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poteroo

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poteroo last won the day on April 15

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About poteroo

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  • Birthday 09/20/1940

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    male
  • Aircraft
    Mostly my Brumby 610, my RV9A, or several models of VANS RV
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    Albany, South Coast, WA
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    Australia

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  1. I think there are lessons here for all non-airline pilots,( in GA and RAAus) when it comes to flying new types. Even within certified GA aircraft - many of them have individual 'characteristics' that should not be discovered on your 1st flight solo. Within the EXPERIMENTAL category of GA/RAAus, you must assume each aircraft is going to behave differently. So, you need to be very wary when jumping into old mates' kit Zenith or Jabiru or RV, because there may be differences in not just layout of instruments, but the aircraft could be rigged and setup to handle quite differently as well. I have flown a lot of RVs, including many test flights,and they are all different to handle. CASA have handballed the responsibility for 'differences' on to each and every pilot via CASR Part 61.385 which states that pilots should know everything about the aircraft they intend to fly and should be 'competent' in it's operation. How exactly this is to be achieved, and what exactly is meant by 'competency' is something the regulator has left for the industry to work out. If it doesn't require a formal endorsement, then all you need is some coaching from another experienced pilot, but obviously, an experienced instructor is better because of their 'eye' for competency. Given that most accidents and incidents with pilots transitioning to a different aircraft will occur within the low hours phase - I strongly advise pilots to take seriously the needs for 'competency' training. happy days,
  2. Certainly not my experience and I've been flying into Geraldton since 1970. These days I park closer to the terminals or the in the main hangar area - certainly not off in some far corner. Geraldton has a few potential drawbacks for any scaled up flying school. It's quite busy with RPT and charter. Although the main runway is substantial, the 14/32 runway is narrow, and runs onto other runways at the ends. 09/27 is natural surface, and would probably need work on it - but it is into wind for the horrible, gusty easterlies that are notable here. It's also very hot in summer and that may place limitations on training. Crime and anti-social behaviours have become an issue in what was once a peaceful seaside town. While China Southern was operating there, it was not easy to access. I think the main problem for them was the reluctlance of instructors to locate there, especially senior instructors. A once flourishing flying club ceased to exist within a year or two, and mostly because it was unable to obtain the 'promised' weekend instructor from the CS school. Everything said about YWBR matches my obs. It's just revolting, and I thought that I'd seen it all in PNG and the Solomons.
  3. Penn Yan conversions are almost always 180HP 0-360 engines AFAIK. The shiny new fuel placard is just aft of the fuel filler cap, (see pic in atsb rept), and staring the refueller 'in-the-face'. If the engine had been installed well prior to the wing damage accident, then the pilot would have been familiar with its' fuel consumption - but this is invariably far lower than the 'running-in' fuel consumption for the same engine. The LAMEs also noted the changes in the POH, though this would have been less likely seen without notification from them to 'all pilots' So, regardless of what HP/capacity the engine was - it used 144L avgas over a 3 hr 38 min period, ie, 40 LPH. For a flight involving 2 quite high climbs, plus some circling of fire zones, I'd think this would be about correct for the 0-360, but very high if it was an 0-320. Again, a real heads up for pilots flying any aircraft which has been in maintenance for major work. happy days,
