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Operation Tips

Short Field Landing Techniques?
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Contact and ask to speak with Charles or Anni.  Anni is the chief test pilot and extremely knowledgeable on all aspects of the system.

I have been running and installing Micro Aero VG’s for over 15 years and know of no one that I have installed them that has complained.

Jim Hill

On Nov 22, 2017, at 10:44 AM, George Cordingly ( <> wrote:

Hi all,where does one find info on the tail vg kit for a c180?Sounds like a great idea and just now read about it.I have a 1977 C180K.Thanks,George Cordingly

Hi all,where does one find info on the tail vg kit for a c180?Sounds like a great idea and just now read about it.I have a 1977 C180K.Thanks,George Cordingly
I think Short Field Landings and Xwind Landings are different items for the beginner and when you are comfortable with your plane on each of those items you can mix them up to suit your adrenaline fix requirements. That having been said, speed control is the determining factor for short landings. If you can learn to fly your plane precisely and comfortably at slow airspeeds you will have short ground runs. The other factor is being able to put the plane down in the first 100' of the runway. If you land long and fast, even brakes and flaps won't stop you before the first turnoff. I put in a Lift Reserve Indicator and mounted it on the glare shield on the left side so that I am looking at it while I am looking out at my landing picture. I don't even use the airspeed anymore except for reference. It is kind of like an angle of attack indicator. It has a pitot tube that has a hole in the front and a hole on the bottom so it can sense the changing vertical and horizontal velocities. If you put the needle in the middle of the white arc you will have the shortest landing rollouts possible for your plane. I used to practice that stuff all the time in the spring before we put her on floats. I could consistently land and stop before the runway numbers. I don't know how far that is but it isn't much. You have to be able to land right at the beginning of the pavement. I would use the stall horn for speed control as mine seems to have 3 levels of sound. I would keep it in the first level with full flaps and judicious use of power. I would practice alone or with one other friend and liked the 15mph wind days. At that airspeed you can't flare - the only way to arrest the rate of descent is with power. My plane does have the robertson with aileron and flap gap seals so I don't know how much different the standard plane is. Anyway - practice practice practice - speed control and spot on landing. Xwind is a different animal - I land into the wind as much as I can.

Captain Ron
Speaking of demanding airplanes, here's one that will sharpen up your tailwhell skills pretty directly. Rent a few hours in a Pitts, get some acro and touch-'n-go experience, and the Skywagon will feel like the most comfortable luxury liner you've ever flown or landed. My S2a is a delight to fly, but one must never let his guard down. On the topic of the Skywagon being a man's airplane: Sho'nuff, but in the very early 60's, a diminutive, very feminine lady by the name of Geraldine Mock flew a 1954 180 AROUND THE WORLD, by herself, and without anything that resembled a GPS. That feat not only beat what Amelia Earhart so valiantly attempted, but demonstrated what an incredible flying machine the Skywagon is. The gonadal reserve to fly them must be there, regardless of gender.

I would not want to land on my old coaches football field. He'd make you run bleachers.

" The difference between stupidity and genius....., genius has it's limits."

I read somewhere that an experienced 180 pilot can land inside a football field. ]

The length I can see, but goal posts and bleachers might be a problem. Not to mention the distraction of beer bottles bouncing off the cabin.
Happy Day

Well said Stew, and very true that we all want to be able to leave where we land. I read somewhere that an experienced 180 pilot can land inside a football field. You certainly would not be able to take off within a football field especially if it had any type of obstacle at the end.
I can't recall ever having a problem landing on a strip that was long enough to get back out of. Short field take-off has ALWAYS been my limiting factor. I can land and stop at gross weight shorter than I can get back out empty. Switching to a big motor and big prop closed the gap but take-off remains the determining factor for safe strip length.

Thanks Mike, and thank you everyone for your tips. It's good to have this forum to discuss these things as it gives me insight into just what these aircraft can do.

