Maintaining coordinated flight with outside visual reference

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jpleonard2000
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Maintaining coordinated flight with outside visual reference

Postby jpleonard2000 » Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:39 am

I am a low-time sport pilot with experience in a Tecnam Sierra, Remos GX, and an RV-12. Recently, I had an opportunity to train in an Allegro 2007 and will hopefully be able to fly this plane somewhat regularly in the next few months. This plane was, by far, the most difficult-to-control plane that I have flown. Based on what I have read, it's an excellent aircraft, but it requires much more attention to the rudder pedals than most airplanes. Specifically, it shows strong adverse yaw, and even straight and level flight requires attention to the rudder pedals to maintain coordinated flight.

I knew these things before my first training flight, and I attempted to prepare for this by paying lots of attention to the turn and slip indicator. Looking back, I probably relied on this too much and should have focused more on outside visual inputs. In this airplane, the ball seemed to swing wildly and uncontrollably, and I found that I was constantly chasing it around in an attempt to keep it centered.

My instructor recommended that I focus more on what is going on outside the plane and use visual cues to identify uncoordinated flight. I wanted to see if anyone here has recommendations for accomplishing this. In theory, it should be easy to tell if the airplane is yawed into the relative wind, but to me this isn't always obvious. Are there any tricks, strategies, or exercises that can help pilots recognize and correct for yaw that don't rely on the turn and slip indicator? I'm still going to use the turn and slip indicator, of course, but I think I would have an easier time flying this plane if I was able to make micro-corrections throughout the flight using outside visual reference.

3Dreaming
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Re: Maintaining coordinated flight with outside visual reference

Postby 3Dreaming » Fri Mar 13, 2020 12:22 pm

Many a student will try and chase the ball. Looking out the front of the airplane you will see the nose swing in relation to the horizon. Try and keep it pointed in one spot. When making a turn watch the nose when you apply aileron. If the nose tries to move the opposite direction that you pushed the stick add more rudder in the direction of the stick. The nose should swing at a fairly even rate. If it rotates faster that you are trying to turn use less rudder. Lastly is try and learn to feel the airplane, like the term "flying by the seat of your pants" implies. For some it is easy, other not so much.

PS you could always add a yaw string to the center of the windshield near the base for heads up yaw information. It will work opposite of the ball in that you have to use the rudder to drag the end of the string back in line. And yes a yaw string will work on a airplane.

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Re: Maintaining coordinated flight with outside visual reference

Postby Wm.Ince » Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:20 pm

3Dreaming wrote:Many a student will try and chase the ball. Looking out the front of the airplane you will see the nose swing in relation to the horizon. Try and keep it pointed in one spot. When making a turn watch the nose when you apply aileron. If the nose tries to move the opposite direction that you pushed the stick add more rudder in the direction of the stick. The nose should swing at a fairly even rate. If it rotates faster that you are trying to turn use less rudder. Lastly is try and learn to feel the airplane, like the term "flying by the seat of your pants" implies. For some it is easy, other not so much.

PS you could always add a yaw string to the center of the windshield near the base for heads up yaw information. It will work opposite of the ball in that you have to use the rudder to drag the end of the string back in line. And yest a yaw string will work on a airplane.

Sage advice. I like it.
Bill Ince
CTSW (E-LSA)
Retired Heavy Equipment Operator

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Re: Maintaining coordinated flight with outside visual reference

Postby HAPPYDAN » Fri Mar 13, 2020 7:02 pm

I wondered what that string was for, mounted on a J-3 Cub I took an intro lesson in a few years ago! Too bad I didn't know what it was or how to use it.

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drseti
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Re: Maintaining coordinated flight with outside visual reference

Postby drseti » Fri Mar 13, 2020 7:08 pm

jpleonard2000 wrote:I knew these things before my first training flight, and I attempted to prepare for this by paying lots of attention to the turn and slip indicator. Looking back, I probably relied on this too much and should have focused more on outside visual inputs.


Even better, try paying attention to inside kinesthetic inputs. That is, learn how to feel uncoordinated flight by paying attention to lateral g-loads on your body. With practice, you will be the ball.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
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drseti
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Re: Maintaining coordinated flight with outside visual reference

Postby drseti » Fri Mar 13, 2020 7:14 pm

3Dreaming wrote:And yes a yaw string will work on a airplane.


