Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Banjo Ben Biannual

Ben was in the area for a wedding and made it over for his BFR. It was a pleasure to fly with him. He does a real nice job with the airplane. He said he wanted to work on soft field landings, so after we did some normal high altitude work, we spent the rest of our time communing with the cattle.

Here’s some pics… The first one right after his first grass takeoff. I think it’s great he got a “GLick” hat, but I didn’t want to tell him that they mis-spelled it:

Going back for another one. I think he kind of liked landing in a field.

Arrived alive. Note the grass hanging from the antenna. That’s a good indicator of a nice flare.

Nice pictures. Did the guitars come out?

very nice …was thinkin the same thing …wondering if you guys got to pick a little too ??

We didn’t have a whole bunch of time to burn, but we did pick a little bit. I showed him some of my guitars (and Carolyn’s guitar that she bought for herself on my birthday). We talked more than anything. He’s a super nice guy and it was great getting to spend some time with him.

Pretty cool there fellers.

I would think landing in a random field would be pretty tricky. Do you practice that for emergency situations or is that a normal thing? Seems like hidden bumps in the field would make that pretty sketchy.

Be pretty cool landing one in the middle of nowhere, jump out and hunt (visit or whatever), then take back off without having to land at an airport, then rent a car to drive where your going.

thats awesome ! would love to have been there!

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I would think landing in a random field would be pretty tricky. Do you practice that for emergency situations or is that a normal thing? Seems like hidden bumps in the field would make that pretty sketchy.

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It wasn’t quite a random field, it’s a friends field and he keeps it maintained for that purpose. He even went and mowed it for us as he knew we were coming. There are actually quite a few cool grass strips. They are generally pretty interesting. There are a couple we fly into that have restaurants next to them. Here’s a FB link to a takeoff at one of those at Cedar Mills, Lake Texoma. … =2&theater
I don’t know if you have to be a “friend” to watch it (I think it’s public, but I don’t know). If so, just send a friend request to my wife Carolyn. I haven’t gotten around to making a FB account yet :slight_smile:

You are correct, you do have to watch for holes, bumps, farm animals and such. Your first time into a field, you check it out as much as you can from the air before committing. In fact, one time we went to Cedar Mills (the one in the video) and the lake was covering over half the runway. We didn’t land that day. It would have resulted in either an epic takeoff or an accident report. :open_mouth: You are also correct that it is great practice for emergencies.

Pretty cool vid Mike! That was a sweet takeoff!

I’m not a member of FB and I could still watch it.

'Bout how fast are you going when you land in a field?

Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for letting me know you could watch it. That’s a neat place to go (and I like the restaurant as well).
When I land in a field, I try to get it as slow as possible. That’s down around 40 mph airspeed. But if there is any wind, you land into it. So if you had a 10 mph headwind and 40 mph airspeed, that would be 30 mph across the ground. You could just about jump out. If the winds are real gusty, I’ll carry a touch more speed to make it more controllable, but in general slower is better.
Update: BTW, that slow speed is just the touchdown speed. You are trying to touchdown right about stall speed. Your approach speed will be similar to a normal landing on pavement.

That’s not too bad, a lot more controlled than I thought. I thought you guys were swooping in at about 100 and hoping for the best.

I’ve never flown in my life (don’t plan to either :slight_smile:), so I have no idea. I definately see the attraction to it though.

It’s always exciting landing on a dirt strip for the first time. Here’s one that’s at a friends house a little ways from me. Had to set the approach just right. No room for errors or go-arounds.

Hey Jack!
Good to hear from you. That’s a nice looking approach.

Thanks Mike, yeah, I’ve been overwhelmed in work and personal stuff lately. I’ve got two airplane interiors I’m working on now and a completed interior out of a Baron that’s sitting in my trailer waiting to be installed. I’m gettin’ too old for this, but count my blessings that the work keeps coming in.

Hey, Stich! Been wondering where you went. Hope you’re still saving some time for pickin’

Ahhh, landing on grass strips, love it, the earth if prepared properly (hence my reference to grass STRIPS) is so forgiving. The down side is mud, snow, water and night, really cramp your approach/landings/takeoffs in most cases, so paved runways are a neccesity if you fly much. I have never had (yet) an emergency off field landing, hope I never do, but you train for it, best you can. My worst case scenario is a night off field landing. Years ago I asked my flight instructor about them, she said “go for a dark area, it might be a farm field, when you get close to the ground, turn on your landing light, and if you don’t like what you see, turn it back off and brace for impact”, oh brother, fagetaboutit, I’m going for the highway and take my chances with wires and bridges :laughing: . Loved the pictures of Ben getting his BFR, his smile reflected his joy!!! God bless ya’ll!! :smiley:

How Cool!!!

Thanks for sharing!!!