ChrisV

Bounced landings - aft CG ?

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So I'm fairly new to my 201.  I have done 15 hours of transition training with a great mooney instructor, a few solo flights with a handful at my home airport all within weeks of my bounced landings.  Then I decided to take my wife and 18 month old on their first flight in the 201 just to see how the baby takes it.  My home airport is uncontrolled, with a 2700' runway, but there are large trees on both ends.  The winds were calm, and about 40 gallons of fuel.  

We took off, head north and my wife is feeling air sick and the baby won't keep his headset on and earmuffs aren't enough protection IMO.  So we turn back to the airport.  My first attempt, I clear the trees at 73ish kts, full flaps were in, throttle idle, bleed the airspeed down to touchdown and I bounce.  Go around, clear the departure trees with tons of room.  Come in a 2nd time a little closer to the approach end trees, on speed, and bounce again.  Third time, same story.  Now I am starting to think I should go to a longer runway, but i decide to try a 4th time.  The 4th landing was perfect.  

I'm not sure what I did differently. My only thoughts are that maybe I pushed it to the ground as I saw the end of the runway coming, but not sure if there was something else.

The only difference I can think of from when I flew with an instructor (who weighed about as much as my wife and son put together) and flying with the family was that the family was in the backseat with the front right seat empty. 

So, could having a more aft CG cause me to bounce?  I would think the opposite, but I would love to hear your "expert" thoughts.

I haven't flown since this, but have arranged an instructor to fly with me the next time.

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First time...

Should have been a long wide runway.... well practiced in advance...

Using a runway, less than 3k’ is a call for being on your game....

 

Landing a plane is all about energy management...   being on speed.  Three checks of speed and altitude at key points....

 

Cg will not change your energy... it effects your rate of change in energy...

It also effects the amount of trim required to keep the nose up.

 

Go load the plane with bags of sand, nicely strapped in place... get it right with simulated people before using the real ones...

Bags of sand will fly with you again until you get it right...

Non-aviation People will shy away from you after the first go-around.

That’s a lot of pressure stress for everyone...

 

Do you have a Mooney specific CFI available?

 

Not that it is a Mooney specific problem, but you want to be focused on what you are doing, not wondering if I should do something differently...

 

If you were on speed, the cause of the bounce is a technique issue...

Some bounces and hard landings are caused by high Vs... Soft landings require low Vs and some power close to the ground.  Find @201er‘s videos discussing AOAi watch him land on the centerline with his 201 loaded anyway he wants...

PP thoughts only, not a CFI...

Best regards,

-a-

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Just to be clear, this was not my first time in the 201 at this airport, probably my 10th landing here, but it was the first with aft CG, anywhere.  

And my transition instructor is a Mooney guy... absolutely excellent.  

I will take some weight for the backend when we fly in a few weeks.  And we will start off on a nice long runway.

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Mooney lands beautiful with aft CG. Key is to think in terms of AOA instead of strictly speed.

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Chris,

That list came from my first memories of learning to fly an M20C...

Every flight had a different mission,  and a different WnB....

Insurance wouldn’t allow passengers until I had 20hrs...

First passenger was my wife... one new person to flying at a time... if you bring two people that are new to flying, you can get overwhelmed while trying to fly....

The more weight brought along, the more challenges to being on speed occurred....

Avoiding bounces, needs dissipating the last bits of speed while being a foot above the runway...

 

When too fast... the bounce occurs... the pilot didn’t dissipate the excess energy...

Dissipating the energy takes about 100’ per mias of excess...

 

Find Don Kaye’s Mooney landing video... it is all about energy management under different conditions....

 

Being on speed, and bouncing... indicates something amiss in the description... On Speed for what, where?

 

Also, one thing that happens... Mothers want to be with their children in the back seat...  how far back was that Cg?

Are you really skilled with you WnB calculations?

 

I used to fly my M20C with a family of four into 5B6, 2.3k’ long... to be on speed and altitude on short final was pretty close to the trees....

Use caution while understanding my writing... i’m Not a very good writer...

PP thoughts only, not a CFI...

Best regards,

-a-

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Just to be clear, this was not my first time in the 201 at this airport, probably my 10th landing here, but it was the first with aft CG, anywhere.  
And my transition instructor is a Mooney guy... absolutely excellent.  
I will take some weight for the backend when we fly in a few weeks.  And we will start off on a nice long runway.


What Anthony said.

