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FYI; ...Piper Checkout; ...The Engine; ...Lycoming Shutdown; ...Piper to Piper Transitions; ...Preflight Items; … Inadvertent Flap Retraction; ...Checking Tires; ...Neutral Trim Set; ...Fuel; ...Preflight; ...Piper Oil Check; ...On Entering the Cockpit; ...Piper Design Differences; ...Piper Takeoff; ...Piper Landings; ...Questions; ...Answers; ...Piper Flow Checklist; ...PIPER CHECKLIST; …Aircraft Basic Information Sheet; …Instructors Opinion on Engine Operation; …Piper Fuel Selector; ... Holding the Piper Throttle and More; …Piper Light Seal; ...To Demonstrate Touchdown Attitude; ...Landing Pipers (Opinion);  ...About the PA-28 189 to a New CFI; ...Piper vs Cessna; ...Aircraft Proficiency Checkout; ...Little Things; ...Piper Struts; ...PA-28 161 Accuracy Landings; ...Nicholas asks about; ...

Every item below is a bit of knowledge that I have acquired through an actual incident. I have seen pilots push on spinners, break doors, scratch paint, walk on wing, fly with cowling unlatched, lose cowlings, have doors open or break, be unable to turn on lights, damage tires, fly out of trim, ground-loop, porpoise, balloon, spin; lose control, pump pressure, fuel caps, fuel; land flat, hard, sit on the horizontal stabilator, and more. Now I am seeing new pilots repeat the same mistakes either through inadequate instruction or retention. Whatever the cause, we must take better care of our aircraft.

In a Piper accident the pilot and his flying will cause about 83% of the accidents. Pipers tend to give pilots more trouble in IFR conditions and at night. Five times as much trouble as in other aircraft. I personally feel that the cockpit lighting of the Piper is much inferior to that of the Cessna. Supplemental lighting is very necessary. A Piper pilot who makes it past the 100-hour mark greatly improves his survivability. Get AOPA "Piper PA-28 Safety Review which includes all PA-28 articles since 1981. 1-800 638-3101.
--Pilot error causes 8`% of Cherokee accident and 71% of Arrow accidents.
--Continued VFR into IFR conditions was most common related cause.
--Arrows have 50% more night accidents as similar aircraft.
--Fixed gear landing accidents were most common due to long landings.
--Arrow landing accidents were related to hard impact--

Piper built the "Short Wing" series in the 1940's; they designed into the plane a stall characteristic that would make it difficult to inadvertently spin a Piper. Stinson aircraft were made with an elevator stop on the flaps. Full up elevator was possible only with the flaps down. This was supposed to prevent stalls and spins. Ercoupe designed an interconnecting rudder with restricted elevator travel. Any turn had built in coordination.

The Piper had a very thick airfoil that used laminar flow to assure that lift would be lost very slowly up to the stall. The wing's design gave a range of attack angles instead of one critical angle of attack. You could enter a slow stall and the plane would rock back and forth instead of pitching forward while at a dramatic sink rate. Only aggressive pitch could get a sharp break and spin. This quality existed in both high and low wing Pipers. The change to the later tapered wing did little to change flight characteristics. The critical approach speed changed from slow with excessive sink when slow to excessive float when fast.

Piper Checkout
Piper checkouts should consist of two flights. The second flight should be at gross. Pipers have somewhat different handling characteristics under different loading that are best learned with an instructor. The pilot who has learned in a Warrior should get his Archer checkout at full gross.

Several aspects of the low-wing Piper aircraft need to be discussed during familiarization, training and checkout. If the following material is not included as required knowledge, what can go wrong will go wrong. Since most pilots will be transferring their flying to other types of aircraft it is wise to include cautions as to what differences exist. A high-time pilot transitioning to a new type of aircraft may have difficulty overcoming ingrained habits and past experiences. Those who believe time accumulated, alone, provides invulnerability are putting themselves and their passengers at risk. The first ten hours are the most likely to produce aircraft damage.

The Engine
The Lycoming engine of the Piper 180's is perhaps the best light aircraft engine made. However, due to the bimetalic construction of its cylinders it can be subjected to avoidable damage by poor operational and piloting techniques. Specifically, shock cooling of the engine and cylinders is to be avoided. Power of 1500 or more should be maintained during all descents. Power off situations should be avoided. The proper planning of airport arrivals and landing approaches will protect the engine from damage.

Lycoming Shutdown
1. Lean, operate at 1200 rpm for 1-minute. (While taxiing?)
2. Operate at 1800 rpm for 20-seconds
3. Reduce to 1200 rpm and kill with mixture.

Piper to Piper Transitions
The Piper pilot should be aware that older Cherokees have a stabilator that is about two feet shorter than later models. This means that at slower speeds much less control power is available. A Hershey-bar wing Cherokee at slower speeds may not have sufficient control to raise the nose. This is especially true at forward C. G. loading. Don't get slow during flare in the Hershey-bar Cherokees or you may drive the landing gear into the fuel tank.

Preflight Items
The spinner nose cone on a Piper is required for flight. It serves as a cooling deflector for the engine air intake. Because of the great centrifugal forces exerted on the spinner, it is vital that no pushing or other pressures be applied while moving the aircraft on the ground. Be sure to check the backing plate and screws of the air filter during preflight. Ingestion into the carburetor will stop the engine. The cowling clamps should be checked to confirm that the toe is tucked under. Feeling for this is better than looking. The bearings of the flap-actuating arm need to be checked for movement and lubrication. There have been reports that the flap attachment bolts and holes can cause unexpected flap operation. The brake lines must be checked for adhering dirt. If ever the cloth cover is letting the underlying metal mesh show have a mechanic check it.

Inadvertent Flap Retraction
Anyone ever bumped the Cherokee (Archer II) flap lever with their knee in a critical situation and lost a notch or two of flaps? I was ~ 10 ft over the runway this evening with three notches in, carrying extra speed for wind gusts. Somehow I bumped the Johnson bar with my knee (probably from rudder correction, or fat knees) and lost a notch. I dropped a little, re-flaired, almost ready to add power, and squeeked it on. I have had this happen once or twice before, but at higher AGL. Is this a common problem with flap levers, or a sign of a worn ratchet mechanism?

Dirty Trick Engine Compartment On Piper's unlatch rear engine cowling latch prior to pre-flight to determine if student preflight includes checking latches. Do not start engine without confirming latches properly fastened.

Checking Tires
The preflight of all aircraft should include rolling the tires. Rolling assures that all chains are removed and serves as tire check for "flats" that may be concealed in the wheel farings. Although retractables pose another issue, it is advisable on fixed gear low-wing aircraft to retract the flaps prior to application of brakes. It is possible to lock the brakes and tires of an aircraft moving in ground effect. In this situation the locked tires will be quickly "sandpapered" to the cord by the pavement. NRI has a $100 penalty for pilots determined to have caused flats' on tires.

The main wheel struts need to have about 8" of chrome showing. It is always advisable to wipe the struts clean during preflight to help preserve the "o" rings. If a strut is low it may be because it is stuck rather than because of low pressure. It is possible to give the strut an assist by carefully backing under the wing tip past the fiberglass tips and locating the main spar with the back and lifting the wing. This is a quick temporary fix. I make a practice of cleaning the struts during the preflight. The 0-rings will be damaged by dirt and allow the struts to deflate.

