Saturday, March 28, 2009

Checked out in the Cub

Plane: Cub, 85 hp
Instructor: Dave
Route: 40I, Local
Weather: Broken clouds, 55 degrees, wind 090 degrees at 8 knots

While I flew the Cub a few times during my primary training, I've never been officially checked out in one for solo flight. So I scheduled some time with Dave to add another airplane to my list at Stewart. The same front from last night was still moving in, but it held off long enough for us to go up for about an hour.

The 85 hp Cub is about as much fun as you can have for $62/hour. Takes off and lands on a dime, but has more than enough power to quickly climb away. We launched and I climbed while circling up through a hole in the broken clouds to 3,500 feet. Ironically, there was some virga (rain that evaporates before reaching the ground) up there above the low clouds and we got a free windscreen cleaning. I wish I had my camera with me, as the view when we broke through the hole and climbed above the lower layer was spectacular.

I did some steep turns and then transitioned into slow flight and then to a power-off stall. The Cub just about flies at a standstill and the stall was very tame. Then I added in power and made two power-on stalls. The first I let a little aileron in by accident so a wing dropped and I corrected with ailerons level and opposite rudder. I paid better attention to the stick position and hung it on the prop next time. Again, it's got so much power that at full throttle it sort of just hangs there in a coordinated power-on stall. Unfortunately the clouds made it impossible to do any spins since we could have accidentally dropped into one, so those will have to wait for a future flight.

A quick descent via some left and right forward slips took us down 2,000 feet and into the pattern. I made takeoffs and landings of the short/soft field and normal variety. For the short field takeoff, we were airborne by the third cone lining the runway, or in less than 300 feet. Good times. Compared to the Champ (which will float for miles) the Cub really drops when you cut the throttle. For the soft field landings I just kept in a couple hundred RPM in the flare and she sat down ever so softly. I swear, I land the taildraggers better than the darn Cessna. Chalk up another plane on my list - I can now fly the Champ, Cubs, 150s, and 172 out of Stewart.

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File
Today's Flight: 0.9 hours
Total Time: 95.2 hours

1 comment:

  1. That does sound like fun. I plan on getting a tailwheel endorsement at some point...