  4. Notwithstanding the pilot seeing the different calibration marks on the dipstick, but missing the new fuel tank quantity placards on top of the wing - while refuelling the aircraft, he missed a couple of other really important differences. 1. The new engine was a Lycoming 0-360 of 180 HP, and has a fuel consumption quite a few L/hr higher than the previous 150/160 HP engine. Probably around 4-5 LPH more at 65% power. 2. When running in a 180 HP engine, (@ 2500rpm/ 75% pwr), you'd expect to use around 40 LPH - which was exactly what was used up to fuel exhaustion. (3hrs 38mins into 144L). Running in an engine on the job does have some risks - because you are a long way from home should it begin to misbehave! It's probably OK if over wheatbelt terrain - but over bush?? Also, it's desirable not to run the engine with long descents, (unless you can hold the 75% power) - which happened here on 2 occasions, ( from 7500, 8500). Was account taken of the larger engine, and it being 'run in'? Unknown. The flight planning was for 4 hrs flight fuel + 45mins reserve, or, 30.3 LPH. This is below what would be normal flight planned fuel burn for an 0-320 engine (32 LPH). Had it been planned on 32 LPH, then there would have necessarily been only 3 hrs 45 mins flight fuel. They might have just squeaked home? It does show that aircraft can differ within the model, and in a fleet, it's common for a pilot to fly 2 or 3 different aircraft on any one day. It's prudent to understand the 'differences' of each one of the fleet if you are a line pilot, but management should have had a better advisory system as standard practice. Sensible flying saved the day in the end, but it could have been much worse over some of the tiger country in the Goldfields. happy days,
  5. Generally, whatever flap setting is recommended in the POH will not only improve take-off performance, but will also turn out to be necessary to produce the Best-Angle-Of-Climb - important if trying to outclimb anything. CASA talk about Take Off-Safety Speed, which is usually higher than your liftoff speed, but just under BAOC - aircraft is not pitched into climb attitude until TOSS is reached. Once clear of obstacles, the flap is retracted, sometimes incrementally in hot, rough air, and the aircraft then speeds up until it reaches Best-Rate-Of-Climb speed. Attitude is then adjusted, trimmed, and BROC maintained until 1st power reduction - which will necessitate a lower nose attitude to hold BROC. It would be quite unusual to use 'full' flap for take-off, or for any maximum rate climb because of power limitations in most of our aircraft. (My RV is something of an exception to the rule - it has 190HP up front and can do an exceptional takeoff with full flap - wet or dry, sandy surfaces).The choice of flap extension is usually 10-15 degrees - however, it's been my experience to use a rule-of-thumb measurement of take-off flap as being whatever the 'down' aileron is at. Seems to work well in most types. After seeing a PA-28 continue a take-off toward trees, and progressively raise it's nose - then collide with them and kill 3 people, I ask pilots why they cannot consider a slight turn away from trees or obstacles with time to spare. I know the rules say no turns below 500agl, but why be fatalistic when you can do something about it? An early, balanced, 10 AOB turn from even 50 ft can avoid a nasty confrontation with greenery. The aircraft doesn't 'not fly' in these situations. The laws of aerodynamics apply, and you give yourself distance and time to climb clear. happy days,
  6. For details of how our RAAF evolved out of the AFC, and the AFC evolved out of the RFC, (Itself becoming the RAF), in WW1, this book makes for good reading. A short life for most, but it surely was better than in the trenches. Fire in the Sky The Australian Flying Corps in the First World War MICHAEL MOLKENTIN
  7. Many don't use Avdata, (and save 60% of their landing charge). Notwithstanding, if a camera image allows ID of an RAAus aircraft, how will the airport owner invoice the operator? Hiding behind a flimsy argument based on privacy does not alter the fact that if you use the service - then you are required to pay for it. You can't 'eat the steak' and then argue about payment. If we want our say, then we should pay our way. I'm quite frankly dismayed that people are not prepared to meet their user obligations.
  8. See: ATSB AO - 2017 -102 Inflight Breakup of Cessna 210 VH-HWY near Darwin 23/10/2017 C210s move along quite fast, and are notably represented in accidents related to in-flight breakups. With a Va of only 118KCAS, it is often the case that the 210 is flying 25-30 kts above this, and so needs to be significantly slowed if severe turbulence might be encountered. At lighter weight than MTOW, the Va is lower again. 210s are possibly more exposed to this type of airframe damage or failure than many other types because they have been a mainstay of the single engine charter industry for decades. They fly more hours annually, and so encounter a range of weather, including some very dangerous wx in the tropics. They are more often an entry point into commercial aviation, and flown by relatively low experience pilots. Ts avoidance may not yet be foremost in their thinking. More info here: AC 23 - 19A
