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REFLECTOR: Re: Flight Time Before Velocity?

> Any suggestions/experiences on the amount of pilot flight time someone should
> have before transitioning to the velocity. I believe the checkout rides by the
> factory would be smart although i haven't priced them. Any comments along
> these lines would be much appreciated. chris brock xl-rg

My experiences with teaching people how to fly Velocities have been very good.
It is an easy plane to fly but different.  Pilots with experience in a variety of
aircraft and those with very few hours have been the easiest to transition.  The
only stubborn cases I've had were those with 500+ hours in just Cessna 172's and
182's.  In these cases I think it would have been much easier if they had had zero
The KEY is to TRIM the plane with NEUTRAL stick at aprox 85 knots on final and
stabilize the air speed early on your approach.  There is very little nose up
attitude and no nose to see for reference like you are used to in a tractor
conventional.  Also you can't fool around trying to full flare the airplane or it
will wallow around then stop flying at 55 knots dropping down flat and hard on all
three legs.  You just have to level it off close to the runway and fly it on with
close too zero sink rate before the speed drops below 65 knots.   Again if you
don't trim the airplane for neutral stick pressure on final then their will be too
much force required on flare for you to finesse the landing.
Another important factor is the lack of aileron response at low speed.  Get on
your toes.  Learn to use rudders like a tail dragger pilot would.  The rudders are
yaw AND roll control at low speed.
Yesterday Sam Desilva showed me a mod he put on the old production proto type that
he has owned now for more than a decade.  He put two 2' x 2" fences under the wing
in front of and at either end of the ailerons.  Sam says the ailerons are totally
responsive at low speeds.  He also said they have a  heavier feel....ie...
requiring more force.
I'm going to try and get a chance to fly his airplane.  If I do you will get a
first hand report.


PS  Chris you should be down here for this surf we have been having.
First "Bonnie" and tomorrow swell from "Daniel" will be here.