Test Flight #3

Sanjay Dhall <sdhall@...>

Sunday June 26, 2011 10am
KYIP ~70f winds 110@4 clear
The goal of this flight was to stay very near the airport, build confidence
in engine by a prolonged flight, calibrate airspeed indicator against gps,
test my recent transponder antenna attachment fix, study slower speeds,
approach pitch-buck speed, practice landings and go-arounds.
Took off from 23L - needed a lot of right rudder to keep centerline - did
not do too good at that - plane wandered left a bit, then the nose tucked
down, I added aft stick to get it off the ground. I seemed to have gained a
false familiarity with the plane's behavior, where I was anticipating the
expected behavior but expected it sooner. So I was more aggressive in
wanting the plane off the ground. Hasty, somewhat less graceful takeoff, but
airspeed was not an issue.
As it climbed I watched the gages more carefully now, tach showed 2450, and
saw the climb rate go from 700 to about 1200 and 120 mph on airspeed
indicator. Engine sounds a little rougher ( just my imagination?)
Today I was also watching gps speeds and being generally aware of wind
direction upwind and downwind. As I turned right slowly leveling out and
started to setup 2-3mile radius circles around the airport at about 2500
msl, airspeed indicated little over 170 but adjusted for wind direction and
corellated to gps I estimated an average gps speed of 160. I also saw the
tach cross the 2750 mark to about 2800. CHT showed just under 400, oil temp
was still rising to settle at about 175 and oil pressure was steady at 40. I
noticed that with full power it takes a lot of fwd stick pressure to level
the plane, it wants to keep climbing. Cut power to a steady 2400. CHT
settled at about 360. Circled. watched speeds, watched response. enjoyed the
view. Asked tower for my alt - they reported 2500 when my own alt was
showing 2600, good enough, the transponder is now back online. Not far I saw
the Detroit Metro airport on the east, Ann Arbor downtown on the west. farms
and lakes elsewhere. Slowed engine down to about 2200. After several more
circuits, I climbed to 2700 feet, and then slowly reduced power close to
idle, then tried to maintain alt. Now I was losing speed gently and
descending. I was around 85 on airpseed indicator when I began to feel a
mild hint of pitch-buck, but not as marked as it had been in other Q flights
where I was a passenger (perhaps the pitch buck will be more marked with
more weight and more aft CG location). My stick was all the way aft. but no
further reduction in speed - just descending. At the end of my test I had
descended about 600 feet. Tower called to alert me that I was approaching
the 2000 feet floor they wanted me to inform them about if I was going to
breach. So I added power and climbed back up to 2700. No trouble recovering
from the pitch buck state. Based on gps speed changes in keeping as level as
possible through the circle, and comparing indicated airspeed I concluded
that my airspeed indicator shows about 10-12 mph higher than actual (gps
based) speed. Based on this my pitch-buck speed is about 75 actual. Does
this sound right? Indicated is about 85 on my airspeed indicator. Will have
to test these numbers again at higher alt.
Requested flying left hand circles for a while. Transitioned to the left
traffic via a a very tight bank. That was a rush!
After several more left circles came in for a landing with a long stable
approach. And just when I thought I was about to make a smooth landing, I
felt a bounce. Added power to go around. Tower asked me to make a tight
approach. I requested the tower to let the other traffic land first, so my
approach was not rushed. Tower informed me not to wait for the other
traffic, since I probably would be able to go around the pattern 4 times
before the other traffic was going to land. Looking around I located the
other traffic which was a replica of 1911 Ely Curtiss. What a sight.
On my second landing the approach was shorter, but stable. The canard/wings
rocked back and forth. Landed about 2500 feet down the runway, but no
bounce. 7500 foot runway did come in handy! Taxied back - refueled. Then saw
the Curtiss on the taxi way.
Total cumulative hobbs time 2.1 hrs - 3 flights
Took the Q out of hangar again Monday morning, but listened to weather and
talked myself out of flying, due to near crosswinds of 10 gust to 20. Soon I
will need to deal with these conditions but not today.

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