Alright, I’m finally caught up in real time with my lessons. I had my latest one yesterday. The winds were FINALLY not ridiculous, though they were definitely still there.
The lesson didn’t start out too smoothly. My flight school rents out their 152s to West Point for a competition they have there apparently. Sounds cool, but in reality, it’s just a pain in my butt. They were out at West Point that morning, and still weren’t back by the time I got there. My 12pm lesson started, and they still weren’t there. Finally, they came back at 12:30pm. It’s just a slight annoyance, but I let it go so not to distract me. This West Point competition will also ground me for 10 days in May because they’ll be there the entire time.
Moving on! I did the pre-flight and we were off. I did the radio again just fine. Well, I repeated back just fine and then immediately forgot what I repeated back. Oops. It would have been embarrassing to ask the controller again if my instructor wasn’t paying attention. When I contacted Tower I actually remembered what I repeated back so that was good.
Take off was fine. I was better at keeping the center line but after we started climbing I drifted off the runway heading pretty quickly. My instructor had me keep looking behind us to see how far off the runway I was. So definitely need to work on that next time. It wasn’t even really too windy so that’s my fault.
We got the the practice area and started with steep turns. I’ve done a few but not since my second lesson with another instructor. She did it a left one with me at first and I did it by myself. My altitude was so much better than ground reference maneuvers! I was so happy. I believe it stayed within the 100ft as well. When we did the right side though, I was shocked about how different it looked from the left. It made my altitude jump all over the place because I was expecting it to look the same. I wish we did another right one but I did get the idea.
We moved onto the slow flight. I had studied the maneuvers book and was able to do it without her prompting me into it. After I established it, we did a variety of maneuvers: climbs, descents, turns, climbing turns, and descending turns. I felt I managed it pretty well. I’ve done a lot of slow flight on our simulator at home so that definitely helped. The biggest thing I learned from actually doing slow flight was how much power doesn’t actually play into airspeed. Yes, I know, I’ve conditioned myself to Pitch for Airspeed and Power for Altitude but still. Actually doing it makes me get it.
Lastly, we moved onto power off stalls. I had done one once before (again that second lesson with a different instructor) so I wasn’t so scared because I knew how it felt. Again, I set it up by myself. The difficulty I had here was maintaining altitude. I wasn’t applying enough back pressure. I knew I had to do a lot but didn’t realize the strength that was needed.
We ended there and headed back to the airport. I was able to find it on my own, but it was also a beautiful day with P6SM visibility. I again called up Tower “Republic Tower, Cessna 5363B, at Twinspan Bridge with information Juliette.” I didn’t catch what the controller said back to me, I looked at my instructor and she told me what to repeat back. We entered the downwind and were cleared to land, that I was able to repeat back just fine!
Coming into land we were pretty high and I was trying to descend fast which then made our airspeed go up. There was also a slight crosswind which I would correct for then lose because I was focused on something else. I added the crosswind correction back in and was close to the runway. My flare wasn’t high enough so it was kind of a hard landing. We landed on the left wheel first for the crosswind and then in quick succession it was right wheel and nose wheel. It could have been worse but could have been better.
At the debriefing, my instructor wants me to be more confident with the radio and not look at her after I do it for approval or whatever. I agree. I know I need to work on that. And obviously, I need to work on landings. She told me next time, depending on the weather, it will be Power On Stalls and Accelerated Stalls or Touch and Gos again. Those are the last things to do. I don’t know if that means I’m close to soloing, but I’m just keeping things in check and I think I have a lot more to perfect before going to solo.
I can’t wait for the next lesson, it was nice to be up in the air again. I also hate going a week or so without a lesson because I get nervous before being up in the air. I know it’ll have to happen again due to the West Point thing but after that I’m trying to avoid it at all possible.
Lesson time: 1.1
Total Time: 6.4