Incremental Flaps In The Pattern

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by 455 Bravo Uniform, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer Pattern Altitude

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    Full flaps for me on the downwind, and sometimes on the 45 depending on comfort level at the particular airport. It frees me up to concentrate on maintaining correct airspeed, making a nice rectangular pattern and looking for traffic. So nice when everything is trimmed and stabilized for pattern altitude early on.
     
  2. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    You guys are doing it wrong. Enter downwind at flap speed and pull all you have. Trim for full flap speed and maintain that speed. On crosswind release one notch. Don't worry, you'll be coming down. Time it right and when turning final let off another notch. If you're lucky enough to make the runway retract them all the way and hold on. You're gonna land, like it or not.
     
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  3. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    Don't laugh. I've heard mooney pilots say they dump flaps on touchdown, only slightly less silly.
     
  4. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    Nah, I raise flaps on the rollout right after the nose wheel touches. Reduces lift, puts weight on the wheels for improved steering and greater braking effectiveness.
     
  5. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    I dump flaps at touchdown when conditions dictate. It's an effective technique. I'm laughing at anyone questioning incremental flaps!
     
  6. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's never happened to me either.
     
  7. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    Pretty much the opposite of what I do. Bottom of the green arc and pattern altitude until on final, yank the throttle and elevator until white arc, then yank the Johnson bar and shove the stick down and into the wind while simultaneously stabbing opposite rudder pedal into the firewall.

    (Ok, only half kidding. I've done that once just to see how the plane will handle)
     
  8. Sundancer

    Sundancer Pattern Altitude

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    I'm not religious about not adding flaps in a turn - I just avoid it, if I think about it at the time. Not a common failure, for sure. The T-41 event did semi-impinge on the aileron's freedom of movement, and made it a bit sporty.
     
  9. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

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    Then you're laughing at me, since I asked the question to begin with. That's ok. I question a lot of stuff that many people simply accept (at work, hangar flying, philosophy, etc.).
     
  10. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Here ya go! Just in time.

    It's just hours away, but before the workshop starts, there are a few things we want you to think about:

    1) What speeds do you fly downwind, base, and final?

    2) What power settings do you use in the pattern?

    3) When do you add flaps (and gear) in the pattern?

    Finally, if you know someone who would like to join the workshop, send them this link:

    https://www.boldmethod.com/mtl/
     
  11. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    A long time ago I had an instructor school me on landing speeds. He said the speeds on different legs of the pattern should be the same regardless of how much flaps I used. While I subscribe to (and prefer) incremental flaps based on positions and airspeeds in the pattern he had me mix it up by using the same speeds with less flaps until I did several circuits landing with no flaps. The view out front and the power required to maintain the normal rates of descent were uncomfortable. Or it's more accurate to say that the attitude and rate of descent with flaps was more comfortable. But some planes don't have flaps so that lesson is not universally applicable. Go be a pilot and figure out what works best for what and where you're flying.
     
  12. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

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    Thanks. That's exactly why I asked the basis of why we learn incremental flaps. I learned the incremental way in 152s and 172s. Been practicing like the video I attached...just wanting to be sure I'm not doing something dumb/stupid/unsafe; It works, but "feels unorthodox". I like it. (I can land flaps 10 and 0 just fine as well).
     
  13. Turningfinal

    Turningfinal Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ever since my commercial rating where I learned power off 180's I've been the "full flaps abeam and power to idle" type, flying a generally tight pattern in an attempt to remain within glide distance of the runway at most times. If circumstances dictate otherwise (straight-in instrument approaches, or multiple people in the pattern ahead of me) I deal with those on an individual basis.
     
  14. OkieFlyer

    OkieFlyer En-Route

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    I'm an incremental kind of guy. In the 182, dumping full flaps all at once can certainly be done, but it's a pretty abrupt change, and you'll balloon like a son-of-a-gun. Not a problem, but there's no reason to make abrupt changes on a normal landing. You can also cause passengers to sprain their sphincters when you drop the barn doors. Bringing big flaps down incrementally just makes the whole approach smoother IMO.

    Now, if I'm by myself out messing around, I'll sometimes keep the pattern really tight and get more aggressive with the flaps, but I don't consider that the norm.
     
  15. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    Wait - you don't just get over the runway and pull the chute?


    10 abeam, 25 on base, 40 on final with speeds at 80, 70 and 65 for a normal landing. Seems to work. For me, it originated with my primary instructor. You'll have to ask her where it came from for her.
     
  16. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Cleared for Takeoff

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    Nothing special. Just cook book flying that was probably taught to her as well. Keep in mind that many flying techniques are designed to make things as easy as possible for beginning student pilots. Doesn't mean ya gotta keep up the "I was taught" cook book mentality after gaining decent experience.
     
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  17. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    AIM disagrees.

    Why?
     
  18. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Because other aircraft don’t know where to look for you in the pattern for one thing.
     
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  19. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    I have found that the very techniques that make things “as easy as possible for beginning student pilots” continue to make things easier regardless of one’s skill level.
     
  20. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Cleared for Takeoff

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    Like monster patterns and mile finals?
     
  21. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    Those were never part of my training, nor did I teach either.

    One must always keep in mind the Law of Primacy.
     
