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Flight 3 at SpanaFlight (Total: 4.8 Dual, 11 Landings)


I awoke this morning with anticipation of this upcoming flight after flying in my sleep all night, and was looking forward to performing the newer maneuvers such and sharp turns and a power off stall.  I arrived at the airport a little early again, but Matt was there waiting.  We started another lesson, this time on aircraft systems.  We talked about the major systems, such as the fuel system, oil system, instruments, and all of the rest of the systems.  He also briefed me on the upcoming flight.  We were doing power on stalls, slow flight, and steep turns today.  This is my flight school.

We had a different 172 today.  This one was N20481, which was a Cessna 172 with a 180 Horsepower engine installed.  The 05G was reserved all day, so I reserved the other 172.  This is the same plane I rented on my discovery flight.  I went out and started the pre-flight checklist.  We finished up and got in.    We started the plane, and I attempted to use the flight controls properly to taxi to the runway.  The airport was busy today, and had several planes on the run-up area.  Matt took the controls and swung the plane in between two others that were there.  We continued the checklist, proceeded to the runway, and took off.  My takeoff was better this time, but only a little.  I seemed to maintain runway heading a little better.  

When we reached the practice area, we started with clearing maneuvers, and Matt showed me steep turns.  The turns themselves seemed easy when Matt performed them, but when I got my hands on the wheel, I had a hard time keeping altitude, and the required 45 degree angle.  We then did some slow flight.  Matt said that I did a lot better maintaining control of the Thun Fieldairplane this time than my last time, but I had a really hard time keeping my heading.  The plane seemed to want to steer everywhere but where I was pointing it.  We recovered from slow flight normally, and we cleared the area in preparation for power off stalls.  

Matt took the first one, and basically, slowed the plane to 60 knots and 1500 RPM.  set full flaps, and started pulling back on the controls.  The stall warning horn went off and the nose dipped.  He then gave full throttle, turned off carb heat, and took out 10 degrees of flaps.  A note here about this particular airplane, is that the flap controls are different, and instead of relying on the setting you fix for the desired flap, you have to use a toggle switch and a gauge to set the flaps.  This took 2-3 seconds, and was difficult to judge.  anyway, he continued to increase speed, reducing flaps until we were back in normal flight.  The power off stall is used to simulate landing conditions, and show the pilot the stall warning signs and recovery procedures for this critical juncture of flight.

When I tried this same maneuver, I set up for it ok, but when the planeThe Main entrance to the airport. stalled, I panicked a little.  I pushed the throttle in too fast, and forgot one of the recovery steps.  My CFI was there to assist, but I didn't feel really good about this maneuver at all.  It was my first time doing this in a 172, and it was a lot different reacting than the Piper I had flown earlier.  We then decided to head back to the airfield.  

I got a little confused this time during the touch and go.  Some of it was due to communications between my instructor and I.  The first landing was ok, Matt still helped a lot.  But I was unsure that we were doing a touch and go, and was caught a little off guard when the CFI pushed the throttle back in.  That takeoff, was crappy, and Matt had to help a lot.  I was fairly flustered by it all, but was able to recover ok.  The airport was still busy, and we were number 2 in line in the pattern.  We extended our pattern some so that we wouldn't get too close to the airplane in front of us.  I again forgot my head and banked a little too sharply turning base, and I turned out too early on final and had to correct my course.  The landing itself wasn't too bad, but Matt still had most of the controls.  I WILL learn these.

We taxied back and parked, this time debriefing in the plane.  Matt said that I was doing a lot better than my first flights, but it sure didn't feel that way.  I screwed up that takeoff pretty badly, didn't do the steep turns worth a damn, and panicked on the stall.  I was a little encouraged though by Matt's words.  My next flight is on Monday.  I'll try to improve some there.   

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