smwash02

Landing on Grass

28 posts in this topic

Howdy all,

 

I recently purchased a '66 M20C and wish to continue to do some of the grass strips I did in my 150. Here and here are a couple pictures I took while flying formation with my buddy in his Bonanza.

 

All are 3k-3.5k and in decent to good conidition, but have 40-50+' trees at each end, so my questions are:

 

1) What speed do you aim for over the 50' obstacle knowing you might hit some shear on the way in?

2) Do you take off the wheel door covers?

3) Is two pumps of flaps (~15degs) the best for take off on grass? What's the takeoff technique and Vr?

 

The airports of most importance to me are: TE01, 7TA7, and F23

 

Thanks!

~Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*Members that donate $10 or more do not see advertisements*

I quite often fly to a friend with a grass strip - 2850ft long at 5600'. I've take off out of there at MAUW on a cool morning and although the take off run took some time, I didn't encounter any problems. I would not try it at higher temps though. I fly an F though and I use 1 and a half pumps which returns about 12 deg of flaps for take off.

There used to be trees on the one threshold, but they didn't really pose any problem or prompt any change in final approach or over the fence speed for landings. On take offs, however, most pilots would rather choose a slight tailwind take off than going towards the trees.

There are two C models resident at that airfield and they operate in and out of there like normal. The grass is well maintained, but I've landed on quite a few other grass strips and have never had problems with grass interfering with the gear doors.

 

I checked the elevation of the airfields in your post above. At those, your C model will be in the air with lots of runway to spare and should be way up in the air by the time you reach the trees.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there, 

 

I fly rather frequently fly out of grass strips. I have not encountered any problems, as long as the grass is well maintained. Procedure wise I just go full flaps on final, 75 mph and hold her off as long as possible. I have actually found that grass helps make landings smoother". :)

 

On take off, take off flaps, and I use soft field procedure. Here again no problems as long as you follow procedure and don't try to get her off before she is ready. You kind find the right technique in your owners manual. I agree with Lood you should not have any problems landing and getting out of those fields.

 

There are several videos posted in the how to section that may help you.

 

Enjoy your M20C. BTW really nice pictures.

Oscar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your replies, this sounds about what I was expecting.

 

I never go into these strips anywhere near gross because the temperatures hit 95F giving us a DAs of 3000+.

 

I'll review the book soft field procedures and it sounds like I'll be good to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The temperatures where I fly out from hit often more than 100F and I have not problem getting my M20C with full fuel and two light passenger out of the grass strip. (2700 feet at 90 feet altitude. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 1965 "C" manual says landing at gross weight at 59F and sea level will take 1550' over 50' when flown with full flaps, power off, and approach at 67mph.   It says nothing about grass.  Other sources (EAA for one) suggests dry grass will add ~20% to the ground roll, which would add 150'.   At 2200 pounds the figures are about 200' shorter. 

Very few of us fly these plane at that approach speed; 75 mph is a lot more common over the numbers.  It is usually warmer than ISA in Texas, too.    If you add a few mph for LLWS a 3500' grass strip may be near or at the limit. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My 1965 "C" manual says landing at gross weight at 59F and sea level will take 1550' over 50' when flown with full flaps, power off, and approach at 67mph. It says nothing about grass. Other sources (EAA for one) suggests dry grass will add ~20% to the ground roll, which would add 150'. At 2200 pounds the figures are about 200' shorter. Very few of us fly these plane at that approach speed; 75 mph is a lot more common over the numbers. It is usually warmer than ISA in Texas, too. If you add a few mph for LLWS a 3500' grass strip may be near or at the limit.
I see the problem more at take off than landing. At landing the grass actually slows the plane down (unless it is wet). During take off it is a different story, but with 3000 feet it should be ok. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.

 

 

Operating on/off grass is fun; really no issues as long as the grass isn't too long.

 

About the only time I almost got into trouble was when I landed on a grass airport not knowing the grass was "very wet".  Watch out!  The braking coefficient of wet grass is less than ice!  If you don't know that the grass is dry, assume it is wet and make appropriate allowances for landing distance.

 

 

/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No need to take off the doors. The plane does just fine even in taller grass. I.e 1ft or so! I've landed in many many places much shorter than 3000ft and taken off soon after. The Mooney does fine just fly get your slow flight down really well. Also don't be afraid to slip the plane, but remember to keep the nose down, or airspeed up when you do that. I slip all over the place in my bird. I The shortest i've been in my airplane with a load was 1500ft and 3000ft MSL. Shortest was 900ft @ 400ft MSL or 1100ft @ 5000ft MSL. THe plane is capable, its the pilot that needs to be good!

Good luck and fly safe!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.

 

 

Operating on/off grass is fun; really no issues as long as the grass isn't too long.

