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Extending flap in a turn

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A CFI got on me for adding flaps while in a turn the other day (turning base actually) and I am not sure why. I forgot to ask him about it after we landed.


So what is the concern there?


And what about when you are circling in from an instrument approach (not that we do instrument approaches in RAA aircraft) where you might be turning continously thru 270 degrees of the compass and end up right on very short final?


When would you bring in the flaps then, beyond the first notch just


before you start that big sweeping turn? there is no mention of


extending flap in a turn in the POH.



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Oddly enough, this is one I learned back in the days of flying radio models.Once myself and on two other occasions watching others, I saw flapped models ( all scale) spin in while turning final to land from a small circuit.Turns out that you may not notice the amout of pitch change that can be associated with deployment of flaps, and even harder to notice while turning!So the situation is that if you are tuning (base or final) and you apply flaps, you are at approach speed (slower than cruise), you are turning (applying 'G'), you will feel the deceleration (which you expect)


but because you are turning, you are sensing many


rate-position-sound-speed changes, then you may NOT notice that you


have increased the angle of attack on the WING (not the fuselarge where you are sitting) and are getting close to a critical angle!The usual clincher is when you apply opposite aileron to roll out of the turn, and stall the inboard wing!The


nose drops, you instinctively pull back on the stick, and the ground


crew walks to the end of the strip to scrape up the mess!!!!Arthur.



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Guest TOSGcentral

I had written the following before Arthur added his comments. I concur


with everything Arthur has to say but the stance I am taking is did the


CFI get excited about an actual error or what he considered a


procedural thing?


A point is if you have systems then you should be able to use them


sensibly without losing control – that is what pilots are supposed to


do! We could go to the giddy limit of saying ‘don’t lower flaps in a


turn because you may stall’ to ‘don’t retract the undercarriage because


you may forget to put it down’ and/or ‘don’t go to course pitch because


you may forget to set fine pitch for landing’. Why not just leave it in


the hangar then you cannot possibly make a mistake (other than retracting the gear)!


Anyway this is what I wrote last night but did not post as I have been putting an engine in a Thruster.


That is a disappointing post Ultralights! Seems like the ‘do it by the


numbers’ brigade are still alive and well – and adding to inhibitions


that cause accidents!


Let us take a bit of a look at this.


The only reason the instructor (be it CFI or otherwise) should have had cause to chip you on was if you had lost control (even partially) of the attitude/airspeed with the flap deployment attitude and drag change – and/or not been nudging flap limiting speeds.


Would have been different if you were putting them UP! That does tend to cause reasonable dismay when near the ground etc!


A lot of this sort of thinking stems from a stereotyped form of


instructing that I deplore! The ‘bible’ is the flying training syllabus


but so little work has been done on the difference between ‘what to


teach’ and ‘how to teach’ – not to mention what the purpose of the


training is anyway all about!


In the early days flying training has to be (to at least an extent)


‘by the numbers’. This is to enable students to come to terms more


easily with quite complex interaction between decision, judgement and


manipulative skills. So effectively the syllabus breaks things down to


a manageable flow for them as they learn to come to terms with the


workload and then master it.


As they master individual components the instructor should then be


schooling them into growing situational awareness and applied, safe use


of the skills they have learned. Unfortunately this does not often


happen! The syllabus is plodded through with various (alleged)


checking procedures that gives everyone a warm feeling, pilot


authorisation is given and then the pilot comes back later for a BFR


and nothing has changed!


You are still expected to fly by the numbers – not as an experienced


pilot with full control of the machine but as a raw student on a ‘by


the numbers’ exercise. I am not here excusing sloppy circuit procedures


if that was the objective of the exercise – but there are (and have to be)


applications of control that are not ‘bell book and candle’! I like to


see those being automatically put into practice when needs must. And


sometimes they really ‘must’.


Now, let us look at this flap situation.


The standard format for teaching GA style flap operation for landing (or it certainly was) came directly from early military flying training for much heavier aircraft that you could not afford to stuff about with!


This was deploy first stage of flap as part of downwind checks to start


bringing the airspeed and inertia under control. Second stage of flap


would normally be applied on base leg to safely lower speed further and


get to landing configuration. Full landing flap would then be deployed (mainly as a drag aid) to make aiming point management easier on the pilot.


This is of course the nice ‘square circuit’. Where the chips really go


down is when the donk has stopped and you are challenged to land the


damn thing with not very nice, or airfield sized, alternatives. You


also are (these days)


more likely to be flying something reasonably heavy that does not lose


speed easily and in fact picks up speed if the nose is lowered! Not


your average traditional ultralight!


