Aug 17th

Paraglider dashboard, must have FREE Android cell phone app

By jeff trike

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.eb.ohrh.parawind.free&hl=en

I downloaded this app and took it out for a test flight this morning.  It is fantastic.  It was developed by a paraglider pilot, but works great on my trike.  It has all the usual features, like altitude, ground speed, moving map display.  I already had this capability, but the paraglider dashboard does something I have not found in any other apps.  It estimates the wind vector in real time while you are flying from the gps groundspeed measurements alone.

Years ago I had done something simliar for a work application, so I have a guess at how it works.   When you fly in circle with you drift downwind. And if you plot your velocity east, vs velocity north, you get a circle with the radius of the circle equal to your airspeed, and the center of the circle offset from zero  by the east and north component of the wind.  You don't need a full circle, a 90 degree arc has enough data to estimate the wind. And paraglider dashboard does this continually, plotting your recent east and north components in one of its displays. When a decent arc or circle is displayed, you get good wind estimates. New data is plotted with big dots, old data with smaller dots.  If you fly straight for a long time, the estimates degrade, but as long as you have a decent arc or circle in the display, you get a good wind estimate.

It displays the data in metric or english units.   It has a nice variometer display.  It logs your tracks and has a good moving map display.  You could use this as your primary gps navigation device.  It is really well done. 

The unique feature is the wind estimator.  

And the app is FREE with no advertisments.

Jeff

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 12th

Defensive Flying

By jeff trike

We have all heard of defensive driving, do small things all the time to reduce risk while driving.   This is a stream of conciousness blog of defensive flying techniques I do to minimize risk while flying my trike.   Please add to the list, 

  1. Engine warm up.   It is good for the engine, and if your engine is having problems, them happen now, while you are on the ground instead of the air.  I do something that is frowned on by some, but I not without some thought.  Before flight, I push my trike to the edge of the ramp, where no casual observer should be able to get to the prop.  Turn on the strobes and start the engine sitting outside my trike.  Then I back away and let it run.  I have a clear view of the engine to check for any problems in the carbs, coolant leak, etc.  I in front of the nose on my trike and put on my flight suit so I can keep an eye on things.  Then I do one last check for any engine leaks.
  2. Run through a short checklist one last time before taxing out.  Visor down?  Helmet strap?  Seatbelt.  I still manage to somehow takeoff with my helmet strap or seatbelt unbuckkled about once a year.   Don't be in a rush.
  3. Always do a touch and go before leaving the pattern.  A large fraction of problems happen in the first 5 - 10 minutes.  If they are gonna happen, let them happen in the pattern.
  4. Slowly accelerate on takeoff.   Don't blast off.  If something is going to shake off, let it happen while your wheels are on the ground.
  5. If something is wrong, land and fix it.  Radio adjustments, camera batteries, etc, etc, etc.  Don't screw around with it while flying if landing is an easy option.
  6. Always do a radio check before takeoff.   Usually someone is in the pattern and will gladly oblige, and you give them a radio check too. 
  7. In nice conditions, all your landings should be power off.  The only time I use gas for a stabilized approach is if it is really gusty or cross wind and I want to be able to work the whole length of runway to land.
  8. Aim for the touchdown spot instead of the numbers.  That way you can land short and you'll realize it.   If you always go for the numbers, you will cheat and use gas to hit them, and you will never realize how bad you are as setting up your final glide.  
  9. Don't assume you have radio contact in the pattern.  Fly predictably in case your push-to-talk is broken, the radio 1/2 switch is set on the wrong radio, your antenna cable is loose or one of the dozen ways your radio will fail.  My radio has a red LED that comes on when it transmits.  Seeing that is a good sign.  If the other pilot in the pattern does not respond, chances are your radio is off, but it could be his too.  Fly predictably, always entered on the downwind leg, use the preferred runway if winds allow, no mid-field takeoffs, announce your position and altitude in the pattern.
  10. Flying low is fun and potentially.  If you are down to 100 ft or less, be wary of powerlines.  Almost all dirt or paved roads have powerlines along side them.  
  11. Always top off your gas tank before leaving the hangar.  It will save you time the next time you fly, and you will always have gas.
  12. Rig up a sight gauge for the gas tank on your trike.  You want to be able to trust it with your life.
  13. Have multiple ways to estimate remaining fuel.  I have four:  1) sight gauge, 2) fuel float sensor, 3) fuel flow accumulator, 4) my watch.  
  14. Fly with a friend.  If something goes wrong, he can call for help quickly and save your life.  Your survival odds just increased by a factor of 10000.
  15. Get a SPOT or Delorme Inreach or something like it.  Your family will be able to see if your spot is moving which means you haven't crashed.
  16. Do push your envelope.  Don't always fly in the first hour of daylight.  Someday you find yourself in less than ideal condtions and you want this to be a minor irritaion, not a life or death beyond you capabilities situation.
  17. Install carb heat on your engine.  I have always on carb heat that uses heater blocks after the venturi on the carburators.
  18. Get a radio that can scan, load up all the 122.xxx CTAF frequencies, and let it scan while you fly.   You will pick up other traffic and stay clear.
  19. Get a transponder.  The best safety equipment you can get for your trike.  I think far better than a BRS.  I had 3 sort of scary potential mid-airs at low altitude before I got a transpoder.  None since in the past 10 years.  

