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  #1  
Old 08-16-2014, 11:36 AM
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pmccoy pmccoy is offline
 
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Location: Orange County CA
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Default RV-9A - Slow Down, or Drop Altitude, Not both

I had an interesting flight this week. Flew one of my normal routes between Chino, CA and Big Bear Lake, CA. On the way home I was direct to Chino on flight following to go through the maze of Southern California airspace. After take off from Big Bear, it's normally a 22 minute flight with a nice 300 to 400 ft per minute decent the entire way. This particular flight seemed to have lots of traffic call outs from ATC. I was on an altitude hold at 6,500, then another at 4,500. As I was getting closer to Chino the altitude hold was not being released. I saw a couple of planes pass about 1,000ft below my path. When I was 7 miles out, I was still at 4,500 on hold. Time to slow way down. I know I can slow down the RV-9A pretty quickly, but I can't slow it down and loose a bunch of altitude at the same time. This is not a surprise to anyone, but I had to be thinking about it if I wanted to nail the upcoming landing. When ATC released me for my final VFR decent into Chino, I was 5 miles out and had already slowed to 75-80 knots with flaps out. The issues was I now had to drop almost 4,000ft in the last five miles on final. No problem since I had slowed down first. Pulled the rest of the power and floated down with full flaps at 65-70 knots. Put her down just at the end of the runway, after having one of my slowest final approaches on record. If your flying a one of the short wing RV's with a constant speed prop, you might read this and wonder what's up. I did my transition training in a 7A and was amazed at how fast we could drop altitude with the power out. With my fixed pitch prop and larger wing, the 9A flies great. I really love it. Sometimes you just have to keep your head in the game and make sure you are doing the appropriate planning as ATC modifies you normal approach.
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Last edited by pmccoy : 08-16-2014 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:22 PM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
 
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Pete, you could have stalled and ridden the stall down to your desired altitude. Give that some practice and see how it works for you. It is a nice trick to have in your back pocket.

BTW, I was doing my approaches today at 55 kts with full flaps.
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  #3  
Old 08-16-2014, 06:52 PM
Airzen Airzen is offline
 
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Default slip?

What about slipping the RV-9a?
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  #4  
Old 08-16-2014, 08:23 PM
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flightlogic flightlogic is offline
 
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My 9A doesn't sink much in a slip. But, I am probably used to a full flap C182 slip that is aggressive and effective. The 9 just sinks a bit more... than without the cross control. Or, is it just me...?
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:38 PM
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ArVeeNiner ArVeeNiner is offline
 
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I've slipped my 9A a bit. It does work but is nowhere like my old Aeronca Sedan was but I didn't expect it to be.

One thing that I did from before my first flight was to set the idle pretty low. Yea, getting down can take a little planning but it's not as difficult as I expected. I'd have to say that overall, I really don't have many issues getting down or slowing down. I even was asked to perform a short approach at my home airport which I complied with. I went full flaps on downwind and slipped it all the way around. It was kind of fun.
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  #6  
Old 08-18-2014, 10:22 AM
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pmccoy pmccoy is offline
 
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Bill-

Quote:
Pete, you could have stalled and ridden the stall down to your desired altitude. Give that some practice and see how it works for you. It is a nice trick to have in your back pocket.

BTW, I was doing my approaches today at 55 kts with full flaps.
I have to admit I would have never thought to try this. It's an interesting idea. Sounds like I should head out to my favorite practice area over the Mojave desert and try some extended stalls. It will be interesting to see how quickly I can drop out of some unwanted altitude. These will have to be solo. My wife would have a cow if I tried a stall descent with her in the plane. Thanks for the idea.
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:34 AM
Rupester Rupester is offline
 
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For some of us "less bold" pilots, a full slip to scrub off that altitude would be w-a-y preferable. I've been able to use a full slip quite successfully from altitude, though I admit never from 4000'. That's a bunch!

I hear ya on that "longest, slowest approach". It's amazing how we get used to cruising at 140 - 160 kts. The slow stuff in the pattern seems a whole lot slower now than it did when I flew 172s.
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  #8  
Old 08-18-2014, 10:46 AM
sandifer sandifer is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmccoy View Post
I have to admit I would have never thought to try this. It's an interesting idea. Sounds like I should head out to my favorite practice area over the Mojave desert and try some extended stalls. It will be interesting to see how quickly I can drop out of some unwanted altitude. These will have to be solo. My wife would have a cow if I tried a stall descent with her in the plane. Thanks for the idea.
Most planes I've flown can be kept very stable during a stalled descent as long as you have a light touch on the rudder. If you're high, it feels like normal flight except for the unwinding altimeter. Unless she's unconfortable with a gentle initial stall, the actual stalled descent won't seem very adventurous.

I shot this in the Pitts at idle power and full aft stick. 32 seconds from 3,000' to 1,500' - 2,800 FPM. Very stable and tame.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLZG2...T4j6vReBu9H8Qg
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  #9  
Old 08-18-2014, 10:49 AM
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Toobuilder Toobuilder is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmccoy View Post
...I have to admit I would have never thought to try this...
I have flown the ragged edge of a stall right down to within 75 feet of the runway threshold in a -9A many times. It seems to halt all forward motion and comes down like an elevator.

IIRC, this technique was a spitited discussion on this forum some time ago and many people essentially said I was insane/reckless for suggesting such a move, but I've done it, and it works fine.

As Bill says, its a fine skill to have in your "toolbox".
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  #10  
Old 08-18-2014, 11:13 AM
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I think this thread is going to motivate some of us to head for altitude and try out some things....
And, I am going to check that idle setting again.
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