If your particular challenge involves shortage of height, space and


distance etc to get into the most suitable area then you will find that


you are likely to be flying something termed the ‘constant angle


circuit’ to the aiming point. This is a continuing spiral path from


wherever you start to where you want to land because you have no


height, space or distance to do anything else! There can be little


‘square circuit’ about them at all.


In this situation the pilot has to fly the aircraft accurately and be master of its systems.


There is nothing particularly new about any of this – it is not only


commonplace – it was standard military practice for normal operations.


Pilots of long nosed piston fighters had to use it, as did Fleet Air


Arm pilots – so they could see where they were going. And they


certainly not only had to use flap but use a damn lot of it! And none


of this mattered as increasing flap lowers stalling speed particularly


in a turn where wing loading may be raising stall speed to meet your


current flying speed!


Without knowing the exact circumstances you relate I cannot really


comment much further. But I do have disquiet in a couple of areas.


There may be a need for your CFI to have a rebore to examine what he


thinks he is doing and why he is doing it! The second is my growing


concern that we are getting increasingly complex systems aircraft


available and not ONE THING is, or has, been done to ensure that our


instructors are capable of teaching those systems effectively. There is


not even a syllabus of training for them let alone instructor checking.


One reason why I handed my ratings in – I do not choose to be


associated with that sort of system! We each of us have our own views


on what we choose to do and that happens to be mine!



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During my time in GA aircraft, i have noticed vast differences in


Instructors, most noticably in the Piper Archer, my long term


instructor taught me to reduce power on climb after 500Ft or after the


first turn away from runway heading, reduce to climb power and lower


the nose to increase speed, after he retired i moved to another school,


and on the first flight in the archer i did the same and was quickly


reprimanded! funny, it was OK for the first 30 hrs, taught by a very


high time ex WW2 millitary flyer, but it was not to be done with this


new more stricter school. they all hated the fact i would fly without


wearing a Uniform!! oh well....


This time with extending flap, was in an Archer, turning base.


On downwind, speed reduced to below the white arc (80kts)


then as i entered the turn i slowly pulled up the lever to first stage


of flap. i wont lower second or full flap till on long finals or on


base depending on Pax/fuel load, after established on base, speed was a


comfortable 75 Kts and all was well, the instructor basically said I


should not extend flap in a turn..... and that was it, nothing too bad,


but enough to get me thinking... the flight was a check flight after


getting my medical renewed. I hadnt flown in a GA aircraft for quite a


few months, but have been keeping regular in the jabiru.



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I know the feeling, I started at one school and then went to a


better one but much further away where I was taught to bring the revs


back from 5800 to 5500 once I got to 500 agl. I had cause to go back to


the first school where I got vigorously told off for reducing power.


They said not to reduce power till you reach cruise altitude. Being a


naive student at the time I was very confused so I emailed Tech at the


RAA and Jeff Shepherd sent back to me:


Makes life tough when two instructors are so different.My view, and I cannot tell an instructor how to instruct, that is their domain.In me A/C i take off at 5800 rpm (912uls), approx 500 ftagl pull back to 5500 for theclimb to my cruising altitude then pull further back to 5000rpm for the cruise.These are Rotax recommendations, and remember 5800 rpm is max for 5mins,5500 rpm is continues operation.


So I decided to heed Jeff's advice and went back to my other school who taught me that way.



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i have tried my best to not Unlearn what i was originally taught, i


would much rather the instruction from a high hrs WW2 pilot than a new


uni graduate just gaining hrs... a lot of stuff he taught was Not in


the book, but generally inproved my flying skills without increasing


the risk to the aircraft. i ahve even had 1 instructor tell me not to sideslip to reduce height on a high final on a short strip.....


Fortunatly all the Instructor i have encountered have been very good,


and didnt try to change my long learned techniques.... i had approx 300


hrs in Piper Archers and Arrows before discovering the then AUF.... i


was even banned froma well know syd flying establishment after taking


the Archer into The Oaks! first the CFI was annoyed at taking the plane


for 4 hrs and only logging 40 mins airswitch time, though that was my


mistake, and i accept the responibility, but i did make sure there was


no bookings after me, the second time i told him i went to the oaks, he


banned me from his flying school as the strip isnt long enough, funny


when my calculations i still had 400 mtrs of grass left, and in actual


fact, actually used LESS runway than planned! co-incidently, all my


flying gear was stolen from there the same day hmmmmm headests and all.



