Monday, September 1, 2008
With Six, You Get Aileron Roll
Join this six-pack of Cubbies on a low-and-slow cross-country jaunt, and hone up on your
|"Uh oh,” crackles Rand Siegfried’s voice over the intercom. “There goes A.D.D. again.” He chuckles, “I think we’ll have to do something about that.” And just like that, the sky drops away and we’re in a brain-floating dive in pursuit of Bob Elliott’s Legend Cub.|
|“A.D.D.” Bob Elliott flies his olive L-4 replica in the Legend Cub group as it heads for Sun ‘n Fun.|
My first takeoff in Mickie gave me ample opportunity to practice “ground flying.” When I got confused about where to put the stick while taxiing downwind, Siegfried reminded me, “Dive away from the wind.” If there’s a strong quartering tailwind from the left, push the stick forward and to the right. Tailwind from the right? Stick forward and to the left. It helps to visualize the control surfaces. The elevator is down, and ailerons are down on the “upwind” side and up on the “downwind” side, which keeps the wind from lifting a wing.
Another pointer from Siegfried: “Keep the stick back for normal taxi.” That keeps the tail on the ground. Think of it as climbing into a headwind. Also, hold the left aileron for a left-quartering headwind, and vice versa for a right-quartering headwind, to keep the corresponding wing down. Lawnmower Races & Forward Slippin’
At a previous fuel stop, I had dipped into Elliott’s half-gallon bag of candy, and before the tail chasin’ takes me too far down Sickbag Alley, I now beg off and we return to the formation. Soon, we spy a bunch of yahoos racing hopped-up, tractor-style lawnmowers. Later, a fleet of unused mobile homes, thousands of them, fills a field not far from New Orleans. “Your FEMA dollars at work,” someone quips over the radio.
Coming in for a landing later, Siegfried sees that I’m too high over the runway and tells me to do a forward slip. Stewart’s words come to mind: “Most little tailwheelers like Cubs don’t have flaps,” he says, “so you get down with a forward slip. But one problem I see with students is when the pilot doesn’t take a crosswind on landing into consideration. Let’s say we’re flying left traffic, with a crosswind from the right. Typically, pilots like to forward slip with the left wing down and right rudder.”
The problem comes in the round-out just before landing. Because the right wing is up, it’s vulnerable to the right crosswind at near-touchdown speeds. “Now the pilot has to switch to right wing down and swing to left rudder to deal with the crosswind, and all of that close to the ground,” says Stewart. The logical solution: “Pilots need to know which direction the crosswind is coming from, then do a forward-slip in that direction. Then for landing, all you have to do is reduce the amount of lowered wing and rudder. Much easier.”
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