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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:15 am
by yankeflyer
red and black lazair

I received the video from the person who was trying to sell it last winter on eBay. It was in one of the suburbs of Vancouver British Columbia.

Mine plays in Windows media player and when I go to properties it just says open with
it doesn`t
refer to the file type. However I recently performed a search for all AVI files and collected them into one folder -this short video came up in the search. Windows is my default media player and when I click on the link it only plays the audio no picture. But it plays fine when played from the file from my computer and will play in RealPlayer.

I was going through the videos the other day after reading about the most recent lazair crash, I remembered this short hop and how the plane started out down the runway but after cutting power the plane drifted right and over to the edge of the tall grass runway.

In my experience short hops are risky because of the loss of control after you've reduced power. Insufficient speed and or air going over the wings leave pilot with little or no ability to correct the drift.

The last bit of advice Jim Scott Jr gave me before I made a few high-speed taxi runs in my new super cadet, if I find myself in the air do not chop the power, go to full power and fly to pattern altitude and do a proper landing.

And that is exactly what happened, for what ever reason, most likely a sudden gust of wind or shift in wind direction I found myself 20 feet the the air, in the blink of an eye.

Adrenaline rushing through me like the full power I had just gave to the engine -- a high pucker factor moment or two and I was in the pattern turning downwind -- base -- final and landing a little faster than necessary.

Shut down the engine and wait for my knees to quit knocking. It took awhile to walk it off but within the hour I was back on the runway making the greatest memories.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 3:08 pm
by Shannon
When I was learning to handle my Lazair I never let it get more than a foot or two off the ground when hopping. As it was explained to me the whole point of "hopping" is to learn how to handle the plane at "actual" landing roll out speed. I understood that "hopping" was actually "landing practice" not "flying practice". You shouldn't be in the seat if you can't fly... right ?

Landing roll-out is often the most difficult phase of flight for many when learning(especially in a Series III). To ensure you don't bust up your plane it's a good idea to do "ground work" which for me included the "hop". Building up ground skills in stages up to the point of "hop" you will begin to understand how differential power, rudder deflection, and brake application are used in unision. You practice using these things until you become confident and bored. It took me 2-3 hours of "ground work" to feel totally in control and make the plane track where I wanted. You see I couldn't afford mistakes because I was going to make my first flight-landing from a completely fenced 100 x 900' strip with rough sides. No margin for error whatsoever. Obviously if you have the luxury of a wide open area maybe you can do things differently.

If you practice "hopping" high like in the video you could be increasing the chance for a problem. You are not going to get much out of it when you are scaring the crap out of yourself either. Note how power was chopped and the plane plunked in. Had this been a Series III rather than a modified wide gear II the video could have turned out just a bit different.

I think it's a good idea to practice and make first flight(s) in absolute calm conditions. This way you do not complicate the situation with crosswinds and all that stuff. Learning how to handle wind is something you build upon once you are comfortable flying the plane in calm conditions. I'll also add that it really helps if your first actual flight is planned. If you are mentally prepared and commited to take it around the patch results should be good. I was also advised to "fly around" for a while on my first flight to get the feel for the plane. I think I flew around for a solid hour on my first flight. No way I was going to turn right around and shoot a landing... I was having way too much fun. When I did decide to land I made one practice pass to get the speeds and sight picture down. Absolutely no problem and never once during the whole process did I go off into the rough or on the nose.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:32 pm
by flyalaz
Shannon @ Sep 5 2006, 03:08 PM wrote: Had this been a Series III rather than a modified wide gear II the video could have turned out just a bit different.

What are the handling differences Shannon? My rebuild is a series 2 that I am putting wide gear on, and will be changing any other dimensions that will make it a true series 3 taildragger. I think I'll keep a nose wheel on for at least a little while. Brakes are something I've never had- unless you count my hands on the wheels!

I remember three years ago when I was asking you all these same questions about how to fly the plane, and the techniques you are outlining here worked perfectly for me. Only once did I end up at twenty feet, but two things worked for me: when it happened, I had already been working up the speed, then "streaking" down the runway for an hour or so, and had the controls pretty much figured out, and I did not chop the throttle abruptly. I had enough runway left to quickly line myself up again, then I reduced the juice and flew it down. I did, however, heat my gloved hands up stopping the plane at the end of the strip, turning before I introduced the plane to the ditch.


PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:14 pm
by Shannon
My main point was that the Series III without a nosewheel will go over on its back. The plane isn't quite a forgiving as the II as it is also prone to ground loop if mishandled. Another thing to think about is that Series III stalls a bit faster and doesn't float quite as good as light II. If you chop the power on a III from height it can smack in and bounce back up a few feet. Things can get squirrelly when that happens. Brakes are a great thing to have. On the III you want to make sure they are adjusted evenly. Nothing will slew a III around faster than badly out of adjustment brakes. I'd say if you approach flying the III like you did your II things will be fine. You just want to be aware that it's a slightly different animal that takes a bit to master.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:20 pm
by flyalaz
Thanks Shannon,

I am still a long way away from getting it together, but the advice is always well taken.
What has stood out in my mind is when we had a small Lazair fly-in two years ago in Alexandria Ontario, how Bill Reed's series 3 would just wobble in the wind, where I had to keep going back and lift my wing back up off the ground!
We were getting ready for a little formation flight, (please people, don't get the idea that I leave my plane untied or untended), and it was funny to see how little wind it really took to upset the series 2.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:21 am
by JPXman
hey the lazair in that movie is the one that Gerald Nelson has up for sale in grand prairie Alberta. he took the covering off and then lost his shop. I think he's buying richard erfurts electric start JPX lazair (drool). So this one is up for sale.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:10 am
by Shannon
This guy is doing pretty good. This would be in line with my idea of an acceptable training "Hop". He's a bit timid on the power but doing good to not let the plane get inadvertently airborne and high. Bottom line with this is to build up to the "Hop" in stages rather than trying to do it right from jump street.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:17 am
by peter
Thanks Shannon....I just purchased IGGI and haven't had time to clean the carbs. The motors haven't been run for over two years, and although they came up to over 6000 on the tiny tacks I didn't want to press my luck,but I was sure tempted to do a circuit. All my Lazair time has been in a ser.2 Snoopy Bird with Crysler Power Bees, so I was just doing some runs on the grass to get used to the brakes and wide gear and way more power. This is a good strait, tight plane and the engines seem strong. I want to change to cdi and maybe the comp. releases to reassure myself.... no logs of course.....anyway, we've run out of decent weather here in midwestern Ontario so I'm done playing with it for a while. I got a good set of skis with it, so I'm hoping to try the later....Thanks Peter

PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:21 pm
by Shannon
Hi Peter or is it Pete ? Congrats on IGGI, nice plane !

Definitely doing right to take it easy. Discretion is the better part of valor ! A few hours of ground work is well worth the investment. The Series III can be a bit of a challenge at first.

Somewhat unusual to get 6,000+ with the engines. I've seen it a few times. Usually most standard bore 185s (with bi-props) are only going to turn in the 5700-5800 range static. You want to make sure your (H) adjustment isn't tweaked out too far lean. Generally you find best revs (engine wide open) and tweak (H) back rich until the point just before RPM drop is seen.

Definitely change out gaskets, diaphragms, ect. on the carbs. Fuel lines, fuel filters, spark plug caps, kill switches, wires, BE's, brake pucks, tires, plastic wheels, cables ect... are good maintenance items to be checked and/or replaced. Compression releases should be carefully inspected for potential failure. If the aluminum head of the release spins 360 degrees the release is going bad. Various methods have been employed to prevent release stem injestion. Some people opt to chunk the releases all together. A common problem with 185s are the carbs working loose. George drilled and safety wired the carb nuts ( he did not drill carb mounting studs coming out the engine block) and it has worked great so far. May sound silly but check (with a wrench) unwired carb nuts during pre-flight.

If you like the power of the 185s now with Bi-props rob the piggy bank and get a set of P-tips.


Pic: RPMs with Bi-props

PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:39 pm
by peter
Hi Shannon Thanks for your advice....I want to go over the plane thoroughly this winter ...the left brake needs set up for sure.....I have a set of wheel pants off my old narrow gear Snoopy that I will have to remodify to put back on to keep the dirt off the wings, and dress it up a bit. This one has the 1/2 in.rud.push rods which is good, but I'm scratching my head as how to install long bolt engine bolts ....the rt. top cap screw was stripped....there is an inspection plate on either side of the rib, but you can't see once you get your hand in there....I sure don't want to have to cut the fabric, but it may be the only way....Anyone any ideas?....I don't know if George has any comp.releases on hand....I'd take a couple if you have George...let me know.....P tip props would be great, but I think these are the light cranks and I heard they can't handle them...any thoughts? This plane also doesn't have jury doubt they strengthen the neg. wing load, but I'm not planning on any aerobatics....are they really necessary?....But certainly I want to get talking to Dale George at Big Bay and find out more on installing cdi...apparently it is a real improvement over the old points ign. from a reliability and performance standpoint.
Thanks again Shannon, and also for your informative posts over the years........Pete Harrison Harriston Ont. IGGI #A899