. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    My instructor made me practice go-arounds after getting to about 50 of touchdown with 40 degrees of flaps in a 150, had manual flaps which I really enjoyed.
     
  10. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    BD, I take off with flaps every time in the Mooney. :p
     
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  11. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Yep. Go around, set thrust, flaps 8. Plane flies a lot better without all that drag!
     
  12. hotprops

    hotprops Pre-takeoff checklist

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    go out and fly with 30 degrees of flaps at altitude to prove to yourself the aircraft will fly all day with flaps out .it will just not climb as well and will feel different .
     
  13. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It was a oops, not a could have died, at 50hrs that's a oops you should well be able to recover from, as you did.
     
  14. vontresc

    vontresc En-Route

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    IIRC Certification requires positive climb with full flaps at gross.
     
  15. Cpt_Kirk

    Cpt_Kirk En-Route

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    Considering how level-headed you were in recognizing an abnormal situation and correcting for it in a timely manner, I think you did a great job. We have all made and will continue to make mistakes. It happens. We just try to mitigate them as best we can.
     
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  16. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not quite. The climb at gross allows you to retract the flaps to whatever you can get them in two seconds or less.

    (3) The wing flaps in the landing position, except that if the flaps may safely be retracted in two seconds or less without loss of altitude and without sudden changes of angle of attack, they may be retracted;
     
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  17. vontresc

    vontresc En-Route

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    Well I was close. P
     
  18. labbadabba

    labbadabba Line Up and Wait

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    I know a few 172s have ended in tragedy with 40 degree flaps. I personally don't like any flap setting beyond 30 degrees. I'll do 40 on a short field but I usually land on nice long runways...
     
  19. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route

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    Additional requirement: at ISA. Don't expect to climb at high DAs. :hairraise:
     
  20. Ryanb

    Ryanb Pattern Altitude

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    Honestly, you were not that close. As long as you kept your airspeed in the green zones (Vx+) it's okay. Because you were flying solo there was likely some extra room in your performance envelope. It can/will be different when you add more fat inside the airplane. You did the correct thing taking them out in increments. Try to have go-around procedures on the tip of your tongue when you're on final. 152 (Full power, carb heat cold, flaps 10 etc) just in case.
     
  21. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    This. But for the OP, you said your climb was anemic, but at least you were climbing. So I don't think you were that close to disaster unless there were a line of trees in front of you. Good job in handling the situation.
     
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  22. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Could you climb well clear of obstacles without setting off the stall warning at any point?

    If yes, you weren't close.

    On a hot day, loaded to max, especially at higher altitudes, the aircraft may have trouble climbing in that fashion. I experienced that in much the same way as you did as a student pilot, in a 172N with 40 deg flaps on a stupid-hot day. The aircraft wouldn't climb.

    Note that Vy will be lower dirty than clean.

    Now you know you keep your head when something goes south. That's good.

    FWIW, I thoroughly disagree on skipping full flaps. That's like pretending you have a weaker engine or no brakes. The lesson is not to skip using equipment that may be helpful, but to use a flow and checklist for go-arounds. I use a T-flow on most airplanes. In a 152, that would be carb heat, full throttle, mixture, flaps, trim. The mixture should already be set from the before-landing checklist.
     
  23. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Reality is that you know better how close you were to death than anyone here on the Internet.

    Kind of depends on what obstacles were in your path.

    But it sounds like you did the right thing. You noticed that something wasn't right, you kept flying the airplane and once you identified the issue, you didn't freak out and you deliberately took your time reconfiguring the airplane.
     
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  24. Mike Smith

    Mike Smith Pattern Altitude

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    Best of all, chances are you wont forget that again. I did a similar thing once...only once.
     
  25. midcap

    midcap Line Up and Wait

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    at the little airport I did TNGs at you would have had to turn to the left a little to miss the gigantic oak tree at the end of runway 8
     
  26. FlySince9

    FlySince9 Cleared for Takeoff

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    In 1972 as a 17 year old student pilot with about 12 hours I took off from a 2200' grass runway that would require a Vx climb to clear high voltage power lines... I retracted the 10 degrees of flaps for the short-field procedure. Then I noticed that flaps had fully retracted but the servo hadn't stopped so the flaps started "thumping". I put the flap switch from the UP position to what I though was the neutral position but was actually the down position (which normally should have returned to neutral when I released it) and the switch just stuck there... I had moved my attention to the horizon so I didn't notice the flaps coming back down, this time to the full 40 degrees. The Yoke went into my chest.... This all happening at about 6 to 700' MSL... Since it is I, and not my ghost, writing this, you know I survived the incident... My recovery took me on the back side of a large hill where my mom (who was watching me) thought I had crashed... I buzzed the trees for a 1/2 mile or so as I got the plane straightened up and climbed out... Landed and parked for the day... New underwear and a week to mull and I was back in the sky...
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016
  27. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Pre-Flight

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    I did it too as a student pilot in a Cessna 150 with 40 degrees of flaps. Had our airport not had a 5,000 foot runway and 10,000 feet of open field off the end of the runway it may have been a different story. A tired 150 with 40 degrees of flaps on a warm day, climb rate was probably in the single digits.
     
