Flew with yet another instructor today (CFI4). I scheduled the block before I realized I would starting something completely new today – ground reference maneuvers (I’m still stunned at how well the last lesson went). Had a really great time flying with him because he’s really calming- got me comfortable enough to trade a few jokes while flying. Sadly he usually doesn’t have a lot of flight teaching blocks open.
I need to get the full story from someone about using wing covers/when to avoid them because they will freeze onto the plane. The 150 had a smooth, light frost layer this morning, but it was okay to fly with. What exactly is ‘smooth enough’? I suppose I’ll have plenty of experience by the end of this month.
I’m pleasantly surprised that I can still do slow flight, power on stalls, and power off stalls relatively well (part of me still thought the last lesson was a fluke). It is so much like a switch was flipped somewhere in my brain – no longer a mystery. Happiness 😀 My only minor faults are that my altitude still tends to get a bit wonky when I’m not focused and that when adding full power during recovery, I usually forget to use enough right rudder. I made corrections just as the instructor opened his mouth (I’m delivering shorter reaction times each time) so by next flight, there should be no problems at all, fingers crossed.
Steep turns: still okay. For the first time, I was actually able to roll out of a turn on a correct heading using just reference mountains (no directional gyro). It sounds ridiculous but I finally figured out what ‘south’ looks like from the practice area. I’m sure that by checkride time, I will be tired of flying south [to Nenana].
Next, I had a small exercise in emergency procedures today. Let’s see if I can name all the steps (no promises that this is correct; it probably isn’t, but I’m going to check the steps later). Step 1, the engine dies. I need to try and restart via magnetos. Carburetor heat on, full throttle. Say it doesn’t restart. ID field to land in, pitch for 60knots, descend. Flaps down if possible. Set fuel shutoff valve to off, check that seatbelt is secure, remove any sharp/heavy objects from my vicinity. CFI4 kinda freaked me out in the air by springing all the information on me, setting the engine on idle, starting a descent, picking a landing field, and then giving me the controls. I was a little worried that we were actually going to have to land in a field….he kept the whole charade up until 500ft AGL- arahaag, my instructors are such jokesters. Love that departure control asked us what was happening when we finally leveled out – I feel so loved 😉
Two new procedures learned today: turns about a point (yellow post in the woods) and s-turns about a line (snowmobile trail?). I wonder how visible my references will be when it starts snowing. Minor reminder to myself: watch where I place the nose relative to the horizon. When I stayed focused, I surprised myself at how steady I could keep the altimeter. None of my maneuvers had ever been done this close to the ground (800ft up) and it definitely got the heart racing. Entering these procedures from the downwind is still a bit fuzzy to me (I’m still really slow in figuring out wind directions).
I did my first ever round of touch-and-goes today (with assistance). After so many lessons being timid in my turns (I naturally only do really shallow turns when I should be aiming for steeper ones), I have finally become more comfortable in making ~30degree turns when told to turn. Figures that now my new ‘natural’ turns in the landing pattern are mostly too steep.
My takeoffs are getting straighter – woohoo!
I forgot that my flaps go from 0 to 40 degrees. I was told to use 30 degrees of flaps on final and mistakenly set it to 40. I had a small moment of panic (at 40 degrees) when I realized that all my corrections were not working. Surprising how just 10 extra degrees made it so difficult to control the plane.
Remember to make small control movements on base and final.