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Thread: Turn back to airport in a Tripe?

  1. #11
    rideandfly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turn back to airport in a Tripe?

    This is what Barry Schiff taught in his VHS video "Proficient Pilot". I have the video somewhere, but this is from my memory. It's a fun maneuver to learn with your CFI.

    Find the target altitude for your airplane to make a turn back or if below target altitude no turn back to the airport when power is lost.

    Go to altitude, pull back throttle completely with carb heat on, remember that altitude where you simulated lost power, count to 7 slowly, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, 7000 before initiating turn. Counting to 7 can be for making fuel/mag checks while going to best glide speed, Barry called it startle factor.

    Experiment with various banks angles while making 360 degree coordinated descending turns (descending during turns helps to unload wings) to find which bank angle yields the least altitude lost during a 360 turn without power. Use the initial simulated power off altitude as the starting point, use the best descending bank angle with least altitude lost for your airplane, at the end of the 360 turn, check altitude again. The total altitude lost during the maneuver is the amount of altitude to add to the field elevation at take off, round the number up to at least next 100' to make your target altitude.

    The reason for the 360 turn while finding the target altitude, after making a 180 degree turn you will not be lined up with the runway, two more turns will probably need to be made to get lined up with the runway, that's Barry's reason for the 360 turn to determine target altitude. Initial turn should be into the wind because it reduces turn radius.

    Will start experimenting with the Vagabond to learn the Vag's target altitude.
    Last edited by rideandfly; 02-01-2019 at 01:01 PM.
    Bill
    48 PA-17 Vag C-85

  2. #12

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    Default Re: Turn back to airport in a Tripe?

    So, I must admit to having been somewhat offended for a year or so after the 2016 purchase of my Tri-Pacer, with the generally held opinion that these planes had the glide ratio of an Idaho potato. Since that time, I've grown to know the plane and appreciate this maligned characteristic as an exploitable "feature". Why you may ask? First, it's repeatable - and it appears to be negatively exaggerated. I myself, can exploit any data that is repeatable by knowing limitations and being able to make choices with that solid understanding of what it will do and will not do. Second, I know that I've got a reserve. That is, when I practice engine out landings, my fan up front is turning with the engine "idling" at 1,000 rpm or so. That probably won't be the case in a real engine failure. I likely won't have the drag and braking action of that fan turning and the stopped prop will convert to more horizontal glide distance. Margin of safety. Third, the plane is robustly built with strong nose gear, a chrome-moly fuselage / roll-cage with shoulder harness, and a light strut braced wing. Fourth, it's got big tires for the weight of the plane. All of these attributes give some margin of safety to off airport landings. Which leads me to a question - but I don't want to hijack this thread - has anyone gone to a safe - high altitude and really shut down their engine - stopped prop - to test GPS measured glide distance, then restarted the engine at a safe altitude? And - disclaimer now - I'm not suggesting anyone do this...jus' curious. sort of like curious about spins...I think I'm going to shop for a parachute.

  3. #13
    rideandfly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turn back to airport in a Tripe?

    Experimented a little with the Vag this afternoon, clear and 60F. Weight today at 1000lbs, gross weight is 1150lbs.

    Pulled the power back, counted to 7 slowly at 65MPH while level, next turned to 45 degree bank for a complete 360 at 65 to 70MPH. Lost 600 feet. Believe I can do better with different bank angles/speeds, will see.
    Last edited by rideandfly; 02-03-2019 at 12:11 PM.
    Bill
    48 PA-17 Vag C-85

  4. #14
    Brian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turn back to airport in a Tripe?

    The El Monte Airport where Iím based is surrounded by resendential and commercial development for miles, so the options for a non injury forced landing on departure are not great. In the Summer of 2017 a Pazmany PL-2 Taiwan aircraft, flown by a very experienced and well known local pilot made the fatal decision to turn back. Had he landed more or less straight ahead, like we were all trained as students, I think he would still be with us.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uBZ0xP4avJU
    Last edited by Brian; 02-03-2019 at 01:20 PM.
    Brian
    Monrovia, CA

  5. #15
    59pacer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turn back to airport in a Tripe?

