Flying the Arrow, or more correctly, landing it

Josh

Well-Known Member
Ok, so I'm getting to the checkride soon. Going through the PTS, the 180 power off to landing kinda has me. The Arrow drops like a rock with gear down, and it is fairly hard to make a safe approach power off like that, let alone within 200ft as the PTS specfies. I always have gear down, downwind during pattern work (and usually on the 45 before turning downwind when entering from outside).

So chatted with the DE I'll be doing the ride with, and he said, yeah, that plane does that, make sure to keep it close; or you could put gear down later. But said to let him know if I was doing that, and it would be go around, so he wasn't to think I forgot gear.

I'd rather get it down. So normal approach, pattern gets big because of the speed of the plane, but if you lose power during that, it'll be hard to make a runway. If you always fly it tight, power on or power off, it is really easy to overshoot final when the power is on.

So, after all that, I'm looking for any tips y'all may have landing an older ArrowII with the Hershy bar wing.

Thanks,
Josh
 

pilatus028

New Member
Hey,

Um....for the most part I tell everyone that if you lose an engine in an Arrow you better be lucky enough to have a road near by for the basic reason it's a rock. It's a challenge for most low time pilots, beats a chicken hawk (172). Anyways, the arrow is a toughy to get down, or let's say keep up, when your a distance away from the landing site or even in the traffic pattern. You have to time your turns properly, and if you lose an engine (or simulate you lose an engine) don't worry so much about squaring the turns in the pattern. If your runway is a good size aim for the runway, if you're using a road or what have you, judge it on your experience with the aircraft. Use your "good judgement" to determine the best angle to get to final and make the runway without overshooting final (like I've done in the past), or ending short of the threshold. L/D Max!?!? Even that doesn't seem good enough. Remember one thing though, don't multiply the problem and take the chance of turning the incident into an accident. Fly the problem, process the problem and solve for x. Best of Luck! Ooo...before you get going on the ground, ask if his/her seatbelt is properly secured LOL...maybe they'll eat that up, you never kno.

Clem
 

SUSPilot

Well-Known Member
My family has an Arrow II and you are right they drop like a rock with no power. The best thing to do is to keep patterns tight. The speed is not as much a difference as it seems when you are first learning to fly it and you will get used to everything happening a little faster, just stay ahead of the airplane and you should be fine. Also like Pilatus said, wory about flying a perfect pattern in an engine out emergency, just get the plane to the best landing spot as quickly as possible. With regards to lowering the gear, I usually wait until about 3/4 of the way downwind for the gear, unless I need the extra drag to lose altitude or slow up for other traffic in the pattern. As quickly as the plane drops with gear out, it is not all that bad when it is clean so it is better to wait on the gear until you have landing on the runway, or landing area assured.
 

Josh

Well-Known Member
Ok, I was watchin' today. I did a little flying this morning, and another guy that has a commercial checkride day after me, while I sat in this afternoon.

So the Arrow 'falls' at about 1500fpm with gear down, and just slightly over 1000fpm with gear up. Going for about 100MPH on both of these, as LDmax is at 105MPH (and the book only shows for gear up). Never being at gross, I pitch for about 100. Maybe I could slow it down a bit more with the gear down, for a bit better distance during the fall?

There is a note in the POH, under the "engine power loss during take-off" section that says:

"Glide distance with the gear extended is roughly halved"

and another section giving "approximately 1.6 miles for each thousand feet" so that would give about .8 miles of glide from a traffic pattern, which of course will be reduced some since there is a 180 degree turn involved.

I'll work on it with my CFI when he is back in a couple days as well, but any tips would be helpful. So far, we've done, from like 5000', "ok, put it down on that airport below us" so I've been able to circle, and use flaps/gear as needed.

Thanks,
Josh
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
I've been doing a few as well...

OK so the glide ratio is the same as with the C152 but the Cessna does it at 60kts and the Arrow does it at 90kts (105mph), which means the Arrow sinks about 50% faster. And if the gear is down then it's twice as bad.

However as long as you keep the speed up until the flare ('up' being 90+) you'll be fine. At that point you can let it land anytime... if you're not quite at your mark just hold it off longer, if you're already past it just let the thing touch down slightly fast... the good news is that the thing won't bounce on you.

