The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and I haven’t been getting along recently. This is the second time this week that it’s been late. All I know is that they need to get their act together. When I go to an earlier lesson I take an 8:11am train to Jamaica and transfer to a 8:35am to Ronkonkoma to get to Farmingdale at 9:10am. All other trains I get straight on the Ronkonkoma train. Of course, the first train was late. No news that it was actually late or why, but it was. I was hoping it was like Monday and all trains were late.
I get to Jamaica to discover that my other train had already left. I was so angry! I had to wait an hour for the next train and be late for my lesson. I texted my CFI and then went hunting for a refund because I was angry. I talked to the station manager, I have to go through a whole bunch of bureaucratic loopholes, but I’m determined!
Not only did I have to miss the first train out there, but the later train was delayed 10 minutes as well. Super frustrating. The long cross-country was out of the question now. There was a flight scheduled right after me, clearly there wasn’t enough time. My CFI texted me while on the train saying we could go to KPOU again or a different short cross-country. I didn’t really want to do that because I’d rather have planned it, so I shot back asking to do high performance take offs and landings. He thought that was a good idea.
We get the plane ready and head out. Start off in the pattern, have to do an extended downwind and when the controller calls for me to turn base he also says I’m 300 feet below pattern altitude. I look, that’s not what the altimeter is reporting. We adjust the altimeter, not knowing who is exactly wrong because during run up the setting in the ATIS put us at a negative altitude instead of field elevation at 80 feet.
First, we did soft field landings and take offs. We in total due 3 of those. It was definitely a balance in landing of adding enough power, flaring enough so it’s soft but still have the plane settle. I had a bit of trouble with the take offs judging when the plane was off the runway enough and pushing the nose not too low so it doesn’t settle back down. I just need some more practice, the third one I got it a bit better. I want to get these good so I can actually go to the grass strip and do it!
Next was short field landings and take offs. What was awesome about this and soft field, we got cleared for “The Option” multiple times, which is very rare at KFRG, so instead of stopping and taxiing back it was much quicker! I was getting pretty good at short field landings, I always was able to land and stop within 200ft of my point. The thing I have to remember with the take off, is I kept wanting to put more flaps in just out of habit during landing. I have to remember it’s pushing it up NOT down!
Lastly, we did no flap landings with slips. It was the first time for me doing a forward slip. I’m use to side slips. I found it difficult to slow the plane down while in the pattern, but I got it slowed down enough before landing and was able to bleed off the speed in ground effect.
My last landing was “dealer’s choice” I chose no flap landing because it was the one I have having the most difficulty doing. It wasn’t terrible. I did forgot to put in the crosswind correction at the very end, so it wasn’t perfect. The coolest part about this landing was there was a DC-3 landing before us, so got to see it flying. What a cool plane!
While we were taxiing back the Cougar was going out, my CFI didn’t know who had it and it wasn’t scheduled to go out until he had it in half an hour for a lesson. When we were driving off the airport we passed the hanger and it was open with people he didn’t know hanging around. We stopped and he had to deal with that there was a student now doing his final check out and then thought he had the plane scheduled to go with his friends somewhere but it was the wrong day, he actually scheduled it for the next day. And that’s why I always triple check my reservations!
Overall, it was a good day considering it’s not what was planned. I’m hoping to actually get that long cross-country in next week, but Wednesday is looking a bit iffy. Fingers crossed.
Lesson Time: 1.5 hours
Total Time: 35.9 hours