Adventures of 5/14/2018

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Rich
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Adventures of 5/14/2018

Postby Rich » Wed May 16, 2018 1:30 am

Yesterday I had occasion to make 2 landings (and takeoffs) at Sisters Eagle Airport (6K5) in Sisters, OR. This is a privately owned public use airport at about 3100-3200 ft. MSL surrounded on 3 sides with tall trees, mostly Ponderosa pines. The reason for the uncertainty in stating elevation is that it slopes uphill to the Southwest. Very nice pavement and taxiway as it has in the last few years been upgraded considerably. I've been in here a few times before, but yesterday added some new wrinkles.

The flight was to take an elderly couple on a sightseeing flight I had donated and they had won in a raffle a couple of months ago.

At this airport I prefer to land uphill (RWY 20) and take off downhill (RWY 2). This makes for a really fun approach to landing, as there is this line of trees off the approach end of RWY 20 that are at least 80 ft. tall (they keep growing, ya know) about 500 ft. from the threshold. Plus these trees are on a kind of a ridge. And the tallest tree happens to be right smack on the centerline. This makes for one steep approach, and it's best to be all dragged up before you turn final so you are stabilized before grazing the top of that tree. There is kind of a slew right off the departure end of RWY 2 that they request you turn left over for noise abatement purposes. This amounts to about a 60-70 degree left turn in the space of about 500 ft. While one might balk at making this turn at kind of low level, it does have the payoff of keeping you over somewhat lower ground. And in the DA40 it's kind of fun :D

Some more metrics for yesterday's exercise:

DA 4500 ft.

Landing weight for first landing: ~1960
Takeoff weight for first takeoff: ~2460.
First approach and landing straightforward, full flaps all the way, 60-65 KIAS. Chopped power overt "the tree" touch down maybe 600 ft past the numbers.
First takeoff, used something like 60% of the runway, turn (made at 80 KIAS) off the departure end uneventful, climbed out to the North at 500 FPM, 100 KIAS.

Landing weight for second landing: ~2340
Takeoff weight for second takeoff: ~2020
Second landing, I kind of screwed up the initial approach from the pattern, turning base a bit too early. This time full flaps and full slip all the way down final, keeping a possible go-around in mind. Touched down about halfway down the runway. Just a tweak of brakes late in the rollout.
Second takeoff was quite a bit later in the day (went into town for lunch). DA increased a bit, but not much. Used maybe 1200 ft. of runway, more altitude making that turn (naturally) and made it tighter this time. Lots of turbulence on this flight back to Prineville.

A note: While waiting for the couple I spoke with the owner of the airport. Last week in his Baron he got a big time wind shear on approach (all those trees) to this same runway and hard-landed the plane to the point it's been written off and he got a broken clavicle in the incident. (He had slammed both throttles full forward to try to recover but it was too quick/severe an event.)

And yet another note: It was a real effort helping these folks into and out of the plane. Age and infirmity of the gentleman, in particular, was a real impediment. But they did enjoy the heck out of the flight, so all good :)
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Rich
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FIRST NAME: Rich
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Re: Adventures of 5/14/2018

Postby Rich » Sat May 19, 2018 2:57 am

There's a bit of a coda to this. On the trip back to Prineville, AWOS said "wind variable at 6 gusting to 12". No predominant direction? Hm. A fair amount of annoying light turbulence on the short flight. Then I spied, just South of the airport a dust devil up to around 600 ft. AGL. More hmmmm :)

During the landing, the wind was shifting all over the place. Nothing really scary but interesting. Plane wanted to slew left, then right, then a slight balloon, rinse, repeat. But runway 10 is plenty long and wide, just flew it all out and, uh, arrived just fine ;)
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Colin
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Re: Adventures of 5/14/2018

Postby Colin » Sat May 19, 2018 5:59 pm

The write-up of the Baron flight is scary. That's a guy who *really* knows his airport and knew his airplane really well. Thousands of hours. It just dropped out from under him at 50 feet AGL. The ASOS would not have told you to not land. A good reminder that sometimes there's nothing you can do.

Sounds like a challenging airport even on a great day. I liked those in my DA40. Haven't gotten there yet in my DA42.
Colin Summers, PP Multi-Engine IFR, ~2,300hrs
colin@mightycheese.com
http://www.flyingsummers.com
N972RD DA42 G1000 2.0 s/n 42.AC100
N971RD DA40 G1000 s/n 40.508 (traded)

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