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5 Answers

PAPI Seneca approaches

Asked by: 2102 views , ,
Student Pilot

Hi all

Regarding discussions here my questions came.I am during my ME rating,I did around 11 hrs on it.All flights within 3 weeks with winds around 10 kts and more,guesting 15 kts time to time.All my landings were fine,not amazing but in tolerance frame.Just ok.Than because weather I had 2 weeks break,one short flight and check ride day.I did screwed last landing after I passed all exercises ok.Winds were calm,0 kts.Well.My foult anyway.I didn't know how far I should pull yoke,I was flying in windy conditions and never had to.In Seneca I it's a little tricky,you have to pull it back AND a little up so it goes easy,otherwise if you just pull straight towards you it wont go or its veeeery hard.Nobody mention this to me,I found it sitting in plane by hour or so and thinking.My flight file will be screwed now anyway and in a future it might affect  me.I did one hour and than 2 hrs additional landings,just landings.Winds were 0 kts of course.My landings were fine,soft but my instructor,after 6 or 7 of them forced me to use PAPI.Now there is story.If I use 2W/2R,proper engine seting,proper speed 90 I will pass treshold around 30' over,regarding no wind I will have long flare and calculated 630' roll witch brings me to stop in a middle of 4000 rwy.Acording to my instructor this is not acetable.If I go lower,is also wrong couse he wants steep approaches,even if wind is damn 0 kts.Ok.In my opinnion,mayeby wrong,I should be below Papi GS,with proper speed or just bit below,have lower trashold pass,shorter flare distance and roll.Other way,if on GS with no wind I should reduce speed below 90 but to keep safe from stal at 76,say around 80+.If both ways wrong I am tottaly confused.It looks  for me something is not quite right here.After 15 hrs on ME I can say I am devastated and don't know what to expect.Partial pass because landing,easiest rating and huge schame.But a way,wasn't time to talk about this  and fix when I had 4 or 5 hrs?I was thinking I have instructor ,not a safety pilot.

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5 Answers



  1. Bob Watson on Nov 20, 2012

    I’m not sure what the problem is, but you shouldn’t have any problem flying a steep approach @ 90 just by reducing the power, while staying above the PAPI. The Seneca seems to fall out of the sky pretty well when you reduce power. Of course, it’ll look like you’re pointed right straight at the ground, so that might take a little getting used to. You don’t want to go do much below 90, even if you’re light, because it gets harder to control–the controls get sloppy and slower-to-respond.

    To keep from floating, you need to bleed off your speed in the flare sooner–before you get into ground effect. The timing for this can take some practice, especially if you tuned in your senses on windy days. You might need to unlearn some of those habits. You’re right, flaring under those conditions can be a workout when you have to pull the yoke all the way back while finessing the power just before touchdown, but I think that’s the nature of the beast.

    If this isn’t working for you, (and you haven’t already) have the instructor demonstrate what he/she is asking of you while they talk you through what they are doing. That might help you see what you’re doing differently.

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  2. Bob Watson on Nov 30, 2012

    I forgot to mention using the trim on final. If you have electric trim, you can just keep rolling in nose-up trim as you approach the runway and start to flare. If you don’t have electric trim, you can put in extra nose-up trim on short final to the point where you’re pushing on the yoke to keep your speed up until you flare–at which point you relax the pushing to flare.

    Just remember that if you have to go around with all that nose-up trim, you’ll have your hands full pushing the nose down until you can get things trimmed back to normal.

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  3. Andy Neumann on Dec 02, 2012

    Does your instructor require you keep one hand on the throttles at all times during the landing? Sometimes having both hands on the yoke after the throttles are at idle can make it a lot easier to make a smooth round-out, flare and landing. Some will frown on this, but I don’t think the PTS requires you to have one hand on the throttles. Ask the examiner ahead of time.

    I agree that trim is very important in an airplane that is hard to flare like the Seneca. If you are an attitude pilot, you can trim the airplane nose-up on final approach and hold forward pressure to maintain your glidepath. Then the first part of the round out and flare is simply releasing the forward pressure. (If you are still flying the airplane using the trim to control your airspeed, this won’t work.) Yes, I’m suggesting flying the airplane slightly out of trim. *GASP*

    Also, where’s your CG? Maybe put some weight in the baggage compartment and get that CG back on the edge of the envelope and you will find the controls lighter and more responsive during the landing.

    Best of luck.

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  4. Skywalker on Dec 03, 2012

    Thx for all responses,I was quite busy lately.All is said its true but it wasn’t problem.I found trick.I sit in a plane more than hour trying understand what the heck is going on.I didn’t have any landing problem since first ME flight,so I was devasteted a bit.Answer is quite shocking.Yoke.Since I did all approaches with quite wind ,I never pull yoke to its back maximum.While land with no wind,total zero, of course I need to pull it more.But the problem was ,I was just unable to pull it back more,with all my muscle power I just could not.So while I was sitting in a plane,trying to find solution.There is.Damn yoke goes easly to half back way,than it’s sort of stucked couse the column it banded itself upward,somewere in its half lenght.It’s unpossible to pull back more just in horizontal or down horizontal move.So to pull it more backward I just need to lift it a bit,and instead pulling directly to me,pull it a bit up wards and to me.Than it slides so easy.Than I have FUUULLL deflection.Quite stupid,but by so many hrs nobody say anything.If I new,I could save time and shame.When I pointed this someone I was flying with said only”of course”.I live this with no comment.

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  5. Skywalker on Dec 03, 2012

    But a way,landings are really fine now,90 or so,2W2R,flare and touchdown,short roll,it’s fine.But I’m switching to Aztec anyway:)

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