Jul 10th

Thought of the Day: please add...

By Doug Boyle

Fly high not to die,

Fly Low you better know!

Jul 8th

More on turns....

By Bryan Tuffnell

ABOUT a hundred and seventeen years ago, an obstreperous bicycle mechanic with the very United Brethren name of Wilbur was busy concerning himself aircraft control. He figured that to turn an aircraft, yaw - which at the time most people thought held the key to turns - wasn't enough; a turn had to consist of the appropriate amount of roll, pitch and yaw. The Wright's lingering contribution to aviation is the concept that a turn is not a bend in an otherwise straight line but a three dimensional carved curve, and is why to this day we have control surfaces that operate in pitch, roll, and - usually, and it's important for us to understand that as trikers we have a degree of control of this - yaw.

A hundred and seventeen years later, it seems many of us trikers have forgotten Wilbur Wright's epiphany. We insult our wings in turns by rolling at trim speed and keeping it there, counting on the wing's inherent roll-yaw coupling to convert roll into some semblence of a turn. It works - kind of - and around we go, trike wings being generally forgiving of our lack of technique. Any lack of skill tends to go unpunished until a bit of load comes on... which it does when banked and turning... and this gets exacerbated by billow shift... which means that any absence of skill is most likely felt when trying to roll the wings level. In other words, you're more likely to have trouble rolling out of a turn than rolling into a turn, which is a bad time to discover you don't know something.

If you are flying straight and level and add bank, you have commanded the wing to fly straight with bank on - nothing more. The fact that the wing cannot do that is not incidental; the wing will fall off into an uncoordinated turn. But - here's the rub - while as trike pilots we have little direct control of yaw, we absolutely do have a measure of indirect control. To convert a slipping, banked flight into a coordinated turn we must add pitch. So, some rules:

  • ROLL gives BANK and SLIP
  • BANK and SLIP both cause a bit of YAW.

Okay, if that's as far as you go, you'll get a 'turn' of sorts. But it's like shifting your weight on a bicycle while steering straight ahead: your wing is out of balance.

  • ROLL and PITCH UP (pushing out) gives a BALANCED (COORDINATED) TURN.

Now, let's add finesse at the start of the turn: 

  • PITCH DOWN (pulling in) aids ROLL

There's sound aerodynamic reasons for this. You sometimes hear that pulling in a touch increases airflow over the wings and makes billow shift more effective, but that's not all. Who can give the correct reason?

And how do we translate this into real flying? We should have our hands fixed on the bar, a bit more than shoulder width apart (if your hands move, I recommend a couple of wraps of electrical tape on the bar to mark where they should stay. I also vastly prefer gloves to bar mitts, which encourage you to grab the bar the way a wino holds a bottle of Chardonnay - I like to have my thumbs either on top of the bar or pointing to each other along the back of the bar, never wrapped below the bar). Try this for an experiment:

  • Take your right hand off the bar altogether. Sit on it.
  • Roll to the left with your left hand.
  • Watch what happens.

You probably pulled the bar back a little as you rolled. No? Then try doing so. By pulling into the turn with just your inside arm, it's easy to simultaneously pull the bar back an inch or two. Great! Now... when you're getting close to the desired bank angle,

  • PUSH FORWARD with the heel of both hands (not the crook between your thumbs and forefinger) until
  • the BANK ANGLE stays CONSTANT
  • AIRSPEED stays CONSTANT

If you've done this correcdtly, you'll whizz around and around in cirlces with no change in airspeed or bank. You'll lose altitude - unless you ADD THROTTLE - the final factor.

Rolling level should be the reverse:

  • REDUCE POWER while
  • PULLING IN and ROLLING LEVEL

I used to preach that any time you lost control in roll, reducing power and pulling in would always allow you to roll level. I don't say that now, because there are now trike wings that require you to have a basic grasp of turns, and such wings are not necessarily bad, they just won't take an insult: if you're slipping badly, you must correct for that before you're back in control (more on that later). This is may sound challenging, but is uttely fundamental to every form of flying, and every 3 axis pilot knows and comes to grips with this.

