Discuss the problems and solutions to all of the situations that Pilot X finds himself in.
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By ConcordeBA
#1658937
After flying some IFR circuits at London Southend Airport, it was time to call end to a wonderful evening; but not without error. The previous part of the flight was flown IFR and it was time to make a VFR flight back to Stapleford. If you would like to watch the earlier part of the flight. Click here

During the IMC training, I was taught that at decision height you'd change to landing flap. When I learned to fly in the DA40; nothing was different other than my experience of IFR flying grew as I ventured with a better equipped aircraft. I was always curious as to why airliners are configured at 1000ft as per company SOP but in GA, it was acceptable to configure in the most critical part of the approach (usually the last 200ft).

Image

I prepared for a normal approach and completed my pre-landing checks. On passing 500ft I assumed that my high airspeed would bleed off, and that it was likely down to the windy conditions. That's problem one. Never assume.

As I approached 20ft, I decided to go-around. I retracted the flaps but I realised that I had actually placed them into the fully up position. This wasn't normal. The previous two approaches both had low approaches requiring me to retract the flap to take-off before retracting fully at a safe altitude. After a sluggish climb to 1200ft I admitted my mistake to my friend and that I realised I made an inappropriate aircraft configuration which caused a go-around.

This may have something to do with the fact that on the previous two approaches that day, that I didn't select flaps till the decision height for the ILS approach. I believe I simply just forgot and did not have a reminder such as 200ft/500ft on an IAP. On my future flights, I plan to use a decision height for all approaches weather it be visual or IAP that I must be fully configured or in the case of an instrument approach, configuring for landing so that this never happens again.

So hopefully we can all learn from this mistake. Enjoy the video!

#1659178
Firstly, what's an IFR circuit?

Few points:

1. When you go around you should be applying full power and then trimming to establishing in a safe, stable climb at a sensible attitude and airspeed. Don't even think about touching the flaps until you've done this. It'll climb away at any flap setting, so wait until the initial hurly-burly of the go-around is over and then retract in stages as required. Airliners will have SOPs for heights/speeds and different stages of flap, but then they also have a second pilot to fiddle with the flaps. You don't need this in a light aircraft - just do what is sensible when you have the headspace to do it. Try and get rid of full landing flap reasonably quickly, but there's no rush for the rest.

2. There are many ways to skin a cat when it comes to the use of flaps on instrument approaches in light aircraft. The POH is generally silent on the matter and you're not a commercial operation so you don't have your employer giving you an SOP. This means there are no definite right answers but plenty of sensible things to do and some not so sensible things to do. For what it's worth, I usually prefer less flap to more and what I do add, I add late. Underpinning this is the fact that whenever I'm flying an instrument approach it involves a runway that is easily long enough to land on with nil flap without any concern whatsoever. I'm also conscious of not wanting to spend forever on the glideslope at a relatively slow speed - this can be inconvenient for ATC and following traffic, and it also makes your life harder since you spend longer holding the needles and a slower aircraft is more sluggish on the controls. On a normal 3 degree glideslope I tend to fly the approach with nil flap at 100kts, On becoming visual (or at a few hundred feet if I'm visual early) I reduce power to slow to 90kts (flap limiting speed in the TB10) then add 10 degrees of flap. I then reduce power gradually to come over the threshold at about 80kts and if there's any degree of crosswind (or a reasonable headwind) then I will probably continue to land as I am. In fairly still conditions I'll probably add full flap as I come over the threshold.

I'm a big believer in speed. Being low is in itself a bit risky, so I prefer not to compound it by being excessively slow. If you lose the engine on the glideslope at a few hundred feet, an extra 30 knots of airspeed at the moment it happens makes a huge difference to your options. I've also been delayed enough by someone flying a five mile final at 70kts with full flap to know that it's annoying.

Someone will be along in a minute to chastise me for thinking for myself, not doing exactly what an instructor has told me, or deviating from the POH. Quite possibly all three. Depending on your POH, it may be that those magic words 'as required' give you a fair bit of latitude to think for yourself.

3. Visual approaches are different. You don't need a decision height for landing configuration or anything like that. Your configuration and timings may vary depending on conditions. I suggest you don't worry too much about setting yourself SOPs for everything and just enjoy your flying, but it's good that you're thinking....
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By Cessna57
#1659248
@defcribed
Was the advice just for the aircraft being flown in this video?

Not every aircraft will climb at any flap setting. The Cessna’s I’ve flown certainly don’t climb at all at full flap.

