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Skylane landings

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Apr 7, 2002

I've got a student who co-owns a 1964 Skylane. I have soloed him after what took a little longer than typical of a student in a more typical trainer. Now his partner calls me and tells me that they spoke with some Skylane guru who claims that I've taught the landings all wrong. Guru says that full nose-up trim should be established for landings! My student's co-owner tried this and says it works like a dream--the airplane "lands itself." I expressed my concern about go-around handling to which he adds that Guru recommends carrying full flaps back to pattern altitude! They feel no apprehension about the potential difficulties of a go-around with full nose-up trim and full flaps!

Are there any other Skylane drivers out there that can support this self-proclaimed 182 master? Am I wrong? Is the Air Safety Foundation report wrong in discouraging excessive trim in landing the Skylane? I'm fuming because now my student is convinced that he has spent extra money needlessly because of my approach to teaching Skylane landings. I am also convinced that these guys are begging for a trim-stall/spin accident on a go-around. I have apprehension about retaining my current exposure to liability with this student now that I feel he has been ill-advised and is likely to experiment with this inherently dangerous procedure. I have already demonstrated trim-stalls to him and plan to revisit these, but I don't know if I can get this other crap out of his head now!
The Cessna POH for Skylanes only recommends "full up trim" to aid in cases where the elevator becomes non-functional and in doing so, a go around is NOT an option.

Your student's partner has learned a very poor self taught technique. This way of doing things must be STOPPED and explained WHY you don't do this... go arounds, trim-stalls, etc etc...

Break the chain before it is passed on or becomes an NTSB report.

I used to instruct in a 1969 Skylane and would teach students to use a lot of nose up trim, maybe about 3/4 of the way up, but definetly would not recommend full nose up trim for the reasons the previous two posts stated. The Skylane is one of the many nose heavy aircraft I've flown but I've never used full nose up trim on any aircraft I've ever flown.

I'd definetly recommend doing trim stalls again and explaining why you don't want your student landing with full nose up trim. Stick to your guns on this one because I think you'll find most people agree with you 100%.

Good luck.
182 landing and go-around "technique"

Go look up "elevator trim stall" in the FAA Flight Training Handbook or elsewhere. I have a fair amount of 182RG time and, yes, unless you have a somewhat aft CG you'll land flat and/or the airplane is an SOB to flare. Okay, perhaps, maybe back trim one or two lines back of neutral. But, full back trim is definitely wrong.

Full flaps to pattern altitude? No way. Flaps 20 till you have a positive climb and then milk them up gradually. Just like in a 152, 172, 177 and most any other light Cessna.
I fly a 182 jump plane so the nose is really heavy with the seats out. I trim nose up to the last "F" in "take off" on the trim indicator and fly final with 20 degrees of flaps. At least in my bird, that puts it down on the mains with a healthy flair.

Why jump out of a perfectly good airplane? You haven't seen our airplane.
I own a '73 182 p and concurr with the nose up trim and have demoed the go around. First of all you should never have to slam the power on in a 182, wich is were I found the pucker to be. The 182, with full flaps and 60kts, a mere few inches of MP will get you more than flying again. If you're landing flat and on the nosewheel, be careful. The 82 is notorious for having an easy to wrinkle firewall due to hard, or too many, nosewheel landings.

So you're saying that you recommend FULL nose-up trim for landing? You also say that you "you should never have to slam the power on in a 182..." Well sometimes you find yourself facing an unforeseen situation--language like yours is idealistic. With ideal conditions and a lack of the possibility of a forced go-around requiring optimum performance, full nose-up trim might be a consistently safe procedure for landing. I favor having the airplane properly configured for a forced and timely go-around on every landing approach. Proper CG location, combined with the manufacturer's recommended procedure has been landing us on the mains and results in tame go-around behavior, as well as the option to command full performance from the airplane when needed. And this procedure only requires a little more effort and finesse from the pilot.
Does the 182 in question have a trimmable stabilizer, or does it have a elevator trim tab?
I know that the early 182s had a trimmable stabilizer, I don't know if they all do.

The reason I ask, is this: If the Stabilizer is trimmable, increasing aft trim will increase elevator effectiveness in the flare, however, if it has a trim tab it will *not* increase elevator effectiveness in the flare, it will only redudce control pressures. In fact, full aft trim with a trim tab will actually slightly reduce the effectiveness of full aft elevator. The trim tab position which will give you the most aft elevator authority is somewhere forward of neutral, if you can handle the control forces.

Getting back to the trimmable stabilizer....
I own an early (1950's vintage) C-180. The C-182's of that era were identical to the C-180, except of course, for the landing gear and cowling. You cannot do a true, full stall, power off landing with this airplane with a forward cg and light gross weight, unless you have full, or very nearly full, aft trim. If you don't have ther trim rolled back almost all the way, the elevator loses effectiveness before the wing stalls, and the airplane pitches uncontrollably forward onto its mains, followed by a nasty bounce. The elevator's already at it's stops, so you can't do anything with that. The only ways around this are full aft trim, landing faster than full stall, or carrying power into the touchdown. The last two are not desirable when you're looking at a 400' gravel bar with water at both ends. Yes, I've been there, and the 180 handles it quite nicely, but you don't want a lot of extra speed or power. The need for aft trim decreases with higher gross weights (wing stalls at higher airspeed, thus landing is at higher airspeed) or with a more aft CG (less downforce required to flare) About the trim stall: I have tried this out with full flaps, full aft trim and full power. Yes, it does pitch up and requires a strong hand on the controls. This should be experienced at a safe altitude during a check out in the airplane, and one should be mentally prepared to deal with this on a go-around from a landing where full aft trim is required.

If the later model Skylanes have a trim tab (and I don't know if they do or not) there is no good reason for full aft trim, trim to the point where you can comfortably handle the elevator forces in the flare. Any more than this just decreases elevator effectiveness.

A Squared

Yes, the 182 in question has an elevator trim tab. My approach to teaching landings in this airplane has been to trim on-speed, or a little faster for added elevator effectiveness. I even showed the co-owner why this works (nose down trim increases elevator surface). Thank you for your input.

It sounds to me as if you now have a student who no matter what you say is going to do it the "guru's" way even after you show him why he shouldn't. Especially if his co-owner thinks it should be done this way. As an instructor, as you know, YOU are responsible for what that student does even after you are no longer teaching him, just by putting your name and CFI # in his book. My only thought would be to pass the student on to another instructor who may not mind taking that responsiblity. I know this sounds like a cop out, but if your student is unwilling to change, or if he pretends to change in front of you and then goes back to old ways afterwards, this could put YOU in a very bad position. You can try what was mentioned above to get him to change, but don't count on him staying true to what he tells you he is doing, especially as long as this co-owner and "guru" are around to "show him the other way."

Just remember, it's your A$$ on the line, and if he messes up, he could mess up your chances at a future in this business.

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