Neutral Trim Set
During preflight the trim should be set to neutral and the position of the stabilator should be checked against the metal identification plate just forward of the stabilator of the left side of the empenage.

he gas tank caps have a notch and a rubber flapper valve with allows air to enter the tanks as fuel is used. If the operation of this valve is impeded, fuel starvation may occur. A properly installed fuel cap will have the dirty side in. It is advisable to use an 18" stick gauge to determine actual fuel consumption over a period of time. Develop this measuring system where the plane is normally parked as well as on a level surface. Fuel drained from the sumps can be returned to the tanks if no contamination exists. Over a period of time every ounce counts. Gasoline stains under the wings are evidence of hard landings. The tabs inside the tank indicate a 17-gallon level.

It is possible for the fuel tank and engine sumps which have spring loaded drains to stick open. When you take a sample be sure that you let the spring push the sample cup out. If you take it out it is possible for the spring to become stuck. Debris can make it stick open and not leak just long enough for you to get into the airplane.

The manual suggested program of hourly changes give extended flight times with unbalanced weights. Change tanks at altitude in the vicinity of an airport and prior to descent to pattern altitude. I would suggest that the first tank change be done on the 1/2 hour and then proceed hourly with the last 1/2 hour of four hours seeking fuel. Be aware that the loading of the aircraft can greatly decrease the range and greatly increase the fuel consumption. A heavy aircraft may need fuel 100 miles sooner. Change tanks on a scheduled basis. Keep a time log of fuel changes. A low-wing aircraft is twice as likely to have a fuel related accident as is a high-wing. One way of keeping track of the fuel tank selection is using the minute hand of the clock to indicate which tank you should be on. Book performance numbers are for a new aircraft and the best pilot Piper could hire to achieve such numbers, plan accordingly.

After student has developed some checklist proficiency the fuel selector will be correctly positioned during the intitial cockpit checklist. When student leaves to do exterior preflight. Now the instructor does the switch. When student is well seated and beginning the prestart list the instructor applies the 'hurry-up' 'distraction' process designed to make student miss, neglect, or otherwise fail to check the selector position. Even if the student detects it, have it left OFF so student can determine just how long aircraft will continue to function. Even a midway position between OFF and LEFT could provide a learning experience.

Most important that instructor not neglect to set things right prior to takeoff. Incidentally, I have given checkrides where pilot contended that he was taught to change tanks immediately prior to takeoff. Might have confused your tank change after start technique that I agree with. I don't believe I have covered all the pump use situations yet. Every on/off movement of pump requires an immediate check of fuel pressure. I checklist auxiliary pump as pump-pressure on my lists.

Starting: Pump-Pressure (On-Up)
Post start: Pump-Pressure (OFF-up)
Pre-takeoff: Pump-Pressure (On-up)
1000' AGL Pump-Pressure (Off-up)
Tank change: Pump-Pressure (On-up) I try to change tank just before reaching proximity airport and leave pump on for 2 minutes.
Pump-Pressure (Off-up)
Emergency: Pump-Pressure (On-up)
Pre-Landing Pump-Pressure (On-up)
Post-Landing Pump-Pressure (Off-up)

Because of the low wing the electric fuel pump must be operational for all flight. It is a required preflight check. Any time the fuel pump switch is operated the second check MUST be the pressure gauge. The fuel pump is normally ON under five conditions.
(1) Starting,
(2) Takeoff,
(3) Landing,
(4) Changing tanks, and
(5) The second item of the emergency checklist after the first item called "checklist".
Do not push on rudder during preflight!

Items to be included but not often taught are:
1. Proper folding of the rain/sun cover to keep the temperature gauge pocket so that it can be easily located and placed when recovering the aircraft. This usually means to fold the cover lengthwise from both sides of the aircraft and then folding from the back to the front.

2. Run an interior cockpit check of the logbook, fuel selector setting to the left tank, fuel gauge check, getting cockpit sump checker, and lowering flaps.

3. Begin along the right rear of the wing, check right tip and leading edge. Unchain right wing, sump wing and use fuel on rag to clean strut while checking brake lines, flap mounts, and security of wheel farings. Poor excess fuel into tank while visually checking fuel level.

4. Check oil, propeller, alternator belt, and clean nose strut. Drain engine sump and left wing sump. Use fuel to clean strut and check brake lines and security of wheel farings. Pour surplus into tank when visually checking fuel level.

Piper Oil Check:
Fact is that oil will often creep up the oil stick under certain cooling conditions. First removal of the day will often give a false high oil level reading. Failure to wipe stick and re-insert it for a new reading may cause pilot to depart with far less oil that believed.

5. Check stall warner, leading edge, flap mounts, static and pitot tube, unchain wing and check tip and ailerons hinges and flaps along the trailing edge of the wing.

6. Check and identify antennas, neutral stabilator, unchain tail and return to the nose of aircraft to pull/push aircraft for tire check. Confirm that luggage door is secure. Squat check confirms that preflight is complete.

On Entering the Cockpit
Care should be taken when entering or leaving the cockpit to see that wind will not snap the door open. A quick snap of the door can break the door stop mechanism on the bottom of the door. A doorstop was installed on 56K in 1993. Weight should not be placed on the door while entering or leaving since damage to the hinges is likely to occur. All checkouts should caution against stepping or standing on the painted wing surface.

The flap handle operates and locks at 10, 25, and 40 degrees. In the 10-degree position it is very possible to believe that the flaps are up and locked for a step due to the aileron position. This may be an illusion caused by aileron position. Whereas, in reality, they are spring loaded and will not support weight. This condition could result in severe injury to a departing passenger and a barked shin to one stepping onto the wing. Set up this condition to demonstrate during the checkout. Likewise, a passenger on the ground and peering into the cockpit to observe the pilot could receive severe damage to his kneecaps when the flaps are lowered. Always "clear flaps" before lowering. The run up check of the flaps should include visual/manual operation of both extension and retraction through every notch.

The indent position of both left and right flaps should be checked in all settings during runup. The flap operation should be checked through the full range of stop settings, both right side and left side, down and back up. Asymmetric application of flaps will make an aircraft uncontrollable.

A special hazard for Cessna pilots transitioning to Piper. The bar that goes across the cabin just above the rudder pedals should be presented as a potential hazard. If the pilot's toes are allowed to protrude over the toe stops on the rudder pedals so as to reach this bar, it is possible that all directional control and braking can be lost. The misuse is most likely to occur during landing rollout when feet are moved up from rudder to brakes. Every pilot should sit in the aircraft and see for himself how this could happen.

I did not know that there is a cross-cabin bar just above the rudder pedals. I had a student, who after four fine landings, was told to make a full stop. Student put his toes above the rudder toe-stops and pressed on the bar both the steer and brake. Nothing happened and we took out an airport runway sign. Get under the panel and you will see how it can happen.

Advisory #2
However, the reason for this advisory is to provide an additional warning to Piper PA 28 pilots and others. Some years ago I had a $1000 incident in which the student raised both feet above the toe-stops on the brakes. He pushed so hard on the bar above the brakes that I was unable to steer at all. My side had no brakes so the aircraft veered off the runway and took out an airport sign which ripped open the bottom of the wing. See how $1000 got wings.

Today, my student created a variation. While braking for a runway exit he applied left turn and braking pressure on the pedal. His tennis shoes had turned up tips that could slide above the toe-stops unnoticed. This happened. The result was that when it came time to straighten out the aircraft on the exit with right rudder, his depressed left toe became trapped between the rudder pedal and the bar.

The left turn continued until I tried to cut off his toes with my right rudder application. We were headed into the dirt and down a draw until his foot finally broke free. No pain, no damage but a new lesson learned by all. The shoes you wear may not catch the toe-stops.

Piper Design Differences
There are several attributes of Pipers that need to be explained to anyone using them. Cherokee D's had the overhead hand crank. Works well once you use it. Much less likely to jam that the between the seat wheel. Could not be made electric.

