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View Full Version : OT-TX-Kingsnake trys real world aerobatics.



TX-EcoDragon
11-28-2005, 10:28 PM
On November 23rd I met up with TX-Kingsnake for four separate flights with him, the centerpiece of his flying experience was an aerobatic sortie in a ACA Super Decathlon, the following is his email to his friends on the events of the day, which he also posted on the TX site. He thought you guys might get a kick out of it, and the story of a sim pilot giving the real thing a shot.

[Edit] Here is the rather long parent thread with some pictures and such: http://www.txsquadron.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1499

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"For a few years I€ve been in an online virtual flight squadron running a flight simulator made by the Russians. The virtual flight squadron consists of members throughout North America and occasionally we have guests from over seas join us on the radio. Eco is one of our best pilots and is certified to fly many aircraft including high performance aircraft for aerobatics: spectacular stunts, such as rolls, spins, hammerheads and loops, performed in an airplane. I expressed an interest in an aerobatic flight and Eco taught me some maneuvers in an aerobatic competition sequence in the flight simulation known as IL-2:PF.

I booked an airline flight to meet Eco. I told my friends I was going on an aerobatics flight. After explaining the difference between aerobics and aerobatics and that we weren€t going flying with legwarmers they asked me how I met Eco. I met him online. This raised an eyebrow; does he know what he is doing? You met him online, what if he is a weirdo or a lunatic, they supposed the pacifist vegan aerial trapeze artist had a dark side. I said if he is a weirdo then he is in good company, after all Gonzo is a weirdo and I€m certain Eco isn€t blue. As for being a lunatic, it is a safe assumption that anything requiring a parachute is lunacy. I make friends online so Eco picked me up at the airport and we drove to a private airstrip. We flew to another airport in a Cessna 182 RG. In flight he let me have the controls and I practiced coordinated flight using rudder and aileron to minimize adverse yaw in turns. We went over power, trim, coordination, and GPS navigation. I have one lesson towards my private pilot license and after years of flight simulation I am finding real flight very different. I€ve been watching aerobatic training videos on various recovery techniques in preparation for our aerobatic flight. In the air I was in complete concentration to keep the aircraft in coordinated flight while reading the instruments and watching for traffic. I had flown in a Cessna 152 once before and it made flying the Cessna 182 feel like a Cadillac with wings. After a short flight we landed and taxied to a hanger with an assortment of impressive aerobatics aircraft.

Of particular note was a two seater jet available for $2,000 per hour. Eco wasn€t interested in switching our reservation for the jet. He told me our flight in the Super Decathlon would be far more exciting. From there we went over the preflight checklist and safety briefing for the aircraft and parachute. I€ve never worn a parachute. I€ve always flown knowing if something happened we would glide to a landing. The brief was thorough and serious regarding the dos and don€ts and bailout procedures in event of structural failure. I had a nervous laugh during the brief at the thought of the wing coming off. I also had a laugh at how the parachute leg straps made by package look. Once I got into the seat and harness I could hardly move. I drank a Green Machine smoothie just before flight and my stomach was in knots. We taxied for takeoff and on the takeoff the Super Decathlon eagerly leaped off the runway. I immediately felt we were in another class of aircraft. On the first turn after takeoff Eco made the first aerobatic maneuver with an abrupt starboard turn near 60 degrees bank angle. I was sideways and firmly in my seat looking over my shoulder at the ground. From there we proceeded to the practice area, climbing up to about 8,000 feet. On the way Eco let me at the stick and rudder to get a feel of the aircraft by doing wing rocks and aileron-rudder coordination exercises. I was in the back seat with no view of the instruments, only rudder, throttle, stick, and carb heat.

