My instructor had me prep to be ready for the lesson to be slow flight, power on/off stalls, and maybe get in a few ground reference maneuvers. Great! I had studied up, watched a few UND Aerocast podcasts on those topics, read the Airplane Flying Handbook chapters on them, I was bench flying the stalls. I checked the weather the day of the lesson, it was a bit windy but it seemed okay enough to go out.
2 hours later when I got there the weather had changed a lot. It was still windy but now a haze was settling over the airport. Good news, we could still go up, but only if we did Touch and Go’s. Wait, what? Nooooo I didn’t study landings! Well, here goes nothing.
I do the preflight check by myself (with the help of my POH since I didn’t buy the checklist yet). We get in and get ready to start. My instructor asks if I can do the radio. Oh no! I forgot to study that part, I didn’t even bring the “script” I was given and I didn’t know the frequencies. I felt like an idiot. She realized it was a lot to do my first set of landings and radio in this weather so she said she would take the lead on the radio. Whew, but I still felt guilty.
Right as we taxi to holding short of the runway the winds change therefore the runway changes. We had to sit there, burning the Hobbs meter, for a bit while the traffic got sorted out and ATC was able to get us, and one other, up into the pattern.
We did a total of 5 landings in a marginal crosswind. I’ve only flown the plane for lesson than 3 hours so I’m not sure how I can really handle landings. The first one seemed fine, the plane did stutter when going back into the take off. I was definitely frighten and had no idea why it happened. My take offs definitely got better. I got a better control and idea of holding the aileron into the wind and then when I rotate up neutralizing the aileron and letting the plane go into the wind after the lift off.
My landings on the other hand were all over the place. I added too much power one time and took back off after landing. Oops. I slammed the plane down too hard one time and floated down the runway pretty far another time.
It was an overwhelming experience. I feel afterwards I did grasp the concept of the approach on a crosswind landing. The aileron into the wind and opposite rudder. I also got a bit of a handle on crabbing into the wind.
I left this lesson EXHAUSTED. Mentally and physically. I couldn’t wait for my hour train ride just to sit there and listen to music. I’m hoping to get more and more experience with landings each lesson. I understand the pattern and the radio contact that needs to happen during it. And I got do understand the crosswind component, now the actual landing part…..well, that’s to keep working on until my solo!
Lesson Time: 1.3 hours
Total Time: 4.2 hours