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Idea for Bearhawk STOL technique flyin/seminar/forum

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  • Idea for Bearhawk STOL technique flyin/seminar/forum

    I'm wondering if anyone would have an interest in a fly-in that would be focused on STOL techniques specific to the Bearhawks. I'm not talking about any actual flight instruction taking place, rather just a group of pilots getting together to share what they know and learn from each other. I personally could benefit from such an event do to the fact that I can't seem to figure it out myself. Getting good takeoff and landing performance out of my BH is easy, getting down to the bleeding edge is proving beyond my current abilities.

    Here is a rough idea: We gather somewhere out west were dirt strips are plentiful, spend a few days doing fly outs, have some discussions/seminars in the afternoons/evenings. Perhaps we hold it in the dead of the New Zealand winter and convince Battson's wife that they need a family vacation to warmer weather It probably doesn't get cold enough in NZ to motivate a vacation to the US but we'd need to somehow convince Battson that he needed to come. Maybe during Elk hunting season here... I think we could get some of the Elko posse to show up.

    Utah has some pretty awesome places to fly that would work for spring or Fall. Idaho would be good during the latter part of June till around whenever it gets too cold for people to camp. Other ideas?

    The key element to this is getting pilots there that are proficient in gleaning the bleeding edge STOL performance out of the BH.
    Scratch Built 4-place Bearhawk. Continental IO-360, 88” C203 McCauley prop.

  • #2
    Keep it going. Maybe in 2040 we can have the 20th annual Whee STOL Roundup. Idaho would be a perfect place for a backcountry fly in.
    Sturgis started out small.......
    Last edited by svyolo; 10-07-2019, 03:23 PM.

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    • #3
      Awesome Idea, Jon! When you get a group together like that its usually a very agile educational experience...lots of learning, lots and personal growth.
      Brooks Cone
      Southeast Michigan
      Patrol #303, Kit build

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      • #4
        Such a great idea! Cub Crafters and others do similar events. Huge opportunity for a social media following, i.e. YouTube Channel to promote the Bearhawk line, etc.
        Rob Caldwell
        Davidson, North Carolina
        EAA Chapter 309
        BH Model B Quick Build Kit Serial # 11B-24B / 25B
        Build Log: https://bearhawk4place.blogspot.com/
        YouTube Channel: http://bearhawklife.com

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        • #5
          Thanks for the feedback guys. Obviously there isn’t enough interest to make it happen and that’s ok.
          Scratch Built 4-place Bearhawk. Continental IO-360, 88” C203 McCauley prop.

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          • #6
            I know it's not what you're envisioning and registration is full for this year, but perhaps you could gather a group of Bearhawks interested in sharing/learning/practicing/teaching/etc. STOL techniques at the High Sierra Fly-in next year.
            Colby Osborn
            Mullen/Lincoln Nebraska
            4-Place #1558B

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            • #7
              I'm definitely interested but I don't have a flying Bearhawk yet. Hopefully this time next year. I'm working on the technique in my current plane and I'm curious what the bearhawk will be capable of.

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              • AKKen07
                AKKen07 commented
                Editing a comment
                I’m with Tim, seems a great idea to me! Just give me a couple years to get my plane flying...

              • JimParker256
                JimParker256 commented
                Editing a comment
                Ditto for me. Once I've got a flying Patrol, I'm all in! But the 100-HP Citabria is NOT a legitimate back-country airplane in any way, shape, or form...

            • #8
              Originally posted by coosbo View Post
              I know it's not what you're envisioning and registration is full for this year, but perhaps you could gather a group of Bearhawks interested in sharing/learning/practicing/teaching/etc. STOL techniques at the High Sierra Fly-in next year.
              HSF is a cool event but it is WAY too big for me to be willing to attend. I flew a BH down to HSF 2013 and had a great time but it's grown into something I'm not interested in. But that doesn't mean someone else shouldn't get a group together and go.

              Originally posted by TimTall View Post
              I'm definitely interested but I don't have a flying Bearhawk yet. Hopefully this time next year. I'm working on the technique in my current plane and I'm curious what the bearhawk will be capable of.
              Might be worth visiting the topic again later but hopefully I'll have it figured out by then which will likely mean I'll be too lazy to put in the effort to organize anything. I wasn't thinking this would be a big, annual event. Just a few pilots interested in real STOL and backcountry flying in their Bearhawks meeting up at some designated place, maybe probably repeat it whenever there is interest. Among those pilots needs to be Battson and a couple other guys...but mostly Battson

              The BH is a very capable airplane. I'm still getting used to my airplane but I can easily perform stop and goes in less than 1000ft. That's landing 250-350ft past my intended touchdown point (bottom half of the runway numbers), stopping completely, then taking off before the 1000ft markers. I'd SWAG I'm about 300-350ft on landing once the wheels touch down and 400ish feet on takeoff. There's a fair bit of room for improvement in those number due to poor pilot abilities.

              Scratch Built 4-place Bearhawk. Continental IO-360, 88” C203 McCauley prop.

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              • #9
                You know you and the family deserve a holiday to New Zealand, Jon.

                There are perhaps 50 to 100 good backcountry airstrips right around my place here. Lots of hunting too, open season 365 days a year on big game Just saying

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                • JimParker256
                  JimParker256 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Drool... But gotta build/fly first...