 

About the only time I almost got into trouble was when I landed on a grass airport not knowing the grass was "very wet".  Watch out!  The braking coefficient of wet grass is less than ice!  If you don't know that the grass is dry, assume it is wet and make appropriate allowances for landing distance.

 

 

/

 

Now that is a fact!! Watch out for short strips and wet grass haha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No need to take off the doors. The plane does just fine even in taller grass. I.e 1ft or so! I've landed in many many places much shorter than 3000ft and taken off soon after. The Mooney does fine just fly get your slow flight down really well. Also don't be afraid to slip the plane, but remember to keep the nose down, or airspeed up when you do that. I slip all over the place in my bird. I The shortest i've been in my airplane with a load was 1500ft and 3000ft MSL. Shortest was 900ft @ 400ft MSL or 1100ft @ 5000ft MSL. THe plane is capable, its the pilot that needs to be good!

Good luck and fly safe!

 

I agree...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't do it :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't do it :o

Don't do what? Use an airplane for what it's perfectly capable of? Haven't you seen that down in Australia it's actually normal to operate our Mooney's on dirt/gravel/grass! Even the nicest aircraft such as the Acclaim. I think we have to many people that are pre-madonas with their Mooney's in the US. Get out and fly these girls, they love all types of surfaces....minus big rocks 2"+ or so in diameter! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get out and fly these girls, they love all types of surfaces....minus big rocks 2"+ or so in diameter! :)

 

Right...we're waiting :P and we can refer you to a good shop for patching your fuel leaks :(

 

gopher.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gary--

 

Surely you don't think the 800-1000' of bumping along the ground is worse on the wings & tanks than flying through turbulence for an hour or more? I've hit bumps in the clouds so hard that the seatback pockets emptied themselves onto the back seat and floorboards, much much harder than anything I've experienced landing on legitimate grass fields.

 

Unlike piperpainter, I don't fly into unimproved back-country strips, but grass fields are fine for your Mooney. And yes, I resealed my tanks 2 years ago, but they appeared to have original 1970 sealant still in them . . . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't know, but it sure adds to the problem, and unpaved strips can be most unforgiving. In the outback, Alaska, or places like that there is no choice, but to suggest that in Florida, with an airport every 10 miles, that anyone is a primadonna or doesn't enjoy flying just because they avoid grass strips is uninformed and inaccurate.

 

Plus that gopher hole is waiting. :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites



Right...we're waiting :P and we can refer you to a good shop for patching your fuel leaks :(

gopher.jpg

LOL!!! That's funny! But it's the least of my concern. I love taking the plane places that are fun and it's worth any extra cost. It's like having a rally car but never taking it off road! I love going to fly in's and then beating all my buddies home!

 

for those that are curious about the places  I got just go to youtube and type in piperpainter  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL!!! That's funny! But it's the least of my concern. I love taking the plane places that are fun and it's worth any extra cost. It's like having a rally car but never taking it off road! I love going to fly in's and then beating all my buddies home!

 

for those that are curious about the places  I got just go to youtube and type in piperpainter  :)

 

 

Your videos are cool, but my $150K plane ain't no rally car :wub:

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right...we're waiting :P and we can refer you to a good shop for patching your fuel leaks :(

 

gopher.jpg

 

How the heck did you get a picture of Gabe the Gopher? Often seen popping up through the cracks in our paved runway! With the condition of our paved runway, I'm seriously thinking about using the grass strip on the side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How the heck did you get a picture of Gabe the Gopher? Often seen popping up through the cracks in our paved runway! With the condition of our paved runway, I'm seriously thinking about using the grass strip on the side.

 

I should add that a close friend of mine did find one of these with his Mooney's nosewheel. Wasn't pretty...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This entire debate can't be solved until the all knowing 'Dent' chimes in. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bryan has positive proof posted in you tube and photos.

I haven't maintained that level of skill or stack of C notes in my wallet to make me land on anything green.

Skill=$

I am definitely jealous of those that always land smoothly and softly.

Best regards,

-a-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bryan,

Looked at your videos on YouTube. Pretty cool. You certainly take your Mooney to some rough strips!! Curious, I would imagine you pick up more than the occasional rock with your prop. Is that the case?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, my biggest dings on my prop have all come from operations on hard surfaces! I'm pretty slow with power on non hard surfaces to avoid sucking up stuff. I will say the flaps behind the wheel have a few little dings but you can get those from little pebbles at asphalt fields too. And yes it takes a lot of flying to be proficient!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should add that a close friend of mine did find one of these with his Mooney's nosewheel. Wasn't pretty...

If you don't watch real closely where you taxi that can happen! Once I slow down my eyes are pinned on the direction and surface I taxi over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now