We're not riding bicycles here, we're pilots; we kid ourselves if we think that all we need to do to turn is to roll. If we do that, we're relinquishing our control from us as pilots and relying on factors such as sweep, dihedral, airfoil section, washout, midspan twist and a whole host of factors - down to the angle of struts and the size of our windscreens - to provide the control that we do not. You know how some wings have winglets? They exist because the designer couldn't achieve the roll-yaw coupling she wanted without compromising other aspects of her design. 

I want to stress that pilots are dying because they don't have a basic grasp of this. Henry and Ken's video is a great lesson: they are alive in all likelihood because Henry knew that pulling in (and reducing power) makes roll more effective, and under the loads they were experiencing was absolutely necessary. Several Arrow pilots have discovered that you cannot overcome billow shift in turns on that wing by rolling with weight shift, and pitching up to remove billow shift is needed before you can roll out of a slipped turn; knowing that has saved lives (my own included). 

I apologise to the majority of you who know all this... but I believe this stuff, and not pilot age or refresher training or lack of maintenance, is the biggest single cause of pilots losing control of their trikes. 

So, for a pop quizz:

  • What happens to billow shift in an unbalanced turn? In a coordinated turn?
  • Where is your weight in a coordinated turn?
  • Why does pulling in increase roll rate?
Jul 2nd

Reb Wallace died in a trike crash

By Rizwan Bukhari

It is with a very heavy heart that I write this. Our beloved Trike Instructor Reb died in a trike crash. There is not much information on it since it happened yesterday. He was with a student at the time of the crash.

I had the pleasure of flying with him many times and was inspired by his knowledge. He will be dearly missed. My condolences are with his family. When I was in Nevada, I flew with him at Lake Meade and the Hoover dam. I went to his house, where he burnt DVDs for me of that flight. I had the pleasure of meeting his wife and also their dog.

I am creating this blog with a very sad heart. And as we find more information about the accident, we will add it to the blog to learn more about what exactly happened.

 

http://www.ncwlife.com/wreckage-aircraft-chelan-airport-found-officials-attempting-reach/

 

 

Jun 26th

Safety concerns when flying trike with a child passenger

By Rizwan Bukhari

 

Hi all,

 

I am considering flying my 10 years old son on my trike. I fly an Airborne XT which has a nice shoulder and lap strap belt system.

 

Call it a paranoia but my biggest worry is the passenger belt umbuckling during flight. And I am looking for some ideas for redundant seat belt safety for my son before I take him up for a flight.

 

Any input will be greatly appreciated.

 

Regards,

 

Rizzy

 

 

Jun 25th

Trim Actuator

By Bill Chance

Need to hook up a llinear actuator for wing trim.  It's from Revo made by Duff Norton.  Can't find a wiring diagram from Duff Norton.  It has five wires coming out of it.  Three of the wires are hooked to an internal potentiometer and two wires go to the motor.  This unit was never installed and has been packed away for a number of years. The simple wiring diagram from Revo just shows two wires running to the actuator from a double throw double pole switch. Don't know if there should be more info. Running power to the motor wires runs the shaft in and out and my question is the potentiometer just used for motor position control purposes and it's not needed in this application.  Those of you that have the wing trim actuators are there just two wires running to it?  

 

I think Larry is out of pocket right now.   

Jun 23rd

Finned wheel coverings?

By roger larson

Curious of thoughts about the finned wheel pants that are used on the trikes.  Has anyone flown with and without them on the same trike and noticed a difference?

The revolt doesn't have wheel pants.  What will be the good, or the bad of not having them?

Jun 6th

Trike Maintenance Kit

By Anton van Wyk

I have the following items for sale. It is brand new and I bought it after doing the maintenance course, but sold the trike soon after.

 

New - Sidchrome SCMT26922 - TORQUE WRENCH 10-160Nm 10-120ft.lb. - $250

New - CYCLONE CONROD BEARING CLEARANCE TESTER - $75

New – 4 x NGK Spark Plug - BR8ES - $16

New – 6 x ROTAX 125 EXHAUST SPRING - 66mm - NON EVO Rotax Part No: 938795 - $20

New - CABLE LUBER LUBRICATOR TOOL - $8

New – Anti Static refuelling kit - $35

Wire Twist Pliers - $30

New – iPad knee dock - $35

May 31st

How do you SLSA certify a brand new trike

By Rizwan Bukhari

Hi all,

 

If you buy a brand new trike, then what is the procedure to SLSA certify it? One of my buddies wanted to buy a brand new Aeros 912 trike and asked me if it could be SLSA certified.

