On a whim earlier this week, I ended up at the flight school and went home with up with a flight block with CFI7. I was incredibly nervous because I hadn’t flown since last June – almost 11 months ago! It has been impossible finding the money to completely finish my private pilot license – and as I’ve said before, it makes no sense to start and stop and start and stop – one should have the money to go all the way through before starting (and that’s why I’ve done nothing with flying lately….). Monetarily, I’m currently nowhere near close to being able to finish my PPL, but I missed flying, so I ignored my own advice for this one-off lesson.
As of last June, the last things I needed to do before my checkride were one last long cross country flight and the demonstration to a flight instructor that I could fly the plane to the private pilot test standards (who knows how long that would take eh? 😉 ). We started today’s lesson with a nice verbal review of the important numbers: RPM and speeds needed for normal flight/slow flight/at different points in the pattern.
Today’s tasks: Went out to the practice area, did level turns, climbing turns, slow flight. Then turns, climbs, and descents in slow flight. Back to airport for touch-and-goes (with a level descent along the way). At the beginning of the lesson, CFI7 had asked me if I had any preferences for what to do – my mind was a blank. I had realized that the whole flight training thing encompasses so much and I felt I needed help in absolutely everything. But I should remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the same holds here. When I finally go to finish the private pilot license, today’s tasks are a fabulous ‘first’ itinerary to do again.
I surprised myself with how much I remembered – radio calls, slow flight, and more. I would have loved to have had more time to actually practice maintaining the altitude I wanted (my performance was still kinda okay) and touch-and-goes (my timing for flaring is way off). It felt like most of my flight today was spent in slow flight. Truthfully, I’d never felt super comfortable with slow flight before today – I could do it, sure, but in the past, it felt that the instructors would ask me to go into slow flight, watch me accomplish it, and then quickly transition to something more “exciting” to them like stalls. I’m thinking I should have asked for an entire hour of slow flight earlier to have acquired this level of comfort sooner (I feel the other instructors think an hour of slow flight would have been a ‘waste of my money’ because it should be something I could acclimate to when setting up for and practicing stalls – they’re right of course, but I needed more practice with just slow flight stuff).