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Thread: AT-6 / SNJ spins

  1. #11

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    It's amazing how the subject can wander. Back to the AT-6. I flew them in pilot training and spun them left and right. Remember this was before civilians got their hands on them and did things like put the ELT in the tail cone and fill the baggage compartment before spinning. I found it to be an incredibly consistent airplane during spins and spin recovery. Once stabilized, recovery can seem scary, rotation speed increases during recovery. Given that, if the placard says intentional spins prohibited, don't do them. Are you being paid to be a test pilot? If your airplane does not prohibit them perhaps the placard is missing.

  2. #12

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    Thanks for all the input. I read the SNJ manual several times. It says spins are prohibited with the fuel selector on the left tank. In my SNJ-4, there is nothing in the tail that would move the CG aft. With two normal FAA sized people on board we are well with in limits.
    Speaking of scary spins........the first time I spun the Monocoupe, it wound up tight and fast. When I applied opposite rudder nothing happened for almost two turns. It seemed to take forever for something to happen and I began to wonder............ Later I learned that Monocoupes can be like that since they have a tendancy to be aft CG, even lightly loaded.
    I did spins in an SNJ a few years ago, they were 1 to 1 1/2 turns and recovery was a sinch.

  3. #13

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    A further note. Out of curiosity I looked up the Type Certificate Data Sheet for the AT-6/SNJ. It's held by Boeing, the number is A-2-575. Note 2 (c) says Placard both cockpits "Intentional Spinning Prohibited"... If some AT-6s don't have the placard, they should. Legally if you want to perform intentional spins you should find a different airplane than the AT-6/SNJ.

  4. #14

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    eXFTRPLT,
    Is Boeing the ultimate authority on spinning or not a T-6? SNJ/ Harvard?
    To my knowledge Boeing never built a single one of either of the 3 variants, and am don't know of any test flying they ever did in any T-6 or variant.
    As for not spinning a T-6, that would come as a huge surprise to thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of military pilots who trained on the US Army Aircorps, including Navy, Marines, RAF, RCAF, and other allies. That was back in the old days when flight training was more about flying the plane and less about computers.
    Have you ever read Len Morgen's excellent books, both on flying the T-6 and on the P-51?
    My copy of the T-6 manual says as for as spins and recovery, "Normal spin entry is accomplished in the conventional manner" and "Recovery is effected by full opposite rudder followed by stick movement slightly forward of neutral for normal spins, and slightly aft for inverted spins.
    It also says not to practice spins below 10,00o feet AGL.
    As for as spinning on the left tank, that is not in this manual I have, but the left tank has the high standpipe intake, so that only 35 gal is avialble with a 20 gal reserve and I'd guess that a spin might unport the left intake for fuel and the engine quit, I am not sure.
    The FAA current spin requirement may be for the plane to come out with little or no input by the pilot, or to come out faster than a T-6 does, after anti spin controls are applied.
    I just spoke to a current and experienced T-6 owner, who has done recent spin training in his 6 with a flight school which I won't name. He said the entry can be sudden , but the 6 recovers just fine, once you put the controls right. He also said that if you have an ex military T-6, perhaps like the ones that came out of South Africa, and you want to have it in normal category, then it has to have the "no intenional spin" sticker.
    I think it says something good about my friend that he has years and many hours as a T-6 pilot, but seeks out the spin training to expand his experience and become a better pilot.

    I would have sure hated to have gone into air combat in the big war without ever having spun or recovered from a spin . I can just imagine sitting in a P-40 pulling a hard turn and looking back over my shoulder at the Zero pilot and saying please get off my tail, I' m not allowed to go any further. Or looking out of a P-38 at a Me 109, with the same idea.

    And you can bet the opposition, both German and Japs knew how to fly, at least until they lost a lot of the vet pilots.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 11-18-2011 at 04:09 PM.

