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Author Topic: Wicked pilot antics  (Read 8049 times)

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Offline Quartlow

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Wicked pilot antics
« on: May 22, 2006, 09:55:52 pm »
Over the course of my life I've come in to contact with a few wicked pilots. Some by chance others through family military connections.

Well on the nightly trip around the internet I cam across this guy
Bob Hoover
The man is insane. I came across this video which made me go look up some more info on him.

Now it's one thing to pour your self a glass of ice tea while flying, I mean come on everyone need scool refreshment.

But how about doing it while eacuting a barrel roll? And not spilling a drop!! and oh yeah, I forgot to mention doing this while GLIDING engins off.



I would love to to meet this guy, better yet I would love to go flying with him!!
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Offline Tom

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2006, 10:26:59 pm »
He reminds me of my Harry the crop duster.  What a thrill to be in a plane where the pilot is wearing it like a jacket.
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Offline pigman

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2006, 10:53:01 pm »
It would be a thrill to fly with him untill the first roll and then I would need a barf bag. :(
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Offline fstedy

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2006, 11:41:04 pm »
Bob Hoover puts on one heck of a show I've seen him many times. He was a test pilot for North American Rockwell then became the demo pilot for their Twin Commander line of business twin aircraft. If you ever get the chance to see him you'll never forget what precision flying is all about. Yesterday I did a short flight in an SNJ WWII trainer we did a couple of barrel rolls and several loops it was a blast.
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Offline asy

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2006, 06:50:12 am »
wowwee!!!

THAT looks like fun... to watch!

I'd be right next to piggie with competing barf bags.

asy :D
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Offline highpockets

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2006, 07:08:59 am »
I don't know how it is now but back in the 70's some of the pilots in England (East Anglia Airlines) flew a 737 like a P-51. 
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Offline Qweaver

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2006, 08:33:36 am »
One trick that our jump pilots would often do to new jumpers was to put the plane into a 0 gravity dive for a few seconds causing everyone to float up off the floor.  It's funny seeing the look on the face of the unsuspecting newbe.  BTW, the 1st clue that this may be going to happen is that all the jumpers "in the know" will leave their seat belts fastened.  But this was before the days of required seat belts for jumpers, back in the 60s.

One hot day when we were climbing in a 182 with the door open to stay cool and with a full load of experienced jumpers,  the pilot pulled the 0 g trick and as we floated up off the floor, my pal Rusty just reached out and pushed the guy setting beside the open door right out of the plane.  Talk about a surprised jumper.  We were only about 4000 ft up and a couple miles from the DZ so this guy landed way out.  I don't remember who it was that got shoved out,  but he was a good friend of Rusty's and it was all taken in good humor, at least after he had cooled down some.

It was a dangerous move actually.  He could have easily hit the tail, but all ended well.  We did some crazy stuff back then.  Sometimes I wonder how we lived thru it.
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Offline Quartlow

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2006, 08:48:37 am »
While I would love to go flying with MR Hoover theres no way I'm jumping out of a perfectly good flying aircraft  :D
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Offline Qweaver

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2006, 09:25:24 am »
Landing an aircraft is the most dangerous part of flying, and if you jump out you avoid this danger.  Makes sense to me. :D :D

Quinton
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Offline Murf

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2006, 02:29:32 pm »
 ;D

As for Pigman & Asy, I've had people tell me that before too, but when it comes down to the moment of truth ya' just cant barf at +4 G's, no matter how hard you try......  :D  :D

Qweaver, I was helping out at the DZ this weekend, I had a student tell me that he never wanted to jump out of a plane till he flew with me.......  ::)

I think it was a compliment ........  ::)

I'm with Quart, unless there's a lot of flames, some essential parts missing, or a guy with an awfully large gun, I'm not getting out!!

Even when I had a static line wrapped around the horiz. stab. I rode'r on home!!!   :o
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Offline woodbowl

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2006, 08:02:06 pm »

Even when I had a static line wrapped around the horiz. stab. I rode'r on home!!!   

