Sunday, 3 November 2013

Flaps are my friend

My landings are pretty good at the moment, sure I wouldn’t describe them as perfect (I have impossibly high standards), but I’m happy that I’m in control of them rather than the plane just randomly impacting the tarmac.

One of the things that has helped is my use of flaps. I have no idea why it has taken me so long to come to this revelation but flaps are your friend.  I’ve realised that 30 degree flaps are really really useful in keeping a good approach angle. Gone are the days of bringing it in stupidly low and dragging it in under power.  Maybe the obstacle and short landing practice has solidified my use of them, or maybe it was a throw away comment made on the internet (not directed at me incidentally) “Mr. Cessna put 30 degrees of flaps on his plane for a reason, why aren’t you using them?”
I know there are arguments for not using a lot of flap in a crosswind but since I’ve made a conscious effort to utilise as much flaps as possible, I’ve found my approach angle and rate of descent are just, better. Generally this makes for a much safer approach as I’m not likely to skim the water, have more altitude to play with for longer on final and it keeps me out of wake turbulence range.

Today, there was a sailboat kicking around the inner buoys on final approach, didn’t bother me as my approach was steep enough that I had no issues clearing it whatsoever.
Yep flaps are indeed my friend. Incidentally D was telling me that the older model 172s he flies have 40 degrees of flaps available. He says at 40 degrees the plane basically takes up the aerodynamic properties of a parachute!

30 does me just fine, I’m not greedy.


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