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  #1  
Old 09-23-2019, 08:03 PM
PaulvS PaulvS is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 26
Question How long for rusty old pilot to transition in RV-9A?

I've started transition training in a RV-9A and have completed 4.5 hours dual and I'm finding it quite challenging... actually it's much harder than I expected.

I last flew regularly 19 years ago and have about 110 hours total time in low wing Pipers (Tomahawk, Turbo Arrow), Grumman Tiger and Cessna 172. I never had any trouble with my initial training, or adapting to different aircraft, though I was a bit younger then!

I'm wondering how long it is going to take to get comfortable with the -9A and how long other people have taken to transition, in similar situations? According to other posts on VAF it should be easy to fly. I've also picked up some useful tips on:
- Nose wheel handling (similar to Grumman Tiger) takes getting used to.
- LOTS of right rudder for take off. This keeps catching me.
- Lifting nose wheel early and also to not over-rotate.
- Relatively flat climb out at 110 Knots. My instinct is to climb steeper.
- Sensitive controls e.g. elevator - easy to accidentally gain 200 ft turning downwind in pattern.
- Slowing down takes a LONG while with FP prop, even with throttle closed.
- Floats FOREVER when landing, so be patient and hold off, but cross-winds have me worried.
- Holding nose wheel off as long as possible - however it just drops down at the end when the elevator stops working.
- Adapting to Dynon D100. I am still referring to the steam gauges.

So I think my brain muscle still needs some more exercise but I don't know how much or how to get there more easily. If you can share your experience and how long it took you, that would be appreciated!

Thanks
Paul.
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2019, 08:26 PM
SPX SPX is offline
 
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Location: San Diego
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How much recent flying have you done? With the low TT that you have, and perhaps only a little recent experience, I would not be surprised to see you require 15 - 20 hours to be safe, and feel reasonably comfortable in it.

It’ll come back to you, it just takes time.
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2019, 10:43 PM
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bruceh bruceh is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ramona, CA
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It took me a while to get used to the -9A. I had 140 hours and a 23 year hiatus from flying. Got back in the air with a C-172 for about 10 hours of mostly pattern work, then transition training in an RV-7A for about 7 hours, and then did my first flight and phase 1 flying.

The -9 is very forgiving and easy to fly. It just wants to keep flying until you get it going very slow. My first dozen or so landings were always just way too fast. With the FP prop, you have to really pull back almost all of the power to keep the air speed down as you approach the pattern. I aim for 78 knots to put the first 10 degrees of flaps down, hit the elevator trim button about 5 times and then it will settle in around 70-75 knots on downwind. Abeam the numbers go to idle and by the time the airplane starts to descend 200 feet you will be ready for the next 10 degrees of flaps. Three or four more hits on the hat switch for the electric trim and it will hold 65 knots and be descending steadily as you fly the base leg. On final, do the same for the last 10 degrees of flaps and you should settle out at 60 knots. You might need to slip it down, or give it a few more RPMS to maintain a nice approach. At 60 knots the sink rate will be pretty high at idle. Slowly flair and hold the airplane off the runway as long as you can and the landing will just happen. If you are floating, then you are coming in too fast. Anything over 60 knots is too fast, unless the winds are gusty, then 65 is ok. I haven't had any real issues with crosswind landings, but I have had some excitement with any sort of tailwind component. Always be prepared to go around! I did a lot of go arounds in my early hours of flying the -9.

Takeoffs are neutral trim, hold the stick all the way back, full power, count to three and the nose wheel will be off the ground. Keep the nose wheel just off the ground and accelerate to 65 knots and the airplane will levitate without needing to rotate. I climb out at 83 knots and then lower the nose to get a better view over the nose. Usually 90-95 knots. You'll be at pattern altitude fairly soon (usually on upwind or crosswind leg depending on weight). Yes, it requires a lot of right rudder in a steep climb. At cruise climb of 500 fpm I'll be indicating 120-130 knots and only need to rest my right foot (slight pressure) on the rudder to keep the ball centered.

I've found that turns only initially require ailerons (and rudder), and no back pressure on the stick (elevators) until much later in the turn as the nose comes around and then slowly the airplane will start to descend a bit.

You will have it down pat after a few months of flying. Keep practicing!
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Last edited by bruceh : 09-23-2019 at 10:47 PM.
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  #4  
Old 09-23-2019, 11:22 PM
RV10Pilot RV10Pilot is offline
 
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Per the FAA "For pilots who have not flown at all for several years, a useful “rule of thumb” is to plan one hour of ground training and one hour of flight training for every year the pilot has been out of the cockpit." So don't be surprised if it takes some time to get comfortable in the plane.
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  #5  
Old 09-24-2019, 06:04 AM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
 
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Witha FP -9(A), pull all the power off in the pattern, abeam the touchdown point put in all the flaps and trim it for 60 knots/70 mph and fly the entire pattern at that speed.

Then, instead of chasing the trim and pitch changes, all you have to do is focus on the touchdown point.

Remember, pitch for speed and power for distance.
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  #6  
Old 09-24-2019, 06:15 AM
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turbo turbo is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RV10Pilot View Post
Per the FAA "For pilots who have not flown at all for several years, a useful “rule of thumb” is to plan one hour of ground training and one hour of flight training for every year the pilot has been out of the cockpit." So don't be surprised if it takes some time to get comfortable in the plane.
I like this rule of thumb. Remember the fun starts when you start flying and ends on your last flight. Hopefully you have a good instructor that is being fair and safe. You can’t rush a safe pilot. Its all about good decision making. Be safe and enjoy the process.

One other thing, it is useful to have an experienced pilot helping along the way when you have questions about the process and make sure your instructor is doing his job. Good luck. Take your time and welcome to the Rv community.
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Last edited by turbo : 09-24-2019 at 06:22 AM.
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  #7  
Old 09-24-2019, 08:04 AM
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JohnInReno JohnInReno is offline
 
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Location: Prescott Valley/Chandler AZ
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Default Less right rudder

It took me a while to figure out what I was doing wrong on take off. With the stick in my left hand, when I pulled back on the stick I was actually pivoting on my elbow on the arm rest.

The result is lowering the left aileron which enhances the left turning tendencies. Once I corrected this action I no longer needed as much right rudder.

Hope this helps.
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  #8  
Old 09-24-2019, 08:34 AM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
 
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One other thing, hold the stick at the very top.

This requires you to make large movements with your hand. Holding it down low means a small movement will impart a large control displacement.

This is made worse by some builders who cut their control sticks down short.
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RV-9 (Yes, it's a dragon tail)
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  #9  
Old 09-24-2019, 09:57 AM
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airguy airguy is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N941WR View Post
One other thing, hold the stick at the very top.

This requires you to make large movements with your hand. Holding it down low means a small movement will impart a large control displacement.

This is made worse by some builders who cut their control sticks down short.
While getting comfortable with the plane, this is particularly true.

Once you've gotten your RV-legs back under you and you are proficient, you'll find that two or three fingers on the bottom of the stick will give you a delightful fingertip control of the airplane when it's trimmed out right.
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2019, 10:19 AM
Paragon Paragon is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 69
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You also might want to check that the idle speed is set as per Lycoming, for your engine model.

On a -9A that I test flew briefly, (didn't land it), later found out the idle speed was set too high, I think due to throttle cable rigging, and this caused headaches trying to get the plane to land on a short runway.

Next owner discovered and fixed the problem.

-Paragon
Cincinnati, OH
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