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Old 12-08-2019, 05:45 PM   #1
Chuck_Henry
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Default Looking for critiques of my landing pattern.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BplENaeyWfk

After a few weeks, I feel like I'm really getting it down. Mover's F-5 fam flight video really helped me figure out the crosswind turn and fly appropriate speeds from downwind to final instead of on-speed AOA the entire time like the F/A-18.

Some sticking points that don't feel quite right:

- Transitioning from the climbing part of the crosswind turn to the level part. There seems to be a part in which you have to roll the jet to nearly 90 degrees angle of bank to stop the climb, reduce power, then shallow out to about 45 degrees (or as required for proper abeam spacing). I'm not sure if I'm ratcheting the jet through this a bit much.

- Transitioning from the steeper part of the approach turn to the 2.5-degree glide path. I feel like my tendency right now is to dip below the proper glide path as I'm decelerating toward on-speed due to an improper aimpoint. Where do you guys try to place the runway numbers relative to the gunsight glass?

Last edited by Chuck_Henry; 12-08-2019 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:01 AM   #2
David OC
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Try this Air force break

C.W Lemoine (Mover)
He go's right over a FAM flight like if you were in the Air force. His flown the T38, F/A-18 and F-16. Now also fly's a civi sky bus.

Starts at 20:50

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Old 12-09-2019, 09:28 AM   #3
Reflected
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That was a smooth touchdown, Chuck Henry!
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Old 12-12-2019, 10:59 PM   #4
Stratozombie
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Smoothly done all around! Comments from an old fart:
-It would be easier to evaluate with the info bar at the bottom of the screen.
-I would guess most operators specify 250 knots minimum before pulling closed, which makes the pull more comfortable and expeditious.
-Some guys like to pull up first and then roll, but I think that's just about stylin' and I prefer the traditional roll and then slice-up pull. Either way you are only climbing 1500 feet, so you are climbing less than you are turning.
-You can drop the gear as soon as you roll out if speed allows. This will silence the horn but waste a little fuel dragging it to the perch. Gear abeam the touchdown zone is often the expectation, but do what you need in order to have speed where you want it at the perch.
-Final turn speed was a little high, which is safe and gives you more latitude, but also gives you more speed to bleed off as you transition to final. You didn't seem to have a problem with the transition at all, but that was eased by the fact that your final approach bug was set a little fast (giving you a slightly fast AOA indication on final).
-Nice smooth landing, if a little long. You were using an airliner aim point and faster than flight manual computed speed. Aim point on final should be the runway threshold until you get close. Then (when you can't stand it) shift aim point toward touchdown zone and begin flaring when necessary. The goal is to touch down no longer than 500' down at about 12 deg nose high. To do that in calm wind takes an aggressive power reduction and a bit of faith. In a headwind it is more comfortable because you can hold the power longer. Also, a 3 degree glidepath is within specs and is easier on visibility and the fear of dragging it into the overrun. The old T-38 method was initial aim point 500' short of the threshold (middle of a standard overrun) and a 3.5 degree glidepath, but I think they now teach threshold and shallower as having more transference to other aircraft types.
-You are well on your way, and if you can hit all the marks consistently you will find it very rewarding.

Last edited by Stratozombie; 12-13-2019 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 12-13-2019, 04:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stratozombie View Post
Smoothly done all around! Comments from an old fart:
-It would be easier to evaluate with the info bar at the bottom of the screen.
-I would guess most operators specify 250 knots minimum before pulling closed, which makes the pull more comfortable and expeditious.
-Some guys like to pull up first and then roll, but I think that's just about stylin' and I prefer the traditional roll and then slice-up pull. Either way you are only climbing 1500 feet, so you are climbing less than you are turning.
-You can drop the gear as soon as you roll out if speed allows. This will silence the horn but waste a little fuel dragging it to the perch. Gear abeam the touchdown zone is often the expectation, but do what you need in order to have speed where you want it at the perch.
-Final turn speed was a little high, which is safe and gives you more latitude, but also gives you more speed to bleed off as you transition to final. You didn't seem to have a problem with the transition at all, but that was eased by the fact that your final approach bug was set a little fast (giving you a slightly fast AOA indication on final).
-Nice smooth landing, if a little long. You were using an airliner aim point and faster than flight manual computed speed. Aim point on final should be the runway threshold until you get close. Then (when you can't stand it) shift aim point toward touchdown zone and begin flaring when necessary. The goal is to touch down no longer than 500' down at about 12 deg nose high. To do that in calm wind takes an aggressive power reduction and a bit of faith. In a headwind it is more comfortable because you can hold the power longer. Also, a 3 degree glidepath is within specs and is easier on visibility and the fear of dragging it into the overrun. The old T-38 method was initial aim point 500' short of the threshold (middle of a standard overrun) and a 3.5 degree glidepath, but I think they now teach threshold and shallower as having more transference to other aircraft types.
-You are well on your way, and if you can hit all the marks consistently you will find it very rewarding.
Hey, just wanted to say thanks up front for all the constructive feedback. Point by point:

