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Thread: Stick and Rudder Skills

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default Stick and Rudder Skills

    I have a couple days between clients and was thinking about the last few I have had...

    One thing that has really struck me about the folks who have only been flying for 5 years or less is that they seem to have never been taught actual stick and rudder skills. They can send a text message while flying, program a GPS, and take a cool video... But real hands on flying seems to have been skipped someplace or another...

    Take slips for example; I ask if they know how to slip,,,, there is a long delay and then they say something about having seen one, or maybe having talked about it....

    So I ask them to demo a slip to landing and they do one of two things...
    They either put the plane on it's side (side window facing straight down) with the nose upwards.... OR...
    They kick the rudders back and forth a couple times and then pull the stick back and start to climb...

    When you show them a real forward slip, they say they have never seen anything like that....

    Heck-Fire I just had one who had never even heard of a Dutch Roll. That person is a new 110 hour pilot.... (who could not make a coordinated turn) And I believe that nobody ever showed her a Dutch Roll... ever......

    So maybe we CFI's need to inject some of this basic skill stuff into our BFRs....
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    Member RocketRick's Avatar
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    There's an old book I got back ard '83 called "Stick and Rudder".

    A CFI Pen Air pilot I have been flying with off and on says the same thing about learning those basic flying skills. Look out the window and feel it.

    I cant see a place for Dutch roll, or a Shandell for that matter, in normal flying.


    RR

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    A Dutch Roll teaches the pilot how to make coordinated turns. It is a practice maneuver.
    At least how to start, stop and oppose a coordinated turn when done correctly. When done enough times it become muscle memory...


    The Chandelle on the other hand is more of a demonstration maneuver, although it is originally a combat maneuver. It requires a 180 degree minimum radius turn while in a max performance climb, which ends with the aircraft rolling out in the opposite direct while just above stall speed. Mostly it is supposed to show mastery of the aircraft, since it involves a muti-directional change in flight.
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    I am going to have to research the Dutch Roll. I suck at coordinated turns. I feel like if I'm not looking at the ball all the time then I'm uncoordinated. Matter of fact, I am not a strong rudder guy. I do good keeping the plane straight down the runway but up in the blue I don't think I am aggresive enough with them. Thanks Float, you gave me something to look in to

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    I was checking out an airline pilot many years ago in a Cessna 172. I wondered why his take off and climb were so uncoordinated until I noticed that his feet were flat on the floor and not even touching the rudder pedals.

    There are apparently two different kinds of dutch rolls. If you keep the ball centered during one version of the dutch roll, you will be doing S turns however slight. On the other hand if you're doing the classic version of "on-point" dutch rolls which require the nose to stay exactly on a point of the distant horizon you will be cross controlling some of the time and this is even more evident in very slow dutch rolls. In any event either mode requires rudder, aileron, probably some elevator coordination and is a good training technique.

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    checking out an airline pilot
    I have had a few that really turned out to be airline co-pilots... They all had the tendency to let go of the controls once we were off the water and climbing... Their hands firmly gripping the steel tubing next to the window. They were just along for the ride at that point...
    I guess they must be used to somebody else having hands on the controls or maybe a computer flying the plane...
    Fortunately my Cub likes to fly herself...


    I like the Dutch Rolls were the nose stays dead centered on a distant target. Start a snap roll and then snap it back before the nose moves off target.... If they are done right, I do not get sick in the back seat... If the client makes them sloppy , my guts go nuts after only a few of them...

    Tight and steep S turns also work well to get the hands and feet working together... Particularly in a Cub, Champ or Citabria where you can see out both sides...
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  7. #7

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    I never heard of a Dutch roll in my student days. Then the big day, my private check ride with the late Dick Ardaiz as DPE from Aero Tech out of Merrill. Never flew with him before. After a 2.2 hour check ride from hell["put this hood on. Maintain this heading at 45 knots. Maintain this heading at 45 knots and climb from 2000 to 3000. Follow the big lake vor to big lake. Now go out bound on the 220 radial." And he didn't fool around, he covered my lower half of the windscreen with a chart so I couldn't cheat.

    Finely over. "Take the hood off and head back." We are maybe a 1/2 hour from Merrill. Dick-"Do dutch rolls on the way back." Me-"Dutch rolls?" So he demonstrated. And had me do Dutch rolls all the way to 5th avenue. The whole time I am thinking Well so much for the license. As soon as we get back he'll say " Well you did good but you need work on your turns. Go do some Dutch rolls and we will try this again."
    Well after 5 T&G's and a long taxi back with no word-thinking the whole time can I afford another check ride- we get to the tie down and he says" button it up and I'll go inside and make you a pilot." Whew. Big smile.

    Off topic I know, but whenever I read Dutch rolls I think of that day.
    '

    '

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    Float pilot, did you mean aileron roll, not snap roll? I have always started a snap roll by slowing down to a speed appropriate for executing an abrupt accelerated stall, hauling back on the stick at the same time kicking right or left rudder to enter a snap roll which is basically a horizontal spin.

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    Float pilot, did you mean aileron roll
    YEAP... I was supposed to be hooking up a new propane tank pipe when I started typing...

    I am not sure what the heck I am saying, typing or thinking about half the time anyway...
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    Float Pilot,

    It's gotta be at least five eighths of the time , because I really appreciate the topics you start and the interesting replies and discussion they generate.

