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  #1  
Old 01-10-21, 12:08 AM
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Shortest field you've been to.

Hi all.

What's the shortest field you've been in and out of? I'm curious to hear the tales, but also, I recently purchased a piece of land that has about 1800 ft of flat expanse between 50' trees, in the direct of prevailing winds, very near sea-level. Have thought about setting up a grass strip--would you dare do this? I don't imagine ever attempting this at more than about 3900 on my 69D NA.
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Old 01-10-21, 12:48 AM
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IMHO, 50' obstacles at both ends render this strip unusable for Skymasters. Not saying its impossible, but its no way to run a railroad.

Last edited by mshac : 01-10-21 at 12:51 AM.
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Old 01-10-21, 10:13 AM
cessnadriver cessnadriver is offline
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Red face Shortest field you've been to.

Though I only have about 125 hours in my '65 C337, I needed to land at an airport in Eastern Pennsylvania, at 1900' in length. So here at my home airport I practiced t/o and landings on East-West and north-south runways where the runways intersect, about 1850-1900'. Oh by the way the runways are paved! With only the E-W runway having any obstruction! I have the Robertson STOL installed. I had no problems. But since you have obstructions AND is grass I agree with the other POSTER's opinion-impossible?? Just my thoughts.
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Old 01-10-21, 01:15 PM
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I have been into North Bass Island Airport-3X5, and Middle Bass Island Airport. Both up in Lake Eire, about 1800 feet. Both paved and no obstructions to speak of.
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Old 01-10-21, 01:34 PM
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What you have to understand is the approach glide path and obstacles.

A 3 degree glidepath is about a 1:20 slope. So if you cross the 50' obstacle at 60', 60' x 20 = 1200'. You effectively have 600' of runway available on a 3 degree glidepath. This can be mitigated with increasingly aggressive glide paths.

Lets say you're Chuck Yeager with a full Robertson STOL kit, and you plan a 6 degree glide slope - the ratio is now 1:10, so 60' x 10 = 600', leaving you 1200' to land on. Remember to add 10% to both take off and landing distances when operating on grass.

For takeoff, ANY engine trouble after rotation (V1 for airline types) and you will be in the tree line for certain. Balanced field length calculations are critical.

Check your books, this is a tight operation. Its well outside the norms of safety for most Skymasters, and most pilots.
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File Type: jpg Glide paths.JPG (89.3 KB, 27 views)

Last edited by mshac : 01-13-21 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 01-10-21, 05:33 PM
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Having just read the basic question the first time and not having understood why it was asked, I will qualify my earlier answer.

I agree with "mshac". The runways like that I go into with my Skymaster and Debonair have no obstructions to worry about. I have a lot of experience and learned to fly on 2300 foot strips. Every landing I made, whether it was in my private flying 91 and in 121 operations, I always analyzed my performance and each landing. Analysis consisting of: Touchdown location, total distance used from threshold, distance remaining, and what could I have done better. The airline I upgraded to Captain with had a 50 hour graded period prior to signoff. Every landing had to be in the landing area 500 to 1500 feet (different than the touchdown zone), on speed and on center-line. You screwed that up once, you got another 25 hours, but only one time.

I guess what I am saying is short fields in this plane is not for the inexperienced. Careful analysis of YOUR past performance is a must, prior to attempting anything short, meaning one should already know what he or she is capable of before attempting.
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Old 01-12-21, 08:01 PM
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You could easily use 1800 ft but the trees have to be considered very carefully.
I regularly fly out of a 1400 foot field at about 1500agl feet/ no trees.
I normally have no more than one-third to half tanks. And only one or two people.
And I've never tried it over 90 degree f.
A lot of it depends on prevailing winds and your ability. I've been in and out of many jungle strips that were rough and less than 2000ft.
Do not take any chances. Also have you flown off of dirt/grass?
Again there's a big difference between a 30 foot tree and a 70 foot tree. Make sure you know all the limitations/ temperature, wind, field conditions, your aircraft, importantly your ability and weight. Don't even try it or think about it until you practice a lot of short/ takeoffs and landings at various locations and you get signed off by an instructor.
Another important factor is insurance
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Last edited by general : 01-12-21 at 08:34 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-13-21, 07:32 PM
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Short field

If the grass is wet (Dew) or not cut very short, in my opinion it is an accident waiting to happen.
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Old 01-13-21, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry De Santis View Post
If the grass is wet (Dew) or not cut very short, in my opinion it is an accident waiting to happen.
I've had pilots argue that "grass is grass" i.e. every grass strip is the same. IMHO, this attitude comes from a lack of experience on grass. As Mr De Santis said, wet grass makes a big difference, especially on landing when you slide instead of stop. Long grass will increase your take off roll far more than the 10% the book says to add. Long grass combined with soft soil can cause a nose-over and prop strike upon touchdown. Soft, unimproved soil vs hard soil that's regularly rolled is another big variable. Soft/short fields are where the men are separated from the boys.

Last edited by mshac : 01-13-21 at 08:00 PM.
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