Just returned from a great ‘airfield-gardenparty’ in the north of Switzerland. 🙂 Normally the sailplane field of Schaffhausen is closed to visitors. This weekend they have organised a small airshow and every arriving oldtimer received 20 litres of aviation gasoline as a welcome gift! My dad, my girlfriend and I spent the day having pic-nic underthe wing and asking children if they would like to climb into the cockpit. Especially my father did a great job – the kids had fun! He told many times the story of himself sitting in exactly this airplane as a boy and buying it many years later. This could have been the spark for future pilots. 🙂 We enjoyed beautiful air-displays and yet there was another reason why everybody looked skywards. It seemed to me that Piper Cubs, Cessnas and biplanes attract just as many people. Possibly it is the simplicity of those aeroplanes? They make one feel everybody could own and fly one of them one day – which is a nice thought indeed.
The landing on the 1500ft field was exciting. There is a reason why we should fly by the numbers. Even those 5mph too fast on short final made the flare too long (no worries, not THAT long!). Later in the afternoon we met a Christen Eagle pilot at the fuelstation who asked us for a photo session. I switched seats with my dad so he could be the pilot in command for the formation flight. We had aviation fotographer Erich Gandet in the back. While he focused on flying I looked out for traffic and made sure we wouldn’t enter any control zones. The biplane flew well-behaved on our side, showed us it’s belly and top wing (without going inverted due to baggage). After 15 minutes the Eagle said byebye and we headed towards our homebase.
Before landing, a tad high on the straight in, my father dropped the flaps to 40° and pointed the nose down for Vfe (max speed, flaps extended). This way the airplane had a lot of parasite drag that allowed a really steep approach, just as skydiveplanes descend. 😉 I think this technique is a great tool in the box, thoroughly taught by our flight instructor.