Last lesson didn’t start out too great. I missed my train by seconds. I was almost down the stairs and the doors closed. It was embarrassing to admit to my instructor. I do remember once being dropped off at a train off the Babylon line so I did a quick Google and found a station only a 10 minute drive from the airport. I asked if that could work and he said yes so I was only 30 minutes late versus an hour late.
I got a ride from one of his friends who was also heading to the airport. Another retired firefighter, always fun to meet other pilots.
They were fixing something on the Cougar, so I went to preflight while my instructor finished up. I was checking the logbook as my instructor was walking over and I saw someone earlier in the day wrote that the attitude indicator was broken. My instructor had just found out as well. So soloing out to the other practice area wasn’t really going to be an option. He had a suction cup thing to cover it while we went flying together.
We went to the north and did some stalls because I asked for it. I got a huge lecture from Jake last night about doing stalls and practicing them by myself more. I’m a little nervous with them too, but I know I shouldn’t be. I can do them, but nervous about a wing dropping. We did three power off stalls. On my last one, I made the wing drop. I wanted to see what it was like and it wasn’t as abrupt as I thought it would be. I told my CFI that and he said it could be abrupt sometimes, it just depends on the situation.
We moved onto power on stalls which I haven’t done in a long time. Our first one was into the wind, it was very hard to stall. It just wouldn’t stall for awhile. The attitude was just so crazy. We tried going with a tailwind for the next one. It was a bit better. I made the wing drop on this one too. That was more on accident. I knew it was going to happen because I was having trouble coordinating it. I think also, I wasn’t trying as hard as I should have because I wanted to feel what it was like. I’m glad to have experienced it and it makes it seem less scary to have felt it instead of it just being a knowledge thing.
Next up was doing some steep turns, without the attitude indicator. It was relying on sight picture to get into and keep that 45 degree bank. Left side was first, a bit of a drop in altitude, but in standards. Once I got the sight picture it stayed good. Moved onto the right, my best steep turn ever. The altitude never moved. It stayed at exactly 2,500 ft. I even got applause from my instructor. He made me do the left again because my right was so good. Left improved, it was probably within 20-50 feet max. Right was still better.
We headed back to the airport. Straight into Runway 19. My instructor said he was going to hop out and I could do a couple touch and go’s just to get more solo time.
I headed back out after dropping him off at the FBO. I remembered to request touch and go’s which is always a success for me. I had to wait awhile before cleared to take off. I was cleared, but the mic was blocked so the controller had to cancel it because of close traffic. They switched controllers and I was starting to think I was forgotten about but I was cleared for take off. Since I was cleared, I decided to do a short field take off. I’m not as comfortable with those as short field and my CFI wanted me to do one or the other. I settled back down at first, but then let myself lift off enough and built up speed. I was a little off the center line as well. They still need practice.
I did two regular landings though. They were both pretty good. I stopped myself drifting off the center line on the first one and touched down pretty smooth. The second, I was pushed by a gust close to the runway, but during the actual touch down it was straight down the runway. I’ve been touching down so slow and soft that I’ve had to add power to get off the runway. The controller asked me to exit the runway at the intersection if able and said something after that which I missed. I let him know I was able to get off at the intersection. I wasn’t sure if he asked me to switch to ground or just cleared me to taxi back via Bravo. I contacted ground just in case.
It was 3:02pm when I landed and someone else had the plane at 3:00pm. So I definitely went too fast when taxing back. I got called out on it by both instructors, the one waiting for the plane told me he’s not important enough to rush for him.
It was a good day overall to make up for missing the train. It was also interesting to see how I use the attitude indicator and what it’s like flying without it. We had to cover it up while flying because he said it could really screw me up. The suction cup fell off during flight and just those few seconds it being visible was enough to know it’s true!
We talked about what was next on the ride to the train station. Tomorrow if the weather is good I’ll do that solo out to the north practice area. And then if that works out and Thursday is good weather it will be my first solo cross country! Fingers crossed, but tomorrow is already looking a bit iffy.
Lesson Time: 1.1 hours
Solo Time: 0.5 hour
Total Time: 42.2 hours