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Second Piper Warrior Challenge (Total: 2.0 Dual, 5 Landings)
No pictures this flight, the wife had the camera loaned
out. Well, There is always next time. The pictures here are just
say that this flight was an adventure would be an understatement. I went
in to the FBO at 2:30, and looked around at their pilot shop some while waiting
for my instructor to arrive. Precisely at 3, he walks in. This was a
different instructor than my last flight, and his name was Ken. We went to
the back, and discussed the upcoming flight for a couple of minutes. The
weather was clear and 75 degrees that day, making for some gorgeous scenery, so
we decided to fly up around Vashon Island, and Bremerton. We discussed
what the last instructor did with me, and my prior studying some. I asked
him if I could do the pre-flight fully this time including the startup and all
the checklists. Ken agreed.
We walked out to the same airplane I flew last time,
and started the preflight. I was glad that we did a thorough check, as the
left side engine cowling was loose, and needed to be secured. I also
noticed for the first time (since my last flight, the instructor pre-flighted
the Aircraft) that the piper has a stabilator instead of an elevator. Ken
showed me how the trim tab on the stabilator changes in relation to the position
of the surface. The rest of the preflight was uneventful.
Again, with the grace of a drunken clown, I practically
fall into the cockpit when attempting to get into the vehicle. After
getting situated, adjusted, and secured, Ken hops in. With it being so
warm outside, and this being the first flight of the day in this aircraft, it
must have seemed like 150 degrees in the cockpit. We kept the door open
until just before takeoff so as not to bake ourselves in the little Piper Oven
that the aircraft was at the moment.
to his word, Ken let me perform the full checklists (with help and LOTS of
questions) and start the aircraft. We then taxied out to the runway
pre-flight area behind a Cessna. He turned in shallow, and we went
farther, turned, parked, and continued the preflight checklists. They all went
smoothly, and after the Cessna took off, we taxied out to the runway and took
This takeoff was different from the last one. we
had put in about 10% flaps this time, which I thought was unusual. Ken
mentioned that this was due to the warmer temperatures outside, and us needing
the extra lift. Sure enough, we lifted off the ground, but not as near a
high rate as on my last flight. The air was choppier too. We bounced
around some and eventually got up to about 1500 feet. We turned toward
Dash Point (in Tacoma I believe) and started flying out to Vashon
We continued to climb up to 2500 feet. Upon
arriving at altitude, Ken has me trim the Piper for level flight (first time
doing this too) and tells me to pick a dot or scratch on the windshield that is
level with the horizon, and to use that point to ser the attitude of the
plane. I find one, and I use it for the rest of the flight. After 10
minutes or so, we reach Vashon, and perform a Clearing maneuver. We did
this so that we would ensure that we were not going to come close to any other
aircraft during our maneuvers. The clearing maneuver is just a 90 degree
turn one way, and then the other.
We started practicing 360 degree high bank turns.
One turn right, then roll out. then one turn left and roll out.
Then, Ken wanted to show me stalls. From my reading, I heard that stalls
were kind of frightening, and tended to be a semi-violent maneuver. So the
proclamation by Ken started my heart beating fast, and got my adrenalin
pumping. Ken saw this and did his best to put me at ease, but first
impressions are hard to shake. He showed me a power off stall first.
I must say, I was worried over nothing. Aside from the stall warning
buzzer going off loudly, nothing happened that I would call even vaguely
frightening. We pitched up, slowed, the stall warning sounded, and the
nose lowered about 20 degrees. He then brought back power, and we
recovered smoothly. Then I got to try this. I throttled down,
applied full flaps (in increments) , and pitched up to maintain altitude.
The stall buzzer went off, and the nose dropped. I throttled back up to
full power, and brought the nose level, and we recovered. Piece of
Next Ken wanted to show me a power on
stall. This I had read was worse than the power off version, but
again my instructor ensured me that it was not too bad to experience. He
brought the throttle to 75% and started pitching the nose up. Speed
immediately dropped, and he kept pitching the nose up to keep climbing.
The stall warning went off, and the nose dropped about 40 degrees this
time. Recovery was similar to the power off stall. All in all, a
little more exciting than the power off version, but nothing too
As our last maneuvers, we decided to do slow speed
maneuvering. We slowed the plane to about 55 knots (just above the stall),
and proceeded to do a couple of turns. The controls felt sloppy, and
sluggish, and required a lot more movement to do the same basic maneuver.
The plane handled well though, and seemed to be fairly maneuverable at those
We brought the power back up, and started back towards
dash point. Looking out to my left,
I saw SeaTac International Airport, and Ken stated that we had been flying under
their airspace for a while. When we reached Dash Point, We turned towards
two blue water towers that I know are near out airport. Ken pointed out
that SeaTac was just to the north of us and that we were flying in somewhat of a
corridor under their takeoff/landing path. He also stated that if we were
to go too much farther to the north, and inadvertently enter their airspace, the
FAA would be calling when we arrived at our airport. I made it a point not
to go any farther north until the instructor gave the word.
We proceeded to turn right to enter the landing pattern
on the downwind leg at 45 degrees, entered the pattern, and again the plane
seemed to act a lot differently this time due to the temperature. My
Instructor had me turn into the base leg, and then final. I was too short
on the turn this time, so I had to correct some. Then we landed. It
took a lot more help from the instructor this time than my first few. I
think because I had 4 tries last time to get one right, whereas this was the
only landing we did. Still was smoother than my first landing
We taxied back to the FBO and shut down the
plane. Got out, and walked back to the office where I picked up another
manual, and had the instructor sign off on my logbook. This time, he
stated that it was time to get my Medical done, and also that I needed to
register in Washington State as a Student Pilot. I took the paperwork with
me, and went home. Another Great Day!
I'll schedule my medical appointment next, and see
where my financial standings are before scheduling any more flights. Also,
I have decided that I will need to go ahead and learn on the Cessna 172 instead
of the Piper. There is almost a $23 dollar difference per hour, and that
is significant enough to warrant training on that plane, and then flying the
Piper when I don't have to pay for an instructor as well. Until Next
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