More Snow False Alarms – Slow Flight and Stalls

Weather, you fickle lady….

This is a picture from a fellow UAF physics grad student this morning (


Next is a picture I took of the Geophysical Institute Β from my car before leaving for the airport (5pm):


I was trying to capture the fact that there were actually large fat snowflakes floating through the air. Say what?!? πŸ˜‰ As always though, Fairbanks weather continues to behave strangely and the airspace over the airport <7 miles away was nice with rays of sunlight.

We worked on slow flight and power off stalls in the 150 today.

Slow flight: technically, I think I should be going slower – haha. It was an intro-day so it’s okay. Restudy the techniques to avoid overbanking before my next lesson.

Power off stalls:Β not nearly as terrifying as they’re hyped up to be. I actually can’t wait to try it a few more times.

I did most of the work for the landing. It felt a little rough when we actually touched down, but that’s why I’m convinced it was my own handiwork. ATC put us down right behind another Cessna taking off (it just passed the hold short line when we were ~a third? of the way down final – maybe the margins were bigger but it was definitely not a comfortable moment Β for me – I spent yesterday looking at pictures of accidents where one plane overtook another; definitely not a confidence building exercise).

Radio work: I feel much better about my work – happiness! Instructor was surprised that I did a lot of the script “like a pro”. Me too.


Things to work on:

  • Use the rudder when turning, climbing, descending, etc when necessary! I really don’t and this instructor compensates for me when he really shouldn’t. I need to feel the uncoordination for myself to really learn. Or just have the verbal reminder.
  • Today I did try some rudder on takeoff and it was way too much.
  • Ask instructor to allow me to do my own taxi work.
  • I think these issues come back to the ‘choosing a primary instructor’ issue. We’ll call CFI1 the person I fly with the most (the one doing the most ‘mothering’). CFI2 is the one I’ve only flown with once -but is the one who made me do both things mentioned above. I’m scheduled again for CFI1 for the next lesson, but I really want CFI2. I really need/want to come out and say something – but I’m pretty timid/nonconfrontational (unless you’ve done something I deem morally wrong. Then I’ll bite your head off). Anyways, I’m still feeling too ‘chicken’ and am hoping it’ll get better by itself. Ugg. Okay fine. Next lesson, I’m saying something.Β Sorry that you the reader need to deal with these innermost thoughts.
  • My angle of attack is consistently too high after takeoff. I want ~7degrees? Anyways, I know it is off by my sight picture, but I never get around to fixing it until the instructor says something.
  • Using radio or talking to instructor during level flight: if distracted, I tend to start turning -lately the banks have become more dramatic. Aggravating, embarrassing.
  • Ask to push the plane myself into the parking spot.
  • I still need to be spoonfed words to FAI approach when inbound for landing. I am doing pretty well with FAI ground, FAI tower, FAI departure because I can take the time to mentally say everything I need to before I actually open my mouth. And the radio script to them is pretty much static. Unfortunately, we are always changing altitude&location when contacting FAI approach. I can’t keep wasting time rehearsing every single word because then all my numbers are wrong by the time I actually say them. Need to work on having the confidence to parrot the instructor faster. And learning to judge my distance from reference landmarks. ie: ’10 miles from Murphy Dome’…..I drove there once, but I honestly have no idea where it is in relation to the city.


Additional Thoughts:

Sometimes I really wish I knew someone who started flight school at the same time as me. Most of my friends still seem excited to hear me talk about my flying worries and experiences (yes! haven’t bored them to tears yet), but a fellow pilot who isn’t way further ahead than me would be nice.

I totally appreciate the experienced pilots who share their stories though!


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