I do want to share one thing I've been doing lately that's been helping me a bunch on landings, not just to land short, but overall control throughout any landing. When I get close to the threshold, I mentally tell myself (sometimes out loud),..... " o.k. get on the stick and rudder." works to get my head out of the cockpit, it heightens my senses and serves as a signpost that the more relaxed part of flying is over, the extra critical landing phase is here. It's kind of a mental 'sticky note'. It helps me to cowboy-up as we say, I'm flying a demanding 180, a man's airplane. Not your Sister's 172.
With little to no wind, I usually come in with full flaps aprox. 5 knots above stall, carring light power. Chop power, round out and plop her on. Dump flaps and keep her straight while appling breaks. Generally can hit the mark plus about 10-25 feet. Windy conditions are a whole different animal.
New 88" 3 blader (see attached photo) acts like a speed break, during decent and pulls like a mule during take-offs.

Mike, that is one bad ass looking 185 with a long prop. Staying with this post's purpose, what is your technique for setting that baby down as short as you can?

To the bloke who posted the video, I can't figure out what that pilot was doing. It looks like he had it landed but throttled up, then changed his mind, and then lost it.


After installing the full tail VG kit, on the '76 185, I went to altitude and tried full slip / full flap configuration, both right and left slips and found no adverse handling.

This is probably not the best technique:

Not to get off techniques, but, I've heard of guys installing VG's just on the stabilizer and vertical fin, which, if the theory of these vortex generators is true, seems like it should help with full flap and possibly a tail blanking scenario. I may like to try VG's on the tail but I don't want VG's on my wings, I have flap/aileron gap seals which I feel help give me plenty of roll control.

I think your right on that having some power in there undoubtedly helps with tail control in almost all 180 landings. I guess the question is, can this help produce the shortest landings?
Had a bad Xwind on Saturday in EGAE. They closed the runway that I planned to use 21, mental note to read NOTAMS....and had to use 26. The wind was 210/20G30 so had a great crosswind from the left with the gusts, as a sleet shower was approaching.

Full back trim, 40 flap, dropping on down for the runway with lots of power. Set on the upwind wheel and kept putting in more and more into wind aileron as I pulled the power off. Then braking moderately to pull up and dropping flaps as tail fell.

People talk alot about the Blanking effect of full flap, and I'm not so sure. I think the extra power that you can carry against the full 40 in a Skywagon yields alot of extra control authority and also slows down the whole affair. Could debate that point forever.....But a video of the faces I pulled doing the above - would be better viewing than the landing itself!!

Thanks for sharing your techniques. I plan on trying flaps at 30 next time it's blustery. I want to try adding power into the flair like you do, and also master dumping the flaps quickly after three point touchdown, hopefully all while keeping the nose centered.
Think we've all done some of them. See guys with hundreds of hours in the wagons just bouncing like tyros.... In terms of your question about short landings, its slightly confused by the Xwind slant. I wish I could say I get my shortest landings from Wheelies - but I dont. And dont know anyone who can. Have read the Dave Olsen bit - and know its is possible. My wheel landings and always full back trim, 50kts approach if calmish and full flap, then level with runway and slowly add power till roll her on. If there is a xwind then 30 flap, lots of power and plant the upwind wheel - still staying with full aft trim.

The 3 pointers work much better for a xwind on grass I find. Where I to wheel it on grass with a good left xwind, the ac can skate sideways like its on ice and its very hard to correct. Dumping flap helps alot. Being honest the VG kit really makes a C180 alot easier to land. You have so much control that only small inputs of crosscontrol will hold it straight. 600ft will get me stopped 99% of the time. Just keep holding her straight untill she touches on 3 points if all else fails.... Love a tailwheel lock as plan B - but just too much $$


We had a post recently named Short Field Take Off Techniques, so I thought I would post one about landing to get the pros in here to comment on their tricks.

100 hours and maybe 200 landings later, I'm still learning how to land my 180. My wheelie's are pretty consistent, but three pointers often spell trouble. Too much bounce, stall horn then 'drop' onto the strip, darting off one direction, just to name a few. Had the worst landing of my short career the other day. I was trying a three pointer in about an 18knot, 90 degree x-wind full flap. A gust hit me upon touchdown and she bounced so high I had to pour on power and salvage into a wheelie. The long strip saved me from going around. I broke my rule to not three point with full flaps in a gusty x-wind but wanted to try it. What a disaster! I'm glad the strip was deserted on that cold blustery day and no-one was watching....

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