Tip scrape

At the end of my successful power climb retest yesterday I brought her back into the busy circuit at Jersey for a touch and go and once circuit then land.

The principle idea of the first circuit was to get a feel for just how much crosswind there was .. Forecast was between 10 and 14kts mostly at 90′ but sometimes swinging from 180′ to 210′

The first touch was pretty much just that .. Wheeled on and felt the gust so straight on he throttle and up and away .. Lots of rudder to make sure I got a nice (in line with the runway) departure … You see so many (and some commercial) veering or drifting off 20 or more degrees !

The second arrival (to land) was interesting .. And I’m writing it now to share knowledge and how not to do it !

As it was a little choppy on the approach – will add the video shortly – you can see I’m having to use a fair bit of aileron BOTH ways to maintain a nice approach path. Even when I got into ground effect it was still a little blustery BUT …

On reflection my approach speed was too high .. Higher than i normally do in the Sherwood .. I use his technique in the PA28 on days like this and it all works nicely .. Trying to bleed off that speed in a light skippy biplane with the associated gusty conditions was not good

Now, holding off just above the runway to lose some of the excess speed AND also trying to get it down before the next gust I managed to get her smoothly into the main wheels BUT still had too much speed … The INTO wind wing lifted .. And your instinct is to aileron correct it but the problem now is that your ailerons are pretty much none effective .. Should have gone around

She then starts to be driven into the start of a ground loop … Luckily my over speed wasn’t that much .. So the starboard wing tip touched the runway …. Scrape …. Powering right off calmed everything down … Felt awful in the ‘plane and you can see me shaking my head !

2 mins 10 into this you can see the aileron work to keep her straight and level and 2 min 30 the tip down …

The go pro footage shows the ‘event’ … Not particularly elegant … The scrape was about the size of a 50p piece


– 14 kts is beyond my current skill limit with the aircraft

– Have done similar with the Stampe but had 80 hours on that and had a better (more current) method of crabbing vs wing down

– Need to practice and build up my techniques again

– Don’t use excess speed to overcome approach conditions

Footnote – having done this rubbish approach and taxiing in with my head down … A Flybe commercial taxiing was told to hold short and let me depart the taxiway and taxi behind me ….he then asked the tower what aicraft type the little Yellow Biplane was and was very complimentary about it .. Finishing with .. “We have all done that .. ” .. Nice touch 😄✈️

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