When Piper went from the Hershey-bar wing to the tapered wing there was a dramatic shift in the critical approach airspeed. The short wing required that the pilot never allow the approach speed get slow. Arrive in ground effect too slow and you would fall right through it. Result was numerous fuel leaks since tanks were adjacent to landing gear. The tapered wing gave the opposite problem. Any approach speed that was slightly fast would cause excessive float. Short runways were the scenes of numerous overruns.

The knurled wheels to each side of the cockpit switches control the interior lights and the navigation lights. Be sure to locate them. The knurled navigational and instrument light potentiometers and switch combination have been, indirectly, the cause of more than a few accidents over the years. If the checkout pilot fails to show the location to a pilot, they are unlikely to be found.

In 1978 Piper changed from the Hershey-Bar wing to a high aspect, high dihedral, semi-tapered NACA wing with sweep back occurring at mid span. The angle of incidence was changed to make the stall move from the root towards the tips. This gave aileron control in the stall.

The Piper manual says to use C.H. only when indicated. However, the NTSB has determined that at least 35 unexplainable engine failure accidents occur every year that are likely caused by carburetor ice. By the time a pilot with reduced power for landing notices the effects of carburetor ice the engine may be so cool that C. H. will not be effective. I recommend that C.H. be applied for all power reductions. It doesn't hurt and may keep you from being an unexplained accident. Good flying habits, such as applying carburetor heat, need to be maintained.

Because of the possibility of an inexperienced person improperly locking the door the pilot should make a practice of always being the one locking the door. The training of every pilot should include the experience of having the door pop open. The door will only open three or four inches. It makes a loud noise and makes talking on the radio difficult but poses no danger.
Option #1 is return for a landing.
Option #2 is to proceed to a safe operational altitude.
Slow the aircraft with reduced power and flaps. Open the pilot's window to reduce the vacuum and slip into the door (right) and attempt to close the door. This is a two-person operation. The pilot must attend to the flying.

Any deflection of the ailerons requires the use of rudder for coordination. In the PA28 series you cannot use ailerons normally without automatic rudder being applied. There is a linkage between the ailerons and the rudder that tends to keep the ball centered and a semblance of coordination. I feel this is the reason that Piper pilots tend to be rudder lazy when compared with pilots flying other aircraft.

The flap/trim engineering geometry of Piper is quite different from the Cessna. At 1500 rpm Piper Archer can be trimmed for about 90 mph on downwind and flaps added with very little trim adjustment required for final approach speed. Each aircraft loading will require slightly different trim and initial speed. Where electric trim is available the electric trim can be used throughout the flare to make the yoke pressures less. This may produce easy to do landings but a go-around with the trim for nose high and full flaps may over-power your ability to keep the nose down.

The piper selection of the stabilator instead of the conventional stabilizer/elevator configuration was done for several reasons. The stabilator gives a wider range of pitch control over all flight speeds. The stabilator is lighter with lower drag. The use of the anti-servo trim design causes the tab to move with the stabilator but the combination requires more pilot input with any increase in speed or deflection. . The stabilator utilizes an "antiservo" tab that deflects upward on the trailing edge of the stabilator as the controls come back. This antiservo tab generates the necessary control feel and feedback to the pilot to maintain the necessary "stick force per G" to keep a hamfisted pilot from easily breaking the airplane with excessive control movement. This is a safety device improves longitudinal stability while at the same time limiting the pilot ability to cause structural damage.

The "stabilator" affects flight exactly the same as an elevator. However, stability is more difficult to attain with the stabilator because its larger effective surface increases sensitivity. There are two different sizes of stabilators on PA 28 aircraft. One is over three feet less than the other. The control effectiveness of these in landings makes it very important that the pilot be aware of which stabilator is on the aircraft. There are distinctive skills required for proper flying of the older Hershey bar wing with the small stabilator. The older (smaller) stabilator will run out of effectiveness at slower speeds. This is especially critical when the aircraft is loaded toward the aft limits. The stall under these conditions will be unlike any usual Piper stall. It will be abrupt, violent and give a spin all in the same moment. Fuel consumption will cause a gradual rearward movement in the weight and balance envelope. Pipers at gross tend to fly tail low with much greater fuel consumption.

In older models it is possible for one person to easily check the operation of the stall warner. First be sure to open the side window. By reaching into the window you can turn on the master and then by leaning over the wing you can see the stall light go on when the stall vane is operated. Likewise, in the years since the initial use of the vibrator on the left magneto all the publications explaining the operation are out of print. It is important that the new owner/pilot be shown the proper operation. Single magneto operation should only be for a second or two while starting.

The Piper wing has some very fine flight characteristics. The center of lift moves to the rear as speed increases. This causes the nose to move downward at higher speed. It is possible to go one or two hundred feet above a desired altitude and dive before trimming for level. This effectively puts the aircraft on a step similar to that of a speedboat. This results in a noticeable speed increase in a lightly loaded aircraft. The wing also produces a stall that if approached gradually can be likened to a gentle rocking motion with each motion losing about 100 feet. Aggravated, done too abruptly with improper rudder input, this stall can be violent and result in a spin. Spin recovery is normally but should be initiated immediately since over 1000 feet will be lost per turn. Properly flown both the Hershey-bar short wing and the tapered wing produce excellent results. Its stall development pattern is the best in aviation. The 'book' approach speed for the short and long wing is for a gross weight aircraft. Since stall speeds decrease at lighter weights, float can be reduced by using slightly slower approach speeds when below gross. The only approach speed to use is the 'book' speed adjusted for weight.

Slower than 'book' speeds produce accelerated sink in the short wing Pipers and require cautious use even with judicious power application. The short (Hershey-bar) laminar flow wing has a critical speed at which a sink rate may develop such that the flare may be unable to create the ground effect needed. In fact, the plane will fall through ground effect and make ground contact violent enough to damage the aircraft.

The newer tapered Piper wing has a critical speed at which so much ground effect is produced that the plane has excessive float. Properly flown both wings produce excellent results. The book approach speed (76mph-66kts for 56K) is for an aircraft at gross weight. Since stall speeds decrease at lighter weights, float can be lessened by using slower approach speeds. Know the speeds; fly the speeds. This wing design requires a smooth flow of air for best performance. Any ice or frost is a 'no-fly' condition. Always run your fingers over both wings and tail surfaces. Some surface ice is invisible to the eye.

In the air, a Piper nose wheel will move with the rudder. On the ground it moves with the rudder. In a crosswind landing it moves with the rudder. This means that a cross-control landing slip in a Piper will have the nose wheel cocked away from the low wing and into the wind. Severe landing loads are put on the nose wheel if it is allowed to touch down in this cocked position. It may ever result in a ground loop. The nose wheel of a Piper should never be allowed to touch the runway during landing without having been first aligned with the direction of motion.

The engineering geometry of the Piper nose wheel is different from Cessna. The nose steering is directly linked to the rudder pedals. Move the nose wheel; move the rudder. For this reason the rudder should not be moved during preflight. Crosswind landings in Pipers require a slightly different technique than with Cessnas. Because of the nose wheel geometry any cross control which will hold the nose straight with the runway during a crosswind landing will have the nosewheel turned. For this reason it is important that the nose wheel not be permitted to touch the runway until it has been straightened. Otherwise, an abrupt turn or ground loop may occur. During the crosswind landing the rudder effectiveness of the Piper is less than that available to the Cessna. The rudder area is smaller. Additional speed may be required to increase rudder effectiveness. As crosswind velocity increases and approaches the 90-degree angle, the flap settings should be decreased appropriate to pilot ability.