I like to do a 180* to final with no base (and do the 'shutdown' procedure during the turn). That way I'm pretty much always high on final so I can put the flaps down and get everything taken care of, plus I can keep the speed around 105 - 110 mph on final, which works great for me over the fence. It'll get down to around 90 just as I enter ground effect, at which point it'll land where ever I let it drop.

I doubt you'd fail if you missed your point by very much... especially if you do a consistantly good job on the other stuff. I think the 200' rule is a bunch of crap... if the engine really does quit the goal is to get the thing on the runway SOMEWHERE without going off the end. I'd rather shoot for partway down the runway (especially if it's long). That way if I misjudge I won't hit the trees before the runway starts, and I can always slip the thing if I'm high. Not that any of this matters on the checkride



P.S. the formula to figure out the change in Vy, Vx, Va, Vbg, etc. with weight:

Voriginal x square root of original weight / max gross

Example: 105 x sq root 2400 / 2650 = 100 gear up

Since Vy in the Arrow is 5kts slower with the wheels down than with the wheels up, L/D max is probably about 5kts slower with the wheels down too, which would make that 100 = 95 gear down. BUT you add half the headwind... if it's 10kts then you're back up to 100 for best glide range
 

Pilot Hopeful

Well-Known Member
Some suggestions for making an impressive 180-degree accuracy landing: (taken from personal experience on the commercial checkride)

1. As you noted, keep the pattern closer than normal. On the Arrow I flew (model from the 1960s), I used the second or third line of rivets (depending on left or right traffic) in from the wingtip running from leading to trailing edge and aligned these over the runway on downwind. If you are doing the approach closed traffic, basically eliminate the crosswind leg and make a 180-degree turn from upwind to downwind.

2. Make sure you have plenty of altitude. The PTS allows you to begin up to 1000 feet AGL. I used 900 feet, and the approach is manageable.

3. My instructor also recommends having the gear down for approach. Drop the gear, and trim for 120 MPH on the downwind. Note three green lights aloud to your DE.

4. Abeam touchdown point, reduce power and immediately roll into a turn to base, while trimming to best glide speed (105 MPH).

5. Depending on your altitude after 90 degrees of turn, you can continue more of a square pattern and roll out on base, or you can make more of an angling approach and continue turning towards the touchdown point. If you are too low, consider pulling the propeller control back to reduce wind resistance from the propeller and to increase glide distance. CAUTION: REMEMBER TO RETURN THE PROPELLER TO INCREASE RPM BEFORE APPLYING FULL POWER.

6. Apply flaps as necessary. I found it preferable to add one or two notches or even none at all to keep landing speed closer to your approach speed. Adding flaps at the last minute will help decrease the touchdown speed, but you may sacrifice accuracy since there will be a tendency to float past the touchdown point.

7. Turning towards final allow your airspeed to decay slightly to final approach speed, and adjust flaps and airspeed as necessary to make the touchdown point. Floating long? Decrease airspeed to increase sink rate. BUT BEWARE of your vertical speed! Don’t let the plane get too slow, or it will drop too quickly and could damage the landing gear. Also, check for three green lights as you complete the final turn.

The biggest challenge was adjusting to the much faster pattern and approach since, as you noted, the Arrow drops like a rock. It is nothing like doing the same maneuver in a 152 or 172.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
Some suggestions for making an impressive 180-degree accuracy landing: (taken from personal experience on the commercial checkride)

7. Turning towards final allow your airspeed to decay slightly to final approach speed, and adjust flaps and airspeed as necessary to make the touchdown point. Floating long? Decrease airspeed to increase sink rate. BUT BEWARE of your vertical speed! Don’t let the plane get too slow, or it will drop too quickly and could damage the landing gear. Also, check for three green lights as you complete the final turn.

.

[/ QUOTE ]

Personally wouldn't reccommend decreasing speed below final approach speed; nor change flap configurations. Reducing below final approach speed is just bad karma, you're itching for a final-turn stall, especially when in a bank; and changing (reducing) configurations is bad technique much like adding configurations would be regards the aircraft wanting to float or not. You end up making work for yourself. Also, you slow below final approach speed, your VVI will increase, possibly unnoticed.

I'd reccommend pitching the nose down to increase sink rate, and maintaining final turn and final approach speeds with power. Ideally, you'd have the power set to one setting from the 180 point to touchdown, and just adjust your altitude with pitch.
 

