I am trying to decide of what system to use for my new trike. In the past I have used Lynx system and loved it. But I want to know what do you prefer and why? I have the option of buying completely a new system. My trike comes with Comtronics helmets but it is not a complete system and I just wanted to find out if there is something better out there.
Parachute attachment point. Thoughts for all trike pilots. I may change my recommendation about this important issue.By Paul Hamilton
I had a very interesting conversation with John Dunham www.SecondChantz.com at lunch while we were discussing the installation of the BPS (Backup/Ballistic Parachute System) on one of my students trikes. I now have a policy that I will not provide training on a student’s trike unless there is a BPS. When I asked about the attachment point, John provided me information that has may change my viewpoint about the attachment point.
Previously, I was convinced to have the hang point through the top of the wing hangpoint (attached to the carriage) so when you “pop the chute”, you end up coming down level and landing on all three wheels. I have heard many stories in my research about coming down with the trike in many in many uncomfortable situations such as nose straight down hanging with the seat belt etc…..
John explained that if you pop the chute, and it is attached to the top of the wing, two things happen. Whatever speed you have, which is usually substantial, when you pop the chute and it inflates, it pulls the top of the wing back, forcing the control bar forward, and the trike jets up at an unusual attitude climbing, maybe almost looping as the chute pulls the top of the wing back creating an upward tract…… makes sense. Hopefully in this situation “at a high enough altitude” things will stabilize and you will come back hanging under the chute to level and hang to hit the ground with all 3 wheels. Again makes sense.
However, if you are low to the ground it may not be so good if you are attached to the top of the wing. You jet up and now you must stabilize to hang underneath. If you are low to the ground you may hit the ground before you stabilize.
If your chute is attached lower on the mast, above the CG, and you pop the chute, now you will not have both a yanking back on the top of the wing/forcing the control bar forward and such a large moment above the CG yanking your nose up. Yes you would come down nose first maybe 30 degrees and hit nose first.
Overall I see the advantages with the lower chute attachment point on the mast as being able to successfully deploy at lower altitudes and being less hassle for setup/takedown because there is no need to detach/reattach the chute bridle to the top of the wing. The disadvantages is that you would come down nose first and you would have more likelihood of the prop getting the bridle if the engine is not shut off or prop wind milling.
I would like any other opinions or experience on this important issue to understand the advantages/disadvantages of both options for parachute attachment points.
Some people use the term “uncontrolled airport” to
the same thing as “nontowered airport,” but nontowered airports are anything but “out of control.”
Nontowered airports—those not served by an operating air traffic control (ATC) tower—are much more common than towered fields. In fact, nearly 20,000 airports in the United States are nontowered, compared to approximately 500 that have towers.
Millions of safe operations in all types of aircraft are conducted at nontowered airports in a variety of weather conditions. The process works because pilots put safety first and use recommended procedures.
A word about procedure: There are several sources of information that explain official FAA-recommended procedures at nontowered airports. FAR 91.113 cites basic right-of-way rules, and FARs 91.126 and 91.127 establish traffic-flow rules at nontowered airports. The Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) and FAA Advisory Circular 90-66A expand on the regulations. Together, these documents define procedures for nontowered flight operations.
Regulations and procedures can’t cover every conceivable situation, though, and the FAA has wisely avoided imposing rigid operating regulations at nontowered airports. What is appropriate at one airport may not work at the next. Some airports have special operating rules due to obstacles or hazards, while other rules may promote a smooth and efficient flow of traffic or keep aircraft from overflying unsympathetic airport neighbors
I just received this notice from AOPA and it effects all pilots including trike pilots.
To all pilots:
Most popular categories of LSA are:
- weight-shift control trike,
- powered parachute and
Different classes within the LSA categories are
- land and
- sea (water).
Sport pilots can add a category or class easily by being trained by one authorized CFI and taking a proficiency check with a separate authorized CFI. An authorized CFI is a flight instructor who can teach the category and class of aircraft sought. For sport pilots, you do NOT have to take a checkride with a FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) to add a category or class at the sport pilot level. Two separate CFI’s are allowed. There are no minimum flight training hours required to change category or class. The proficiency check is the same as a checkride with all the same oral and flight tasks, except it is performed by a CFIS rather than a FAA Examiner.
For example: A sport trike pilot can become a sport airplane pilot by being trained by one CFI and taking a proficiency check with another CFI. No minumun flight training hours and no knowledge test required. The second CFI provides a log book endorsement for the new category and/or class.
Another example is a private pilot airplane who wants to fly a trike at the sport pilot level. The private airplane pilot would be trained by one trike CFI and take a proficiency check with another trike CFI. The second CFI would provide a log book endorsement. However, the new trike rating would only be for sport pilot trike privileges per §61.303 and §61.315, not private pilot privileges (to fly at night or over 10,000 feet MSL as examples).
