Episode #157 "Eunuchs Tending the Harem"

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Episode #157 "Eunuchs Tending the Harem"

Postby kb7m » Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:19 pm

Referring to the discussion on the OFLW, just a word about "crashes". We (as Jack will know) have the same problem in the computer industry.

Often someone will say "My computer just crashed!", when what they really mean is that they did something unexpected, the computer reported an error, and performed an orderly shutdown of the program.

If I had a dollar for every time someone reported to me that their computer just "crashed" and it wasn't a crash, I could afford that new airplane that I want.

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Re: Episode #157 "Eunuchs Tending the Harem"

Postby pevend » Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:43 pm

As far as Oakland Troy airport is concerned:

There are three airports in Oakland County, which is immediately north of Detroit. The biggest one is Oakland County International aka Pontiac (PTK). It is about 20 miles NW of Detroit. Oakland Troy (VLL) is a smaller airport that is in the center of suburbia about 5 miles due N of Detroit.

I do my flying out of PTK. Prevailing winds are mostly from the west so we take off from 27R or 27L. There is a lake and some fairly heavily treed areas with rare scattered open fields off the departure ends of the runways, so I figure that if I lose power after takeoff I'm either going into the lake or heading for a relatively tree-free area beyond the lake. Oakland Troy, however, is right smack in the middle of suburbia. When I was looking for a flying club to join I made some inquiries there, but I was really uncomfortable with the fact that there were homes, strip malls, etc., close in on all sides of the airport, so a power loss after takeoff meant making a landing in a heavily populated area with lots of buildings, signposts, and wires all around.

When I heard about that off-field landing on the news that evening, I thought (in order):

1. Man, that guy sure was lucky to land without destroying a bystander, himself, or the airplane; and

2. I'm staying at Pontiac!

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Re: Episode #157 "Eunuchs Tending the Harem"

Postby DJTorrente » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:07 pm


The aircraft I fly most frequently is a club-owned 1975 172M with all 40 glorious degrees of barn-door flaps, and I like every last one of them. The club is a glider club, and I got my first serious stick time in their gliders. Landing technique in the glider was to be a bit high and use a combination of dive brakes and forward slips to get down to the appointed landing spot - no power available to stretch the glide or go around. That has stayed with me, and I still think its more fun to slip in to land.

Still, I think a little less flaps is wise in heavy crosswinds; and I believe that there are two rationales tossed around for it. First, If you use a higher approach speed without flaps, then the crosswind component is relatively less, meaning you have to dial in less corrective measures (whether crab or cross-control). Second, on the 172 in particular (or really any high-wing), the flap-fuselage geometry makes a big scoop that just isn't there on a low-wing, and is more likely to be affected by the crosswind.

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Re: Episode #157 "Eunuchs Tending the Harem"

Postby FranSan » Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:48 am

Great episode as always.

The day after you perform the "hovering" landing I flew my 1st SOLO in the Gobosh! :)

The winds were much better that day, at least early in the morning when I usually fly. The solo was very uneventful except for a couple of party balloons in the downwing for the first landing (I guess somebody was celebrating my first solo).

Couple of remarks from that day:

1- It was surprising to me the lack of nerves or fear.I always imaging my self in my first solo like been paralyze or making a lot of mistakes because of nerves or fear for been by my self in the plane. I event feel like that for a couple of seconds when I was taxing back to drop the instructor, but that went away and after I jump back in the plane, everything was like any other flight I've done before.

2- Trust your self and your training. When I was studying I've always had doubts about if I would remember the things I just study. In particularly things like wake turbulence. Well, even though I have never taken off or landed behind anything bigger than a 172. That day, in my first solo take-off, a beutifull Twin-otter lands in front of my while a I was holding short of rwy 7. While I was admiring how the DeHavilland was taxing down the runway and waiting for her to exit, a red flag raised on my head by surprise warning me about wake turbulence and what to do next. That, for some reason, made me smile.

3- As a well know ad says:
Instruction and plane rental until first solo flight: $1500
The feeling when you leave the ground for the very first time by your self: PRICELESS

Jack, next time you go the FBO you would see the back on my t-shirt in the wall ;)

Thanks Jack, Dave and Jeb for the podcast. It definitely help me to achieve this.


