Turning Stalls, Unusual Attitudes, and Touch-and-Goes

I flew the 152 today because the high schoolers had first dibs in the 150 – they were doing their first solos πŸ™‚

Maneuvered to a new section of the practice area today – farther west of the buttes then normal. It is way greener and more interesting terrain than I’m used to (even though all the leaves have dropped from the trees).

I had my first experience with turning stalls today. Not quite as bad as I was fearing they would be. I was able to stay very nice and coordinated (to my great surprise!) both for landing and takeoff stalls, but didn’t pull back as far as I needed to on the yoke until told to. I’m terrible at remembering to use rudder to do my direction corrections – not aileron. I’m worried that the 150 won’t behave as nicely – the 152 has been much tamer for all my previous stalls. I’d also forgotten how to set up for slow flight (‘doh). Must remember to review my notes before my flights.

Also got in some unusual attitudes & recoveries today. CFI4 was way trickier than CFI2 was: way more dramatic climbs and dives. I was starting to get a little queasy! I was again really timid with pulling back and pushing forward on the yoke. Don’t take your time Christina, recover quickly! Remember to level out the wings before recovering from a dive, be prepared to reduce power if needed, and don’t forget that the trim settings may have been changed by the tricky instructor.

Touch-and-goes on 20L today – finally! My first experience landing with a left base. I didn’t like it at all. Couldn’t see anything when turning to each leg of the pattern. Definitely makes things like using 5 seconds for my crosswind leg more important. When using 20L, FAI is set up so that the ski strip (gravel runway ‘ski20’) is just before the paved runway. There were 2 planes in front of me in the pattern doing touch-and-goes on ski20 so I had to constantly look for them, extend my downwind, and worry about accidentally not giving them enough time to take off again. There was anΒ aeronca who kept turning base when he was clear across town – so annoying! How did he have time to fly that far anyways?

Did my first sideslip to lose altitude today. Although CFI4 seemed fine with my performance, I felt the plane seemed….unstable through it all. I would love to some more practice in.

One no flaps landing – it was okay but I’d also like more practices doing this.

Only got to fly inches off the runway (I really do love that exercise)Β for 2/9 landings today. My fault for constantly flaring too late. I never touched down nosewheel first, but kept landing completely level so all three wheels touched at the same time. I don’t think I did any damage, but I’m glad it’s not my plane. My first ‘dragging the strip’ run was absolutely beautiful – completely on centerline the entire time and a perfect altitude – I now know that I can do it properly, but haven’t repeated it yet. Hoping to do it right next time.

I flew my first own emergency 180/simulated engine failure landing today – aside from turning mildly too quickly/steeply, it was actually pretty fun.

Learned the importance of always shutting down the engine with the rudder peddles configured so the nosewheel is straight. During preflight, I noted that left peddle was all the way in, nosewheel turned as far as it would go – and I couldn’t straighten it out no matter how hard I tried – even with CFI4 raising the nosewheel off the ground. Couldn’t check that the rudder could move freely. I promised CFI4 that I would never intentionally make another student do through that. Naturally though, during shutdown, I did the same thing (for the first time ever…but nosewheel only a little crooked) – arrh. CFI4 was able to easily fix it by turning the tire. How did he do that? I couldn’t turn it as hard as I tried!

β€”~β€”~β€”~β€”~β€”~β€”~β€”~β€”~β€”~β€”~β€”~β€”~β€”~β€”~β€”~β€”~β€”~β€”

Things to work on:

  • Don’t balloon, don’t balloon, don’t balloon! Today, I didn’t go as high as I normally do, but that’s not the point, I shouldn’t be going up at all. Need smaller control movements.
  • Keep looking all the way down the runway, not at the ground just in front of me (I just realized that I do this while driving too). I need to be on centerline!
  • I turned base too early almost every time, once too late. That parallel runway makes me nervous – especially since I couldn’t see it.
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