  That's all I have for now, Please add your defensive flying techniques to the list

 

 

 

Aug 9th

Trike engine reliability. Are they all equal?

By Paul Hamilton

 

What is most interesting is how history repeats itself. A year or two ago I put out a video of flying over Los Angeles. There were critics who expressed their opinions condemning me for flying over a city where there was no suitable landing area with an engine out.

 


Then a very intelligent pilot with lots of aviation experience said something like “there are thousands of single engine airplanes flying over hundreds of cities EVERY DAY in a similar situation. Why is a trike different?”

Good question. Why is a single engine trike aircraft ideology different than all the airplane GA aircraft flying over big cities? Airplane pilots are not badmouthing each other as they fly around. Why are trike pilots different? What motivates trike pilots to have this fearful ideology of engine failure.

It is simple. Here is why. Trikes initially started out with lawn mower engines and progressed to the two stroke ROTAX engines. In the basic “Risk Analysis Matrix” There was a Probable or Occasional likelihood of engine failure simply from the fact of basic two stroke unreliability. Add to that modifications, primitive designs, bad maintenance, and bad operations. There were expectably plenty of engine failures. Now add the four stroke upgrade on experimental’s and things got remarkably better. Why do you think everyone wants a four stroke? THEY ARE SIMPLY MORE RELIABLE. Now add the factory built S-LSA designs with FAA certified mechanics. The S-LSA are simply at a new level of engine reliability if properly maintained. Now we are at the engine reliability level of the GA certificated aircraft. S-LSA have the reliability of all those thousands of single engine aircraft flying over hundreds of cities EVERY DAY.GA airplanes fly IFR into clouds, over mountains at night, and over the open water.

If we try to compare the two stroke and/or old design/badly maintained to a 912 factory design and maintained S-LSA, these are different animals. Not an intelligent comparison.

Modern S-LSA designs maintained by qualified FAA mechanics get to the risk assessment likelihood of remote or possibly improbable. Just like GA engines.

Today I did a flight review in an Ercoupe that was built in 1946. This just came out of annual and I saw it in the shop. It has old systems. However, I feel this is much more reliable than the early two strokes, but I do not think it is as reliable as my Rotax 912 S-LSA that I personally maintain as a FAA Light Sport Repairman Maintenance to S-LSA standards.

So in summary, trikes have come a long way in safety and reliability. So to classify all trikes in the same engine failure likelihood category does not make sense. This is pretty simple. There are many different levels of reliability.

 

 

 

Has who has had engine failures, what type of engine was it (two stroke/four stroke), and what type of a trike was it E-SLA or S-SLA. I would like to find out the statistics so we can get smarter with this.

 

Jul 27th

How to get all trike pilots trained with spiral recovery

By Paul Hamilton

 

Now that we know the new training/testing standards the question is how to successfully implement it? It is important for everyone to get the proper safety training.

 

There are some CFI, and/or DPE’s who teach and others that do not teach spiral recovery.

 

The DPE’s can teach the instructors and the CFI’s can teach all their pilot base with flight reviews. Pilots simply ask for it.

 

I will provide training (and other CFI’s can do the same) to any DPE if they do not teach it or want some brushup. It is really simple and easy and it can be properly done in less than an hour (unless you are prone to motion sickness)Anything to get this out to all CFI.

 

This will take a little while, 3 years maybe to teach CFI's and get all the trike pilot with their 24 month Flight review.

 

Please provide names so we have a reference.

 

So lets get a list of the CFI’s who teach it and the CFI’s who do not can get the proper training.

 

Please provide CFI and Contact names so we have a reference. This can be from students who received the training of CFI’s who already do it. Also noice to know pilots who are comfortable

 

 

 

Qualified CFI Spiral Training CFI’s

 

Paul Hamilton (CA and NV)

Larry Mednick (FL)

Abid (FL)

Henry Boger (So CA)

Henry Trike Life (So CA)

 

 

Pilots who comfortably do spirals

 

Jul 26th

What are your wind limitations. Where should they be for different levels of pilots?

By Paul Hamilton

Establishing appropiate wind limitations is an important aspect of ADM/risk analysis.

On the runway, at altitude, in mountains/canyons are the stuations.

 

Where do you draw the line?

These are the four BUMP LEVELS for which I make the GO/NO GO decision to fly:

Nice Air

Moderate bumps

Uncomfortable air

Dangerious

 

What are your bump levels on the runway, at altitude, in mountains/canyons.

 

 

 

 

Jul 26th

New Training and Checkride Spiral Dive Recovery Standards

By Paul Hamilton

Well we finally did it. A great step for triking safety in the future. Thanks to all the discussion and input from Trike Pilots on this important issue. Bacground see: http://www.trikepilot.com/forum/topic/1233

 

 

Just out from the FAA to Designated Pilot Examiners:

 

 

There has been an addition of RECOVERY FROM A SPIRAL DIVE as an Emergency Task in both the Sport Pilot and Private Pilot WSC Practical Test Standards as well as the Weight Shift Control Flying Handbook.  Effective immediately this task must be tested in all practical tests for WSC.

 

 

 

The changes have been made and are now posted on the 630 web page.

 

 

 

Link: http://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/test_standards/.  Look for the dates of July, 2017, for the PTS changes.

 

 

 

Link:  http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/.  Look for the change date of July, 2017.

 

 

 

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 fair 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. 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?
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