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Your biggest ever mistake

You run a higher risk of having gravel hit the flaps while taxiing though. I’m a big fan of doing as much as I can before taxi, but flaps and controls check I keep for later.
My biggest mistake? I’ve made quite a few! Busting Brize while holding at OX on autopilot in a stiff crosswind, twice, still stands out.
Requesting start with the cowling plugs still in – Tower warned me, and I’m still not sure if I would have picked up the little flags showing over the cowling when checking my surroundings were clear.
Getting very confused about why the Arrow I hadn’t flown for a while wouldn’t lift off, before realising I was looking at the inner, “km/h” AIS instead of the outer “knots”.

EGTF, LFTF

You run a higher risk of having gravel hit the flaps while taxiing though.

Agreed, but I know this and still choose to do it. I would not if I was taxiing on a poor surface.

EGTK Oxford

as well as removing the opportunity for a pre-takeoff visual check of the takeoff flap so creating an opportunity for an assymetric flap deployment which at the low obstacle clearance involved at that point probably will kill you…

You should test the flaps movement on the ground with your departure check. Then retract them and deploy them at V_r (or V_lo). The chance a flap malfunction then is negligible. The higher risk is not to have the throttle locked and reducing power at a critical point. Although I think if such a manoeuvre is necessary due to obstacle clearance, you might have sufficient space to abort the take off. Not so much for very short runways.

With the Moranes, you have a similar procedure witch involves deploying 30° Flaps at about 50 km/h and pulling her off the ground quite ruggedly. (V_x is 110 km/h in the 883 and 130 kph in the 894).You are then in a full developed stall just a couple of inches over the ground, but the Moranes allow you to fly out of it. Works better with the high horsepower Moranes, the weaker ones take a while in ground effect before reaching V_x or V_y to climb out. This is a soft field or short runway procedure, not one to clear obstacles, but it allows for a takeoff roll of well under 100 meter on a grass runway in the 894 (half tanks and 2 people) or under 120 Meter with all 470kg useful load used. Helps a lot to get out of muddy fields, but the attitude sure is scary at first.

Here is a picture of the attitude in said stall. Picture this on takeoff some inches over the runway.

mh
Inside the sky.
EDXE, EDXF, Germany

You should test the flaps movement on the ground with your departure check. Then retract them and deploy them at V_r (or V_lo). The chance a flap malfunction then is negligible.

I actually don’t like doing this unless there is a very specific reason for doing so. Fiddling with flaps in the take-off roll is a recipe for disaster.

EGTK Oxford

I actually don’t like doing this unless there is a very specific reason for doing so. Fiddling with flaps in the take-off roll is a recipe for disaster.

Depends a bit on the aircraft and pilot, but essentially I am with you. You have to be careful and I was just pointing out that if this procedure is used, the risk of differential flap extension can be minimised by checking the flap extension prior to this manoeuvre.

But if you know what you’re doing, this is a perfectly safe procedure. Not unsafer than flying an ILS down to 100 ft or so.

Last Edited by mh at 25 Mar 16:26
mh
Inside the sky.
EDXE, EDXF, Germany

Believing a cardiolgist’s diagnosis following Bruce Protocol – sold my Arrow III – went for the more rigorous Exercise Perfusion Scan only to be told there was nothing wrong with my heart. Hmmmm. :-(

EGLM

But that’s great news, Pianorak. Are you going to get back into flying?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Bought an a/c share (group of three trusted friends) in October. Lovely aircraft, except she met her maker in January. Nobody killed or badly injured – and I wasn’t involved. Just wondering if someone is trying to tell me something. :-)

EGLM

Other than being careful in aviation?

mh
Inside the sky.
EDXE, EDXF, Germany

My biggest mistake was to head from my local airfield to an airfield only 10 minutes away and not really consider what the automated information was telling me about the wind direction. I took off from our strip on Runway 24, 6 minutes later called my destination – no-one home, just received the automated info service, noted QNH, noted wind direction (very light indeed), noted runway in use and, satisfied, continued onwards, dropped to circuit height and turned to join downwind for Runway 28. I’ve just established myself on the circuit and am enjoying the solace of an empty circuit when I hear a call from another aircraft coming from the south, 5 minutes to join the circuit. Once more the automated system chirps up, giving the QNH, wind direction and runway in use. 10. A nice number that. 10. My old house number. I looked at my kneepad. Had also written 10 down there.

Something is not quite right here, I thought for at least a couple of seconds before I realised – sh1t, I’m at circuit height, over right downwind for runway 10!! Now I can be doubly thankful that the circuit is empty. Quick check around me, nothing to be seen, did a 30 / 210 to put myself on right downwind runway 10. I had assumed that because I had taken off on runway 24 and had only flown a few minutes, my instinct was believe that I would be landing “the same direction”, as it were. Since then I double check the runway in use and play my approach through with hand gestures….

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