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Flight 30 at SpanaFlight (Total: 33.1 Dual, 1.3 Sim IFR, .2 Night, 1.0 Complex, 133 Landings)


Today was about the most beautiful day I have seen this winter.  Not a cloud in the sky, and the wind was nonexistent.  I went out to the Auburn Flight school yesterday to pick up Jepessen's Aviation Weather so as to hopefully fill in one of the weak areas I have identified during my studies.  I have been taking practice tests, and going through the study guides and it seems that I am having problems in the following areas:  Airspace, Weather, and Flight Planning.  As I have had to deal with none of these much in my training as of yet, remembering this information is tricky.  Matt ensures me that all will be covered in due time however.  

I headed out to the airport and as usual, Matt was there waiting.  I purchased up a microphone foam cover so as to not have to continue listening to my breathing while flying.  I then headed out and pre-flighted the plane.  There were a ton of people out today, and the pattern was busy.  The plane checked out ok, and Matt and loaded up, started and taxied to Runway 16 and did the run-up.

Final checks went fine, and after waiting our turn, took off and headed straight out to the practice area.  As we arrived, Matt just said to do whatever I wanted to do.  He said that he overheard me discussing my "being stuck in the pattern" with another student and he wanted to give me a break from the pattern drills.  I appreciated this, but didn't have the slightest idea what to do, so I just circled semi-steeply to the right.  I haven't made a right turn over 30 degrees in about 2 months, so this was my relief.  We then just decided to head back to the airport and practice landings.  I had a good chance to solo today, and I didn't want to use up all my time doing nothing.

I entered the pattern a hundred feet low, and just traded speed for altitude to get back up to TPA. My first time, I turned to base a little to soon, and as I lined up on final, I decided that the approach was bad and I went around.  I forgot to put the carb head back in during the go-around, but aside from that, it went well.  Matt commented that he was glad that I used my judgment on that one.  We took the plane around and set up for another go.  I turned base a little later, and although I was high on final, I felt that I could save this landing and proceeded to continue my approach.  I was fast on landing and floated down the runway and landed with a slight side load.  I realized my mistake and told Matt.  He agreed and we headed back to 16 to try it again.

The second time around, I extended the downwind some more so as to try and turn final on the glide-slope.  I did, and I was dead on.  My approach was beautiful, but on the flare, I ballooned some, and although I corrected for it, I still considered it a bad landing.  We took it up for try # 3 and by this time, the airport is in full swing.  There are 3 planes lined up to take off, and 3 planes in the pattern.  For some reason, I was watching a plane land and lost 100 feet on downwind, so I had to compensate.  Matt scolded me for allowing the distraction, and I continued the approach without further incident.  The landing was pretty good this time.  I flared correctly, and touched smoothly.  We did another full stop, and took it back to 16 to do some more.  

We took off and this time, I started my landing procedures 50 foot high.  I compensated, flared, and landed nicely for the second time of the day.  Matt commented that my pattern work had become very good and consistent.  That gave a nice warm fuzzy and I took it around for another try.  I started thinking that solo was going to happen soon, and started getting nervous about it.  My flying, thankfully, wasn't affected because of it.  I did 2 more takeoffs and landings without incident, and since I had done 6 now, I figured that Matt wasn't going to solo me today after all.  I told Matt that the last landing was it for me, and I wanted to save my flight time for next flight.  Matt kind of indicated that I should take it around again.  I did, and performed my worst landing of the day.  Not too bad, mind you, but bad enough that I felt I had blown my chances to solo today.

Matt and I agreed to just park the plane and try it again another day.  I agreed, as I was getting tired, and we parked and shut down the aircraft.  Both of us were surprised that the Hobbes meter showed 1.6 hours of flight today.  With only 7 landings, that didn't seem enough, but we did do full stop landings, and had to wait several times for three or more planes to takeoff before us.  We headed in and debriefed.  Matt agreed that my flying was pretty good today, and he wanted me to fly Monday.  The schedule showed a cancellation on that day, so I agreed.  I figured that it will at least increase my chances that weather won't be an issue for flying.

All in all, one of my better days of flying, even though I didn't solo today.  I will keep plugging away at it, and I know that eventually, it has to happen.

Until then....Journal Page 36




Last Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2000


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