Simple fact was, i did all my Short field and rough field training at


Short fields! the Oaks, Wedderburn and even Yerranderrie! but the Bankstown guys wouldnt let me take their aircraft on anyting less than 3000 mtrs of concrete! hence my return to The Oaks and the discovery of the AUF.


I am truly thankfull for having found a great instuctor that taught me


to really fly.... and fortunatly i have found another RAAus Instructor


who is similar and will do things out of the ordinary to help his


students gain ever valuable experience.



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Guest TOSGcentral

Lack of standardisation in flying training is a critical issue and has


some definable causes. Most of these revolve around the difference


between ‘what to teach’ and ‘how to teach’.


Adherents of non-standardisation usually base their argument on each


instructor being individual, but a qualified pilot, and so should


therefore be able to put it over the way most suitable for the




This is true to an extent but while, as a group, instructors may not


make a very good co-ordinated choir – they should at least be singing


the same song! If they do not then it is the student who pays when


changing between instructors or schools – or a pilot on checks.


At best this may be just extra dollars, confusion or frustration. At


worse it could drive the student out of flying training or leave deep


seated flaws in the training that the later pilot may be relying on to


get out of trouble.


An enduring maxim is that ‘first lessons learned are the hardest to


budge’ is very true. In situations of extremis the pilot will


instinctively fall back on that early teaching and react accordingly.


It essential that they react the correct way and confusion between WHAT


individual instructors teach (rather than HOW they teach it) does not help one damn bit!


This sort of thing happens in even the best systems – you always seem


to have a few instructors who want to preach their own gospel but they


can be controlled and kept in line if there is a standard pattern


requirement that they can be checked and measured against. But what


happens when you do not have any system at all?


For the benefit of newcomers who are making an assumption on what they


perceive to be RAAus’ function, rather than what it actually does –


this is the reality:


The lynch pin of standardised training resides on a dual base of a laid


down syllabus to teach to and consequently how instructors are trained


to apply that syllabus. So the core of standards is actually held by


the Instructor Tutors – those people who train instructors.


OK, we have a basic flying training syllabus (sort


of and it is being rapidly outstripped by new requirements now entering


the area – flaps, variable pitch etc that have not been addressed yet,


and there are still no stated syllabi for entire classes of ultralights).


This problem is compounded by virtually no ultralight and/or


recreational pilot support reference material to underpin practical




We have NO standardised instructor training syllabus! A would be Tutor


Instructor has to design their own instructor training syllabus and


submit it for RAAus approval. Every Tutor Instructor in the country


could have their own different syllabus. How do you check the


instructors they produce and measure them against a standard later in


their careers? More to the point how do you help them get back on the


rails if they have come off?


It all comes down to personal opinion and that is no way to run an


enduring, safe, flying training system because too many individuals are


involved and they each have their own opinion!


This is entirely in keeping with RAAus policy in practice. That


‘policy’ is we will lay down a standard objective but how the members


achieve that objective is up to them and is their responsibility!


In my time with AUF/RAAus there has been only one change in instructor


training. That was mandatory inclusion of 30 hrs Principles and Methods


of Instructing (PMI). But that was cocked up as well!


Again there was no laid down syllabus – authority was handed down to


‘Approved Persons’ some of which where not even flying instructors. It


was a requirement for Senior Instructors only – yet it was the ‘Junior


Instructors’ who needed it most! There was a two year period given to


achieve the requirement by your next instructor renewal. During this


period the Ops Manual changed and left a loop-hole that one person


found and stood on his dig, threatening legal action.


I wound up personally resolving that via an oral PMI examination that


demonstrated the individual knew enough to retain his Senior/CFI/PE


approvals but not sufficient to retain his Instructor Training approval


– which I took from him. Neither AUF nor he were really satisfied but


at least the requirement had been met and the situation resolved.


Nobody paid me for doing that, I don’t recall even getting thanks!


There are so many holes. An absolute classic is that a Senior


Instructor can gain an Instructor Training approval but you do not


require one to be a Pilot Examiner. Yet it is only Pilot Examiners who


can renew instructor ratings. How much sense does that make?


So we blunder on. Our basic flying training syllabi (those we have)


are falling further behind as we enter an entirely new area of aviation


that AUF was not designed to deal with, but never got to a point where


it could adequately deal with what it had! Coupled with this is a total


silence on any standarisation of instructor training, or even making a


move towards that goal!


