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new drifter pilot in the making ?


boleropilot
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g'day guys

 

just thought i'd touch base here and let ya's know i am currently training at Clifton (s e qld, with trevor bange, lone eagle flying school, an offshoot of darling downs sport aft ascn) and am having a ball

 

i drive up (from boonah) on friday afternoons and stay the whole weekend, currently have 12 hours and am not happy about stuffing up my first solo (dint get off the ground) !!!!!

 

basic story is my nerves got the better of me and i whacked the throttle on, first time in the drifter one-up and she took off like a startled gazelle and swung like a demon - needless to say, the takeoff was aborted (at least i did that right) and i managed to bring the little beast to a halt with no injury to the acft - my pride did, unfortunately, suffer a bit

 

apparently it all looked a bit spectacular, roaring off into the sorghum crop on one wheel - twas all a bit of a blur for moi...

 

now looking forward (sort of) to the BIG event, next weekend, with some firm ideas on how to control that swing in a much enlightened drifter (sorry trevor, no offence re. your weight m8) - he is a big boy but.......

 

hoping to buy my own drifter early '08, will keep in touch on this forum - all advice greatly appreciated - flying those lil suckers is without doubt the most fun a bloke can have with his pants on............

 

cheers

 

boleropilot

 

 

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keep it up mate you will get there. back swing can be a problem in drifter's(especially 582 engined one's due to heavy engine) and a firm/decisive foot is needed immediately after it starts to develop. on occasions you might find it easier to power on and control it while flying in ground effect. if you are flying 503 engine wire braced drifter you will find it much more controllable in back swing situation. given few more hours practice in calm conditions you will be on top of it

 

cheers

 

 

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hey thanks DD

 

not having any problems two up, which is why of course i was given the opportunity to go solo

 

was warned about extra swing and aceleration one-up but didn't expect that much, quick throttle-up didn't help

 

cheers m8

 

bp

 

 

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G'day Boleropilot,

 

Sorry to hear about the not so great first solo, I hope the nerves are settled, and you get up quick, dust yourself off and have a better experience next time.

 

I remember trying to get the tail off the deck when I first started and being a bit too strong for my instructor. Luckily he cut the power and we ended up on the side of the strip with him passing a few 088_censored.gif.2b71e8da9d295ba8f94b998d0f2420b4.gif in my general direction!!!!!

 

Hope this weekend is better for you mate,

 

Chocko

 

 

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thanks 727 gingerbeer

 

next weekend will be the business, got it sorted m8

 

hey, i remember hearing my first 727 takeoff, from my bed at Wavell Heights in brisvegas, quite a good way to the west of YBBN

 

man but those suckers were NOISY !!!!!!!! but boy oh boy did they climb - compared to those old prop driven machines, they were The Go in them days

 

(so from this, any reader can see how old this old f#rt is)

 

cheers

 

dt

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest sceadu52jr

Hello Guys,

 

I'm a recent convert to the Drifter having recently soloed 55-1810 at Boonah.

 

I love the aeroplane and really think it would be a shame to see the Drifter disappear from flying schools.

 

Wayne

 

 

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Guest Juliette Lima

Hi boleropilot,

 

Helpful hint on takeoff with the Drifter...ease the throttle on from idle to full over a period of three or four seconds...this will give you time to correct the swing with rudder until it becomes second nature for you....don't forget to ensure full throttle before rotating as the aircraft will lift off before full revs.

 

Don't feel too bad about your experience most of us have got a story or two to tell if we are fairdinkum.....had a similar experience when converting from the 582 Drifter to my 912 powered model.....Lined up centre strip at Cessnock, applied full power (quickly)....before I realised, the aircraft was airborne at right angle (left) to the strip. Simply put, the aircraft took off in half the width of the strip....after the initial shock, I decided to continue the takeoff and turned back to the strip whilst continuing to ascend steeply....lesson well learned.

 

Hang in, and enjoy this delightful aircraft in one of Australia's best flying locations.

 

Say Hi to Trevor from me.

 

Best wishes on the weekend

 

JL

 

John Leddy

 

 

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Guest paulmckeown

The Drifter Forces

 

Hi Boleropilot,

 

The Drifter's a funny little kite on the take off roll due to an interesting combination of forces:

 

Most conventional tractor configuration tail draggers are difficult enough to handle and all of their take off forces swing them in the same direction (left swing for counter-clockwise props, right swing for clockwise props).

 

The Drifter is a little different. The prop swings clockwise (when viewed from the rear) and so the torque effect and assymetric blade effect act to swing her to the left. However - the slipstream effect acts to swing her to the right. Let me explain:

 

In the tractor configured tail-dragger, a rotating colunm of air (the slipstream) is forced back from the propellor disc. If the prop spins clockwise (C185, Decathalon etc), the slipstream spirals around the fueselage and strikes the biggest vertical surface aft of the CofG (ie the fin) from the left hand side. This forces the tail right and hence the nose swings left! In the Drifter, because of the rear mounted engine, we have shortened the distance the spiraling slipstream travels before it hits the fin and it ends up hitting the right hand side - tail left - nose swings right!

