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Mr. CISSP, CISA
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Discussion Starter #1
Talk to me about the difference in flight characteristics between a Cessna C172SP and a Mooney Bravo G1000.

I am particularly interested in the differences in landing.


I am in Flight sim, but I am hoping a real pilot can help me learn how to land better.
 

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In flight simulator, not much. In my opinion a PC flight simulator is only good for practicing instrument navigation and instrument approach procedures.

As for the handling characteristics, flight simulator doesn't have any way of simulating the feel that is required to land a GA plane. You can't feel the balloon if you pull back too much in a flare, you can't feel the 'butt sink' when you are flaring properly, you cannot accurately simulate a porpoised approach, wheelbarrow landing followed by the subsequent nose high bounce that stalls the plane, etc.

When you land a real GA aircraft you have to be able to feel the landing...it's kind of like you feel a balance point and you use the yoke to maintain that balance point down to the ground.

In a real tricycle gear plane the landing is four distinct phases:

Approach: Stabilized at proper airspeed with proper flap and trim adjustment. You should only have to make minor throttle corrections at most to remain on the proper glideslope once the plane is properly set up for approach.

Round out: This is where you start bleeding off your descent rate and putting the plane in an almost level attitude just barely above the runway.

Flare: This is where you pull back on the yoke...slowly...in order to keep the plane from landing. You will eventually loose this fight with the yoke pulled way back at which time the main gear will set down onto the runway. As you keep up the good fight the nose will slowly start dropping and the nose gear will touch; now you are landed.

Ground roll: This is where most people screw up a perfectly good landing. You must continue FLYING the airplane while you are on the ground. If you slipped in and landed with a crosswind this is where you will put full aileron deflection into the wind and continue using the rudder pedals to maintain the center line. During taxi you should also be flying the plane, proper aileron and rudder to maintain a straight taxi. Front quartering crosswinds require you to climb into the wind. Rear quartering crosswinds require you to dive away from the crosswind. This keeps the plane stable while on the ground and avoids any unexpected wind gust problems and control issues. In general do not ever stop flying the plane; when it is on the ground it does NOT instantly turn into a car.

I say you lay down the joystick for a day and take a discovery flight at your local airport: http://www.beapilot.com/

Oh, and contrary to popular belief, the throttle on an airplane controls altitude and the yoke controls speed.
 

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Mr. CISSP, CISA
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24,040 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Although I will agree with you about flight sim's limitations, it is a cost effective way for me to explore/learn how to fly. It is like driving simulators before I could legally drive. It is better than nothing, but ....


So at this point I can fly a C172SP. I can land a C172SP (97% of the time on the runway, even short runways). Pretty good since I have limited graphics and can't look out the windows.
I can land the Mooney Bravo on long runways 70% of the time, but short runways, and many times on long runways, the plane wants to continue to fly, or I drop out of the sky like a rock (crash).

How do I increase my % for the mooney besides more practice?
 

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Well, flying the proper approach speed is a huge part of landing a plane successfully. As an example, in the Warrior II I fly the approach speed is 63kias, on the Lance II I fly the approach speed is 95kias and 75kias for short fields, on the Turbo Arrow III the approach speed is 75kias, Cessna 172M....60kias.

Come in too hot (fast) and she'll float forever and there is more risk of ballooning if you pull back too much. Come in too slow and you can plop it down hard and risk stalling the plane in the flare before the mains touch.

The Mooney is a MUCH more slippery plane than the 172 and requires a bit more planning in advance. The FSX Mooney is a model that also has speed brakes to help you slow down when you are getting near the field but typically aren't used when you are on final.

There are some free checklists here: http://freechecklists.net/ for real planes that should translate out well enough into the flight simulator. the V speeds are what you are interested in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V_Speeds and more specific to approach and landing the Vref speed of the particular aircraft you are flying.

If you are considering flying in the real world or learning the proper procedures I highly recommend this book for use with FSX: http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Flight-Simulator-Pilots-Training/dp/0764588222

You can also get a free 6 month membership in AOPA (Aircraft owners and Pilots Association) from here: http://flighttraining.aopa.org/apps/student/ft_free.cfm and a good and active message forum with real pilots is here: http://www.purpleboard.net/~purplebo/forums/index.php

Once you get used to the sim with the default settings you can try turning off the 'helper' features like auto rudder, auto mixture, etc. to get more of a feel for what really happens in a plane. You have adverse yaw, P-factor, overbanking tendencies, fuel mixture leaning, controlling prop RPM and throttle separately on the planes with a constant speed prop, etc. that are all filtered out in the default FSX setup.

Hope this helps,

Sam

You should try out my home airport in the flight sim, KPIE.



Although I will agree with you about flight sim's limitations, it is a cost effective way for me to explore/learn how to fly. It is like driving simulators before I could legally drive. It is better than nothing, but ....


So at this point I can fly a C172SP. I can land a C172SP (97% of the time on the runway, even short runways). Pretty good since I have limited graphics and can't look out the windows.
I can land the Mooney Bravo on long runways 70% of the time, but short runways, and many times on long runways, the plane wants to continue to fly, or I drop out of the sky like a rock (crash).

How do I increase my % for the mooney besides more practice?
 

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Mr. CISSP, CISA
Joined
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24,040 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Well, flying the proper approach speed is a huge part of landing a plane successfully. As an example, in the Warrior II I fly the approach speed is 63kias, on the Lance II I fly the approach speed is 95kias and 75kias for short fields, on the Turbo Arrow III the approach speed is 75kias, Cessna 172M....52kias.

Come in too hot (fast) and she'll float forever and there is more risk of ballooning if you pull back too much. Come in too slow and you can plop it down hard and risk stalling the plane in the flare before the mains touch.

The Mooney is a MUCH more slippery plane than the 172 and requires a bit more planning in advance. The FSX Mooney is a model that also has speed brakes to help you slow down when you are getting near the field but typically aren't used when you are on final.
That probably covers what I am doing wrong. I bet I am comming in to fast or slow.

If you are considering flying in the real world or learning the proper procedures I highly recommend this book for use with FSX: http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Flight-Simulator-Pilots-Training/dp/0764588222

Once you get used to the sim with the default settings you can try turning off the 'helper' features like auto rudder, auto mixture, etc. to get more of a feel for what really happens in a plane. You have adverse yaw, P-factor, overbanking tendencies, fuel mixture leaning, controlling prop RPM and throttle separately on the planes with a constant speed prop, etc. that are all filtered out in the default FSX setup.
The book is on my wish list. I am working my way through the missions and the lessons. I figure I will get the book when I finish the missions and lessons.

I have been flying as realistic settings as MS FSX has. The only non-realistic function I still have enabled is the screen prompts. Since I can not hear or feal what is going on in the plane I figure it is a fair trade off. The peddles really help for realism, but it is not a real plane.

Thanks for the help.
 
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