If there was something off on your CG, how’d you execute a “perfect” fourth landing?

Bounces are technique, and usually excess energy. NEVER force the nose down on a Mooney. Nervous passenger, baby on board, trees, short runway ... you had a lot going on in the cockpit. No surprise if it influenced your landing execution.

As someone who “Mooney baptized” both kids at 5 weeks, I get it. Either of your baby or your spouse are a huge concern in the cockpit—both is much more than twice the distraction.

Try to prevent those distractions and mitigate your risk: Longer runways, no obstacles, develop better energy management, add some tools like mastery of slips, short/soft techniques...and hit the books on the relationship between CG and aerodynamics.

With a Mooney-competent CFI, intentionally come in fast to understand how that happens and what to do about it.
Sounds like you executed three successful “bounce aborts” so kudos to you. That’s great. Now try to never have another bounce!


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Chris,

I don't think CG location would make a difference.

My guess is you might have been too fast and tried to force it on the first three.  If you did that from a foot or two in the air it would probably bounce.  The last one you probably flew it on and touched with little to no descent rate.

Just guessing weights here.  I'm guessing you weigh about 170 or so.  Assuming your wife and kid combined also weigh 170, that's 340 total.  40 gallons is 240 lbs so your grand total would be 580 lbs of payload.  Call it 600.  With that load I would be flying final with a target speed of 67 KIAS.  That's a 6 knot difference and about a 600' difference in landing distance.  Keep in mind that I start my flare pretty early and do it pretty gradually.  If you are a swap ends kind of guy you might need more energy to pull that off.

Don't experiment with your family on board though.  Go out and try some solo.  With just you (assuming my weight estimate was close) and 30 gallons of gas, I'd fly final at 64 KIAS.  Again, make a fairly slow smooth flare.  And if you like, sneak up on that speed.  Try 70, then 67, and finally 64.  See how it feels.  Hold it off as long as you can or until you hear the horn, whichever comes first.

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9201A - Referencing bounce aborts, that is how I am looking at it.  I never had any bounces with the instructor, but I knew what to do from this forum.  I also learned to recognize the internal pressures, but haven't incorporated it into my risk management yet.  

I still want to know what exactly I did wrong, but I will never really know.  Next I am going to mount a virb under the tail to maybe next time, I can use video evidence to learn from.

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Bob,  thanks for the tips.  You are a little off on my weight.  I was probably 200 with all the clothes that day.  Wife, son, and his seat were probably 170 so spot on. 

My instructor and I are gonna do a lot of touch and goes in 2 weeks.  Starting a big airport, then coming back home for a bunch more.

The speed and psychological were certainly the factors, but my speed on the last was the same.  

I can't wait to get a hangar at the bigger airport.  Too bad that list is pretty long.

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Clearing the trees at 73 KIAS is OK for gross weight in a J, but a more realistic target for typical landing weights (like you described) is about 5 less, 65-70 KIAS.  You still have plenty of energy--you'll fly for about 600'-800' past your aiming point before touching down, unlike most trainers that will thunk you down in 400'.  On long runways, I'll land at 70-75 KIAS just because the speed management is a little easier, and that'll float me 1000' or more past my aiming point.

On landings, aft CG will only reduce your yoke back pressure required, but it's hard to imagine you'd notice that.

Also, what do you mean by "bounce"?  There are two uses of the word--

  • The technically correct "bounce" is landing on the nosewheel first.  This is a big no-no--excessive floating and trying to push the plane onto the ground, and should never be done.
  • The informal and technically incorrect use of "bounce" is any hard landing on the mains.  This subsequently drives the nosegear down, perhaps hard enough to make the nose rebound up into the air.  This is not as bad, and is the result of either running out of speed too far off the runway, or not flaring enough to arrest your vertical descent.  Those technique problems just take some minor fine-tuning to fix.

Based on your description, I suspect (hope) you meant the latter, which would mean your problems just requires more practice and precision

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Jay, the first definition of bounce is what I did.

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I'm pretty sure I was getting anxious as the end of the runway loomed and pushed the nose forward, bounced and went to a go around.

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4 minutes ago, ChrisV said:

I'm pretty sure I was getting anxious as the end of the runway loomed and pushed the nose forward, bounced and went to a go around.

Oooh, okay.  That needs to be cured out of your landing technique, then, it's certainly worth mentioning to your instructor before you see him again.

