This is a photo of me touching down on a nice 500′ long strip. It’s obvious that I just touched down because of the rocks flying from my impact with the ground. Notice my flaps are already up and I have not even rolled 10 feet. That probably means that I was flying a bit fast and retracted them while I was still 6 inches off the ground. I do this sub-consciously for a couple of reasons. By dumping the flaps in-flight it allows me to hit my touch-down point because it drops me out of the air like a rock. It’s incredibly important to land on the very end of the stip to allow maximum distance for braking. This is done ideally by reaching your critical angle of attack at precisely the right moment, others prefer to fly their aircraft into the ground at the touch down point (usually bouncy), or you can cheat and dump your flaps in flight over-top of the touchdown point. So the reason I choose to cheat is that it allows a faster final approach for added controllability and increased margin to the stall, it also improves visibility over the nose of the cub, and it keeps my tail up so it does not get pounded by the rocks kicked up by my huge tires. A 500′ airstrip is plenty long enough to dissipate the added energy of a slightly fast touch down, and the added margin on final is always nice. The rocks on this airstrip are no small factor. If I touch down in a 3-point attitude on rocks like this my horizontal takes a nasty beating costing my hard earned money. But like I said dumping the flaps is totally sub-conscious, my left arm just does it when my brain thinks it’s best. So is this the absolutely best way to land? It was the best way for this scenario, I probably used a slightly different technique at the next location.
I can’t believe Christmas is next week! Totally amazing. Don’t forget to buy your Blue Ice Aviation calendar before the new year!