After a vacation, the flu, and bad weather, I finally got back up in the air today. It was two weeks since I last flew. I didn’t feel too rusty and my CFI said I did a good job, he’s seen others forget a lot after taking that long of a break.
It was a bit gusty out of Republic today, so we did a dual flight instead of him sending me on another cross-country to finish my solo requirements. We worked on finishing up my instrument time, but didn’t finish it all. Soon after taking off I put on the foggles and headed out towards the practice area.
Under the hood, we did a lot of climbing and descending turns. My CFI had me close my eyes and try to keep straight and level flight. I knew the plane was trimmed so I just kept a light handle on the yoke and throttle and let the plane fly. He said open my eyes and recover, I wasn’t too far off from where I was. He was bummed yet happy I didn’t go into an unusual attitude. I told him I knew he was trying to trick me and knew better to fall for it. He reminded me that’s his job. 😛 Next time, he used the trim and the screwed me up big time. I had to recover that time.
Then we moved onto slow flight and a power off stall. Even though they aren’t required for the check ride, my CFI likes to do them anyway. Doing slow flight under the hood definitely reminds me how “mushy” the plane gets and that a small input will turn it more than 10 degrees! We also did steep turns while just looking at the instruments, which was fun, but difficult. I learned a lot more “finesse” with the position of the ball (plane) on the attitude indicator by doing steep turns.
Next, he pulled the power and said I had an engine failure. I was actually thrown. I didn’t know what to do because I had the foggles on. He reminded me ABCD and I trimmed for best glide, then got confused again. He told me to use what I have and look at the GPS. I can see that I have a shoreline near me and keep on that until I’d break out of the clouds. It was a nice learning moment.
We did a few unusual attitudes (real ones) for the last thing. It’s always so weird having my eyes closed while he’s trying to mess with my senses. He’s very good at disorientating me. I was doing pretty well at recovering, except sometimes I’d forget to add enough power back in after pulling it when recovering. The last one he did, the airspeed was fast and we were descending about 800ft per minute, the plane was trimmed all the way nose down. It was very hard to pull up and it threw me for a loop. He said I had to go by the instruments, not by how the plane was responding so I pulled up harder to slow the airspeed. I fixed the trim while doing that. He said the DPE probably wouldn’t give me anything that hard, but he just wanted to give me it.
After instrument time was done for day (we did all that in 30 minutes!), we did some steep turns. It was difficult to look outside after looking at the instruments for them. I find I have good days and bad days for steeps turns. Today, wasn’t one of the good days. We just stayed in a steep turn, not worrying about the 360 degrees until the sight picture was burned into my memory. One time, I did finally go through my own wake which was so weird feeling that little bump.
We came in for five landings:
1. This one was fine, a bit off the center line. The gusts were still there, but dying down.
2. Next one wasn’t so good. I bounced on the landing. I was too high, too slow, and it would have been solved just by adding some power. I’m very bad at fixing my landings this way. I have to remember to add power!
3. No flap landing. I was a bit all over the place when close to the runway, I touched down fine. I just had some trouble controlling the plane when it was slower. I forgot to add more deflection in when airspeed slows.
4. Soft field landing. It was nice and soft, but I forgot to pull the power all the way back after landing.
5. Short field landing, it was pretty good. Nice and short and was able to take the first exit off the runway.
On the last two landings there was a sweet Lancair Evolution waiting to take off. I got a bit distracted by it because the paint job was bad-ass. I couldn’t find a picture of it but this is similar, it was a dark paint job which seems kind of rare, but I like!
I got nice complicated taxiing directions from tower: “Exit Alpha 5, wait for Cessna to clear you, Alpha to Gulf 3, cross Runway 1, Bravo to Atlantic, monitor Ground.” Alright, writing it out doesn’t look so bad, but it sounds more complicated right after landing. I repeated it like a boss though, even my CFI complimented me.
It was a good lesson. I have a lesson scheduled every day next week. I’m exciting to see how it goes. I still haven’t talked about scheduling the DPE, I decided he’ll tell me when I’m ready and I don’t want to fret too much over it. This weekend I’ll be going through my study guides and prepping for the oral portion. I can’t wait!
Lesson Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 54.6