Comments From LRI Flyers
...It [the gauge] is presently mounted on the glareshield. I had purchased the round indicator to mount in the instrument panel We have never done that. I have mixed feelings about moving it. My panel is really full and maybe it is best to leave it mounted on the glareshield so the eye (I have only one) doesn't have so far to move during critical takeoffs and landings...
The LRI was installed at the same time we installed a Horton STOL on the plane. I knew this would change the performance of the plane alot and wanted a device to let me know where we were in the slow speed flight envelope. I've never experienced a situation where the device gave me false information. I would hate to operate without the LRI. In critical situations it is very much appreciated...
...I haven't calibrated my LRI in accordance with the instructions furnished. I simply went up, stalled. and adjusted the probe. (I was three degrees off.) It's great fun to slow fly, watch the gauge and listen to the stall warning horn. My 172 has the Horton STOL kit so I really have fun.
...To say I have been pleased with the device would be an understatement.
I fly almost entirely from dirt strips. The majority of my flights are oil field pipeline patrol and cougar tracking flights for Texas A&M University. On several occasions my airspeed indicator has failed, in flight, when a bug entered the Pitot tube. The LRI has never failed and that certainly reduces the pucker factor when landing with an inoperative airspeed indicator. In fact, the LRI is the only instrument I use when landing on a short strip.
I had no problems with the FAA about the installation, but did receive a lot of kidding from some "Macho" pilots who felt a real pilot didn't need one. I notice they are the same pilots who find an excuse for not flying when the wind is real nasty or the only available landing strip is real short...
"...We're on our second one. We think it's superb...I think that it is essential that this get back out there again..."
This is a fine unit. I have a Robertson STOL on my Twin Comanche and the LRI gives good low speed information at the lower airspeeds and low level work. I find it reassuring on short fields when I haven't flown for a while and need to augment my seat of the pants feel for the airplane.
I am confident this adds a significant safety factor to flying.
...I have been flying my Maule M-6 for several years with the LRI...Flying without the LRI is flying with a handicap. I would not own a plane without installing an LRI. It is the most important safety device on the plane. I'm not sure it shouldn't be mandatory on all aircraft.
...I have just recently installed [the LRI] on my Grumman American Cheetah and find it invaluable...it provides instantaneous readout of remaining potential wing lift. Such a precise reading is particularly beneficial to low-time private pilots like myself. I tend to fly conservatively especially when involved in landings.
I can't begin to tell you how reassuring it now is to make landings safely at slow speeds. After years of flying I finally feel that by monitoring the [LRI] I am flying safely and competently- the way a professional would.
And it is not just in landings the [LRI] proves its importance. Climbouts involving heavy loads, high density altitudes, and/or gusty winds can be done safely at slower speeds because the [LRI] records, within your field of vision [glareshield mounting of display], the lift conditions of your plane's wings as well as any sudden changes in those conditions.
Joseph G. Hoffman, a private pilot with more than 2000 hours, has the LRI in his Rare Air America conversion of the Cessna P210 with a 350-hp Lycoming engine up front. He has flown about 80 hours with the unit and reports no problems. He would install a new one if he were to change airplanes. "The instrument is a very good continuous reference to avoid trouble", he stated.
Private Pilot - February 1987
Gordon E. Evans of Camarillo, California, has the instrument on his fully IFR Piper Seneca II, along with full de-ice equipment and a Robertson Stol installation. He is a former U.S. Marine Corps jet pilot with 2400 hours total time. He reports excellent results with the LRI system...Evans reports that the instrument is particularly useful on short, rough runways and during climbout through the first several hundred feet. He says the unit earned its keep during two round trips to Punta Colorado and Las Palmas near the tip of Baja California. "The aircraft was at or near gross weight," says Evans. "Crosswinds were gusting more than 30 knots at 60 degrees to 80 degrees from the runway on the uneven resort gravel strips. I used almost full control input and differential power was required. The LRI was my primary reference instrument."
Private Pilot - February 1987
Ron Clark of Santa Barbara, California, has had the LRI in both a Cessna 210 and a Mooney 201, logging 200 hours in a four year period...
Clark thinks the instrument is useful on takeoffs from short fields and where maximum angle of climb is required. " While the instrument would be interesting for any test pilot or crop duster", says Clark, "the rest of the people better go buy themselves one." Clark, too, says he would install the LRI in any other aircraft he would to purchase.
Private Pilot - February 1987
I truly think it is a winner for the private pilot. As you probably know, I was a pilot for US Air and the Navy for 40,000 hours or so. Commercial airplanes like 737's have a stall indicator and such BUT small planes do not,and I think this is a wonderful device and I heartily recommend it. I will mention it to my pilot friends that have small planes...$ 900.00 or so is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
The LRI is still on my plane. [ Grumman Tiger - installed 1982. This pilot has been flying with the LRI for 15 years]. I use it for every takeoff, approach and landing. People are always asking me what it is and I tell them how useful it is...I am glad to learn that you plan to produce the LRI again...Obviously, I believe in the product.
I am a big supporter of the LRI. What I like about it is that it relates to performance conditions of the day. We fly by an archaic approach: test data that are years old, not what the conditions are today.
The LRI will help a pilot to avoid stall/spin type situations. The LRI relates to maximum performance which is what is needed at takeoff, approach and landing. ASI doesn't tell you anything.
[Stall prevention systems have been] proven over many years by the military around the world. The logic is the same as in civilian use...to avoid getting behind the power curve (stall,mush,etc,) in jets while being distracted (shooting at someone) or when landing or climbing.
... there has heretofore not been an affordable...device for civil aircraft. Too bad, because the accident rate for aircraft without stall prevention (not stall noisemakers) is very poor. Big planes have stick shakers, stick pushers, lotsa power, Vref speed protocols, etc and we don't. And we can stall only one wing and the stall horn may never sound all the way to the ground!
The LRI is working great ... I set mine up for best rate of climb as suggested. I will be your best salesman with all the people I take for rides. Already have two pilots very interested.
I calibrated my probe pretty much [the two ways] recommended. . First I had to find out what my maximum rate of climb was, so I went out and ran tests at various speeds to plot a curve of airspeed vs rate of climb. Once I had that data I went out and kept adjusting the probe until my maximum rate of climb was at the red/white juncture. I then went out and did roughly the same thing to find my maximum distance glide and low and behold, the speed was right at the juncture of the red/white arcs. I felt pretty good about that. Since that time I have become very dependent on the LRI. In relatively calm air I have been flying my final approaches right at the red/white juncture. I feel comfortable there since my actual stall doesn't occur until two lines into the red. I have it mounted on top of the instrument panel so its easy to see in my peripheral vision when looking out. On takeoffs I peg the needle at the best L/D on my climbouts. The engine cools good and I like to gain as much altitude as quickly as possible...this is a high drag, high thrust line airplane and in the event of an engine problem the nose is pointed way down to maintain a safe airspeed. I was doing some flying around a tight lake to scope out the surface for floating debris, etc. Its real comforting to keep a watch on the LRI for as you well know we can stall at any airspeed and any attitude.
[It was] originally recommended that I try to calibrate the instrument by lifting off the ground a foot or two prior to the first flight. I felt it would be courting with disaster to try that, since your first tests are tough enough without trying to watch an instrument. Your eyes and mind are on too many other things at that split second time of lift off...like trying to keep the airplane under control and get back on the runway with out scratching it, especially with a high thrust line amphibian. I'm glad I waited to calibrate it conventionally at altitude. Also..very important..The stall characteristics of an experimental aircraft are virtually unkn