  28. hotprops

    hotprops Pre-takeoff checklist

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    my instructor advised me after a few thousand hrs during a bfr to fly around with full flaps 40 in a m model 172 and do the whole regimen of requirements in that model as best as as i colud do ,than ,as he was the best... ron l , he would not let me use flaps for our next 5 hours . ever . every flight ether the the flaps were inop or stuck on 40 . instructers like leauthardt are a lost breed . fly the aircrarft .i think about him often .one or two things broke on every flight.he is not with us any more but i am sure he is there when we need him !
     
  29. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Everyone's covered it all. Good job keeping your head and keeping the nose down and the airspeed up.

    My only comment is that you'll eventually get to visit and fly somewhere with high density altitudes. A 150/152 is a "half tanks" airplane up here on those days and it still may not climb in the normal takeoff configuration.

    Leaving the flaps down in those conditions with that marginal of a performance level, may not work out as well.

    Always look out the window on Cessnas and confirm they're up. It only takes a glance.

    And yeah, like most posting I've done it too. 40 flap in a 182 at night.

    Like Ron said about his Navion, the 182 in that configuration lifts off way too soon, and doesn't climb for ****. I had another 5000' of runway so I just pulled the power off and landed. My microswitch had stuck.

    And THAT'd be why I say LOOK. It's great if you CAN milk them up, but I wouldn't have been able to. They were stuck there and staying there.

    (Eventually percussive maintenance of the damn electric flap control "fixed" the issue which was also looked at later by a mechanic and nothing was ever found wrong. Still flying with that microswitch today... Maybe it'll stick again tomorrow... Is the only way to think about Cessna electric flaps... Gimme a Johnson bar any day of the week and I'll prefer it...)
     
  30. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Even when they work, 182 flaps are DAMN slow. Especially the later models. Makes touch'n'goes "interesting."
     
  31. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I get mine started upward early, but I also know it builds a really bad habit for flying things with gear handles... I don't touch any handles in those while rolling out if I don't have to.

    And T&Gs aren't my idea of "too bright" as the handles in the cockpit start to multiply. Ha. I'll just taxi back, thanks!

    But even that pales to seeing a certain training twin from a large well known pilot mill, regularly using the downhill runway (10) at KAPA that's shorter than their accelerate-stop distance for hot day takeoffs.

    I keep wondering who over there has a death wish. Or at least wants to learn what going through a chain link fence, a ditch, and out onto a road is like.

    LOL. No thanks. I think I'll go use the long runways. ;)
     
  32. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 En-Route

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    What a drag. Sounds like it was touch and go there for a minute there but I'm not sure what the flap is all about.
     
  33. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    This can't be emphasized enough, always visually confirm flaps up. Flap motors can fail. Sometimes they don't fail but the circuit breaker trips due to a wiring problem. Better to find out on the takeoff roll when you can still abort, than when you're struggling to achieve a positive climb rate just above ground effect.
     
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  34. SoCalPilot88

    SoCalPilot88 Pre-Flight

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    One of my favorite rental Cessna 172s was lost that way. A guy and his buddy departed from the home airport (low altitude) with flaps at 40 degrees. They recovered and resumed their flight to Big Bear City Airport (high altitude). Repeated the same mistake upon departure and couldn't recover. Both survived the accident. I often wonder what the thought process is behind some of these accidents. If it was me, I would hope I would have spent the entire time during lunch at Big Bear Airport, eating humble pie thinking about how I would never repeat that mistake again.
     
  35. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I guess flatlanders don't always crash at Big Bear by taking off full rich while overloaded.

    How did he clear the telephone wires if he couldn't climb?
     
  36. mscard88

    mscard88 Final Approach

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    Hmm anyone have a chain saw I can borrow that runs at midnight? :devil: :lol:
     
  37. SoCalPilot88

    SoCalPilot88 Pre-Flight

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    I just re-read the NTSB report (NTSB Identification: LAX91LA050). It doesn't say anything about power lines, but it looks like he forgot to lean the mixture at Big Bear as well as depart with full flaps. He was an ATP who just got checked out that morning. I'd love to see a personality assessment included with these NTSB reports: "Contributing factors were excessive self confidence and likely Dunning-Kruger effect".
     
  38. midcap

    midcap Line Up and Wait

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    haha, I wish, that thing is all you see when you throttle up to do the go around.
     
  39. mscard88

    mscard88 Final Approach

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  40. mscard88

    mscard88 Final Approach

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    :rofl::rofl::rofl: