Blue on Top

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  1. Anybody willing to try this with me? It would NOT be a "C"/"D" difference. I know the obstacles and how to certify! There has to be a geared up airplane out there somewhere or one left to corrode on a ramp. How do I get on the list of insurance companies that sell these "totaled" airplanes? Seriously, Ron PS. The benefits could be huge: half insurance premiums, lower annual costs, higher useful load, etc.
  2. @Ibra Awesome read. On an off topic to this thread, this is exactly why training is not the right answer to great reductions in LOC accidents. I would bet that a very high percentage of people that die in fatal stall/spin/spiral accidents know that stalling/spiraling an airplane in the pattern is a bad idea. There are areas of training that I think could help, though. For example, engine failure on takeoff … plan ahead, before the throttle is advanced. Train that flying the airplane to the accident could save your life. @Hank I know that 0 accidents is not achievable, but it can be a stretch goal. If I miss my target, I save many more lives than if I say it's all the pilot's fault. Accidents are a chain of events. I just want to try to break one of the links. Yes, there will always be better idiots. There will always be gear up accidents in retractable gear airplanes (I want to lower that number). There has never been a gear up accident in a fixed gear airplane. Both landing gear configurations will continue to produce runway excursions, but that's a different chain of events. As a good example to all of this, I just finished reading "Understanding Air France 447" (highly recommended). The stall at 38,000 feet and descent to the ocean killing all on board has been blamed on pilot(s) error, but what can we learn from this tragedy that we can design differently to prevent it from happening again? In other words, did we give the crew too much information? Could we have presented the data differently? I'm just looking for one link to break. All y'all are great, and thanks for letting me think out load. People look at me weird when I talk to myself . PS. The Wichita, KS area goes into "essential travel only" for the next 30 days starting in 1.5 hours. Forced time to work on
  3. @larrynimmo I agree with what you're saying, but I would like zero failures (more simplicity and lighter, too). The reason for alternate gear deployment (per regulation) is to lower the number (percentage) of failures closer to zero. Mechanically interconnected landing gear has pros and cons. 1. I have heard of a few (not many), but all of which the secondary extension didn't help. 2. Yes. 3. The ratio is actually MUCH higher than 20:1. I would like to find a way to lower the number of "distracted" pilots too … in more areas than just no lowering the landing gear. 4. The socket engagement for manual gear extension pull is one of the larger weak points in the system. This is why most owners only do the manual extension when the airplane is on jacks (without air loads and not critical if it doesn't work). 5. I like the Mooney landing gear design. Donuts don't leak … and are simple and inexpensive. There are no up locks or down locks to fail (less parts). The jackscrew (or handle lock on manual gear) is the up and down locks. Simple is elegant. (trying to get back on topic) The time/airspeed to lower the gear is BEFORE one hears the scraping.
  4. @PT20J This would be the problem on Moonies. The mains are heavier than a battleship, but they would be fighting the nose going forward. One time shot. Yawing wouldn't help as one main would fight the other
  5. @PT20J Yes. They say the regulations are written in blood. I believe this is the accident that made it mandatory for all pitot heaters to be ON all the time … and a warning light if they weren't ON even on the ground.
  6. Just finished reading the wonderful book "Understanding Air France 447" by Bill Palmer. It not only supported what I previously knew, I also learned a couple more things about Airbus control laws (one in particular that is poor - only IMHO. Really good book and highly recommended … especially for our Mooney pilots that happen to have real jobs flying airplanes, too. Note 1) Oh, I do take a slight exception to my profession being called "eggheads" as I typically don't refer to pilots as "trained monkeys'" or "the nut holding the wheel/stick/yoke" … at least in a public, permanently stored record. Yes, I am a pilot, too. Note 2) The book refers several times to the airplane as being "deeply stalled". I've never heard of an airplane being "shallowly stalled" or "lightly stalled". If the author is trying to say the airplane was in a "deep stall", there is a definition for that, and AF447 was never in a deep stall (it was always recoverable (with enough altitude). With an AOA of 45-60 degrees, the wing was definitely fully stalled. @GeeBee or anyone else that would like to add to my knowledge/experience base (I'll never stop listening or learning), my email is or (which just goes to Thanks, Ron
  7. @PT20J That's interesting, I wonder if they had to extend the landing gear at Vne (redline) like the "Angel" aircraft did (twin, pusher, for missionary work). It's a single-point failure … but that was decades ago, and OEMs and the FAA were friends back then (and often former coworkers). On the "Angel" the landing gear switch/handle was actually the valve to bring the gear up or down .
