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Flight: 2015-0813-1 in N2831H (ERCO) for $
KJZP - KJZP (flying time 0:36)
Introduction to the Ercoupe
From KJZP (Pickens County (GA)) 2015-08-13 21:44:04 to KJZP (Pickens County (GA)) 2015-08-13 22:20:21 [00:36:00] with 2 day and 0 night landings.
David Thorburn-Gundlach (pilot-L) / Mitch Tilva (instructor) /
What fun! I get to fly an Ercoupe today and see what it's like to just leave my feet on the floor :-)
After some very hurried preflight familiarization, we were off and rolling, so it was definitely a play-as-you-go ride. Ground handling was basic and very simple, with a connected nose wheel that steers like a car. That wheel is robust, too; SOP is to push down and keep the plane on the runway through 60+ before allowing it to rotate and fly, and I'm told you can drive it down the runway at 90. Wow...
Takeoff was smooth and we immediately turned into the slight crosswind -- but it all felt very strange for my right foot to have nothing to do! I knew that landing would be even weirder, though...
Once in the air, it was a pretty normal flight, with nimble and fun performance. Slow flight was a bit weird with aileron [controls] only, but she was very stable and of course there was no chance of getting crossed. Only unaccelerated straight-and-level stalls today, and we got to do not only power-off but also power-on because this one has been tweaked with additional elevator range.
Next it was time to head back. I'm happy to say I did a good job of finding the airport in the town & hills about 8nm away despite being only about 2000 AGL, but for a moment I thought I was going to have to check some street signs! More play-as-you-go as I tried to figure out power and speed (it seems she's another glides-like-a-brick ride) but I managed a decent pattern. And then came landing with a crosswind...
There's no slipping in this plane, so all you can do is crab -- all the way onto the runway, with no kick at the end, even. One would think that that twist is terrible for the gear, but it doesn't seem to be an issue; more good design and general curious-ness. Clearly both crosswind component and runway width are factors for this plane since it takes a bit to make the twist, but since the course == inertia are down the runway there isn't a lot of side travel -- that I've seen yet, anyway.
The touch-n-go was uneventful, although it was tricky in an unfamiliar craft, and the second landing was like unto the first. Didn't have time for a third, though, because the next student had already arrived. Can't wait for the next time! :-)