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Flight 12 at SpanaFlight
(Total: 15.4 Dual, 1.1 Sim IFR, .3 Night, 38 Landings)
I have been blessed with the fortune of
having almost 2 weeks of glorious weather to fly in, and today was no
exception. Went out to the airport my usual 15 minutes early and
could only see blue sky. No a cloud anywhere. Seemed to be a
little hazy, but I could see Mount Rainier pretty well, so I wasn't
concerned. Met up with Matt, and we went right out to the
plane. Apparently I wasn't the only one itching to get air bound.
After a couple of flights in 20481, I was
overly pleased to see my normal plane sitting there on the tarmac.
The plane had just got back from another student, and was in need of
fuel. Matt handled that while I pre-flighted the plane.
Everything checked out fine, and we got in, started, and taxied to runway
After a normal takeoff, we headed out to the
practice area. We started with hood work. I put on the "foggles"
and started my instrument scan, and flew straight and level for a
bit. Then Matt had me perform a climbing turn, and then a descending
turn. He then introduced me to unusual attitudes. I can see
how someone could get airsick from that, as my equilibrium went haywire
while he set up the plane. He then had me look at the instruments
and correct for the attitude the plane was in.
This didn't seem too hard, and I did the
maneuvers well. We then entered slow flight with the foggles still
on. This was a little harder, but I still did ok. I then took
the foggles off and continued to do slow flight. The instructor
distracted me a lot during slow flight, and I had to correct a bunch for
my heading and altitude. I am pretty sure it was on
We recovered from slow flight, and did an
engine out drill. I forgot to put the plane on the correct glide
attitude for this at first, and had a difficult time maintaining it until
I trimmed the plane for it. I would have made the field this time
though. We recovered and proceeded to find a spot to do ground
I circled a tree for turns around a
point. This time, I had a lot of difficulty maintaining my altitude
and distance from the point. There were only light and variable
winds out, and it seemed like I should have been able to do this in my
sleep, but I was all over the place. we did about 8 laps this time,
and I started to get situated toward the end of the exercise. We
decided to do the rest of the maneuvers later, and concentrate the rest of
this lesson on landings.
I turned towards the north and headed toward
the pattern for using runway 34, which is what the rest of the planes had
been using. Matt informed me that I would start communicating on the
radio today. I was a little nervous, but I had been practicing in my
car on my drive from work with radio communications. I would be
stuck in stop-and-go traffic announcing my entry into the traffic pattern,
and my entry into the various legs. Actually, if someone else were
to see me doing this, They would probably laugh me out of the area.
But I knew this was coming, and found it a perfect time to practice
these. (Now if I could just get Matt to commute with me during these
We entered the left downwind leg normally,
and I started the radio. I was concentrating mostly on my pattern
work and airspeeds this time. I had previously been using landmarks
to tell me when to turn my various legs in the pattern, but decided that I
needed to start using the runway for doing so. My first go I did
fairly well. I incorrectly set the carb heat when starting, and Matt
corrected, and I turned too early onto final and had to correct. The
first landing went ok.
The second time through the pattern, we were
following a slow plane, and had to extend our downwind. We were high
in the pattern, and the plane in front of us seemed in no hurry to
leave the runway, so we executed a go around and set up for the third
pass. This one went better with procedures, although I still turned
out early for final. Landing was a little smoother too. The
last one, I did procedures right, and turned onto final at the right
time. Matt still helped on all the landings with the flare, and
recommended afterwards that I should trim the plane more for the landing
so that the flare wouldn't keep causing me that much trouble. I'll
try and remember that next time.
We secured the plane and debriefed.
Things went better this time, and Matt surprised me by recommending that I
go for my instrument rating when I'm done because I seem to have a knack
for the hood work. If I do decide to continue this training further,
I'll consider it. Right now, I'd be happy if I could just land the
damn plane myself. Matt keeps reminding me to start taking my solo
written test, and get my medical done. I am going to schedule it for
next week if I can, and I'll have to do my test as soon as what little
free time I have anymore permits. I must be getting close to solo,
but it seems really far away to me. Having fun practicing though.
I think one of these days closer to
Christmas, I'm going to schedule the plane for 3 hours or so, and force
the instructor to fly with me out to the coast so that I can do some
Christmas shopping out there. Got to do those cross countries
sometime, eh. Might as well get some shopping in while I'm out there
too. Not too sure when, but probably mid next month.
More next time...
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