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Thread: Flying a Pa-22 150 at gross weight

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Flying a Pa-22 150 at gross weight

    Any of you fellas actually flown a Pa-22 150 at gross weight ? Being a relatively new pilot of one prompts me to ask that quetion. So far, all of my flying in mine has either been just solo, or just with a passenger in the front seat. Pardon my naivete', but other than possibly an extended t/o roll and rollout, and a slower climb rate , what else ( if anything ) should I take into consideration ? ---- Given : I will be under gross and within the CG envelope.

    Johnnie

  2. #2
    Ron_Enck Guest

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    Johnnie,
    You will have no problems, as long as it is not too hot. I have better landings with 2 in the back seat, because it gives me more elevator movement(aft CG). I have flown at gross many times with no issues.
    Ron

  3. #3
    joewcasey Guest

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    Johnnie,

    I've only got a 135, and with the aft cg, it does fly better and I will get the same cruise speeds, if not slightly better, even with the extra weight. The controls are lighter, climbs a bit slower, but once its up and going, it's just great. Just watch getting slow and the sink rate on final. At least for me, I don't wanna get behind the power curve with only 135 hp up front.

  4. #4
    Stephen 998 Guest

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    I totally agree with the advice as given. When I go off on my bi-weekly COSTCO run I fill the rear of the plane first. (I precalculated the W & B) because I like the feel for T.O and landings. I'm often at or near gross with no issues, just fly the plane by the numbers and you are fine.

  5. #5
    Chazzman Guest

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    I have also flown my 22/20 at gross numerous times with no problems. One should always watch the airspeed but it is even more critical at heavier weights. The decent rate can surprise you in these short winged birds if one is not careful. I just add a few mph to my approach speed for a safety buffer. I noticed the quicker decent more when I first transistioned from a longer wing cessna to the Pacer but don't even notice it after getting comfortable in the pacer.

  6. #6
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    Cincinnati
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    Chadd

    That is exactly the sentiments I echo to my trusted friends that want to fly my airplane. I let any of them fly it when they wish --- it keeps the engine healthy--- but because of that aforementioned descent rate they have to fly with my CFII who is a former shortwing owner and get the check out first.
    It sounds like she might actually fly a little better with a load, especially with a couple of butts --- albeit small butts ... aka our wives--- in the back seats. I was hoping that would be the case. I have flown an older ( 0-300 powered ) 172 at gross off of turf on a warm day and didnt have any problems other than an anemic climb rate.
    The other day , I took my well-fed 240 lb Bro-in-law for his first "little" airplane ride, and together we weighed 470 lbs. no probs there , either, as I just added a litttle speed on short final and had plenty of elevator for the flare.
    As always. I thank you guys for your input.

    Johnnie
    Last edited by BigJohnnie; 04-05-2007 at 06:41 AM.

  7. #7
    Chazzman Guest

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    Speaking of gross weight, I am going to fly mine out of Spokane tomorrow am with 2 190 pound guys, full fuel, and camping gear to go into the Salmon river of Idaho. I will pack light as I can but this time of year one still needs some extra gear because the weahter can change so quick. It should be a great deal of fun to get out camping for the first time this year.

  8. #8
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    Nov 2005
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    Strathclair Mb Ca.
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    Default

    HI,
    Lot's of good comments here, the PA 20-22 is certainly a very capable airplane. One thing I have found with my PA-20 is that you can go out the front of the CofG envelope if you have a couple of big guys up front, this with a light O290. This seems to bear out by the comments of the airplane being nicer to land with a couple of people in the back.
    I think the biggest thing to consider after load and runway distance is density altitude and surroundings. I've flown a lot of airplanes over gross on ferry permits, they all get off the ground, some with little trouble, they don't always climb so well and those far off hills can be a concern. I think the float and spray guys will agree that a few degrees warmer and a bit of humidity can make a very big difference in performance.
    My PA-20 manual dated 1949 doesn't go too much into performance charts so one has to be cautious, but it sounds to me like you are a cautious guy or you wouldn't have asked the question in the first place.
    Doug.