  5. #15

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    Bill,
    I wasn't going to reply but changed my mind. I assume Boeing acquired the TCDS from North American when they acquired the company. First, Boeing is probably not the organization that placed the restriction against spins. I presume it was the FAA. Second,nothing that I posted should be taken as recommending against spin training. Third, if you want to perform maneuvers in an airplane that are prohibited by the FAA, that is your decision.

  6. #16

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    Exftrplt, for the T-6, ( the real one, not the airconditined modern replica) You have an airplane that was famous as an advance military trainer that was used in many Allied nations to train real pilots. it sounds like you were one of these guys yourself, at one time.
    This was training to possibly fly combat, not some nosewheel Cessna to fly 30 degree banks.
    And spins were part of it. Spins were not only allowed, but in many cases required. It was part of the flight checkout to become a RAF pilot, read FIRST LIGHT, Geof Wellums great book.
    Now our govt agency, FAA comes along and puts a note in the plane that says "no intentional spins". Has the plane changed, or it's spin and recovery behavior?No, if at all, the civilan ones might be a little lighter, due to less equipment like heavy old style military avionics.So as a pilot and one who doesn't own a T-6, but who does fly them when I am loaned or rent one, and who flies other vintage type airplanes and who does acrobatics; I would like to know as much as possible about the plane and flying them.
    I am sure the FAA is expert in many things like airline certification and safety, but I don't want to just blindly accept everything the FAA says on matters that they probably are not expert at. I am not a T-6 expert, but I would bet that very few FAA guys are even rated in T-6s or even have much flight time , if any in one.
    I give the FAA all the respect they are due, but I also look at some other sources.
    One of these is/was David Fain who taught advanced students in T-6s in WWII. You may see one in airshow photos like at SuN N Fun with the serial no of C-150 on the side; that was the scheme of one he flew in the service and later owned.
    David used to live here and I flew with and beside him many times, even flew his plane solo once or twice.
    He also had lived in Chicago and flew out of Palwaukee. Once there was some incident or accident with a T-6 there, not his, but the FAA called and asked if David would meet their inspector there to help investigate.
    So bright and early the next morning David is out at the FBO, and here comes the nice guy who introduces himself as the FAA man, and they walk out to the flgiht line.
    The FAA expert asks. "Which ones are the T-6s?
    So I give the FAA all credit they are due, which means a lot on some subjects and less on others.

  7. #17

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    Bill,

    I spend more time working with the FAA than your average pilot. I agree with Exftrplt's comment that you have the priviledge of losing your pilot certificate in any manner that you choose. I appreciate your argument, but the FAA required placards says Intentional Spins Prohibited. The airplane is technically not airworthy without that placard and you are technically in violation if you willfully fly that maneuver. But you probably know that.

    I will also suggest that advocating the willful violation of the FARs is probably not appropriate for a public forum.

    Fly safe.

    Wes

  8. #18

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    Wes, I have not advocated the violation of any FARs, to my knowledge. If you think so please show me the quote of my exact words, not just your interpretation of them.
    I have also done a number of presentations at both Oshkosh and Sun N Fun about flight safety, specifically warbirds and mountain flying, and don't recall ever advocating anything unsafe or violating FARs. I will admit to being more concerned with the real dangers of flying, the laws of gravity and hard mountains, more with weather than whether a certain sticker is on a panel.
    I have not spun a T-6, however if I have flown a Harvard in Canada and hope to fly one in England. If I do spins in them, am, I in violation of any FAA FAR? Since I am not a T-6 owner, I am not an expert on what the requirements are for a placuard on every airplane. Are you? Are you sure that every T-6, every SNJ, every Harvard has to have that placard.

