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Post-Solo Training Module

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1 Post-Solo Training Module
Flight Briefing: Lesson 11 Short and Soft Fields In cooperation with Mid Island Air Service, Inc. Brookhaven, NY (Michael Bellenir, CFI)

2 Lesson 11 Objectives In this briefing, you will learn the procedures for making takeoffs and landings on soft fields, as well as takeoffs and landings in a confined area. Upon completion of this briefing, you will continue to practice takeoffs and landings. You will also simulate short-field and soft-field conditions.

3 Soft Field (Unimproved runway)
Landing on something other than pavement, most commonly grass, but could be dirt, gravel, or any combination thereof. “Soft” fields have hazards that are not typically found on pavement, and you must operate in a manner that minimizes the risk of these hazards appropriately. Rocks Mole hills/surface irregularities Sink areas/soft spots Hidden hazards

4 Soft Field Operations To help minimize the risk of hazards found on soft fields, minimize the time you are operating directly on the surface. Avoid running for extended periods of time on the surface; avoid stopping and sitting when possible. On takeoff, get the airplane airborne as soon as possible. On landing, touchdown as softly as possible. Keep the nose up as long as possible to keep the nose gear and propeller as far away from potentially damaging hazards as possible.

5 Keeping the Nose UP! Full back stick on taxi.
Taxi with flaps set for takeoff. Minimum brake usage. Minimum power (less RPM). Look ahead/Plan ahead

6 Soft Field Takeoff Get the airplane off of the surface and into the air as soon as possible. You can accomplish this by using ground-effect to your advantage. With less induced drag on the airplane and downwash making contact directly with the surface, the airplane can be lifted off the ground pre-maturely. Be careful not to climb out of ground effect too quickly (potential stall), make sure you’ve accelerated to safe flying speed before climbing out. Be careful not to let the airplane settle back onto the surface. It may be necessary to level-off momentarily after becoming airborne to accelerate in ground-effect to flying speed.

7 Soft Field Takeoff

8 Soft Field Landings Land as smoothly and softly as possible.
You can cheat a little by adding a small amount of power as the airplane settles to cushion the touchdown (too much will induce a climb). Keep the nose up as long as you can on roll-out. Touchdown at minimum speed (use flaps). Minimize use of the brakes.

9 Soft Field Landing

10 Effect of Soft Fields on Performance
Soft fields often create more friction with the tires and can have a noticeably longer takeoff roll. Soft fields also reduce traction of tires, this may cause the brakes and steering to be less effective. Plan on needing more distance

11 Short Field/Confined Area Operations
Operating in an area with limited space requires you to get the most performance out of your airplane. It also reduces your margins for error and requires proper technique and careful planning. Use all the available space to give yourself the most room and largest margin for error possible.

12 Short Field Takeoff Maximize lift-Set flaps appropriately
Drag race start: Apply full power before releasing the brakes to get the fastest acceleration. Make sure you’re developing full power. If the you suspect the engine isn’t making full power early in the takeoff roll, abort immediately. Climb at Vx, the best angle climb speed, until you’ve cleared the obstacles. Once the obstacles have been cleared, you can transition to a climb at best rate (Vy) and retract the flaps.

13 Short Field Takeoff

14 Short Field Landing Stabilized Approach at minimum speed.
Set up to land at beginning of runway. Ensure glide path clears obstacles. Touchdown on your selected point on the runway. Maximize brake effectiveness; hold full back stick on rollout and retract the flaps.

15 Short Field Landing Concerns
Flying too slow with flaps extended significantly reduces tail effectiveness and will require extremely accurate timing and placement of the flare. Don’t approach too slow. Don’t approach too low, carrying power to clear the obstacles. Fly a stabilized approach at a steeper angle (using full flaps) to clear obstacles.

16 Short Field Approach Stabilized Approach: Good
Note: when landing over obstacles, the runway length you can actually use is less than the total length of the runway

17 Short Field Approach Unstabilized Approach: Bad
If engine quits, you go here On an unstabilized approach, power is required to clear obstacles. This is more work for the pilot, requires fast and accurate correction, reduces margin for error, and is potentially dangerous. Go around, try again.

18 Speed Control Speed control is especially important when you need the maximum performance out of the airplane. Climb speeds for the SportStar MAX: Flaps T/O-15 degrees Vx: 54 Vy: 57 Flaps UP Vx: 56 Vy: 65

19 Speed Control Approach Speed
Do not let the airplane get too slow with flaps extended. Flaps will block airflow over the tail, reducing elevator effectiveness at low speed; low speed will also reduce the effectiveness of the other controls Minimum Approach Speeds (Do NOT get any slower!) Flaps Up: 60 Knots Flaps 15: 59 Knots Flaps 30 or 50: 48 Knots Fly the approach at 60 Knots unless you really need to slow to a minimum speed for a short field landing Minimum Touchdown Speed is 40 Knots. If touchdown does not occur and speed drops below 40 knots, execute a go around immediately, and carefully regain climb speed

20 Review Questions How does an unpaved runway impact takeoff distance? Landing distance? What precaution should you take to avoid soft field hazards? How can you minimize runway use in a short field takeoff? In a short field landing? What is the key to clearing obstructions on landing? Write down your answers before continuing to next slide

21 Review Answers How does an unpaved runway impact takeoff distance? Landing distance? Increases / decreases What precaution should you take to avoid soft field hazards? Keep the nosewheel up as long as possible, with back pressure How can you minimize runway use in a short field takeoff? Lift off at lower than normal airspeed and accelerate in ground effect In a short field landing? Approach at minimum speed with full flaps What is the key to clearing obstructions on landing? A stabilized, steeper than normal approach Review any missed questions before continuing to today’s flight.

22 On Today’s Flight Practice Short/Soft Field Takeoffs and landings
Maintain proper speeds on climb out and approach. Do not let airplane stall out or land hard. Go around if necessary. Thanks to Mid Island Air Service, Inc. Brookhaven, NY (Michael Bellenir, CFI)

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