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  #1  
Old 07-18-2017, 05:17 PM
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RV6_flyer RV6_flyer is offline
 
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Default Practice Oshkosh AirVenture arrival

2017 will be the 18th time I have flown my RV-6 into Oshkosh AirVenture in the last 20-years. I have flown the RV that I built over 3,000 hours. As an EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor, I would like to share with others how I practice for an RV arrival at AirVenture.

Like most RV pilots, I typically fly cruise speed, traffic pattern speed, and slow flight. Slow flight may be 50-KIAS but it typically does not last for much over 5-minutes. Following the AirVenture NOTAM, we will be flying 90-KIAS for about 12-minutes.

The Oshkosh AirVenture arrival NOTAM says:

“All non-ADS-B equipped aircraft set transponder to Standby at or before Ripon.
Obtain Arrival ATIS (125.9) no later than 15 miles from Ripon and note arrival runways in use.
Have NOTAM arrival pages mentioned on ATIS available.
Then monitor Fisk Approach (120.7).
Arrive at Ripon at 90 knots and 1,800’.”

Since RVs can operate comfortably at 90-KIAS, we are expected to fly the approach at that speed. Every year, I tell someone that wants to fly their RV at 135 Knots and 2,300’, that if they cannot fly their RV in line 1/2-mile apart at 90-KIAS, they should not fly to Oshkosh AirVenture.

Having flown to Oshkosh AirVenture and used all the different Runway options, I would like to share a practice routine that any new AirVenture pilot or one that has done it multiple times can practice on their own before reaching RIPON.

I took off from my home airport and climbed several thousand feet above the ground and setup for cruise speed. Next I reduced to my economy cruise speed and practiced turns about a point. Economy cruise where I burn the least fuel and can loiter for hours if necessary. IF by some chance you are inbound to RIPON and ATC issues a hold, one can orbit or create a hold till the field opens. IF the hold is going to be an hour or more, I would head for and land at a near by airport.

I am now 15 to 20 miles from my home airport, I setup for a decent and arrival at a point a little over 1,000’ AGL at 90-KIAS. (I was at 2,300 MSL and that puts me between 1,000 and 1,200 AGL depending on where I am on my practice flight route.) If one has a Constant Speed prop, I advise to record the power setting necessary to maintain airspeed and altitude. On my RV-6, 2,100 RPM and 16.5” works well for starting point for 90-KIAS. I will advance and retard throttle as necessary to maintain airspeed and altitude. I now fly along a major highway similar to what the railroad tracks we follow will be like. I do a few 90-degree left and right turns along the route. This is done as one may need to turn left 90-degrees out of line so as to go back and start over or one could be directed to make a right turn to enter BASE for RWY 36. The goal on the route is to maintain a constant altitude, heading, and airspeed. In actual flight to AirVenture, you will also be following another aircraft, maintain spacing, and looking for other aircraft. As you get near the airport, you should have flown close to 10 Nm straight and about a total distance of 18 Nm at 90 KIAS. When you get to the airport, you want to do a precision short soft field approach touching down at a specific location you chose that was not the numbers.

We have now completed a simulated practice arrival but without the controllers, traffic, and pressure of AirVenture.

My goal with the practice arrival procedure was to control airspeed, heading, and altitude without using a large amount of brainpower. I want the 90-KIAS, heading, and altitude to be a reflex action so that I can follow other aircraft maintaining spacing, look for other aircraft, and do frequency changes if necessary.

It may be necessary to practice parts or all of this multiple times till it is mastered.
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  #2  
Old 07-18-2017, 05:27 PM
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You are a true professional Gary. No short cuts in preparedness even with your advanced experience.
The only thing I can add is expect it to be hot. You will be slow, and maybe for a long time. If you have Oil temp issues, resolve them. If you end up in the red while holding, get out and rejoin later. I run cool but saw the highest temps I have ever seen. Dont forget your instrument scan but keep your head on a swivel.
Gary's practice routine may expose problems you are unaware of. An Osh arrival is very different from any. normal flying I have ever done.
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  #3  
Old 07-18-2017, 06:04 PM
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Good stuff Gary. I would only add fly some close-in right patterns to touchdown.
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  #4  
Old 07-18-2017, 06:15 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Great minds (or just those that have done this enough times) think alike Condor - I wrote a very similar practice session up in my blog on KP today. The bottom line is that it is MORE than just mainting 90 knots - its doing it at a specific altitude, over a specific line - and keeping eyes outside.

You can make it even more real if you put your wife in another plane and practice seeing what half-mile spacing is like, and how to maintain it!

I guess you can use a friend instead of your wife.....
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  #5  
Old 07-18-2017, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanH View Post
Good stuff Gary. I would only add fly some close-in right patterns to touchdown.
And left patterns.
Fisk to 18R--i.e. Jack R approach.
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Last edited by Bruce : 07-18-2017 at 08:11 PM. Reason: Spell
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  #6  
Old 07-18-2017, 08:11 PM
ty1295 ty1295 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironflight View Post

I guess you can use a friend instead of your wife.....
Even better if your wife is your friend.
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  #7  
Old 07-18-2017, 08:30 PM
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rolivi rolivi is offline
 
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And I'd like to add: Do this practice close to the weight and balance you're expecting at the arrival.
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  #8  
Old 07-18-2017, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ty1295 View Post
Even better if your wife is your friend.
Goes without saying in my house!
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RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
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  #9  
Old 07-19-2017, 05:31 AM
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Good info Gary. I would like to add that at 90kts cruise if you put in 10deg of flaps it will keep your nose down, lowering your AOA and allowing you to see better over the nose making it easier to spot the traffic in front of you. I realize that at 90kts you are slightly over most RV's 86kt flap speed but it works perfectly.
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  #10  
Old 07-19-2017, 06:45 AM
Tom Martin Tom Martin is offline
 
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My pet peeve is not having to go 90knots, it is with the champs and cubs of the world that can go 90 knots but choose to be careful and fly at sixty knots! My rocket is ok at 90 but sixty means pulling out and going around. Aircraft that are too slow are something to watch out for.
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