                • zkelley2
                  zkelley2 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  We have a flight to Auckland once a week. Are you on the north island? I could try to pick one up.

              • #10
                How do I get my Bearhawk to New Zealand?!

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                • Battson
                  Battson commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Fly

                • James
                  James commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yeah, you can take lots of small hops around the Pacific.
                  But you can't get to NZ without refuelling in Australia first :-)

              • #11
                Originally posted by whee View Post
                The BH is a very capable airplane. I'm still getting used to my airplane but I can easily perform stop and goes in less than 1000ft. That's landing 250-350ft past my intended touchdown point (bottom half of the runway numbers), stopping completely, then taking off before the 1000ft markers. I'd SWAG I'm about 300-350ft on landing once the wheels touch down and 400ish feet on takeoff. There's a fair bit of room for improvement in those number due to poor pilot abilities.
                At our local, informal, STOL competitions I am generally less than 250 ft each for takeoff and landing. In the real world, I'm typically less than 500 ft each. Our strip has obstacles, negative obstacles and typically windsheer. When conditions get difficult (heavy and windy and night and our strip is a dark hole with few lights) I use 800 ft for landing.

                Vans has said that the key to good landings is being good at slow flight. He's absolutely correct. You listed 550-700 ft from threshold to stopped. That is what I use with our RV-4; if there isn't any useful headwind. Less if there is. You should be able to touchdown within 75 ft of the threshold; 10 ft if conditions are favorable. Focus on slow flight skills and precise touchdown.

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                • #12
                  I hate to be that guy, but the key is knowing your plane and lots of practice. Solo and light gas is different from loaded and fueled. Calm cool air is different from gusty at noon. AOA is amazing, but in gusty conditions, I just can’t get myself to fly that slow!

                  Bill

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                  • kestrel
                    kestrel commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Nothing wrong here! Your points are the difference between my <250ft and my typical 500 ft and then my sometimes 800 ft. I'm at a lower altitude than Whee. On our trip out west this past summer, at 6k-8k+ ft density altitude and near-ish to gross weight, our distances were 700-800 ft each for landing and take-off.

                • #13
                  Originally posted by kestrel View Post
                  Vans has said that the key to good landings is being good at slow flight. He's absolutely correct. .............Focus on slow flight skills and precise touchdown.
                  The next question is "What various exercises in the practice area do folks use to hone those slow flight skills?" Doing something more than pattern work will generate growth in the pattern and "spot landing" confidence & skill set.

                  Slow flight is a huge fundamental skill that will yield precision spot landings. I've seen some talked about here and there....just wondering.
                  Brooks Cone
                  Southeast Michigan
                  Patrol #303, Kit build

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                  • #14
                    Originally posted by Bcone1381 View Post
                    The next question is "What various exercises in the practice area do folks use to hone those slow flight skills?" Doing something more than pattern work will generate growth in the pattern and "spot landing" confidence & skill set.

                    Slow flight is a huge fundamental skill that will yield precision spot landings. I've seen some talked about here and there....just wondering.
                    Here is my process. I am sure everyone is different, but maybe you'll see some themes. I am not the authority, so take this with a grain of salt:

                    Start with stable weather when practising, keep the weight and CG fairly constant.
                    1. Do stalls until you are confident you know when it stalls by feel, not by airspeed, full STOL config for every single stall (full flap, some power on, use throttle to keep it flying as long as possible).
                    2. Practice slow flight including near-stalling turns at high altitude among the stalls themselves, get a solid feel for the limits, and how the plane reacts out of balance. Use the throttle.
                    3. Every landing on every flight is a STOL landing. Full flap, stabilised approach, flying as slow as you feel comfortable from 0.5 NM out.
                    4. Fly endless circuits (as above) at 500ft and keep them small, as many landings as possible. Watch the touchdown spot like a hawk and make sure you hit it, always landing a fraction long of your spot, never fall short.
                    5. Fly the plane onto the ground - no floating or flaring - you should be going slow enough that there is no way to float or bounce, just a brief round-out to arrest the descent.
                    6. Tail-low wheel landings, use them every time. It's rare to three-point off airport. Use brakes to keep the tail off.
                    7. Every take-off, try and get flying as soon as possible. Force the tail up, force the wheels into the air. Use half flaps, pull more as required to pump it into the air. Develop a feel for when it's almost ready to fly, then try and force it off. Eventually you will find the hard limit.
                    Rise and repeat steps 3. through 6. for at least 100 to 200hrs and you're locked and loaded. Step 7 should be easy to master if you fly often.
                    You will need to repeat steps 1 and 2 occasionally, as you get more comfortable near the limits you need to re-define where they are.

                    Of course there is a lot more finesse once you really get into it, but that's my basic formula.

                    I strongly recommend caution when introducing heavy loads and gusty weather to STOL, after you've done a couple of hundred hours of STOL work (yes that much). Gusts will get you, and weight makes the reaction time and control inputs more critical. Fear tailwinds like the plague.

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                    • #15
                      I just copied and pasted this to my "When I Start Flying" notes. Thanks!
                      Rob Caldwell
                      Davidson, North Carolina
                      EAA Chapter 309
                      BH Model B Quick Build Kit Serial # 11B-24B / 25B
                      Build Log: https://bearhawk4place.blogspot.com/
                      YouTube Channel: http://bearhawklife.com

                      Comment

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