The stabilator has more upward movement than downward because the plane flies with the nose lower than its ground attitude. The reason for the stabilator pivot point is to provide for pitch stability. If the point were moved forward, the stability would decrease. Moving the hinge back would increase stability, but the controls would be very light and require constant adjustment in flight. Stabilator: Up 14 degrees. Down 2 degrees (Plus or minus one degree) Stabilator Tab: Up 3 degrees, Down 12 degrees; (Plus or minus one degree)

The trim tab is designed to pivot so that it provides larger movement at high angles of attack. This reduces the loss of control feel at low airspeeds. The trim tab on Pipers is an Anti-servo tab. When the stabilator moves the wind pushes on the leading edge and it would have extremely light control forces without the servo. The servo gives you a feel of the controls. The anti-servo tab adds artificial resistance by sticking the tab up in the air as you move the elevator the relative wind on the tap counters the wind effect on the stabilator.

A conventional horizontal stabilizer is fixed and a movable elevator provides pitch control. The Piper Cherokee has a "fully flying" tailplane called the stabilator which moves to change the angle of attack.

The center of lift moves as the angle of attack changes. As the center of lift moves away from the hinge point, it introduces an extra torque that tends to rotate the stabilator around the hinge farther than the pilot intended.. The more you move the stabilator, the larger this torque becomes. Torque increase is a "servo" action that makes the control easier to move the more you move it. Over control is the result.

The anti-servo tab on Pipers looks like a small elevator on the back of the stabilator, and is hinged so that it moves in the opposite direction to the stabilator. This gives the 'anti' effect to the stabilator movement. This countering force on the stabilator evens out the control forces as the stabilator is moved. The position of this tab relative to the rest of the stabilator can be changed by the trim wheel. Neutral trim setting is determined when the servo tab and stabilator are even with each other and the leading edge of the top of the aircraft identification on the left side of the empenage.

That tab also doubles as a trim tab through cables to the cockpit trim wheel. Earlier B, C and D PA28 had an overhead crank. Because the whole stabilator moves and the wind pushes on the leading edge when it's deflected, it would tend to have extremely light control forces. A stabilator has considerable authority when compared to the horizontal stabilizer and elevator or other aircraft.

The stabilator trim tab is attached so as to make it deflect more than the stabilator) when the stabilator is moved. The effect is, that for any trim setting, you get the same effect for the same control pressure or movement. The trim tab on a stabilator is actually an anti-servo tab. This gives control feel when you pull or push on the yoke.

The advantages to the stabilator are, smooth control and less drag. Disadvantages are, an increased ability to stall the surface unless controlled by the anti-servo, greater weight, lower control effects at slow speeds.

Piper Takeoff
The short field takeoff with 25 degrees of flaps will produce a dramatic flight angle. This is especially true when lightly loaded. Considerable pilot skill and rudder is required to maintain airspeed at this angle. Unless required in an actual situation it may be better to accept a higher speed and lesser angle for practice.

If, on takeoff, too much speed is acquired before rotation, the Piper will give abrupt and excessive pitch up. This is a poor technique and should be avoided by holding the weight off the nose wheel as soon as power is applied. Every pilot should know that the rotational axis while on the round is at the wheels. On liftoff the rotational axis changes to the center of lift. Pilot takeoff procedures require a transitional pitch change during takeoff for this reason. When the plane lifts off at about 60 mph, lower the nose and fly in ground effect while acceleration occurs to climb speed. This technique is especially important in heavily loaded or under-powered Pipers such as the 180 H.P. Arrow and 260 H.P Six.

Piper Landings
Another Piper landing difference that is a typical transition problem is allowing the nose wheel to make the initial contact with the ground. This is easy to do if the pilot's desire is to keep the runway in sight. The pilot, sensing that the nose wheel is about to make ground contact will jerk the yoke back. Too late!! The jerk on the yoke is compounded by the decompression of the nose strut. We are now nose high, out of airspeed, and pushing forward on the yoke. Too late!!! The nose is now falling with sufficient momentum to smash the nose gear and propeller. If you sense such a situation developing, GO AROUND.

The landing of a low-wing Piper is deceptively easy. Deceptive because the perceived good landing is holding potential dangers. The Piper can be landed flat with the runway in view. It will feel good. However, a slight increase in speed, a slight forward jerk as ground contact is made can produce wheel barrowing. This is where the combination of flaps and ground effect will raise the main wheels slightly off the ground while the nose wheel becomes the only ground contact. The airplane effectively becomes an unbalanced wheelbarrow and just as uncontrollable. If you sense such a situation, GO AROUND. To prevent wheelbarrowing the yoke must be well back while there is still effectiveness and the nose allowed to fall slowly as the effectiveness decreases. Stop the yoke, yes. Move it forward, never.

A Cherokee will land and you will still have the runway in sight. This landing is damaging to the aircraft. The purpose of learning to do full stall landings, in the first place, is to reduce the potential for damage to the aircraft. Any landing faster than a full stall is too fast. If you can see the runway while landing 56K you have not made a full stall landing. Any pilot who accepts anything less than the best landing needs to get some instruction. Poor landings cost us all more in maintenance than it should. The major cause of poor landings is directly related to the instruction and checkouts given.

Reducing the amount of flaps used will make possible nose high landings if full yoke movement is included in the flare. Some Piper students are being taught to land with less than full flaps but without the required yoke movement. It is easier to teach partial flap ( flat) landings that please the student. However, the student is being taught to fly without a full deck of cards. Full flaps have a purpose. Flaps are meant to improve the approach and landing aim for the pilot. Full flaps, except in crosswinds, are better for this purpose than partial flaps. In addition, with the advent of the long wing Piper students are being taught that an abrupt reduction of power to reduce float can be corrected with the yoke and ground effect. This less than desirable technique can be made to work with long wing Cherokees. Use of this technique on a Hershey-bar Cherokee or in transition to Cessnas produces a very hard landing.

Most Piper pilots do not move the yoke UP. Pulling back and down is the most common action and this fails to produce the required stabilator movement. Full movement of the yoke will cause it to move up one inch for every two inches of the last six inches of rearward movement. I have rarely encountered a Piper pilot who habitually practices full stall landings.

If you are high on final approach and have applied full flaps, have the power off, and have airspeed about 75 mph, An additional 5 degrees of flap may be obtained by pulling back on the flap handle. Pipers slip beautifully even with full flaps. I would limit the duration of slips if flying below 1/4 tank of fuel since it might unport the fuel intake.

If you flare too close to the ground with too much speed 56K will rebound to a higher level as though on springs. This is caused by too much ground affect. This can result in a low airspeed at six to eight feet of altitude. GO AROUND because you will no longer have the ground effect needed for a soft landing. A low speed landing without the cushion of ground effect will severely damage the aircraft. Gasoline stains under the wings are frequent evidence of hard Piper landings.

Why does 56K always seem to have collapsed struts? There is no inherent aerodynamic reason. Piper landings do not require that the nose wheel hit before or simultaneously with the main gear. It happens so often that it just seems that way. You can taxi the length of the runway or do touch and goes in 56K without ever using the nose wheel. It is more difficult if there are no back seat passengers but it is possible. Keep a bit of power on.

Some pilots have been taught to use Piper electric trim to make getting the flare attitude easier. It is easy, just level off above the runway at slightly below approach speed and hold the electric trim down. The most desirable of full stall nose landings will occur with very little pilot input. Why not? I would not recommend this landing to any pilot simply because in the event of a go-around a trim induced stall is more than likely to occur. In a PA-28 180 or 181 the yoke pressure to pitch the nose up may well exceed the strength of the pilot to hold it down. I was in the back seat of a C-182 once when just this happened. I mention this type landing only to warn you against flying with an instructor or pilot who practices it.

