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Postby rayjb60 » Fri Sep 30, 2005 5:59 pm

Here is my log entry for Sept 24th 2005 at El Mirage, California @ 3500' ASL

Did a takeoff into a variable 5mph gusty headwind, perfect and quick climbout at 400'/min up to 570' AGL and flew along the Dry Lake, 32 mph cruise at 75% power climbing at 200'/min about 30 minutes in the air.

It was around noon and slightly bumpy due to thermal activity, but I am getting used to that bumpy feeling now after several previous flights in it.

All systems functioned perfectly although I did have to tape some scuffed tedlar area from hanger rash. That is why its important to do a thorough walk around before each flight and fix anything you find.

It got windy about an hour after I landed and the windsailers that were camped out in their RV's in the pictures started to have their fun time.

There was also a long row of RV's in the last picture that were there for dirt bike and quad races.

The dry lake salt flat is about 5 miles long and 1.5 miles wide.

Here are some pics of the flights:

Image
Image

Widest brown strip in center of picture, at edge of salt flats is my landing runway about a mile away. Its about 1300' long but I only need about 200' of it.
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For those not familiar with Southern California,
this area is the "High Desert' over the mountains from Los Angeles, and about 30 miles from Edwards Airforce Base.

During the weekday there is airtraffic from those Predator pilotless attack aircraft since the company that builds and tests these things are in the area. Fortunately I dont fly here during the week :P

Ray
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Postby artman12us » Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:06 pm

Do Five foot high crow hops qualify for first solo in a Lazair? If so me in A-961
soloed today.The incredible thing is, a guy saw me taxiing from the road and drove in and greeted me on my return to the end of the runway with, hello my name is John and I am a Lazair pilot. He owns a Lazair III EC!!! What a day!! Thank you Dale and everyone!!!! Oh Happy day! Art Mancini
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Postby rayjb60 » Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:34 pm

Another thing if you have never flown a sailplane or lazair in thermaly conditions, bring extra underwear....so flying in calm is very wise.

Keep it in winds under 5mph for the first couple tries and NO cross winds yet....although you can practice taxi in x-winds to get an idea of how to keep it lined up with the runway.

Congratulations on your first hops...ists exciting none ther less.

Im at flight number 5 now where you see my pics at el mirage, but I was a sailplane pilot before lazairs, at SOSA were dale was even..

Ray
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Postby artman12us » Sat Oct 01, 2005 10:39 pm

Thanks guys. Ray, I am a sailplane pilot also and am looking forward to my first Lazair thermal. Thanks again. Your EL Mirage photos are great.
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Postby artman12us » Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:59 pm

You got that right, Shannon. I failed to mention my first hop, about two feet off ended in a unintended joy ride (ground loop) that felt like one of those amusement park rides. No matter what I did I was only along for the ride. Art
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Postby JPXman » Wed Oct 05, 2005 12:54 am

i echo shannon's comments.

i would add that the most important practice before your first flight is the practice takeoff. i don't mean actually leaving the ground, i mean accelerate to almost flying speed, then chop the power and bring the plane to a stop.

If you can become deft at that manoevre you're ready to take to the air. i find the lazair the squirreliest (sp?) in the landing roll out with, like shannon says, idle power and increasingly ineffective control surfaces. each burst of power increases your rollout, but adds the critical element of control... a fine balance to practice lots before first flight.

any monkey can pilot a plane around the sky, the meat is in the ground handling... (well except that turkey in the trike who piled it into the trees after takeoff, that monkey couldn't fly...)
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Postby rayjb60 » Wed Oct 05, 2005 2:58 pm

I'll second that on the importance of ground taxi runs.

Even as an experienced sailplane pilot I spent about 2 hours in total, just learning how to control the thing on the ground in x-winds etc....once you get that down, you have overcome the greatest hurdle.

The plane its self is the easiest aircraft to fly ever, with great control effectiveness once your at flying speed.

I also did about 10 hops before I felt all the trim was good and I myself was ready to take to the air.

Its wise to spend some time going over "what if" scenarios before those first 5-10 flights because things may go wrong unexpectedly and knowing what you are going to do before hand saves some scarry moments later on.

My Issues in the first 5 flights were as follows:

- one test hop got higher than intended 15' due to over zealous pulling back on the stick.....flared out a nice landing though.

- 2nd flight a leading edge tape on one bay lifted and made a horrible sound at 700' AGL so I did an emergency landing very cautiously on the El Mirage lake bed....I had no idea what the problem was till I landed.....I had quite a few minutes where I though I was going to be dead and wished I'd had a parachute....turns out it was wrong (non-tedlar) tape was on that bay....replaced all of it.

-3rd flight one of the CDI ignition modules had sheared a bolt and grounding came off killing my right engine 20' AGL in my final landing approach, got yawed by the other engine so I killed it and glided deadstick in the last part of the way.....no problems, but remounted both CDI units in a much more secure fashion.
Also noticed that it glides farther with the engines stoped...at idle they act a bit like an airbrake.

- 4th flight, my right tire is going flat but I fixed that before takeoff along with some hanger rash on some taped areas that I fixed before flight.

ALWAYS do a thorough pre-flight inspection of your aircraft!

Dont forget that YOU are a test pilot for the first little while and you dont want to have to use your parachute

.......what no parachute?.....your a test pilot without a parachute?
.....let me get this right, your flying an airplane thats held together with a bunch of little nuts and bolts and plastic wing surfaces that are held on with TAPE and you don't bring a parachute?
.....your just plain crazy then
....keep your life insurance current, and do an excellent pre flight inspection of EVERYTHING at the very least
....and dont tell your relatives about the no chute thing or they will be making "I want" lists of your personal stuff when they come over.

Ray
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Postby Guest » Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:48 am

Ray Dale Kramer is flying his Elite without a chute. What's your thoughts on that ?
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Postby Shannon » Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:13 am

".......what no parachute?.....your a test pilot without a parachute?
.....let me get this right, your flying an airplane thats held together with a bunch of little nuts and bolts and plastic wing surfaces that are held on with TAPE and you don't bring a parachute?
.....your just plain crazy then
....keep your life insurance current, and do an excellent pre flight inspection of EVERYTHING at the very least
....and dont tell your relatives about the no chute thing or they will be making "I want" lists of your personal stuff when they come over.

Ray "




Ray what kind of parachute is it you are using again ?
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Postby artman12us » Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:25 am

Next would be faster taxi runs a short distance then on to simulated take-off runs that end in a full stop. Once you have learned what it takes to keep the plane tracking straight you can start making hops. When you come off the power and set down you get back into the "familiar" territory of the earlier practice.



Thanks for this Great advice. I was spending all my time just practicing taxiing straight, not thinking of it that way "Next would be faster taxi runs a short distance then on to simulated take-off runs that end in a full stop." I used this technique yesterday and it made all the differece in world. I did this many times, building my confidence until I just took it to about 40 feet and did a Beautiful landing. Thats why its great to get as many perspectives as possible. Of course it helps when they are as good as yours. Thanks again, Art
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