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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
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
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