Murf, When did you get your static line wraped around the horizontal stablizer?  I want to hear that story.  ;)

Quartlow, I used to see Bob Hoover pretty regular at the air shows. When I was in my 20's, I worked for "Weedhopper". It was one of the first ultralight MFg. They sent me and another fellow on the road with a motor home and a Weedhopper to fly in airshows all over the country. Every now and then, we would cross paths with Bob. We all wound up at Oklahoma city one time and I asked him, .....would you like to fly the Weedhopper around the patch? He didn't hesitate a bit. He had already done his Aero Comander routine and was looking our bird over. He had never flown an ultralight before and we knew if we could pull this off, the pictures we took of it would hit the press and boost buisness, and BOY DID IT EVER! A Weedhopper doesn't have rudder peddles, just aileron & rudder.  ::) A hot pilot like Bob who is used to cross controlling every way imaginable, was studying hard at the foot rest that was an opposite (push left/go right - push right/go left) and a nose wheel brake. He took off on the grass between the runways, circled around and flew right by the crowd. We took pictures like crazy. He greased in a landing after one round, got out and said THAT WAS GREAT! About 8 years ago I saw him for the first time in 20 years at the Lakeland show. I asked him if he remembered flying the Weedhopper. He said ..... YEA! ...... and I won't ever do it again!  :D  I knew it was a hairy ride, but he sure did make it look easy.

I've got some pictures of us somewhere around here. I'll see if I can dig them out.
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Offline pigman

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2006, 10:22:04 pm »
;D

As for Pigman & Asy, I've had people tell me that before too, but when it comes down to the moment of truth ya' just cant barf at +4 G's, no matter how hard you try......  :D  :D

The barf comes when the plane pulls out of the +4 G's and there is 0 G's. ::)
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Offline woodbowl

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2006, 12:03:36 am »
Here is a picture of Bob Hoover just before take off. His first flight in an ultralight was in our Weedhopper at Oklahoma City Airshow 1979.






Take off!




After he landed we talked about his P-51, Shrike Commander and some other ultralight aircraft. This picture is Bob and me in front of the Weedhopper. I was about 23 I think. Lean and green.  :D


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Offline asy

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2006, 07:11:08 am »
As for Pigman & Asy, I've had people tell me that before too, but when it comes down to the moment of truth ya' just cant barf at +4 G's, no matter how hard you try......  :D  :D

Not entirely sure I want to test this theory!!!

Woody, great shots, thanks for sharing the story!

asy :D
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Offline Murf

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2006, 09:49:46 am »
WB, it wasn't my static line, I don't fall out of planes!  :D

I was flying for the jump school at my field, years before it was 'my' field, and one of regular hangar rats, a kid who lived nearby, and made his pocket money packing parachutes for others, turned 18 and wanted to make his first jump, a tandem with one of the old hands. Well, two of the other regulars wanted to film it, for posterity, and so they were going to do a 4-way jump, 2 very experienced indivdual jumpers and the tandem all at the same time. It was in a Cessna 206 with the cargo door off, one jumper got out on the strut, and the other got out and held the door frame while trailing in the breeze, then the tandem got in the door to jump.

All went well, or so I thought, until I tried to correct for the weight shift of 4 people getting off the plane at once. I had no elevator response at all, which wasn't such a big deal in flight, take-off might have been a little dicey though.

I did a couple of precautionaries and the jump master and another pilot on the ground confirmed the situation, the clip at the end of the static line had jambed in the gap on the stabilizer, probably because of the vortex of the guy hanging from the door frame. The jump master (and plane owner) instructed me not to take the chance on landing, to climb back to a safe altitude, declare my emergency, run it almost dry, point it out over the lake (which is only about 4 miles from the field), trim it down slightly and make use of the bail chute I was wearing.