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Re: Episode #157 "Eunuchs Tending the Harem"

Postby kb7m » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:54 pm


My first "solo" landing in a 172 was very similar to yours. I was taught to use full flaps on short final. But with a strong head wind and with a significant crosswind component, I ended up at full power crawling my way to the runway. The other thing that bit me was once I got it on the ground, I forgot to "keep flying the airplane", and weather-vaned into the wind. Fortunately, it was a relatively wide runway and my groundspeed at that point was very low, so I was able to get it under control before going "off-roading".

I've now learned when in windy conditions to add some airspeed, use fewer flaps and to continue flying the airplane until parked, shutdown, and ready to tie-down.

As it turns out, unless I'm going into a short field, I rarely use more than 15-20 degrees of flaps and I land with a "skosh" of power. This makes for smoother landings at the expense of using more runway. Of course if it's a short field, it's throw out those barn door flaps, nail the airspeed and land with idle power.

This is what works for me. For the rest of you guys, insert the UCAP disclaimer here.


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Re: Episode #157 "Eunuchs Tending the Harem"

Postby Andrew B » Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:15 pm

Hello Gang,

Just finished listening to 157 and great as always.

I was thinking about how rediculous New Mexico's idea of no alcohol served on flights over the state or within the state. How about they just don't allow alcohol on any flights flying into NM? Jack, you mentioned that airlines cannot re-route their flights around the state so a beverage can be served. That new "law" would be a waste of time. How could they enforce it anyways? ATC going to check with all flights midair over NM and make sure their is no alcoholic beverages being served?

Also, I was thinking about how you need a radio to operate out of Sanford, according to the town's laws. Im unframiliar with the FAR's on this one can anybody shed some light on the FAA's requirments? I have no experience with these FARS due to the fact I only rent and the aircraft I rent has multiple radios onboard. Never really crossed my mind.

Good Luck Jack continuing your search for your perfect airplane, and a personal shoutout to FranSan - Congratulations man! I love your priceless quote at the end. So far I've spent $1800 in search of my Private Pilot. Im wait to turn 16 so I can solo! Happy Flying!
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Re: Episode #157 "Eunuchs Tending the Harem"

Postby gmarshall » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:07 am

Other than the emotions of the whole experience, my clearest memory from my solo was: "Wow, the skychicken sure climbs well with only one person on board!"


I'm a full-flaps guy unless there's a specific reason.

With the delay in this episode I was expecting to hear about Balloon Boy and our Minneapolis friends! Oh well, maybe next week. :)

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Re: Episode #157 "Eunuchs Tending the Harem"

Postby champguy » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:08 pm

Well I finally started the episode. I had been holding off hoping for a trip out of town and stuff kept happening.
My only thought on the "hovering landing" was that reguardless of flap setting, I don't like upsetting the trim on short final by changing the flaps.
So Jack, I'd love to get you a couple of weeks flying out here and you could learn to love the wind. It is fun, and a Cessna landing gear will take anything you through it at as long as you hit with the nose up.
I know I've been preaching the old "get a beater 150 thing" for a while now, but that is really for students and the first year or two. As a more seasoned adult with important places to go, I've decided what you really need is a 170B(my personal favorite) or an early 172. That old six cylinder Continental is smooth as silk. There is more room to move around inside which extends your range considerably and in a few years with some upgrades to the panel as things wear out you will have a real keeper. I would hate to have you crawl out of a 150 at OSH and curse the idiots who told you it was the way to go. I made the trip twice in mine from this coast before I wised up and got my Champ.
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.

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Re: Episode #157 "Eunuchs Tending the Harem"

Postby PilotBillFromTexas » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:30 am

champguy wrote: I made the trip twice in mine from this coast before I wised up and got my Champ.

Managing the continental divide up north must have been an adventure in a C-150. How did that work out for you?

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Re: Episode #157 "Eunuchs Tending the Harem"

Postby champguy » Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:07 pm

By going north.
From Spokane following I-90 you can be in Missoula in one hop, and about out of the really high country in another two. Never have to go much over 6,000 feet.
The even shorter route is from Sandpoint to Kalispell to Cut Bank. By starting before breakfast, with a candy bar and a tank of gas in Kalispell, you can have an early lunch in Cut Bank, Montana and be completely through the mountains. The route follows US Route 2 and is beautiful and spectacular with the highpoint being cresting Maria's Pass at arount 6,000 feet and seeing the wide western plains spread out before you as you descend into Cut Bank. The route must be done in the morning before any heat or wind gets up. Remember, Big Mountains, Big Air. Otherwise you need to go to 12,000 feet plus to go over the top which kind of takes the fun out of it. The mountains are so much more spectacular flying through them rather than over them.
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