  22. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    Never part if my training, either, but incremental flaps were.

    For 172, downwind has runway where the spar joins the wing, 70 knots. This is close to 1/2 mile distance at 1000 agl. Abeam numbers, 10°, reduce throttle, begin descent.

    When runway is 45° behind you, turn base. On base, flaps 20°, maintain speed and descent. Turn final to alignnwith runway.

    Final was 65 knots, adjust throttle and flaps as required to land at my desired spot. Pitch for speed, throttle for altitude.

    Around the pattern, as during climb, cruise and descent, changing power or attitude means adjusting the trim for hands off flight.

    I still fly my Mooney like this, except speeds and flap deflection are different. When flying over town, I notice that my pattern is about 2 blocks wider than in the Skyhawk.
     
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  23. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    I've always wanted to try that but I haven't yet. I have a buddy with an Arrow that just cranks up the flap handle in about 1/3 of a second each time. I like to slowly bring them up to the next notch as I'm always envisioning a pyramid of wind glasses in the back of the plane. In other words, I try to be as smooth as possible.
     
  24. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    It makes for very smooth and precise touchdowns.
     
  25. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well for starters, if there are multiple aircraft in the pattern, it really disrupts the flow and increases the hazard when one dude is flying his downwind leg 3 times the offset that others are.
     
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  26. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    Well, never experienced that myself... but I tend to fly about a half mile from the runway, depending on TPA. Around here a lot of patterns are 1000 - 1200 for noise abatement. Some of the aerobatic guys here might call that a B52 pattern.
     
  27. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    I prefer to have my hand on the throttle.
     
  28. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's not what I was taught as a student pilot!

    One thing I have found is that if I'm going to deviate from what I was taught, I need a good reason. I'm not rigid about that, but if I'm going to try a different way, I keep in mind that I'm experimenting.
     
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  29. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Cleared for Takeoff

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    I think some of you guys are unaware of the current state of training at a majority of flight schools these days.
     
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  30. Bobanna

    Bobanna Line Up and Wait

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    I learned, and teach, that landing is about drag management (assuming your airplane is so equipped) and initial flap deployment helps get the airplane into the "slot" for that phase of flight. As the approach to landing progresses (in the pattern), more flaps help to ready the aircraft for a stabilized approach and landing. The remaining flaps are discretionary along with power adjustments to get the desired final approach profile. Most light aircraft can be landed successfully without any flaps (this is a requirement of mine during BFRs), but I don't like landings (under normal circumstances) with anything less than full flaps. The exact schedule for flap deployment is part of the pre-landing "dance", so train for a system that you're comfortable with, understand the pros and cons, and develop the habits and muscle-memory to perform it reproducably and safely.
     
  31. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    ???

    Is that thing now?
     
  32. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    Grabbed the wrong quote, was referring to James and the helicopter landing.
     
  33. SoaringVA

    SoaringVA Filing Flight Plan

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    At 3,000' agl I reduce power and dump in 40 degrees; continue 60 degrees bank spirals until high base. Of course, this is typically after dragging a glider in a 180hp C150

    On a serious note, I sometimes misjudge or have to let a glider land ahead, so reduce flaps on/before downwind and return to a more traditional approach.



    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
     
  34. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don’t think it’s prescriptive, but I do first notch abeam numbers, second notch on base, third both on final, and if equipped, 4th notch on short final.

    For me, doing it this way causes the least amount of disturbance to the airplane’s stability during approach and landing. I have tried dumping all at once and it usually upsets the stability so much that I’m fighting the plane to keep it where I want it.

    So for me, it’s laziness really.
     
  35. Eric Gleason

    Eric Gleason Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You mean the strut, right? But doesn't that join the wing above your head?

    If you can see the spar, I suspect you're taking heavy flak from hostiles near the airport and should be executing C-130 tactical approaches. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  36. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Depends on where you are at in the landing and your plane and conditions like gusts I guess.

    For a stol plane with drooping ailerons and a Johnson bar flap system, low and runway assured it works quite well, gusts I prefer to just dial in partial flaps and keep my hand on the throttle.
     
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  37. SoonerAviator

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    The other part of the incremental flap technique that is inherent, but wasn't mentioned (that I saw) was flap extension speed limitations. In a 172R you can throw that first 10-degrees at 110KIAS, but you can't drop to 20-30 until you drop to 85KIAS. You are forced to incrementally increase the flaps for the first notch unless you want to pull power way back in the downwind pattern to slow the aircraft down in order to dump them.
     
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  38. Bradley W

    Bradley W Ejection Handle Pulled

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    yes I find incremental flaps in the pattern for the below 10,000 ft speed
    guidelines to be helpful.
     
  39. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    You're right, I used the wrong word. I have few highwing hours after PPL checkride, but ~700 or more in my Mooney.
     
  40. Debonair Driver

    Debonair Driver Filing Flight Plan

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    Try flying in the LA area or Phoenix area and NOT have to make a short approach which negates the standard incremental flaps type landing. Better be able to adjust your landing technique if you want to get around in my neighborhood.

    I've had people THREE miles off the airport on "downwind" at a uncontrolled airport. Impossible to see them much less plan your pattern around them
     
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