  9. #9
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    Cincinnati
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    Doug, Since I have gotten back into flying after an extended hiatus aka kids growing up , college tuitions, divorce and remarriage ( aaaaahhhh... the Lil' RedHead ) , and the like , I have been playing the "Getting-to-Know-You" game with my Tri-pacer. Pardon the analogy -- but I think it fits -- Just like any new relationship, one has to figure out what one can do and what one cannot do in order to keep the peace and stay out of trouble. I have been oh -so - slowly exploring her ( and my ) envelope and most pleasantly finding out she is just as sweet as my RedHead, and at the same time brushing off the rust with regard to my flying skills. Yes I am cautious ( I consider your remark as a genuine compliment) , and my learning cuve still somewhat steep as I try to learn something on every flight , whether it be arriving purposefully high on short final and using slips , or whatever. IMHO, these shortwingers are the absolute easiest aircraft and a real hoot to fly, and I want to be prepared when I take my wife's sister and her husband with us on our first "Two Couple" flight to dinner.
    Johnnie

  10. #10
    Glen Geller Guest

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    Hey Johnnie,
    One thing you'll want to keep in mind is when you have all that additional weight on board, your brakes may require more yanking (distance) to stop the plane. Might want to go where the runways are not really short.
    Since you say you usually fly solo or just the front rack, maybe ask your CFI to take you and a couple friends up for an hour to practice manuevers and landings at higher weight. So there will be (hopefully) no suprises for the Li'l Redhead and friends on Date Night.
    Depending on the duration of a flight, you can offset some of the weight of four adults by not having full tanks, no extra junk in the aft compartment, etc. If your pals have not flown much in light planes you might want to keep the trip fairly short so they don't get airsick following dinner. Only takes a little bumpy air on a full stomache to spoil an evening and sour some folks on flying.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Indian Hills Airpark, Salome AZ
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    Default

    I have very close knowlege of how well a PA22 flies over gross from a chap who shall remain un-named. It seemed this fellow bought a PA-22 and flew it for a couple of years before he finally got around to putting it on a set of scales. he found out that the plane was 200# heavier than expected. He told me that the plane behaved very well when flown over weight. He mentioned that is seemed a little sluggish getting out of ground effect on the way to the NWEAA fly-in with full fuel, spouse and camping gear in it. The fuel burn was pretty nasty. In fact he told me that the reason he weighed it was because it seemed a bit sluggish at "full gross" .:-)

    Cheers:

    Paul
    N1431A

  12. #12
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    Aug 2005
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    Sierra Vista/Ft Huachuca, AZ (KFHU)
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    Default Pa22-150 @ Gw

    I've flown mine at gross many times, including a cross country from AZ to GA and back and a trip to Sun & Fun. I carry balast in the baggage comparment when I can to move the CG aft. I would add a couple of suggestions when at high density altitudes:
    -Don't rush climing out of ground affect. Get to at least best angle in ground affect. Best angle and best rate airspeeds converge the higher you go. On mine, hot and high days (7-8k ft DA), best angle seems to be about 75-77 indicated, and best rate about 80.
    -The flare when you are slow (short field): Flaring hot, high and heavy below about 65 indicated in mine seems to just change the angle of attack. A little power is needed to arrest the decent. Works OK at lower altitudes (I don't recommend trying this on a gusty day).

    I've had it to 10,500' at gross weight. Only climbs about 100 fpm, but it will get there.
    Larry Portouw
    N8141C PA-22
    E95/Benson, AZ

  13. #13
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    Sep 2005
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    Granbury TX
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    68

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    Larry,

    What RPM are you running @ 10,500' & what pitch is your prop? All my flying has been in the 3500' - 7500' here in flat Texas. I am planning to fly up to Santa Fe and will need to fly a little higher than I usually do. I plan on testing it out before the trip.

    Thanks - Patrick

  14. #14
    Wayne Guest

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    Hi Patrick, our little airplanes do quite well in the mountains. I live at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Southern California. Crossing this range often requires 12 to 14 thousand feet msl. Mountain flying technique and saying "not today" if the wind or temp or whatever is too high is the key to having a nice day in the mountains. There are many good books on mountain flying. If you haven't read up on the subject you might find it interesting and rewarding to do so. An updraft of say 1thousand feet per min. can be your best friend and a downdraft of the same can ruin your whole day. Learning what to look for and expect makes flying into an airport such as Bridgeport CA or a trip to Johnson Creek a wonderful outing.
    A turbocharged 206 can't compete with the winds/up and down drafts in the Sierras or Rocky's but you can if you learn what to and not to do first. Have fun and fly safe in the mountains.