HAMMER HEAD
I was really excited and feeling buoyant. After I was comfortable with the high bank turns Eco took us into the next aerobatic maneuver, the hammerhead. We went into a decent to an airspeed near 200 mph and pulled 5 Gs up into a climb. I thought I was ready for it. We pulled up and clenched as we grunted through the pull. My neck was pulled back against my every effort in a slow crunchy sound as each of the vertebrae popped like dominos. My head fell back into the netting behind me. The air was squeezed out of me and my face flattened out as I grimaced through the hook. The upline was an axial ascension to the heavens. Pure azure sky lay before us as our bodies came to a weightless moment of suspension at 7,000 feet. The moment of zero was fleeting as the maneuver is named the hammerhead the aircraft instantly rotated toward the ground. One moment was sky and the next was ground. I felt my weight again as it increased through a 5 G dive recovery. I shouted, Oh Nye! Ostanoveete zto! ÷² ¿â¿¥²¿ Ӛ ¨ â¯*¥*¨¥! I needed a minute to gather myself.


LOOP
Next was a loop. Again a quick dive for airspeed and a 4.5 G pull up though the inverted at the top. The inversion was the top of the world looking up at the ground and being completely off my seat held in by the harness. I€ve never been sitting with my butt off the seat. The downward motion of the loop forced me firmly into the seat as I held on uhhhhhng, Grrrrrr hooook €" wholly cow! Again I needed to settle for a bit.

AILERON ROLL
We went through a simple aileron roll and I did not like the experience of 1/2 G and negative 1/2G. At positive G loading I am fine, and to an extent negative G is ok, but the oscillation between the partial negative and positive G I felt nauseous. Eco asked me if I was OK and I said I needed a moment. Again he asked if I was ok noting that he smelled Green Machine he suggested we call it a day. I had to bust out the Ziploc aloha baggie. I put the bag over my face saying a mantra Rahman, Rahman, Rahman, into the bag until I knew I wasn€t going to give up the Green Machine. Fortunately I didn€t vomit or Eco might have gotten splattered in the back of the head like a cabdriver on a Saturday night.

BARREL ROLL
Once I was ready we did a Barrel Roll. I was disoriented in the roll and pull and tried to follow the stick as Eco pulled through. Being very dizzy and on the recovering end of a sinus cold I felt disoriented in what I assumed to be an ordinary maneuver. The horizon spun around as I held on to my seat growling whoa man.


HALF CUBAN
The Half Cuban was just like the loop for the first part. After the top of the loop the aircraft was held inverted at 45 degrees down and rolled upright. Then we leveled out at the bottom on an opposite heading to the entry. If you got lost in that last part, you can imagine I was completely disoriented.

IMMELMAN
Again an aggressive high G load pull on the upline. The entry is like the loop and the exit is at the apex where just before or at inversion we rolled upright. The roll to upright was a brief sinking feeling as the horizon came to level and my stomach protested. Eco said we did just under 6 Gs on this one.


SPLIT ESS
In level flight the throttle was pulled back and with an abrupt roll we went straight down and pulled to level out at the bottom on an opposite heading to the entry. The Split Ess was much faster than I thought it would be. It wasn€t as gut wrenching as the other maneuvers due to positive G loading.


After all of that he asked me if I was up to pulling a loop. I really wanted to despite my every effort to keep the Green Machine down. I was so dizzy I thought it best to work up to the loop with a series of practice pulls. The pull to the loop is aggressive and I tried the loop entry three times. I really had to pull hard at the loop entry as I felt the G load increase. I got through the entry on the third try and got the angle of attack to about 60 degrees vertical where I had to level it out or I was going to loose it. Leveling out after an aggressive pull to 60 degrees leads to a sinking feeling as we pushed forward on the stick to level out. It felt like riding out a tidal wave swell in a boat. That was all I could take and all we had time for.

The aerobatics experience was comparable to a rollercoaster stretched up to a skyscraper. Watching it on the ground it is looks graceful and awesome. In the cockpit it is faster and more forceful than anything I can think of to compare it to. The absolute concentration and clarity required at every moment is an ultimate high. There can be a bit of a hangover if you get airsick. I took the wildest ride of my life. It felt more exhilarating than mountaineering, rafting, racing, or boating. Radical rapid changes in speed, force, and position left me beaming for days.