I told him I felt anything more than about 4' up was not a safe altitude to get out at.  :D

I landed using throttle and flaps only, and found it went quite well, probably much better than pulling that pup tent out of the bag would have gone.  :D  :D
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Offline Quartlow

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2006, 06:17:17 pm »
WB thanks for digging out those pics,

Murf, sounds like you get a lot of Murphy's law
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Offline woodbowl

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2006, 08:00:48 pm »
WB, it wasn't my static line, I don't fall out of planes!

I had no elevator response at all....

...... the clip at the end of the static line had jambed in the gap on the stabilizer...

I landed using throttle and flaps only, and found it went quite well...


Murf, to begin with it sounded like you jumped out of the plane, got your static line caught in the elevator, and rode it down untill the pilot landed while dangling from the tail.  8)

I was thinking wahhh-hoo...  what a ride.  8)  8) I haven't been that excited since I landed my hang glider in a glacier lake in Washington state.  ::)  ::)

Landing with throttle and flaps..... man O man  ....... so, how long was your final approach?  ;D  ;D

Here is the other pic that wouldn't load last night. This is Bob in his P-51 Mustang. I didn't get a ride though.  :'(




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Offline Murf

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2006, 09:40:10 am »
WB, not a chance, like I said, unless the guy behind me has a big gun, I'm not getting out!

Let's just say I certainly extended the down-wind leg by more than just a smidge.  :D

It's actually surprising how well you can maintain your GS with just throttle and flaps.

QL, you ain't just whistlin' Dixie there .....  :D

A similar incident happened in Arizona few years back, but the pilot was in that case luckier in that he still had a jumper onboard. The jumper worked their way down the line, freed the jamb, and then jumped clear.

I had thought of trimming it flat and level and trying to yank it clear myself, but decided against it since it wouldn't have stayed flat & level for long with my 225 popunds strolling about back there.   ;)
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Offline woodbowl

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2006, 10:20:08 am »


It's actually surprising how well you can maintain your GS with just throttle and flaps.


That is something every pilot should practice anyway. Landing a little hot is a whole lot better than the alternative.

What kills me is when you read about an engine failure at 2000' while over the runway and they crash on the runway! I thought you were supposed to continue to fly the plane engine or not.  ;D

We need to chop the power on a regular basis to get a feel for the glide ratio and sloppy controls instead of waiting till it happens.

In an ultralight with a 2 cycle motor, it's not IF it's gona' happen, but  WHEN. I can't chop the power all the way anymore because the cylinders will cool faster than the piston and shrink at a different rate and result in a cold seizer. Don't ask me how I know this.  ::)
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Offline Murf

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2006, 10:36:10 am »
Unfortunately there's lots of things that should be pacticed but aren't, not just dead stick control.

There was a (ultra-light) student doing practice circuits all last weekend, trying to get in as many hours as he could before his test. He was flying his own (brand new) Challenger. I was talking to him at lunch in the lounge and quizzing him on things he should know but I guessed he might not.

I was amazed at how little he knew and was going to do his test on Monday!!!

When I asked him about what made it 'fly' or 'no fly' weather, he replied "the weather report" and was serious!! Other than winds over 20 kts. he no clue what to look for or be concerened about!

When asked about calculating a route from where we were, to another popular airport about 50 miles away up in the lake country, his answer was "I just enter it in my GPS and push 'go to' and follow it's instructions.".

Sounds like you need one of those water-cooled Rotax's by the sounds of it too Olen.  :D
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Offline woodbowl

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2006, 11:35:33 pm »
I would love to have a Rotax 582, but will have to stick with this 503 for now. The one that seized was a Cuyuna 430. Actually, it didn't lock up. It  scored the cylinder wall while gliding in on final. I taxied on in and tied up for the day. Didn't even know it untill I took off the next day. Sure is a gut pull of a feeling to be climbing out over the trees and drop about 600 RPM. :-\
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Offline UNCLEBUCK

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2006, 12:02:53 am »
Olen I am starting to think you have lived a good one and hope to meet you someday  ;D
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Offline KiwiCharlie