  15. #15
    Student Pilot Guest

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    We fly ours at gross most of the time, doesn't seem a lot different to lighter weight. Even in hotter weather, they still perform well.

    Those performance charts on Andys site are very close to real world, the stated distances are very close to actual. If you extrapolate out over gross the take off and landing distances are spot on I've heard.

  16. #16
    RF4DPilot Guest

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    Hows the Pa-22/20-135 Perform with 4 averge People and a "Some" fuel?

  17. #17
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    Default Gross Weight

    ...about like it does with three people and full tanks. I fly at high and sometimes hot, altitudes (KFHU) in Arizona. Performance drops off quickly with temperature, weight and altitude. All three can be a challenge. Got to have a good plan for departure and a way out to lower terrain right after take off. Rotate and stay in ground affect until at best rate. Best rate and best angle are about the same in these conditions, too. Still better than a C172!
    Larry Portouw
    N8141C PA-22
    E95/Benson, AZ

  18. #18
    RF4DPilot Guest

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    Thanks, when our project is done we will be flying out of Kszp in Ca. with a elevation of 250ft.

  19. #19
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    Hurricane, UT
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    Default

    I fly out west and have been into some desert strips at 5000 elev. (not at gross wt but 2 people and aprox 22 gallons). I can get airborne in about the same dist as my friends C-150 150 ho taildragger conversion, but I need to stay close to ground to accell to at least 75 to 85 to climb out. Previous post recommending a "way out" is right on.

    Getting cruise altitude ie 9-10, takes a while in the summer months but it does well. I cross the Grand Canyon going to PHX on regular basis and get to altitude about 45-50 miles after departure taking off from 3300 elev, full tanks 2 people, and 30-40 # luggage.

    great airplane.
    Andy Anderson
    PA-22/20-150

  20. #20
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    Oct 2005
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    Topeka, Kansas
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    I don't know if works for you guys because I have a Colt. But with 2 guys and gas, I am pretty much rocking on GW all the time with forward CG and in Kansas it's kinda hot in the summer.

    I was having trouble getting enough flair for landing till and old guy told me to crank the trim way back. I was using the trim setting to hold 70mph, but when I flaired at high GW, I could not get enough with full aft yoke. So I cranked her back some more on final holding forward yoke for the 70 and WOW, lots of decel attitude.

    Gene

  21. #21
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    Sep 2005
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    Leeds, AL.
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    Default

    I wouldn't be suprised to find that you are not only at max gross weight you are probably very forward CG as well. You might want to check the weight and balance. I would bet that if you weighed the plane the numbers from the factory and as updated through the years would be very optimistic. Usually everything added goes forward alond with the weight the people put on as well.
    I would wonder about trimming for 70 on final as well. I wonder if that is 1.3 X Vso or whatever you use these days?
    Whatever, at least you are flying and I am looking out into the garage at my Pacer doing 0 X Vso. (or whatever).

    Have fun,

    J.D. Barron

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    schenectady,ny
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    Default

    Hi Guy's, I have a Pacer PA22-20-135 in Alaska and fly it at gross Wt. most of the time. Ldg.'s are no problem ever- 4-500 feet to 800 turn off W/O brakes. The T/O's are diferent, 900' -1200' to break ground (sea level AP) average temp. 60 in the summer. Won't climb until over 70mph so the hills on both ends of our village rwy are a consideration (there is a notch to the side you can go out to get over the water) So I use the left tank only and land at the big airport across the water and gas up if I'm going any distance. T/O in a pacer can get you in more trouble by a long shot than landing. The ability to sink in and arrest that sink quick make it the best tight rwy airplane I've ever flown. She doesn't like to be forced into the air too soon , and likes to have her tail on the ground till 45mph if the gound isn't too ruff. The flight envlope is large and if you find your self running out of controls you gotta get out of dodge and try again. It doesn't matter what the book sas when you are in flight and haveing control problems, increase speed by 10 at a time and keep trying.Anyway I love the pacer and it does the job up norh.

