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Old Nov 14, 2006, 08:17 PM
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landing question

i made my first solo flight last week... and been out two more times flyin

i have one question

Do you ever get out of the controlled 'crashes as landings'?

todya i flipped my e flite cessna off the runway into the grass today and skinned up my aluminum spinner ..

yesturday you can just call me stupid i took her up in about 5-8 mph winds... that was a ride wow 20 oz plane in that is like a tuft of cotton... not fun... took six approaches to get it lined up right

well maybe im rushin things a bit... maybe it hasnt fully sunk in between plane, eyes and hands

id just thought id ask

any input would be appreciated

thanks
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Old Nov 14, 2006, 08:28 PM
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20 oz plane should be fine in those winds. Anything under 10 mph is really no wind at all. I stunk at landing for the longest time. I find landing larger, heavier models easier than the small stuff. With those when you cut throttle they have ebough mass to carry them in throttle off. With lighter models you may want to keep some throttle on and fly it to the ground. Like everything else it takes practice. You won't land as well the first week you solo as you will a few months later.

If you fly on grass like I do light models tend to nose over when the grass catches the landing gear. It helps sometimes to give a little burst of throttle as it touches down with some up elevator to keep the tail down..
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Old Nov 14, 2006, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paintz2007
Do you ever get out of the controlled 'crashes as landings'?
Of course you will. You just gotta keep practicing until you can get feather soft touch down. Preferably keep using the same plane until you can get the landing right. I would say it will probably take couple of hundred landing before you will be able to land feather in any condition.

~asm
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Old Nov 14, 2006, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mexico
20 oz plane should be fine in those winds. Anything under 10 mph is really no wind at all.
I disagree with this comment. For a very experienced pilot, many planes in this weight class can be flown in 10 mph winds. But for a new pilot I usually recommend you keep it under 5 mph until you are confident. This is ESPECIALLY true when you are using a runway. It is a lot easier to belly land a small electric in an open field anywhere you like than it is hitting the center of a hard runway.

Avoid the wind, practice and you will do fine.
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Old Nov 14, 2006, 09:17 PM
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aeajr - thinking back to when I started flying you're right. I used to hate flying in even a light breeze.
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Old Nov 14, 2006, 09:49 PM
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hm....i always was told the wind is my friend, and i need to learn to put up with it.
needless to say my first flight in real wind was pretty scary, but hey, my plane got out in one piece, and i became a more experienced pilot because of it. i wouldnt really recommend waiting for windy days to fly and get better at it, but i dont really think you should wait for a dead calm day; because heck how often does that happen in Ohio? not a whole lot!

"any landing you can walk away from...."
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 12:39 AM
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So, the key thing is to learn to slow the plane down. That means understanding the relation between pitch attitude, trim, and speed. So, while you're setting up your approach you want to reduce power, pull back to maintain level flight, and trim for level. That will get you slowed down, you now just need to reduce power a bit more to start descending. Then use the throttle to adjust the slope of your approach.

A good landing is all about the approach; the landing more or less flys itself after a good approach.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 01:07 AM
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I've only been flying for the past two weekends, so I'm a real novice. My first weekend out I did a good 5 or 6 excellent landings (on my fifth or sixth approach, I was even able to spot-land my Easy Glider right in front of me, less than 10 feet away!). Last time we went out, though, I barely managed to bring the plane down without breaking anything: I was struggling to keep control of the plane, and both of my only two landings looked more like little crashes...

The difference between this weekend and the last was: WIND! It was a lot windier this weekend, and the plane sure let me know it when it was coming down!

Having said that, I actually enjoyed the adrenaline of fighting to land the plane, though... I really liked going out in calm weather, but I think I learned a lot more from flying in the wind.

Peace,
Al.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 02:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew McGregor
A good landing is all about the approach; the landing more or less flys itself after a good approach.
Practice like some real planes do. Fly downwind at a slower cruising speed, parallel to the runway at 50 feet or so, come around 180 degrees to line up with the runway at whatever distance is suitable for your plane (the faster it is, the farther away you need to fly it), adjust power and elevator to let the plane descend, using power to control descent as mentioned above, and have a place on the runway that you are aiming to put the mains down on.

While you practice, you don't even have to put the plane on the ground. Just fly your approach and when you get close to the runway, add power and go around and try again.

After a while, you will start to surprise yourself.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 03:12 AM
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Ben Buckle the well known vintage flyer in the UK used to say it's better to walk fifty yards and pick up the plane than to walk five yards and pick up the pieces. I agree with the comments that low wind speed helps especially in the early stages. Apart from landings it is easy during these early stages to misjudge things and have the aircraft "blow away" down wind. That can be a hard position from which to recover always assuming you don't lose orientation. Especially if the model is small and light.
As for landing or any other part of the flight pattern these are merely acquired skills and, over time, you will acquire them. Some people take longer than others and the help of more skilled pilots usually reduces the learning time. If you have to go it solo then perseverance is the key as well as a tough model although it's likely to cost you more than one unless you are very lucky or exceptionally talented. So far in fifty years I've only met one of the latter.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 03:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew McGregor
A good landing is all about the approach; the landing more or less flys itself after a good approach.
What he said. The landing thing really clicked for me the first time I flew RC after I'd had my first few full-size flying lessons. Imagine the ideal line you want your plane to take to hit the centreline but don't make any sharp turns in an attempt to stay on it, try to keep your attention away from where the plane is but focussed on where you want it to be maybe 50-100yds ahead, keep it smooth and make continual small corrections and you will soon find that your plane almost lands itself as has been described. If you find yourself weaving to stay on it just power up and go around. For me making a good landing is one of the most satisfying things in flying but to answer your question however good you get you'll still always do the odd stinker especially with smaller planes.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 03:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thermlin'
hm....i always was told the wind is my friend, and i need to learn to put up with it....."
The only kind of flying I do where wind is my friend is slope soaring. It can also provide some help on a hi-start launch up to about 5 mph. After that, if I am not on the slope, the wind is working against me.

If it was your friend you would not have to learn to put up with it.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 06:38 AM
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Plenty of good advice in the previous posts, but a couple of things seem not to have been mentioned:

1. Don't slow the model down too much when nearing the ground, otherwise you lose all control and find it difficult to correct when a gust hits you: To "fly it in", as others have mentioned, you need to maintain flying speed.

2. Make sure you're heading into the wind when landing: When we talk about flying speed, we're talking of the speed of the model relative to the wind; so if you've got a 10 m.p.h. headwind that means your ground speed can be 10 m.p.h. less without losing control.

3. On a rough grass field there can be plenty of air turbulence close to the ground, compared with up in the air. So the last couple of feet of a landing can be real bumpy. Good air speed (and a 50-yard walk) can help to smooth out the effect of this.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 01:22 PM
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In places I tend to fly, the approach may be between 2 light poles, over a fence and past a tree with a turn at the threshold. Any wind and there are bumps to deal with. A go-around is through other obstacles. I feel pretty good about it if I donít smack it down every time.

You will get a lot more comfortable with it after some practice. But like golf, you can probably work on it your whole life
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 01:46 PM
pd1
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Paintz2007, you've got some pretty good advice here.
Just a couple of small things.
Trim the plane up high so that the nose is SLIGHTLY low with power off. About 3 to 4 degrees down is good,or so that the glide is shallow enough that if you hit the ground at that angle, no damage.
Line the plane up and let the plane do most of the work,flair only when you get close to the ground.
As already mentioned, you need airspeed to control the plane. Use power in small amounts to get you closer if your approach is short.
Next, it is easier to fly with less wind than with a lot of wind.
Your choice how much is too much.

Good luck
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