sr-20 landing power settings

Can anyone offer their suggestions for power settings around the pattern when landing.

Thanks

Downwind---- 17-20 inches, 100 kts
Abeam---- 15 inches, flaps 50, aim for 90 kts and 500 fpm descent.
Base---- 12 inches 85 kts. Flaps 100 if I feel high.
Final---- 12 inches, 80 kts, flaps 100 (unless I feel low, then on short final)
Over the Fence----idle, 75 kts.

These numbers are at gross weight, with standard conditions. Note that UND teaches 80 to ground effect, with power at 12 inches until round-out. A search of COPA discussions will show that most members disagree with 80 kts on final.

Myself, I often come in a little high, and am pretty comfortable slipping on short final.

Hope things have worked out since click here on landing the SR20. If you’re flying the plane much, you’ll get access to tons more material by joining COPA, and it costs less than 1/2 hour in the plane. It’ll be the best money you’ll spend.

I’ve said this before, and I guess I’ll say it again - if you expect to be able to fly a circuit in an SR20 (or any single-engined aircraft) just by plugging in particular manifold pressure settings, you will be disappointed.

Airspeed (and to a lesser extent altitude) is the only number you should be looking at, and the controls (throttle, flaps, elevator, ailerons, rudder) are all just tools to adjust your airspeed and descent rate. Conditions on the day - wind speed and direction, aircraft weight, temperature, runway length and your perception of it (short and wide vs. long and skinny) all vary so much that no fixed set of MP numbers can be relied upon.

Basic numbers - airspeed < 120 on downwind (so you can drop 1/2 flaps) - < 100 on base (so you can drop full flaps) - 75-80 on final. On final, adjust your throttle (and maybe add some slip) so as to maintain your airspeed, and keep the runway threshhold in the same place on the windscreen. Over the threshhold reduce power to idle if not already there, raise the nose, look at the far end of the runway, and wait. That’s all there is too it, but it does require that you continuously adjust to the conditions.

Clyde

I basically agree with all of the above. I especially emphasize the concept of looking at the end of the runway as you are near touchdown. If you don’t do this you may flare too much and balloon or if not using 100% flaps you could strike the tail.
Everything I learned in my UND transition course in Duluth was great EXCEPT holding 80 knots over the fence with full flaps. That may be OK if you have a very long runway, like Duluth. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t making good landings until I tried the traditional 1.3 X stalling speed in the given configuration which in the SR20 comes to about 73 knots. A tiny bit of added power from idle may help the touchdown be smoother.

As a fairly low-time VFR pilot, I found myself asking similar questions after taking delivery of my SR20 in Aug of 03.

When I am by myself with full fuel and a cool day, I use 12" MP abeam the numbers and put in 50% flaps. I cross the threshold at around 75 KIAS.

I really like 50% flaps better than full flaps.

When I first took training from UND, I felt that 80 KIAS was really fast. Especially when compared with my experience in a 172. Now, I don’t mind the speed. In fact, you can really grease your landings as long as you don’t “push” the plane onto the runway before it is ready to land. If you are coming in hot, you must bleed off airspeed in ground effect. Otherwise, you are going so fast that the slightest bounce will send you into the air again (or worse). You can really “feel” the ground effect. Just gently apply continuous backpressure as the plane begins to settle. You will probably hear the stall warning horn right before touchdown.

That’s what works for me.

One other thing. Don’t pull the power all the way out when abeam the numbers (like in a 172). This causes the prop to start acting like a speed brake and you really lose altitude quickly.

Finally, I have learned more on this website than you can possibly believe. I cannot begin to tell you how valuable COPA is to me as a new owner.

While I generally agree with you Clyde, MP (or RPMs if you’d like) numbers are good “guesses” to get your required airspeed. It is not a good idea to tell a pilot, “fly 100 knots.” Instead, you say, “pull the power back to 15” and shoot for 100 knots." This may indeed not be the right number given all of the variables, but it will get you in the ballpark. Make small adjustments from that point, up or down as necessary to achieve the airspeed you desire.

But I would agree that airspeed and altitude are your important factors to land in any airplane. How you achieve these numbers is also important.

I always hate to get into these conversations, [;)] but two things to think about. Scott is right, the power settings and configuration get you in the neighborhood - but airspeed is the absolute key. Attitude, glideslope (or altitude) and centerline are very important as well.

#2) What if your airspeed indicator goes walkabout, how will you land? Knowing your power and configurations settings are the best (and probably only) proxy you will have.

If you get to the runway environment at anywhere between 75 and 100 KIAS, given an long enough ruway, you should be able to land safely. I recommend anyone who is concerned, try the exercise of flying down to runway, and trying NOT to land. Just keep the plane in ground effect and almost landing … nosewheel inches higher than the mains. About halfway down the runway or whatever is safe for the length of runway you’re on, go around. Do this at successively slower airspeeds until you can do it at a few feet at the edge of the stall horn/warning. Keep one hand on the power and the other on the yoke, and just don’t land. Bringing along a CFI who knows what your are doing would be a very good idea as well. This exercise will give you a feel for airspeed, sink rates, and sight picture in the ground effect environment.

