Aug 19, 2001, 12:47 PM
Post #1 of 9
Weird Flare Behavior
I've got close to 100 jumps on a Sabre 150 now so I'm getting pretty familiar with it's flying characteristics. But yesterday my canopy did something that I hadn't seen before (except in a downwinder)... I had practically no "bite" when I went to flare. I just kept pulling it farther and farther and it just kept sinking & sinking.
My normal flare is generally a little surf-ish. I hit it pretty close to the ground to level it off and then bleed off the forward speed. This time I never got that level-off. Wound up doing a Fred Flintstone stop with my heels.
I'm still perplexed as to why I didn't get any grab. It was a little windier. I was playing with generating some forward speed with my front risers and I was slightly crosswind, but nothing too substantial.
I was thinking crosswind was the culprit, but I've landed it in no-wind without probs. I wouldn't think a crosswinder would take anything more from you flare-wise than no-wind, but maybe I'm wrong on that.
Any chance you were having to put in some correction to keep the canopy on heading? If you were you may have (unnoticed) bled off some of the speed. When you get too slow you get out of the envelope for the control surface of the wing (Brakes) to work properly. Just a thought.
"Say sweet thing...Can I buy you a fish sandwhich?"-Leon Phelps
The same thing happened to me a couple of weekends ago. Some of the guys on the ground watched it happen. I came in and at about 50-feet I stopped moving forward and just started sinking and no amount of flare happened at the ground. I managed to stand it up but I hit pretty hard.
The conclusion from those that saw it was that I caught a down-rotor when I came in on final. Wind near the hangars on a hot, sticky, Oklahoma day can be fun sometimes. (not)
>I had practically no "bite" when I went to flare. I just kept pulling it farther and farther and it just kept sinking & sinking.
Did you land near trees/buildings? That sounds like classic wind shear. You had 20kts of airspeed as you were coming in, but then the obstacles blocked some of that wind, so you started your flare with only 15kts of airspeed, resulting in a mushy flare. An extreme case of that put me in a wheelchair once - I tried to land a PD190 twenty feet from a treeline on a windy day.
Yup Zennie, you might have caught a rotor off of the hangar.
Mine was a double-fault: Landing too close to the hangars along with being heat-sick / low blood sugar at the time. I knew I shouldn't have jumped but at the time it was easier to leave the airplane after pitching the last student then it was to climb back in. On landing the ground was coming straight up at me (yes, the canopy was open, heh) and it felt like I was flaring with two limp noodles but I did flare.
I guess the fact that it was easier to leave than to climb back in should have been my first clue.