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New-ish Member Greeting After SC Flight Baptism


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Hello, calling myself a new member despite a few posts a year ago -- because I finally had a chance to fly a SC and I feel born again!

Ok, enough of the hyperbole, sorry.  😁 

I really enjoyed the SC I flew at Thrust Flight over the weekend -- comfortable, great vis, handled well, easy to fly and land.  Overall compared quite favorably in my eyes to the RV-12, which I've been flying/training in for the past year, scraping away 27 years of ground rust.  I liked having fuel in the wings and a chute in the cabin, too.  

One question I have is the extent to which the awkward climb into and out of the plane will become routine and unobjectionable, or whether my mid-50s frame will become ever less able to contort itself as necessary to clamber in and out -- I suppose that's one area where the RV-12 excels:  it's no big deal for me to get in and out of the RV from the step in front of the wings, with an easy step down to the cockpit floor.  Do you all you SC fliers -- particularly those of you, like me, who've been around the sun a few times -- have any tips in this department?

 

 

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I tell my passengers to just step on the seat and wriggle in. I use the handhold on the glare shield and the metal support between the seats to "hoist" myself in without stepping on the seat. With practice, like anything else, it gets easier.

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12 hours ago, Deltafox said:

So, the next trick is getting back out.

There's no trickery involved, I just use the handle on the glare shield and the fuselage to lift myself up and sit on the canopy opening. There I can put the seatbelt back looking neat and grab my flip-flops from the rear baggage area. :D Then swing the legs out and off I go. 

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53 minutes ago, ShawnM said:

There's no trickery involved, I just use the handle on the glare shield and the fuselage to lift myself up and sit on the canopy opening. There I can put the seatbelt back looking neat and grab my flip-flops from the rear baggage area. :D Then swing the legs out and off I go. 

The trickery is eating salads for lunch and weighing 150 lbs!

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2 hours ago, ShawnM said:

There's no trickery involved, I just use the handle on the glare shield and the fuselage to lift myself up and sit on the canopy opening. There I can put the seatbelt back looking neat and grab my flip-flops from the rear baggage area. :D Then swing the legs out and off I go. 

Shawn, do you fly barefoot??

1 hour ago, Velocity26 said:

The trickery is eating salads for lunch and weighing 150 lbs!

I like salads but I like $100 pizzas, too

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41 minutes ago, Gilligans Airport said:

Shawn, do you fly barefoot??

I like salads but I like $100 pizzas, too

Yes, I do fly barefoot most of the time as you'll typically catch me in flip-flops in Florida. 🦶

One of the airports I get MOGAS at has a great restaurant on the field with outdoor seating on the ramp. They serve up a great Impossible veggie burger and fries. Yum! 🍔They also have great salads but I'm sorry to say, no pizza.  

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Welcome!

Here are my thoughts on getting in and out of the SC, not damaging the aircraft, and a couple of other notes of things I wish I knew then:

If two persons are on the back steps at the same time the airplane can tail drop. This might damage the aircraft and/or cause someone to fall. One person at a time. 

Try not to step on the seats. The support underneath isn't tremendous, and is there is a service bulletin for inspection/repair from bent support brackets.

When entering, as stated by others, use the dash handholds and center column support/side of canopy/fuselage. Support as much weight there. Don't use the seatbacks to enter.

Exiting is simply a matter of "commiting" to stepping off backwards and knowing the step is still in fact attached and didn't fall off in flight. Step back and feel for it. It's easy over time.

Do not turn and face rewards to climb off/out. It won't work. If a passenger does turn towards the tail tell them to turn around. I haven't seen an easy way off facing the tail except a big jump. 

I ALWAYS exit first and come around to monitor folks as they exit and step backwards. I monitor the "NO STEP" areas carefully. Keep them clear of the flaps and the no step areas. Don't let them step sideways towards the cargo hatches, as these are super thin. 

Ensure you retract your flaps as it can be easy to catch a toe.

No high heels. They will puncture your seats and are really not appropriate for safely climbing in and out. 

Since we are talking taking care of the canopy area:

Don't leave the canopy up in the sun without a dash protector. The sun/canopy will quickly burn a hole in your dashboard. No BS. It's a real problem.

Be careful of strong wind gusts/windy days catching and pulling/damaging an open canopy. 

Reach up and close the canopy carefully and fully, don't let passengers try to pull it closed via the guide rails, as the rails can bend. 