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2006, 06:23:15 pm »
When I was a boy, growing up on the farm, I used to go flying with the local topdressing pilots.  If early one morning I heard a Fletcher (very distictive engine noise!) coming in to one of the local strips, I would beg and plead for the day off school, and race (walk/run/bycicle) to the airstrip to hang out for as long as they were there, or the weather held good.  I knew all the pilots and they always took me up for many hours while working.  They flew low, steep climbs and drops, and even steeper turns.  Very exilarating.  I look back on those days with very fond memories.
Heres a couple of links with some pics.
http://www.aerowork.co.nz/history.htm
http://www.kiwiaircraftimages.com/fu24.html
Oh yes - check this out.  One of the other topdressing planes used here.  The Airtruk!  What a plane.  It was so agile, it was amazing.  Not the most graceful design though!
http://www.airliners.net/search/photo.search?aircraftsearch=Transavia%20PL-12%20Airtruk&distinct_entry=true
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Offline VA-Sawyer

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2006, 12:43:30 am »
I met Mr. Hoover in Great Falls, MT. back in '80 or '81.  I had flown up from Billings to attend the airshow. Ended up staying in the same hotel as he did. A most interesting person to talk to. I would be willing to give up certain 'body parts' for a flight with him. He is a class act all the way. Back in the early 90's the FAA pulled his medical certificate for a while. Turned out to be a big political SNAFU. He didn't really have any medical problem, just had someone in the FAA mad at him. As I recall, it took over a year for him to get it back so he could do his shows here in the US again.

I used to teach aerobatics. Had a 150Hp C-150 Aerobat go stable in a spin once. It didn't want to recover...told the student to get out and hit the silk. (Note: Parachutes are required for aerobatic training and we had them on). I could tell by the look on his face that he would never remember to pull the ripcord.  He wasn't even able to pull his Emergency Door Release cable. I considered bailing anyways, but just couldn't bring myself to leave him to a certain death.  I still remember those seconds like they happened yesterday.  I tried rocking the controls from pro-spin to anti-spin and with a touch of throttle at the right moment was able to get the nose down far enough to recover from the spin. We were well below the trees by the time I was able to pull out of the resulting steep dive.  It took all the mental control I had to limit my pull on the control wheel to keep from getting a secondary stall.  Flew that plane straight back to the airport and grounded it. I checked it over nose to tail and tip to tip. Checked all the angles of control travel, and the static angles. Everything was correct. Boss man took it back up and checked it out in person. No problems with spin recovery, so it was returned to service.
I had done hundreds of spins in that exact plane with never any delay in spin recovery. To this day, I can't tell you why it didn't want to recover from that spin.   I've done spins since then, but not in that plane. Something about ' bit once...twice shy...'
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Offline UNCLEBUCK

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2006, 01:19:29 am »
VA-Sawyer I had the exact same thing happen to me for my atp license . c-150 aerobat , just a day from the check ride and spins were required back then to pass the check ride . I spun anything  that was approved but this time it wouldnt come out . Didnt have any chutes as none were needed . Seemed like a eternity and I was alone . That was the last day I ever been off the ground . The only thing I could possibly think of was one fuel had a 1/4 tank more juice .  I had to breath into a paper bag to slow my breathing down once I came out of it .  My old flight instructor use to train me for things that were never expected like flying and making landings with only allowing me to use throttle ,rudder and the trim tab and never being allowed to touch the yoke . 

In the end I wasnt having fun anymore but I think I could have really enjoyed one of those weedhoppers like Olen fly's .