True, Tom (though maybe not quite as well as it does in a glider). Propwash tends to interfere with a yaw string. Not so much in the Sky Arrow I instruct in, however, since that plane uses a pusher prop.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
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Re: Maintaining coordinated flight with outside visual reference

Postby FastEddieB » Fri Mar 13, 2020 7:56 pm

Speaking of yaw strings and Sky Arrows, here’s a video I made a while back practicing side slips in my plane with a yaw string attached, so you can see how it works.

https://youtu.be/D4gnd_gF9F4
Fast Eddie B.
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drseti
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Re: Maintaining coordinated flight with outside visual reference

Postby drseti » Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:17 pm

Great video, Eddie. I'm going to have to show that to my students when I teach slips.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

Wm.Ince
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Re: Maintaining coordinated flight with outside visual reference

Postby Wm.Ince » Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:44 am

drseti wrote:Even better, try paying attention to inside kinesthetic inputs. That is, learn how to feel uncoordinated flight by paying attention to lateral g-loads on your body. With practice, you will be the ball.

Concur. Once mastered, it really reduces fatigue and almost becomes second nature. I think the key is practice, practice, practice.
Bill Ince
CTSW (E-LSA)
Retired Heavy Equipment Operator

3Dreaming
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Re: Maintaining coordinated flight with outside visual reference

Postby 3Dreaming » Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:28 am

Wm.Ince wrote:
drseti wrote:Even better, try paying attention to inside kinesthetic inputs. That is, learn how to feel uncoordinated flight by paying attention to lateral g-loads on your body. With practice, you will be the ball.

Concur. Once mastered, it really reduces fatigue and almost becomes second nature. I think the key is practice, practice, practice.


Years ago I was flying with a young guy in a Champ working on landings. He ask me to do once around the pattern. Once I had made the round he ask where the switch for the ball was. He thought I had turned off the ball in the panel. The funny thing was sitting in the back seat of the Champ I couldn't even see the ball. I have been lucky to be able to feel the coordination.

Another story when I had my Cub I was checking a fellow out, and as we were climbing out on the first flight the airplane was climbing in a major slip. I looked back and he leaning hard against the side of the airplane with the stick stiff armed to the other. While I did get him to the point of flying the Cub solo (14 hours) I don't think he was ever able to feel the forces in his butt.

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Warmi
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Re: Maintaining coordinated flight with outside visual reference

Postby Warmi » Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:35 am

3Dreaming wrote:
Wm.Ince wrote:
drseti wrote:Even better, try paying attention to inside kinesthetic inputs. That is, learn how to feel uncoordinated flight by paying attention to lateral g-loads on your body. With practice, you will be the ball.

Concur. Once mastered, it really reduces fatigue and almost becomes second nature. I think the key is practice, practice, practice.


Years ago I was flying with a young guy in a Champ working on landings. He ask me to do once around the pattern. Once I had made the round he ask where the switch for the ball was. He thought I had turned off the ball in the panel. The funny thing was sitting in the back seat of the Champ I couldn't even see the ball. I have been lucky to be able to feel the coordination.

Another story when I had my Cub I was checking a fellow out, and as we were climbing out on the first flight the airplane was climbing in a major slip. I looked back and he leaning hard against the side of the airplane with the stick stiff armed to the other. While I did get him to the point of flying the Cub solo (14 hours) I don't think he was ever able to feel the forces in his butt.


I could never feel being uncoordinated ...jut can’t. Of course, if I slip and basically start flying sideways, then yeah but during normal turns I could never tell ... 240 hours and counting, perhaps one day I will learn how to tell :D
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

jpleonard2000
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Re: Maintaining coordinated flight with outside visual reference

Postby jpleonard2000 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:04 pm

Thanks for the tips, everyone. I'm looking forward to getting back on that horse. I think the Allegro will be a fun plane to fly once I get more experience in it.

One other question- on a tractor configuration airplane does the slipstream from the prop mess with the yaw string?

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drseti
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Re: Maintaining coordinated flight with outside visual reference

Postby drseti » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:26 pm

jpleonard2000 wrote:on a tractor configuration airplane does the slipstream from the prop mess with the yaw string?


A little bit.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US


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