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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: Pitts Landings - "Slipping" vs. "Carrier" app ...


Thread: Pitts Landings - "Slipping" vs. "Carrier" app ...

Message: Re: Pitts Landings - "Slipping" vs. "Carrier" approach

Follow-Up To: ACRO Email list (for List Members only)

From: "Marc S. Ludtke" <ludtke at>

Date: Sat, 01 Feb 1997 02:33:30 UTC


  So far I agree with the majority; being proficient in "carrier style" 180
degree turn approaches, rectangular, and straight-in approaches will allow
much more flexibility in the traffic pattern. If you are new to landing the
Pitts, I recommend a combination: a curving approach (for visibility) with
enough of a straight segment on final to get your line-up straight, your
crosswind bracketed, and your will wrote before impact. A severe slip can
confound the straightening-out bit, and a tight turn close-in can cause
problems if you have a little over-shoot in the line-up (inside rudder,
No matter what though, keep it high (always within gliding distance) and
make your final approach with little or no power. This will help preserve
what little visibility you've got. Coming in with power requires a flatter
approach to prevent overshooting, and the nose is too high to see. A slip
at that point (low, slow, and "cockeyed") with power on is really scary!
Especially if the fan quits.

A note on slips:
Using slips for adjustments in line-up and crosswind correction are
essential, but beware:  
A steep bank slip, while increasing descent, actually can result in less
induced drag.  The wing will "slice" sideways at a lower absolute angle of
attack (rather then higher) and the airplane will pick up speed. If you
then use up elevator to slow down it may feel OK while in the slip, but
when you straighten the airplane out the angle of attack will return to its
former (higher) state. If your airspeed is low, this can bite.
Anybody concur??? 

Marc Ludtke

> To: iac <iac at>
> Subject: Pitts Landings - "Slipping"  vs. "Carrier" approach
> Date: Friday, January 31, 1997 7:20 AM
>  recent thread  "re: Rudder ???"  discussed briefly the question of
> whether using a forward-slip on landing approach is safe.  There hasn't
> a thread devoted to the subject, so I'm attempting to start one.  
> Some Pitts pilots fly a rectangular pattern and use a forward-slip on
> while others prefer to fly a "U" shaped course from downwind to final (an
> aircraft carrier style approach).  Most pilots I've met have insisted
> one way vs. the other is better and few have expressed a desire to be
> proficient at both. Quite likely this bias was inherited from whoever
> taught them to fly a Pitts.  I was taught the slipping technique and am
> most comfortable in using it. From my viewpoint the benefits of the
> Rectangular Pattern/Slipping Final technique are:
>  - Increased chances of "fitting"  in a busy traffic pattern
>  - You experience the "Pitts blind spot" for a shorter period of time 
>  - You have a better view of aircraft on the ground (holding  short of
> runway) 
>  - Flying a straight final gives a better ability to gage crosswinds
> I find the main disadvantage is that flying in an uncoordinated slip
> uncomfortable and is perhaps unnerving to passengers (as if the rest of
> flight wasn't already!)
> I'm know there's another side to this and I'm probably in the minority.
> So how do you like to land your Pitts?
> John Blum
> Boulder, CO
> Pitts S-2B N5337V 


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