- Yeah, I should have left the info bar. I recorded this mainly to post to Reddit and send to a couple friends, not as much for analysis. Next time I may save the track instead of recording video and deciding when and where to switch between cockpit and external views.

- That's good to know that the crosswind turn is open to technique, and that it doesn't have to be the "pull, then roll" that I saw in C.W. Lemoine's video. I remember during one of my last instrument flights in the T-6 in real life, the IP I had was an exchange officer from the Air Force, and he preferred to do the "roll, then slice-up pull" on departure. Definitely feels more natural to me IRL and in the sim.

- Did not know that the expectation is to drop the gear abeam as opposed to wings-level on downwind. I'll start doing that and aiming to maintain parameters. My initial thought is it gives you less time to trim and adjust power for that increased drag, but I suppose that can be a fun challenge.

- Yeah, I think I subscribe to the C.W. Lemoine philosophy of accepting fast around the turn and on final since it keeps you in the ejection envelope. Not that it matters in the sim, of course. I thought about also keeping half flaps until the 90, then rolling to full, but due to the decreased drag and increased speed I find I overshoot every now and then when doing that.

- Aimpoint is definitely my weak point in the pattern. I'll work on using the threshold instead of the numbers or the captain's bars if 500' down the runway is the goal. Yeah, the Air Force now teaches 2.5 to 3 degree glidepath, according to the T-38 Flying Fundamentals document which was my primary source in learning how to handle the F-5 in DCS. That combined with the short-ish aimpoint feels almost dangerously low, which is why I may unconsciously aim longer.
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Old 12-13-2019, 06:01 PM   #6
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Yeah, I wouldn't even think of it as a crosswind turn which is terminology for an instrument or heavy jet pattern. In fast jets it's a pull up to inside downwind, just as the turn to final is also a continuous final turn" rather than a "base leg".

You are within flight manual procedure to drop the gear as soon as you roll out on downwind. In real world it helps more planes fit in to the pattern and saves some fuel if you all conform to certain norms. It also gets you into a groove where your muscle memory helps you fly consistently. That said you sometimes have to adjust those norms to make it work. For example if you pulled up or pitched out too close to someone already on downwind, you might want to slow as much as possible so you don't crowd him at the perch and have to extend your own rolloff, which it turn screws the plane behind you. I know these considerations don't usually matter in DCS--except perhaps during a Red Flag recovery--but to me they are part of the art and expertise.

Flying faster always makes the jet feel better and more stable, so it's natural when starting out in the jet. In real world being a little fast around the final turn doesn't hurt because you can just pull a little more G --as long as you can still slow to on-speed for final. Planning to fly significantly fast will make your pattern too wide and cause problems for other jets in the pattern (and you will get a bad rep and have to buy beer at the bar for the guys that will still hang with you). Flying too fast on final will get you a downgrade on the landing grade, because on-speed is not a suggested technique, it is the performance standard. Obviously not a real factor in DCS, but I mention it because I can see you care about your flying. On speed is tough in DCS. I think perhaps the flight model falls off a cliff a bit too abruptly when you get to the green donut, so you have to have the power on before you get there.

Yeah, the aiming short and flaring over the overrun is not for the faint of heart or would-be airliner-only pilots, but it's what it takes to land a T-38 close to the threshold, necessary in a jet with a high landing speed and no antiskid or drag chute. You also have to be willing to flare the piss out of the jet. The ideal in my day (not always achieved) was to be in the heavy tickle (or even light buffet) with the nose in a aerobrake as the tires rolled onto the runway 500' down. When you get it perfect you get a little rush as a reward. The slower speed plus drag chute on the F-5 means you can easily get away with very hot/long touchdowns in DCS, but I'd bet that in real world they saved the chute for heavyweight returns or diverts to short runways, rather than for normal lightweight landings at home base.

Anyway, it's nice to see somebody who cares about proper flying, so keep up the good work!

Last edited by Stratozombie; 12-14-2019 at 12:37 PM.
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