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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 34.

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 purpose.  

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 reference maneuvers.

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 times....)

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...

On to Journal Page 19


Last Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2000


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