Back in the Air

I’m so happy that I finally have the time to finish my private pilot certificate!!! (well, mostly – I forgot about the need to take final exams next week…anyways…)

I was really nervous about getting back in the air after such a long hiatus (November 2013 was the last time I flew), but I think it went really well.

I got to fly with an instructor I’d never worked with before and I think it was a good thing. His explanations didn’t assume I would remember everything, and it was what I needed.

We did ground reviews of stalls, stall recovery, ground effect, and the 3 factors which cause left turning tendencies. Surprised at how much I remembered; sorely disappointed in the few things I blanked on (pride).

Had to fly the 152 – it used to make me nervous because I had started in the 150 (and things were just different enough to make me uncomfortable) but today was really nice.

We practiced power-off stalls ad-nauseam, but I found that it wasn’t as difficult as it was last year. Yes! I finally feel that I have a good grasp on the amount of right rudder pressure to maintain (although I frequently get lazy and let off). I also found that I liked practicing stall recoveries without dealing with adding full power and messing with the flaps – just tip the nose down and apply rudder in the direction opposite to the direction of the break. I only pushed the nose down too far once (which did indeed wake me up, ha) 😐

Did several turns and I found it was actually quite easy to stop directly on the heading I was asked to do. I almost can’t believe how much my headings wobbled in the past. Holding a certain degree of bank was more challenging , but I nailed it in the end.

We simulated an engine failure and came in nice and low over a straight local Fairbanks wilderness/snowmobile trail. My timing was way off so I wasn’t lined up on the trail at all (was about 2 wingspans to the right), but I think with more practice, I can become more comfortable with flying 500feet AGL.

Then landings practice. Well, these were terrible and involved a lot of help from CFI6. It was super sunny today and the thermal activity was bouncing me around too much for my liking. I landed way too long on my second try and missed tower instructions, arahh. But I feel quite confident that with a little practice, I’ll have it good again. Excited for the next flight!

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3 thoughts on “Back in the Air

  1. Good job getting back up in the air! I took a similar hiatus after earning my PPL because of winter (boo). I just did three landings with my CFI and off on a cross-country, definitely a bit nerve racking to be perfect again and knock off that rust quickly!

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