    Today, PA22/20-160, half fuel, two up, nil wind, 25 *c. I set the aircraft up at best glide speed, 90 degrees to the runway, 2000'agl over the landing threshold, closed the throttle and set up 30* bank turn to the left. After 360* it had lost about 800'. There was plenty of height left to continue into a gliding left circuit and landing. I did need full flap and side slipping early to get rid of the excess height.
    On the basis of that, a turn back from about 800' on crosswind leg after a normal takeoff and climb could be possible, but I need to pick a day with no traffic to trial my theory! I will try steeper bank angles to confirm what I think the results would be, but it will take a while.
    Having said all that, I still believe that landing almost straight ahead is the go-to option.

  6. #16
    Topogen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turn back to airport in a Tripe?

    One thing I'm planning on practicing is dead stick landings. This should give a more realistic 'feel' for gliding in and around the pattern in anticipation for precision power-off landings. I've done this in Cessnas and some low wing planes. My plan is to pull power to idle at mid-downwind in the pattern and make base to final and touch down. Of course, I'll have power as a back-up (esp in my 1st or 2nd try!). It's a good idea to have extra altitude on final with full flaps added when the field is made. Anybody ever try this exercise? It's a great confidence builder by the way.

  7. #17
    rideandfly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turn back to airport in a Tripe?

    Flying maneuvers in a Cessna Aerobat about 2500'AGL over a grass airfield one day when a valve stuck in the 0-200. Pulled power, started circling over the field, then set up on final, still high with the field made, used 40 degrees of flaps to safely land.
    Bill
    48 PA-17 Vag C-85

  8. #18

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    Default Re: Turn back to airport in a Tripe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Topogen View Post
    One thing I'm planning on practicing is dead stick landings. This should give a more realistic 'feel' for gliding in and around the pattern in anticipation for precision power-off landings. I've done this in Cessnas and some low wing planes. My plan is to pull power to idle at mid-downwind in the pattern and make base to final and touch down. Of course, I'll have power as a back-up (esp in my 1st or 2nd try!). It's a good idea to have extra altitude on final with full flaps added when the field is made. Anybody ever try this exercise? It's a great confidence builder by the way.
    Yes, I've done it many..maybe 12 or 15 times in my '56 Tri-Pacer. Close throttle at mid-field downwind at 1,000' AGL. Don't touch the throttle until on ground and rolling out. It's generally a piece of cake. Watch your altitude. Almost the way I routinely land now, but use a bit of throttle on final to better choose (early) touch down point. Secret is to hit best glide as fast as you can crank the trim, right after you close throttle, don't be slow - then judge when to turn to base. Turn a bit high if you have the luxury of long runway. I usually land with one notch of flaps with head winds or slight cross winds but can choose to go to no flaps for more cross wind or full flaps for no winds. It's more fun in low to medium cross wind conditions. Also try intentionally setting up high on turn to final so to put in a side slip on final. What's really fun is trying to pick your touchdown point within about a hundred feet with no throttle. Have fun.

  9. #19

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    Default Re: Turn back to airport in a Tripe?

    I recently did some research on the Tri Pacer and Colt. What I came up with is 75 - 80 MPH for best glide speed (depending on weight) and the glide ratio is somewhere around 8 - 9 : 1 I then did some power off (windmilling prop) emergency landing practice from 3000' and my sink rate was 800 FPM was the best I could get. So it basically comes down like a brick. I'm wondering if it would be worth it to raise the nose and try to stop the prop from windmilling, I've read that can increase your glide ratio by 20%. Of course it would also depend on the altitude when you lose power, wouldn't want to try it if you're down low without much time/altitude.

  10. #20

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    Default Re: Turn back to airport in a Tripe?

    I think that the difference in a windmilling prop with the engine dead would be quite different from a "windmilling" engine at idle.

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