  23. #23
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    Dec 2007
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    WINDSOR, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by andya View Post
    I fly out west and have been into some desert strips at 5000 elev. (not at gross wt but 2 people and aprox 22 gallons). I can get airborne in about the same dist as my friends C-150 150 ho taildragger conversion, but I need to stay close to ground to accell to at least 75 to 85 to climb out. Previous post recommending a "way out" is right on.

    Getting cruise altitude ie 9-10, takes a while in the summer months but it does well. I cross the Grand Canyon going to PHX on regular basis and get to altitude about 45-50 miles after departure taking off from 3300 elev, full tanks 2 people, and 30-40 # luggage.

    great airplane.
    Andy,
    How many feet does it take to get off the runway at that altitude? My Grandpa cut in a dirt strip on his property. 1100ft runway at 4500ft altitude. Think its doable with two people, 20gallons, 45degree OAT?
    Thanks

  24. #24
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    Sierra Vista/Ft Huachuca, AZ (KFHU)
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    271

    Default Flying at Gross Weight

    Patrick, missed you post. Sorry. I have a climb prop, don't remember the pitch. Last overhaul I think the shop reported that it was 1" flatter than what the book calls for, but may be mistaken. Will have to go look it up. Full throttle at 7.5k is about 2500-2550 rpm, 10.5k is about 2450 rpm (O-320A2B). Above standard temperature I have to step climb to get that high- drag goes up significantly below about 75mph, so accelerate to full throttle cruise, climb 3-400 feet, then do it again until at altitude.
    Larry Portouw
    N8141C PA-22
    E95/Benson, AZ

  25. #25
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    Hurricane, UT
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    Quote Originally Posted by 33D View Post
    Andy,
    How many feet does it take to get off the runway at that altitude? My Grandpa cut in a dirt strip on his property. 1100ft runway at 4500ft altitude. Think its doable with two people, 20gallons, 45degree OAT?
    Thanks
    with just me and normally almost full tanks, 95-100 degrees, Elevation 3350, wheels usually leave the ground about 800-900 feet from start. I normally lift the tail just off the ground as soon as it will come off and hold it there til I get 50 indicated.


    Have not experimented with half flaps or any other flap techniques to see if that can be improved. If I remember right, I usually coax it off just above 50 IAS mph on my indicator. I keep it low to accelerate after the wheels come off. this is an asphalt surfaces so not much in the way of wheel drag like dirt or grass or gravel.

    In your case the 45 degrees should generate much more power and depending on passenger wts and 20 gals of gas, your wt probably not much diff than my situation. rough guess on my wt under these test, about 1500-1600 gross with the 150 hp O-320 and 60" pitch.

    just checked our two density altitudes and My situation is much higher density alt than yours due to the temp diff.

    I compute your situation at about 4900 and mine over 6600
    Last edited by andya; 09-26-2009 at 01:39 PM.
    Andy Anderson
    PA-22/20-150

  26. #26
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    Thats about what I came up with. Using the Koch Chart, adding 60% to a 600ft sea level takeoff with one notch of flaps put in at 50mph should take 960ft. Grandpa made the runway 1500ft instead of 1100ft, so that will help since I'm not factoring in the dirt.

    I've got a PA/22, not sure how much longer it takes to get off the ground verses your tail dragger.

    Jason Bode

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by 33D View Post
    Thats about what I came up with. Using the Koch Chart, adding 60% to a 600ft sea level takeoff with one notch of flaps put in at 50mph should take 960ft. Grandpa made the runway 1500ft instead of 1100ft, so that will help since I'm not factoring in the dirt.

    I've got a PA/22, not sure how much longer it takes to get off the ground verses your tail dragger.