Still, I'd also say that bouncing vs hard landings can be very tough to distinguish after the fact because they can look and feel very similar.  If you don't film your flights, now would be a good time to start.  That way, you could review the film if something like this happens and you might be able to determine if what you remembered actually happened that way.

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Chris,

To look at it in the shortest amount of words... (summary)

1) Mount the virb looking at your ASI, and take a pic of your WnB calc.

2) Sneak up on the speed you want, by being a few mias fast... (a few mias slow, has a different effect)

3) Dissipate the excess energy using the AOA... the plane, in the right attitude, settles nicely...

4) If the plane settles and touches down 400’ longer than you expected... you were only off by about 4mias....

5) Mooney touch and go landings have been eliminated from short fields... lots of discussion on that elsewhere...

6) Mooney bounce and goes are typical of me, re-learning how to fly.... the second time...

7) About that stall indicator... make sure it is working pre-flight... often, the stall indicator will announce just prior to the wheels squeaking... (don’t use the stall horn to fly by... But if it goes off too soon, lower the nose some...) :)

8) Imagine what it is like, stall horn going off, bounced landings, loud go-around sounds, child’s ear protection getting away, focused on your child... To avoid air sickness... a passenger needs to focus out the front window without moving their head very much.... the fun goes away pretty quickly...

I have a lot of Mooney learning how to fly experience... not teaching how to fly.

Best regards,

-a-

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I'm pretty sure I was getting anxious as the end of the runway loomed and pushed the nose forward, bounced and went to a go around.


Next time try aerodynamic braking instead—hold the yoke BACK and try to keep the nosewheel off the ground. Steer with rudder.

Many of the things that happen in the air are predictable and can be mitigated or avoided completely on the ground. For example, BEFORE you take off, calculate a “go around point” by which, no exceptions, you will add power and go around if you’ve not planted both mains on the runway at a target speed. This calculation should provide adequate takeoff distance with margins under actual conditions, including likely effects of trees near a runway.

After you’ve done this, if you’re at or before your go around point with the mains on, you’ve done the calcs and know you’re good to land. No need to stress and force anything. If you’re not, go around and try again.

Practicing is great, but not having to exercise your skill to get out of a bind because you kept yourself out of it is much, much more rewarding.
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Mooney's are pitch sensitive if you are even a few knots fast when you enter ground effect. My two recommends are, keep up on trimming through the pattern and shoot for +-0 knot deviation on short final. With that mentality, you'll notice a tighter shot group of landings. Mooney's are slippery, hence why they are awesome XC machines. Enjoy your plane!

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

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2 minutes ago, carusoam said:

2) Sneak up on the speed you want, by being a few mias fast... (a few mias slow, has a different effect)

+1 on that

 

3 minutes ago, carusoam said:

6) Mooney bounce and goes are typical of me, re-learning how to fly.... the second time...

:lol: Some of the things you say kill me, Anthony!

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7 minutes ago, jaylw314 said:

2) Sneak up on the speed you want, by being a few mias fast... (a few mias slow, has a different effect)

Not sure what you mean by this.  i assume slowly decelerate to the desired speed?  Or do you mean attempt several landings, increasing the speed each time.

I do a high, slow, gradual flare which usually bleeds the speed quite well.

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7 minutes ago, ChrisV said:

I'm pretty sure I was getting anxious as the end of the runway loomed and pushed the nose forward, bounced and went to a go around.

You can bounce either because you have too much energy and/or because you flare too high and thus hit too hard.  Your statement above clearly confirms the former to be true.  Therefore it's just a speed control issue - probably you simply weren't as precise on speed control because of the distracting concern of your wife and child on board. Never ever push the nose forward in these planes.  And if you bounce, keep the back pressure in no matter what.  Good decision to go around.  Next time go around earlier if the situation looks the same.  Really fine tune your airspeed on approach, and plane will land itself without any worry about the runway end looming in your site picture. Also 2700ft is actually a bit short, particularly with tall trees at both ends.  A bit shallower approach than you're used to can make airspeed control easier, but the trees may prevent it.  With that runway length and tree configuration, you may never get comfortable landing on a gusty day.  Conditions that might shear to a tailwind on final will be of particular concern, and you will have some go arounds despite doing everything right.

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9 minutes ago, ChrisV said:

Not sure what you mean by this.  i assume slowly decelerate to the desired speed?  Or do you mean attempt several landings, increasing the speed each time.

I do a high, slow, gradual flare which usually bleeds the speed quite well.

