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Gound Loop!

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Skirts Will Rise
Jan 17, 2002
Well I saw my first ground loop today (wasn't involve mind you). It wasn't very violent from where I saw it (this one the aircraft stayed in the 3 point attitude), it still seemed alot more violent then how the books descirbe it.

So if you can swallow your pride, what is it like in the cockpit during a ground loop?
7 years ago I rode a Luscombe half way around (Looking in the direction from which I had come). Didn't fold a gear, didn't drag a wingtip, but managed to do it right infront of an FAA Inspector (oopps!). The "manuver" wasn't what I would condsider violent, atleast on the body. In the luscombe you sit very close to the main gear. So even though the rotation was very rapid, the moment arm from the center of rotation wasn't very long. I had all three wheels on the ground when I lost it. Someware during the rotation, the right main came off the ground, but the left main and tailwheel stayed down. As the aircraft was comming to a stop, the right main came back down. If I remember correctly, the G meter in the aircraft read 3.4-3.6 G's.

My pride on the otherhand was a totally different story... I have never before or since then felt so useless with a stick in one hand and a throttle in the other.
They say if you drive a tailwheel airplane long enough you either have or you will ground loop it. I guess I am in the group that still has yet to do it. OtterFo what happened that the Luscombe went half way around? I have a Cessna 140 and I have flown a luscombe some and they aren't the easiest taildraggers to land with that spring steel gear. It took me 20hrs or so to be able to wheel land it nice on a regular basis.
The luscombe I was flying was an 8E, with a LYC O-290-D2 (125hp) in the nose. It was/is a real rocketship. But one thing it didn't have was any shock absorbsers. The Cessna 120/140 use a spring gear, cubs and most other short wing pipers use a bungee cord system. With the Luscombe any shocks the tires didn't absorb where transmitted right up into the fuselage. This didn't have anything to do with my manuver, but I figured I'd share it anyway.

I went around because I didn't accomodate for a windshift while on rollout. I knew the windsocks at each end of the runway where pointing in different directions. But wasn't paying close enough attention...

Also the Luscombe has heel brakes, and this one still had the drum brakes. The toe brakes in your 140 are easier to get to when you really need them... I flew a Stinson Stationwagon (with a 235hp lyc) across the country a couple months ago, and it was my first real expierance with toe brakes. What a different feeling....
Wilmington, North Carolina, while landing, got a Super Cub 3/4 of the way around trying to make the taxiway I wanted with too much speed, should of let it slow down a little more before making the turn, It was a long day, I had been flying about 10 hours. No damage to the Cub, I think the inside gear did come off the ground a couple inches though.
It happens real fast, i could've stopped it from going around if I would have applied the brakes, at least on one side, but it happed real fast, doesn't give you much time to react. I guess what i learned was slow down before making turns.
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