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Old 06-08-2018, 02:07 PM
Robert M's Avatar
Robert M Robert M is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 656
Default Soft field takeoffs and Landings

I've gotten some data on short field takeoffs.

I'm in an RV-9 (not an "A") and I was curious if anyone has data for a soft field takeoff. In training, the nose dragger got 10 degrees flaps and full power from a stand still. As the roll starts, pull back on the yoke to get nose wheel up ASAP, then the rest of the plane off the ground ASAP. Maintain ground effect until a speed is reached that will allow a climb, and then slowly retract flaps as speed increases.

If this were the case for my RV-9, I expect the proceedure would be similar.... keep the stick back until liftoff, hold ground effect until climb speed is obtained?

Any suggestions.

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Old 06-08-2018, 02:13 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,758

In my C180, one thing to do is to get the tailwheel just off the ground as soon as it will lift off. It has significant drag on soft/rough ground. So start with forward elevator to lift it, but maintain the body attitude that does that. Just barely off the ground, no more.

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Old 06-08-2018, 03:44 PM
DennisRhodes DennisRhodes is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Taylorsville, Ga
Posts: 667

What Dave said. I use 10 deg flaps on my 9 on turff field. Use fwd pressure to get the tail up as soon as it will fly. Then allow the plane fo fly it self off . On landing my 9 is better with wheel landings than 3 point. On three point the tail always touches first. ESPECIALLY if the CG is to the rear or on rear limit.
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Last edited by DennisRhodes : 06-09-2018 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 06-08-2018, 03:58 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is online now
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 5,614

Unless the soft field was also short, Iíd avoid full power at a standstill. Too likely to pull small stones into the prop. Also, if itís really soft, you donít want to bog down. Runup on firm ground, scan for traffic, then taxi and go without stopping.
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:14 AM
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keen9a keen9a is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 235

As others have said, get the tailwheel off first. In theory keep it low, but the time from getting the T/W off to the mains lifting is going to be pretty short unless you are heavy.

Same thing with the transition in ground effect. If you're not loaded with two people and baggage, the RV-9 will just accelerate right on through to a good climb speed. If anything, when light focus on getting the nose up to capture Vx if needed.

Also, if you are not careful, you can blow right through flap speed.
Ben Keen
RV-9 Flying 8/21/2016
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:46 AM
luddite42 luddite42 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 402

Soft field issues are mostly academic, since they are part of the PTS, but in reality keep in mind that if a field is so soggy that soft field techniques are really needed, that you're likely leaving ruts, and should be considerate if you're not the owner of the field.
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