I never have been to airshow but someday I hope to find the time somehow . I have seen Bob Hoover pictures when I was a kid flying his Rockwell Commander . I met Rockwell but never met the famous Bob Hoover .  I still can pop in the movie of charles lindbergh with jimmy stewart or those amazing young men in their flying machines and sit and watch it and get inspired but model airplanes is as far as I will ever take it . I hope  ???
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Offline VA-Sawyer

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2006, 01:37:25 am »
Did it have the Lycoming 150Hp STC installed ? If so then you are the third person I know of to have such an experience.  I met another fellow with a similar story at an Instructors Refresher in Ohio about 5 years after I had my 'little experience'.
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Offline UNCLEBUCK

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2006, 02:04:53 am »
Yep , lycoming 150 in it with the trike gear and pants.  Also I use to spin a 150hp texas taildragger c-150 and never had any problems.   
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Offline Norm

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2006, 08:56:57 am »
Bob Hoover is quite the legend, I remember the FAA bs and was not impressed with it. One of the major things that has turned me off to flying is all the regs and red tape to fly. The last straw was after the terrorist attacks, insurance, red tape and new rules just got worse. I keep threatening to turn the bottom field into a strip and thumb my nose to em.

UB my flight instructor would make me do the same practice for landing. No yoke controls only the power, trim and rudders right down the runway 10' off.

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2006, 09:37:02 am »
I used to watch helicopter pilots practice auto rotations, the instructor would roll the throttle off and the machine came in under no power to about 20' off the field then up to try it again. I swear these guys must do them in their sleep.
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Offline VA-Sawyer

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2006, 01:08:49 pm »
Norm & UB,
I made my students do the 'hands off the yoke' thing too, but I made them do it all the way to touchdown.  There is a nose pich change that happens as they fly into ground effect. Most planes want to pitch down, but I've found a few that want to pitch up during the final few feet.  I also made my Insrument students do ILS approches to touchdown under the hood.  Both maneuvers did wonders for the self confidence once they were accomplished correctly.
Norm, I know what you mean about the FAA and regs. It got really bad here after 9/11.  I finally parked the plane in June of '02.  Things are finally getting better around here and I'm starting to get the bug again to fly.  Maybe I'll work on the old bird this summer and get it airworthy again.
VA-Sawyer

Offline woodbowl

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2006, 10:58:25 pm »
Olen I am starting to think you have lived a good one and hope to meet you someday  ;D

UB, I'm still looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  :D I've had a lot of unusual fun but the adrenalin ran low when I knuckled down and had to work for a living.  ::)   I've got my nose to the grind rock with no fun in site. I need an adrenalin fix right now to snap me out of the rut. I hope to build another ultralight soon and be able to take off and land here at home.

Here's what's been going on in our neck of the woods lately.

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Offline Murf

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2006, 10:20:28 am »
VA-Sawyer, make that the fourth person.

I had exactly the same situation, and just like UB I think it was the lack of balanced fuel tanks that either caused or greatly contributed to it.

In my case, like yours, I was just high enough to recover, except I was out over the big lake next to us when I did it. I certainly was glad there wasn't any tall sailboats out there that day!!  :D  :o
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Offline VA-Sawyer

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Re: Wicked pilot antics
« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2006, 09:49:58 pm »
     Why do you guys have unbalanced fuel loads in a C-150 while doing aerobatics ?  The fuel selector is either ON or OFF.  If the ball is kept in the center during climbout then any unbalance of fuel will be self correcting.  It was just part of the checklist prior to 'extreem banking and yanking' to double check the engine and fuel guages. (Bossman always made us watch the oil pressure during 0 or negative gees, as we were allowed only 30 seconds of such fun after the pressure fell off.)
     I can remember a few times (usally when the spin would exceed 12 turns ) that the fuel pickups would be unported long enough for the engine to suffer fuel starvation. If you kept the spin going after that, you could get the prop to stop. It would cause a pretty rough shudder in the engine mounts as it came to a halt. It is kinda weird sitting in a spinning plane and the only thing you hear is the air buffeting over the wings and tail, and the sound of the stall warning honking at you. It is almost hypnotic. Recovery is no problem, as the prop starts windmilling again as the airspeed goes over 115-120 during the pullout.   Yep, those were fun times.  Too bad the insurance companies had to kill'em.
VA-Sawyer