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Back to Journal Page 38

Flights 35 at SpanaFlight 
(Total: .3 PIC, 38.3 Dual, 1.3 Sim IFR, .2 Night, 1.0 Complex, 160 Landings)


After the week of soaring above the clouds after my solo, it is finally my turn to fly again.  I had absolutely no clue of what to expect on this upcoming flight, but I knew it would be different.  Fortunately, Matt called me at home earlier so that I could know what to expect.  Looks like today was going to be refresher training on maneuvers I already knew, but that's ok because I get to leave the pattern again.  

I arrived my usual 20 minutes early and got the preflight out of the way.  Matt arrived shortly thereafter and he and I loaded up, started up, and taxied out to runway 34.  Actually we started to taxi to 16, but found that some other traffic called in that they were using 34 instead, so we turned the plane around on the taxiway and headed back to 34.  There was no wind today, so it really was at the pilots discretion on which runway to use.

Matt wanted to show me how to do a short field takeoff.  So, after the runup checks, I handed the plane off to Matt and he instructed me on the finer points of the short field takeoff.  10 degrees of flaps.  Hold brakes...full power...then release brakes.  Start pitching at 53 knots....lift off...hold at 55 knots until 50 feet or clear of the obstacle.  Then pitch for Vy and remove the flaps and continue the normal climb.  Seemed easy enough.  Matt then handed me the controls and we departed off the downwind leg to the south to get to our practice area.  

Upon arrival, we did clearing turns and started setting up for slow flight.  I pulled the power to 1500 RPM, added carb heat, and maintained my altitude.  As speed bled off, I added full flaps, then power to bring the engine to about 2000 RPM to hold for straight and level slow flight at 45 knots.  The stall warning was intermittently turning on and off, which Matt said was normal, although it never happened on other slow flights.  I was about 5 knots slower, however, which would account for the changes.  I handled straight and level flight fairly well, and Matt directed me to make a 10 degree right turn.  I banked and added power some to accommodate the loss of vertical lift.  It seems that the plane always wants to turn on a dime during slow flight.  After180 degrees or so, Matt had me recover, which I did fairly well.  

We then performed another clearing turn and set up for a power off stall.  That seemed to go pretty good, although I forgot to put in carb heat again when adding power.  Power on stall was next on the list.  After we regained altitude from the power off stall, we set up for power on stall.  I then pitched for the stall, but the plane didn't want to do it today.  I pitched some more, and although I was on the verge of stall, the plane never did.  Matt said to recover from this and we would try it again another day.  I recovered normally, although I pitched the nose a little too far forward and speed rose to 80 knots or so, which I then had to deal with.

We then cleared the plane again, and Matt says "Your low voltage light is on...what do you do?".  Of course, my mind went blank and Matt pulled out the POH so that we could review the procedure.  It seemed simple enough, first attempt to reset the alternator, then if that doesn't work, start shutting off non essential equipment until you need them in flight.  

Then Matt pulled the power, and said I lost my engine.  I immediately set up for 65 knots, and picked a field to land on.  Matt wasn't sure that I would make the field, but I assured him I would.  I approached the field, and entered a downwind leg.  For some reason, I turned base really early, and on final was too high to land safely on that field.  Damn.   Matt had me execute a go around, and I realized that if I had extended the downwind a little more, I would have passed this maneuver.  Lessons learned I guess.  We then climbed back up to our maneuvering altitude and Matt had me execute an emergency descent.  I completely forgot this maneuver as well, so I asked Matt to show me.  He pulled the power, and banked sharply to the left and dropped the nose.  We spiraled towards the ground and then pulled out with power.  That maneuver is always fun to do.  I didn't get to try it myself today, however.  

We climbed to about 2000 feet and started heading back to the airport.  I called the airport and got a traffic advisory.  They were still using 34, so I pointed the plane to parallel the runway so that I could enter on the 45 as needed.  As I approached the airport, Matt stated that he wanted to show me the short field landing, which I said that I wanted to do a normal touch and go first, then have him show me.  He agreed and we entered the 45 to downwind.  We turned downwind, base, then final.  I was a little left of the runway, but slipped right to realign myself.  The landing went fine, and my flare was good.  I am starting to feel that I really am getting these flares down now.  

I executed a touch and go, and climbed back out.  On the downwind, Matt took the controls, and showed me the short field landing.  We pulled power earlier than normal, and Matt had full flaps in by the time we turned to final.  It seemed that we were already in a slight flare all the way down until we touched the runway.  Then Matt kept the elevators up, and pressed hard on the brakes so that we could slow down fast enough.  Didn't seem that difficult a maneuver, but I can see that I need to review the steps in the POH so that I don't get them wrong.

We then taxied to the parking area and secured the plane for the day.  We walked back in and debriefed.  Matt said I did pretty well on the maneuvers, considering the time it has been since I had done them.  We are planning on doing some more review on next flight, and some more soft and short field takeoffs and landings.  I'll probably get some more solo time as well.

Until then....Journal Page 40







Last Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2000


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