Don't place anything on your dashboard. Closing the canopy on a headset, especially, can crack your canopy. 

Clean the canopy with Plexus, gently, and only wipe in the direction of flight (One direction, don't swirl). Swirling causes damage/glare issue. Don't use a lot of elbow grease as you can crack the canopy a lot easier than you might think. Use a fresh clean cloth. 

I think being super attentive to passengers puts both you and them at ease, and establishes an aura of "sterile cockpit". I remind myself and my passengers to take our time.

A bent flap, a dented wing, a damaged flap motor, a busted $18,000 canopy, broken seat rails, all not fun. One moment of inattention and a passenger can ground your plane for a long time. These are not Piper Archers. They are relatively fragile. Be careful. 

Oh: Close canopy before flight. Double check. Keep your cords/headset control unit clear of the canopy latch. Keep objects in the rear storage clear of the canopy latch mechanism. There have been several accidents, one fatal, from the canopy opening in flight. Many others that were "non events". Best to avoid all of that.

Move the plane by pushing and pulling at the prop hub base (not prop tips). If you use the hand tug, only use it to steer the wheel, don't pull it will come off and you will get hurt. It's only to steer. Don't push/move the plane by the tail or wings (maybe at the root?) as they are prone to dents! Use the prop hub. It's a very light plane.

I always tie down my plane, even for short visits at transient parking. I almost lost my plane when a helicopter came to the pumps and his rotor wash got under my wings. I ran over and me and another guy held her down. She will fly off if left alone on a windy day. 

Enjoy!!

This forum is a great resource. Read as many of the posts here that you can digest. There are huge amounts of knowledge, lore, and tips in this group. 

Safe travels and once again welcome!

-Pilot Pete

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, PilotPete said:

Welcome!

Here are my thoughts on getting in and out of the SC, not damaging the aircraft, and a couple of other notes of things I wish I knew then:

If two persons are on the back steps at the same time the airplane can tail drop. This might damage the aircraft and/or cause someone to fall. One person at a time. 

Try not to step on the seats. The support underneath isn't tremendous, and is part of an service bulletin for inspection/repair from bent support brackets.

When entering, as stated by others, use the dash handholds and center column support/side of canopy/fuselage. Support as much weight there. Don't use the seatbacks to enter.

Exiting is simply a matter of "commiting" to stepping off backwards and knowing the step is still in fact attached and didn't fall off in flight. Step back and feel for it. It's easy over time.

Do not turn and face rewards to climb off/out. It won't work. If a passenger does turn towards the tail tell them to turn around. I haven't seen an easy way off facing the tail except a big jump. 

I ALWAYS exit first and come around to monitor folks as they exit and step backwards. I monitor the "NO STEP" areas carefully. Keep them clear of the flaps and the no step areas. Don't let them step sideways towards the cargo hatches, as these are super thin. 

Ensure you retract your flaps as it can be easy to catch a toe.

No high heels. They will puncture your seats and are really not appropriate for safely climbing in and out. 

Since we are talking taking care of the canopy area:

Don't leave the canopy up in the sun without a dash protector. The sun/canopy will quickly burn a hole in your dashboard. No BS. It's a real problem.

Be careful of strong wind gusts/windy days catching and pulling/damaging an open canopy. 

Reach up and close the canopy carefully and fully, don't let passengers try to pull it closed via the guide rails, as the rails can bend. 

Don't place anything on your dashboard. Closing the canopy on a headset, especially, can crack your canopy. 

Clean the canopy with Plexus, gently, and only wipe in the direction of flight (One direction, don't swirl). Swirling causes damage/glare issue. Don't use a lot of elbow grease as you can crack the canopy a lot easier than you might think. Use a fresh clean cloth. 

I think being super attentive to passengers puts both you and them at ease, and establishes an aura of "sterile cockpit". I remind myself and my passengers to take our time.

A bent flap, a dented wing, a damaged flap motor, a busted $18,000 canopy, broken seat rails, all not fun. One moment of inattention and a passenger can ground your plane for a long time. These are not Piper Archers. They are relatively fragile. Be careful. 

Oh: Close canopy before flight. Double check. Keep your cords/headset control unit clear of the canopy latch. Keep objects in the rear storage clear of the canopy latch mechanism. There have been several accidents, one fatal, from the canopy opening in flight. Many others that were "non events". Best to avoid all of that.

