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Flight 7 at SpanaFlight (Total: 8.9 Dual, 24 Landings)


Today's flight went a lot better than expected.  I arrived to the airport with a feeling of dread for how my upcoming landings were going to be. We didn't do any ground school, but, I asked the instructor if we could fly longer since we weren't using the time on the ground. He agreed, and we decided to work on stalls, and slow flight.

I went out and pre-flighted the plane. We got in and went out to the practice area. My brief pattern work was a little better on the takeoff this time.  We started with slow flight.  I did it ok this time.  Held my heading and altitude better too.  

We then started on some power on and off stalls.  Those went well also.  I am still a little nervous when recovering from them, and tend to manipulate the controls too quickly.  I also am having a slight problem in my turns, as I tend to increase the pitch too much and end up gaining altitude during the turn.  Matt points this out every time though.

Steep turns were next.  I had done pretty poorly at these the last time I tried them.  Mainly in holding the 45 degree angle and maintaining the altitude.  I did a little better this time, varying my altitude by no more than 100 feet, but my turns were a little too shallow.  I'll get lots of practice, so I'm not too worried about these.  

Matt asked me what I wanted to do next, and I decided on some more stalls.  I wanted to do these better.  So Matt showed me one again, and then I performed them a lot better this time than I did earlier.  Afterwards, I tried steep turns again, and started back to the airport.  Matt commented on my flying being a lot smoother than it had been.  I am not making jerky movements with the controls anymore, and am able to maintain my desired course, speed, and altitude a lot better.  I appreciated the good word greatly.

We did 3 landings.  The first one, I asked Matt to do, so I could try to get a better feel for the airplane while watching him do these.  I was nervous from my landings the day before, and wanted to clarify a few things before trying again.  Matt makes it look so easy.  He landed smoothly, and proceeded to take off again.  The second time around, I did ok at landing.  Although Matt still had most of the controls.  I did my pattern work a lot better though.

The last landing, Matt told me that he was going to let me have the controls and that he would help if needed, but he was just going to see how I was doing.  I did great in the pattern this time, managing my speeds and altitude right.  We usually are high on final, but this time, the PAPI said we were right on the glide slope.  I was wondering if the thing was working or not.  Apparently it was.  I approached the field, and lined up.  When we got about 20 feet from the ground, I started to flare.  I flared too much ,causing us to balloon some, and Matt tapped the yoke down, and we landed smoothly.   

With the exception of that tap, I landed the plane myself.  I was about ready to do it again, but Matt decided to call it a day.  That was fine, ending on a high note and all.  We parked the plane and secured it.  

Matt and I debriefed on the way to the FBO, and he again stated that I was doing better.  I am really looking forward to Monday, where we are planning on doing more ground reference maneuvers, and he might introduce some emergency procedures to me.  I had been reading about them in the Flight Information Manual.  Until then....

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