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    Dutch rolls are different in Cubs than Cessna's. Either way a pilot should be able to fly coordinated. Some planes require more footwork than others. A guy needs to warm up his feet when climbing into a Cub. It's probably demonstrated a lot to Float Pilot considering he's teaching Cessna guys in a PA-11. Cubs are rudder airplanes. Cessna's not so much. The initial actions of a pilot who's new to Cubs doesn't demonstrate lack of skill as much as lack of familiarity.

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    I don't think it's possible to do 45 on-point dutch rolls and stay coordinated (ball centered), especially slow ones. To keep the nose on point at 45 degrees of bank, there would have to be lots of opposite rudder input and some back pressure in either a cub or a Cessna.

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    The initial actions of a pilot who's new to Cubs doesn't demonstrate lack of skill as much as lack of familiarity.
    Except when they tell you and / or demonstrate that they have no idea how to slip (forward or side) , stall, make a coordinated turn or flare... I am also doing instruction and BFRs in Cessna's and I see it there as well.

    Some of the new generation of flight training programs concentrate on instruments, computer input and GPS / auto-pilot management. Supposedly being a fast-track to the world of flying big iron.... So they are doing their IFR and Private at the same time... or at least something close to that.
    So they make lots of mis-approaches,, but hardly any real landings....

    Dutch rolls are different in Cubs than Cessna's
    Roger that,,,, I always have to take a few seconds to get my head wrapped around a Cessna seating arraignment before doing a Dutch Roll demo.. I have even stooped so low as to put my head in the middle and look down the center of the cowling so I could get the feel for what-ever plane I am flying that day... I can not do a good Dutch Roll in a Maule to save my life...
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    I don't think it's possible to do 45 on-point dutch rolls and stay coordinated (ball centered),
    You are probably right, I like to snap them back and forth pretty fast in a Cub, Super Cub or Citabria, (slower in a Cessna 172, really slow in a Beaver) but I have never bothered to see just how many degrees of bank you get before you have to kick the controls the other way... I will try to look the next time I go up and do those... Maybe the helmet cam would work for that....
    I wonder if I can post videos here??

    Now for tight S turns.... different story...
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    Try doing some on-point slow ones sometime and you'll see what I mean about not staying coordinated. You can even try hesitation dutch rolls where you hold the bank briefly (not too steep), but keep the nose on point with opposite rudder and a little back pressure.

    When I was giving flight instruction, one of the reasons I demonstrated and taught slow, on-point dutch rolls was to instill in the student the ability to make the airplane do exactly what you wanted it to do. It helped them in gaining a feel for control usage and constantly changing control pressures to achieve a desired result. It also helped them to master precision slips and gracefully recover to a ball-centered descent.

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    Good idea!

    I like to make some of them land on one float and then go straight down the lake on that one float.....Sometimes changing floats if the lake is long...
    Unfortunately I now have a guy (yes talking about you T.A.) who is so good that he wants to do step turns on one float...
    Yes it can be done, to show off, but making turns at flying speed, while dragging one float ,,, is a good way to make your mechanic a little richer...
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    Well this dose not surprise me at all, ever since they changed the requirements and put the focus on instrument flying in order to reduce the weather related accidents. It was that you needed 200 of PIC and a good bit of X-C time before you can even do an instrument rating. So the normal progression when I learned to fly in the 1970's was private pilot, then Commercial then Instrument then Multi engine then flight instructor. What we learned back then was that you can't fly with out looking out side. Spent a lot of time doing things like stalls, spins, lazy eights chandelles. Turns about a point S turns pilotage and the list goes on. Now a guy goes to learn to fly and he may not be able to do lasy eight, but he sure will be able to fly and instrument approach at the 45 hour level. Now they what private pilots to be instrument rated, and the training reflects that. So stick and rudder skill never get developed enough, and we see it in some of the recent accidents. Colgan Air comes to mind. This has been going on for a good 20 years now and guess what we are seeing the results. Weather related accidents have not gone down, and we have a whole generation of pilots that really don't know how to fly! I for one would like to see this instrument business stop and go back to the way it was when you needed to get some seasoning as a pilot before you could do an Instrument rating, its that seasoning is where you learned stick and rudder skills.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post

    I like to make some of them land on one float and then go straight down the lake on that one float.....Sometimes changing floats if the lake is long...
    Unfortunately I now have a guy (yes talking about you T.A.) who is so good that he wants to do step turns on one float...
    Yes it can be done, to show off, but making turns at flying speed, while dragging one float ,,, is a good way to make your mechanic a little richer...
    Driving an airplane straight down a lake on one float is a worthless maneuver. Step turning on one float to a takeoff around a river bend or on a short lake effectively makes the lake or river more useful. My float training included one float step turns around corners because it was a necessary maneuver to improve safety. The straight one float or one tire/cross controlled exercise is useless unless it's related to crosswind ops. At least that's my take on it.

    Instructors providing basic training should focus on teaching fundamental skills, not criticizing student pilots who don't meet their unwritten beer-drinking pilot lounge stick and rudder standard. If the instructor is teaching advanced maneuvers they should do so to competent and willing students who consider the instructor pilot a peer worthy of respect based on skills, not title. In my experience good pilots usually learn advanced skills from peer pilots in the real world. Whether the peer pilot is a CFI or not, teaching is supposed to be about improving the ability level of the student, not reinforcing the superiority level of the instructor.

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    unwritten beer-drinking pilot lounge stick and rudder standard.
    Wow, I'll bet there is a story behind that thought.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    Driving an airplane straight down a lake on one float is a worthless maneuver.
    In my opinion, any reasonable maneuver successfully executed that requires precise control is a confidence builder for the student. This would be especially true with a new float student who is fearful about doing something disastrous.

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