Go over this idea with your instructor. It is relatively dangerous if you need to go-around but it might give you an idea of what things should look like for a landing.

Use a long runway (5000') Flare at hip height at Vref. Vref is the speed for landing adjusted for weight. If only two aboard it amounts to about 5 knots. Some differences depend on the type of Piper wing you have. It makes an even greater difference if you have a short stabilator (Find the difference by comparing old and new Pipers.) Short stabilators run out of authority unless you carry power all the way to touchdown. Carry some power every time if you really want to keep the nose wheel off the runway.

If you have electric trim as the plane sinks to the runway run the trim all the way nose up. Make any power reductions in 100 rpm increments slow and smooth. With manual trim all the way nose up and use power to keep from ballooning. Pipers are relatively difficult to get into a nose high full-stall flare unless carrying rear seat passengers.

1. What will be the differences in a Piper landing with partial flaps?

2. How do you decide whether to use 63 or 69 as glide speed with 56K during a landing?

3. Since the Piper Handbook does not recommend carburetor heat as being required prior to power reduction, what should the pilot do?

4. Why are high density altitudes landings likely to be 'firm'?

5. By what means can an ELT be checked?
6. What is the only solution to be used when you porpoise?

7. What are the five times use of the electric fuel pump is initiated?

8. How is landing gear geometry in Pipers different from Cessnas?

9. In what ways is the critical airspeed between the tapered wing Piper different from than of the Hershey bar wing Piper?

1. The nose can be held higher off the runway during the landing. This is a technique best used when there are no rear seat passengers.

2. Use the lower approach speed when you are well below gross. Using the higher speed at low gross will cause excessive float during landing.

3. It does not do any damage to use heat. NTSB usually has some 35 unexplained fatal accident every year that may be attributable to carburetor icing in aircraft where carburetor heat application is not a preferred POH procedure.

4. A sudden change in density altitude flying can greatly affect how you land an aircraft. The pilot often becomes conditioned to landings in the cooler air of the fall, winter, and spring. The ground effect of this period allows an extended float/flare to be normal. The first high density altitude landing of the year comes as a surprise. The float and ground effect is not there. The plane will 'fall' through ground effect unexpectedly before the pilot raises the last six inches of yoke travel.

Cherokees with full flaps tend to land flat if no rear seat passengers are aboard. It does not take much inattention to cause the nose wheel to hit before the main gear. This is most likely to happen in a high density altitude landing. The one second delay in human reaction is just enough to make the situation progressively worse. Go around on the first bounce!

5. 56K has a cockpit switch on the left side that allows the ELT to be checked. This check will allow a radio tuned to 121.5 to receive the ELT. Such a test should be conducted during the first five minutes of an hour after advising ATC. No more than three tone cycles. Pull the switch arm out before moving.

6. Go around.

7. Start, takeoff, changing tanks, emergency, landing

8.The nose gear of the Cessnas are connected to the rudder pedals by springs. When the nose strut is compressed these springs along with differential braking allow ground steering. In the air, the strut extends, is disconnected from the rudder, and aligns with the relative wind. This that in a crosswind landing with crossed controls the nose wheel will be aligned with the runway. Pipers had to use a less desirable system to avoid patent rights. The nose wheel is directly interfaced with the rudder on the ground and in the air. When you use the rudder you turn the nose wheel. In a crosswind landing it is important not to allow the Piper nose wheel to touch the ground until the rudder pedals are straightened.

9. The critical speed for both types of aircraft is during the landing approach and flare. All landings make use of ground effect as determined by approach speed and wing span. The short span wing has a critical approach speed below which the aircraft will 'fall' through ground effect. The long span wing has a critical approach speed above which the aircraft will have excessive float.

Speed list for older PA28-140 in mph
Vso 55
Vs1 64
Vx 80
Vy 89
Vfe 115
Va 129
Vno 140
Vne 170
125 mph true cruise at 75

PIPER Flow Checklist
Fuel Pump
--Fuel Selector

Fuel Selector
Fuel Pump

Time log check
Release controls
"Clear", lower flaps
Master on, fuel gauges, Master off
Fuel Selector, Left or fullest
Sump cup

Right side:
Right flap, aileron, tip, wing
Tiedown, strut, brake lines, farings
Drain sump, check tank, cap (Pour sump cup into tank)
Latches, oil, belt, prop, sump
Left side:
Tie down, strut, brake lines, farings
Drain sump, check tank, cap
Stall warner, pitot, static air
Wing, tip, aileron, flap
Antennae, stabilator, rudder, neutral trim
Luggage door
Walk to nose and roll plane to check tires and clear cable


Flaps "clear", up The fuel pump is to be ON
Window, key for five different operations.
Seats, belts, door 1. Start
Mixture, prime 2. Takeoff
Master, brakes, 3. Changing tanks
Fuel pump, pressure 4. Landing
"CLEAR" 5. Second item on EMERGENCY checklist
Throttle 1/2"
Idle 1000 rpm, Mixture lean
Fuel pump, pressure
Gauges, radio
Radio Master, ATIS
Into wind, brakes
Controls, flaps
Mixture, 2000 rpm
Mags, Carb heat
Gauges, window
Fuel pump, pressure
Radio, X-ponder
Climb 76 mph, 86 mph, 96 mph CHECKLIST
Fuel pump, pressure at 1000'
1. Checklist
2. Pump & pressure
CRUISE 3. Fullest tank
to 5000' 2450 rpm Lean 4. Best glide
to 10,000 2600 rpm Lean 5. Trim
above 2700 Lean 6. Field/Wind
Change tanks on a scheduled basis. 7. Restart
8. Master, mixture, mags
9. 7700/121.5
10. X 3 all words
Keep a time log of fuel changes on sectional
Avoid power off descents
Keep power 1500 or above
Fullest tank before descent to land
Fullest tank
Fuel pump, pressure
Gauges, instruments
Carb, heat, 1500 rpm
Hold heading, altitude
Trim for 86 mph
Flaps 10 degrees
1500 rpm
Flaps 25 degrees
Trim 86 mph
1500 rpm
Flaps 40 degrees
Trim 76 mph
Yoke full back/up
Power off
Flaps up, brakes
Use of electric trim to assist
flare is dangerous if a go-around
should become necessary.
Fuel pump, pressure
Carb heat
Controls for taxi
121.5 ELT check Controls belted
Radio Master Chains
All electrical Plane locked
Log time

Flaps "clear' up Start
Window, key Idle 1000, mixture lean
Seats, belt door Fuel pump, pressure
Mixture, prime Gauges, radios
Master, brakes ATIS
Fuel pump, pressure Set alt, HI

Into wind, brakes Fuel pump, pressure
Controls, flaps Trim
Mixture, 2000 rpm Freq/volume
Mags, Carb heat Strobes
Gauges, window, door Time ck.
Fuel pump, pressure Departure
radio, x-ponder 1st ck pt.
Fullest tank Flaps up
Fuel pump, pressure Brakes
Gauges Fuel pump, pressure
NUMBERS Carb heat
Carb heat, 1500 rpm Gauges
Hold heading, altitude Controls for taxi
Notch flaps, trim 86 mph Radio when clear
Notch flaps, 86mph
Notch flaps trim 76mph

121.5 ELT ck. Fuel pump, pressure
Radios off Fullest tank
All electric off Speed/76 trim
Master off Field/wind
Mixture Restart
Mags Master,mixture, mags
Log time 77s00, 121.5
Belt controls X-3 "Mayday" all words
Chains Belts/door
Lock plane

The following Piper checklist is a pocket sized one that is made from a four and one-half by six card that is folded into quadrants and then cut to the center from one side. This makes it possible to keep the all the checklists in a very compact space that can be clipped to the yoke or kept in a shirt pocket. I would suggest printing out the separate lists and pasting them to the eight quadrants so that they appear in sequence as the folding and unfolding occurs.