 

Unlike a conventional tail-dragger, the Drifter forces fight each other until the dominant force (the slipstream) wins the day. This is why the Drifter can seem to be a fiesty contender for the novice's attention on take off. Additionally, the traditionally stiff rudder pedals, rarely straight tracking undercarrage and any cross-wind can add to the fun! The good news is that it is easy to master and well worth the challenge.

 

Lets go for a virtual flight:

 

Line up and assess the wind direction.

 

Stick into wind and go to slighly forward of neutral as you smoothly add full power. Now get those feet working and do what ever you need to do to keep her dead straight. As the tail comes up, we loose the anchoring effect of the tail wheel and the dominent slipstream effect gives us a big right swing (bigger still if it's right x-wind), you might think you've got full left rudder in here but you havn't - jam that left foot down harder if you need to! You'll find you get through a bit of a dead spot and get the control you need (The Drifter has a very powerful rudder - you've just got to use a lot of it at low speed). Now that you're accellerating towards flying speed, the rudder is becoming more effective and it is only smaller but constant inputs you require to keep straight. She wants to fly now so let her lift off when she's ready keeping the wings level. Make sure you keep the rudder-work going all through the lift off and into the air, transitioning from directional control to flying balance.

 

Keep dead straight right from the start.

 

Don't fall into the trap of trying to pull her off early because you're loosing directional control (use the rudder!).

 

Understand the forces.

 

and you'll be well on the way to becoming a proficient Drifterman/woman!

 

All the best for the Second First Solo and kind regards

 

Paul

 

 

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solo success

 

hey guys, thanks for all the input, and congrats Wayne, i know how you feel 011_clap.gif.c796ec930025ef6b94efb6b089d30b16.gif

 

did some taxi work at clifton with trevor, then we went out to warwick to do the same thing on bitumen, that was a lot more difficult but it made it all come together for me

 

flight back to clifton was a hoot, two cloud layers, one at abt 4 and tother at abt 6k feet, flew between them both, what a thrill - got back to the field at 5k ft, told trevor i'd sighted the field, he said "Oh good - engine failure" and pulled the throttle on me

 

all i can say is, if ya ever have an engine stop onya, hope it's at 5 thousand feet - what a doddle, i just trimmed her nicely and flew around until i got to my downwind/base turn, from there on it was just another glide approach - Wow

 

after that we did a few circuits with some quite nice takeoffs/landings, so trev jumped and away i went - fair takeoff (like a rocket one up - wow), good circuit and a pretty good landing, flared a tiny bit early but just let her float a bit b4 going through with the pullback, just a tiny bounce and Yahoo, i did it !!!

 

after the obligatory celebrations (and a little calm down) trev said to jump in and take 460 for a little fly - took off and flew east for 5 mins, then nth, west, and south brought me back to the field - two touch and goes (all nice landings) and it was all over - impossible to describe the feeling of being up there alone, looking forward to doing more of that in a more relaxed style this weekend

 

as for my solo, what a day, one i will remember for the rest of my life

 

cheers

 

bp

 

ps hey John, more info on your 912 Drifter pls m8 - can you email me some pix?

 

 

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Guest Juliette Lima

Congratulations boleropilot,

 

What a great way to learn about engine outs...the higher the better! and to follow it with your first solo...great stuff.

 

Trevor is a great instructor and 460 is a delightful Drifter....I owned it once before selling it to the club, and have a photo of it in my office, together with two others.

 

I have some great pics of the 912 Drifter (Fisher MK1) built by Wayne fisher of Spectrum Aviation Lismore......It is still in as new condition and is magnificent to fly....about 120 hrs sofar.

 

In respect of pics., I need to learn how to upload to the site and will attempt to do so over the Christmas break....its a time issue.

 

If you can get hold of a Pacific Flyer mag. November 2006 issue, or the RAA mag (April or May 2007), there is a full flight test with photos....If not send me your address and I will photocopy the article for you.

 

Congratulations once again and fly safely.

 

JL

 

 

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Guest sceadu52jr

Congrats on the solo Boleropilot, I was nodding my head to every detail you wrote about your drifter flights and also to High Plains Drifters Drifter virtual flight description! ...and JL... I sure would love to try out that 912 Super Drifter sometime!!

 

My solo in in 1810 at Boonah a few weeks back was just as exciting as my first solo in a C150 back in 1975.

 

I am particulaly proud of my Drifter solo because I appreciate the forces at work and the skill needed to keep those forces in check when guiding the Drifter through a T/O, Circuit & Landing.

 

Last Thursday Greg and I took off around 5pm to practice area emergencies....on the way out the I had my first real S & Level cruise since my Drifter training started. I was really enjoying the view, the countryside around boonah/Kalbar area is stunning at the moment after some good rain. Greg was pointing out some of the hilltop airstrips in the region....amazing the places you will find airstrips:laugh:.

