Piper Cherokee with Hershey Bar Wing: Landing with some power

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by RonP, May 2, 2019.

  1. RonP

    RonP Pre-Flight

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    Rather than hijack another thread to get opinions I started a new one. I have read in many threads Cherokee pilots, particularly the Cherokees with the Hershey bar wing, keep some throttle on (maybe 100 RPM above idle) between flair and touchdown to control the sink. I have never tried this technique with my Cherokee 140 and am tempted to try it but concerned it will become a crutch that will not be there during an engine out landing and become a bad habit. I am mixed about using this technique. Any opinions/advice?
     
  2. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    If it is a "habit" that works for smooth landings, then it is more of a technique. You have to hit the flair perfectly for an "I've got the runway made, throttle to idle" and a smooth touchdown. When I was in training this is what I did and sometimes it was a "I hope this one doesn't break something" landing, rather than I know its going to be a squeaker landing. So what you've read about our Hershey bar wings turning into rocks at idle is true and it doesn't hurt to carry a little more rpm for a smoother touchdown. One last thing, ANY landing, engine out is a good one.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
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  3. simtech

    simtech Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Just do it when you're trying to impress the pax. Otherwise go power off. Me..I land with a touch of power with my 180 all the time.
     
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  4. pigpenracing

    pigpenracing Pattern Altitude

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    When you wheel land a taildragger you keep a little power in and fly it to the ground..
    Why is that a bad habit? Do what works for you. If you can land better with a little power then land with a little power.
    Everyone flies different, no right or wrong.
     
  5. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    Rather than just discuss whether everyone here lands with or without power in a Cherokee, perhaps it would be good to discuss why it might be advantageous to land with a touch of power?

    For what it’s worth, all my landings in PA28 series airplanes are power off and full flaps. I don’t change configuration for different conditions in them.
     
  6. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    You use full flaps in a crosswind?
     
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  7. Arrow76R

    Arrow76R Pre-Flight

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    I find that the stabilator seems to run out of authority close to the ground when making a slow, power-off landing so a little power or don't use full flaps, just 2nd notch. Same effect...a bit more airspeed helps the stabilator. Also, perhaps (haven't tried this) some ballast in the baggage compartment or rear seat passengers might have the same effect by reducing the amount of pitch up that the stabilator has to provide. It's also possible that full flaps creates enough turbulence close to the ground that the stabilator is working with disturbed air and, therefore, not providing full authority. Bottom line...a bit more airspeed on touchdown=smooth landings IMHO.
     
  8. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    Never found it necessary or advantageous, though I don't too much time in a Cherokee 140. I do have a lot of time in hershey-bar winged Challenger and Arrow though.
     
  9. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    If you're asking me, yes. I can't find any good reason not to. I use full flaps for every landing in almost all the airplanes I regularly fly, crosswind or not.

    The stabilator on the older Cherokees runs out of authority earlier because it is narrower than the later model ones, hence some of the difference.
     
  10. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    These discussions are good. I'm a low time ~320 hr pilot and I was taught not to use full flaps in a crosswind. Now WHY not? I don't have an answer for that, just what I was taught.
     
  11. simtech

    simtech Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I was taught like you and in a crosswind I'll typically use 2 notches. In a heavy crosswind maybe one notch. Thought is with less flaps you will be a little faster and that will give you better control authority.
     
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  12. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    It’s a technique I’d use in some airplanes in some conditions. For example, I probably wouldn’t use full flaps in a strong crosswind in a Cessna 152. But the Cherokee flaps seem to offer more drag than lift so I’ve never found it necessary to adjust my approach to different environmental conditions.

    There’s nothing wrong with the way you were taught or the way you do it. It’s just a different way to get the same job done.
     
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  13. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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  14. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    You asked for IT!