In a few years we will have a couple of hundred non-standardised


instructors who will have churned out a couple of thousand


non-standardised pilots. How do we check those and against what?


Opinion and member responsibility? Charming!


It was not going to be this way. Had Mike Valentine lived he had plans


to bring in an AUF parallel to the GFA National Gliding School. That


body is responsible for setting and maintaining all aspects of basic


and instructor level flying training and practical, applied standards.


It would have brought in the Regional Operations Controllers (ROCs)


as practical components of initiating and maintaining training and


standards at Regional level. It would have taken three years to do.


Mike’s loss was far more serious than most people realise. Equally the


seriousness of the actual problems we face, that are going to increase,


and the level of effort required to resolve them, are not at all


apparent. There are so few of us who have specialised in this area and


do realise the implications over a broad picture.


So I am happy now running TOSG, flying my historical Thrusters, doing a


bit of development work and test flying. I do not mind being made


‘Resident Instructor’ of this forum, if I can help I will – kick me out


if I start boring you or going too deep.







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I had been told not to do it because if you had a flap malfunction (asymmetric flap)


it would be harder to control. Fair call but chances are you'd be very


unlucky if you had conducted a thorough daily inspection.


In the real world as Cecil will probably agree (possibly anyway) flaps are used to tighten the radius of a turn (ag work)


standard for the Airtractor and probably for most of the ag planes is


to lower flap through the turn at the end of the paddock and retract it


again before recommencing the run. That why they have a flaps lever on


the stick.


In G.A. and I also use these for high performance ultralights I only


use oval circuits. Therefore there is no level segments that would


allow me to put flap down between downwind and short final, bit of a


problem really!


As most people have said it will generally be the instructors who haven't been out in the real world (away from a flying school) who reproduce these ghost stories which they told when the where learning to fly.


The only way you can find out if it’s one of these ghost stories or


something worth listening to is to ask questions as you have done and


if the person who is telling you can't give you a straight answer then


it’s probably just another story.



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I had an assymetric flap deployment in a (heavy) C206 - the nature of the operation meant flap was usually deployed in the turn.


What I found was that I did not notice the assy flap until I lined up


for final - the aircraft was rolling and yawing all over the place (much of it thanks to my instinctive inputs to counter the roll). The touchdown point got shortened pretty smartly - after landing the problem was apparent.


As a result I now always visually check 'even' deployment with each stage of flap (where possible).



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Guest ozzie

I've never experienced assy flap but i did have the flap retract by itself on short final. (DHC6 320) did not realise what was going on at the time. the cpt picked it up when he went to reset flap 10 deg(takeoff)


as we taxied in. i just thought i picked up some heavy sink and needed


a fair bit of power. landing seemed more solid touched down about 15kts


faster a little short with a longer roll and more time in reverse.


seemed a rubber seal let go and the flaps retracted from the slip


stream. ozzie. (i learnt from that)



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Where to comment?I feel the urge to say something, but am not sure how to, without contradicting myself!This leads me to ponder, as an experienced pilot, how could I contradict myself talking about flying and instructing?The truth is, many of the points raised above are valid and sometimes equally so on both sides of the discussion.The real answer, I think, lies in the fact that flying is a very broad spectrum activity and trying to teach it 'by numbers' suffers from the numbers being economised somewhat to appese the book writers.I learned originally in gliders with the GFA, but this was after flying models for years previous to that.During my childhood, my father was a state winning competitve modeller and a gliding instructor.In


this enviroment, I learned all sorts of things about flying,


instructing, techniques and proceedures from listening to him and other


modellers/instructors.Now as a Senior Instructor, I am faced with trying to balance 'the numbers' against variations that I have to come up with on the spot to better demonstrate a learning stage to a student rather than repeating endlessly 'by rote', and hoping they eventually get the idea.To that end I find the only real method is EXPERIENCE.This brings me to one of my gripes being the advancement of instructors.To me, the amount of rote training required presently for pilots wanting to become instructors feels wrong.There


is too much emphisis on trying to achieve the required amount of


numbers, but no consideration on gained experience, we seem to be


trying to teach experience.This puts us in the position of having our new pilots asking the Seniors and CFI's if they can become instructors.With the GFA (in my day) it was more a case of the Instructors and CFI's watching the solo 'young guns' and deciding when and who was ready to go to an instructors course.This


