I did not want to get up the morning after my night flying. I was tired, but I didn’t want to cancel because we’re going on vacation next week and I am excited to get my requirements done!
Jake and I stayed up later than I planned going over uncontrolled field procedures. We took the balsa planes I hung up all over the living room for his birthday and flew them around the coffee table in every scenario. It worked quite well.
When I got to the airport with my CFI we had to wait a bit because we were early and the plane wasn’t scheduled to come back until 10:45am. We chatted in his car while waiting. Returning the plane was another student I’ve talked to a few times, he recently soloed which was exciting. His instructor asked what we were doing that lesson and my CFI told them we were going to a grass strip. The other was a bit surprised by that asking if the insurance covered it, my CFI responded it covered it for him since he was an owner. I do forget how glad I should be that I get to do some of the things we do because he owns the planes!
The grass strip is about 17nm away and below the Class C outer shelf of Islip so we have to fly at around 1,200ft. ATC did call us up and asked why he had us leveling off at 900ft. The altimeter encoder in the plane was transmitting wrong (we’re also within 30nm of a Class B, therefore required). Traffic was passing us at 1,400ft which I had climbed to just in case when we were figuring out the problem, so just gave ATC the heads up that was the problem.
We almost passed the grass strip. It’s a cut out in the Class C airspace that keeps the floor of it at 1500 vs. the 700 around the rest of the area. I did all the announcing just fine. The landing wasn’t bad either. It felt soft, but the roll started to feel a bit bumpy. The grass of the strip also needs to be cut more apparently. It was not how I thought a soft field landing would feel. I was definitely glad to experience it though!
Here’s where the simulated landings don’t do it justice. Taxiing is WORK. Holding the yoke all the way back the entire time is work. You’re on the ground, you can’t trim that. Also making sure the plane doesn’t stop the entire time. You have to be so much more aware while taxiing on grass versus pavement. I did a soft field take off, which they are getting better. At least I didn’t settle back onto the runway!
We might do that one more time, but that was good enough for today. We went out into the practice area and did some instrument work. I felt spacial disorientation for the first time. It wasn’t extreme, and my instructor was glad I experienced it. I felt I was in a left bank when I was straight and leveled. He had me fix it by doing a real bank to the left, that felt weird! It got a bit better, but I don’t think I ever felt truly how the plane actually was.
It makes me think if I go onto instrument training how much it will suck. Well, it won’t suck, it’ll just be hours and hours of feeling weird. We also did a power off stall while under the hood, which was cool to do. Also, he threw in that unusual attitudes. I totally cheated on those but by accident both times.
Something I forgot to add about night flying, we worked on no flap landings with slips. I haven’t done one in awhile and last night, he put us into a slip and I suddenly was like “I don’t like this, I don’t like this, I don’t like this!” He kept going because he knew I was fine just felt weird. So we worked on slips out in the practice area to get me more comfortable with them.
Yesterday, the 152 got spin approved. My CFI applied the kit to make it fit with the AD. Now, if you haven’t been keeping up with me. I’m kind of scared of spins. I know I need to experience them to get over it. I asked if we could do a spin. It was too hazy, but he said next time we would. Oh no! I might regret that.
We came in to do some touch and gos. Another soft field (simulated this time), short field, and no flaps landing. Did a real slip this time, it was alright, I need to get better control of them. My first landing he asked how I felt. I said it was alright. He thought it was really good, and a pretty soft landing. I said it could have been softer. He does like my critical nature, we just have to make sure there is that line where it’s not negative.
Overall, a good lesson, glad I went. I fell asleep on the train ride home. We’ll be gone at the beginning of next week and I hope to maybe get in a lesson at the end of the week. My CFI was hoping maybe to arrange me and him flying to Sky Acres with some of his buddies that go out there for lunch every week. We’d fly there together and I’d fly back solo to finish my solo XC time. I hope it works out!
I’m inching ever closer! What requirements I have left:
Instrument – 1 hour left
Solo XC – 0.7 of an hour
Solo – 2.6 hours
Check ride prep – 3 hours
Like I said last post, I’m hoping to get it done this month, pending of the government not staying shut down too long.
Lesson Time: 1.5
Total Time: 52.6