    In any prop airplane idle creates aerodynamic drag because the prop is pushing the air. The turbulence behind it causes the airflow over the stabilator to be irregular. The PA-28 stabilator is sensitive in the first place and becomes unpredictable in turbulent flow. It lets go at random speeds. By keeping just enough power (zero thrust) you eliminate the turbulence. A side benefit is the brick-like glide becomes more reasonable. Power allows you to vary the descent angle in a range between a Switzer glider and the falling safe you're used to. Once your wheels are about to kiss, close the throttle and there you'll sit.

    The most important thing, though, for a smooth landing, is to clean the heck out of the yoke assembly and keep it waxed, so it glides in and out without resistance. Otherwise, it binds just enough to ruin your feel for the plane and thus your landing.
     
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  15. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Good point. I use 100% silicone treadmill lubricant and it works well.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    If this were the Red Board, people would already be throwing furniture at each other about this issue. :rolleyes:

    Here's what the Cherokee 140 manual says (emphases added):

    Cherokee flap.jpg

    Cessna says essentially the same thing for the 150/152 and 172. The Cessna manuals say, "When landing in a strong crosswind, use the minimum flap setting required for the field length." That's the way I taught it, and fly it, in the lighter Cherokees and Cessnas. A little more speed and a little less flap seems to allow better controllability in gusty conditions. Moreover, the tendency to float due to the higher speed is offset by the slip created by the cross-control crosswind correction.

    What works for these airplanes doesn't necessarily work for other types. I landed with full flap, regardless of crosswind, in my Bonanza and Cheetah. Skyhawk and Cherokee, no.

    But some folks do, and that's okay. Bottom line,
     
  17. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I rarely use full flaps on the cherokee...almost impossible to do an emergency go-around with full flaps on my 180.
     
  18. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    Something very overlooked by many pilots/flight schools/instructors. In fact this might be the first time I've ever seen it posted on the internet. The sticky yoke phenomenon can happen on Cessnas as well but is less common by at least an order of magnitude. Still just as overlooked when it does happen, though.
     
  19. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I use silicon bike chain lubricant. Bet it’s same or similar.
     
  20. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    RTFM

    Thanks Jeff, I've been outed. :oops:
     
  21. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    If it is clear and is a little bit thicker than water, yes. Clean the shaft really well and use only a couple of drops and spread it around with a clean towel. You don't want it building up in the guides.
     
  22. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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  23. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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  24. falconkidding

    falconkidding Line Up and Wait

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    I never landed with power or taught that in cherokees. 95% of the time i used power idle flaps 25. Ive yet to fly a ga aircraft that really needed power. Power lessens descent angle and deceleration which might make things easier for some ppl. But then again nothing is happening fast at 65kts so im not sure its needed.
    I think if you hold 70kts and flaps 25 that should give you plenty of time to float over the rwy and eventually let it touch. If your looking to grease it on.
     
  25. IK04

    IK04 Line Up and Wait

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    The better technique is to slowly retract the flaps in ground effect and allow the plane to settle onto the runway while holding a constant pitch attitude.

    That makes for some smoooooth landings...
     
  26. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Sure. Why not?
     
  27. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    A touch of power does a few things.

    We use it to slow descent rate. The obvious is a soft field landing, but the same principle applies to "saving" a landing in which we flare too high and would otherwise drop in. Likewise, in some nose-heavy airplanes it can also help to prevent the nose from dropping precipitously when power is reduced in the flare.

    I can't account for @RonP's Cherokee because I haven't been in it. But I have flown Hershey Cherokees which flared and landed smoothly with no power and a few which simply stopped flying as soon as the nosewheel was held clear of the ground in a power-off flare.

    If that's yours, I wouldn't worry about it becoming a bad habit, although I might check to see if there is a fixable reason for it.
     
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  28. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    That, in general, summarizes my position.

    Sure, it can fall under the category of technique. As a technique, it’s fine, I suppose.

    But the implication is it “helps” somehow. As such, it further implies possible difficulties landing power off that it “helps” with. Since a Cherokee 140 can be landed just fine with no power, my question is where’s the “help”?