Does anyone know what is the process of certification for any foreign made brand new trikes (Aeros, AirCreation, Airborne etc) that is ordered and shipped brand new from a foreign country.

 

Regards,

 

Rizzy

May 18th

senor 'buechoe' and the 'big tail lights'

By monty stone

i was 500 miles south of tijuana, riding my 500cc suzuki dirt bike, reconoitering for a planned ultralight trip down the baja peninsular, to be attempted in 1994. ( described in an earlier blog) i had just gassed up when 'bang', whiffle-whiffle, no compression! i got a tow , 20mls in a raging crosswind, on a very short rope, not a fun trip, into the next town, guerro negro, not a 'tourist destination'. at the motel i stripped the engine and found an exhaust valve had broken and punched a 1inch hole through the piston, in addition to much havoc to the head. i found a local weld shop and they welded the hole shut. surprisingly, few locals speak 'american' and i don't have much 'mexican', but with much sign language i learned that THE meccanico in town was senor 'bueckho' . he was just 'a leedle way that way'. 20 blocks later i trudged up to 'senor 'bhukos' shop, typically, no roof, piles of junk auto parts everywhere, but a BIG sign, proudly proclaiming 'mechanico'. the thing that made this one different was a really nice  black 1959 ford galaxy, the one with the REALLY big round tail lights was parked in the entrance and a couple was , well, coupling, on the trunk lid. the male, with his back to me had really grimy coveralls on, so i assumed he was 'senor bueckho', she had bare feet, tucked under his arm-pits. i asked 'senor bhuekhoe'? he answered, without missing a 'beat', 'si senor, una momento'. true to his word, a few 'momentos' later, he was examining my broken bits, while his 'significant other' dis-appeared into his  'office'. he found, among the junk a suitable old valve, cutting it down to fit, and soon i had a repaired head, and $20 later i was busy putting the engine back together at the motel. one piston ring was broken but having no alternative had to install the broken bits. it was hard to start, low compression, and would only run around 3000 rpm, but with billowing blue smoke and rattleing i made it back to the US. i still have that piston, somewhere with many other 'tortured' parts from my past but senor' buchoes' valve has long gone, but the memory of those 'beautiful' big tail lights lives on!                                                                                                                                                                                                                       freazier  nuttzsoff                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ps, to this day, i get all teary eyed when ever an auto with REALLY big round tail lights goes by!  pps, i just uploaded a pic of the piston and valve head on photos.

May 7th

How to find Trike Pilots and Instructors near you and/or finding a place to get trained, transitioned or updated.

By Paul Hamilton

 

This has been an incredible start to the flying season. I have never gotten so many calls asking “where can I find a trike instructor near me?”

 

Good news and bad news. The good news is that most of the qualified trike instructors and many pilots are listed at:

 

http://lsapilot.sportaviationcenter.com/sport-pilot-locator/

 

This is the most comprehensive, up to date site to find pilots and instructors. This is where I send everybody. Pilots and instructors, please look at this and let me know if it is up to date for your area. I personally maintain this and try to be as accurate and comprehensive as I can.

 

The bad news is that there may not be a qualified trike instructor close to you. Many times it is better to travel and concentrate on flying with a full time established school and get it done. Your program is listed at http://sportpilottraining.sportaviationcenter.com/sport-pilot-applicant/sport-pilot-applicant-start/ We have two and sometimes THREE FULL TIME trike instructors ready to train you. I can give you your checkride. One stop shop.

 

Other trike instructors please feel free to list your web site here and MAKE SURE YOU ARE ON THE TRIKE LOCATOR http://lsapilot.sportaviationcenter.com/sport-pilot-locator/

 

Best,

 

Paul Hamilton, CFI, DPE LSRM-trike