    Jason Bode
    I wouldn't think it would be much diff, tailwheel drag in grass/dirt is a factor as well as the nose wheel. Aft yoke should be used to lighten the nose wheel just like I get the tailwheel out of the dirt.
    Andy Anderson
    PA-22/20-150

  28. #28
    Wayne Guest

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    If it helps any, the distance between the "numbers" and the touch down zone stripes is usually 1,000 feet. On hot days the density altitude can be considerable. I use landings with full flaps and take-offs with both no flaps and half flaps touching down as close to the numbers as I can. Then gauging the stopping distance I needed with the touch-down zone stripes. This gives me a fair idea how well I am doing while preparing to land at unfamiliar short/high strips. The touch-down zone stripes give a decent idea whether to use flaps or not as well. Is your grandfather's strip level or does it run up hill? Unless there is a considerable wind favoring the other direction it is advisable to land up hill and take-off down hill. Hope this helps, WAyne
    Last edited by Wayne; 09-27-2009 at 11:51 AM.

  29. #29
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    Medway, ME
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigJohnnie View Post
    Any of you fellas actually flown a Pa-22 150 at gross weight ? Being a relatively new pilot of one prompts me to ask that quetion. So far, all of my flying in mine has either been just solo, or just with a passenger in the front seat. Pardon my naivete', but other than possibly an extended t/o roll and rollout, and a slower climb rate , what else ( if anything ) should I take into consideration ? ---- Given : I will be under gross and within the CG envelope.

    Johnnie
    Years ago I flew with my Dad in his 160HP Tripacer, and my brother and his girlfriend in back. Luggage was limited to toothbrush, bathingsuits and spare underwear, and we flew from Plymouth Mass, to Central Florida, 15 hours flying time, over 2 days. No probs, 8000' most of the way through NYC airspace to avoid the TCA, (at that time anyways) and no noticeable differences in handling. Full tanks every time too, so we might have actually been a bit over. Great plane.
    My license plate on my pickup says "I'd rather be Flying." How true.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Lake Oswego
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    Quote Originally Posted by 33D View Post
    Andy,
    How many feet does it take to get off the runway at that altitude? My Grandpa cut in a dirt strip on his property. 1100ft runway at 4500ft altitude. Think its doable with two people, 20gallons, 45degree OAT?
    Thanks
    REPLY: There is a slip stick calculator you can buy online that you can enter all the parameters of your Grandpa's very short and high runway including slope, surface type, wind, altitude, and come up with a takeoff distance for any temperature. It works for any airplane since it is based on the standard day sea level take off distance that is in every aircraft manual. For example my 150 HP tri pacer sets the slip stick to 1100 feet take of roll sea level and full gross. However just as important it computes the percent of standard day sea level climb rate! Many get into trouble finding they can lift off in ground effect but cannot climb fast enough to avoid rising terrain or trees way off the airport. A one hundred foot per minute climb at 85 miles per hour gets you only 100 feet up over a mile from your lift off point! I have lifted off a 5000 foot high 4000 ft long grass strip on a cool morning with two people, camping gear, and half tanks and it took 2000 feet to lift off! Remember the old question, "I know a short field procedure and a soft field procedure, what do I do with a short, soft, and high altitude strip." Answer, "Don't even land there it isn't an airport!"

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Medway, ME
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    Hi group,
    Having logged about 90% of my flight time in New England, below 3000' for all practical purposes, moving to Colorado was an eye opener. I soon learned just what density altitude and leaning the engine mixture really meant. Nevertheless the 150 HP Tripacer does quite well departing Pueblo on a hot day, and I "pre-lean" the engine (using the EGT gauge) before takeoff, and add more leaning after getting up a few thousand feet. Starting at 4726' ASL I find this gives much better takeoff and climb performance than waiting until crawling to a couple thousand to do the leaning.

    The other thing that really helped here was taking some dual time for mountain flying procedures. It is just way different to have to deal with the turbulence of winds crossing the mountains, and in a plane that can climb less than 300 fpm at 8-9000' encountering down currents of 1000 fpm can ruin your whole day if you're on the wrong side of a canyon or valley. Crossing mountain "passes" I try to allow at least 1000' if able, 2000' is even better, and some of these passes are 9000' to 11,000' which means exploring the limits of the altitude ability of the little Tripacer. I've been to 13,000' one time crossing Wolf Creek Pass, which is both foreboding and formidable in its wildness, and I wanted all the glide ability I could buy before getting in any kind of trouble at those altitudes.

    Happy Landings
    My license plate on my pickup says "I'd rather be Flying." How true.

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