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Date:  6-6-2008
Number of Hours:  0.75
Manual Reference:  
Brief Description:  First Flight in Pattern

At 12:30 today (Friday), I made two high speed passes down runway 8R at F45 (North County Airport in Palm Beach Gardens, FL), and managed to get about 5 feet of air between me and the tires.

On the third attempt, I switched to the right ignition and got a little better full power output. While looking at the RPMs (2550), I then looked up and noticed that the speed was 70mph and I was a lot closer to the end of the runway than I felt comfortable with. Now I know that the real first flight was done by Gus Warren but that flight also was just above the runway, not actually in the pattern. Knowing that I wouldn't stop in time, I elected to continue flying.

Since I had not done a test with the nose pointed upward while tethered to the ground, I elected to do a very shallow climb out while looking down to see where I would put it in the event of an engine failure. I never noticed before how really poor the terrain is on the end of 8R at F45!

I climbed at about 500 fpm and 90 mph (I'll get better as I practice with stalls, etc) and made the right tun to crosswind. By the time I turned downwind, I was still only 700' and still climbing. The speed was inching up to about 110mph and by the time I was abeam the approach numbers, I noticed someone on a three mile final so I extended the downwind considerably. I throttled back to about 2000 and then turned Base followed by a quick turn to final.

Descending at 500 fpm and a speed of 90mph, I came over the numbers a little hot but it floated for awhile and then touched down in the nicest 3-point attitude (if I had a tailwheel), with the nose coming down shortly after. I did not use flaps on takeoff or on final.

As far as handling, the elevator seemed heavy as did the ailerons (I use the riveted ailerons). I was able to trim up the elevator slightly on downwind which gave my arm a rest. I had just gotten done with three hours in a Gobosh 700 with balanced controls, so I may have been mentally comparing the two without knowing it. See rest of Commentary
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