Would you fly a Katana in 21 G31 winds

CK

Well-Known Member
Well I flew over to MTN today in the Navajo and my mom said I could go take a lesson in a Katana at Brett flight school. So I get over there and they havn't had a single student stupid (or brave
) enough to fly today. The winds were 270 21G31 and the RWY is 33. So I meet the instructor and he said he had no problem flying in this if I was good with it. So we go out and hop in the airplane and the wind was howling. I was thinking "what the hell am I doing". So we taxi out for touch and goes. I love the Katana and think it's a fun little airplane so figured I wouldn't have too much trouble with it. We are the only ones flying at all except the national guard. Every one else is at home with thier airplanes in the hanger. So we take off and start getting throughn around. Wasn't too bad tho, I've been in worse. So we come around for our first (out of 7) landing and I come in with full right rudder and a lot of left stick. I get her over the numbers and straighten the nose out and then bang, we're down, opps no where not
flare agian, a little nicer.
Atleast I know I did it with out any help. It was my first time landing a Katana in 3 months so that was my excuse. Went around for the second one and landed hard but no bouce. Then I really surprised myself and made 3 nice landings then two ok ones. Hell of a day to fly. Had a beautiful flight home tonight, great vis and no ceiling and best of all no wind
 

xdashdriver

Well-Known Member
It's best told the old way:

There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots.
 

CK

Well-Known Member
Yeah I know, that's what I was thinking. It wasn't too bad once we got up. I trusted the instructor and if it was bad we were going to land the first time around.

P.S. I'm not bragging about flying in these conditions, just sharing a "fun" experience.
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
Wait was that a question or a story
?

I sure wouldn't fly a Katana in those winds... don't care how good you are; if you hit a gust at a bad time in that airplane....
 

CK

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Wait was that a question or a story
?

I sure wouldn't fly a Katana in those winds... don't care how good you are; if you hit a gust at a bad time in that airplane....

[/ QUOTE ]

Both.
 

CK

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]


I sure wouldn't fly a Katana in those winds... don't care how good you are; if you hit a gust at a bad time in that airplane....

[/ QUOTE ]

Thing doesn't have much surface area on it, the winds don't have that much effect on it. So are you saying you wouldn't fly any airplane in those conditions?
 

rhs

New Member
I wouldn't have. Brett doesn't even let you go solo as a student if there's any gust factor.

Who was your instructor? PM me if you don't want to post the name.
 

CK

Well-Known Member
Juan was his first name, don't remember his last name. He drives the black BMW.
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
[ QUOTE ]
Thing doesn't have much surface area on it, the winds don't have that much effect on it. So are you saying you wouldn't fly any airplane in those conditions?

[/ QUOTE ]

OK lets think about this... it's been a while and I'm curious so I actually busted out the POH:

At max gross it weighs less than a 152... you had about a 16kt DIRECT crosswind with DIRECT gusts to 23 knots. That's a lot for ANY light airplane. And the Katana is the lightest of the light.

With an approach speed of a whopping 58 kts that 31kt gust value is more than half of your approach speed. And stall speed with full flaps in the Katana? 34 knots...

But I'm assuming you used little or no flaps... which then would give you a HUGE 11 knot difference between your stall speed and the wind speed. Not only would I be concerned about safety during landing, but during taxiing as well.

To answer your question, no I am not saying I wouldn't fly ANY airplane in those winds... but I would never even think about flying a DA20 in them.
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
The biggest problem that I have with flying in those conditions with a student is that it can erode the student's safe decision making ability. If the student has just learned that you can safely disregard one limitation (I know; not really a limitation, just the maximum demonstrated crosswind during certification), then other limits may become less meaningful.

Was it dangerous or stupid? I have no clue. I don't know you or your instructor's skill levels. Was is a lack of good judgement? I have no idea what thought process the instructor went through, so I cannot say.

A better question may be "what did you learn from the situation?"
 

CK

Well-Known Member
How much Katana time do you have? We flew the approch at 80. We weren't taxiing at 11 knots, and that was peak wind gust up at the towers hieght (does 50 even make a difference?). I know nothing about what the Katana can handle and ,unless you have time in the aircraft, neither do you. I was with an instructor who has a couple hundred hours and knows what he and his airplane can handle. It wasn't my call that it was good enough to fly in, it was his and he knows that airplane better then either of us. So I can't see how you can make a judgement on whether or not the airplane can handle the wind. Now if you have a lot of Katana time I'm sorry and obviously the instructor, put money before our saftey.
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
I'm presuming your last answer was to SkyGuyEd, not me.

