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Rans S-10 Sakota
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Rans S-10 Sakota handling notes

These notes are based on the cockpit layout and handling of G-BWIA and are supplementary to the kit manufacturers handbook.

Weight and Performance

MAUW 875 lbs
C of G range: 61.50 to 65.00 inches aft of datum
Take-off IAS(Flaperons up)at MAUW 40 kts
Power off stall speeds Flaperons down 33 kts
Flaperons up 35 kts
Maximum Flaperon Deployment IAS 70 kts
Best Rate of Climb IAS (Flaperons up) 60 kts
Best Angle of Climb IAS (Flaperons up) 55 kts
Best Angle of Climb IAS (Flaperons down) 50 kts
Manoeuvre IAS (Va) 65 kts
Rough Air IAS 65 kts
Vne 113 kts
Maximum Normal Acceleration 3.9 g
Minimum Water Temperature 100 deg F
Maximum Water Temperature 225 deg F
Maximum Permitted RPM 6800 for 3mins
Maximum Continuous RPM 6500
Cruise RPM 5800
Normal EGT 1200 deg F
Maximum Permitted EGT (100 LL) 1350 deg F
The above figures are for the 65 hp Rotax 582 engine.

Starting Procedure

Cold Start

Master Switch On
Fuel ON
Prime - 3 Squirts
Electric Fuel Pump ON
Throttle 1/4 open
Stick Back (difficult to achieve with centre stick)
Toe Brakes Applied
Mag. Switches ON
Press Starter

Do not idle the engine below 2200 RPM. The throttle closed idle RPM should be 2000.

Minimum Water Temperature for Taxying 100 deg F

Hot Start

As for Cold Start but do not exercise primer.

Flooded Engine

Mag. Switches OFF
Fuel OFF
Throttle Fully Open
Wait 15 minutes before attempting another start using the Hot Start Procedure.

Engine Shut Down

Idle at 2200 RPM for two minutes to allow the engine to cool then:
Mags. OFF
Master Switch OFF
Fuel OFF
Remainder of Switches OFF

Pre-Flight Cockpit Briefing

1. The RANS S-10 cockpit is long and rather narrow making it a tight fit laterally for two people, and requiring even tall pilots to use back cushions, or some form of back pack in order to reach the rudder pedals, instrument panel switches, and the main fuel cock. The unusual cockpit size and shape, coupled with the non-adjustable raked-back bench type seat, the single centrally-mounted control column, and the non-adjustable rudder pedals, generate potential handling difficulties which are covered in detail in the Annex to these notes.

A written brief on these potential difficulties is kept in the cockpit of G-BWIA for ease of reference and is a condition of validity of the Permit to Fly.


2. The view ahead when taxying is good, but the view to the right from the left seat and vice-versa is restricted and it is necessary to 'weave' to clear the side areas near the taxying path. Taxying is straightforward using normal tail wheel configuration techniques. However, the wheel brakes are virtually ineffective and of little use to assist turning.

The small main wheels can easily fall into ruts and small holes. The propellor tip is 11 3/4 ins above the ground with the tail down, and 5 ins above the ground in the flying attitude. Great care is therefore needed to avoid striking the propellor on the ground when taxying, taking off, and landing on rough surfaces.

Take-Off and Climb

3. With the elevator trim set to neutral and the stick held central open the throttle smoothly, and anticipate a mild swing to the right. There is adequate directional control in cross winds up to 10 knots from either side but until experience is gained 5 knots cross wind should be used as the limit. Avoid over-controlling directionally during the take-off. Raise the tail slightly as the aircraft accelerates through around 20 knots, maintain a tail down attitude, and unstick at 40 knots.

The aircraft accelerates quite rapidly and on reaching the climbing speed of 60 knots raise the nose well above the horizon to continue the climb. The rate of climb approaches 1000 ft/min at MAUW at low OATs.

The rather heavy ailerons and light elevator forces become evident as soon as the climb is established. It is not difficult to maintain balanced flight in the climb.


4. The Sakota cruises in a slightly nose down attitude. At 5800 RPM IAS is in the region of 80 knots.

- 3 - Descent

5. During descent do not keep the throttle closed for long periods but set about 4000 RPM and vary the power with small throttle movements around this figure. This technique should prevent carburettor icing and will keep the engine warm. Use short bursts of full throttle every 1000 feet during long descents. Do not allow the water temperature to fall below 100 deg F.

Circuit and Landing

6. Fly the circuit at 80 knots (5600 - 5800 RPM will be required depending upon weight). If the flaperons are used for landing lower them on the base leg. The flaperons control is difficult to reach with the shoulder straps tight. Fly a powered approach at 60 knots. Aim to cross the threshold as 50-55 knots. Close the throttle, flare, and hold off in the landing attitude. The change of pitch attitude in the flare and round out is quite small. Always land in the three point attitude to avoid the possibility of a propellor strike on touch down. A three point landing is straightforward, with or without a cross wind, using standard tail wheel technique. Use of the flaperons for landing makes little difference to the pitch change needed to achieve the three point attitude. However, the landing run can be slightly reduced with flaperons down.

Glide approaches should be flown at 65 knots with the flaperons up.


7. At MAUW the Sakota stalls at 35 knots, flaperons up, with power off. With flaperons down the power off stalling speed is 32 knots. Light pre-stall buffet starts at 38 knots. No significant wing drop occurs and recovery is immediate on lowering the nose. Recovery from the incipient stall using full power can be achieved with less than 100 ft height loss.

Flying and General Qualities

8. G-BWIA has a good climb performance, the stall is docile with adequate buffet warning, and the controls are responsive but rather badly harmonised. The aileron forces are too high for comfort when flying in turbulence but the elevator and rudder forces are about right.

At the forward C of G limit of 61.88 ins AOD the aircraft is stable in pitch. As the C of G moves aft pitch stability decreases to the point where at the aft limit of 65 ins AOD pitch stability is negative and the aircraft becomes more difficult and tiring to fly for long periods and in turbulence.

Entering the cockpit and settling in comfortably is particularly awkward for two occupants. The aircraft has no cockpit heater and is rather draughty.

Crosswind and Maximum Wind Speed Limits

9. Until experience is gained the Sakota should not be flown in crosswinds of more than 5 knots from either side. With experience these limits could be increased to 10 knots. The aircraft is hard work to fly in turbulence because of its low inertia, relatively high aileron forces, and weak pitch stability. Therefore, a maximum surface wind speed of 15 knots is a comfortable limit, particularly for pilots inexperienced on the type.

March 1998


1. The single centrally positioned control column in G-BWIA, coupled with the raked back bench type side-by-side non-adjustable seat, generate the possibility of restricting movement of the control column rearwards in the following circumstances:

1.1. When flown dual, or with a passenger, full rearward movement of the stick can be restricted by the non- flying person's arm unless the arm is held across the body. The RANS S10 is therefore unsatisfactory when used for dual instruction since the instructor cannot take control rapidly in all circumstances.

1.2. The raked back seat, and unusually large distance from the base of the seat back to the rudder pedals, make it necessary for even tall pilots to use some form of back pack or cushion to bring their body forward so that switches on the instrument panel, and the fuel cock, can be reached with the shoulder harness tight. Moreover, a thick cushion or back pack obstructing the space between the pilots can restrict rearward control column movement when the control column is held normally since the operating pilot's forearm cannot move far enough back.

2. Pilots operating G-BWIA are to be aware of the above hazards and brief passengers, and adjust seating arrangements accordingly.

3. As a condition of Permit to Fly issue and currency this information is to be kept in G-BWIA at all times and used for reference by operating pilots before flight.