7GCAA pattern help

Joined
May 7, 2019
Messages
8
#1
1970's vintage 7GCAA - no flaps, fixed pitch. My pattern work is just plain ugly. Reading a prior thread makes me think I might be dragging it in too much. Plane floats at 1000rpm and 70 mph, sinks rapidly at idle and 60mph.

What are folks using for airspeed and power settings from abeam the runway to touchdown?
 

Clifford Daly

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2018
Messages
149
#2
Try 65, right in the middle!

Seriously though, floating means you’re a little fast but I’d rather be floating than dropping out of the air. A little extra airspeed sets you up perfectly for a wheel landing or simply hold that attitude a few feet off the runway to bleed off the airspeed and let it settle down perfectly on all three wheels.

Not sure of my power and speeds as it’s always changing but really try some power off 180’s for your patterns. Power setting has nothing to do with sinking or floating at touchdown. You should be able to pull the power abeam the numbers, and bring it right down for a perfect soft landing without touching the power.
 

Bob Turner

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
402
#3
Yeah. Power off will cure about 3/4 of your problem. Carrying power at 70 practically requires "dragging it in."
 

Bartman

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Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
618
Location
New Jersey, USA
#4
There's a path to the runway using 65 to 70 that will let you just hold it there and it will feel like you're not zooming in with too much energy and not sinking at an alarming rate. It's a zen moment when you find it. Either idle abeam the numbers of when the runway's made on final. I generally carry some power through the pattern to keep the engine clear and then cut it when the runway's made. Idle abeam the numbers is a good skill to have available though.
 

donv

Active member
Joined
Jul 15, 2018
Messages
36
Location
Portland, OR
#5
If traffic allows, I always try to do a power-off 180 from abeam the touchdown point. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I have to add power, sometimes I have to slip. If it's really important that I make it, I stay what seems really high, and slip... but especially with a decent wind down the runway, you can end up losing a lot of altitude on final in a short distance.

Either way, I shoot for about 70 on final and that seems to work okay.
 

Bob Turner

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
402
#6
Following a guy in a 172 Saturday. He asked for, and got, a clearance for a short approach. He turned final a full mile east of the runway. It wasn't a mistake; he did it three times in a row!

He is probably the same guy who stopped in the middle of a taxiway to copy an IFR clearance.