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Flight 27 at SpanaFlight (Total: 29.7 Dual, 1.3 Sim IFR, .2 Night, 1.0 Complex, 114 Landings)


I went out with high hopes that today would be my solo.  Weather was the best it has been in a month with sunny skies and calm winds.  I met Matt at the flight school and went out and pre-flighted immediately.  Everything checked out ok and Matt and I loaded up and taxied to runway 16 for run-up and takeoff.  It was my first time flying in over 2 weeks, so I expected my flying to be marginal at best while I remember the airplane.

Matt wanted me to head out to the practice area and do a power off stall, so I took off and headed south for about 7 miles or so.  I lined up with Mount Rainier to maintain my heading, then saw several planes over there, so decided to turn southeast to perform the maneuver.  I actually remembered how to do this one this time, and performed the maneuver within requirements.  Matt decided that I still knew this so we headed right back to the airport to do some pattern work.  Matt said that all these would be full stop landings.

I entered on the 45, turned for downwind, base, and final.  I was WAY too close to the airport so I went around.  The pattern seemed a little off when I started, and it just got worse from there.  I went around for a second try, and decided to extend the distance I was flying my downwind on, so as not to be so close to the airport in the pattern.  This time was better than my first, but not by much.  I was at least on the glide slope for this landing, but I forgot to flare enough and we landed pretty hard.  We pulled off, cleaned up the plane, and headed back to 16 to do it again.

This time, my pattern was wider, but I still had difficulty in the pattern.  I landed a lot smoother, remembering how to flare correctly.  Matt said that I exceeded my bank angle in one of the turns, but the flare was better.  I figured the error on my turn was during the turn to final, as I overshot the runway on this pass.  Cleaned up again, and headed back to 16 to take off.

Third time's a charm, I thought, as I took off from 16.  I was concentrating heavily on my pattern work, noting that each time I turned, I didn't exceed the maximum bank angle.  I was still too close to the runway on downwind, so I angled the plane away from the runway to gain some distance.  I pulled power, set flaps, turned to base, set another notch of flaps, then turned final, I was right on the glide slope, and did my best landing of the day.  Matt commented that things were better on this landing than the others.  I kind of expected Matt to pull over and let him out, but with my performance today, I knew that the solo would come another day.

Went back to 16 and took off.  Performed the same mistakes I had on the first 2 landings, except that this time, for some reason, I left the power in when I put in my last notch of flaps, and approached the runway too fast.  Matt caught this and we went around for the second time today.  I didn't understand why, at first, but then realized what I did.  Another lesson learned.

Next time around the pattern was better, but still way too close.  I exceeded my bank angle here once too, and Matt pointed it out to me.  My landing was smooth, however, and we took it back to 16 and went up again.  Did 2 more trips just like the last one, but then, however, I made the terrific blunder of the day.  On short final, about 10 feet above the runway, I still hadn't started the flare.  We were approaching fast and I wasn't pulling back.  So Matt took the controls and landed us.  I got a nice scolding from him, even though I scolded myself quite a bit for that one.  I'm not quite sure why I did that, but I vowed not to let that happen again.  Matt asked if I wanted to call it a day, and I said no.  I didn't want to end this flight on a bad note.

We took it back to 16 and took off.  This time, I still tried to follow all my procedures correctly.  My pattern work was the best of the day on this one, and even though I ballooned a little on the landing flare, I controlled it and landed softly.  I felt a lot better with that landing than the others, but I was still frustrated with my last landing.  We called it a day, and Matt wanted me to get right back out and fly again in a couple of days.  I scheduled a flight for Tuesday, and if the weather holds out, I might be able to do some of these landings a lot better.  

Lets Journal Page 33







Last Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2000


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