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Flights 37 at SpanaFlight 
(Total: .7 PIC, 40.7 Dual, 1.7 Sim IFR, .2 Night, 1.0 Complex, 168 Landings)


After another long break between flights, I was anxious to get back up in the air and *PROVE* to Matt that I still can forget everything he taught me.  I actually did a lengthy ground school lesson during my last scheduled flight due to high winds.  Matt introduced me to VOR tracking and radio navigation.  It was really interesting stuff, and provided the ammo I needed to play with another feature of my flight simulator software that has, until now, gone unused.

I arrived at the airport my usual 20 minutes early, but my plane and instructor were out flying, so I shot the breeze with the office manager while waiting.  Matt soon arrived and explained the premise of today's flight.  His plan was to have me learn VOR tracking, do some more IFR work, perform emergency procedures, and do some ground reference maneuvers, so he can sign me off to go out and practice alone.  YESSIR, He is planning on signing me off to LEAVE THE AIRPORT....Woohoo!

We headed out, preflighted, started and taxied to 16 for takeoff.  After runup, we did one normal landing in the pattern with a touch and go and then headed straight out to the practice area.  I must mention that the landing pretty much sucked.  I flared too soon, and too much, forgot to shift my vision to the end of the runway, and then we ballooned and although I recovered fine, I have done MUCH better landings.

We headed out to the practice area and cleared the area.  We then started with power on and off stalls, but we recovered at the buffet instead of waiting for the full stall.  the foggles came out next and I did some sim IFR work.  Mostly turns and straight and level flight.  Then, with foggles still donned, Matt starts instructing me in the finer points of VOR tracking.  I tuned in the VOR frequency on the navigation console, and then tuned the OBS setting on the VOR to get a centered CDI indication and a "From" indication on the VOR.  we then turned to that heading and tracked out on that radial.  

One thing I noticed in comparison to my VOR tracking on my flight simulator, was that the VOR in the real plane had a lag time and didn't lock as steadily as the one in the simulator.  That made it a little hard to get the feel at the beginning, but after a couple of minutes of tweaking I was able to get the hang of how the thing worked.  We then turned and tracked another radial in to the VOR.  After that, we performed wind corrections and intercepted a radial.  The foggles then came off and we turned North to head back to the airport.  

Matt casually asked me what I would do if I had an electrical failure in flight.  I stated that although I was concerned about it, the engine would still run, so I wasn't worried about falling from the sky.  I told him that I would pull out the POH and follow the instructions laid out there.  Matt was satisfied with that answer, and decided to pull my power and simulate an actual engine failure.  I pitched for 65 knots, found a field almost directly underneath us that was suitable, and started a circle to descend to an acceptable altitude for landing.   I forgot to mention that I should attempt to restart the engine, even though I did the flow check that is the precursor to that step.  

We approached the field, and I turned early, but put in full flaps to get down.  I would have made the field without too much problem, but I could have held off a couple more seconds.  Also, although Matt didn't mention it, I forgot to unlatch the door and shut down the system fully in preparation for landing.  One of these days I'll get the whole thing right without missing any steps.  

We recovered and headed out to do turns around a point.  I must say, I did really badly today at this.  First off, I was way too close to the point, and my circles were only vaguely circular.  After a couple of times doing this, Matt decided to take the controls and show me the right way to do it.  He brought the plane out to about twice the distance I was using and performed the maneuver without any apparent difficulty.  Damn, he makes these things look like they are so simple that I feel really stupid when I cannot do them good.  I guess, I'll concentrate on the ground reference maneuvers quite a bit when I go out from the airport next week.

The next stop was the airport, and he headed out to land at runway 16.  We didn't hear anyone nearby, so I called out position about 3 miles out and then Matt turned up the radio.  (He had apparently turned it down during one of the earlier maneuvers)  Again, I felt like an idiot, and found out by listening to the radio chatter that the opposite runway was in use.  We climbed to 2500 and transitioned across the field and entered on the 45 to a downwind.   My approach wasn't too bad this time, and my landing was a lot better than my first one.  I did a touch and go and we went around again for another normal landing.  This one was lots better, although I side loaded a tiny bit.  

That was about all the time I had for the day, so we parked the plane and went in to debrief.  Matt signed me off to leave the airport on my own and we commenced to cancel the dual flights for next week so that we could spend about 4 hours in flight planning and simulator NDB tracking.  I wrote myself in for Tuesday for some solo work away from the airport.  I am really looking forward to this flight.  I finally get to go somewhere by myself, even though I am limited to the practice area.  Matt wants me to practice ground reference maneuvers and just enjoy myself for a bit.  

I plan to do just that.

Until then....Journal Page 42


Last Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2000


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