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Touring Motor Gliders Association (TMGA)


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  1. 1 point
    I will share an experience and a technique that will surprise all of you. And you will probably not believe it. I do have witnesses and these are the facts. I flew into Angle's Fire, NM to visit a friend that wanted to see a Lambada. I was on my way to Indiana and decide to stop in. The wind was reporting 18Kts G29kts West to East 90 degree to the runway. The x-wind max component on the Lambada is 9 knots. I have about 10,000 hours experience in tail wheel airplanes, and I had a very good flight instructor way back when I received my certificates. He explained and demonstrated how to make a tail wheel airplane, and the Lambada is similar, stick to the runway like a suction cup. I arrived at Angle's Fire after a long day, and needed to put it there for the night. My friend Johnny Smith and his family were waiting for me. The wind sock was stiff, and standing straight out and was 90 degrees to runway on the most part. AWOS was reporting 18kts G29kts like is does most of the time there. I decided on landing and did a normal traffic pattern considering the extreme gusty conditions. The theory of landing with a tail wheel type aircraft and keeping it on the ground and under control has been planted in my head a long time ago. Over the approximate 10,000 hours of tail wheel hours and landing in various wind conditions, the technique always worked without well. The technique is simple. Land with all three wheels touching at the same time. Regardless of how much the aircraft is being bounced around with turbulent gust changing the pitch angle, roll of the aircraft in and out of proper bank, crabbing, rolling always quickly and abruptly return the aircraft to the three point position, and use as much force on the controls as necessary to do so. At that landing speed you are not stressing the aircraft with abrupt movements of the controls. With the elevator control input stick held hard back against the stop at touchdown so that the elevator is applying maximum full down weight onto the tail wheel, at the same time the aileron control has to be at max into the wind. held hard against the travel stop. How does it stick like a suction cup? Well if you think about it very closely, and analyze what are all of the forces applied to the aircraft you will see that the following occurs. With the tail wheel hard against the asphalt with all its weight, the tail wheel will resist sideward movement and prevent weather veining of the fuselage. If the pressure is let off of the stick and the elevator is allowed to move downward reducing the load on the tail wheel and relieving weight loading so there is no side friction, then the aircraft becomes a weather cock like on a barn roof and is easily turned into the wind. Thus skidding sideways down and across the runway. That is not the suction cup part though. The suction cup effect is because the Center of Gravity of the tail wheel aircraft is behind the main landing gear legs and wheels. I am talking about the lateral axis of the aircraft from which pitching of the aircraft rotates around. When the aircraft has a change in pitch it rotates around the lateral axis. With the main gear firmly against the pavement and the tail wheel is firmly against the pavement, the aircraft can not rotate around the lateral axis. It cannot rotate therefore the suction cup effect. If the airplane were to rotate around the lateral axis the rotation point at the center of gravity would have to rise upward while it is rotating. With the tail wheel firmly against the asphalt with all of its weight pushing down, it cannot rotate to change pitch of the aircraft. As a dealer for Lambadas and SunDancers, I now have seen lots of mishaps while landing these aircraft. The root cause is the pilot touches down on the runway, and while at or near flying speed stops flying the aircraft. By that I mean, the pilot relaxes his hard back pressure on the stick that forces the tail wheel to the asphalt during this critical stage of landing, the horizontal tail produces enough left to relieve all of the weight off the tail wheel any amount of gust or cross winds turns the aircraft into a weather cock, and off ya go. I am sure there is still a maximum cross wind component. Katrina that went through New Orleans may prove me wrong. Joe Kulbeth CFIG Owner of SunDancers. I will see you all at Minden. My last word on this, you want need training wheels if you listen to me.