Use your own preferred preflight and put it lengthwise down the left side of the card folded lengthwise. This is a checklist not a how to do list. A string around your neck with a paper clip is an easy way to carry and use the list.

Controls...................Free & Correct
Parking Brake.........................Set
Seats, Seatbelt, & Harnesses....Adjusted
Circuit Breakers..................Checked
Lights/Fan/A.C. Switches..............Off
Carburetor Heat.......................Off
Fuel Selector................Desired Tank
Avionics - Check 121.5 ATIS, the......Off
Master Switch..........................On
Fuel Quantity Indicators..........Checked
Speaker "Auto" Button .................In
Primer.................As required, locked
Electric Fuel Pump.....On, CHECK PRESSURE
Mixture Control..................Full Rich
Throttle.........................1/4" Open
Clear Prop/Area...................."CLEAR"
Magneto/Start Switch........Engage Starter
After Starting
Throttle...................800 to 1000 RPM
Oil Pressure.......................Checked
Electric Fuel Pump.....Off, CHECK PRESSURE
Alternator output..................Checked
Avionics - On...Transponder 12000 & SBY
Mixture......................Leaned 1 inch
During Taxi
Magnetic Compass...................Checked
Gyro Instruments...............Set/Checked



Fuel mark
Master, controls
Log, fuel, flaps
R flap/wing
Sump/gear (3)
Sump/sump/gear (3)
L wing/flap

Field, wind
Fullest tank
121.5, 7700
Pre-crash (4)
Checkpoint apts
Prior to Landing
Seats, belts, doors
Key, prime, throttle
C.H., lock, mixture
Master, brakes
Wind, brakes,selector
Controls,2K rpm, mags
1000 rpm
Trim, flaps
Seats, belts, doors
PumPressure, strobes
Radio, x-ponder
Clearing, mixture
Rotate 60, Climb 86
PumPressure @ 1000'
Lean with EGT
Full throttle at 7K
Power above 1500
Change tanks high
ATIS, altimeter
Call-up, report

Fullest tank
Gauges, instruments
C. H., 1700 rpm
Heading, altitude
Trim 86, flaps 10
1500 rpm, flaps 25
Trim 86
1500 rpm
Flaps 40
Trim 76
Flaps up, no brakes
No hurry to clear
C. H, PumPressure
Lean, controls
Radio, x-ponder
Order fuel
ELT, radio master
All electrical
Master, mixture, Mags
Log, controls belted
Clean cockpit
3 chains, clean shocks
Cover, squat test
Radio, lean, 1k rpm,

Aircraft Basic Knowledge Sheet
Dimensions: Height_____ Length_____Wingspan_____ Propeller_____Tires_____

Full fuel_____Grade_____POH endurance______TRUE endurance_____

Oil type_____Maximum_____Minimum______

Cockpit l switches, knobs, lights and sounds: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Gross weight _____Empty weight_____Full Fuel weight_____Cockpit load available_____CG Range_______

Speeds: Va_____Vx____Vy____Vfe____ Vne____Vno____Vg____

Gross aircraft performance parameters in standard conditions:


S.L. takeoff_____Over obstacle_____ Landing______ Over obstacle______Configuration ______________


Short field-Speed____ Takeoff___Over obstacle ___Landing_____Over obstacle______Configuration_________

Soft field-Speed____ Takeoff___ Over obstacle___Landing_____Over bstacle______Configuration__________

Density Altitude Performance at Gross

Conditions: Level Cruise a 65% power, 7500' Standard Temperature.

True air speed______Fuel used____per hour

Takeoff at Gross Weight, 5000' 100 F, over obstacle Ground run______Rate of Climb_____ Total distance to 50'

 Instructor's Opinion on Engine Operation
After years of fighting with our club's Archers, the procedure I've settled on which seems to work every time is:
1) Fuel pump on
2) Mixture full rich
3) One squirt of primer
4) Key to "start"
5) While cranking, pump the throttle briskly 2-3 times, then leave it about 1/4 open.
6) Once it catches, bring the mixture back to about halfway and the throttle to idle.
7) Fuel pump off
8) Once it's really running smooth (almost immediately in the summer, maybe 30 seconds in the winter), bring the mixture back further, just to the point where it starts to run rough, then nudge it back just a little bit richer than that. If it sounds rough when you advance the throttle for taxi, go just a little bit richer on the mixture.

The idea of pumping the throttle while cranking, is that you've got air moving through the carburetor, sucking the gas into the engine, preventing the problem Gene describes.

The idea of leaning hard for taxi is to prevent fouled spark plugs.
Roy Smith

Lycoming O-360 tables:
75% power at 22.5" 2700 RPM uses 11.2 gph
75% power at 24.8" 2200 RPM uses 10.5 gph

Piper Fuel Selector
Still trying to figure out why the Piper's don't have a "both" setting. Only other aircraft I've flown like that was a Tampico. Is it just a low-wing type thing or are there some technical reason or what? Any clue?

Fill two identical glasses with water, put a straw in each, and attempt to sip from both glasses simultaneously. Now dump all the water out of one glass, and try to drink from the remaining glass using the same two-glass, two-straw technique. The technical problem will become apparent.

Hi Gene,
I came across your Web SITE from a search I started on Piper fuel selectors. I couldn’t believe that the low wing Piper could not have a "both" selection. The following is from your site;

I think I understand the reason however, it assumes that the two tanks are not tied together with a common duct. And that the "feed" from both tanks are run parallel instead of a "T" to the fuel pump. If this is true, why then does Piper continue to manufacture this design causing pilots to post all sorts of reminders like "SWITCH THE TANKS" so they don’t fall from the sky?
John Beneat

Holding the Piper Throttle
In your note you mentioned difficulty making small power adjustments in the PA-28s. I thank you for bringing it up since I do not have it in my web side Piper material. The problem lies in how you hold the throttle, or more exactly, how you were taught to hold the throttle. Much the same problem exists with the Piper yoke with all the groves designed to hold each finger for a full handgrip.

The way I teach holding the throttle is with the palm of the hand up and the thumb only on the 'handle'. The fingers are braced against the base to provide leverage for controlled movements without unexpected input due to ground contact on landings or turbulence. Take a minute to try it as an alternative method. I only change my hold when going to full throttle. Then I 'lock' the throttle full forward by grasping the pedestal on both sides with thumb and fingers. This 'lock' only has to save your life once to make it worthwhile.

Piper Light Seal
If landing light seal is not sufficient to keep water out you should expect standing water to corrode the air filter. Service Bulletin #975.

To Demonstrate Touchdown Attitude:
Get some help if necessary but by putting pressure (body weight) on the empennage just forward of the vertical stabilizer you should be able to lower the nose. You want to get a visual picture of the horizon line and the nose position as it should appear on landings. You should be able to land both with and without power.

Landing Pipers (Opinion)
I've been flying our 1967 PA28-140 for about a year and a half. I trained 150's/152's mostly, and finished up in the 140 after my brother and I purchased it.

All of the above posts are valid. My thoughts:
The airplane IS really nose heavy. Gene Whitt says on his web page that the airplane seems to 'like' landing flat sort of a 3 point landing. It looks good, it feels good. I've found this very true, and still have a bit of trouble landing 'two point - then nose'. I don't land on the nose gear first, thank God, (except for those two night cross country dual landings <G>), but I do tend to land too flat. I'm getting better however. I bet more up trim in the flare phase would help both of us.