Pilot Hopeful

Well-Known Member
Thank you for the clarification MikeD. Stalling the plane would be the worst thing to do, especially in the rock-like Arrow. Actually, my advice for allowing the airspeed to decrease comes from personal experience. Generally, if my approach speed after the turn to final is roughly 5-10 knots faster than normal, the plane tends to float long. My comment was aimed at bleeding off that extra speed to prevent such floats.

As you noted, changing flap configurations at low altitude is quite a handful. Such changes should be attempted only with sufficient altitude. Again, in my haste to type suggestions, I assumed flap changes would be made only if altitude permitted, i.e. the plane was too high on final and could use the extra drag and slower speed to reach the touchdown point.

As you suggested, we do “have the power set to one setting from the 180 point to touchdown, and just adjust your altitude with pitch.” Per the Commercial PTS, the throttle is closed at the beginning of the maneuver.

Thus, the entire maneuver is about energy management: translating potential energy at pattern altitude, to airspeed (kinetic energy) throughout the approach.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
As you suggested, we do “have the power set to one setting from the 180 point to touchdown, and just adjust your altitude with pitch.” Per the Commercial PTS, the throttle is closed at the beginning of the maneuver.



[/ QUOTE ]

Clarification for me too here. Having "power set" was indicative of the need to pitch for altitude, and is done in some aircraft. In this case, the "power set" would be throttle closed, per the PTS as you stated.
 

Wannalear

New Member
I figure everyone else is throwing in their two cents...why not me?! the way i do it and the way that worked for me on my recent CFI checkride (woo hoo!!) drop the gear on downwind and do your first gumps check...abeam your touchdown point....
1. throttle to idle
2. flaps to 10
3. shoot a 45 to the runway (i.e. rwy9 turn 315)
4. at 800' AGL start your turn to the runway
5. that way youll be far enough out to lose altitude if you need to but save it if need be
6. Never put more flaps in until you have the runway made..it is always easier to slip the piss out the craft rather than explaining to the DPE why you came up short and rationalize your actions....
good luck to you dude!
 

Josh

Well-Known Member
Ok, I want to thank everyone for their comments on this.

Tonight, I went out (flying today was just too hot; we're wimps out here, and the 80-90degree days the last few are about the hottest all year) and worked on the landings a bit.

Got in a good 10 of them power off. First couple I overshot final as I had before. CFI watching this, found that I was just not holding in the turn. Corrected that, and the next few were just a matter of finding when to turn to put it down near the point.

So, here is what I found:

Abeam point, power smoothly back (gear is already down) and start turn in and pitch for about 90mph (100 is just too fast) in about a 25-30 deg bank. Bring in flaps as needed for the second or so on the base "leg". And it worked out bringing in two notches (25deg) flaps at that point, and going for about 85MPH and bring in third, all the while, turning onto final.

Doing it at 100, or 105 as the published best glide is just kept getting me overshooting final. Pretty easy to get it down from about 400-500AGL about 2000' out or so, without even having to slip.

So, I'll work on this a bit more when I can actually see the runway, rather than just the lights.

Josh
 

Eagle

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
So, after all that, I'm looking for any tips y'all may have landing an older ArrowII with the Hershy bar wing.


[/ QUOTE ]

**THE** trick in flying the Hersy Bar is to be sure when looking out the window that your wingtip touches the runway as you are looking down past it. If it touches the RW you will be able to make it there.
(we had a pa-28 with the fat wing)
Other than that do not put in gear or flaps until you are on short final, you can slip the 28 and it is like pressing "Lobby" in an elevator it goes down FAST, just keep more down angle on the nose than you would normally.
 

Josh

Well-Known Member
The fall is just really extreme in the Arrow, than in other PA28 models. I have about 150hrs in a Warrior II with the tapered wing, and it glides a LOT better. Also about 40hrs in a Cherokee 235, which has the big square wing. Certainly designed different than the arrow because it only falls about 1/2 as fast. It's all been fun figuring this one out right. The tip of the wing thing is about where I have it out, actually a bit further than that, but certainly a close pattern.

Josh
 

juskl

Well-Known Member
Gear down abeam....if possible. Hold best glide. Make sure you can make the runway (so keep it close). Line it up, bring it in high. Slip the snot out of it if needed (though watch airspeed). Bring it in on no flaps.

Or if needed, drop whatever flaps you need as soon as you are sure you can make it (on final). Worse comes to worse, at least you can catch the three wire. Or at least feel like you did. Can we say spinal adjustment?????

That thing is a pig.....
 
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