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Old 04-20-2010, 05:09 PM   #21
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Once again I can't decide who's more nuts: ... the photographers who are jostling each other to get closer to the runway for a good tight shot...
I was one of them crazies. "Plane spotting" was my passion for many years. On good days I would go to the airport before or after work and sometimes even during my lunch break (hum nothing better than to eat lunch surrounded by the sweet smell of jet fuel...). When going on vacation, my first question always was, how's the plane spotting there... You get the picture.

I took thousands upon thousands of pictures over many years. I may even have a picture of one of the retired commercial pilots lurking around here in my collection (especially if you operated on the east coast for one of the majors in the late 1990's, early 2000's). Some of my pictures have been published on various "spotting" websites, some I have traded with fellow photographers from around the world (Sweden, France, Switzerland, Italy,...) some have been used in airline manuals and on airport websites, and some pilots have asked me for pictures of aircraft they used to pilot. It was so much fun!

Of course, 9/11 changed everything. Lurking around the airport perimeter with a huge bazooka-looking photo lens raises red flags immediately nowadays, particularly in the US. So that was that.
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:11 PM   #22
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To the pilots: is it ok to use your outside engine as auxiliary landing gear like this guy almost did?
I think it goes like that: any landing you can walk away from is a good landing...
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:20 PM   #23
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I was one of them crazies. "Plane spotting" was my passion for many years.
Your first name wouldn't happen to be Tony, would it?

I ended up on a plane spotter's website - at least I think that's me sitting in the co-pilot's seat in the Convair T-29.

Wetwing.com: USAF in Early 70's

BTW: I can answer his question but I'd have to kill him if I did.
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:25 PM   #24
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To the pilots: is it ok to use your outside engine as auxiliary landing gear like this guy almost did?
Not recommended in a Skymaster...
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File Type: jpg SKYMASTER.jpg (2.6 KB, 126 views)
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:30 PM   #25
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Your first name wouldn't happen to be Tony, would it?
Nope...
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:07 PM   #26
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I suspect the aircraft manufacturers learned it would be cheaper to build runways that would rotate to align with the wind...
... and more mechanically reliable, too!
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:48 PM   #27
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I remember seeing a show about the B-52... they showed that the wheels would turn to line up with the runway even when the plane was angled due to crosswinds...

Wonder why nobody else has done this... this has to be many decades old technology....
Yep, the B-52 could do this, and I'm told it was really handy. But remember that their nose and main gear were all on the centerline (like a bicycle), with small wheels on the retractable struts near the wingtips.

The C-5A had a more conventional gear arrangement (no wingtip wheels), but it also had mains that could caster to align them with the runway during a crosswind landing. It looked good on the drawing board, but it was one of the things that made the C-5 landing gear legendary as a maintenance nightmare. The only thing that broke more often on the C-5A was the MADAR--the automatic system that was supposed to keep track of what was broken!
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:48 PM   #28
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Old 04-21-2010, 03:05 AM   #29
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I suspect the aircraft manufacturers learned it would be cheaper to build runways that would rotate to align with the wind...
Yeah, It's called an aircraft carrier. Thanks, but I'll do it the old fashioned way - on the ground, even if it is a cross wind.
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Old 04-21-2010, 03:24 AM   #30
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I know it's not nearly this bad in San Diego - but it feels like it from inside the aircraft. Once you drop over the mountains, you descend between the high rises on either side. The car rentals used to be at the bottom of the mountain (may still be), just across a field from the numbers. After renting a car there one time, I walked out the door and nearly hit the deck as a plane seemed to come out of nowhere right overhead. Should have known because I'm sure our plane scared someone in the same parking lot an hour before.

