Saturday, September 6, 2008

More Barry Schiff Wisdom...

Another great piece of advice from Barry Schiff's seminar I attended. As most people know, when you fly into a high altitude airport everyone is thinking about the takeoff that you will be making when you leave. Will the plane have enough power, is the runway long enough, etc., etc.

But one thing they don't think about is....what if my landing attempt is messed up in some way and I need to make a missed approach (or a go-around for VFR pilots)? You will be in much worse shape for your missed approach because you have not leaned the engine for max power and you have your flaps down. It is all to easy to try a missed approach by shoving the throttle forward, dumping the flaps and then sinking into the runway.

So Barry offers 2 pieces of advice. Number 1 is to practice a missed approach on the downwind leg. Yep. Throttle back to landing power, set your flaps, and then pretend like you're going to do a go-around. Note if the airplane sinks, or mushes, or climbs just fine.

Tip Number 2 was: Maybe you shouldn't use all three notches of flaps. Now this entrigued me because my flying buddy likes to land with 2 notches of flaps and a little faster than me. I've always fretted and worried about this because I didn't know how much this would affect the stall speed. The book only tells you a stall speed for no flaps and full flaps. But Barry explained that the flaps achieve almost all of their affect after you go to the first notch. The next notch only improves the stall speed about 10 percent. The added flaps do contribute to drag and slow the airplane though. The third notch of flaps basically don't help your stall speed, they just add more drag.

So, Barry says why not use one notch of flaps until you are almost to the runway (I forget the term he used...something like "on the property") and then pull the 2nd notch of flaps. So, if your landing is screwy before you get too close to the airport you can do your go-around starting with only one notch of flaps down. And if it goes bad near the runway you're still better off with only two notches instead of all three.

No comments: