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Flight 9 at SpanaFlight (Total: 11.7 Dual, .6 Sim IFR, 31 Landings)


Saturday morning, I awoke wondering if the rain would finally stop.  It had, and aside from some scattered clouds, it was beautiful.  I had been a crappy week as far as weather goes, and I have been acting like a caged lion all week.  And as I sped to the airport, I wondered what I had planned for today.  As it turns out, Matt was there waiting for me to arrive, and we started right away.  

We did some ground school, which covered some emergency procedures that we were going to be practicing today in the air.  Engine fires mostly, and we re-covered normal engine out emergency procedures some as well.  I decided to buy a pair of headsets, since the schools good headsets were usually taken.  I don't like the other ones, as only one headphone works.  I wasn't going for the most expensive one, but since they only had 2 pair to choose from, I chose the ASA HS-1 model, which is the same kind the school uses. 

Went out and pre-flighted the plane.  We were the first ones flying the plane in about 4 days, and it was a little difficult to start.  We did get it going though, and took off on runway 16 again.  The clouds were just broken enough so that we could poke through the holes there and find an area to practice in.  We never really left the vicinity of the airport much, as we were about 5-10 miles it during most of the lesson.

We started with the engine fire instruction and practice.  Matt showed me the first one, which I then practiced next.  Matt showed me a forward slip, which I might add is scary as hell at low altitudes.  We seem to drop like a rock, which is the point of the maneuver, but watching the ground race up at you is a little frightening.  I did a better job at picking a field to land in on my attempt, but screwed up my pattern, and we would have missed the field.  I forgot to extend my downwind, and turned right at the corner of the field.  I felt like an idiot, but Matt ensured me that I will get better at this as time goes on. 

Simulated Instrument flight was next, and I did well at that.  I don't seem to have a problem flying by instrument, probably due to the number of flight simulators that I have flown over the years.  We did that for about 20 minutes, and proceeded to do some Power on stalls.  The first one was ok, but the second one, I had too much rudder in, and we started to spin.  Matt caught it right away, and recovered the plane before we even made a quarter turn.  Impressive.  We then did 2 more for good measure, and those went without incident.  

We were at about 4500 feet at the end of the stalls, and as I looked out at the sky, I saw the most beautiful image I had seen yet.  There were big bright puffy clouds around and below the plane, with just enough breaks to see the farmland below.  Above us was pure deep blue.  I cursed myself for not bringing my camera.  I'll try and remember these conditions again and bring it next time.

Slow flight was next.  I had some difficulty with it, as I usually do, but was able to maintain at least straight and level flight without too much hassle.  Matt pointed out the engine RPM's, so I could remember them and enter this maneuver much faster next time.  

We then decided to head back to the airport and practice some landings.  We were still using runway 16, and I was a little nervous because I had never used that one before.  The first time around the pattern, Matt had me execute a go-around due to my being too high for the landing.  That maneuver was pretty straightforward, and we took it around for another try.  The second time, we got down ok, although Matt had a lot of the controls still.

The third attempt, I messed up base and final enough to execute another go around again.  The last two, we got down, but I did pretty crappy pattern work.  I had either been too high, or too low when entering the base leg, and that usually screwed me up enough that I did poor landings as a result.  Matt, of course, was helping most of the time.  Landings have got to start getting easier.  

We rolled back to the fuel pumps and shut down.  I finished securing the airplane, and we debriefed in the office.  A boy scout troop was getting airplane rides, so the place was buzzing with activity.  Matt took notes during this flight, and pointed out the areas of weakness to me during the debrief.  At least my hood work was good.  Everything else seemed to have problems.  One of those days I guess.  

My next flight is on Monday, and we are planning on ground reference maneuvers and landings I believe.  I am looking forward to the flight.  I do hope, however that I start improving my landings.

On to Journal Page 16




Last Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2000


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