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Feature Article: Why Pilots Walk Funny
Ever wonder why propeller
pilots walk funny? They do. The P-factor explanation from the
instructors handbook tells the instructor how to explain this
to the student. It has nothing to do with how much liquid consumed?
Part of the difficulty comes from having two or more generations
of pilots, none of whom have had the opportunity to drive a team
of Missouri Canaries. Mules that is. This educational and experience
deficiency can be partially overcome while explaining the P-factor.
Thereby leading to the ultimate answer of the initial question.
Start with an airplane which has the training wheel under the
nose. A Cessna 152 will do. With all three wheels on the ground
the student should be carefully walked around the propeller to
note that, when the aircraft and propeller is horizontal, the
blades each form approximately an 11 degree angle in pitch from
the vertical. The airplane should be imagined as a wagon and the
painted tips of the blades as harnessed to two mules of identical
size and strength. In this configuration the wagon (airplane)
would be pulled straight ahead until made to gee or haw. Gee meaning
right and haw meaning left. O.K. so far?
Now have the instructor hold the aircraft tail down while the
student observes the angle from vertical the pitch of each propeller
blade. The left blade is near vertical while the right blade has
doubled its angle. Now the airplane/wagon suddenly has two completely
different mules. The left blade mule becomes of donkey size or
less while the right blade becomes a dray that once pulled a beer
wagon. Now which way will the wagon, nee airplane, go? Will it
gee or haw?
More often than not our last two generations of student pilots
will chose the wrong direction. The odoriferous experience of
mule driving having been denied them. Using the wing struts to
move the airplane should show the student the error of his ways.
Then it follows as the night the day that in a climb attitude
an appropriate application of right rudder is needed to keep the
airplane on the straight if not narrow. Whatever it takes to prevent
a "haw" Which, of course, leads us in the great cyclonic
circle to the answer of the initial question. It takes a lot of
"Gee" Leg to prevent a "Haw".
Last Modified July 12, ©2020 TAGE.COM