Pre-Pattern Maneuvers Training Finally Done(ish) – power on/off stalls, steep turns, unusual attitudes

I finally completed a perfect power off stall!!!!

In the rest of my flight hour, I also perfected power on stalls, steep turns, and unusual attitude recovery. I woke up this morning thinking it would take me about 5 more hours to just get past the stalls, so this is such a relief.

I’m so very excited that if I do the exact same steps on the practical test, I pass! My margins were spot on. It seems so easy right now. We’ll reevaluate in about 3 weeks when the snow starts sticking to everything and make me nervous.

150
Old picture of the 150 I fly. Picture stolen from my flight school’s webpage.

Only mishaps:

  • After landing, I almost taxied into a taxiway light. I obstinately refused to admit my brain was mush…but okay, yeah, I was tired after 4 hours of mindless paint scraping and a challenging flight hour. I forgot that one taxies on the line, not in-between.
  • While tying the plane down, we discovered the flaps are mysteriously broken. Stuck in a down position. Hm.

Parking the plane: All the CFIs at my school are such gentlemen. Always telling me how to push the plane, all the little tricks, etc. but they never actually let me try it myself (although all the male students have to do their own work). I’ve had enough of that. It didn’t take as much strength as I thought it would, although I may change my mind when the snow starts sticking to the ramp. My only minor ‘mistake’ was that I was pulling instead of pushing. Yes, it is much easier to push the plane, thank you CFI2. 😀

I’m excited and nervous to start ground reference maneuvers. It’ll be good for me though; I’ll finally be able to tell where things are on the ground. And I learn the location of the only straight road leaving Fairbanks. I’m still partially convinced one doesn’t exist. 😉

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The unusual attitude maneuvers were the coolest things I’d experienced in a plane. CFI2 did the ‘close your eyes and point up [zenith]’ thing; the fact that we were turning was completely wild.

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Today was the first time I flew wearing glasses instead of contacts. I’m not comfortable wearing contacts in the hangar after breathing some of those MEK fumes and I was too lazy to put in contacts before the flight (like I did the other times). It was actually pretty okay – the headset didn’t smush the frames against my face or cause any discomfort – but I’m definitely sticking with contacts for future flights.

  1. My glasses get oil smears from my eyelashes too easily – and I don’t want to worry about having to clean them in flight until I get more proficient flying.
  2. In winter, the moisture in your breath can often fog up your glasses. In Fairbanks, when it is cold enough, that fog will instantly turn to ice. On your glasses. Ugg. Annoying to deal with when walking around. Downright terrifying to think of dealing with it when trying to fly a plane. Sure, the plane heaters keep things above freezing (I’m pretty sure) but there’s no need to take the chance of something happening.

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Minor nitpicking:

  • I keep getting lost while taxiing. Don’t look at me like that – I can’t figure out why. I know the layout, but it vanishes when it comes time to make turns.
  • My run-up was done on the taxi line and not on the side.
  • My takeoffs are still really ugly.
  • I never pull back quick enough to please the instructors. Should be waiting to hit 60 knots right?
    • I suppose I really am going too fast at takeoff because the instructor keeps needing to step on the brakes to stop the wheel spinning/bumpiness
  • I never stay really centered on the runway line
  • Immediately after becoming airborne, I can’t keep the plane very level
  • I never understand what FAI departure control tells me to do (so I never repeat back what they tell me….the instructor always quickly takes over)
  • I landed right wheel first – not terrible overall but still needs work.
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