Move the plane by pushing and pulling at the prop hub base (not prop tips). If you use the hand tug, only use it to steer the wheel, don't pull it will come off and you will get hurt. It's only to steer. Don't push/move the plane by the tail or wings (maybe at the root?) as they are prone to dents! Use the prop hub. It's a very light plane.

I always tie down my plane, even for short visits at transient parking. I almost lost my plane when a helicopter came to the pumps and his rotor wash got under my wings. I ran over and me and another guy held her down. She will fly off if left alone on a windy day. 

Enjoy!!

This forum is a great resource. Read as many of the posts here that you can digest. There are huge amounts of knowledge, lore, and tips in this group. 

Safe travels and once again welcome!

-Pilot Pete

 

 

 

 

 

Wow,  I wish I would have read something like that in 2014.  Fantastic advise!! 

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12 hours ago, PilotPete said:

Welcome!

Here are my thoughts on getting in and out of the SC, not damaging the aircraft, and a couple of other notes of things I wish I knew then:

If two persons are on the back steps at the same time the airplane can tail drop. This might damage the aircraft and/or cause someone to fall. One person at a time. 

Try not to step on the seats. The support underneath isn't tremendous, and is there is a service bulletin for inspection/repair from bent support brackets.

When entering, as stated by others, use the dash handholds and center column support/side of canopy/fuselage. Support as much weight there. Don't use the seatbacks to enter.

Exiting is simply a matter of "commiting" to stepping off backwards and knowing the step is still in fact attached and didn't fall off in flight. Step back and feel for it. It's easy over time.

Do not turn and face rewards to climb off/out. It won't work. If a passenger does turn towards the tail tell them to turn around. I haven't seen an easy way off facing the tail except a big jump. 

I ALWAYS exit first and come around to monitor folks as they exit and step backwards. I monitor the "NO STEP" areas carefully. Keep them clear of the flaps and the no step areas. Don't let them step sideways towards the cargo hatches, as these are super thin. 

Ensure you retract your flaps as it can be easy to catch a toe.

No high heels. They will puncture your seats and are really not appropriate for safely climbing in and out. 

Since we are talking taking care of the canopy area:

Don't leave the canopy up in the sun without a dash protector. The sun/canopy will quickly burn a hole in your dashboard. No BS. It's a real problem.

Be careful of strong wind gusts/windy days catching and pulling/damaging an open canopy. 

Reach up and close the canopy carefully and fully, don't let passengers try to pull it closed via the guide rails, as the rails can bend. 

Don't place anything on your dashboard. Closing the canopy on a headset, especially, can crack your canopy. 

Clean the canopy with Plexus, gently, and only wipe in the direction of flight (One direction, don't swirl). Swirling causes damage/glare issue. Don't use a lot of elbow grease as you can crack the canopy a lot easier than you might think. Use a fresh clean cloth. 

I think being super attentive to passengers puts both you and them at ease, and establishes an aura of "sterile cockpit". I remind myself and my passengers to take our time.

A bent flap, a dented wing, a damaged flap motor, a busted $18,000 canopy, broken seat rails, all not fun. One moment of inattention and a passenger can ground your plane for a long time. These are not Piper Archers. They are relatively fragile. Be careful. 

Oh: Close canopy before flight. Double check. Keep your cords/headset control unit clear of the canopy latch. Keep objects in the rear storage clear of the canopy latch mechanism. There have been several accidents, one fatal, from the canopy opening in flight. Many others that were "non events". Best to avoid all of that.

Move the plane by pushing and pulling at the prop hub base (not prop tips). If you use the hand tug, only use it to steer the wheel, don't pull it will come off and you will get hurt. It's only to steer. Don't push/move the plane by the tail or wings (maybe at the root?) as they are prone to dents! Use the prop hub. It's a very light plane.

I always tie down my plane, even for short visits at transient parking. I almost lost my plane when a helicopter came to the pumps and his rotor wash got under my wings. I ran over and me and another guy held her down. She will fly off if left alone on a windy day. 

Enjoy!!

This forum is a great resource. Read as many of the posts here that you can digest. There are huge amounts of knowledge, lore, and tips in this group. 

Safe travels and once again welcome!

-Pilot Pete

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Pete!  Really appreciate your taking the time to pass along your experience and wisdom!!

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