 

On overflying this large paddock.. Greg pulls off the power...I trim, do the checks etc and setup for a left base into this paddock (with a narrow semi mowed path occacionally used by crop dusters), final is over the creek...the gum trees are tall along the creek! Especially the big one 10 feet left of the extended centre line! Turning final and I'm high, a left side slip with the post port wing just above that BIG Gum Tree definitely makes me less nervous than I would, had I not been high.....it's clear now...I just need to flare safely touching down past some anthills on the edge of my paddock landing path. Touch down was a little past my aiming point (..but that was a BIG Gum Tree to land over....)! Power back on for a touch n Go. We do a three more in different places... while this is a serious exercise, I am enjoying the Experience, the Drifter makes me feel more comfortable do these than I ever felt doing glide approachs in some GA aircraft, I think it's the visibility that helps.....

 

It's near 6pm now and the sun is peeking through gaps in the cloud hugging the scenic rim just to our west...the long shadows highlight the hills around Kalbar...the air is smoooth....I'm thinking the front seat in a Drifter is a good place to be right now...what a view!!!

 

Arriving back in the Boonah circuit starting a downwind to 04 and Greg switches off the mags on me.....now we are truely gliding...Hey, this thing is gliding pretty good with the prop stopped, we almost manage a normal circuit! The landing was special...so quiet!! It's 6:05pm, Greg jumps out and I'm off for some circuits, on Downwind I enjoy the last of this days setting sun with its rays peeking through holes in the cloud up near Cunningham's Gap. It's hard for me to think of a better front seat to this sight....than that of a Drifter!!

 

Wayne

 

 

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Guest Juliette Lima

Thanks Wayne,

 

A really nice post....combination of skills acquisition, awareness, and sensitivity.

 

Apart from the breadth of vision, and safety considerations in circuit....I hate being surrounded by a cage !!!

 

Such is Drifter flying...sheer enjoyment.

 

Cheers

 

JL

 

 

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Guest sceadu52jr

Trouble Sleeping.....

 

Thanks Guys,

 

You know,.. I actually have trouble getting to sleep on nights after flying that day.......I go over the flight in my mind while lying in bed!

 

I review every minute of the flight, praise myself for the bits I did well on, go over the proper way I should have done it (radio calls, decision making, checks etc).

 

And the best part is just remembering how good the experience was...as per my last post!!

 

My Log Books need a bigger column for Flight Description.

 

Wayne

 

 

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hey guys, thanks for all the comments, wayne m8, you got the fever - just like every one ELSE who's ever been lucky enough to inhabit the front seat of a drifter !!!

 

i had two solo flights yesterday, both an hour each, around Clifton/Nobby/Allora, starting to feel quite comfortable "up there alone" now but still smacking myself in the head occasionally to keep myself focussed, looking out is a big deal (especially after the latest news = cessna vs. ultralight, cessna wins) - my condolences to the family of the u/l pilot

 

happy to post my email address here because i publish it in the mags i write for anyway, [email protected] and snailmail is D TONKS, 620 Woolooman Road, Woolooman, Qld, 4310.

 

agenda is (a) get the licence (b) find a hangar for a Drifter, then © start some serious shopping - currently considering an airframe from Dalby and an engine from Trevor (he's got two for sale, guys) and build at Clifton ?

 

bp

 

ps boonah will be my home base, would have loved to learn to fly here with Greg but was offered a scholarship deal with Trevor at Clifton, too good to refuse - and yeh he is a Brilliant instructor, no argument there

 

 

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Guest Juliette Lima

Hi bp,

 

Will forward a copy of the 912 super drifter flight test article and accompanying pics via snailmail tomorrow.

 

Cheers

 

JL

 

 

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hey JL, got the article today, thanks m8, that's some Drifter !!!

 

really appreciate you going to the effort - I suspect that at some time in the future our Drifters will be tied down at the same airfield, when that happens (if we are staying overnight of course) we will share some liquid refreshment, my shout (i'm into reds meself)

 

cheers m8 and thanks again

 

bp

 

 

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Guest sceadu52jr

Hi BP

 

1810 looks not so plain now with the red wings & stab.

 

Were you looking at a new airframe from Dalby or have you found a used airframe there?

 

I may be looking into buying a drifter next year, possibly going halves in one.

 

Wayne

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

hey Boleropilot congrats on the solo mate, its like a whole new plane on your first solo flight the way it just leaps off the ground. I was 15 when i learnt to fly our drifter, thats 8 years ago now and still havent flown an aircraft that is as much fun at the old drifter

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

quick update

 

g'day guys

 

been solo for abt 8 hours so planned a licence test this past weekend, wind at Clifton was a real bugger, so no test, but did manage to do some high-wind (digital unit in flight office was reading 20 - 25 knot gusts) practice

 

wind was almost straight down the strip so it was manageable, exhilerating and scary at the same time, was glad to get down tho, the sink was getting a bit vicious.....;)

 

had to keep a lot of speed on during final and then had to be ready for flying out of the wind gradient just before touchdown - Wow, tricky stuff

 

cheers guys, keep in touch

 

bp

 

 

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