Monday, 2 September 2013

Flying the Tiger Club's beautiful CAP10

This Sunday (September 1, 2013) the PA-18 SuperCub I set my heart on mastering was sadly not in service so I took the opportunity to try out the Tiger Club's Cap10.

This is a high performance aircraft which quite frankly goes exactly where you point it! A lot different to what I'm used to thats for certain. I also took the opportunity with the fine weather to have a family picnic at the airfields grass viewing area. This ended up being a fiasco as my 2 year old switched the air con on while I was away. It seems the family were sitting there enjoying the picnic listening to the car stereo and were oblivious to the fact the battery was running dead! Later upon my return and with everybody back in the car I was met with the dreaded click click click sound of a dead battery. It took some comical attempts to jump start it (it's an automatic so I guess that was never going to work but I was willing to try anything) before I went and begged a favour from some kind chap. Anyway ... 
What can I say about the Cap10 aircraft? 

Well it's a beautifully light dancer which requires little effort to put it into the position you want. Although fully aerobatic I wasn't in it for that on this occasion ,so I just carried out some general handling moves. I was happy with this aviation fix. 

My take off seemed ok and my landing was quite good actually even to the point of being complimented by some proper pilots who were following us around the circuit and who I later met at the club. I think that was maybe a fluke though as I understand its quite tricky to pull off. 

One thing I nearly did do wrong though, was go free castoring and ground loop just at the very point of relaxing at the end of the ground roll! I had done a very good landing and there I went and nearly blew it! Thankfully Pete the vastly superior and experienced one in the airplane was one step ahead of me (and the aircraft) and stopped it before it developed. Silly me I really need to watch that when I get back in the Cub.

Oh, I have to say one thing which I liked with it was the toe brakes [versus the Cub's heel brakes] and well, the view out of the perspex dome is totally awesome. There was also a cunning contraption over the ignition switch which was the fuel switch. This prevented you from starting the engine without the fuel on. Simple design and yet masterfully clever.

Quick notes to myself (geek alert perhaps), approach was 75 mph, glide on base was 80 mph. Landing was two stage of flaps. Downwind at 1700 rpm was just under the flap limiting speed. The tail wheel arrangement was similar to the Cub. Substantial rudder pedal pressure was needed to keep the aircraft in trim.

Startup was fuel pump until you saw fuel flow registering or 3 seconds. Similar to the c172 you start with a weak mixture and then as it fires you bring the vernier control forward to full mixture while closing the throttle if the power is set too high. Handbrake application was a question of brakes down, pull the handbrake back, release toes, release handbrake.

Will I be going back up in this beautiful aircraft? I hope so yes because it is such a wonderful plane to fly, but first I need to finish things with the SuperCub. This means learning a lot more about it to a competency level where I can get signed off by an independent examiner. This is my challenge. It also happens to be a whole lot of fun!

Brakes Off 16:40 Brakes On 17:20 - 0:40

HOURS = 51:55 DUAL + 21:00 PIC [P1] + 2:10 [PICUS] 
Total Time = 75:05

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