  8. To be honest, the electric gear is not a very good design. I had a very good and experienced mechanical systems engineer in Chino look at a redesign (which should still be done … and might be required if the actuator supply dries up). The specification on the actuator alone is out of this world complicated and tight … which is why the actuators are sooooooooo expensive … and no one wants to build them. All of this is due to a manual gear system (which was artfully beautiful and simplistic) transformed into the current electric system that has also been "stretched" a couple times with the different body lengths. The items that made the manual gear so beautiful (interconnected, springs and over-centers) are the same items that make Don M. (and all those that rig the gear) so full of colorful sailor language. The manual gear extension system is not designed for "normal" use. Look at the engagement mechanism and drive socket when an airplane is in service. So, getting half way back on topic, keep your pattern speeds and procedures simple. Simple is good.
  9. Ironically, the Mooney gear is not like most other retractables, all three gear are mechanically interconnected. Note: the Bonanza gear is similar. There are pros and cons with mechanically connected landing gear … they all go together (yes, unless something is broke or bent). One of the drawbacks is that there is no free-fall option. Due to all the springs and things (and even if you could get the landing gear actuator motor out of the system), the gear will hang mid-way out. They are designed to over-center in both directions (up and down). On a really bad note, they are identically the same as all other retractables in that they are far too often left in the up position upon arrival.
  10. @Hank Yes. Minor typo. Pulling the propeller control all the way back will: 1) bring the propeller to low RPM, high pitch stop (closer to "feather" position) and reduce drag.
  11. I think I'm caught up on everything … ha, ha. 1. Go-arounds (and takeoffs) are killers. Practice, practice, practice. I can't say that enough. Fatality numbers are very high for these maneuvers - much, much higher than the base-to-final (if those are even stalls … more likely just no stall spirals). In the go-around scenario, the airplane is trimmed for 1.3Vso (or lower depending on the pilot and how they were taught). The trim speed doesn't change with power (and some Moonies have a lot more power than others). IOW, the airplane will seek 1.3Vso with 310 Hp pulling on the nose or a windmilling propeller pushing on the nose. The pilot will have to supply the yoke push to prevent the airplane from stalling. It comes quickly if one is not expecting it (practice, practice, practice - at a safe altitude). If you have not done this before, the first one will surprise you. 2. Yes, the longer nose and further forward plane of the propeller of the "K" is destabilizing (both in pitch and yaw). The propeller slip stream is probably slightly different between the two airframes also. It will also matter how the longer engine was physically located into the airframe. It is typical today to cant the engine 2 degrees to the right and 2 degrees down. There are pros and cons on every way to do it. And, yes, the engine cowling is typically not symmetrical. 3. For the person/people practicing engine out procedures, my hat goes off to you. On takeoff, if one doesn't know where they are going to fly the airplane to if the engine quits at any point, one shouldn't advance the throttle. This is an area we should learn from our sailplane pilot friends. PS. Yes, I am also a glider pilot. 4. Also for those practicing engine out procedures with an idle/windmilling propeller, the glide gets a little better when the propeller is actually stopped. Less pilot cooling, too. Hoping to help -Ron
  12. I'm confused …. but wanting to learn. Are you saying that airspeed is a function of weight? Or airspeeds to fly/reference are a function of weight? Thanks, Ron
  13. @cliffy I saw that. Ironically, I know a company that has some cool wing technology. One of my suggestions to them was to look at re-winging airplanes. They laughed and said that was a dumb idea. They could have been ready for this. Not now.
  14. @GeeBee 1. I was told that standard upset recovery (normal law) in an Airbus is throttles full forward and stick full aft. Isn't that exactly what the crew did? Is this how the stabilizer drove to full nose up position (in cruise, just before the event, the stabilizer trim position would have been at almost full nose down …. which is slightly LE up)? 2. Bullseye on this statement, or as the British would say, "Spot on, Chap." Honestly, almost all Part/CS 25 and higher end Part/CS 23 airplanes do have AOA indicators. One doesn't need the separate indicator. The information is right "beside" the vertical tape airspeed indicator in the form of the green carat, yellow band and red band (different OEMs display this data a little differently. But and although the information is displayed "on" the airspeed tape, it is independent of airspeed. (note: this is very difficult to explain.) Airspeed is only used as a "reference" number, so the airspeed must be displayed value. IOW, if the airspeed were stuck at 100 knots, the vertical colored bands would still move appropriately (without the airspeed moving). In fact on the Airbus airplanes, the airspeed on the PFD can revert to AOA. So looking forward to receiving the book. -Ron
  15. @0TreeLemur Sorry, I know all the C and all the M. I went new with both. Both with 300 Hp. Yes, the strut is draggy, but the structure is much lighter. The C210 is heavier yet as unlike the M20 with a one-piece wing, the C210 (even strutless) has a break at side of body … the wrong place to put a joint. The Cessna NGP didn't have a break there … and was significantly wider.