I’ve not even tried it in our PA28, maybe I should check what happens.
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By defcribed
#1659255
@Cessna57
Good point. It was really with reference to the aircraft being flown or similar, but I appreciate I didn't specifically call it out. Certainly things might be a bit different with the barn doors hanging off Cessna wings. I do recall being taught (when converting to Cessnas after my PPL) that care was needed to avoid an extreme nose-up and subsequent stall when applying full power on the go-around. The advice was to be ready to push hard to keep the desired attitude and get rid of the landing flap as soon as practical, but I don't recall being told that it wouldn't climb with landing flap.

I can't recall reading a POH or checklist which gave:

Flaps = retract
Power = full

as the go-around procedure rather than the reverse.
By Cessna57
#1659290
defcribed wrote:@Cessna57
Good point. It was really with reference to the aircraft being flown or similar, but I appreciate I didn't specifically call it out. Certainly things might be a bit different with the barn doors hanging off Cessna wings. I do recall being taught (when converting to Cessnas after my PPL) that care was needed to avoid an extreme nose-up and subsequent stall when applying full power on the go-around. The advice was to be ready to push hard to keep the desired attitude and get rid of the landing flap as soon as practical, but I don't recall being told that it wouldn't climb with landing flap.

I can't recall reading a POH or checklist which gave:

Flaps = retract
Power = full

as the go-around procedure rather than the reverse.


Interesting,...

A learning point for me maybe,

I was taught,..

Flaps = get rid of “drag flap” (reduce but don’t fully retract).
Power = full.

Sort out the rest of the flap when you have an established climb.


The aircraft I had my first lesson in (and lots of subsequent lessons) went in about 2 years ago, with a fatality, when someone found out a 150 really doesn’t climb at all with full flap.
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By GrahamB
#1659298
The first action on any IAP go-around should be full power, then pitch up to climb attitude, then clean up and retract flaps once a positive rate of climb is established. A missed approach go-around from a low height is one of the most potentially hazardous manoeuvres in instrument flying, and fannying around with flaps first is just increasing the threat.

If the aircraft you fly can't climb away with full flap you should consider flying the approach with less flap; as @defcribed notes above, most instrument runways are well long enough to cope with a flapless landing for the type of stuff we fly.

All IMO of course.
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By T67M
#1659322
Cessna57 wrote:
defcribed wrote:I can't recall reading a POH or checklist which gave:

Flaps = retract
Power = full

as the go-around procedure rather than the reverse.


Interesting,...

A learning point for me maybe,

I was taught,..

Flaps = get rid of “drag flap” (reduce but don’t fully retract).
Power = full.

Sort out the rest of the flap when you have an established climb.


I've done checkouts on a number of qualified pilots who do that - including one where the sequence was:

  • Flaps to take-off
  • wait 2 seconds
  • Power full
  • wait 2 seconds
  • Pitch for the horizon

Suffice to say that commencing that sequence of actions at roughly 100' above the runway had me taking control of the aircraft and a very thorough debrief afterwards!

The aircraft I had my first lesson in (and lots of subsequent lessons) went in about 2 years ago, with a fatality, when someone found out a 150 really doesn’t climb at all with full flap.


...and that's why the debrief was so thorough. I was taught, and now pass on to pilots I'm checking out (only a CRI, so I shouldn't be "teaching"):

  • Power and Pitch in that order but almost at the same time - you have two hands, so use them!
  • Flaps up in stages, with the first stage almost immediately
By Cessna57
#1659337
Ah,.. apologies for introducing confusion,

In my mind I’m thinking of touch and goes for some reason.

I’ve just flown a go around from 100’ on my sofa.
Definitely power then flap. Funny thing muscle memory isn’t it.

Touch and go, I’d get rid of the flap and THEN go.
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By GolfHotel
#1659422
Cessna57 wrote:Ah,.. apologies for introducing confusion,

In my mind I’m thinking of touch and goes for some reason.

I’ve just flown a go around from 100’ on my sofa.
Definitely power then flap. Funny thing muscle memory isn’t it.

Touch and go, I’d get rid of the flap and THEN go.


BUT what do you do when you forget to put the flaps down in the first place? Can you still do a go around?
#1659486
ConcordeBA wrote:During the IMC training, I was taught that at decision height you'd change to landing flap. When I learned to fly in the DA40; nothing was different other than my experience of IFR flying grew as I ventured with a better equipped aircraft.

I was always curious as to why airliners are configured at 1000ft as per company SOP but in GA, it was acceptable to configure in the most critical part of the approach (usually the last 200ft).


It isn't.

Any runway with an IAP will be long enough for a GA SEP to land on with approach flap.
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#1659549
cotterpot wrote:
Any runway with an IAP will be long enough for a GA SEP to land on with approach flap.


Or no flaps


Are you two making an assumption that the pilot is competent? That could be a factor worth considering. :D
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