  9. This is a very real subject for concern. Va is the IAS at which full deflection of the most effective control, (usually elevators because of the leverage), which will cause the aircraft to stall, but beyond which structural damage or actual failure may occur. The classic Vn diagrams illustrate this. The manufacturer should have built the aircraft, and tested it, so that they can quote actual load factor limits, airspeed limits, and stalling speed guides to the purchaser via the POH. In the case of most RAAus non-aerobatic types, the Load Factor range is usually +3.8 and - 1.9, with a Vs below 45KIAS. The Va will always be less than Vno, (bottom of yellow arc/top of green) - beware if you mistakenly believe that in the green is ok in all conditions. It is calculated from the Vs, and so Va varies with the actual weight of the aircraft - the usual practice is to quote Va at MTOW. As a working example, I'll use our Brumby 610 24-8554. Vs @ 600kg = 44 KIAS so Va = sq rt of LF 3.8 x 44 = 1.95 x 44 = 86 KIAS, or 14KIAS below Vno! (Brumby quote 88KIAS for the Vs of 44, but I have seen a Vs of 42 given = 82KIAS Va) Vs @ lower weights is lower than 44, (depends on test flying), but the calculated Va will always be lower than the Va as shown in the POH. Some references vary Vs by actual MTOW/MTOW x Vs, although this would need to be determined for each aircraft. The Va for full extended flap is based on the sq rt of 1.9, and happens to be the same as were the aircraft to be subject to -.1.9 LF in clean configuration. In other words - don't extend flap in rough air, and avoid inverted flight! My RV9A is also quite a Va exercise. It is quoted as having a Va of about 109-112KIAS in the VANS references, but I can't make that number work. My Vs at MTOW of 795 kg is 53KIAS, and using 3.8 LF this calculates out to a Va = 103KIAS. As a precaution, I use 100KIAS as my absolute tops when things get a bit rough, and if it is seriously so: then I try for 80-85KIAS max. (keeping somewhere near midway Vs and Va). Now, the question arises - why are manufacturers Va numbers higher than my calculations from the accepted formulae? Could our Vs observations be in error due to the blurry stall characteristics of many RAA types? Is it an attempt by manufacturers to present their aircraft as 'tougher' and more 'capable' than competitors? Cessnas are somewhat the same: I could never calculate a Va for any of my many aircraft over the years which was closer to theirs than 10 KIAS. The next question is - why have there been so few in flight damage or break-up problems reported or attributed in accident reports over the years? Could it be that the majority of owners don't risk flying as they are very much aware of their own skill limitations in turbulence, or they just don't fly in adverse weather full stop, or are our RAAus types actually a bit stronger than the +3.8 / -1.9 LF envelope? I rather think that RAAus pilots do avoid really rough weather because there are so many RLOC accidents attributed to 'wind effects' that the lesson is clear to see. happy days,
  10. Certainly appears to be a turbulence induced airframe break-up. The radar speed records showing a rapid speed build-up could be indicative of strong upwards airflow, with the pilot inputting forward controls to hold altitude - rather than 'going-with-the-flow' and allowing the aircraft to increase altitude. The POH stated Va is 106 kts. However, because the aircraft was calculated to be 234 kg below MTOW, the 'real' Va would have been much less than 106. (my estimate is 96 kts). So, given that there was a marked increase in speed from 83 up to 127 kts, (presumably due to pilot correction to maintain altitude?), the aircraft was well in excess of the real Va at the time. This is a very real possibility when pilots are flying a reasonably fast cruise aircraft, but at a very low MTOW. The very early model Cessna 210s were essentially a C182 airframe with retraction, and cruised up in the 130-140 KIAS range - all this with a (fully loaded) MTOW of 106-108 kts. There were some breakup events recorded with them - AFIK. The aircraft had recently had some repair work in the stabilator and trim unit : but it's only speculation if this was influential. What did surprise me was the large number of C180 accidents contained in Kathrynsreport. Didn't read them all, but several involved RLOC events, as you'd expect with challenging to fly taildraggers.