Back to cross-wind landings, no matter how scary they look in the videos - they are worse from inside the cockpit. Going sideways down the runway, knowing that you have to touch down and end up going straight (all while carrying quite a bit of power to keep from being blown sideways off the runway) is a lot to handle. I can't imagine doing it in a jet powered aircraft because the lag time between throttle and power is significant, unlike in a piston powered aircraft.
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:18 PM   #31
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Koolau,
While jets take longer to spool up, they spool down much faster. i.e. when you pull the throttles back the thrust is gone. Now on some turbo props there is another potential problem. One I flew took the pitch out of the prop when you pushed the throttles forward, when the rpm came up to speed it put the pitch back in. The results was a loss of thrust when you pushed the throttles forward. There was a lever to set rpm at 98 to 100% on landing and that prevented it close to the ground.
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Old 04-21-2010, 03:13 PM   #32
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There was a lever to set rpm at 98 to 100% on landing and that prevented it close to the ground.
Pucker time if you ever forget to set it and then need the power! Kind of like the time I was going to shoot a touch and go into a much shorter field than I was used to - with trees at the end. Went in with 40 deg flaps - then forgot to put 'em back up to 20 for climb out. "What the heqq is wrong with this thing? Here come the trees and I'm 10 feet off the ground and can't climb!" Figured it out in the time it takes to tell it, but couldn't try it again that day. Knees were too watery to work the rudder pedals correctly. The site picture of those trees coming up is still with me 40 years later. Can you spell "checklist" Koolau? Some lessons are hard.
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Old 04-21-2010, 03:34 PM   #33
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For those who want to get (too) close to a jumbo jet going about 180 mph, of course there is world-renowned Maho Beach in Saint Maarten:

Duck and cover:




Sandblasting action:
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Old 04-21-2010, 04:26 PM   #34
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For those who want to get (too) close to a jumbo jet going about 180 mph, of course there is world-renowned Maho Beach in Saint Maarten:
Is that fence between the beach and the runway frangible?
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:26 PM   #35
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What's even scarier is watching an aircraft being pushed off of final to the runway, so they end up more or less lined up with a parallel taxiway. I'd imagine it's probably even more disconcerting for the pilots taxiing out on that same taxiway.
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:43 PM   #36
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Is that fence between the beach and the runway frangible?
First time I saw a video of Maho beach, I thought how odd it was that they did not put one of those blast deflecting walls at the end of the runway to protect the people on the beach from being blasted away. But after seeing how aircraft on final barely clear fence, I better understand the reluctance to put a concrete wall there. This is a pretty short runway for heavies, so they have no choice but to put it down as close to the end of the runway as possible.
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:04 AM   #37
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Is that fence between the beach and the runway frangible?
It is now!

I bet the maintenance crew gets tired of picking barbed wire out of the tire treads.

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First time I saw a video of Maho beach, I thought how odd it was that they did not put one of those blast deflecting walls at the end of the runway to protect the people on the beach from being blasted away.
I guess that's why aircraft carriers have jet-blast deflectors... the safety nets around the flight deck only catch you if you're falling down, not blasted straight out over them.
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:08 AM   #38
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While we're on the subject of flying objects, what's the aviation significance of a "dirty roll"? Is it simply dangerous because it's so close to the ground with so little recovery time, or is it considered impressive because of the high angle of attack before the roll?

This Military.com video of a Canadian F-18 calls it "insane", and I certainly agree with that, but I think they're using the adjective a little differently than I would...

Videos and Photos of Army Special Ops, Navy SEALs, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard in Action - Shock and Awe - Military.com
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Old 04-23-2010, 05:57 AM   #39
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While we're on the subject of flying objects, what's the aviation significance of a "dirty roll"? Is it simply dangerous because it's so close to the ground with so little recovery time, or is it considered impressive because of the high angle of attack before the roll?

This Military.com video of a Canadian F-18 calls it "insane", and I certainly agree with that, but I think they're using the adjective a little differently than I would...

Videos and Photos of Army Special Ops, Navy SEALs, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard in Action - Shock and Awe - Military.com
The aircraft in that clip is considered to be aerodynamically "dirty" because of the extended landing gear and flaps.
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Old 04-23-2010, 01:23 PM   #40
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Pucker time if you ever forget to set it and then need the power! Kind of like the time I was going to shoot a touch and go into a much shorter field than I was used to - with trees at the end. Went in with 40 deg flaps - then forgot to put 'em back up to 20 for climb out. "What the heqq is wrong with this thing? Here come the trees and I'm 10 feet off the ground and can't climb!" Figured it out in the time it takes to tell it, but couldn't try it again that day. Knees were too watery to work the rudder pedals correctly. The site picture of those trees coming up is still with me 40 years later. Can you spell "checklist" Koolau? Some lessons are hard.
Ahh, I had one of those, too - instead of trees it was the skeet range in front of me! Finally realized the flaps were down and was amazed at the lift without them :-) Dad flew jets and said he never fully throttled down because the spool-up time could mean splat time. One thing about the prop jobs is less lag between the controls and response. Of course, they don't fly as fast :-)

As far as cross wind landings - yes, what fun - just hoping you can right the plane and/or not tip a wing too far down to ensure you are lined up properly on the runway for your landing - real sporting - AND, really focuses the mind.
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