    By the way, since you seem to think the FAA is infalable, how do you feel about the Bob Hoover case?
    Years ago, before the FAA attack on Bob Hoover, did you think that he was one of the smartest and most skilled pilots ever? Would you gladly have flown with him or have your family members fly with him? Or did you think he was dangerous and unsafe to fly?
    And did your opinion of Bob change overnight when the FAA declared him unsafe to fly? So was the FAA right then, two FAA guys who had had it in for a combat vet who was well know as a nice guy? Or virtually the entire acro community of experts, of Bob's peers along with the aviation regulatory agencies of England, Canada, Australia, etc. who fully cleared Bob to fly?
    And if you did side with the FAA back then; as I am sure you must have, because you would not want to advocate anything else, particlarly on a public site; what did you do years later when a new head of the FAA came in and reinstated Bob fully and was honest enough to openly and publicly apologize to Bob?
    Did your opinion change back overnight, and now Bob was a legal and safe pilot again. because the govt agency, the same one that had singled him out to attack in the first place, now said he was ok.
    Did your opinion change overnight again?
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 11-23-2011 at 09:39 PM.

  9. #19

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    Bill,

    The FAA is the FAA. They issue our pilot certificates and N registered airplane's airworthiness certificates. They can also take them away. What goes on in other countries is the purview of the governmental aviation authorities there.


    Sooo.... If the airplane is a Normal Category airplane, and the Type Certificate Data Sheet says that a specific placard must be in place, then you leave the placard off or operate contrary to it at the risk of the loss of your pilot certificate and the grounding of your airplane. We all know that. If the airplane has an Experimental Exhibition airworthiness certificate, like I am sure some T-6's do, the operating limitations say what you you can do. These are typically more liberal. I am sure that T-6's spin well enough for the Department of Defense who originally procured them, but apparently the FAA has different standards for some. So the conversation about what they can do according to the laws of physics is different from the conversation about what you can legally do. Reading back along this thread it appears that you might be having the first conversation and other folks reading your words get the impression that you are having the second conversation.

    I met Bob Hoover when I was in the airshow business. Great guy. I am very happy that he "won" in the end. Proof that there are more good buys out there than bad guys.

    Wes
    Last edited by WLIU; 11-24-2011 at 06:43 AM.

  10. #20

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    Wes, you have dodged my question about Bob Hoover. It was not if he is a nice guy, it is how your opinion of his flying safety changed when the FAA, who had the legal power to suspend him ( Right or Wrong) took away his license. Did he overnight become unsafe? After all the FAA had that legal power( and apparently no sense of moral or legal fairness to restrain the use and abuse of that power, at least for a number of years.)
    So when the FAA declared him unsafe, ( to be more exact, that he might become unsafe) even without any evidence, did you believe the FAA or did you side with Bob, not because he was a good guy and a patriot, but because he was an expert and safe pilot.
    And how did you opinion change when years later the new head of the FAA finally did the right thing? Did the same Bob Hoover, except now older, suddenly become a safe and legal pilot again overnight because he had the legal blessing?

    You are of course free to disagree with me, but don't twist my words. Nowhere did I ever advocate leaving any required placard off of a T-6. And your idea that you should dictate what I or someone else can or should write on this or any other site is to me way off base.

    As pilots we operate under both the federal laws and the laws of physics, and hopefully we are on the correct side of both. But the legal side of it can be factual or not, logical or not, correct or not and can change overnight. Physical laws like gravity don't change and are absolute.
    I went to instrument school at Flightsafety at Vero Beach. Two instructors went up to practice in a normal category Piper trainer. They spun it in from about 8500 feet. The had time to talk on the radio, thus we know exactly what happened. The had no chutes, the FAA did not require them because after all these were instructors. They had all the required placards on the panel. They were as legal as can be all the way down, for whatever comfort that was to them.

    A pilot can go up and fly acro in many planes such as a T-6. No requirement to ever have done a spin or recovery in them, just got to have all the placards in place. I know men who are flying single seat fighters who have never even done a stall and recovery in them. All legal, but not very smart.

    So what should the FAA do? The placard should say perhaps no intentional spins below 10,000 feet AGL, and perhaps another placard could briefly outline the recovery procedure. Perhaps pilots of acro capable planes like a T-6 should have training in spins and recoveries.

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