  11. Can be very chastening with low HP aircraft. One point that I forgot to mention in previous post was in regards to tyre inflation on sealed runways. The higher you keep it - the less drag is suffered. Learned this when operating normally aspirated C206 off Flagstaff, (Arizona,US), which is 7000' amsl. Had 8.00 tyres with not a lot of inflation in them for use on backblocks strips. Surely hindered our acceleration and could have really hurt if we'd had a crosswind. We should really be placing a lot more emphasis on performance in RAAus - but in 12 hrs of cross-country, there is only so much that can be taught. happy days,
  12. Wise decision. Thought they might have anticipated that a weather change moving 'in' from the West would have caused a westerly breeze for a few miles ahead of the actual 'front'. Perhaps a call to their BoM would have been worthwhile when they arrived. Now - a few comments on their technique for high altitude operations. Airfield altitude was 6750 ft and OAT = 5. So, this gave them a DA of 6750 + 6 x 130 = 7530. They wisely kept fuel load to a minimum in view of their performance, but the aircraft would have needed a MTOW of less than the book MTOW because of the climb / weight limitation, (due altitude), in the P charts: they were probably below this, so the aircraft would probably have achieved the book number of 6 degrees AoC had they taken off. However, the Cessna POH states that for higher altitude takeoffs - zero flap is recommended. They used 10 degrees, which creates sufficient drag to be limiting. This reduced their acceleration,and they noted how slow things were going early on in the roll. No mention is made of leaning the mixture. At this altitude, the required fuel flow for wide open throttle would have been 75-80% of full fuel flow at sea-level. Cessna recommend leaning the mixture above 3000ft. This is easily done by running up to full power, (wide open throttle), on the brakes and then very delicately leaning the mixture to create an RPM increase - but not beyond the peak. If there was a fuel flow readout - it would have probably shown a decrease in flow of around 20%. Don't try to do this 'on-the-run' as it is very distracting. It appears that they made a 'standing start' take-off whereas the smarter technique would have been to conduct a 'rolling start' using every last metre of runway. This is often worth at least 10kts. Had they continued with the takeoff, the aircraft should have been accelerated through 59 KIAS to at least 65KIAS before 'rotating'. Even more important with any tailwind component. There's been a lot published about 'hot & high' operations in the USA as they have a lot of their locations above 6000 ft. While HP is part of the answer, good technique can be the finishing touch for safety. happy days, PS: the pic below is of a Mission Cessna 180 landing on Keglsugl, PNG. (8450 amsl) in the late 60s. Only the 7-8% downslope allowed these normally aspirated aircraft to get airborne.
  13. Tell me about it! I owned a C180 for 5 years, a C182 for 12, and a C170 for 13 - and the real costs were staggering. If I hadn't been operating 250-300 hrs pa, it would have been an eye-watering cost per hr. Older GA aircraft cost a motza to maintain in good order - there are always components to replace, (on time or hours), or worn out bits to fabricate and fit, or inspections for corrosion to make per ADs or SBs. It never ends! And, if you don't keep up with all this, the aircraft will end up nearly unsaleable, or you'll nearly have to give it away = huge capital loss. So, I have to pay RAAus for my ticket-to-fly, and my aircraft rego. Its cheap!
  14. Happens a lot with VH rego aircraft. I don't throw a hissy at Avdata - just take a pic of your Maintenance Release entries and send it to them. Because the MR is a legal doc - Avdata have always accepted that without a murmour. And, the CTA push will exacerbate this outcome. As I noted a year or two back - ' be careful what you wish for' In any event, just having CASA agree to MTOW increases does not mean that you will automatically be allowed to do this. With factory built aircraft, he manufacturer will then have to agree to an increase, and most will NOT. This is because it will require them to conduct more flight testing to justify the MTOW increase, which will need to be included in the POH. For kits and EXP category - the owner will have to satisfy RAAus that they have established these new parameters. It may increase the Vso to above 45kts in some cases, and it will also significantly decrease take-off and climb performance. Same HP + bigger load = lower performance!! Given this, I predict an increase in accidents in the take-off and early climb flight phases. It's not a nice feeling when you can see the top of the ridgeline, or the trees, rising in your windscreen and you are flat chat! happy days,
  15. We often used to forget the wind out HF aerials in PNG and left them hooked into the jungle on the 'undershoot'. Took several small funnels with us and these worked OK, but often the aerial length became too short for the set. The older HFs were not even SSB and were horrendously static'y. Very pleased when we got back to fixed HF aerials so no more manual winding them in/out. I think some had an electric winch. One classic, (reportedly so, but may have been embellished over the years), incident up there involved an Aztec beating up a mining camp - the outcome being the camps HF hooked around the Aztecs wing, and the Aztecs HF trailing aerial hooked onto the camps tents. Why did pilots do this stuff? Because we 'could' and our predecessors were even wilder so it was considered 'normal'. Not everyone survived these highly dangerous stunts. happy days,
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