On crosswind/downwind I trim for level flight when at pattern alt. On the numbers downwind I power back 1500rpm, and trim 3 cranks on the trim knob UP. This settles out to a nice 70 knot or so approach speed
with little or no pressure on the yoke. I also use carb heat every landing although its not recommended in the POH. That's the last time I change trim. Maybe a bit more up trim on final would help the flare.

The 140 is real draggy. It does not seem to float like a 150. Unless I'm really high and hot, I usually carry at least a hint of power until final flare. In emergency landing simulations with power off at 1000 feet AGL, I've found you need to get to the runway NOW in many cases. If you too high, no problem, you can go from a lotta drag clean, to extreme drag - flaps and a slide slip - and come down at 65-70 knots like a lead brick

Sounds like you flared too high, yanked the power too soon, and just ran out of lift too high off the turf.
Tom McCausland

That's a lot of power on final. When you pull it the nose is going to drop. Are you really maintaining your airspeed through that transition? You can't hope to maintain your *pitch* at the same time. If you maintain
the same pitch you're going to get slow, your sink rate is going to increase dramatically, and when you try to round out you're going to be low on elevator authority to change pitch and low on airspeed to arrest your descent. If you DO manage to round out at a normal height (for a 65-knot approach) you'll be slow and probably drop it in. If you DON'T manage to round out then you'll hit nosewheel first and porpoise.
Ben Jackson

About the PA-28 180 to a new CFI
I don't have the POH any longer but I know that the Vx climb speed was at such an angle that I never attempted it. A lightly loaded 'D' climbs at a scary angle. Watch out for the 'Hershey-bar wing. The sink rate below 80 mph may become so excessive that any delay in power will be too late to salvage driving the gear into the fuel tanks. The above is the main distinction between the two wings of the PA-28. The 180 has a critical slow speed in landing. The 181 has a critical high speed in landing. Watch out getting slow on final with the 180. At below proper approach speed the sink rate can exceed the power needed to stop the sink. Too fast in the 181 and you may well float off the end of the runway. Slow the 180 at idle at altitude and note the sink rate go to 1000 fpm. Be sure to compare old and new stabilator size.

Explain why you do not push on a Piper rudder. Explain that patent differences is the reason the nose wheels of Cessna and Piper are different. In the air the Piper nose wheel turns with the rudder. In crosswind landings the wheel must be straightened before it is allowed to touch down. Cessnas nose wheel extends in the air and is free from the rudders until the strut is compressed by ground contact. Interesting stalls in both aircraft. You can hold it in the stall and it will rock like a rocking chair. It will spin and recover but only with full forward yoke. Be sure to note the cabin bar that extends just above the rudder pedals. Read the story about my only accident in over 10,000 hours.

Pipers are twice as likely as Cessnas to have a fuel related accident. Transition from a Cessna to a Piper is easier than Piper to Cessna. Different ground effect. Which is also the reason for the landing speed differences between the 180 and the 181. Be sure to open the door on a student in flight to expose them to the closing options. After starting turn selector to off and let student see how long engine will run before dying. If it doesn't there's something wrong with the selector. Happens. Insist that they move the throttle palm up with thumb on the throttle. For takeoff the hand straddles the quadrant and prevents any backward movement of the throttle. Failure to properly seat the primer in its key-lock will give you an engine that runs like it needs an overhaul. Undo a rear engine cowling latch and fasten incorrectly to see if student catches it in the preflight. Use the fingernail check to show properly fastened. Location of static air is common unknown.

In strong crosswinds you will soon run out of rudder authority in the PA-28. Increase approach speed. Teach and demonstrate the hazards related to the 10-degree position of the flaps. Show how failure to clear flaps before lowering/raising can destroy a kneecap. Most common checkout failure is not showing how to turn on navigation and cockpit lighting. Many accidents caused by inadequate checkouts. Remember the five times to use the fuel pump and every use of the switch requires touching the pressure gauge. Make fuel tank changes using the left hand. Show how holding back on the flap handle gives another five-degrees effective flap above 40s-degrees. Show students that hand brake is backwards to VW. Never trust a hand brake. Always roll tires to check for flat spots. Roll out on landing without using brakes. Do not make high-speed turns off the runway. Clean struts during preflight. Do not use gasoline unless you re-oil the strut with an oil rag. Low tires is the #1 cause of unairworthy flight. Dirty brake lines are a sign of leakage. Low wing struts lead to fuel tank damage. Show how to check stall warner by opening window before beginning preflight. Reach in window to turn on master. Explain the why of the dual master switch.

Piper vs Cessna
--Seat belt systems are somewhat different.
--Flap relationship to trim is unique one from the other.
--Best to have your own POH for every aircraft you fly.
--Most of the checklist items will have a different sequence
--The first item of your emergency checklist will be different.
--Manufacturer's instructions related to carburetor heat differ.
--Night and cockpit lighting systems require distinctive explanations.
--The maneuvering and taxiing blind spots are usually quite different.
--One door system is more likely to accidentally open as the other is.
--Cross wind and ground handling in strong winds distinctly different.
--One flap system is more controllable and consistent than the other is.
--Seat adjustment systems are just different enough to cause difficulties.
--Never plan to immediately fly hard IFR in a newly transitional aircraft.
--The way you hold your hands on the throttle should be quite different
--One fuel system is twice as likely to cause an engine failure as the other is.
--POH numbers and explanations vary year to year and even within the year.
--You should always make your own aircraft specific operational checklist.
--Confirm the 'neutral' position of the trim setting indicator with actual trim position.
--Learn all you can about the failure modes of all unfamiliar instruments in either type.
--Gear retraction and extension of one is less likely to give problems than the other is.
--The way you use the rudder pedals and brakes have a VERY dangerous difference.
--The preflights are distinctly different with differing critical points where mistakes occur.
--Get some pre-flight cockpit time for reading the POH and referencing the cockpit to it.
--Run the trim wheel all the way up and down, manually and electrically to become familiar.
--Within the same models of each manufacturer there are wide critical airspeed differences.
--Both manufacturers have made wing, elevator and instrument changes affecting critical speeds.
--Distinct differences in handling when at gross and near either end of the center of gravity range.
--With two exceptions, one type is more likely to have a stall/mush accident in all its models than the other is.

Aircraft Proficiency Checkout
Removal and storage of cover
Checking time log/pitot cover and control lock storage
Cargo doors not to be slammed.
Refueling procedures
Location of POH/weight/ balance and aircraft papers.
Cockpit lighting
Starting procedures
Priming without throttle
Prop wash effects behind
Detecting carburetor ice
Taxi procedures
Mixture leaning
Power vs brakes
Controls set for wind direction
Facing wind or local requirements
Use of hand brake/foot brakes
Magneto check drop comparison
Clearing fouled plugs
Pre takeoff
Clearing the bases and final
Confirming power available
First power reduction at 1000'
Leveling off
Allow acceleration before power reduction|
Setting 75%, rpm and leaning
Trim and use of auto pilot (Operation and failure modes)
Heading and altitude control
Coordination of flight
Radio Procedures
Initial call to ATC and follow-up
Non-tower airport operations (Pattern operations)
Light systems
Steep turns
Slow flight
Stall recognition/recovery
Emergency procedures
Simulated engine failure
3 take offs and landings to include
No flap
Short approach
Short and Soft
Full flap go-around

Little Things
In the past several weeks I have had occasion to fly with two low time PA-28 pilots who had been 'checkout' in the PA-28 at least twice by different FBO instructors. I was shocked by how poorly they had been informed of some of the 'little things' about a PA-28.  Here are some of the 'little things'. I just wonder how many of these were included in your checkout.

