Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Low and Slow

I was returning from my weekly commute to our other campus. The Archer is in for its annual, so I was in the Cherokee Six, hauling around five empty seats.

Now I'm coming home, tired from teaching and the 5 miles of walking to and from campus, headed directly into the Sun. I enter on downwind and reach down to the flap lever. It doesn't feel right. The flaps are going down but not staying down.

I start to fuss with the button, to see if they'll stay down if I pull a little to the left, or if I pull a little to the right, thinking that they had worked on departure...and all the time I'm descending.

"OK, you're low, quit fooling around, diagnose the problem on the ground." I said this out loud.

I did a no-flap landing (adding 10 to Vref, just a guess, no way to compute it while flying that low).

After I landed I got the button unstuck.

No accident today.

And this is one of the few times I can remember when the freight dog excuse "But it was working when I took off!" has actually been true.



At November 2, 2011 at 5:30 AM , Blogger Frank Van Haste said...

Jim, this is why I want to be like you when I grow up. Down among the weeds is no place for troubleshooting anything!

I guess if, for any reason, a no-flaps landing was a bad idea, Plan B would be to climb out, go hold somewhere, and work the problem.

Best regards,


At November 14, 2011 at 3:52 PM , Anonymous Sherie Schmauder said...

Jim: I tell my friends here that too many "interesting" events like your flap malfunction are why we don't fly coast to coast any more.

At November 16, 2011 at 9:25 PM , Blogger Dr.ATP said...

Sherie, the flap malfunction wasn't a big deal. It might have been a big deal if I had continued to do something other than fly the airplane. Not a reason not to fly.


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