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Flight 20 at SpanaFlight (Total: 23.6 Dual, 1.3 Sim IFR, .2 Night, 77 Landings)


After nearly 2 weeks without flying because of weather, I finally got to go out to the airport.  I arrived a little early, and chatted with the owner some.  Matt arrived soon thereafter, and we started right out.  I went out and pre-flighted the plane.  I was a little apprehensive about today's flight, because of the length of time since my last lesson.  I was nervous about forgetting things, particularly procedures and checklists that I have to remember during flight.   

It was pretty early, and there was frost on the wings.  Matt got the line person out to de-ice the plane, and we chatted a bit while waiting for the frost to melt.  We got in, finished pre-flight, and started the plane.  Today's runway is 16, and the weather was scattered clouds with winds light and variable.  "Glassy" conditions.  Takeoffs and landings were the drill today. 

Taxied to the run-up area, and had to clear the right magneto of carbon buildup.  There were about 3 other planes in the pattern, and I had to time my departure carefully.  Of course, my earlier fears of forgetting steps came true while I was preparing to take off, I realized that I forgot a step on my checklist, and forgot to set my instruments.  I quickly did so, and took off.  Matt noticed, and I felt stupid.  But I did expect something like it to happen though.

On my turn to crosswind, Matt pointed out that I pulled up to much on the turn and had lost speed.  I did the same thing on my turn to downwind leg.  I did better though the rest of the pattern.  The setup for landing went smoothly, and my turn to final was more on target.  Still a little high, but I had already put in the flaps and reduced power to accommodate.  The landing flare was a little too soon, and we were fast coming in, so we floated a third the way down the runway.  The touchdown wasn't too bad though.  We turned off at the third taxiway and headed back to do it again.  

The next time around, I didn't have the problems with the speed in the turns, but my banks were too sharp.  I turned to final too high and needed to bleed off altitude.  Matt showed me a forward slip again, and we dropped like a rock.  I landed with my usual mistiming of my flare.  We didn't float though, and did a touch-and-go to go do number 3.

This one, my takeoff was nice.  I decided to let the wind pull the plane up, instead of hoisting the plane up like I usually do.  Matt noticed and commented on the nice takeoff as well.  I was concentrating on my mistakes from the last landings and decided to try and improve these some more.  I find that if I just relax more and not fight the plane as much, It goes a lot smoother up there, and I tend to think clearer.  This time, and lined up pretty good for final, and wasn't too high.  I had extended the turn to base some so I could lose some more altitude before turning final.  It worked, and we were only slightly high on this approach.  The landing flare I just started smoothly pulling the wheel back and with a light touch, I landed perfectly.  Matt commented that this was my best landing he has seen, and we went took off again to try it again.

Of course, I couldn't repeat my performance of that last landing, but all of them were a little better each time.  I did 6 more landings without significant incidents and Matt took the plane around for one himself.  I'm starting to get these landing things down some now, and I felt 100 percent better about today's landings than any others I have had recently.  We pulled in, parked the plane, secured it, and started debriefing.

Matt stated that he is going to have another instructor ride with me next time so that they can evaluate my solo potential.  He said this is company policy and not to worry about it.  Of course, I will worry about it, as I am always nervous around new people.  Especially ones there to evaluate me.  He said that if that flight goes well enough, I should be soloing on the flight thereafter.

Apparently there is a student who wants to use the same scheduled times as me for his flights, so I am forced to modify my schedule for the next couple of weeks.  As such, Wednesday is my next scheduled flight, and the weather doesn't look too promising for that.  I'll keep my fingers crossed. 

More next time....

On to Journal Page 27











Last Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2000


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