Subject: RV4 3pt vs Wheel Landing
From: firstname.lastname@example.org(Erik Shilling)
Date: Jun 12 1996
email@example.com Dennis wrote:
>Thanks for the input but the original posting was for an RV4 (note
>the title.) I have received a lot of general advice but nothing
>from any high time RV4 pilots.
Title duly noted.
How about a high time tail dragger pilot? I have over 15,000:
hours in tailwheel aircraft, from C-46's down to J3 cubs including
RV4's, and another 15,000 hours from DC-7 down. A total of 30:000
hours. I find that is no difference between tailwheel aircraft.
They all land the same. There is no need to specify that he was
flying a RV4. Tailwheel airplane is sufficient. I'll make a
statement then ask a question.
In most cases, strong crosswind conditions are generally associated
with gusty wind conditions. As an example, if your touch down
speed, as in the case of a C-46 is 75 mph, and your cross wind
velocity is 50 mph 90 degrees to the R/W. Do you have any idea
what would happen if you tried to three point the airplane?
I'll tell you. Your drift would be so great, you would never land
on the R/W even if it was 150 foot wide, but about 200 feet off to
If you set up a drift angle to keep you over the runway, you would
wipe out the gear at touchdown. Don't tell me you could kick out
the drift angle because you couldn't.
There is only one way that you can land in a *STRONG* crosswind
with either a tricycle, or tail dragger, and that is, land on the
upwind wheel first. Then plant the airplane firmly on the runway
with forward stick, down elevator. As you slow down you can bring
the downwind wheel onto the runway. Still keeping the airplane
firmly planted on the ground by forward control. You may have to
use brakes for directional control, since rudder authority may not
be suffecnient. Then after you have everything under control, and
your speed drops below that of your crosswind, lower the T/W.
The length of Iwo's runway was 10,000 feet and it took every inch
of it to stop. I touched down at 100 mph. Anything less would
have had me off in the tulies. It would have been impossible to
touch down at the three point speed of 75 mph. The reason I give
the above illustration is that it happened while landing at
Iwojima, and I can describe it perfectly. I had no alternate and
no cross wind runway.
Suppose that just at touch down, and in the three point position,
you encounter a gust only 5 mph above touch down speed. It will
damn well get you airborne, and at this speed having no control, it
will pick you up and deposit you off of the R/W. You can do
nothing about it because you no longer have control. You have to
fly them onto the runway. My advice is do not attempt three poinbt
landings in high cross wind or gusty conditions.
Erik Shilling Author; Destiny: A Flying Tiger's
Flight Leader Rendezvous With Fate.
3rd Squadron AVG