may seem open to abuse and personality conflict, but the truth is, the


gliding movement is still looked upon as being the place with the best


instructional qualities, which is why the AUF was originally based on


the GFA concept rather than the CASA backed GA field.Things


I find out of place are like the fact a trainee instructor has to do


more two seat training with a CFI or Senior Instructor, than a student


needs to, to go solo!Becoming an instructor is about having


flying exprience, knowing what flying really is and the ability to


comunicate and control at the same time.Ideally we are looking for 'naturals'


and CFI's shouild be able to spot them, those that can only learn by


rote should maybe not apply and just stick to flying straight lines


through the sky by numbers.That's my stick in the hornets nest, it's getting late (I'm instructing tomorrow!) so it's off to bed. zzzzzzzzzzzzArthur.



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Arthur - I think what you are saying is that the intangilble is just that - not tangible.


It does not translate well to the world of competency based training -


and I think you have actually identified the reasons, perceptions of


personality/character/whatever you want to call it entering the


decision process.


Personally, I think this is only natural as we are all human (most of the time). Competency assessment seems to remove all scope for promoting real talent whilst at the same time rewarding mediocrity.


Oops - Am I getting off the topic?



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Crew


My first experience of Instructors was at Narromine about thirty years ago. There were two GA instructors available and one aeroplane, a PA28-140with a 150HP Lycoming and I got to go with whoever they decided. I also think that I was the only student at the time. I never saw or talked to another student. Unknown to me at the time there used be two planes the same butthe other plane had crashed into powelines not long before and burnt killing the two occupants. They were buzzing a farm house north of Narromine.


The instructor I got was trying to get his hours up to move on to better things. I did my TIF with the junior instructorand eventually after threehours of further lessons he gave up saying I was hopeless despite my doingexactly as he told me or so I thought at the time.


One of my problems is that being an engineering type I usually thoughtthat people like instructors meant what they said. I have since learnt that very few people can explain exactly what they mean when giving a set of instructions. Try explaining what you do in the last 50 feet of landing an aeroplane and getting it onto all three wheels and stopped.


The senior instructor took over and fourhours later sent me solo.


The main difference was that the junior instructorgave instructions of what to do and where to do it with no explanation of why whereas the senior instructor gave more explanation of why and how you did it.


This is not an easy task in the example of when you are approaching the threshold on late final with a student pilot. The student pilot initially thinksall this is easy or hard depending on the conditions of the day for that first flight and he wonders why it is not the same next time he trys it unless he has an instructor that tells him that every landing or flying experience will be unique or different.


As others have pointed out all this usually comes with experience but I think that that experience will be better interpreted by the pilot if he has some explanation given him so that he can make decisions as conditions change.


So the studenthas to learn to cope with the varying conditions and keep within the allowable parameters of his aeroplane and the rules of flying. So the instructor has to be able to give the student the ability to make the rapid decisions required.


Shortly after going solo, with 1 1/2 hours solologged,we moved to Leeton and as flying training in Griffith at the time was substantilly dearer than Narromine I took up gliding at our Brobenah airstrip with the Leeton Gliding Club. So I had to start again and cope withevery flight ending in a forced landing. I was still wearing the problems of that first junior instructor and it took quite a while to undo flying by the numbers and fly according to the conditions. So now I have given up club glider flying after about 192 hours glider time andfive hundred and fifty one (551) landings, it was a winch club, and taken up RAA flying in a Jabru with tricycle undercarriage again. That was a challege after years of taildragging gliders.


I still think that some instructors should give more explanations than they commonly do but of course the student pilot can be easily overloaded and the instructor has to know when to shut up. I am amazed at the tolerance and patience of instructors that I fly with.


I would probably be terrified if I were doing it.





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This topic is another that highlites the true value of of this great forum. We have a diverse range of views and experiences between us.Teaching methods between Instructors differ greatly just like between School Teachers.School Students however generally do not have the same option that Student Pilots have whenchoosing a Flying Instructor. In my opinion a good student reads a lot and asks a lot of questions. A good Instructor willadvise the Student what to read and therefore prompt the student to ask the right questions.The Instructor recognizing the studentslearning ability is the key to developing the relationship required for a happy and successfull relationship which is the key to good learning.My point is always question your instructor if you are confused or a getting a different message.



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Guest micgrace



Sounds like the very first instructor I went to. Because I couldn't even taxi in a straight line (taildragger) said your useless no point you doing any training.


I went to someone else and was solo in no time. Imagine his surprise when I landed at "his" airfield with my son on board a Drifter.





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