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Thread: Whell or 3 point landings

  1. #1
    hondacubber Guest

    Default Whell or 3 point landings

    Hello,

    I am new at flying a Pacer and trying to figure out how to get a good landing. I have flown C-185s and Super Cubs and so far have been able to keep it pointing forward but consistantly smooth landings are still elusive. I am flying a 1950 PA-20 with a 150 HP engine. Are wheel or 3 point landings recomended? What approach and landing speeds are recomended? Any ideas on what best glide is?

    Thanks, Eric in Yakima

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Leeds, AL.
    Posts
    711

    Default

    The airplanes you have been flying have a lower sink rate power off than the Pacer. If you carry a little power it will be more similar to your experience. You can work on power off after you get more familiar with the aircraft.

  3. #3
    metrallarider Guest

    Default

    My instructor once said that I may never wheel land my Colt taildragger! What he meant was, (no wisecracks please), that shortwings are a challenge to wheel land compared to some other planes, (he has a Clipper). On the other hand, I've done six in a row nicely, while practicing, so of course it can be done. I find that airspeed is critical for both landings to be good ones. I find that you not only have to nail the speed, but the load of the plane (full fuel/half fuel, passengers or not), really makes a difference. My Pacer likes 70mph on approach with just me in it, 75 loaded.(I have V.G.'s) As 13010 said, I leave some power on, approx. 1300rpms ,( I also have 150hp) and that seems to work well. If I look at the airspeed after the flare, it's about 60.
    If I'm 5 mph over, the whole thing goes to hell, and it floats along - nose high, and then drops out a few feet above the runway, unless more power is applied at the right moment.
    So in a nutshell, I would advise a long stabilized final, nailing the airspeed every time, and SLOWLY feel for a slower speed after you're consistant. Jim

  4. #4
    Wayne Guest

    Default

    I also use a little power when making wheel landings in my PA22/20. Also, I just installed new bungees. A 1280HD and a 1080HD on each side. The stiffer gear really helps. It doesn't act quite as much like a pogo stick. I can "plant" the mains on a little harder without having the gear spread and then throw me back into the air as with soft mushy bungees. Good luck and have fun with your new plane, WAyne

  5. #5
    Chazzman Guest

    Default

    Eric,
    It's nice to see another short wing pilot in the pacific northwest. If you are ever on the east side of the state in your pacer let me know and we can have a cup of coffee and talk pacers. I enjoy practicing both landing techniques and feel the airplane is comfortable in either configuration. For me, the wheel landing seems simple and smooth if a little power is carried until the wheels are on the ground. I enjoy power off wheel landings also but it's harder to make them work out nicely because you have to be more precise and time things accurately. 65 indicated with a little power seems to make a real nice wheel landing for me. If I am three pointing and want to get it on short I will fly 60 indicated, chop any remaining power as I flare, clean up the flaps upon touchdown, and hit the brakes. With Stewart tips and VG's I am comfortable at 55 indicated (If I am LIGHT)but this requires a flatter, nose high approach with some power in order to get the nose high enough for flare( at least for me). The back country strips I fly into are all over 1000 feet so there is no reason to drag it in that slow anyway. But it is fun to practice and it makes for a short landing. Just keep practicing and figure out what speeds and techniques work for you and your plane. If it's warm or breezy I always carry a little more speed because these shortwinged birds will quit flying before you are ready if you are not carefull.

  6. #6
    hondacubber Guest

    Default

    Hey,

    Thanks for all the input. You can tell I am a hunt and peck typer that doesn't read what he types or can't spell wheel. No one had any suggestions on Best glide other than eluding to a high sink rate. Still wondering so I'll ask again.
    I got out flying yesterday morning and landed at 4 different grass strips and I did 3 pointers with holding it off until it was don flying and they worked out good.

    Chadd where in the Spokane area do you keep your plane>

    Thanks, Eric

  7. #7
    metrallarider Guest

    Default

    After reading these forums and websites for a couple of years, I take it that 80 mph is best glide. My "seat of the pants" opinion, after V.G.s is 75.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Leeds, AL.
    Posts
    711

    Default

    Now here is a basic misunderstanding of wheel landing. WHEEL LANDINGS CAN BE MADE AT ANY SPEED FROM JUST ABOVE THE STALL TO CRUISE!
    The secret is that you need to put the mains on the ground and hold them there!
    You cannot do the hold it off etc technique of full stall. Onec you understand theat the angle of attack actually push the wheels onto the ground you have got it. This is why it is so handy knowing how to do it correctly and why it gives you so much better control. It is not a dainty balancing act that requires perfect timing and balance. If you wait for the airplane to recat from the tires "bouncing off the ground due to the change of attack when the tail drops you are about a second too late...
    Good luck
    J.D.

  9. #9
    Chazzman Guest

    Default

    Eric,
    I am at Felts Field. There's a hand full of shortwings on the field including 2 other pacers and a handful of 22's. It's an awesome airport to be based at due to the number of cool airplanes that regularly fly in and out. There are at least 8 stearmans, a T6, one AN-2, and the only flying Boeing 40C in the world to name a few. There's also several people who actively fly the Idaho backcountry so there's always some good stories around.

  10. #10
    Bayport Piper Guest

    Default

    Hey Honda, I have a PA 20 125hp. 75-80 on approach. Start off with 3-point then move on to wheel landings. Both are fine, but a wheel is definitely recommended in x-wind. they say 53 is stall but they don't mention that SW pacers have a (what I call) Vnofly at 60. They turn into cars at 60. Goodluck.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Hurricane, UT
    Posts
    422

    Default

    I would have to disagree with the Vnofly of 60. Vnofly is somewhere at "indicated" stall speed (not all ias are really calibrated exact). This statement is made after landing in a 12-20 gusting xwind and with the wheels on the ground and a gust, the plane will "lift off ground" until below stall speed.
    Andy Anderson
    PA-22/20-150

  12. #12
    Chazzman Guest

    Default

    I have no problem flying my approach at 60mph indicated. It flies just fine and there is still plenty of control with the ailerons. I don't do this in warm or windy conditions but only in cool and still morning air. I practiced many landings at higher airspeeds before slowing it up this much. If I had to put a Vnofly speed on my pacer it would be closer to 52mph. I do have Stewarts and VG's so maybe this helps. I don't really fly into any strips which require this slow of an approach but I have fun practicing anyhow.

  13. #13
    Bayport Piper Guest

    Default

    I guess that may be true. In my case its a grass strip with a 50 ft. obstacle at either side. TPA is 600' AGL due to the overlying class C. Tight getting in and out. As soon as I hit tree line the rotors suck you right down, hence the 60 IAS Vnofly I guess. I just keep these speeds up at all fields and never ran into any problems. I guess if I had to I can keep the speed at 55 if I really wanted, but I feel pretty good at a 75 approach which usually leads to a 60 IAS touch down.

  14. #14
    Chazzman Guest

    Default

    I wouldn't argue with your logic.

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