To add a private pilot new category per §61.63 (b) such as trike to airplane, all the aeronautical experience (dual training and solo time requirements) must be met per §61.109, by an authorized flight instructor and a checkride must be taken with an FAA examiner. It is almost like starting from the beginning except no new knowledge test is required to add private pilot categories (from one private pilot category to another private pilot category).
Adding a private pilot class, land to sea or sea to land per §61.63 (c), is the same as adding a class except there is no minimum flight training hours. Must be trained by one CFI and take a checkride with an FAA examiner.
For the sport pilot and the private pilot wanting sport pilot privlages the actual FAA regulation is:
§ 61.321 How do I obtain privileges to operate an additional category or class of light-sport aircraft?
If you hold a sport pilot certificate and seek to operate an additional category or class of light-sport aircraft, you must—
(a) Receive a logbook endorsement from the authorized instructor who trained you on the applicable aeronautical knowledge areas specified in §61.309 and areas of operation specified in §61.311. The endorsement certifies you have met the aeronautical knowledge and flight proficiency requirements for the additional light-sport aircraft privilege you seek;
(b) Successfully complete a proficiency check from an authorized instructor other than the instructor who trained you on the aeronautical knowledge areas and areas of operation specified in §61.309 and §61.311 for the additional light-sport aircraft privilege you seek;
(c) Complete an application for those privileges on a form and in a manner acceptable to the FAA and present this application to the authorized instructor who conducted the proficiency check specified in paragraph (b) of this section; and
(d) Receive a logbook endorsement from the instructor who conducted the proficiency check specified in paragraph (b) of this section certifying you are proficient in the applicable areas of operation and aeronautical knowledge areas, and that you are authorized for the additional category and class light-sport aircraft privilege.
Cold cranking amps (CCA) is a measurement of the number of amps a battery can deliver at 0 ° F for 30 seconds and not drop below 7.2 volts. So a high CCA battery rating is especially important in starting battery applications, and in cold weather.
Lead-Acid batteries when installed are actually charged by the alternator. You probably knew this. What you may not have known is that unless you are flying on long trips or for several hours at a time, the alternator due to size constraints is not quite strong enough to fully charge your lead-acid battery during occasional operating, especially if the battery has a low charge. Therefore motorcycle batteries tend to get deep cycled faster than automotive batteries. Cars have much stronger alternators and when regularly driven will easily keep the lead-acid batteries charged preventing them from getting deeply discharged.
When a lead-acid battery is fully discharged, you risk reducing the calendar life of the battery. Fully discharging, means taking a battery from a charged state to a discharged state where the individual cell voltage drops to 1.9v. Since lead-acid batteries for motorcycles aren’t designed for deep cycling this will negatively impact the battery and reduce the life of the battery.
Under ideal operating temperatures and ideal voltage charge, a lead-acid battery will last according to manufacturer calendar life expectations. In reality, we neglect our batteries. Also, the conditions in which they operate in have many different variables. So deep cycling will impact your motorcycle lead-acid battery life. Temperature also plays a large role in battery life. Lead-acid batteries work optimally under an operating temperature of 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit). Higher operating temperatures will degrade battery life as can be measured by the Arrhenius Equation. Many things can affect the operating temperature of a battery. If you live in hot desert areas and drive a motorcycle, you may experience replacing the battery more than someone who drives the same motorcycle but lives in a more temperate climate like southern California. This doesn’t mean you should move to a much colder climate to increase your battery life! Extreme cold weather also affects lead-acid battery life. Although the lead-acid chemistry type can withstand a range of temperature extremes, if a flooded lead-acid battery is allowed to discharge in extreme freezing weather, the water content is higher and more susceptible to freezing. If this happens, the battery could actually experience cracking and leakage. At which point you will need to replace the battery very soon.
Remember you must put back the energy you use immediately. If you don't the battery sulfates and that affects performance and longevity. The alternator is a battery charger. It works well if the battery is not deeply discharged. The alternator tends to overcharge batteries that are very low and the overcharge can damage batteries. In fact an engine starting battery on average has only about 10 deep cycles available when recharged by an alternator. Batteries like to be charged in a certain way, especially when they have been deeply discharged. This type of charging is called 3 step regulated charging. Please note that only special SMART CHARGERS (Battery Tender Brand) using computer technology can perform 3 step charging techniques. You don't find these types of chargers in parts stores and Wal-Marts. The first step is bulk charging where up to 80% of the battery energy capacity is replaced by the charger at the maximum voltage and current amp rating of the charger. When the battery voltage reaches 14.4 volts this begins the absorption charge step. This is where the voltage is held at a constant 14.4 volts and the current (amps) declines until the battery is 98% charged. Next comes the Float Step. This is a regulated voltage of not more than 13.4 volts and usually less than 1 amp of current. This in time will bring the battery to 100% charged or close to it. The float charge will not boil or heat batteries but will maintain the batteries at 100% readiness and prevent cycling during long term inactivity. Some Gel Cell and AGM batteries may require special settings or chargers.
Credits: batterystuff.com, atbatt.com
Does anyone know how to fix this and what forms to use and what is the process and what is the time window a person is looking at to get it fixed?