I was based my first 7 years at an obstructed 3000' field, so I feel your pain. Go arounds are pretty easy in our planes, and I did my share. Only had one really bad bounce, at night--got the increasing PIO going and firewalled everything, hoping to clear the trees at the end. It was not a good feeling! Coming home from my first long XC, Thanksgiving weekend Saturday night . . . I had finished my insurance dual on Labor Day Weekend. All I could think at the time was "Fly the pattern. Make a normal landing. Figure it out later. Fly the pattern. Make a normal landing. Figure it out later. Fly the pattern . . . " My landing was normal, taxied in, put the plane away and unloaded. Couple days later I figured out that I was glad to be home, 3½ hour flight complete, night landing, success ATC steer around unexpected Sat. night college football TFR, just so glad to be back that I quit flying in the flare. Too bad the plane wasn't done flying!

We used to level off on final at 150' agl to clear the trees on final, then go to idle and descend to the runway. I often touched down on the second stripe past the numbers [there were 13 strips on the runway; google "Mooney landing KHTW" for my only video from inside the cockpit, taken by my wife with her digital camera]. My target speed is 75 mph on short final, and I reduce it by 5 mph for every 300 lb. that I am below gross for that landing. For your J, you may want to use 75 KIAS minus 5 KIAS for every 300 lb. below gross at that point [do not use takeoff weight, on a long trip that will change]. Seems I got this formula from Don Kaye, but it works well. And from my student days, it has always been "throttle to idle when you know you have the field made." But in the Mooney, that's now from further out.

By "sneaking up on landing speed," I think Anthony's intent was to make several landings, starting a little fast, and aim for a few knots slower each time. If you get too slow, you either realize you're off slope or the stall horn will squawk, then give it just a little kiss of throttle. Talk it through with your instructor before getting in the plane, then find a number that works and practice it a few more times. But realize that "the number that works" will vary with your landing weight.

Good luck, have fun and fly safe!

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Don't be afraid to lots and lots of dual.  Really, Mooneys aren't that hard to land, but done wrong they can sure bite.

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Don't be afraid to lots and lots of dual.  Really, Mooneys aren't that hard to land, but done wrong they can sure bite.

They may not be hard to land, but they aren’t easy.


Tom
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As everyone else has said, this isn't a CG issue.

It is a distraction, experience, issue.

A good CFI is great, but can also mask issues by fixing them before you notice them. If I were you, I'd go do a bunch of landings by yourself. Solo, with plenty of gas, you'll have options of finding a longer runway. Or even start with a longer runway and get super comfortable. Then go back to your home field and do a bunch on the short runway.

There's a reason all training involves solo flight. Go get some practice on your own.

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1 hour ago, ChrisV said:

Bob,  thanks for the tips.  You are a little off on my weight.  I was probably 200 with all the clothes that day.  Wife, son, and his seat were probably 170 so spot on. 

My instructor and I are gonna do a lot of touch and goes in 2 weeks.  Starting a big airport, then coming back home for a bunch more.

The speed and psychological were certainly the factors, but my speed on the last was the same.  

I can't wait to get a hangar at the bigger airport.  Too bad that list is pretty long.

Is your instructor an experienced Mooney pilot?  If not, they may be giving you bad advice.  Many CFI's who have never flown a Mooney have heard (false) horror stories about how hard it is to land a Mooney and how fast you have to go to avoid stalling.

If you can't find an experienced Mooney instructor, try to find an experienced Mooney pilot to ride along.  It would also be best to try and find one who flies the same model as you; a J, although an F is probably close enough.  Even if they aren't an instructor, they can give you pointers and techniques.

I see you split time between Portland, OR and Wyoming.  If you are out in the Portland area, I'm less than an hour's flight north of you.  When you are in the Portland area, what airport do you keep your plane at?

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3 minutes ago, Bob - S50 said:

Is your instructor an experienced Mooney pilot?  If not, they may be giving you bad advice.  Many CFI's who have never flown a Mooney have heard (false) horror stories about how hard it is to land a Mooney and how fast you have to go to avoid stalling.

If you can't find an experienced Mooney instructor, try to find an experienced Mooney pilot to ride along.  It would also be best to try and find one who flies the same model as you; a J, although an F is probably close enough.  Even if they aren't an instructor, they can give you pointers and techniques.

Did you not see this post?

2 hours ago, ChrisV said:

And my transition instructor is a Mooney guy... absolutely excellent.  

 

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