I think you answered my question indirectly, though.
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
Are you asking me or SteveC or both?

CJKid... if you didn't want input then why did you ask for it? I am not making a 'judgement call'... I am saying what I would do in your situation because YOU asked.

80 is awfully fast for an approach speed in a Katana... Vfe is 78 so I hope you didn't use flaps. The thing has a tendency to float A LOT if you're even 5 knots fast...

Also, reported winds are historical events. You have no finite way of knowing whether they will stay exactly the same, decrease, or increase while you're up there. Where would you draw the line?

Anyway, glad you didn't have any problems.
 

jonnyb

Well-Known Member
Well, I have more Katana time than both of you and I agree with Ed. He's exactly right in my opinion. It's no big deal CKid, just some input from the outside. You guys obviously came out ok and much more "risky" things have been done in an airplane. So, if you enjoyed yourself, GREAT! Just don't let an instructors decision alter your gut feeling in the future. It's your life dude. I think it was probably a great experience for you, flying wise, so take it at that and don't sweat it. You asked for our opinions and we're giving them to ya


Ed, good call my Kimosabe. You have learned well
 

Baronman

Well-Known Member
I have well over 100hrs dual given in the DA-20A1 Katana (yes the Rotax engine) and I pay pretty good attention to the max demonstrated crosswind component (15 kts).

As a rule I try to avoid winds over 30 kts period in a light aircraft.

I would say that the decision made by that instructor was very foolish. I too have had interesting landings in a katana with the rudder fully deflected and still not being aligned with the runway centerline. It's not a good feeling to say the least. Even once I was on the ground I had full aileron deflection and couldn't keep the wing down. After that flight I was muuuuch more cautious.

I think the instructor is a little too bold as someone else put. I think alot of instructors are like this at first, they are crazed about making $ and getting flight time. HOWEVER, as time passes alot of us (or at least I do) realize that this isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. One flight isn't going to make us, but it could break us (literally). Before a flight I ask myself, is this flight worth the increased probablity of a 1. Incident or 2. Violation, meaning am I willing to put all those hours in my logbook in the trash over one dumb flight?
 

donttouchanything

New Member
Hi C-kid,
I had a similar experience in a Grob 115C (which I think is a superior AC to the Katana) during my early solo time. The winds were near the max I was signed off for, but I wanted to fly. Winds on taxi off were lower than the ATIS info, the first few landings were smooth, but then Mother Nature started throwing curves, sustained winds 5kts over my sign off, and gusts 17 over and variable. So, I ended up in a situation that was uncomfortable at best. On my (I thought) last approach the crosswind component was well over what I as a student pilot was safe at. I had to execute a go around after using up ¾ of the runway trying to put that thing down. Next time around I got her down, but I was sweating like a sinner on judgment day.

I learned an important lesson about my own lack of skill that day and I’ve never pushed the envelope like that since. A more experienced pilot may not have had a problem, but I was not that more experienced pilot that day. People who make sound judgments live to fly another day. Always err on the side of safety, that way we can enjoy your posts for a long time to come.
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
You did it, you got down fine, and that's all good.

But as you gain a little life experience, you'll learn that sometimes what is possible is not worth the risk associated with it.

It takes time. I remember when I was your age, and I thought I knew everything and the rest of the world didn't know squat.

It's only after I gained a little life experience that I learned how little I actually know.
 

CK

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]


CJKid... if you didn't want input then why did you ask for it? I

[/ QUOTE ] Sorry about that I thought that same thing after I got off, would have edited it, but my sis wouldn't let me on.

[ QUOTE ]

80 is awfully fast for an approach speed in a Katana... Vfe is 78 so I hope you didn't use flaps.

[/ QUOTE ] Well we had 7,000' and I'd much rather float for 3,000' then come up short and we used T/O flaps, which have a max of 100 knots. It is an Eclipse so it may be different then the Katana you're used to.
[ QUOTE ]

Where would you draw the line?


[/ QUOTE ]

I don't know the aircraft well, so I have no clue what it can do so my faith was in the instructor. I can tell you we had a much harder time comming in in the Navajo then I did in the Katana.
 

CK

Well-Known Member
Baronman,

I didn't have to hold that much rudder in. I only used maybe half of it. The winds were from around 270 and the RWY is 33 so it wasn't direct, no way would I mess with that kind of wind.
 
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