Landing without carnage? - RC Groups
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Oct 07, 2002, 08:17 AM
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Landing without carnage?

Why can fly around for hours with ease, yet most of my landings end in shards of flying balsa wood and scared spectators. Last Sunday I tried to come in for a smooth landing witch resulted in my SIG Ninja disintegrating on a hand rail then smashing into my friends car. He was not impressed! lol.
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Oct 07, 2002, 09:12 AM
Registered User


Get a Foamie!

Hell, I cartwheeled my DAW 1-26 at least once catching a wingtip while scraping the hill for lift.... Slid the wing straight, and threw it off again.

Hell, I flew a Zagi nose first into the ground at a decent speed on accident ( thought I was right side up when really I was ), and it bounced. Picked it up, wiped off some grass, and tossed it into the wind again.

With my limited experience on the slopes, I can say with authority- I will have alot of fun with a foamie, with no worries of dorked landings.

Now, with crunchies.... Im going to wait til I get more experience ( reading the air, etc.... ) before I risk a higher dollar/more fragile aircraft.

It is fun- so thats the part to remember.

Oct 07, 2002, 09:51 AM
No fuse too fat
slopeiron's Avatar
I have to agree. I resisted the idea of building any foamies for a long time, but my first one made a believer out of me. They have some definite benefits. Like the fact that it only took me a day to build it, and that I can fly it when I would otherwise be sitting around wishing for more wind, and that they don't break so easily.

I'm not giving up my crunchies by any means, but foamies open up another whole realm of possibilities.

As for getting better at landing, well... a foamie can help you with that too. You can dork as many as it takes to get the hang of it, (and you can do it all in the same day), because you don't have to worry about 5 hours worth of repair work in between each one.

Latest blog entry: Amigo Racer
Oct 07, 2002, 10:38 AM
characters welcome!
Mark Wood's Avatar
L'il Johnny and tenover showed me how it's done with their Moths.
"Landing area? There's a bush right there... POOF!"

mw (the cactus landing was too)

PS: I won't say anything about the ONLY sign in the area, Scott.
Oct 07, 2002, 10:43 AM
Motors beat engines!
I have to agree that foams the answer.

I occasionally ( winds rarely from the right direction here. ) fly my foamie super sniper at the lakefront and the only way I've been able to put the plane down gently is to face it directly into the wind to acheive a semi hover, and just gradually work it backwards/downwards till I'm getting into the low lift area just behind the hill face.

A little jockying around can usually bring it straight down at a slow rate till I'm about 3 to 5 ft up where the lift really just stops and the plane belly flops straight down.
Its really quite gentle and I think most planes could handle this without damage.

Dean in Milwaukee
Oct 07, 2002, 10:55 AM
Certified Slopehead
tenover's Avatar
PS: I won't say anything about the ONLY sign in the area, Scott.
Well, that sign wasn't there before.....that's my standard landing approach and I've NEVER seen a sign there. I think someone put it there the night before....

yeah right.
Oct 07, 2002, 03:28 PM
Free as a bird now.
Landing techniques will often depend on your hill.

Like DeaninMilwaukee just described, sometimes there is some good steady wind right at the top of your slope, or better yet , there is good wind just slightly above and behind the lip. With practice you can learn to hover there, and by carefully rocking your wings and pitching up and down a little, you can make a gentle vertical descent to the ground. This works better with lighter planes. Heavier planes will tend to stall easier and more violently, and a sudden drop of more than a few feet to the ground can damage the plane.

If you have the luxury of a big, soft landing area behind your hill, you just practice getting low enough and slow enough back there to slide it in for a nice landing. If you are too fast or too high, you go back out and back around for another try. If the ground is soft enough and your plane is tough enough, you might get away with deliberately "lawn darting" into the soft earth if you are just a little too fast for a nice belly landing.

Some hills have only a small landing zone right at the same place where you launch. Worse, there may be obstructions behind the slope. In this case the technique is to get down low off to one side of the slope, and climb uphill to the landing zone, bleeding off speed and energy as you climb. At the top you turn it into the wind just in time for the increase in headwind to kill the last of your forward momentum, and you park your plane perfectly right at your feet. Ok, you probably wont get it this perfect every time, but with practice you can learn to land in a very small zone. If you run out of energy while climbing up to the landing zone, you will stall into the hill below you, but you will probably be flying slow enough for your plane to be ok. ( You obviously don't want to use this technique if there is a dangerously steep drop off in front of you!)

The real secret to landing any slope plane well is to learn your slope and your plane, and learn how to read what the wind is doing. Then you just PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!!!!
Oct 07, 2002, 04:01 PM
No fuse too fat
slopeiron's Avatar
Maybe if TFLG is around, he can tell you about the old landing zone at Bluff Cove. It was very narrow and the approach was directly down wind. On a good day the planes would come in so hot, it was almost impossible not to overshoot. I had a plane overshoot one day and go sliding out into the road (it's a dead end, not much traffic). But just at that instant, a van happened to be driving up. Of course the plane slid right under it and got run over. Oh well...

Latest blog entry: Amigo Racer
Oct 07, 2002, 04:05 PM
Tu ne cede malis
MtnGoat's Avatar
I was going to make a few comments but brian seems to have covered most of them, I also find the best method for landing a plane, especially a fast one, is to do the climbing approach and try to stall or near stall just as you clear the hilltop.

Whenever I am at a new hill with non obvious landing zones, the first thing I do is spend time working approaches to see which one will work when I need it. This way I get a feel for what the landing will involve before I need it and I don't get quite low enough to crash if I need a go around.
Oct 07, 2002, 05:10 PM
Registered User
TFLG's Avatar
Ah yea the old days at bluff cove........

Now that was a tight landing area! It's hard to even explain it but try landing your plane on a picnic blanket placed on the edge of a vertical cliff with a house and tree to your right and cars and planes to your left and no way to fly behind the slope!

The approach was to dive any where from 1/4 to 3/4 of the way to the bottom of the hill then fly up the face and stall it onto the blanket. The better guys would catch the plane as it stalled.

Personally now days I just prefer to hover it down. If the wind is too strong then I try it inverted. I don't recommend this technique unless you are very very familiar with your plane, but it works for me.

Flying up the slope will work most places the biggest mistake I see guys making when trying this is they rarely go far enough down the slope. If it's blowing 20 mph you might have to dive down hundreds of feet in order to bleed off enough speed when your climbling back up. so GO DEEP!

Oct 07, 2002, 05:31 PM
Certified Slopehead
tenover's Avatar
That's how we do it at Sunset Cliffs, works great. You can see Lil'Johnny doing it on my Moth video somewhere on this forum....
Oct 07, 2002, 05:41 PM
Free as a bird now.
TFLG's idea about hovering inverted might sound a little nuts, but it works! Planes are actually easier to hover in place upside down if you are comfortable with being inverted. I like to do it just for fun, but I use a foamie... as unlikely as it may seem I make mistakes now and then.
Oct 07, 2002, 05:41 PM
Free as a bird now.
Get ready...
Oct 07, 2002, 05:42 PM
Free as a bird now.
Get set...
Oct 07, 2002, 05:43 PM
Free as a bird now.

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