This topic has 6 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 6 months ago by Richard E Russell.
June 8, 2017 at 9:13 pm #424
My Dad owns an OTW that is recently restored. It was restored because a previous partner severely ground looped it and tore off the landing gear. It took years to rebuild. I flew it about 10 hours last summer and have not landed it on pavement as of yet. I have over 1,000 hours of tail wheel time, and over 20,000 hours of total flight experience. CFII, MEI, ATP etc.. I am humble with this airplane and don’t want to bend it. They paved our local grass runway last summer and now it’s paved. The runway is much shorter and narrower, and paved.
What is a reasonable crosswind limitation for this aircraft? This OTW has the traditional brakes that seem to work fine once they get some use before a storage session. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.June 10, 2017 at 12:52 pm #425Jim JonesParticipant
Congrats to your dad for restoring and preserving a great piece of American aviation history! I’m glad that your OTW is alive and well. With your experience you shouldn’t have any problems with the OTW on pavement. If you can fly a Champ, you can fly the OTW. It’s an elegant lady!
In lieu of a published crosswind component, it comes down to personal limitations. The OTW has lots of rudder. I’ve landed with a 12kt. component and still had a bit of control remaining. The large rudder stays effective deep into the rollout. However, the biggest problem I find is not the landing so much as it is the taxi ability. That big rudder and vertical fin now fight you on any turn across the prevailing wind.
If I had one comment about crosswind landings in the OTW, it is the cross control technique will feel exaggerated. The ailerons and rudder are very effective.
Those brakes are just a suggestion! I generally don’t use them above walking speed.
I hope this helps. I’ll be anxious to read any other input from other OTW experienced flyers.June 10, 2017 at 1:42 pm #427
Thank you so much! Any information is appreciated. I have never bent an airplane, and I hope that I never do. This airplane was previously owned by the now deceased Tom Doherty for 50 years who was my first flight instructor. Tom was in WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam. He flew P-51s out of St. Paul, MN for 1,000s of hours, and he once told me that he went to helicopter school just a couple of classes separated from Charles Lindgergh. I was honored to give Tom a bi-annual when he was very advanced in age, and he casually mentioned that “Charles Lindbergh was a pretty good guy”. My jaw just about dropped open. I signed Tom off on his bi-annual. I now have a CFI policy whereby if you went to Army Air Corps school with Charles Lindbergh, I have to pass you on your bi-annual.
I flew the number 80 Meyers OTW two evenings ago on pavement for the first time. Five takeoffs and landing with no issues. I am very humble with this airplane, and I consider myself a student pilot in it. I will gradually work up to a greater crosswind from light and variable. I am very cognizant of the fact that I need to maintain straight tracking, as I get the feeling that if it gets too far gone, it will keep going.
When I land it, it seems a little difficult to achieve a three point landing. Not saying that there is necessarily an advantage in doing so. I have been landing with the tail a little low, maintaining tracking, and gradually lower the tail wheel to the ground. Is this a reasonable approach, or should I be in pursuit of a full stall landing?
Any additional input is greatly appreciated from any person. As I said, I am very humble with this airplane. My 81 year old dad checked me out in this airplane, but I have really flown it very little. At this point I am probably the most qualified to fly it at the Airport, and I have few people to turn to for instruction. I will keep practicing. It is a great privilege to fly this airplane and to share it with others. Thank you for sharing.June 19, 2017 at 10:59 pm #428Jim JonesParticipant
Donald, it’s an honor to know someone that knew someone that knew Charles Lindbergh! That’s quite a story.
As far as three pointing the airplane, I try to do that on the grass. I’ve tried on hard surface but it’s not pretty. My now deceased friend, Captain Chuck Downey, who flew Helldivers in WWII off the USS Ticonderoga, three pointed no matter where he landed. It was always pretty! He said, “always three point it. Why prolong the agony!” Just get it close to the ground and keep pulling that stick back. It will feel like you are going to point the nose straight up. To practice, take her to altitude and do power off stalls. Hold that stick all the way back and she will just mush straight ahead all the way to the ground.
Like you, I always try for a tail low wheel landing on the hard stuff. Captain called that the “backside of the mains.” To me, a tail low wheel landing is perfectly acceptable. I hope this helps. Jim.September 22, 2017 at 11:53 am #1048
Thank you for the guidance in June. At this point, I have given dozens of rides, and I am gaining some level of competency concerning crosswind landings. I still don’t know an absolute personal crosswind limitation, but that is probably a good thing. I continue to fly it on days with a safety margin.
I have had occasions where it needed a little help with differential braking to keep it straight. As I am sure you are aware, the brake design is very different than a modern style. The feel is very different, and our right brake is very grabby on initial flights on a given day. Once it gets worked in a little bit, it settles down.
Do you have an opinion concerning how often the brakes should be inspected, or perhaps when new bands should be installed? Are there any tips concerning making them function as well as possible? I think I understand all of it’s flight characteristics, but the brakes are unusual for me. In reference to your earlier comment, I have run into some days where it was challenging to taxi in a crosswind. I had a very happy kid in the airplane that greatly appreciated the ride.
If you see my first thread, you will notice that this airplane was damaged previously by a former partner. A local woodworker helped my Dad manufacture ribs for the left wing. They did a beautiful job making jigs, and recreating ribs. The FAA was impressed. I had the pleasure of giving that woodworker, who is now 92, a ride in the Meyers last night. He had a great time.
Thank you for your help as I progress in this airplane. It has brought great joy to many riders. Planes are meant to be flown.October 14, 2017 at 11:39 am #1090Richard E RussellParticipant
JJ is right on point – I have #93 and fly off grass mostly but I’ve also flown off pavement and there are several opinions I prefer wheel landings, e specially on hard surfaces but, like JJ, I’ve embarrassed myself occasionally. Taxiing is an issue when winds are high; I learned that my first flight in high winds in our southwest deserts. I should have known winds are almost always high in the Spring but managed to get #93 from Sandy Valley NV to Newton KS in just (?) three days? Welcome to our group.
Dick RussellNovember 17, 2017 at 3:28 am #1163Richard E RussellParticipant
All: Regarding OTW landings, grass, hard surface runways and crosswinds – FAA certification of Part 23 (OTW were certified under CAR 4, the previous certification standard before FAR Part 23) is 15 mph ‘demonstrated cross wind’. Factory test pilots are required to certify all Part 23 airplanes to 15 mph crosswinds, therefore, it then depends upon a particular pilots skill what cross winds you feel comfortable to handle. * When first learning the flight characteristics of the OTW, or any light plane, especially tail wheel airplanes, ‘feel’ the airplane out and don’t exceed what one’s limitations are, even if less than 15. When you gain more experience and become more comfortable with the OTW, you will find you may be able to control the OTW beyond 15 mph crosswind; however, don’t be a test pilot and ball up a perfectly good OTW-!
fair skies and following winds – continue to fly safe and remember, what goes up WILL come down-!
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