    As a general rule, power smoothly back to idle at some point prior to the round out and flare makes the landing process easier, eliminating one variable. Stipulated there are exceptions, but the Cherokee 140 is not one of them.
     
  29. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    The reason you get so many discussions/opinions on this topic is few pilots discuss all the factors, or really understand, involved in making good power off vs power on approaches and landings.
    Ignoring the wind/weather factor we still have Aircraft, Flaps, and approach Speed.

    Slow, full flap approaches, power off will be hard to land smooth.

    Slow, full flap approaches, power on are pretty easy (Soft feild).
    Faster (within reason), no flap power off approaches will be easier and usually smoother.

    My preference for Hersey Bar Cherokees is the latter, I often land with 0 or 10 degrees of flaps.
    Also a very slight slip just before touch down so the left or right wheel touch’s 1st of softens the landings.
    Also watch your rollout if he airplane doesn’t track straight down the center line, the bump you feel on landing may actually be he airplane correcting for you not touching down straight.

    Brian
    CFIIG/ASEL
     
  30. mryan75

    mryan75 Line Up and Wait

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    Never. I pull the power the second I have the runway made. I have a buddy wih a tapered wing 181 whose theory is "fly it off, fly it on", but IMHO you can't land a plane with the power in. The whole point is to stop flying.
     
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  31. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Sounds like you're a full stall landing disciple, right? So am I. Is it not true that the power-on stall speed is lower than power-off? A touch of power smooths airflow behind the prop, too, right? How is this contrary to the advantages of making full stall landings? When you can control your landing spot better and touch down at a slower speed to boot, is that not a superior technique? Nobody's suggesting, btw, to touchdown with power on, except on a muddy field. Does your buddy normally do that? :eek: Squeezing off the residual thrust a split-second prior to touchdown is what I'm saying makes the best landing.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
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  32. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    From the OP:

    “...keep some throttle on (maybe 100 RPM above idle) between flair and touchdown to control the sink.”

    With no mention of chopping power right before touchdown, I took that to mean power on throughout.

    Am I wrong?
     
  33. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    Sometimes..........................some
    sometimes..........................more
    sometimes..........................none

    I don't think about it!!
     
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  34. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    I assumed he was talking about normal ops, the exception being soft field technique. Maybe I was wrong?? Whichever, I can say from experience that the way to tame the Twin Comanche's bad landing reputation is to set the throttles to zero thrust until just before the wheels are ready to kiss, then ease them to idle. Works especially well with Arrows (not your kind of) and also Cherokees, P-Navajos too from my experience. I'm definitely NOT saying to "drive it on" under power, though. The idea is more one of "hanging it on the prop" during the flare (hey guys, it's not "flair").

    EDIT: As an afterthought, consider that jet aircraft all touchdown with residual thrust. In fact, taxiing is often somewhat problematic, like on icy taxiways, because of it. Maybe that's why jet landings are usually more pretty to watch than your average corn-popper? It isn't the "experience" so much as the "airflow". :)
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
  35. RonP

    RonP Pre-Flight

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    I have never performed the method I described but my take is all power is removed (throttle all the way back) when or just before the wheels touch. Those that keep power on a little always do it on hard surfaced runways. Not sure what it is done for soft field.

    Lots of interesting techniques discussed here. Thanks for the replies.
     
  36. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    conditions dictate power and flap settings.
     
  37. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Loading also makes a difference. It's easier to flare with some weight in the back, vs. solo with no baggage.
     
  38. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    I landed exactly once in a 172 with full flaps and wicked (and variable) crosswinds. I have the bent propeller in my music room as a reminder. Not much control authority in any plane near stall speed!
     
  39. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    There is a valid aerodynamic reason for less flaps in a crosswind.

    In a Cessna high wing, there is more turning moment with full flaps in a crosswind, making it less controllable.
     
  40. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    This is what I do with the Aztec too.