October 2009 Issue

Questions And Comments

If you’re flying along and reduce power while maintaining the established pitch attitude, what happens to airspeed? It starts decreasing, right? To maintain the desired airspeed, we’d want to pitch the nose down, wouldn’t we? Depending on how stable the airplane is in its pitch axis, it may naturally pitch down, without pilot intervention; if it’s unstable, its pitch may not change. This behavior depends on how the airplane is designed and loaded. All the Cirrus AFM/POH is saying is that a good short-field technique requires touching down at the minimum airspeed. To achieve that objective, coordinating power reductions and pitch attitude is necessary for optimum performance. As it is in any airplane we’ve ever flown, including the Cirrus models. That said, some airplanes require a different technique. For example, airplanes like the Seabee or Lake amphibians—with their single pusher engines mounted on a pylon—respond opposite to other singles when power is adjusted. Instead of the nose wanting to drop when power is reduced, in these airplanes it may want to rise.

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