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Flight 2 at SpanaFlight (Total: 4.0 Dual, 9 Landings)

Weather kept us from flying yesterday.  But I was able to get off work in time to go flying today.  As a matter of fact, Matt called me in early.  We started right off into ground school.  We started with the first 2 chapters of my Jepessen Flight Manual which covered areas such as physiological flight effects, and FAA pilot requirements.  We then covered powered on-stalls, powered-off stalls, taxi procedures, and slow flight.  We then went out to the aircraft.  4705G's instrument panel

I started the pre-flight checklist and we were able to cover it in about 10 minutes. We then got into the plane, started it up, and then taxied to runway 34.  The winds were fairly calm, and it  was quite hazy out.  We finished our final checks, and I missed an item on the checklist, which was pointed out to me.  It is pretty easy to miss something, as a lot is going on in the plane during these pre-flight checks.  I'll strive to pay closer attention to the checklists as they will undoubtedly keep me out of trouble. 

My taxiing is improving, as I no longer weave down the Matt on the left and your's truely on the right.taxiway like a drunkard.  I have started learning how to use the flight controls on the ground for taxiing.  I forget where the wind is coming from in regards to which way we are facing, but Matt is there to assist.  I have to remember that I need to slow the propellers RPM to slow the plane BEFORE I start using the brakes.  I have forgotten that several times as well.  

We finish our run-up, proceed onto the runway, and take off.  I drifted off the runway line after takeoff, but was able to recover.  We turned toSee how hazy things really were.... crosswind, then downwind, and proceeded out to the practice area.  I was glad I chose Thun field for my airport, as the practice area is just directly south of the airport, and we don't have to waste any time in the transit to the area.  While we were climbing, the haze seemed to be getting worse.  So much so that we continued climbing to go above the layer of haze that was there.  When we did that, it seemed like we were flying on top of the clouds.  We could still see the ground ok, but with the sun getting close to the horizon, the haze layer was really emphasized.  One of the more spectacular sights I have seen.

Anyway...We started out with some standard fly straight and level stuff.  I learned how to trim the elevators, and discovered that the checklists do not stop after takeoff.  We performed the normal cruise checklist, and I learned how to lean the fuel mixture as well.  (The cruise checklist is to set the engine RPM to a certain range, trim the plane, and lean the mixture)  When Approaching the airport from the southeast.that was done, we started some standard rate turns, and cleared the area.  Then my showed me slow flight.  I had seen this on an earlier flight in the Piper, but so far, the two planes handle very differently so it is just like doing these for the first time again.  Anyway, it wasn't that easy.  We slowed the plane to just above stall speed, and maintained our altitude.  We then did some turns to show me how the plane controls during this type of flight.  At 45 knots, the plane's controls are mushy feeling and the plane seems to be turning on a dime.  We recovered from this type of flight and cleared the area again.

Matt then started to show me Power on stalls.  He slowed the RPM to 1500 and brought the plane to 60 knots and held altitude.  He then gave full power and increased pitch to maintain 60 knots.  He then increased the pitch angleAnother Pic of the airport... and the plane started slowing.  The stall warning horn went off, and then the nose dipped fairly sharply.  He then brought us out of the stall, and we steadied out.  He then had me do the same thing.  I don't think I did justice to the maneuver, but I did perform it.  And again, it was not as bad as I had been reading about in the newsgroups.  

By then it was getting late, and we proceeded back towards the airport.  I asked Matt to take the controls while we circled the airport on the eastern side so I could get a couple of snapThere is a plane taking off here.  This is Thun field from the north.shots.  They turned out a little blurry though.  The sun was just setting and at the horizon when it turned a deep red and had different shades layered through it.  I attempted a snapshot, but it doesn't do it justice.  Definitely one of the more beautiful sights I have ever seen.

I Still hazy out.  This is a picture of about where my house is, but I cannot find it.took the plane again and we proceeded to enter the pattern, again landing runway 34.  I have a bad habit of turning too sharply in the pattern, and my instructor has warned me about it, but I let it slip into a sharper turn once again today.  I have to keep pounding it into my head that any sharper than 30 degree turn and I lose my lift substantially.  Not a good thing while that high in the air.  We landed, and it seemed fairly smooth.  My instructor still has a lot of the controls during landing.  I don't blame him at all.  Hopefully these will improve soon as well.

We performed a touch and go, and took the plane around the pattern once again before landing to a fullBug-splattered windshield with a beautiful sunset stop just as the sun disappeared below the horizon. On the second landing, i rolled out too soon, and the instructor took over to keep me from doing any damage to the plane.  I know I'll get better at this, but that landing was a little spooky.  Also, today was the first time I have seen the runway lights on at Thun field.  It was still daylight, but just dark enough to make them out.  We taxied back and parked the plane.  We went inside and debriefed.  Overall, he said that I was doing well, but I feel I was making too many little mistakes.  Perhaps tomorrow,  I'll do better. 

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Last Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2000


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