Base To Final

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Hop Harrigan
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Re: Base To Final

Unread post by Hop Harrigan » Thu May 21, 2020 10:54 am

I have a personal rule that I never break....never tighten the turn to final...never! Maintain the 15deg angle of bank and correct speed irrespective if you’re flying through the centerline or not! If you do fly through the centerline and the isn’t enough distance/time to get back onto it, then it’s naturally a go around.
No compromises!
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Re: Base To Final

Unread post by Vogoff » Thu May 21, 2020 1:40 pm

I have done a few hammerheads in my time. But they usually happen because I will obsess over the ball and the 15 degree bank angle so don't want to steepen the turn even though I know I'm not going to make it.

Thanks to the large circuits one usually does in training I don't ever remember it being an issue. Just keep going through the turn with a 15 degree bank angle and then a shallow correction the other way, and you will still have twenty minutes for the radio call and final checks. (Okay, the circuits weren't that big, but there was never a need to rush anything.)

That said, I'm not sure they were proper hammerheads, more of a mild overshoot of the centerline.

A more common problem I have is turning too early, requiring me to level off to intercept the centerline.
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Re: Base To Final

Unread post by Mrb13676 » Thu May 21, 2020 2:33 pm

Vogoff wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 1:40 pm
I have done a few hammerheads in my time. But they usually happen because I will obsess over the ball and the 15 degree bank angle so don't want to steepen the turn even though I know I'm not going to make it.

Thanks to the large circuits one usually does in training I don't ever remember it being an issue. Just keep going through the turn with a 15 degree bank angle and then a shallow correction the other way, and you will still have twenty minutes for the radio call and final checks. (Okay, the circuits weren't that big, but there was never a need to rush anything.)

That said, I'm not sure they were proper hammerheads, more of a mild overshoot of the centerline.

A more common problem I have is turning too early, requiring me to level off to intercept the centerline.
This, of course is what I was trying to say. But of course, only airforce trained pilots are any good.
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Re: Base To Final

Unread post by jimdavis » Thu May 21, 2020 2:41 pm

Mrb13676 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 2:33 pm
Vogoff wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 1:40 pm
I have done a few hammerheads in my time. But they usually happen because I will obsess over the ball and the 15 degree bank angle so don't want to steepen the turn even though I know I'm not going to make it.

Thanks to the large circuits one usually does in training I don't ever remember it being an issue. Just keep going through the turn with a 15 degree bank angle and then a shallow correction the other way, and you will still have twenty minutes for the radio call and final checks. (Okay, the circuits weren't that big, but there was never a need to rush anything.)

That said, I'm not sure they were proper hammerheads, more of a mild overshoot of the centerline.

A more common problem I have is turning too early, requiring me to level off to intercept the centerline.
This, of course is what I was trying to say. But of course, only airforce trained pilots are any good.
Mike, I was trying to be helpful to yourself and others who didn't understand what makes a hammerhead more dangerous than a similar turn at altitude. You can take it or leave it.

BTW I wasn't SAAF trained - I was civvi trained and only did airforce training much later - and learned a hell of a lot.

jim
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Re: Base To Final

Unread post by Ruby1 » Thu May 21, 2020 2:47 pm

Anyone who has flown on runway 29 at Rand (very tight circuit) will have experienced the hammerhead.

The danger is steepening the turn to get back on track and because of low speed stalling and spinning in.

I find that on 29 at Rand the best approach is to do a continuous turn from downwind to finals.
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Re: Base To Final

Unread post by Whirly » Thu May 21, 2020 6:05 pm

Mrb13676 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 2:33 pm

This, of course is what I was trying to say. But of course, only airforce trained pilots are any good.
Mike,

Nobody said that. Air Force pilots are trained very well and very long. I am just an average pilot, took me a bit longer than some others. Our instructors were experienced guys from a wide variety of flying backgrounds, they were also trained well.

Our Harvards phase saw us flying close to 130 hours. Most went solo at around 22 or so hours. By the time we did our 60 hour tests, we were doing basic aerobatics. Then there was IF, formation flying, night flying, low level training, spin training and navigation. I don't have my logbook handy, but more than 100 of the 127 hours ( that I did) were dual. That was only half our training. When we received our wings, we had around 230 hours.

I took my first pax, as a commander, when I had more than 500 hours.

Compare that to civilian pilots and training and you know why Jim said what he did.

Most of us would never belittle a civilian pilot or look down on them, we all share the same passion. :D

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Re: Base To Final

Unread post by Mrb13676 » Thu May 21, 2020 7:13 pm

Whirly wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 6:05 pm


.....


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Re: Base To Final

Unread post by Whirly » Thu May 21, 2020 9:55 pm

Mrb13676 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 7:13 pm
Whirly wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 6:05 pm


.....


Friends?

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Would be honoured....
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Deal! :D

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Re: Base To Final

Unread post by Kibim » Thu May 21, 2020 11:05 pm

Thanks for the discussion.

I have a bad hammerhead habit in anything but windless conditions. I guess only flying slighty faster than the prevailing breeze leaves one a bit at sea when it comes to positioning the aircraft nicely in the circuit. If there's a wind, I will fly a bigger circuit, and I tend to leave a lot of room on finals to 'get it together'. I'm never in a hurry to put it down, and my go-arounds are well rehearsed as a result.