After the aerobatics flight we debriefed over lunch then flew back. The flight back in the Cessna 182 was scenic. The sun set behind us with a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge. George Carlin€s words ran through my mind, €œThe safety lecture continues. In the unlikely event of a water landing . . . Well, what exactly is a water landing? Am I mistaken, or does this sound somewhat similar to CRASHING INTO THE OCEAN!? . . . your seat cushion can be used as a floatation device. Well, imagine that, my seat cushion... Just what I need -- to float around the North Atlantic for several days -- clinging to a pillow full of beer farts...€ We landed after a long day and headed out again into the night with another plane, a Cessna 172.

The night flight was yet another flight ahead of us filled with radio procedures and instrument navigation. Looking down at the 500 mile long traffic jamb I reminisced on my day dreams about all those times I was stuck in traffic and wished my car had wings. Look at all that traffic. Eco let me take the airplane for a good portion of the flight. I followed the GPS navigation system as Eco handled the radio and instrumentation. We trimmed for the decent after Eco quizzed me on our decent calculations. I couldn€t worm my way out of it with a quote from Rep. Jones "As a rule, I don't do math in public.€ As I scanned the dark of night for the runway, and looked at the GPS moving map I began thinking the runway should be here by now. Eco remotely turned on the runway lights with 7 clicks on the radio push to talk key and like a red carpet the runway rolled out in sparkling white lights right in front of us.


TX-Kingsnake"

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HayateAce
11-29-2005, 12:01 AM
That's a nice, self-stroking story.

DmdSeeker
11-29-2005, 12:25 AM
Sounds great!

danjama
11-29-2005, 06:16 AM
Thats a really great story and description mate. I can sorta relate but ive only been in a 152. Thanks for posting. Sounds amazing.

Capt_Pepper
11-29-2005, 08:11 AM
So we can assume that the similar moves we do in the game are just a bit more intense in real life!?!

Thanks for sharing the story. I think it goes a long way to better understand that what we so easily take for granted in game was truly another matter especially during WWII.

It makes me appreciate more just how special those guys really were....no specialty equipment to prepare, no flight sims, no real conditioning as we know it today.....just get in the plane and find a way to survive day after day, and for a few, year after year. Pushing your body to the most extreme levels possible through it all. It's a wonder any of them ever lived afterward to even middle age, much less old age.

On the personal side, Eco, you've certainly shown your true colors here....as a real friend. What you did for Kingsnake is something most folks interested in flying can only dream about and will never have the opportunity to do. Pretty special in every regard.

Great write up by Kingsnake and thanks for posting it. I'd be willing to bet as well, should there be a next time, a Green Machine won't be on the pre-flight menu. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

TheGozr
11-29-2005, 10:20 AM
Great Eco and Kingsnake. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

msalama
11-29-2005, 11:14 AM
Amazing http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Thanks for sharing this with us Eco!

TX-EcoDragon
11-29-2005, 11:40 AM
Glad you guys enjoyed it. . .well, 5 out of 6 ain't bad :-P

And no, Green Machine probably wont be on the passenger menu next time, I suppose the name should have been a real clue!

King later told me when we were having lunch after the aerobatic flight that he didn't eat anything for breakfast, our aerobatic flight was at 1pm so he was already feeling a little under the weather in the stomach department, I told him beforehand to eat a light normal breakfast, but I guess airplane food on his flight up here wasn't light or normal so he opted out, if I had known I would have re-iterated that he should eat about an hour and a half or two hours before the flight. Actually in defense of NakedJuice, I usually have a GreenMachine in the mornings I fly, I bought one with him before we headed out and he followed suit, they've never caused me any trouble, I blame the otherwise empty stomach.

Thanks for the kind words Pepper, but I love flying and I love sharing it with people who might too, that's all! :-D