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Fast Eddie and The Flying Monkey


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Yesterday Fast Eddie and Cool (Kool?) Karen came to my home airport of Winder, GA for a visit.  I had some airplane parts for Eddie, and we took the opportunity to fly each others' airplanes.  It was a fun and educational experience.  My impressions of the Sky Arrow:


0) The seats are comfortable.  Can't really say that about the CT.  There is a reason I installed inflatable lumbar supports and other crutches.


1) The visibility is outstanding.  Tandem seating, but with the passenger much higher than the pilot, you can really see well.  The wing is also behind you, so it's not a factor in blocking the view into turns.  Even with Eddie in the front seat I could see most of the instruments by peeking around him.


2) The normal horizon level is higher up in the windscreen than most airplanes.  This is similar to the CT, but for some reason It fooled me into climbing when I thought I was wings level.  Maybe it was because of the high seating in the back, or the fact the altimeter was the one instrument I had trouble seeing.  Anyway, if you fly one, take a few minutes to get used to the sight picture.


3) The controls are *much* lighter than the CT.  There is no spring tension in the system like the CT has, so you feel everything.  I was surprised when gusts hit us and I could feel it through the stick.  It gives a lot of feedback and you know exactly what the wind is doing to the airplane.  Not sure if it would be fatiguing over a long cross country in gusty conditions.  But it does feel "sportier" than the CT, and seems to be asking you to toss it around the sky a bit.  :)


4) As expected, it's a bit slower than the CT.  From my observations and Eddie's comments, it seemed to be about 87kt @ 5000rpm, and 95kt @ 5200rpm.  Right in the mainstream of LSA speeds.  My initial impression would be "slower than a CT, but probably more agile".  It climbs great with two people.


5) Landing speeds and technique are very similar to the CT.  It seemed more nose high on touchdown, not sure if that's gear geometry, flying characteristics, or Eddie's great full stall landing technique.  But if I held the CT nose that high, I'd be a bit worried about scraping the ventral tail fin.  Eddie's landing was great.


I'll let Eddie give his impressions on the CT, but when he took the airplane, he made a turn to the right and said "It feels like a Mooney!"  I think that was in reference to the heaviness of the controls.  My airplane is a 2007, which has more springs and with higher tension than earlier CTSWs, and it has additional drag from autopilot servos, so stick forces are pretty high.


My landing I would rate as "okay".  We got into a little sink just before roundout, even though I was holding the right speed.  Maybe the wind quit blowing.  Anyway, I added a little power and the airplane landed fine, but not really a greaser.  Eddie did not tense up or turn pale, so it must have been within his personal limits for acceptable landings.  :D 


All in all, a great day!

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Looks like it might be hot in front seat out in front of the wing cool plane .


Eddie mentioned it getting uncomfortable on very hot days.  But for the passenger, there is a sort of composite cocoon back there that gives nice shade.  Depending on the sun angle, I'm sure. 

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Neat looking....something about high wing pushers that appeals to me.......Was all set to buy a Rans S12s before I stumbled on the ad for my CT.  The Sky Arrow is much more refined and finished than the Rans and Kolb, etc.  It would be my choice for high wing pusher....unless I won the lottery and could afford to buy an Icon.  :-)

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Sorry for the delayed PIREP.


I had been trying to get together with Andy to swap rides for some time, and it was always something - glad we finally made it happen.


Prior to Sunday's flight, my last Sky Arrow flight had been on June 6 - totally disgusting. Always saying we need to fly more. We need to fly more. Good news is the Aerovoltz lithium-iron battery seems to hold its charge well.


In any case, the flight down and back went perfectly with everything in the Sky Arrow working properly. Should not be of note, but airplane owners know it can seem like a rare occurrence!


I took Andy up in the Sky Arrow first - and you've already read his report on that. Then he took me up in his CTSW.


My first impression of the plane was how immaculate Andy keeps it - it really felt like a new plane.


My second impression is that Andy exudes a quiet confidence and competence that belies his 200 hours as a pilot.


Anyway, once given the chance to fly his plane, I was a bit surprised at how heavy it was on the controls. He's aware of that and thinks maybe the autopilot installation possibly added to that heaviness a bit. Then again, my Sky Arrow has pretty light controls and I've been flying it almost exclusively - it does not take long for any plane to become "the new normal" when flown most of the time.


The downward visibility was quite good with the low-cut windows. I was reminded how most high-wings do block the view in the direction of the turn - I don't think the CT is appreciably worse or better in this department, but again I've gotten used to my fish bowl view in the Sky Arrow.


And of course the extra speed on any given power setting was apparent. My Sky Arrow is a bit of a slug.


Oh, and Andy's landing was easily a 9/10. Lost a point for not being at full flaps!


After the flight Andy took me to score 5 gals of MOGAS for the return home, and was nice enough to give me some of the Marc Inegno brake parts he had removed in his conversion to Matco's - they will come in handy, assuming they're the same parts as mine, which they appear to be.


In any case, days like this are the kind of thing I'd like to do more often with other Light Sport pilots in the southeast. Always looking for an excuse to fly and time in other's planes! I'll periodically look for good weekend weather and maybe we can plan meet ups at Copperhill or Tellico Plains or Winder or wherever. Hard to coordinate, I know, but its nice when it does come together.


As an aside, I do keep my single radio on 121.5, which is technically required by law "when able". I did hear an ELT when I was over Lake Blue Ridge and reported it on 122.2, which turned out to be Macon FSS in that area. They said it was the first report they had had of one in that area. Almost certainly a false alarm, but still its the kind of thing that could conceivably save a life someday.

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Thanks for the kind words, Eddie.  Nobody has ever used "quiet" to describe me before!  ;) 


Next time we'll do a 40° flaps landing.  Honestly, I have not done one in so long that I should practice them a bit.  As I mentioned to you, the 40° setting feels almost exactly like the 30° setting, but with less roll control authority due to the increased deflection of the flaperons.  That just makes it a little more challenging is the wind is above more than a few knots.  Usually above ~8 knots I'll go to 15° flaps.


We should definitely make another attempt at a Southeast fly-in, even if it's just meeting somewhere for lunch.  I know we've got enough pilots in the area to make it a fun time.  

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If Andy demonstrated a 9/10 landing and did it at 30* then color me impressed.  30* is landing flaps in a CTSW, 40* is more of a special use setting.


My typical landing in winds under 20kts is with 30*.  If I drag it in 40 becomes a good setting with a little power.  If I want to get steeper I will stay at 30 and add a slip.

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