I’m in violent agreement with almost everybody. ;-)I think it’s a very good idea to start with a fairly rote scheme of airspeed and pattern size and power and so forth as you learn to fly (and land) the aircraft. As has been pointed out, flying purely by the numbers (other than airspeed) is clunky at best, but it gives you an idea of what to look for and how the airplane feels.I feel very strongly (as those who have read my rants before are doubtlessly aware) that once you are comfortable in the aircraft, it is exceedingly important to get past the always-fly-the-pattern-the-same-way technique and learn to handle the airplane in a variety of situations. You will often find yourself unable to fly the “usual” pattern for a number of reasons (at towered airports the controller may ask you to do something; at uncontrolled airports the pattern may get crazy, etc.) If you’re going to be flying on instruments, doing circling approaches at MDA is usually a very different pattern than your typical VFR pattern. (Yes, some folks say that they don’t do such things; at some airports, such as WVI, it’s a fact of life due to terrain and prevailing winds.)

In reply to:


One other thing. Don’t pull the power all the way out when abeam the numbers (like in a 172). This causes the prop to start acting like a speed brake and you really lose altitude quickly.


Au contraire. Practice this one regularly. It’s not only a lot of fun but it may save your butt one day if you lose your engine. You probably won’t want to do it with non-pilot passengers on board because the deck angle is, well, somewhat intimidating at first. When conditions permit (and the passengers won’t get scared) this is my approach of choice. Power to idle and full flaps abeam the numbers, then try for the spot landing. It keeps the patterns tight and will bring you to a new level of mastery of the aircraft. (You ought to try it with an instructor first!)The one thing to watch for is that you will be higher and closer than other airplanes (and tower controllers) expect, so announcing “close-in left base” or something of the sort is a good idea.

In reply to:


I basically agree with all of the above. I especially emphasize the concept of looking at the end of the runway as you are near touchdown. If you don’t do this you may flare too much and balloon or if not using 100% flaps you could strike the tail.
Everything I learned in my UND transition course in Duluth was great EXCEPT holding 80 knots over the fence with full flaps. That may be OK if you have a very long runway, like Duluth. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t making good landings until I tried the traditional 1.3 X stalling speed in the given configuration which in the SR20 comes to about 73 knots. A tiny bit of added power from idle may help the touchdown be smoother.


Unless otherwise noted, the following speeds are based on a
maximum weight of 3000 lb. and may be used for any lesser weight.
However, to achieve the performance specified in Section 5 for takeoff
distance, the speed appropriate to the particular weight must be used.
   |
   |
Landing Approach:
• Normal Approach, Flaps Up ......................................85 KIAS
• Normal Approach, Flaps 50% .....................................80 KIAS
• Normal Approach, Flaps 100% ....................................75 KIAS
• Short Field, Flaps 100%.........................................75 KIAS

This is an issue much-discussed between COPA/CPPP, UND and Cirrus. Part of the problem is the POH:
Of course, the POH does specify 75, not 80 knots - I honestly don’t understand why 80 knots is being taught. But we have noted a different issue, too - people aren’t being taught to adjust their approach speed for lighter weights.
The problem is this sentence: “Unless otherwise noted, the following speeds are based on a maximum weight of 3000 lb. and may be used for any lesser weight”.

UND’s position (or rather, my understanding of it) has been that unless the POH specifically calls out other speeds, they’ll teach the max weight speeds, because the POH does state explicitly that such speeds are OK. So… in an empty SR20… per the POH, it’s still OK to approach at 75 knots. Physics, aerodynamics, and everything we’ve learned tell us that the approach speed should be less - to the tune of approximately one knot for each 100 lbs below MGW.

Cirrus - or rather, Alan Klapmeier’s position, or actually MY UNDERSTANDING of Alan’s position ([:)]), is that nothing about the POH prevents anyone from teaching an appropriate landing speed.

Meanwhile, Cirrus has agreed to amend the POH language in such a way that UND won’t feel legally exposed by teaching a more conventional landing speed. I expect such processes to take an indeterminate length of time…

Again, and to emphasize: All of this is my understanding of the situation - I could be wrong. I believe the same sort of situation applies in the SR22, although the speed is listed as “80-85 KIAS” in the version that’s currently available online.

FWIW…

  • Mike.

In reply to:


What if your airspeed indicator goes walkabout, how will you land? Knowing your power and configurations settings are the best (and probably only) proxy you will have.


Marty,

If you have at least SOME idea of what the wind is doing, your GPS groundspeed can be a fairly good proxy as well, in conjunction with power/attitude/configuration.

  • Mike.

In reply to:


#2) What if your airspeed indicator goes walkabout, how will you land? Knowing your power and configurations settings are the best (and probably only) proxy you will have.


Marty,

One of the things I like to do (don’t do it with every student, but I should), is to cover up the airspeed indicator in the pattern. Once you get a “feel for the plane” you know when you are too fast and when you are too slow. I know this takes experience, but as you mentioned, power is a very good approximation to get you those airspeeds.

In reply to:


Marty,
One of the things I like to do (don’t do it with every student, but I should), is to cover up the airspeed indicator in the pattern. Once you get a “feel for the plane” you know when you are too fast and when you are too slow. I know this takes experience, but as you mentioned, power is a very good approximation to get you those airspeeds.


I had an instructor do that to me going in and out of Danbury once on a day when I
was messing up landings right left and center. Worked really well, best landings of the
day. For me it got my head OUT of the cockpit and looking at the surroundings, judging
everything by angle and feel. It’s amazing how good your brain is at visualizing speed
and relating deck angle to descent angle, especially down at or below pattern altitude.
It also makes you really think about aim point because you’re watching the runway
all the way down.

Wayne,

Practice (with an instructor, if necessary) until you’re comfortable with full flaps and use them unless it’s REALLY gusty.

Most accidents happen on landing. The slower you’re going at touchdown, the less likely that problems will develop. If they do, they’ll be easier to deal with.

In reply to:


Most accidents happen on landing.


I was of the impression that almost all accidents happen on landing. [;)]