--Were you told of the cabin bar that crosses the cabin just above the toe-stops of the rudder pedals?
--Were you told how to determine neutral trim setting using the stabilator?
--Were you told what the tiny rubber seal inside the fuel caps were for?
--What are the two steps required for every use of the booster pump switch?
--What part of the preflight is mosst likly to be neglected?
--Were you told of how the cowling latches can be closed but not latched?
--What can happen (35 times a year) if you follow the POH regarding use of carburetor heat?
--What hazard exists if the flaps are set at 10-degrees during boarding or exiting?
--What is your landing option if you are making a full-flap final approach when your engine quits at 400 feet? (read about Cessnas)
--How do you close the door if it opens in flight without landing?
--How are Piper cross wind landings different than Cessnas'.
--How and why should you clean the gear struts during preflight?
--What can you expect during the first use of cabin heat each winter?
--What happens if you hold a PA-28 into a stall without initiating a recovery?
--What configuration and procedure should be used for descent through undercast over unknown terrain?
--Were you told/taught how to close an open door in flight?
--How does the PA-28 fuel system compare with that of Cessnas'?  Why?
--Why is it important for Piper instructors to hold the controls properly in crosswinds?
--Why is the PA-28 spinner required when that of the Cessna is not?
--How have you been taught to hold the PA-28 throttle. Of the possibles which is better?
--What aspect of the PA-28 checkout procedure has resulted in the most accidents?

Piper Struts
Alan wrote in message
Yesterday's first cross-country trip was called off due to weather. Since only have two hours booked today, we're going to practice landings, work on short-field takeoffs and landings, and introduce soft-field takeoffs & landings.
During preflight, I notice the left strut on the Warrior is low, even for this Warrior. I mentioned it to the CFI when he came out; he looked at it and pronounced it OK -- since the ramp isn't level, this side tends to
compress more while parked.

So we get cleared onto the runway at an intersection, just after somebody is cleared to position and hold at the end. My CFI and I look at each other, and he checks with the tower. They're just stacking us up, so we can all take off before the next landing (two more planes waiting besides us). We taxi out, and, just as I'm coming up to full power, the tower calls to let me know they need me moving NOW. Fortunately, he talks to them as I release the brakes -- I'm busy enough, on what's maybe my third short-field takeoff.  We climb straight up (well, not really, but it sure is steep), and call the tower on downwind. They clear us #3 to land. We only see the guy on base, and they only say "traffic ahead", which is odd -- usually they give me some idea of where to look. While I'm slowing down, they amend our clearance to #2, which makes way more sense.

We land, stop, clean up, set the flaps, apply power, and release the brakes. We start rolling, then it feels like we hit a pothole. Except there ARE no potholes on this runway!  I don't have that "if ANYTHING unusual happens, abort the takeoff" reaction yet, but fortunately the CFI does. I pull back the throttle, and he tells the tower we've aborted. We taxi back, and there's oil all over the strut. OK, we're done with THIS plane!

I don't know yet if it was already bad when I did the pre-flight (and, remember, the CFI also checked it) or if it was just ready to blow, and then blew on landing or on the takeoff roll. I'm just glad we decided to stay in the pattern and do all our landings locally, instead of heading for another airport (which we almost did, to find short/soft runways to work). It'd have been way more of an inconvenience to have had this
happen elsewhere (but, of course, less of an inconvenience than trying to land with only one working strut!).

PA-28 161 Accuracy Landings
First of all I have to make some assumptions:
---You are working on accuracy landings and having difficulty..
---You are flying a PA-28 161 (long wing)
---The 65 Kt approach speed is the POH gross weight speed.
---You are keeping partial power on into the flare and touchdown OR
---You are simulating an emergency and making the entire approach power off.

If the above is the case you might need to make some adjustments in your approach method.

---If you are below gross you should lower your approach speed. This will increase your rate of descent and will improve your aim and reduce your float if done with full flaps.

---What you are trying to find out is how far will your aircraft float when you flare at a particular speed and weight. Your need to slip would indicate to me that you are too fast on the approach. The long-wing Piper will float several hundred feet in ground effect.

---Having to slip during a full flap landing means that you are making some gross mistakes both in approach speed and aiming point. If you have not yet tried it, do this. On final with all the flaps applied. Grab the handle and hold it back as far as you can. It will give you at least five-degrees more flap or instead of 40 you will have 45-degrees of flaps.This will make your approach angle steeper and more accurate.

---Suggest that you make a series of no-flap accuracy landings to get a better idea of how well a 161 floats without flaps. When Piper first came out with the long wing the aircraft were floating so far that they would go off the far end of runways.

---What you need to learn is to use the ground effect or to get rid of it. Fly at 60 knots and see how far the plane floats both with and without flaps and power. Without flaps and 1200 rpm the float can be as much as 500 feet at 65kts. Now what you should do is make a series of different approaches with different flaps, power, and speed. Then make some approaches where you only vary the speed, followed by approaches where you just vary the power and finally approaches where you vary the flaps. By learning which one you find most effective for you, you will be able to improve your accuracy.

---By yourself with partial fuel, you could be 20 % below gross. Then you should take 10% off your 65kt approach speed. By using some power during the approach and flare you could take still more speed off. At some point you could learn to chop the power and drop the plane at most any point you choose.

This entire process is unnecessary in the Hershey-bar wing PA-28s.

Nicholas, asks about
---It is important that your seat position be the same on every flight. Otherwise, you will be constantly getting a different perspective on the approach. What you must do is set up as many CONSTANTS as you can. Indicated airspeed, power setting, trim pressure, flap setting, aircraft weight, etc

---Power is the easiest variable to change so it is helpful if you begin your approach with 12 to 1500 rpm. If you can carry power into the flare that begins at least 200 feet short of your planned touchdown point you can make slow power reductions that will bring you down where you want to touchdown.

---If you are uncomfortable with the use of ground effect I would suggest that you spend the time and money to take some gliding lessons. It will give you the confidence to remain in ground effect as you need to do with the long-wing Pipers.

---On every approach there is a space between the nose of the aircraft and the end of the runway or your target. What you want to do is to keep that space constant. If it becomes smaller it means that you will land long. If it becomes larger and seems to get flatter it means you are going to be short. Long can be adjusted to a point by power reductions and airspeed reductions.

---Part of the effect of a lower airspeed below the Vref approach speed is that it increases the sink rate. The saying is,. "To get down slow down". The initial illusion is that your nose is higher but giving a bit of time the target point will reappear along with the increase in sink rate. Practice this a few times in pre-planned go-arounds until you can control the increased sink rate. Remember the closer you are to 1/2 wing span to the ground the greater the ground effect (cushion). Power adds to the cushion. Vref is the approach speed adjusted for percentage of aircraft weight below allowable gross weight.

---About PA-28 slips. Be aware that a slip into a wing low partially filled fuel tank can un-port the fuel flow and stop the engine.
Much the same can occur if you make a sharp turn into a runway for takeoff. Slips should be controlled by airspeed. I have found it easiest to keep the same indicated speed as my approach speed any faster is not going to give you the loss of altitude you are looking for. Pipers slip beautifully and can be slipped right down into the flare. Being too fast in airspeed on recovery will undo what you gained from the slip. Always slip into any wind for maximum benefit.

Hi Gene thank you so much for the detailed explanation. Your assumptions were correct :) 1 think I need to know about the aiming point, is the aim point (destination) where your dashboard is pointing at or do you have to look out for the spot that is neither moving up nor down? And when performing the forward slip I understand that forward pressure must be applied. But how much? If too much is applied this increases airspeed right? And by increasing airspeed does this mean that less energy is loss, the slip is less effective?

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