I finally got up in the air today after almost two weeks off due to bad weather. It was a frustrating wait to say the least. What I normally experience is nervousness before flying after I haven’t for a week or more, but I wasn’t this time at all. It was great. It gave me more confidence.
It was the first HOT day here in NYC. It’s gotten up here occasionally but hit the 90s today. It was 78 already at 8am waiting for the train, so it just got even hotter by my lesson. By the end, pulling off my headset there was a ring of sweat around my ears.
On the taxi to the runway, which was kind of long, my instructor quizzed me on things. What to do when the engine fails at 300ft? And at 600 ft? What do I do if during the mag check one is running rough? What is wake turbulence? Procedure for take off during this runway going to the North? Density altitude since we’ve having our first hot day. I got them right even though we’ve never specifically covered it. I just need confidence in saying my answers.
Did a regular take off and headed to the north practice area. She finally let me call NY Approach for the first time. Something I’ve been nervous about but knowing I need to do it. We practiced first.
Me: NY Approach, Cessna 5363Bravo
NY Approach: Cessna 5363Bravo, go head.
Me: I’m a Cessna 152 at 2000ft requesting traffic advisory in the north practice area.
And then they give me a squawk number and then tell me I’m on radar. All set there! Yay!
We start out with slow flight. It’s been awhile, so I forgot to put down the flaps before starting a clearing turn. But otherwise, it was good. I feel this is the first time I’ve felt it being pretty slow. It was a different feeling in my body. I’m so glad I felt it and understand it a bit better now. We did a descending turn and it went straight into an emergency procedure of engine failure. That went okay, I really need to use trim more to pitch for 60 knots. Out by the practice areas it’s always so easy to pick a spot because there is just a long stretch of beach.
Losing all that altitude we moved into ground reference maneuvers. Picked a place for a rectangular course, but it was a bit small. Setting the RPM at 2300 made me feel I was going very fast and I forgot how much I need to push down/trim the nose down to keep altitude. I’ve been in the pattern too long going about 2000 RPM. It wasn’t the best rectangle, but she seemed happy with it.
We moved onto turns around a point. Clearing turns first, then into it. It was feeling fast again, maybe I’m just more aware of the speed now after getting landings. The second time around was better and more accurate.
“Punched out” with NY Approach and went back to do touch and goes. I got in 4 landings. 1. It was shaking off the rust and a bit hard. 2. A bit better but flared too quickly and went back up a little. 3. I was struggling with the center line, I like going to the left too much. I switched my gaze from looking down at the ground to looking down the runway too late so it was a steep approach. 4. Last one was better, a bit of a balloon, but I realized it pretty quickly. It wasn’t bad. I was on the center line, and not over correcting, it felt weird and I told my instructor. I guess it’s just something I need to get use to feeling that way.
I have another lesson tomorrow and we’ll wrap up the stalls and more touch and goes and then she says I’ll be good to do my progress check. It kind of feels like walking up a down escalator on my progress to soloing. Every time I get past the “last” step one or two more seem to pop up. Maybe her judgement of time isn’t too great, or maybe it’s me. I don’t know.
The one fun thing is on the taxi back to the FBO we saw this:
I thought it was funny and kind of cool to have a real plane of an animated one. But maybe I’m easily amused.
Lesson Time: 1.4 hours
Total Time: 16.5 hours