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A pilot recently had an issue involving the nose wheel bouncing several times before settling down during landing. Setup was as follows:

  • Cessna 162 Skycatcher
  • Simulated short field landing.
  • Full Flaps, per POH
  • Approach speed 50 KIAS per POH
  • Headwind 6 knots
  • Good condition, paved runway
  • Pilot has 30 hour in this specific airplane, ~100 landings in this specific airplane and has not experienced this before.

During the touchdown, the following happened:

  • Pilot flared at correct altitude.
  • Plane touched down, main gear first. Main gear remained on runway.
  • Nose wheel then bounced 3-5 times before settling down on the runway.

Note: Bounce was not pronouced enough to cause a tail strike

This felt to the pilot like a PIO, but it was not a Porpoise as described in this post.

Questions:

  • Is this a PIO?
  • Why did the nosewheel bounce?
  • How can the pilot prevent this from happening in the future?
  • Should this occur again, how can the pilot minimizes the nose bounces?
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  • $\begingroup$ Did the pilot hold the yoke back and allow the nose wheel to settle by itself, or did the pilot relax the yoke? $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Jun 22 '17 at 21:44
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think this can be usefully answered here. Fly with an experienced pilot or instructor and get feedback from them on a specific flight. $\endgroup$ – Riccati Jun 22 '17 at 23:36
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    $\begingroup$ In theory this could be due to an improperly serviced Oleo strut, say too much air and insufficient hydraulic fluid. But without inspecting the strut I can't say. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Jun 23 '17 at 17:37
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Sounds most like the pilot released back pressure on the control stick abruptly once the main wheels touchdown. The idea here is that you gently lower the nose wheel to the pavement once the mains are on the ground in order to prevent that kind of a bounce. As I recall the Cessna 162 has a tendency to bounce on the nose wheel as well as to porpoise if the landing attitude is not done correctly it's just a quirk of that airplane.

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