Power on vs power off landings-in birds

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by benyflyguy, May 23, 2020 at 8:42 AM.

  1. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy En-Route

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    Saturday am post evening gin musings:

    I’m sitting here in NEPA enjoying a coffee on a cool foggy am. I’m listening and watching the birds carry on as they do in the am. I noticed a couple birds land with wings flapping with quite precision but not as much grace. Then I watched a bird come in a bit faster and lower wings out-kinda banking about and really muff up the landing too much speed didn’t seem in control. Now I’m interested. Watching more and more- the landings that are more “power on” seem much more precise. The power off landing seem to drift and are graceful until the last second.
    They recently posted a meetup at S37 for end of June and that field seems to me to be a white whale of sorts. Maybe I should be approaching that more power on for precision then power off for grace.
     
  2. NordicDave

    NordicDave Cleared for Takeoff

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    It’s more about energy conservation and caring enough speed getting to a proper flair. e.g. coming in heavy, strong crosswind, slower than necessary short final; correction of slightly more power is helpful.

    I believe the same with birds or planes. We all need to be “on speed” through every phase of the pattern until touchdown four conditions present.
     
  3. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Wings flapping on landing is reverse thrust. I wouldn’t recommend doing that in flight with most airplanes.
     
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  4. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Some birds even switch to a form of VTOL thrust. :)
     
  5. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    Same species or different?
     
  6. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The gooney birds of Guam are always fun to watch,they do a controlled crash on landing.
     
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  7. Plano Pilot

    Plano Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Midway? My dad sucked up a few at Midway on a fuel stop in a 727. Had to abort and then talk with PW about how much the FE/A&P could file the engine blades smooth. Dad was an A&P also.

    Earlier in his career he also flew Air Mic so he was in Guam a lot.






    M
     
  8. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Birds have an instant spoiling of lift so they can fly right up to the point they want to stop. I've got a parrot, and several bird feeders (including a hummingbird feeder) out my livingroom window.
    While many aren't quite as adept at hovering as the hummers, they all exhibit some pretty slow high-alpha flight at times.
     
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  9. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    The spoiling of lift is a great aid in hitting a spot. The PIK20b glider I used to fly had 90deg flaps that could be wound up to about 9deg of reflex. Short final with 90deg and when ready, just wind them off while pitching up... you land right NOW. You didn’t have to get to the reflex position, just winding the 90degrees off was enough.

    But winding flaps with one hand while pitching for the flare with the other was a challenge for a season (think rubbing tummy while patting head). Very entertaining.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
  10. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yeah I have a buffet in the front lawn for the birds, with a hummer feeder. It’s fun watching the flight characteristics of the birds. Even funnier watching one try to land on another. Now that’s a spot landing!
     
  11. n2230b

    n2230b Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It is mind-boggling to see a red Rufus defend the hummer feeder, they can keep it up for hours.
    Unlike airplanes, birds have willful, intentional way of life flight. They have ‘bird brains’. Airplanes just have human brains. Outside of military, humans use flight mostly to get from point A to point B. My African Gray greets me every morning saying “Du Schlampe!” Lindberg said if he had to choose, he would pick birds over airplanes.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020 at 3:23 AM
  12. n2230b

    n2230b Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My African Gray is an awesome creature with personality and a 60+ word vocabulary. Her name is Atropine. Truly it gives me the ‘willies’ to watch the wing clipping every 6 mo. I know its for the bird’s personal safety but
    it’s still feels like committing treason. These amazing birds are on the way to becoming extinct in the wild due to the planetary curse of human intervention. Atropine will hopefully live long and prosper with her family. She seems very happy.
     
  13. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When we got Bacca (she's a Quaker), she hadn't been clipped (at least not for years). We'd get a few of the flight feathers cut which allowed her to maintain about a 45-degree angle. Occasionally right after clipping, she'd do some ungrateful leaps from the perch forgetting she couldn't anymore. We've not done her in a while but she seems to have forgotten. She'll climb off the perch and stomp off to where she wants to go now.

    Bacca doesn't talk as much as she used to but she still loves sound effects. Living at an airport, she makes airplane noises. She especially likes my neighbor's Seabee. Even if she sees it parked in front of the house (engine off) she'll make the noise.
     
  14. n2230b

    n2230b Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’ve made the mistake of opening the back sliding door with her out of the cage. I live on the water and have seen her fly out , clipped and all but in ground effect across the canal. I fished her out twice. If the bird had drowned my wife would have kicked me out. Also pulled her out of my Chocolate lab-pit bull mix, Beasley’s mouth a couple of times.