Wheels up landing, tarmac or grass.

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Wheels up landing, tarmac or grass.

Postby GAwithLPlates » Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:46 pm


I know this topic has "done the rounds" before, but a recent emercency landing of a replica Spitfire in Wanganui (NZ) (http://www.wanganuichronicle.co.nz/news ... g/1564350/) seemed to go against "conventional wisdom", it is safer to land on the tarmac.

I will be the first to admit that the details in the media have been pretty sparse, and it is up to the pilot (who has most of the facts) to decide on the best course of action, but I thought that a wheels up tarmac landing (With emergency services present to put out any fire);
Often caused more skin damage.
Usually caused less structuaral stress (Due to a slower deceleration)
... and with the chances of diging in and flipping the plane practicaly non-existant, the probable outcome for the pilot was improved.

Or am I wrong?



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Re: Wheels up landing, tarmac or grass.

Postby jackhodgson » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:55 am

I've never gotten any formal training on this, but my understanding is that the danger of flipping, or otherwise "digging in", on a non-paved surface, more than outweighs the scraping damage done by pavement.

// Jack

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Re: Wheels up landing, tarmac or grass.

Postby champguy » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:30 am

This sort of thing you only get one chance. Not many folks want to sacrifice an airframe to get real experience.
I too vote for pavement, inside the fence of your home airport would be best. Other options go down hill fast from there.
Got floats? Thats do-able, pick wet grass and call for a tow truck.
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.

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