This does make me a bit nervous of the fact that my circuits are maybe not as accurate as they could be. If I look at a gps plot after I've flown a few circuits, whilst it's not spaghetti, there are a few more-or-less parallel lines, so I'm not hitting exactly the same marks every time. Is this something I need to practice, or an unhealthy obsession with perfection?
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Re: Base To Final

Unread post by jimdavis » Fri May 22, 2020 8:20 am

Kibim wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 11:05 pm
Thanks for the discussion.

I have a bad hammerhead habit in anything but windless conditions. I guess only flying slighty faster than the prevailing breeze leaves one a bit at sea when it comes to positioning the aircraft nicely in the circuit. If there's a wind, I will fly a bigger circuit, and I tend to leave a lot of room on finals to 'get it together'. I'm never in a hurry to put it down, and my go-arounds are well rehearsed as a result.

This does make me a bit nervous of the fact that my circuits are maybe not as accurate as they could be. If I look at a gps plot after I've flown a few circuits, whilst it's not spaghetti, there are a few more-or-less parallel lines, so I'm not hitting exactly the same marks every time. Is this something I need to practice, or an unhealthy obsession with perfection?
Good morning Kibim - ha ha ha - what a nice honest post, and lucky you having such a magic aeroplane to fly!

Yep, if you tend to hammerhead then it does need sorting out - but now you are aware of it it's easily sorted, simply start the turn sooner, or make your circuit a bit wider - possibly both.

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Re: Base To Final

Unread post by C Africa » Fri May 22, 2020 8:51 am

On the farm strip, you don't bother to fly textbook circuits. So I often fly a short base from a narrow downwind. So while the turns are steeper than the textbook states, I simply keep the angle of decent quite sharp during the turn, and have never felt uncomfortable. Occasionally I will come out on final being a bit low, but I don't find that to be a problem.


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Re: Base To Final

Unread post by Marck » Fri May 22, 2020 11:11 am

I sometimes like to watch guys doing circuits while standing on the ground.

A couple of months ago at FASI I did the same and actually had a chance to speak to the pilot after landing regarding the tight circuit he flew for 03. His reaction to my question was that he simply flew a tighter circuit so that in the event of an engine failure on downwind, he would be able to easily make it to the runway as springs is densly populated around the airport itself.

So I get that tighter circuits sometimes need to be flown, so, after this lockdown I will contact my CFI and I am going to practice these base to final turn, especially for tights circuits.

Rather safe than sorry I always say. In other words, eerder bang jan as dooie jan. :)
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Re: Base To Final

Unread post by C Africa » Fri May 22, 2020 11:31 am

It has been said on this forum numerous times. It is not how many hours of experience you have, it is how much experience you have in those hours.

I believe that always flying stock standard perfect circuits, deprives you of learning the flying capabilities of your aeroplane.

I remember while doing my bi-annual checkout flight, the instructor asked me to do a simulated forced lob. When I turned onto final he told me "you are way too high". I said, no I am not, watch this. Dumped full flap (C172), and dropped the nose steeply. The drag from full flap prevents you from going too fast and you can go down VERY steep. Made a perfect level out on the numbers before abandoning the exercise.

You can only do that, if you know the handling characteristics of your plane.


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Re: Base To Final

Unread post by spokes » Sat May 23, 2020 5:21 am

If you overshoot the centre line, look away from the runway and continue doing a normal turn. After a short while look at the runway which should now be on your left at around 45 degs. Just turn into finals from there.
It is always best though to overshoot if you are not certain
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Re: Base To Final

Unread post by homebuilt » Sat May 23, 2020 9:22 am

When doing precautionary landings we use a point of interest, correct? Now I have made a habit at my home field of using this point of interest at either end of the runway, depending on wind. On downwind we tend to spend a bit more time with eyes in the cockpit doing downwind checks (temps, pressures, fuel, etc) and so if there is a quarterly crosswind, we will get blown towards the circuit and by the time it is time to turn base you don't have enough space to make the turn and therefore steepen the turn by whatever means.
Now as I turn downwind, I pick a point on the horizon above my point of interest but allowing for the wind drift as well as possible engine out and steer to this point. Now the point where I start to lose altitude is also important and the smaller my circuit , the sooner after the point of interest I have to start to descend. We are under the TMA so cannot fly at 1000ft agl so only have about 800 foot to spare and hence not too far to descend.
Now with a quartering wind blowing towards the circuit I initially lower the nose and begin the turn at the same time. At this stage your speed should increase as you turn into the crosswind and lower the nose. You can now select the angle needed to lose the altitude and make the runway and then slow down to correct speed. If you have already overshot, then re-assess your point of interest and make the correction for the next lap and fly another circuit. I also tend to descend more steeply and slower rather than to stray too far from the field in case of an engine out. This system works for me in my situation but the important thing here is to know where you will turn and where you will descend before you get there. Also good to fly a "regular" circuit so your muscles, eyes and brain can get this into memory. Remember that every approach is a go around unless you are stable and choose to land.

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